A USDA People’s Garden outreach coordinator gives a tour of the garden to visiting Afghan Borlaug Fellows during their visit to USDA for the Borlaug program’s executive management training. The fellows spent a few days in the Washington D.C. area before visiting Washington State University in Pullman, Wash., where they learned how the U.S. land grant university system conducts research and brings new technologies to agricultural producers and agribusinesses. (Photo by Erin Tindell, Foreign Agricultural Service)
With 80 percent of Afghanistan’s population involved in farming, herding or both, agriculture is the main driver of the Afghan economy. However, only 12 percent of the country’s total land is arable and less than six percent is currently cultivated. Since 2003, the U.S. government has been working alongside Afghans to help restore the country’s once vibrant agricultural sector. Read more »
Agriculture’s mobile Discovery Zone is a hands-on vehicle that travels the nation educating children and parents about the four main principals of home food safety – clean, separate, cook and chill, at the Taste of D.C., event that highlights more than 70 eateries, 30 specialty beer providers, the United Service Organization (USO) Metropolitan Washington, and live bands
Washington, D.C.’s premier ‘foodie’ extravaganza, the 2nd annual Taste of DC, brought warm deliciousness to the heart of the capital during the Columbus Day weekend, Oct. 6-8. Thirty restaurants gathered along Pennsylvania Avenue with food samples, music and entertainment for people of the National Capital Region. Thanks to a partnership between USDA and Taste of DC organizers, the Food Safety and Inspection Service was able to stir food safety into the mix of culinary topics. Read more »
The crops growing in the People's Garden at USDA Headquarters benefit from a drip irrigation system that Bob helped design. It is a planned irrigation system where water is applied directly to the root zone so each crop area is watered more uniformly and efficiently.
What do lawns, green roofs and electric bills have in common? If you ask Bob Snieckus, the answer is “energy.”
Even though Snieckus stays busy as National Landscape Architect for USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), he is also committed to conserving energy and improving sustainability in the Washington, D.C., buildings and landscapes where he works. Read more »
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Bee Research Laboratory displays a live bee colony in a two-sided glass case at 2012 Smithsonian Folklife Festival, Thursday, June 28, 2012 on the National mall in Washington, D.C. One of the three themes this year is “Campus and Community.” It celebrates the 150 years of the USDA and the Land-Grant University System. The USDA and the Land-Grant system extend education across the country, contributing to American agriculture success and rural prosperity. “Campus and Community” has demonstrations, discussions, hands-on activities, and entertainment to that showcase the many ways that this partnership works to improve American agriculture and rural life. USDA photo by Lance Cheung.
This week, representatives from USDA have been down on the National Mall, staffing hands-on exhibits about food safety, bioenergy and even bees. Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists have, for years, been studying Colony Collapse disorder (CCD), which has been attacking honey bee colonies since 2006. Read more »
DC Truck Farm is a collaborative effort between D.C. Central Kitchen (DCCK) and USDA’s People’s Garden Initiative. Now in its second year, this garden on wheels travels around the Nation’s Capital teaching urban youth about agriculture, soil science and nutrition education. It got moving thanks to the support of many partners in the DC metropolitan area.
We recently caught up with the District’s very own truck farmers at DCCK to capture their first planting of the season, to ask about lessons learned last year and to talk plans for 2012. Read more »
Three years ago this week, on February 12, 2009, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack commemorated President Lincoln’s 200th birthday by creating the first USDA People’s Garden at the “People’s Department.” This People’s Garden at Department headquarters in Washington D.C., initially started as an opportunity to showcase what we do at USDA, and to unite communities, raise awareness about sustainable agriculture practices, connect people with where their food comes from, and educate on protecting our environment and conserving resources. It was USDA’s way of walking its talk by providing an example to the rest of the country. We’ve grown quite a bit in a short period of time. Thousands of USDA employees and over 700 local and national organizations are participating in over 1,500 gardens.
Last night, the People’s Garden along with Abraham Lincoln, in honor of our namesake and USDA’s 150th Anniversary, recognized employees, agencies and partners for their contributions to the Initiative at The People’s Garden ‘Golden Shovel’ Award Ceremony and Reception. And the categories are… Read more »