Conservation and reuse of reclaimed wastewater: A marriage of necessity

Conservation and reuse of reclaimed wastewater: A marriage of necessity

As the population of Texas increases and requires a more abundant water supply, big decisions loom regarding new water sources, growing volumes of wastewater effluent, and the impacts on our land, environment, and other species in which we coexist. A new way of thinking is taking root since traditional approaches to water management are generally viewed as deficient in the face of current water-related challenges. It promises a more viable, alternative approach. One Water is not an entirely new concept,…

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As food supply chain breaks down, farm-to-door CSAs take off

As food supply chain breaks down, farm-to-door CSAs take off

From California to Maine, the movement known as community supported agriculture (CSA) is booming. Members buy a share of a farm’s often organic harvest that gets delivered weekly in a box. CSA programs almost everywhere report a surge in memberships and growing waiting lists. “The interest in getting local, fresh, organic produce just has skyrocketed during this crisis,” Redmond said. Read more from Eric Westervelt with NPR here. 

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Agriculture science looking downward for the future of feeding the world

Agriculture science looking downward for the future of feeding the world

Healthy fertile soil. It makes the grass and plants grow, which feeds people as well as livestock, which in turn are eaten by people. Dr. Nicole Wagner, assistant professor in the Department of Agriculture at Texas State University, doesn’t mince words when it comes to soil. “We really need to be focused on soil regeneration,” she says. Wagner, who teaches soil science courses, explains that soil regeneration could be the solution to increasing harvests, reducing chemicals and pesticides in agriculture,…

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Food supply anxiety brings back Victory Gardens

Food supply anxiety brings back Victory Gardens

“Small things count,” read a headline in the tiny, insistent pamphlet published by the National War Garden Commission in 1919. The pitch made gardening a civic duty. The victory garden movement began during World War I and called on Americans to grow food in whatever spaces they could — rooftops, fire escapes, empty lots, backyards. It maintained that there was nothing more valuable than self-sufficiency, than working a little land, no matter how small, and harvesting your own eggplant and…

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Central Texas Gardener: PBS show producer offers tips

Central Texas Gardener: PBS show producer offers tips

Your garden need not be cancelled! Central Texas Gardener producer Linda Lehmusvirta offers pandemic-proof advice for growing food and sprucing up your yard. Spring and early summer are always a good time to get out in the garden—but of course, our notion of “getting out” this spring has changed, and how. Yet gardening and staying safe aren’t mutually exclusive. Read more from Andrew Keys with The Texas Wildflower here. 

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COVID-19 relief for farmers, ranchers

COVID-19 relief for farmers, ranchers

The Agricultural and Food Policy Center at Texas A&M University in College Station has developed a briefing paper that identifies provisions most applicable to agricultural producers in the three recent Congressional interventions to stimulate the economy and provide COVID-19 relief. “Texas A&M AgriLife is providing information and marshaling its resources to help agricultural producers through this difficult time to ensure consumers have access to healthy food and other essential agricultural products, ” said Patrick J. Stover, Ph.D., vice chancellor for…

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Central Texas farmers survive selling directly to customers

Central Texas farmers survive selling directly to customers

Central Texas farmers are adjusting to the new reality and in some cases thriving at farmers markets from Cedar Park to Southwest Austin. Even with strict access requirements and cones to keep customers 6 feet apart, sales are high, albeit with fewer customers who are buying more than they did before. “Our farmers and ranchers are doing pretty well,” said Evan Driscoll, interim executive director of the Texas Farmers Market, with locations at Lakeline Mall and Mueller, citing a surge…

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Supporting local Hill Country producers

Supporting local Hill Country producers

During these unprecedented times, it’s especially important to support and invest in our local communities. One way to do this is with our food choices. You can help local businesses bounce back from economic downturns and invest in the overall resiliency of your community by buying from Hill Country farmers and producers.  Farmers’ Markets often meet weekly – typically outdoors – and are a great way to be exposed to your region’s local producers. Food cooperatives (often just called co-ops)…

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Essential Austin nonprofit finding new ways to nourish community amid COVID-19

Essential Austin nonprofit finding new ways to nourish community amid COVID-19

Tune into the Urban Roots Instagram feed and you’ll find a new series of videos featuring executive director Max Elliott teaching viewers how to plant peppers; showcasing his ready crop of kale and the helpful, aphid-eating ladybug larvae that live on the leaves; or interviewing (at a safe distance) local restaurant business leaders. His tone is even and hopeful, a brief lifeline to those of us battling isolation as the COVID-19 outbreak wears on. In 2008, Elliott founded Urban Roots as…

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As Texans are exposed to dangerous pesticides, lawmakers aren’t doing anything

As Texans are exposed to dangerous pesticides, lawmakers aren’t doing anything

In the interim between legislative sessions, Texas lawmakers on the House Agriculture Committee will have an opportunity to examine an important but under-the-radar problem that’s making people sick in farming communities across the state. Then again, their attention might drift. Pesticide drift occurs when crop dusters—pilots or tractor drivers hired by farmers to spray pesticides on fields to kill weeds and bugs—miss the mark and inadvertently deliver a cloud of poison to people, plants, and animals. Since 2013, the Texas…

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