Bridging the Disconnect – Schoolkids Learn about Growing Food

Editor’s Note:  The following article was published in the March-April 2017 issue of AgMag magazine.

The Science Academy of South Texas has a secret – a garden where students learn about growing food

Growing up in the Rio Grande Valley used to mean being surrounded by citrus orchards and farmland. Today, residents are surrounded by strip malls, countless restaurants, pawn shops and automotive repair places, many reminiscent of junk yards.

“There’s a big disconnect between food producers and consumers,” said Brad Cowan, Texas A&M AgLife Extension Service‘s County Extension Agent – Agriculture, Hidalgo County.

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Compost – a Smart Way to Better Soil Health

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in the December-January issue of AgMag magazine

Photo courtesy of normanack

Compost – a decaying mixture of organic matter that can include dead leaves, food waste, animal manure, even coffee grounds – is a solution to many soil-related problems.

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UK farmers may only have 100 more harvests unless they improve their soil

Poor soil quality could mean only 100 more harvests in the UK

Poor soil quality could mean only 100 more harvests in the UK

The idea of food scarcity just got a little more real in the United Kingdom. New research released by The Soil Association states that with continued soil loss and degradation, farmers in the UK may only have 100 more harvests left.

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Compost And Cover Crops Are Revolutionizing Wine Industry

Chateau Montelena's cover crop, photo by Debra Atlas

Award-winning winery Chateau Montelena’s cover crop is helping feed the soil and reduce water use, photo by Debra Atlas

Tradition is the foundation of the wine industry. Grapes are grown in an environment proven to nurture their flavor and volume and always as a single crop, never combined with others.

One of the world’s most unique winegrowing properties, Chateau Montelena, an award-winning winery founded in 1888 in the hills of Napa Valley California, is working to make wine growing more eco-friendly.

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How landfill waste inspired a symphony

Landfill waste turned into musical instruments for Recology's musical artist / composer Nathaniel Stookey

Landfill waste turned into musical instruments for Recology’s musical artist / composer Nathaniel Stookey

Music is the universal language. It soothes humans and animals alike. Its beauty inspires us, lifts us up. But what inspires composers to write their music?

Perhaps the last answer you’d ever consider would be trash. Yet that’s exactly what inspired composer Nathaniel Stookey to write his symphony, aptly named Junkestra.

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Make Art, Not Landfill: Recology’s Artist in Residence Program Turns 25

Carnival Masks by Dana Albany are featured in the Recology exhibit

Carnival Masks by Dana Albany – made of wood, recycled paint and objects found at the landfill – were featured in a Recology exhibit at San Francisco Airport in 2013

25 years is an amazing anniversary to reach, but even more so for anything related to art made from landfill waste. If that statement doesn’t make sense to you, you don’t know about Recology and/or its Artist in Residence program, which turns 25 this year.

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Soaking Up Soil Conservation: Saving Water In The Face Of Drought

photo courtesy of normanack

photo courtesy of normanack

Water availability with the continuing drought has become a global issue.

Research shows that one of the easiest ways to nurture land, help the environment and have the land retain water is soil conservation through composting – turning food waste and yard scraps into usable garden soil that’s then applied to various landscapes.

To learn more about compost’s remarkable ability to save tens of thousands of gallons of water and help alleviate the drought, click here.

EcoScraps digs out into environmental activism

EcoScraps logoJust because you’re young doesn’t mean you can’t make a difference.

Though fairly new to the market, EcoScraps, manufacturer of chemical-free organic lawn and garden products made from fruit and vegetable waste, hasn’t wasted any time seeing how else to make a difference in the world.

As part of a company-wide commitment to global activism, the young company is sponsoring concert events for the upcoming Farm Aid 2013 and the Global Citizen Festival in New York City. EcoScraps has offered financial support for both events, and will be providing composting services to Farm Aid.

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SFO’s latest art exhibit – art made from garbage

Travelers pass by this artwork of Eric Otto, using recycled spray and house paint on found objects.

Travelers pass by this artwork of Eric Otto, using recycled spray and house paint on found objects.

Employee-owned,Francisco-based Recology – the largest organics compost facility operator by volume in the United States – announced today the launch of a web page featuring San Francisco Airport’s (SFO) Museum’s exhibition of work from the Recology Artist in Residence Program at the United Terminal. The Art of Recology highlights this innovative art program that was founded to challenge the way we think about waste, consumption, and art.

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Celebrate the start of International Compost Week

The winner of this year's poster contest

This year’s Composting Council poster contest winner – from Michigan junior high school student Jennifer Tigani,

Today marks the beginning of International Compost Week. Launched 13 years ago by the U.S. Composting Council, International Compost Awareness Week was designed to bring positive attention to the possibilities that composting can provide to communities. It showcases composting and compost products through special events, presentations and giveaways by communities and public and private organizations.

Celebrated each year the first week of May, “ICAW is the longest running community based awareness campaign about compost in the World,” says Rod Tyler, CEO of Filtrexx International LLC.

You can learn more about events, sponsors and ways you can participate at CompostingCouncil.org.