With summer just weeks away, suburbanites across the region are prepping lawns. Homeowners will rake, aerate and fertilize, while lusting over neighbors’ yards that are just a little greener. But what if these lawns – soaking up valuable water and fertilizers – produced local food to feed the neighborhood instead of just
Containment policies, such as Urban Growth Boundaries (UGBs), are becoming more widespread as metro regions try to control sprawl and revitalize central cities. Mecklenburg County’s northeastern neighbor, Cabarrus County, has tried such an approach in hopes of preserving small town atmospheres and farmland.
Disappearing farmland and mounting
Members of the Farm and Food Council for Anson, Montgomery and Stanly counties:
Farmer: Gary Sikes, heritage turkey farmer, Bountiful Harvest Farm.
Government: Charles Dunevant, resource conservationist.
Public Health/Medical: To be determined.
Education: Stuart Wasilowski, vice president, South Piedmont Community College.
Farm and Food Council launches in Anson, Montgomery, Stanly
Just west of the Yadkin-Pee Dee River, a start-up farm and food council is emerging with a vision to fill small farmers’ wallets with money and the Charlotte region’s plates with local food.
The collection of farmers, elected officials, health professionals and educators held its official inaugural meeting last week at Stanly Community
New efforts expand food options for low-income neighborhoods and elderly
Two different organizations in the Charlotte region are using borrowed land and volunteer labor to get fresh, local food on the plates of people who need it most.
Sow Much Good raises vegetables to sell well below market cost in low-income neighborhoods that are far from traditional farmers markets, while Friendship Gardens, started by Slow Food
In 2010 the county aimed its economic development strategy at sustainable local business. Now a key backer of the move has left.
Two years ago, Cabarrus County boldly remade its economic development strategy, doing less to woo big businesses from elsewhere and more to nurture small businesses and local food producers from within.
The shift ignited a sometimes contentious debate between business people and county officials.
Cabarrus officials said the shift was part of a
Cars jammed the parking lots, spilled over onto the lawn and relentlessly circled, searching for spaces. One recent Saturday at the state-run Charlotte Regional Farmers Market, Arlene Haigler could plainly see how a national trend had come home to North Carolina.
“We had 4,100 cars,” Haigler, the market’s acting manager, said of
Organizers will publicly launch the Charlotte Urban Farm Project this weekend, planting crops Saturday in boxes made from recycled pallets on a vacant uptown plot.
It’s the first step in a larger venture that organizers hope will cultivate a greater sense of community as it brings together refugees and others to grow fresh, local food at a
The farmer points toward a long stretch of turned earth warming in the sun. Tomatoes and squash will grow well there, he says. More crops will be planted over there, he says, gesturing toward another neatly plowed rectangle. Behind him, small fruit trees cast shadows across the grass.
It’s bucolic enough to make you almost forget the
The Charlotte region boasts abundant swaths of farmland and an increasing number of urban residents hungry for locally grown food. So why does so much of the region’s food come from hundreds or thousands of miles away?
Mecklenburg County Community Food Assessment 2010
Christy Shi: No fear: on becoming a
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