Archive for the 'Farming' Category

A Victory for Factory Farming Opponents in Ohio

An article in the New York Times this morning reported that a truce has been made between factory farmers and animal rights activists in Ohio.  Much of the discussion is focused on caging methods for chickens.

According to the article:

Hoping to avoid a divisive November referendum that some farmers feared they would lose, Gov. Ted Strickland of Ohio urged farm leaders to negotiate with opponents, led by the Humane Society of the United States. After secret negotiations, the sides agreed to bar new construction of egg farms that pack birds in cages, and to phase out the tight caging of pregnant sows within 15 years and of veal calves by 2017.

Argan Oil: From Morocco to Israel

Jacob Levenfeld, who has spent extensive time in the Negev, writes about Orly Sharir’s project to grow argan oil in Israel’s desert. Orly, a supplier of herbs and spices for Negev Nectars in the United States, writes more on the subject on the Negev Nectars blog.

Isn’t it frustrating when you eat something delicious but you can’t quite put your finger on that little ingredient that pulls everything together? In Moroccan cuisine, that extra spice could just be a little-known delicacy known as argan oil. Used in all sorts of food recipes, lotions, and creams, this reddish oil is derived from argan tree nuts native to Morocco. Lately, though, a small number of farms in Israel’s Negev desert have also forayed into argan production.

Raw Milk-Why Mess With Udder Perfection?

This article is Cross Posted on

Milk may be the single most historically important food to human health. Not just any milk, mind you, but raw milk from healthy, free-to-roam, grass-fed cows. The difference between the milk you buy in the store, and the milk your great-great grandparents enjoyed is, unfortunately, enormous. If we lived in a country where raw milk from healthy, pastured cows were still a legal product and available as readily as, say, soda or a handgun, we’d all be taller and healthier, and I’d see fewer elderly patients with hunched backs and broken hips. If you’re lucky enough to live in a state where raw milk is available in stores and you don’t buy it, you are passing up a huge opportunity to improve your health immediately. If you have kids, raw milk will not only help them grow, but will also boost their immune systems so they get sick less often. And, since the cream in raw milk is an important source of brain-building fats, whole milk and other raw dairy products will also help them to learn.

A Family’s Trip to The Farm

A letter from CSA member Tara Broyhill

My kids and I had so much fun at Oxbow farm on Sunday I have to tell you about it. First off the farmer Adam is one of the most kind, generous and energetic people I know. I didn’t know him before introducing myself to him a couple of weeks ago at the Ballard farmer’s market, but now I feel like he’s a friend. After spending four hours at the farm learning about it from Adam, weeding the beets and cucumbers with Michele and my two sons, and eating produce right from the field – this is now my farm. I’m hooked.

Hands That Feed – A Film About Haiti’s Agricultural Crisis

A new film is being produced on Haiti’s crisis, its roots and its future.  Hands That Feed has made a short intro video about their project in order to try to raise the necessary funding for the film’s production.  The film will explore questions about what the real problems facing Haiti are, and from the video it’s clear that the recent earthquake was simply an exacerbation of pre-existing problems.

ROI Gives Jewish Environmentalists Tools to Make Mark

Originally published by The Jerusalem Post, written by Ehud Zion Waldoks

Israeli agricultural technology is among the best in the world, and Manuela Zoninsein, 28, would like to help introduce it to China.

Zoninsein was in Ramat Gan last week to attend the fifth annual conference of ROI, which encourages young Jewish entrepreneurs from around the world. She sat down with The Jerusalem Post to explain her idea.

Let’s Stop Wasting Millions on Food Aid

Originally posted on Food Forever – The AJWS Food Justice Blog.

When I think about international food aid, what comes to mind are the challenges of distribution—who’s getting what and how much of it? But then there are the hidden costs of shipping. A recent IRIN article discusses the results of a Cornell University study that revealed the alarming fact that U.S. taxpayers spend about $140 million every year on non-emergency food aid in Africa. They spend roughly the same amount to ship food aid to global destinations on U.S. vessels.

$280 million. That’s a LOT of money. And the truth? It only benefits a very small constituency at the expense of taxpayers and recipients.

Six Months After the Earthquake, the Fight for Food Justice and Responsible Reconstruction Continues

Originally posted on Food Forever – The AJWS Food Justice Blog.

Today is the six-month anniversary of the Haiti earthquake and, even though the world’s attention is fading, there’s been a lot of news and blog coverage about the work that lies ahead. Most of the focus has been on Port-au-Prince and, while the earthquake took its major toll on an urban center, we can’t forget about the devastating impact it had on rural communities, agriculture, and Haitian farmers.

Brachot – From Kayam Farm Kollel

Crossposted to Kayam Farm Kollel Blog Photo from Kayam Farm


My name is Joel Mosbacher, and I was the “Brachot captain” for week one of the Kollel here at Kayam Farm. I am a rabbi at Beth Haverim Shir Shalom in Mahwah, New Jersey, and I’m spending six weeks of my first-ever sabbatical sweating and studying here at this incredible place. I love it here, and would recommend to all of my colleagues to spend a week, a month, a summer, or whatever time you possibly can here at Kayam when you get a vacation or a sabbatical!

Jewish Farmers? In The City? You Better Believe It

This article is crossposted to Intermountain Jewish News and was written by Chris Leppek.   Photo by Shari Valenta

If you listen carefully, you might hear new and curious sounds emanating from the Denver Jewish community.

Such as a rake drawing its tines through freshly turned earth.

Or a hoe chucking its way through clods and weeds.

Or the hushed plinks of water drops falling from hoses to dirt.

Or, perhaps, even the barely perceptible whisper of a young plant springing forth from a seed in search of sunlight.

Gardens and small farms are appearing in the city in all sorts of unlikely places, including Jewish places — in the shadow of a synagogue, on newly-acquired land that might one day become a Jewish high school, on an empty lot amidst the hustle-bustle of downtown itself.

Preserving Agriculture by Believing in its Future

It is easy to forget that, though farmers markets have popped up across America, the life of a small scale farmer is not an easy one.  Economically, farmers are asked to put in a lot more than they get in order to compete with big industry.

Glynwood is an organization in the Hudson Valley of New York that is part farm and part community activist.  They work with small scale Northeast farmers to create functional, sustainable, and profitable farms using traditional as well as innovative farming techniques.  Glynwood is also a working farm that faces the same challenges as those they serve, especially equipping them to create change that works.

Zimbabwean Farmers are Breaking the Cycle of Aid

Cross-posted on Food Forever – The AJWS Food Justice Blog.

A piece recently published in Newsday(a Zimbabwean newspaper) poignantly expresses what we’ve been discussing a lot lately, particularly-with regard to sustainable agriculture in Haiti: that food aid alone does not alleviate poverty.

What’s Organic About Organic, A New Film on an Important Topic

What’s Organic About Organic asks what the implications of growing food organically or not actually are.  This hour-long film covers a lot of ground.   Its short length and breadth of issues make this movie a good discussion-starter amongst peers, family, and friends.   Watching What’s Organic About Organic left me with a sense that we don’t necessarily know the whole story about conventionally grown food or the benefits of organic,  it made me want to learn more and be a more educated consumer.

Healthy Bodegas

This article is crossposted to Gothamist and was written by Zoe Schlager.  Red Jacket Orchard often donates apples to Hazon events.

Since 2005, the Department of Health has been developing an initiative to provide fresh produce and low fat milk to neighborhoods that rely on the nutrition-devoid wares of their local bodega. Progress has been slow, and while the low fat milk initiative was deemed a success in 2008, the produce side of things has been anything but. Finally, the Healthy Bodegas Initiative [pdf here] is gaining some real momentum, thanks to the NY state farmers that have begun to revitalise the project.