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The People’s Garden First Honey Harvest: Part 2

This story has three parts. Read Part 1 here. Stay tuned for Part 3 later.

The hive is basically a stack of wooden boxes. Within each box a series of frames rest vertically. Each frame is about an inch thick and has built-in cells. The cells are where the bees place the nectar they’ve taken from flowers while foraging. As the water evaporates from the nectar, it becomes thicker, turning into honey. When the bees cap the full cells with wax, the frames are ready for us to harvest. (The bees flying in and out of the rooftop hive use an entrance in the side of the bottom-most box, so we’re able to remove frames from the top without stopping the work of the hive.)

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H-E-B’s Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food

Cross-posted from the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Blog

Last week I had the pleasure of meeting Hugh Topper, Group Vice President of Fresh at H-E-B, a regional supermarket based in San Antonio.  As a Texan, Hugh is proud of his state and, even more so, his state’s farmers and ranchers.  The fact that H-E-B’s purchasing motto is “HEB buys Texas First” and that they have instituted their very own “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food” campaign is a testament to this pride. Read more »

The People’s Garden First Honey Harvest: Part 1

This story has three parts. Please look for the next two parts over the next two days.

July 15 was one of the most exciting days I’ve experienced in my short time as co-beekeeper for the USDA People’s Garden. It was hot, humid, and hazy that morning, when I—together with seven partners and volunteers—went up to the roof of the USDA headquarters building, just off the National Mall, to harvest the first batch of honey ever produced by the USDA People’s Garden beehive. Read more »

Continued Recovery for America’s Agricultural Economy

Cross-posted from the White House Blog

Yesterday I was pleased to receive the encouraging news from two USDA reports that illustrate the strength of the recovery in our agricultural economy. The 2010 Farm Income Forecast and Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade show a positive picture for 2010, and predict sustained growth for the future.  Read more »

Secretary Vilsack Visits the San Antonio Food Bank

Secretary Vilsack surveys product donated to the San Antonio Food Bank with USDA FNS Southwest Regional Administrator Bill Ludwig and San Antonio Food Bank Executive Director Eric Cooper.

Secretary Vilsack surveys product donated to the San Antonio Food Bank with USDA FNS Southwest Regional Administrator Bill Ludwig and San Antonio Food Bank Executive Director Eric Cooper.

On August 23, Secretary Vilsack visited the San Antonio Food Bank, which – with the help of USDA and the Recovery Act – is assisting the needy during these difficult economic times.   Read more »

An Iowa Community Uses USDA Recovery Act Support to Build a New Hospital

City officials joined representatives from USDA Rural Development last month to break ground for a hospital expansion project in Belmond, Iowa.

City officials joined representatives from USDA Rural Development last month to break ground for a hospital expansion project in Belmond, Iowa.

Providing families with quality healthcare and education is at the heart of what makes rural America a great place to live. The pulse around the community of Belmond in north central Iowa couldn’t be beating any stronger.

I had the pleasure of making a trip to Belmond last month to celebrate the groundbreaking for the expansion of the Belmond Medical Center.  On my way to the hospital I couldn’t help but admire the new elementary school and softball and baseball complex, along with the renovations at the high school. Read more »