The Love Lives of Farmers: How to Make Rural Romance Work

Farm couple

When a friend of mine moved to a rural part of California, she called her new home “BYOB” or “Bring Your Own Boyfriend.” “The pickings out here are slim,” she said.

The problem with this advice was that my dater’s luck in the city hadn’t been so great either. And on the many nights when I waited for a guy to call, I doped up on rural romances. I treated my disappointment with the hope that outside city limits there was a place—Farmland, America—where the cowboys were monogamous and the vegetable growers knew how to ask a girl out. Read More

All the News That’s Fit to Eat: Soda Ban Revival, Mad Cow, and Climate Change

Photo credit: Shutterstock.

Here’s some food news that caught our eye this week:

1. NYC Asks Top Court to Revive Bloomberg’s Big-Soda Ban (Bloomberg News)

The New York City Department of Health has brought a case to the state’s Court of Appeals in an attempt to revive former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s rule to ban large sodas in the city. Citing the need to curb the growing obesity epidemic, the Department approved the measure in 2012 to restrict the sale of sugary beverages like soda in containers over 16 ounces. Read More

‘The Soil Will Save Us’: A Manifesto for Restoring Our Relationship with the Land

Photo: Shutterstock.

What if we could reduce greenhouse gas emissions and grow enough food to feed our ballooning population using resources we already have? Kristin Ohlson, author of The Soil Will Save Us, thinks we can do just that. And like a growing number of scientists, farmers, and good food advocates, she believes that in order to fix the problems in the sky, we need to put our eyes and ears to the ground. Read More

Marcy Coburn: A New Leader in The Town Local Food Built


Marcy Coburn might just have landed her dream job. After two years at the helm of Oakland, California’s Food Craft Institute (FCI), and a year running its affiliated sustainable food event, the Eat Real Festival, Coburn will begin next month as the executive director of Center for Urban Education About Sustainable Agriculture (CUESA), the educational nonprofit organization that runs San Francisco’s Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.

Read More

Cleveland Crops: Training People with Disabilities to Farm


Amy Kleinman had never had a job with lasting appeal. Most recently, Kleinman, 28 and living with Asperger syndrome, taught at a day care center. “I was having a lot of trouble there,” says Kleinman. “Not with the kids—I loved the babies. I was having problems with the adults.”

Then, three years ago, Kleinman got a job at Cleveland Crops, an urban farm and nonprofit dedicated to community development and food security. Read More

Healdsburg Shed Houses Farmers’ Best and Food for Thought


“An agrarian mind begins with the love of the fields and ramifies in good farming, good cooking, and good eating.” –Wendell Berry

Cindy Daniel and her husband Doug Lipton have taken Berry’s words to heart and created the Healdsburg Shed in Sonoma County, California, a “modern grange,” as they put it, and market for all the things a sustainably-minded farmer, gardener, cook or eater would need. Read More

All the News That’s Fit to Eat: School Meals, Sick Pigs, and Global Obesity

Photo: Shutterstock

Here’s some food news that caught our eye this week:

1. Roll Back of Healthier School Meal Standards Advances in Congress (Various)

Yesterday, members of the House Appropriations Committee approved the FY2015 Agriculture Appropriations bill, which will move to the House floor for a vote next month. House Republicans shot down an amendment that would have removed a provision in the bill to let schools opt out of implementing healthier federal nutrition standards for school meals. The waiver will allow school districts who have lost money for six months to receive a one-year exemption from serving more fruits, vegetables, healthy whole grains, and low-fat milk to their students. Currently, 91 percent of school districts have upgraded their meal programs to adhere to the revamped guidelines; some schools have even gotten creative by adding salad bars to their cafeterias. Yesterday, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack argued that the waiver program simply “isn’t going to work,” as it will be both expensive and impractical to determine which schools are struggling financially to implement the standards. Read More