Posts Categorized: Agroecology

Bursting the Bubble on Food Alarmism: Why Bill Gates is Dead Wrong

protest at Gates Foundation No doubt you’ve seen ads about the need to feed the world. The claim is made that by 2050 we’ll need to increase food production by 50%. These ads come from agribusiness corporations such as ADM, Cargill and Bayer-Monsanto, and then they are parroted by the media and academics, despite the fact that there is… Read more »

PHP and Growing Hope Globally Grow Impact

The Presbyterian Church (USA)—through the Presbyterian Hunger Program and Presbyterian Disaster Assistance as well as local congregations—has had a decades-long partnership with Growing Hope Globally, an organization that connects U.S. farmers, churches and communities to subsistence farmers around the world in order to help address hunger. The Presbyterian Hunger Program is at work around the world and specifically has been… Read more »

2021 UN Food Systems Summit sounds like a good thing, but…

Drawing of plant growing with the cogs of industrial food system The description on the United Nations website sounds wonderful! In 2021, UN Secretary-General António Guterres will convene a Food Systems Summit as part of the Decade of Action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. The Summit will launch bold new actions to deliver progress on all 17 SDGs, each of which relies… Read more »

Dreaming Another World as this One Heats

Heat, a Common Denominator Out of control fires. Hottest decade on record. Hot oceans spawning super storms. Polarized politics. Heated debates. COVID fever. The discomfort is now hitting the middle class and even upper classes feel the encroaching heat. The unrelenting  suffering from racism, hunger, poverty and injustice has spread from the invisibilized margins into… Read more »

Down-to-earth spiritual farming on the rise!

CA farm couple Judging by the 900 people at last year’s Biodynamics Conference in Portland and the 700+ assembled in upstate New York this year, biodynamic farming is swelling! Given the high yields of healthy produce, grains and protein and resilience to climate change, the timing of this popularity couldn’t be better. Our minds and hearts have opened,… Read more »

How to Cool the Planet?

Urban Tilth photo Agroecology is One Answer! By Andrew Kang Bartlett In a world where giant corporations largely shape our food choices and perpetuate a form of agriculture which depends on fossil fuels, synthetic fertilizers and pesticides and workers making poverty wages, family farmers and eaters alike are eager to shift towards a more equitable and eco-friendly food-farm… Read more »

Revival of natural farming in Puerto Rico

This is the second part of a two-part series on Puerto Rico, Climate Change and Food. Part one can be found here. “Back to the Land” and Agroecology Jesús Vázquez Negron and I visited Ian Pagán Roig at Finca (farm) Josco Bravo in Toa Alta, Puerto Rico, which is one of the three sites at… Read more »

Puerto Rico, Climate Change & Food

Overview In December, I participated in a delegation comprised of staff from Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA), Presbyterian Self-Development of People (SDOP), and Special Offerings, and we invited local pastors and mid-council staff to join us for the visits to Fideicomiso de la Tierra, a decimated family farm in Lares, and Presbyterian Camp Guacio over the course of… Read more »

Choosing a Sustainable Future: Agroecology at COP24

Shefali and Kelsey at session on Missing Pathways Getting at the Roots The best session I attended at the global climate summit was How Do We Get There? Agriculture, Energy and Systemic Change to Meet the Paris Agreement, which included this presentation by Shefali Sharma. Shefali is the director of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) European office. IATP has been a great partner in… Read more »

Kale Defeats Polar Vortex! Stony Point Center Farm Update

Gardening in winter and looking forward toward spring!
Update from our farm (by Will Summers and Kitty Ufford-Chase)
SPC greenhouse in the snow

Greetings from the winter wonderland that is the Stony Point Center!

What a winter it’s been. In the past month, we’ve had snow, snow, and more snow. And it has just kept piling up.

During one recent 24-hour stretch, we probably got about 18 inches! My major concern in a blizzard like that is the greenhouse. It’s not what’s inside the greenhouse that I’m worried about in a snowstorm, but the greenhouse itself. More than a foot of heavy, wet snow has the potential to damage the entire structure.

After this particular snowstorm, Matt and I spent an entire morning clearing snow off the greenhouse roof and then removing all the snow that had piled up on the sides that continued to put pressure on the plastic and the frame. We had to dig in the snow by hand because snow shovels can very easily puncture the greenhouse plastic. It was quite a day-I was soaking wet after spending the entire morning essentially waist-deep in the snow.
kale in greenhouse

Despite the polar vortex, our greenhouse crops continue to grow. We’ve taken extra precautions by double-covering them when weather forecasts indicate temperatures will be in the single-digits (which has been quite frequent this winter). In just the past week, our greenhouse spinach has really started to grow quickly as the days get incrementally longer. We’re still harvesting kale, collards, chard, and arugula from the greenhouse as well.

Recently we’ve put a lot of energy into preparing our greenhouse for spring seeding. In fact, by the end of February, we will have seeded lettuce, spinach, and onions that will be transplanted in the fields in March or April (assuming, of course, that all that snow eventually melts!).

Needless to say, here at Stony Point Center, all of us on the farm crew are eagerly awaiting the arrival of spring.

Peace and winter blessings,
Will (the Stony Point Center Farmer) and Kitty

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