FOOD AND FARMING IN AMERICA

COMMUNITIES INVEST IN THEIR LOCAL FOOD SYSTEMS

Nearly two hundred leaders in food and farming across the USA have contributed their valued experiences to our rapidly growing Lexicon of Sustainability™.

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By illuminating the vocabulary of sustainable agriculture, and with it the conversation about America’s rapidly evolving food culture, the Lexicon of Sustainability™ educates, engages and activates people to pay closer attention to how they eat, what they buy, and where their responsibility begins for creating a healthier, safer food system in America.

Back Yard Pollinators

BACK YARD POLLINATORS

The honey from Ballard Bees doesnʼt come from hives set in remote fields or orchards but in urban backyards right in the middle of downtown Seattle. Elliotʼs mother sees her backyard hive as an opportunity to both educate her children and contribute in her own way to the security of her local food system. (more…)

Biodiversity

BIODIVERSITY

Biodiversity vs. Monoculture. Small, organic farms like Rick Knollʼs are able to eliminate their reliance on petrochemicalbased fertilizers and pesticides. The results are fewer pollutants, less environmental degradation, and cleaner air. And by using cover cropping and other soil fertilization principles they are able to sequester carbon and keep topsoil—which is carbon heavy—from being lost into the atmosphere, which also contributes to climate change. (more…)

CSA

CSA

Community Supported Agriculture. Consumers can buy shares to support local farms like Anne Cureʼs in Boulder, Colorado. In return they receive weekly boxes of fresh fruits and vegetables. Such arrangements connect consumers with the people who grow their food while strengthening local food systems. (more…)

The Edible School Yard

The Edible School Yard

Fifteen years ago, Alice Waters introduced Berkeley middle school students to the joys of growing, cooking, and eating their own food. Her ideas have inspired countless schools and started a revolution across the country. (more…)

Fallen Fruit

Fallen Fruit

Fallen Fruit began as a public project by a Los Angeles based art collective. Their goal? To show people that food is all around them by mapping the abundance of fruit growing in public places throughout their city. Since their first map in 2004, people around the world have shared their discoveries by mapping the “fallen fruit” in their communities. This “Fallen Fruit” movement allows people to re-discover their own backyards … turning urban foraging … into a treasure hunt. (more…)

Farm Fairies

Farm Fairies

As speculators keep driving the price of available farmland higher, new farmers like Kasey and Jeff from Lonesome Whistle Farm in Eugene, Oregon are priced out of the market. Socially responsible “slow money” investors help small farmers buy farmland … keeping food local and affordable. (more…)

Farm to Table

Farm to Table

When communities pay closer attention to where our food is grown and how it reaches our table, and people re-discover the “localness” of all thatʼs around them, food suddenly has a sense of place. Farms and restaurants build close relationships, strengthening their local economies and forging new cultural identities for their communities … all based on food. (more…)

Eating Down the Food Chain

Food Chain

Eating Down the Food Chain. Our oceans are overfished; what species remain are under increased pressure from global fisheries. Paul Johnson, author of the book “Fish Forever”, proposes that consumers change their habits and “eat down the food chain”. Instead of eating large fish like tuna, swordfish and salmon, consumers should consider keystone species like herring, sardines and squid, which exist in greater supply and have less accumulated mercury than larger fish. (more…)

Food Miles

Food Miles

Concepts like “Food Miles” and “Carbon Foot Prints” are designed to make people think about what they eat and where it comes from. Becoming more connected with a local food system strenghtens a community. It keeps money in a local economy and connects local food producers and consumers. Food choices have an impact not only on a community. “Food Miles” offer consumers a straightforward way to see how their buying choices can contribute to climate change. (more…)

Food Security

Food Security

Erika Allen of Chicagoʼs West Garfield Park describes food security as “having consistent year-round access to safe, local, affordable and culturally appropriate food that is grown, raised, produced, and moved about in manners that are responsible to the environment while reflecting a consumption of natural resources that is equitable with a view to our offspring seven generations from now.” (more…)

Good Food

Good Food

In Milwaukee, Will Allen uses a novel approach to create integrated food systems for local communities. He produces multiple food sources, including fish and produce, by ingeniously mixing a variety of farming practices, ranging from vermiculture to aquaponics. His “Growing Power” model provides a measurable level of foo security for his community and has been adopted by food activists around the country. (more…)

Grass Fed

Grass Fed

Instead of feeding their animals a diet of grain, farmers like Don Gilardi of Red Hill Farm are turning their animals back onto the land and offering them a diet of grass and alfalfa. The results are richer flavored products, whether it be for cheese, milk, or meat. (more…)

Green Collar

Green Collar

As workforces shift and people move out of long held job positions and re-enter the job market, the option of becoming a farmer has emerged as a viable option. Organizations around the country—like ALBA in Salinas, California—provide the necessary tools to prepare these “Green Collar” workers. (more…)

Healthy Soil

HEALTHY SOIL

The soil food web is comprised of the species of organisms in our soil that create an environment free from disease, pests or fertility problems. For Dr. Elaine Ingham, the result is healthy plants and a safer environment for us to live in. In parts of the world where human impact has been massive and unremitting, especially in the case of over-reliance on petrochemical-based pesticides and fertilizers, we are losing many needed and necessary species of micro-organisms, putting our soilʼs health at great risk. The food we grow needs to contain balanced nutrition not only for humans, but for the animals we care about and the life that sustains us. (more…)

Kitchen Incubator

Kitchen Incubator

Continued access to traditional foods plays a vital role in maintaining cultural traditions and insuring the stability of family units among immigrant women. Kitchen Incubators like La Cocina in San Franciscoʼs Mission District offer the means to create new food businesses that strengthen these communities. (more…)

Methane Digester

Methane Digester

The single largest source of pollution in the State of California is methane from cows. At Albert Strausʼs family dairy in Marshall, California, a methane digester traps methane before it can enter the atmosphere, breaking it down into solids and liquid fuel that can be used to provide enough electrical power to run the entire dairy operation. (more…)

Mobstocking

MOBSTOCKING

Small, organic farms like Rick Knoll’s are able to eliminate their reliance on petrochemical-based fertilizers and pesticides. The results are fewer pollutants, less environmental degradation, and cleaner air. (more…)

Pasture Raised

Pasture Raised

The idea of a “cage free” egg seems compelling enough. It means an egg from a chicken thatʼs not in a cage. But whatʼs really behind the meaning of this term, or “free range” or even “pasture raised”. Alexis Koefoed of Soul Food Farm hopes consumers can learn to distinguish between such terms as “cage free”, “free range”, and “pasture raised” when they go to their local supermarket. (more…)

Perennial

Perennial

Planting annual wheat each year requires increased amounts of agricultural inputs (water, pesticides, fertilizers, and machinery). At the Land Institute in Salina, Kansas, Wes Jackson is developing perennial wheat crops that reduce the use of petrochemical-based products while providing year around ground cover. This reduces erosion and the loss of valuable topsoil, all vital in combating climate change. (more…)

Permaculture

Permaculture

Penny Livingston devotes herself to sustainable land use principles based on observing and learning from the efficiency and balance inherent in natural systems. The results are increased food production, the conservation of resources, and the re-integration of built environments (farms, homes, even towns) into their natural environment. (more…)

Salmon Counters

Salmon Counters

To help prevent overfishing and maintain the viability of salmon populations in the state, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game sets up weirs where rangers count the number of salmon passing through selected riverways. This monitoring provides information that can be used to set quotas for the targeted fishing of specific species of spawning salmon. (more…)

Sustainability

Sustainability

Running Squirrel is a native Cherokee who carries tribal knowledge passed down from his ancestors. Foraging helps connect him to these lost traditions, to sustainable lessons first learned in his childhood. (more…)

Urban Farmer

Urban Farmer

Novella Carpenter, author of “Farm City”, contends that people living in cities are not likely to have a direct connection to a local farmer. One solution? To grow food in the urban areas where almost half the people in this country live. Novella converted a vacant lot next door to her Oakland, California apartment into a thriving garden that feeds her family and neighbors. (more…)

Biodiversity

VEGGIE LIBEL LAW

States across the country are now proposing legislation to make the taking of pictures or video of farms or food production facilities illegal. Robby Kenner, director of the documentary film, “Food Inc.”, feels that consumers have a right to know how their food is produced. (more…)

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  • Betsy

    I love, no I adore this sight. Thanks to you all for giving this. I am accepting.

  • Anonymous

    We came across these images at EcoFarm 2012. Awesome! Thanks!

  • Anonymous

    Incredible images that we can’t wait to share with our students!

  • Nici Richter

    IT IS VERY DIFFICULT TO READ WHITE TEXT ON A BLACK BACKGROUND.

  • chris

    thank you for providing this educational and inspiring resource. please continue. cheers, from berkeley. ps- plz add me to your email list [if you have one]

  • Farmer Paul

    I’ve seen your Awesome posters at 3 different shows. I’ve bought the Wonderful calendar for friends. When can I buy full-size posters for my Barn for my CSA customers to see when they pick up their weekly produce boxes?!?!?! Thanks – Farmer Paul

  • Charles Robinson

    I love the idea, but what a horribly difficult site to use. The white serif font on a black background is difficult to read. The grease pencil cursive writing is overused, distracting, and hard to read — especially when it’s UPSIDE DOWN or covered by the navigation! I love what you’re trying to do, but a little more function and a little less artsy stuff might make it actually usable.

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Farm Fairies

As speculators keep driving the price of available farmland higher, new farmers like Kasey and Jeff from Lonesome Whistle Farm in Eugene, Oregon are priced out of the market. Socially responsible "slow money" investors help small farmers buy farmland ... keeping food local and affordable.