bm263 CityHarvest, Urban Farming in Bits and Pieces

by bicyclemark 1 Comment

Paula and Martin run a unique Urban Farm in Victoria, B.C., Canada. They don’t just manage one plot of land, their farm is scattered throughout various areas and its getting more and more popular.  In this interview Paula explains how it got started, their specific method of farming, and the growing popularity in their community and beyond.

Cityharvest

Spin Farming

Music:

Roots -Rising Down

Mercedes Sosa – Es Sud America Mi Voz

Note: Im posting this podcast just as I leave for the airport en route to Thailand, so any errors or further details, will have to wait.

Farming On Either Side of Pond

by bicyclemark 0 Comments

The theme this season on the blog continues to be food; the cost, growing, and politics of food.  Recently, while preparing for my journey to Thailand (next week), I’ve noticed 2 big changes coming to the agricultural policies of both the US government and the European Union.  Which could spell a change in how our food is raised and from who and how we get that food.

On the US side there’s the Farm Bill, which was vetoed by GWBush but that veto was overturned by congress. An imperfect text which, as EWG analyists explain it:

throws a couple of small bones to a few grassroots causes but mainly ensures that the big dogs will continue to run agriculture – courtesy of the U.S. Treasury.

chartThe only potentially positive development with this farm bill is that meat will have to be labelled for orgin in the US. Otherwise as indicated by the quote above, the bill will continue to pour money on big agribusinesses who, unfortunately, also play a roll in the nation’s obescity epidemic (through pushing big products like high fructose corn syrup).

Meanwhile in the EU, new policies are being rolled out in relation to farming.  Among their decisions, they’ve increased the size of what kind of farm qualifies as small and therefore deserving of EU funds to protect and preserve such farms.  They also reduced the amount of subsidies to be paid to large farms.

For all the buzz about food prices, it is of interest to see what these two governments decide when it comes to agriculture. Especially in a situation where so many farmers on both sides are paid to NOT farm, despite a global food shortage.

bm262 Urban Farming in Philadelphia

by bicyclemark 2 Comments

While many focus on the global food price and the fate of food exports, in many places around the world, groups of people are growing and selling food locally.  Mill Creek urban farm in Philadelphia is one of these places. My guests, farm founders Jade and Johanna explain how Mill Creek works, and how they relate to their community, the city, and even the global picture.

They also recommended the following article about small farmers and their role in feeding the world.

We Discuss:

  • – The activities of the farm
  • – Relations with the community
  • – Funding of the project
  • – Reflection on the global food crisis
  • – Changes in demand and interest in Urban Farming over the past years
  • – Access to green spaces in cities
  • – Gentrification and the survival of the urban farm
  • – Other forms of Urban agriculture

Music:

Pinback – Blue Harvest

The Roots – Criminal (feat. Truck North & Saigon)

bm261 The Undereported Story of the Soy Industry

Soy is often looked at as the alternative bean, beloved ingredient for vegetarians and concerned citizens worldwide. Yet what do we know about the soy industry? How is soy being produced, by who, for who, and to what effect? My guest, Nina Holland of the Corporate European Observatory, sat down with me to explain how it all works, and what we should know about our soy.

Discussed:

Soy as food/feed/fuel

Genetically Modified Soy

Who Owns the Farms

Situations in different parts of South America

Comparison to Europe

GM Soy Lobby in the EU

Labeling

So-called responsible soy

Independent farmers

Solutions/Advice for People

Links:

Music:

  • Vinicious Cantuaria – Corre Campo
  • Tom Brosseau – In My Time of Dyin