Upcoming Events About Local Food Production

This is short notice (sorry!) but there are two upcoming events that may be interest.

First, a SARE sponsored Local Food and Sustainable Ag Tour is scheduled for Tuesday, August 18 with five stops.  The tour, which begins at 8:30, will start at Jones Produce, located southwest of Lincoln.  Next, the tour stops at Ficke Cattle Company, near Pleasant Dale.  Lunch will be served at Ficke Cattle Company and then the tour proceeds to Spring Creek Prairie Audubon Center in Denton.  After viewing the tallgrass prairie reserve, the tour moves a few miles down the road to Shadowbrook Farm and their Dutch Girl Creamery.  The final stop is Hawley Hamlet, an urban garden located in the heart of Lincoln.  The cost of the tour is $25, which includes transportation and lunch.  If you are interested in the tour, contact Gary Lesoing at glesoing2@unl.edu.

Second, this Friday, August 14, the USDA Nebraska Food and Agriculture Council is hosting a one-day seminar titled ‘Local Foods for Local Tables’ at the Omaha Home for Boys and Cooper Farm.  The seminar begins at 9:30 with an address by U.S. Rep. Brad Ashford and then has a variety of information and panels with a wealth of information.  Whether gardening is your hobby or you’re an established agricultural operation, a community leader, a small business venture, or part of a non-profit organization, the “Local Food for Local Tables” conference on Aug. 14 will offer you access to a wide array of experts in the field! There will be time to visit local agriculture organizations’ booths, a chance to eat, and an interactive tour of the farm.  Register by contacting the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) by phone at 402-437-5581 or contacting Gina Germer by email at gina.germer@ne.usda.gov or Sarah Heidzig-Kraeger by email at sarah.kraeger@ne.usda.gov.

Local Food Possible for Most Americans

Courtesy of The Rural Blog, I came across this story that researchers at the University of California – Merced have mapped the potential of every American city to obtain local food.

The study’s authors found that up to 90 percent of Americans could be fed entirely by food grown or raised within 100 of their homes.  Obviously, local food production is not at the same level as in the past, due to limited land resources, population growth, and suburbanization.  However, the possibility and potential remains for local food production.

The study suggests most of the United States could feed between 80 and 100 percent of their population with food raised or grown within a 50 mile radius.  This was calculated by looking at the farms within the radius, then estimating how many calories the farms could produce.  The study compared the potential calories grown or raised with the population of each city, thereby deriving the percentage of the population that could be fed.

This study could be of interest to those readers interested in local food and urban agriculture.  Check it out if you have a minute!