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Meet the budding hydroponic farmer feeding George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia

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Donielle Nolan, Greenhouse and Gardens Specialist, Office of Sustainability. Photo by Evan Cantwell.

In its first year, the Greenhouse supplied Mason’s kitchens with 1,400 pounds of greens, valued at $14,400.

By Buzz McClain
George Mason University
Mar 15, 2017

Excerpt:

The hydroponic garden Nolan oversees conforms to the certified standards required by Mason’s food service provider, Sodexo, to be an official vendor of fresh produce for use in Mason kitchens. In its first year, the Greenhouse supplied Mason’s kitchens with 1,400 pounds of greens, valued at $14,400.

“The goal is 2,000 pounds a year,” Nolan said. That would be valued at $20,000.

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March 16, 2017   No Comments

Adults’ food skills and use of gardens are not associated with household food insecurity in Canada

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Dr.Valerie Tarasuk, “I know, again, it seems counter-intuitive — you think well if you’re growing your own food you don’t need to buy it, you should have more food,” she said. But small urban gardens don’t produce enough, she said, and fill needs mostly temporarily because they are seasonal.

Objectives: To determine the extent to which Canadian adults’ food preparation and cooking skills and use of home or community gardens relate to their household food insecurity status; and to compare the food shopping and cooking behaviours of adults in food-secure and food-insecure households.

By Anne Huisken, Sarah K. Orr, Valerie Tarasuk
Can J Public Health 2016;107(6):e526–e532
(Must see. Mike)

Excerpts:

Only 29.4% of adults in food-insecure households reported using a home or community garden for food, compared with 43.5% of those in food-secure households (chi-square test, p < 0.05). The odds of food insecurity was not significantly associated with the use of gardens for food when this variable was included in a logistic regression model along with individual- and household-level socio-demographic characteristics (Table 2, column 4). [Read more →]

March 16, 2017   No Comments

Chicago Students Learn To Be Hydroponic Urban Farmers at Schurz Food Science Lab

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The chef and marketing executive’s idea for a high school urban farming program started as a way to prove a restaurant concept.

By Erica Gunderson
WTTW
March 9, 2017

Excerpt:

Friedman: Yields from the Food Lab are often large enough to allow the program to donate herbs and microgreens to a nearby food pantry. And like any farm, increasing yields is a constant focus –whether it’s by adjusting light or fertilizer, testing different grow media or developing a prototype for a rotating growing system. For senior Nathaniel Colon, working in the Food Lab has allowed him to apply some of the problem-solving techniques he’s learned in his pre-engineering classes.

Nathaniel Colon, Schurz senior: We thought of a triangle system that would have different layers. It would be a mist system, it would have LEDs under the trays, so you can access it easier. There’ll be a pipe coming through the middle so it can all recycle back to the reservoir.

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March 16, 2017   No Comments