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Garden Wagon Brings Agriculture to Eastern Cherokee Indians

Volunteer George Welch unloads Garden Wagon plants.

Volunteer George Welch unloads Garden Wagon plants.

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.

When members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians can’t make it to their local extension office, their extension office comes to them—with a gift of better health through home gardening. Read more »

Turning Floodplains from Unproductive Farmland into Restored Wetlands

Ron Farris, landowner, and NRCS employee Danette Cross look over his conservation plan.

Ron Farris, landowner, and NRCS employee Danette Cross look over his conservation plan.

In southern Illinois, along the Mississippi River, you can see a diverse landscape of woodlands, open wild areas and farmland. But that wasn’t the case about 20 years ago, after the Great Flood of 1993 ravaged the area. That summer, all of these ecosystems resembled a moonscape with most of the vegetation removed. Read more »

Organic 101: Organic Wine

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

According to a 2011 survey by the Organic Trade Association, organic beverages made up about 12% of total organic food sales growth. Organic wine contributed to that growth, matching pace with conventional wine purchases. So what is organic wine?

As with other USDA organic products, organic wine is made without using prohibited substances or genetic engineering (see Allowed and Prohibited Substances). It undergoes the same rigorous requirements of USDA organic certification as other products throughout its lifecycle (see Five Steps to Organic Certification). And, in addition to being overseen by the USDA National Organic Program, it has to meet the requirements of the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, especially for sulfite labeling requirements. Read more »