BSC Library Articles Tagged: Agriculture

  • agriculture

    Farmers prepare for changing climate

    February 18, 2015

    Orchardist Guy Ames shared a story of not being prepared for a drought and having to use every container he had to haul water to his trees. The next year he invested in a farm cistern. Photo credit: Ames Orchard and Nursery Farmers, researchers and activists gathered in Pittsboro recently to discuss what climate change will mean for North Carolina’s agricultural producers. Abundance NC has hosted the Climate Adaptation Conference annually since 2013 in order to help farmers learn what types of climactic shifts they can expect, share practices that increase resiliency and connect to available resources. This year, Peter…

  • agriculture

    Could carbon farming help reverse climate change?

    February 18, 2015

    New technologies like the roller crimper help farmers grow crops without releasing the carbon from their soils. Photo credit: SARE Outreach This is the second part of an article about the Climate Adaptation Conference. The previous article can be found here. Although agriculture is currently a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, some farms do the exact opposite, pulling carbon out of the atmosphere and sinking it into soils. If these carbon sequestering techniques spread to agricultural lands all across the globe, we could offset a huge portion of our yearly emissions and eventually bring the amount of carbon dioxide…

  • agriculture

    The Piedmont Farm Tour turns 20

    April 20, 2015

    John Dorsey, Cecilia Redding, and Matt Ball of Down 2 Earth Farms. Photo credit: Anna Kirby Photography. Next weekend, on April 25 and 26, forty local farms will open their gates to thousands of visitors on an annual pilgrimage. This year marks the twentieth anniversary of the Piedmont Farm Tour, an opportunity for local eaters to seek a deeper connection to the people and land that sustain them. The farm-to-table movement: 20 years of growth Much has changed since 1996, when Betsy Hitt of Peregrine Farm first suggested the farm tour as a fundraising idea for the Carolina Farm Stewardship…

  • agriculture

    What does the California drought mean for NC?

    April 29, 2015

    Raleigh's primary water supply, Falls Lake, lost 70% of its volume during the 2007 drought. Photo Credit: LearnNC The western United States are parched. California is now in the fourth year of a severe drought. The Sierra Nevada mountains have less than a tenth of the snow they usually have at this time. In normal years, this snowpack provides a third of the water that California uses during summer and fall. For the first time in the state’s history, Governor Jerry Brown has ordered a mandatory 25 percent statewide reduction in urban water use. Farmers and rural residents have already seen…

  • agriculture

    Water scarcity breeds innovation

    April 29, 2015

    Nathan Kaufman of Viridis Aquaponic Growers explains how their system uses 95% less water than conventional growing methods. Photo credit: Jacob Levin Part one of this article explains why competition over water is becoming fierce in North Carolina. The following article looks at some of the innovative techniques that people living in water scarce regions are developing to make the best possible use of this precious, life-giving resource. Although a severe drought may seem like a plague, scarcity leads to incredible innovation. Out west and in water-scarce regions around the world, humans are developing ways of farming and living that…

  • agriculture

    Biobased economy created 4 million jobs, says USDA study from NC State & Duke

    July 1, 2015

    4 million jobs, and $369 billion, that's how much the BioBased economy contributed to the US economy in 2013 alone.  

  • agriculture

    NC State Students Study Fair Trade Cacao Production During ASB in Belize

    March 26, 2017

    At the heart of service learning projects like the Alternative Service Break at NC State, students gain real-world experience and help address social justice issues. Learn about a recent student trip to Belize through the eyes of Sofia Abdo, BSC Associate.

  • agriculture

    A NEW COMMUNITY MODEL BRINGS TOGETHER ELDERS AND YOUNG FARMERS

    August 19, 2014

    Green Building Pioneer Gets Back to Work Redesigning Retirement Giles Blunden has spent a lifetime developing sustainable models of human community. Blunden is a visionary architect and community builder, well known for his pioneering work in solar homes, green building and cohousing. His designs have received multiple awards and national recognition. Now Blunden wants to put his talents to work once again, this time to build a community which provides elders with a more dignified, stimulating way of living out their retirement, and young aspiring farmers with land to call their own. Blunden calls this integration of a sustainable farm…

  • agriculture

    CAN NC’S STRAWBERRY INDUSTRY PROTECT SOIL HEALTH?

    June 30, 2014

    Photo: huangjiahui/creative commons When local farming pioneer John Vollmer passed away recently, he was remembered not just for championing organic agriculture. Having been an agricultural chemical seller for many years, Vollmer was at least as influential in encouraging conventional growers to reconsider the role of soil health on their farms. It seems likely that Vollmer would approve of a study being conducted by NC State University researchers Amanda McWhirt, Michelle Schroeder-Moreno, Gina Fernandez, Hannah Burrack and Yasmin Cardoza. The study explores ways that all NC strawberry growers can help maintain soil health, reduce chemical use, and become more economically sustainable…

  • agriculture

    REMEMBERING JOHN VOLLMER: A CHAMPION FOR THE SOIL

    June 13, 2014

    Photo: Brandon Yow/Whole Foods One of North Carolina’s great farmers returned to the soil last week after John Vollmer died of cancer. Farmer John and his late-wife Betty navigated a difficult time in North Carolina’s agricultural history, and played a major role in figuring out a post-tobacco future for North Carolina’s family farmers. He was the third generation to earn his livelihood cultivating his family’s property in Bunn, NC, and thanks to John and Betty’s hard-work and ingenuity, the Vollmer Farm will stay in the family, with their son Russ taking over leadership. Living Through Turbulent Times After growing up…

  • agriculture

    LOCAL FOOD SALES SURGING IN WESTERN NC

    May 5, 2014

    Photo: anoldent/creative commons From city farmers cooperating with developers in Raleigh to an award-winning farm-to-table restaurant in Charlotte, North Carolina is not short of people working to make local food the norm, not the exception. Nowhere is that more apparent, however, than Western North Carolina, where new figures from the USDA's Census of Agriculture show direct sales alone growing 69% between 2007 and 2012. As the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP) points out, these figures are note worthy because they are bucking trends seen elsewhere:  "The success in Western North Carolina is particularly impressive when compared to the rest of…

  • agriculture

    CAN CITY FARMS AND DEVELOPERS LEARN TO COEXIST?

    April 30, 2014

    Image: Raleigh City Farm/website screen capture From community garden to growers cooperative Raleigh City Farm started in 2010, when a group of people passionate about urban farming came together to figure out how to create a farm in downtown Raleigh. In Spring of 2012, they gained access to a highly visible, one acre lot on the corner of Blount and Franklin St. and established Raleigh City Farm (RCF) as a non-profit. Beginning as an all-volunteer organization, Raleigh City Farm managed to grow thousands of pounds of organic produce, much of which was donated to local food banks. Although allowing community-supporters…

  • agriculture

    How sheep farming can help maintain solar farms

    April 23, 2014

    Photo: Sun-Raised Farms, screen shot The solar industry is growing rapidly in North Carolina, thanks in large part to the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards law, which requires utilities to source 3% of their energy from renewable sources this year, increasing to 12.5% by 2021. Some people have raised concerns that renewable energy generation could crowd out agricultural uses of land. But NC-based Sun-Raised Farms has a potential solution: Let hungry sheep mow the fields. Chad and Jodi Ray started using sheep to maintain one of O2 Energies’ solar fields in Bunn, NC in 2011. They managed to lower O2 Energies’…

  • agriculture

    CRAFT DISTILLING TAKES OFF IN NC

    February 20, 2014

    Craft distilling is a growing industry across the US, and North Carolina is now exception. While early craft distilleries here focused on the state's heritage of moonshine production - albeit a more legal version than previous generations - but increased competition is leading to a broader selection of NC-distilled spirits, including some with a strong focus on sustainability and the local supply chain. Intensely local focus At a recent NC Distillers Guild Meeting, Tami Schwerin, co-founder of Devil's Distillery in Pittsboro, learned that Devil’s Distillery will be the fourteenth craft distillery in North Carolina, and there are 4 more in…

  • agriculture

    FARM COMMUNITY EXPLORES ADAPTING TO CLIMATE CHANGE

    January 16, 2014

    A group of farmers, researchers and food advocates discuss annual crop production. Photo: Rachel Tinker Kulberg Back in the fall of 2012, Pittsboro, NC farmer Laurie Heise called the Abundance Foundation with a question: “How do I prepare for climate change on my small, diversified farm?” Abundance Foundation didn’t have an answer. So the Abundance staff started calling around and in doing so they found that they not alone. It seemed many farmers, thinkers and organizations were themselves wondering the same thing. An idea for a conference was born.   Over 140 farmers, agriculture researchers, and activists convened at the Farming Strategies Conference for…

  • agriculture

    FARM AID COMES TO RALEIGH

    September 10, 2014

    Photo: © Paul Natkin/Photo Reserve, Inc, courtesy of Farm Aid Willie Nelson and Farm Aid are on the road again, this year in Raleigh’s backyard at Walnut Creek Amphitheater, on Saturday, September 13. It’s been almost 30 years since the original concert in Champaign, Illinois, where Nelson and more than 50 artists performed to raise awareness about family farms struggling to keep their land while combating a devastating economy and the rising threat of factory farms. Since 1985, Farm Aid has raised more than $45 million to promote the livelihoods of family farmers, provide resources and counseling to farms in crisis,…

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