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Sowing Seeds of Partnerships to Feed a Community

A polyethylene cover will be added to this frame to allow a seasonal high tunnel to do its job – provide a warmer climate for plants.

A polyethylene cover will be added to this frame to allow a seasonal high tunnel to do its job – provide a warmer climate for plants.

For years, Avon Standard has tilled the soil, planted the seeds and harvested the produce from his community garden with one purpose in mind—to feed people.

“My passion is to give and grow,” says Standard of the fruits and vegetables that he provides free to family, friends and the surrounding community. He recently took his efforts a step further. Read more »

International Pilots Learn Human Rights Lessons During Visit to Historic Fort in Florida

View of the Apalachicola River from Fort Gadsden located on the river’s east bank. The site is the only historic landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places in the U.S. Forest Service’s Southern Region.  Photo Credit: Forest Service photo

View of the Apalachicola River from Fort Gadsden located on the river’s east bank. The site is the only historic landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places in the U.S. Forest Service’s Southern Region. Photo Credit: Forest Service photo

Nestled in the southwest corner of Florida’s Apalachicola National Forest sits a historic fort known today as Fort Gadsden—the only historic landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places in the U.S. Forest Service’s Southern Region.

The fort served as a Native American trading post, a British fort, as U.S. Fort Gadsden, and as a Confederate fort during the Civil War. The fort was also used as a safe haven for runaway slaves travelling the Underground Railroad, which ran south to Spanish Florida prior to 1821. Read more »

Organic 101: Five Steps to Organic Certification

Reece Latron uses a tractor to carry baskets of greens harvested from Amy's Organic Garden in Charles City, VA. While the certification system is rigorous to ensure integrity of the USDA organic label, thousands of producers and handlers continue to invest in these activities to market their products as organic. USDA Photos by Lance Cheung

Reece Latron uses a tractor to carry baskets of greens harvested from Amy's Organic Garden in Charles City, VA. While the certification system is rigorous to ensure integrity of the USDA organic label, thousands of producers and handlers continue to invest in these activities to market their products as organic. USDA Photos by Lance Cheung

This is the eighth installment of the Organic 101 series that explores different aspects of the USDA organic regulations.

The USDA organic label is backed by a certification system that verifies farmers or handling facilities located anywhere in the world comply with the USDA Organic Regulations. Certification entails five steps: Read more »

US Forest Service’s Largest Experimental Forest is an Example of Cooperative Research

The Olympic Experimental State Forest Area

The Olympic Experimental State Forest Area

The Olympic Experimental State Forest is the largest site in the U.S. Forest Service’s national network of experimental forests and it’s the only representative of the Olympic Peninsula’s temperate rain forest ecosystem, which is known for its extreme rainfall and growth rates.

Its large size, encompassing 270,000 acres, and history of innovation make this a forest that offers many opportunities for research and monitoring. Read more »

New USDA Efforts to Spur Technology and Innovation

This post is part of the Science Tuesday feature series on the USDA blog. Check back each week as we showcase stories and news from USDA’s rich science and research profile.

From desktops to tablets, and from floppy disks to flash drives, technology is constantly changing. Each new idea is developed in an effort to solve old problems.  That’s why the White House issued a plan last year to help stimulate our nation’s economic development and create jobs by accelerating Federal science and technology (S&T) innovations.

To support that plan, USDA agencies with science research missions that develop innovations in agriculture and that support businesses that adopt innovations for commercialization will work together to foster technology transfer to support U.S. business growth. Read more »

Fall Wildflowers are Part of the Fall Colors Parade in the East and South-Central United States

Amongst the falling leaves, you might discover the frost flowers of dittany (Cunila origanoides). Its former light blue flowers have come and gone, its seed cast to the wind, but from the base of their stems you may be lucky enough to see what looks like curling ribbons of ice, one last gem of their blooming glory, a frost flower.  Courtesy of Kathy Phelps.

Amongst the falling leaves, you might discover the frost flowers of dittany (Cunila origanoides). Its former light blue flowers have come and gone, its seed cast to the wind, but from the base of their stems you may be lucky enough to see what looks like curling ribbons of ice, one last gem of their blooming glory, a frost flower. Courtesy of Kathy Phelps.

Fall is a wonderful time to find an amazing array of wildflowers on your national forests and grasslands. But before you venture out, take a moment for a sneak preview on the U.S. Forest Service’s Fall Colors web site for a few ideas to plan your visit

Early morning hikers who are out and about in the hardwood forests of the south-central and eastern United States may be lucky enough to observe the second flowering of dittany (Cunila origanoides). Also known as frost flowers, they are found in late autumn on crisp, frosty mornings. Though they are not true flowers, they are just as beautiful. Read more »