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Sustainable Agriculture

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NEWS
October 7, 1990 | from Associated Press
Somewhere between smaller chemical-free organic farms and giant corporate cultivators that use tons of pesticides a year is an idea that's getting a lot of attention. The professionals call it low-input sustainable agriculture. What it means is using only the chemicals you really need. In general, organic farming requires total abstinence from chemical fertilizers or pest control.
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BUSINESS
January 13, 2014 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO - A coalition of organic farmers, nutritionists and environmental justice activists is jumping into the rough-and-tumble politics at California's Capitol. The California Food Policy Council, a network of 19 groups around the state, wants to persuade legislators to pass laws that would support sustainable agriculture and safeguard soil and water quality for large and small farmers. The idea, organizers say, is to make healthful, affordable food options available for low-income urban dwellers, schoolchildren and others.
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NEWS
August 30, 1994
Crop rotation: Regular recurrent succession of different crops on the same land for the purpose of maintaining good yields. * Dry-land farming: The practice of crop production without irrigation. * Drip irrigation: Water applied at very low pressure from an emitter in a plastic line for tree and row crops. * Fresno scraper: A drag-type scraper used to move dirt. The bucket has a bottom and is rotated forward for dumping and spreading.
BUSINESS
October 28, 2012 | By Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times
The gig: Craig McNamara is a sustainable farming expert, organic walnut farmer in the Sacramento Valley town of Winters, founder of the nonprofit Center for Land-Based Learning and the California Farm Academy, and president of the state Board of Food and Agriculture, which advises state officials on farming policies. Organic food basket: At his Sierra Orchards, Craig McNamara makes extensive use of pro-environment and conservation techniques as he grows 450 acres of organic walnuts, presses organic olive oil from 150 trees that are more than a century old and helps his son raise hops for a local craft beer.
NEWS
March 8, 1987 | JOHN M. LEIGHTY, United Press International
Charles Richard, a classical guitarist from the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, has found a new rhythm behind a team of workhorses on his 72-acre ranch in the Northern California wine country. His favorite compositions are now several "world class" Bordeaux-style wines produced by using what he calls "sustainable agriculture" at a century-old boutique winery in the fertile Dry Creek Valley of Sonoma County.
NEWS
February 7, 1988 | JOE BIGHAM, Associated Press
People in agribusiness must develop new methods to reduce dependence on chemicals if they hope to increase the public's confidence in their products, a University of California researcher says. "Agriculture is a disturbed system," said William Liebhardt, director of sustainable agriculture at UC Davis. "We manipulate; we change; we make it different. We have used a heavy-handed approach to solve problems."
OPINION
June 8, 2012 | By Dan Imhoff and Michael Dimock
In 1933, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the very first farm bill, formally called the Agricultural Adjustment Act, he told the nation that "an unprecedented condition calls for the trial of new means to rescue agriculture. " That legislation, passed as the country struggled to emerge from the Depression, was visionary in the way it employed agricultural policy to address significant national issues, including rural poverty and hunger. It may not seem obvious while standing in the aisles of a modern grocery store, but the country today faces another food and farming crisis.
BUSINESS
October 28, 2012 | By Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times
The gig: Craig McNamara is a sustainable farming expert, organic walnut farmer in the Sacramento Valley town of Winters, founder of the nonprofit Center for Land-Based Learning and the California Farm Academy, and president of the state Board of Food and Agriculture, which advises state officials on farming policies. Organic food basket: At his Sierra Orchards, Craig McNamara makes extensive use of pro-environment and conservation techniques as he grows 450 acres of organic walnuts, presses organic olive oil from 150 trees that are more than a century old and helps his son raise hops for a local craft beer.
BUSINESS
August 27, 1992 | MICHAEL SCHRAGE, Michael Schrage is a writer, consultant and research associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He writes this column independently for The Times
Few city dwellers and suburbanites are probably aware of this simple fact: American agriculture is larger than either the country's massive defense establishment or health care system. Even in our so-called "post-industrial economy," more than 16% of America's GNP comes from the soil.
NEWS
August 8, 2012 | By Alexandra Le Tellier
Trader Joe's, the most innovative grocery store? That's the case Atlantic Media Fellow Alessandra Ram has made, pointing to how the supermarket continues to evolve by listening to its conscientious shoppers. “Trader Joe's has graciously succumbed to requests to alter its 'farming' and sustainability practices, and has pledged to dedicate itself to sustainable alternatives, after a vocal component of its consumer population demanded it do so,” writes Ram, continuing: “Their decision to sign the Fair Food Agreement signals an awareness to better the lives of workers and consumers alike.” Whole Foods deserves credit too, for more than just supporting local farmers, organic produce and health generally but for turning it into a lifestyle that's easy to practice -- well, for those who can afford it. As Tom Roston writes in an amusing rant on Food Republic, Whole Foods has turned its devotees into submissives.
OPINION
June 8, 2012 | By Dan Imhoff and Michael Dimock
In 1933, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the very first farm bill, formally called the Agricultural Adjustment Act, he told the nation that "an unprecedented condition calls for the trial of new means to rescue agriculture. " That legislation, passed as the country struggled to emerge from the Depression, was visionary in the way it employed agricultural policy to address significant national issues, including rural poverty and hunger. It may not seem obvious while standing in the aisles of a modern grocery store, but the country today faces another food and farming crisis.
FOOD
July 8, 2010 | By Mary MacVean, Los Angeles Times
After Colin Archipley and his wife sold their tiny Venice house and bought 2 acres of land in Escondido in 2005, he started caring for the 200 avocado trees on the land just because they were there. That turned out to be a catalyst for a new life for the Iraq war veteran. After leaving the Marines in 2006, Archipley, 29, had a vision of replicating the teamwork and proficiency of his military colleagues. He found that business: Archi's Acres now grows herbs and greens — and avocadoes — on 6 acres, some of which he owns and some of which he rents, selling at farmers markets and to Whole Foods and other retailers.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 15, 2009 | Steve Chawkins
When officials at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo scheduled a free lecture by bestselling author Michael Pollan, they envisioned a lively talk about sustainable food, along with Pollan's customary critiques of agribusiness. What they didn't expect was a wave of denunciations from angry farming and ranching alumni who rank Pollan as a force only slightly less damaging to agriculture than the Mediterranean fruit fly. Threatening to pull his donations, the head of one of California's biggest ranching operations succeeded in turning today's planned lecture into a panel discussion involving Pollan, a meat-science expert, and a major grower of organic lettuce.
NEWS
August 30, 1994
Crop rotation: Regular recurrent succession of different crops on the same land for the purpose of maintaining good yields. * Dry-land farming: The practice of crop production without irrigation. * Drip irrigation: Water applied at very low pressure from an emitter in a plastic line for tree and row crops. * Fresno scraper: A drag-type scraper used to move dirt. The bucket has a bottom and is rotated forward for dumping and spreading.
NEWS
August 30, 1994 | WILLIAM R. LONG, TIMES STAFF WRITER
On the rugged, rainy island of Chiloe in southern Chile, impoverished rural communities fight a never-ending battle against a fungus that can wither potato plants and turn harvests into heartbreaking failures. But since last year, many Chiloe farmers have a new weapon in their fight against blight. They have learned how to make an anti-fungal "tea" by draining liquid from compost and adding casein, a milk protein, to stimulate the growth of certain bacteria.
NEWS
December 16, 1990 | STEVEN P. ROSENFELD, ASSOCIATED PRESS
Researchers are trying to harness space-age technology for a down-to-Earth job: to help farmers spread manure and chemicals over their fields. "There's no joking about this. This is serious business," said agricultural engineer Thomas Colvin, who is conducting the studies. "This is a high-tech approach to a low-tech problem." The aim is to cut costs and reduce harm to the environment by taking the guesswork out of how much animal waste and chemicals to use and where to use them, Colvin said.
NEWS
August 8, 2012 | By Alexandra Le Tellier
Trader Joe's, the most innovative grocery store? That's the case Atlantic Media Fellow Alessandra Ram has made, pointing to how the supermarket continues to evolve by listening to its conscientious shoppers. “Trader Joe's has graciously succumbed to requests to alter its 'farming' and sustainability practices, and has pledged to dedicate itself to sustainable alternatives, after a vocal component of its consumer population demanded it do so,” writes Ram, continuing: “Their decision to sign the Fair Food Agreement signals an awareness to better the lives of workers and consumers alike.” Whole Foods deserves credit too, for more than just supporting local farmers, organic produce and health generally but for turning it into a lifestyle that's easy to practice -- well, for those who can afford it. As Tom Roston writes in an amusing rant on Food Republic, Whole Foods has turned its devotees into submissives.
BUSINESS
August 27, 1992 | MICHAEL SCHRAGE, Michael Schrage is a writer, consultant and research associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He writes this column independently for The Times
Few city dwellers and suburbanites are probably aware of this simple fact: American agriculture is larger than either the country's massive defense establishment or health care system. Even in our so-called "post-industrial economy," more than 16% of America's GNP comes from the soil.
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