Tag Archives: sustainable agriculture

Grant Family Farms Filed for Bankruptcy

Now in its 60th year, ground-breaking Grant Family Farms in great peril

Visitors have traditionally been welcome at Grant Family Farms.
Visitors have traditionally been welcome at Grant Family Farms.

Northern Colorado’s Grant Family Farms files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy,” a headline in today’s Denver Post, hit like a dagger. “Grant Family Farms closes, files for bankruptcy,” was a headline in yesterday’s Coloradoan, the Fort Collins paper that I don’t regularly read but looked at with bated breath after I read the Post piece. Both papers reported essentially the same sad story.

 Established in 1953, Grant Family Farms was Colorado’s first to be a Certified Organic grower and with some 4,500 CSA members, is one of the country’s large Community Supported Agriculture growers. It pioneered not only CSA agriculture, in sustainable practices and in a commitment to heritage produce and farmyard animals reportedly filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on December 28. Drought, unpredictable economic circumstances and in my opinion, government policies that favor corporate agriculture over family farms. Whether or not the 2,000-acre farm near Wellington between Fort Collins and the Wyoming state line will be able emerge from bankruptcy is still and open question, but its 4,500 CSA share holders and other customers in uneasy suspense.

Beautiful kitchen gardens like this, additional acreage of organically gown produce and scores of humanely raised animals were charactistic of Grant Famly Farms.
Beautiful kitchen gardens like this, additional acreage of organically gown produce and scores of humanely raised animals were charactistic of Grant Famly Farms.

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New Year’s Resolutions: Creating a Better Food World

Resolving to eat better and support a healthier, more sustainable food global system

‘Tis the time of the year to make make resolutions, and I am pleased to offer this guest post by Danielle Nierenberg and Ellen Gustafson, founders of the brand new Food Tank: The Food Think Tank. Danielle is based in Chicago and Ellen is based in San Diego, and I here in Colorado have added a few personal notes in italics to their guidelines, as well as links to resources they cited.

Cultivating a Better Food System in 2013

As we start 2013, many people will be thinking about plans and promises to improve their diet and health. But we think a broader collection of farmers, policy-makers and eaters need new, bigger resolutions for fixing the food system — real changes with long-term impacts in fields, boardrooms and on plates all over the world. These are resolutions that the world can’t afford to break with nearly one billion still hungry and more than one billion suffering from the effects of being overweight and obese. We have the tools—let’s use them in 2013!

Growing in Cities:  Food production doesn’t only happen in fields or factories. Nearly one billion people worldwide produce food in cities. In Kibera, the largest slum in Africa, farmers are growing seeds of indigenous vegetables and selling them to rural farmers. (Claire’s note: Kibera dwellers, many of them women, grow food in “vertical gardens,” as reported by Nourishing the Planet.) At Bell Book & Candle restaurant in New York, customers are served rosemary, cherry tomatoes, romaine and other produce grown from the restaurant’s aeroponic rooftop garden.

Creating Better Access:  People’s Grocery in Oakland and Fresh Moves in Chicago bring mobile grocery stores to food deserts giving low-income consumers opportunities to make healthy food choices. Instead of chips and soda, they provide customers with affordable organic produce, not typically available in their communities. (Note from Claire: “The Apple Pushers,” an award-winning film about fi8ve pushcart vendors bringing fresh produce to underserved communities in New York touched my heart. When superstorm Sandy wreaked so much havoc in the New York area, I wondered what happened to these produce peddlers. Anyone know?) Continue reading New Year’s Resolutions: Creating a Better Food World