Posts tagged sustainability
CSA: Community Supported Agriculture

Spring is (finally) here, which means that summer - my favorite season - is just around the corner. I am so excited.

We’ve finally moved to our forever home where I can’t wait to start my own garden. But, alas, I still don’t have the space (or the time, energy, or know-how) to grow as many veggies as I want.

I am therefore ever thankful for my local CSA.

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Sustainability Spotlight: Local Vegetable Farm

Meet Joe Miller. He and his wife, Chris, are the full-time owners/operators of Miller Farms, a medium-sized vegetable farm in Northern Colorado. Miller Farms consists of 400 acres of vegetables, additional acreage in field corn, and a few more acres of hay.

In addition to farming, a couple of years ago they started to raise cattle for beef – but it’s not much – they originally got into cattle because their kids and grandkids liked to work with them. This sentiment is telling of why Joe is involved in farming at all: his passion is teaching kids and adults where food comes from. He wants to make food affordable.

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Sustainability Spotlight: Community Based Agriculture

Meet Amanda Lindahl. She’s an expert baker, extrovert, wonderful friend, and a passionate gardener. She works for The Giving Grove, a non-profit organization which is part of the Kansas City Community Gardens.

The Giving Grove is a unique subset of American Agriculture – one founded on the principle of helping people grow their own food. Since their inception in 2013, the Giving Grove has partnered with community groups to plant over 145 orchards all over the Kansas City metro, ranging in size from five trees to over 100 trees. The organization provides education, but the responsibility of ongoing maintenance and management of the orchard is the work of the community group partner. These community groups are then the beneficiaries of the (literal) fruits of their labor.

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Sustainability Spotlight: Large-Scale Commodity Farm

If there is one word I could use to describe Lee Scheufler, my father and the co-owner/operator of Scheufler Farms, Inc. it would be efficient.

“I wasn’t going to marry a farmer!” declares Margaret, wife of efficient Lee, my mother and co-owner/operator of Scheufler Farms.

“But my charm overwhelmed her,” Lee jokes with a wink.

Scheufler Farms is a large-scale grain farm in the smack-dab center of Kansas. Lee and Margaret have been married over 30 years and together manage this 100% family farm with only one full-time employee. Their farming philosophy is to run a highly efficient enterprise to capture low cost per unit production.

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Sustainability Spotlight: Industry Perspective

Last December, Marvin showed up on my parents’ doorstep.

Marvin works for ADM (Archer Daniels Midland Company – although nobody ever calls them by their full name) as a marketing agent who procures grain from local farmers.

He and his company want to sustainably source wheat in Central Kansas, but “sustainable” first needs to be defined. Thus ADM is looking for producers willing to share information about their farming practices.  The goal of this  Field to Market program is to determine the most profitable - yet environmentally friendly - way to raise wheat. ADM, in turn, wants to partner with these farms to purchase this sustainably grown grain.

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Sustainability in Agriculture

Farm to Table. Locally Grown. Sustainably Made.

These buzzwords are becoming more than marketing phrases – they are becoming the demands of consumers. Consumers understand now more than ever that climate change isn’t a probability anymore; it’s a reality – and one that needs addressing right now.

Over the course of the next few months, I plan to delve into five perspectives: and industry response to sustainability and an interview with four different types of farmers in this six-part series about Sustainability in Agriculture.

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Every Purchase Matters

We live in a global society. In fact, you're probably using a device right now whose components were manufactured in six of the seven continents on our planet. In our modern society, the surplus harvest in Russia affects the US wheat markets and widespread drought in the Midwest can cause famine in developing nations.

Likewise, the clothes we buy affect everyone from the cotton-growers in Alabama to the seamstress in Bolivia to the CEO behind glass doors.

Every Purchase Matters. This is the mantra of Fair Trade USA, an organization and movement dedicated to identify producers who respect both people and the environment.

You may have noticed many of the products on my site are Fair Trade Certified. If you've never heard of this concept, I want to share with you what brought me to decide to make this a central part of my business model.

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The Quest for Sustainability

Sustainability. It's a buzzword. It's a fad. It's a culture shift.

But really, what is sustainability in terms of how we grow our food in the world? As a dietitian, I have had the pleasure of meeting many people who care deeply about this topic. People who buy local or organic or avoid certain products because of sustainability.

I myself have pondered how I can lead a more sustainable lifestyle. My husband, whose scholarly focus is related to public health and the environment, also challenges me to think more deeply about this topic.

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