Agriculture

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Data, urban agriculture and opportunity zones: Lessons from Milwaukee

Antonio Butts, executive director of Walnut Way in Milwaukee. Sometimes it can feel like the world is drowning in data: Big data, data mining, data science, data analytics and other buzzwords have become so familiar as to be cliches.  But the meeting last week of the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership, held in Milwaukee, was also full of reminders about the power of data to tell stories and inform decision-making. 

Charlotte Water wants to harvest fertilizer from your flushes

Charlotte Water project coordinator Will Rice lifts the hatch on a tank full of raw sewage water at the McAlpine Wastewater Treatment Plant. The world uses millions of tons of phosphorus per year in fertilizer, and almost all of that is mined. But Charlotte Water plans to start extracting the mineral from a new source: What you put down the drain. 

Charlotte explores ways to help farmers markets, farmers

Gordon Mullings sells microgreens at Charlotte Regional Farmers Market. Would Mecklenburg County’s farmers markets have more impact if they worked together? Would that give more people access to local foods? Would it help farmers? A Charlotte study looks for answers.

Should Mecklenburg farms get more protection? Here’s how that could happen.

 Suzanne Crawford sits at her food stand at the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market. As local foods from local farms grow more popular, some in Mecklenburg explore whether to push for a voluntary agricultural district to help local farmers. Only 12 N.C. counties lack one.

Funds can help save farmland from development

Almond Farm in Stanly County. Photo: Crystal Cockman Agriculture and agribusiness are a big part of the North Carolina economy, and several programs and funds are available to assist farmers in protecting farmland.

From Paris to backcounty Stanly County: the Kron family tale

The Kron family's homeplace, recreated on its original site at Morrow Mountain State Park. Photo: John D. Young A Stanly County Museum exhibit tells the story of an unusual European immigrant family and may inspire deeper thinking about issues ranging from regional history, to the importance of place and identity, to the legacy of slavery. 

Talk of the Towns: Iredell County

A subdivision off N.C. 150 in southern Iredell County. Photo: Nancy Pierce This installment of our series of planner interviews heads to Iredell County, where Matthew Todd describes efforts of industrial recruitment, rural farmland preservation and the challenges of planning in a diverse county that includes suburban Charlotte to the south and rural foothills to the north.

Cabarrus' Lomax farm faces uncertain future

The Elma C. Lomax Farm in Cabarrus County (2010 photo) has lost county funding. Can it survive as nonprofit? Photo: Nancy Pierce A Cabarrus County-run farm to help fledgling farmers, one of only two in the state, lost county funding, as well as its electricity, July 1. Can the incubator farm survive as a nonprofit? Its many supporters in the region hope so. (Photo: Nancy Pierce)

Long dreamed, an urban farm sprouts at Garinger High

One year after a nonprofit group took over a neglected corner of Garinger High's back lot, the grand opening of the Friendship Gardens Urban Farm welcomed the neighborhood, the school and local food enthusiasts to a celebration. (Photo: Marla J. Ehlers)

Growing greens indoors to boost local foods, job skills

Just northeast of uptown Charlotte, in a previously abandoned and cluttered warehouse, is Lila's Garden. It's more than a for-profit hydroponic garden. The owners hope it could be a key to revitalizing a struggling neighborhood. (Photo: Selena Skorman)