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A growing number of young Americans are leaving desk jobs to farm

Liz Whitehurst picks greens at Owl’s Nest Farm in Upper Marlboro, Md., on Nov. 9. Whitehurst is the owner and operator of the farm, which sells its produce at a D.C.-area farmers market, to restaurants and through CSA shares. (Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post)

For only the second time in the last century, the number of farmers under 35 years old is increasing, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s latest Census of Agriculture. Sixty-nine percent of the surveyed young farmers had college degrees — significantly higher than the general population.

By Caitlin Dewey
Washington Post
November 23, 2017

Liz Whitehurst dabbled in several careers before she ended up here, crating fistfuls of fresh-cut arugula in the early-November chill.

The hours were better at her nonprofit jobs. So were the benefits. But two years ago, the 32-year-old Whitehurst — who graduated from a liberal arts college and grew up in the Chicago suburbs — abandoned Washington for this three-acre farm in Upper Marlboro, Md.

She joined a growing movement of highly educated, ex-urban, first-time farmers who are capitalizing on booming consumer demand for local and sustainable foods and who, experts say, could have a broad impact on the food system.

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November 24, 2017   Comments Off on A growing number of young Americans are leaving desk jobs to farm

Worms Eat My Garbage, 35th Anniversary Edition

How to Set Up and Maintain a Worm Composting System: Compost Food Waste, Produce Fertilizer for Houseplants and Garden, and Educate Your Kids and Family

By Mary Appelhof, Joanne Olszewski, Amy Stewart
Worm Woman Inc.
December 2017

For more than three decades, this best-selling guide to the practice of vermicomposting has taught people how to use worms to recycle food waste into nutrient-rich fertilizer for houseplants or gardens. Small-scale, self-contained worm bins can be kept indoors, in a basement or even under the kitchen sink in an apartment — making vermicomposting a great option for city dwellers and anyone who doesn’t want or can’t have an outdoor compost pile.

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November 24, 2017   Comments Off on Worms Eat My Garbage, 35th Anniversary Edition

Some Food Banks Are Using Vertical Farms

Canada: The Surrey Food Bank’s vertical farm system. (Photo © Pixel Perfect Photography)

Vertical farms allow food banks to grow their own produce with high-tech systems in an effort to fight food insecurity year-round.

By Jodi Helmer
Civil Eats


One of the biggest arguments against food banks getting into the vertical-farming business is simply that these systems are pricey. The Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma paid $140,000 for its two Growtainers, securing a grant from the Morningcrest Healthcare Foundation to purchase the vertical farms. It costs an additional $680 per month for electricity to power them.

For nonprofits, cost can be a barrier and, in some locations, indoor farms are an unnecessary expense. The learning curve can also be steep and most food banks rely on volunteer labor to handle maintenance and harvesting, often with training from the manufacturers of the vertical systems.

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November 24, 2017   Comments Off on Some Food Banks Are Using Vertical Farms