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The City of Montreal has announced it plans to transform an abandoned park into an organic farm as part of a collaboration to feed the poor. By 2019, organizers are hoping to transform up to 24 hectares, to produce 250,000 bags of vegetables. Half of the harvest will be sent to food banks, and the other half will be sold through wholesalers to fund the project.

Monday, 11 May 2015 09:23

Moisture Update

From the April 27, 2015 issue of Agri News

Warmer weather has seen an early start to spring this year, with winter snows retreating from most of the agricultural areas of the province. Over the past 30 days, precipitation accumulations have been highly variable, ranging from less than 5 mm throughout much of central Alberta to well over 50 mm across parts of the southern Peace Region.

Friday, 08 May 2015 13:56

Be An Open Farm Days Host!

Are you a producer with a great Alberta Agricultural story to share? Do you know an Alberta farm or agri-business that needs a showcase? Look no further – Alberta Open Farm Days is for you!

Last year, Open Farm Days had more than 60 participating host farms and ranches open their gates to their neighbours to help tell Alberta’s agricultural story. If you’re wavering on whether or not to be a host in 2015, here are five reasons why you should, according to past participating hosts and visitors.

Sales of organic food are exploding. In 2013, Americans spent $35 billion on organic foods, a 12% increase over 2012. Organic food sales in 2014, which haven’t been compiled yet, will likely top that number.

Major retail chains such as Kroger, Target, and Wal-Mart are making major commitments to sell more organic food. General Mills plans to double their organic product sales in the next five years. Even McDonald’s plans to serve organic items in its restaurants. 

While consumer demand for organic is booming, the supply of organic ingredients and agricultural products, particularly grains and animal feed lags far behind.

“The demand for organic has skyrocketed, but with a three-year transition (to organic production), the supply hasn’t caught up,” says Errol Schweizer, executive global grocery coordinator at Whole Foods Market. “There has been a mass awakening among consumers for organic but not a mass awakening in the farming community.”

- See more at: http://www.non-gmoreport.com/articles/april-2015/organic-food-companies-collaborating-to-increase-organic-grain-supply.php#sthash.cOKweda3.25RtsVW4.dpuf

A new study in mBio, a peer-reviewed journal published by the American Society for Microbiology, suggests that the herbicides glyphosate (Roundup), dicamba (Kamba), and 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) induce antibiotic resistance in E. coli and Salmonella bacteria. Researchers subjected bacteria to combinations of different herbicides and antibiotics, including antibiotics commonly used to treat bacterial infections in humans such as ampicillin, ciprofloxacin, and tetracycline. The results demonstrated that E. coli and Salmonella exposed to low levels of Kamba, 2,4-D and glyphosate were more resistant to antibiotics than bacteria only exposed to antibiotics. The authors conclude that the common use of chemicals in agriculture, gardens, and public spaces can induce resistance to multiple antibiotics in bacteria that are harmful to humans. Read more on The Organic Center’s website.

Today, in a consumer culture that’s hyperaware of GMOs, hard-to-pronounce chemical additives, and harmful contaminants, organic food is big business. But is it really any better for you and the Earth, or is it all just a crafty marketing ploy? In a 30 year study Rodale Groups dug in and peeled back the USDA-certified labels to find out what exactly organic is and what it’s not. Here’s what they found .... 

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