New Book Released Today by Local Author Philip Ackerman-Leist

Rebuilding the Foodshed

How to Create Local, Sustainable, and Secure Food Systems

By Philip Ackerman-Leist

From publisher Chelsea Green:

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A Community Resilience Guide

Droves of people have turned to local food as a way to retreat from our broken industrial food system. From rural outposts to city streets, they are sowing, growing, selling, and eating food produced close to home—and they are crying out for agricultural reform. All this has made “local food” into everything from a movement buzzword to the newest darling of food trendsters.

But now it’s time to take the conversation to the next level. That’s exactly what Philip Ackerman-Leist does inRebuilding the Foodshed, in which he refocuses the local-food lens on the broad issue of rebuilding regional food systems that can replace the destructive aspects of industrial agriculture, meet food demands affordably and sustainably, and be resilient enough to endure potentially rough times ahead.

Read more about the book and its author here!Chelsea_Green_Logo010612

It’s Meat Week?! (January 27-February 3rd)

I’m not sure how I missed the memo, but two days late I’ve realized it’s meat week! mw_twitter

Meat has been a target of criticism lately. This criticism was especially apparent in Vermont this past fall. But for those who like it, let’s celebrate with this great article from Chelsea Green:

An oft-repeated koan of the conscious or ethical foodie movement and the environmental movement is that adopting a vegan diet will do more to heal the ills of the planet than buying a brand new Prius.

Here at Chelsea Green, we believe that it’s unreasonable to expect the entire meat-loving world to give up their steaks and drumsticks, their shortribs and salame, their sashimi and their kibbe. Instead of a radical approach, influenced as much by ideology as it is by positive intention, we would like to suggest a corollary to the meatless mission: eat less meat, grassfed only, local if possible.

Click here to read the full article.

Garland Mason Selected for Farmland Advisors Training Program

Check out this training program that I will be participating in through American Farmland Trust & Land for Good. I’m looking forward to bringing knowledge about farm preservation, leasing and farm transfer back to the Rutland region to help preserve our agricultural community and working landscape!

Click here to read more about the importance of such programs.

Rutland, Vermont – Garland Mason of the Rutland Area Farm and Food Link has been selected to participate in Farmland Advisors, a new training program on farm transfer and farmland access options designed for professionals working with farmers and landowners.

With nearly 25 percent of the farmland in New York and New England owned by farmers aged 65 and older, transferring land to the next generation of farmers poses a significant challenge. The Farmland Advisors program was launched to strengthen the network of professionals capable of working with farmers and landowners on transferring farm businesses and farmland and aiding new farmers in securing land.

The two-year training program will be led by American Farmland Trust, a nationwide farmland conservation organization, and Land For Good, an organization that helps provide farmland access, farm transfer planning, land planning, and farm use agreements. Funding is provided by a Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Professional Development Grant.

Mason was one of 80 participants selected to participate in the Farmland Advisors program from a large pool of qualified applicants from New York and New England. Participants include Cooperative Extension educators, land trust staff, agricultural service providers and other professionals working with farmers and farmland owners. Farmland Advisors addresses this challenge of facilitating farm transfer by educating participants through a series of progressive learning and networking opportunities, including webinars, a regional conference, and peer-to-peer exchanges about farmland and farm transfer issues.

Topics to be covered during the training include building relationships with landowners; leases; conservation easements; family and personal issues in estate planning; and tax and financial considerations in farm transfers. Program development will be guided by a steering committee comprised of representatives from American Farmland Trust, Land for Good, New World Foundation, Northeast Beginning Farmer Project, Cornell Small Farms Program, New Entry Sustainable Farming Project, GrowNYC, University of Connecticut Extension, Maine Farmland Trust, Peconic Land Trust, New York FarmNet/FarmLink, and University of Vermont’s Center for Sustainable Agriculture.

For more information about Farmland Advisors, contact Diane Held at (716) 471-7134 or dheld@farmland.org

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Make Them Stop

Another plug from me about the upcoming farm tours workshop next Thursday 9-12! Tara makes some excellent points here–check out more from Rutland Harvest Watch!

Harvest Watch

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by Tara Kelly

I’ve done a bit of traveling this season with my partner and kids.  As a sociologist and community planner, I am deeply interested in what makes a community tick.  When I arrive somewhere I immediately start scanning for clues.  Each location reveals a lot about their history, current values and aspirations for the future through their development patterns, what gets covered in their newspapers, traffic patterns, transportation options, types of businesses, what they choose to highlight in the free guides to the area, and finally what is available in their grocery stores, farm stores and farmers markets – if you can find them.

One of the places we visited this past month was a somewhat rural part of New Jersey.  With a goal of spending some time in NYC, but not breaking the bank on lodging, we found ourselves in Vernon, NJ.  I’d never spent any time…

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Linking Healthcare and a Sustainable Food System

The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy Food and Community Fellows posted a great story about a “new farmer” couple in Michigan. This story highlights the connection between healthcare and creating a sustainable food system.

Check the photo-essay out for yourself by clicking here.

This slideshow is part of an ongoing project whose mission is to blend compelling images with poignant stories to influence public opinion and shape public policy to support a “good” food system and justice for all.