Taking part in gardening can make a child feel happy and boost their development, research suggests. A study of 1,300 teachers and 10 schools commissioned by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) found children in schools that encouraged gardening became more resilient, confident and lived healthier lives. Check this out here.
While most of us probably feel that family run farms are a “good thing”, it is sometimes difficult to articulate why we feel this way. Here is a link to a nice page that lays out some reasons in a way that is easily understood (and shared with “non-believers”). Click on Why family farms?
Nice article on one of our UMass student’s projects in Springfield, MA. Pete is working to bring local food to the city. “I think city people, especially young people, should understand where food comes from and how connected our well-being is to what, how, where, and why we eat,” says Merzbacher, “but I also want to provide the means of food production that can feed thousands of people.” Check it out here.
Agriculture experts at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and elsewhere are teaching farmers to grow non-native vegetables that appeal to a growing market of African, Asian and Latin American immigrants. Read this story which appeared in the Washington Times here.
The National Research Council recently published an extensive report on the status of sustainable agriculture claiming the current industrial food system is no longer sustainable without huge subsidies. What used to be called “alternative” agriculture is now rapidly becoming mainstream. According to the report, the Four Goals Of Sustainable Agriculture are:
- Satisfy human food, feed, and fiber needs, and contribute to biofuel needs.
- Enhance environmental quality and the resource base.
- Sustain the economic viability of agriculture
- Enhance the quality of life for farmers, farm workers, and society as a whole.