By Toban Dyck - Monday, January 28, 2013 - 0 Comments
Bales of hay are the prime goods in a U.S. crime spree
It’s hard to imagine hay bales being the focus of a crime spree. They are, after all, just piles of old grass. But in some parts of the United States, hay theft is emerging as a big problem. Long periods of severe drought and grass fires across much of the western U.S. have forced the price of hay and other livestock feeds to record highs. Some U.S. auctions reported 800-lb. hay bales, enough to feed the average cow for about 20 days, fetching close to $350 each.
“Oklahoma is screaming for hay,” Dale Leslein, manager of a hay auction in Iowa, told Farm Progress America. “Missouri is running short; Nebraska is very tight, as are Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Tennessee and Kentucky. They’re all running out of hay.” Continue…
By Hannah Hoag - Thursday, October 11, 2012 at 10:46 AM - 0 Comments
This year’s winners created a homegrown, breakthrough product
For three decades, the Ernest C. Manning Awards Foundation has recognized Canadians who develop and market successful innovations. This year, the awards are about imagination and stamina, says David Mitchell, the foundation’s president. Each of the four winners created a homegrown, breakthrough product. (Two of the prizes, the Innovation Awards, go to those who haven’t had access to research facilities or advanced education in their fields). All of the inventors refined their ideas constantly—sometimes over decades—until they had something they knew would make a difference.
Encana Principal Award $100,000
In the mid-1990s, Geoffrey Auchinleck and his business partner Lyn Sherman visited a small hospital in England to sell an electronic system to manage their lab test requests. During the sales call, the laboratory manager listened politely, shook his head and pointed to a refrigerator of donor blood. Help me with that, he said.
By John Geddes - Monday, October 1, 2012 at 10:23 AM - 0 Comments
The pitfalls of updating policy in sectors steeped in tradition
Michael McGeoghegan was fishing off Nova Scotia’s Pictou Island, about an hour out of his home port of Pinette on Prince Edward Island, when along with the nice catch of herring he was pulling up, cellphone calls from the news media started coming in.
McGeoghegan, who at 62 has been fishing for more than three decades, is also president of the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association. He and his group had been angrily opposing what they viewed as a stealthy federal government move toward changing long-standing rules requiring that East Coast fishing licences be held by actual fishermen, and for them to fish from boats they own. They feared regulatory reforms that would let fish processing companies buy up licences and boats, and pay someone else to fish. According to McGeoghegan, and many other fishermen, ending the so-called “fleet separation” and “owner-operator” restrictions would doom fishing traditions in small communities throughout the Atlantic provinces.
But last Friday, federal Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield issued a rather testy statement in a bid to put the issue to rest. “I have been displeased and, quite frankly, angered,” Ashfield said, “by some of the inaccuracies that have surfaced over the past several months suggesting that the owner-operator and fleet separation policies would be eliminated.” He went on: “Let me be absolutely clear: the fleet separation and owner-operator policies in Atlantic Canada will remain intact.” Soon after Ashfield issued that pledge, reporters began phoning McGeoghegan for comment. “I was really relieved and surprised that he did it,” he told Maclean’s. “I thought he’d listen to the big companies.”
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, August 1, 2012 at 11:38 AM - 0 Comments
Farmers’ costs will go up, for such things as administering cash advances and financing grain payments on delivery. Farmers will also have to pick up part of the tab for initial payment guarantees. Logistically, without the Wheat Board as a watchdog, grain companies and the railways are now in full control of the handling and transportation system. They have no incentive to service farmer-owned terminals, community-based short-lines or producer-loaded rail cars. There’s no one in the system with either the will or the clout to challenge excessive rates or charges.
Internationally, without the Board, Canada’s distinctive “brand” in world grain markets is slashed. This is compounded by the totally predictable sell-off of domestic firms like Viterra to foreign commodity traders like Glencore. With the Wheat Board out of the way, global grain buyers expect they’ll get Canadian grain at cheaper prices. Value-added processers expect the same. Railways and grain companies expect to extract higher margins. If that’s all true, you can imagine who gets stuck with the short-end of the stick.
By Erica Alini - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 1:49 PM - 0 Comments
Looking for a good gig that pays over 60K? Consider farming.
No, seriously. After a long period of stagnation, net farm incomes are rising. Net operating income for the average Canadian farm was over $65,000 in 2011, up a whopping 35 per cent from an average of roughly $42,000 between 2006 and 2010. Only in 1995, that figure was below $30,000:
“The economics of agriculture are coming back,” says Jeff Grubb, a Regina-based lawyer with expertise in agricultural law. “In the 1980s and 90s farm families needed to have some source of off-farm income,” at least in the prairies, recalls Grubb, who is himself the owner of a 700-acre farm. That’s less and less the case today, though, he says–courtesy of steadily climbing commodity prices and ever-larger farms.
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, October 24, 2011 at 1:04 PM - 18 Comments
Barrie McKenna explores the government’s attempt to support both the free market (when it comes to the Canadian Wheat Board) and supply management (when it comes to dairy farmers).
If open markets are so clearly in the best interests of grain farmers in Western Canada, why aren’t they also good for the dairy farmers of Quebec and Ontario? The answer, of course, is politics in a country where rural areas are still overly represented in the House of Commons. Supply management has become a proxy for rural entitlement and protection of family farms – a message that helped the Conservatives to a sweep outside the major cities in Southern Ontario in the May election. And by retaining the regime, Mr. Harper presumably calculates he will keep those seats four years from now.
There is no sound economic or policy rationale for keeping supply management. The government is sacrificing the interests of 34 million Canadians for the sake of fewer than 15,000 dairy and poultry farmers … Every year the distortions caused by the system grow larger. Canadians may not realize it when they go to the grocery store, but they’re paying twice the world average for dairy products – and up to three times what Americans pay. That’s a hidden $3-billion a year tax on all of us.
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, September 13, 2011 at 10:00 AM - 67 Comments
A majority of voters in a plebiscite have voted to maintain the Canadian Wheat Board’s monopsony.
A total of 62 per cent of prairie wheat growers – 22,764 farmers – voted to keep the monopoly versus 38 per cent – 14,059 farmers – who voted to eliminate the monopoly and be able to sell their wheat on the open market.
Just over half of barley growers – 51 per cent – voted to maintain the monopoly compared to 49 per cent who voted to eliminate it. The vote was held by mail-in ballot of farmers in the CWB area including Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. Turnout in the referendum was 56 per cent for wheat growers, 47 per cent for barley growers and 60 per cent for farmers who grew both.
The government responded last night with a note entitled “Statement from Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz on the Result of the Expensive Survey.” Continue…
By Jessica Allen - Wednesday, August 3, 2011 at 4:09 PM - 7 Comments
Welcome to Traditional & Authentic—the restaurant that takes farm to table eating seriously, finally. Please be sure to arrive for your three-month-old reservation at 3:30 am. At 3:45 am, you’ll meet with our executive chef—the one who trained in New York, Dubai, Paris, Copenhagen and wherever El Bulli was—and together you’ll customize a menu that perfectly reflects who you are.
Afterwards, you’ll be outfitted in authentic overalls (made from Japanese denim) and rain boots, and be driven in the back of a traditional tractor-trailer to the barn for some one-on-one time with Darla. Continue…
By Sarah Elton - Friday, June 17, 2011 at 11:15 AM - 2 Comments
While organic agriculture is big in China, concerns about food safety and quality are starting to arise
In the new China, everything is big. Drive south on the wide highway from Kunming, the capital of Yunnan province, and for hours you will see field after field of vegetables with farmers stooped over crops, and pass trucks, motorized tricycles and bikes overflowing with fresh cabbages, onions and greens. This farmland outside Kunming is one of dozens of vast agricultural areas in the country that grow about half of all the world’s vegetables, an increasing number of which are now certified organic. Over the past 10 years, China has converted millions of hectares to organic agriculture—between 2005 and 2006, the amount of organically managed land went up more than tenfold. Today, China has more organic land than any other country, positioning it to be the world’s largest organic producer.
This potential to grow a lot in one place is what motivated Gary Lloyd to look to China in 2000 to source organic peas, spinach and other produce. Lloyd’s company freezes and packages the produce on behalf of other brands that then sell it under their own names at supermarkets in Canada and the United States. He was one of many who saw opportunity in China’s rapidly growing organic export industry—today, Canadians eat a wide range of organic produce from China. The country supplies one-third of all the green peas we eat, both conventional and organic, and much of our apple juice.
But while organic agriculture is big in China, so too are tainted food scandals—think melamine in milk and, more recently, exploding watermelons—and now concerns about food safety in the country are starting to push production back to Canada. Chinese exports of organic fruits and vegetables may be on the rise, but the question is, how long will they continue to be?
By Alex Ballingall - Wednesday, June 15, 2011 at 9:15 AM - 0 Comments
Manitoba canola farmers are using helicopters to plant their rain-soaked fields
If you’re a canola farmer on Manitoba’s flood-ravaged prairie, what do you do when you can’t plant your seeds because your fields are too wet for your tractor? John Gibson and his team at Provincial Helicopters, Ltd., have a solution: hire one of their helicopters to do it for you. “The farmers are really having a hard time of it,” says Gibson, president and chief pilot of the company based in Lac du Bonnet, Man. “Getting the seed on the ground, even if it is wet, is a high priority right now.”
Rob Pettinger, president of the Manitoba Canola Growers Association, says this is one of the wettest seasons he’s ever seen. In some regions, he expects canola to produce just 10 per cent of its normal yield. But Gibson says the rain-soaked fields, while a problem for tractors, are just wet enough for the seeds they drop from their helicopters to land without being damaged. He and his team have already planted seeds for three farmers this season, and they have received interest from at least 15 more.
When hired, Gibson’s team mounts a seeding system to a helicopter. In the back, a hopper is filled with thousands of canola seeds. The seeds are then dropped into a large circular dispenser that hangs like a wheel beneath the helicopter. As the aircraft flies back and forth at about 30 feet above the ground, the wheel spins, spitting out seeds.
By Stephanie Findlay - Wednesday, June 15, 2011 at 9:10 AM - 15 Comments
Echoing Arizona, Georgia passed a tough immigrant law. Now it finds itself desperately short of farmhands.
Following in the controversial footsteps of Arizona’s lawmakers, the ruling Republican party in Georgia introduced beefed-up immigrant legislation earlier this spring. The bill, HB 87, empowers police to question the immigration status of criminal suspects and demands business owners use E-Verify, a federal database, to check a prospective employee’s immigration status. HB 87 will take effect July 1. But, just as in Arizona, a class-action lawsuit was filed against the legislation: last week, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), along with several rights organizations and individuals, challenged the law in federal district court. “This legislation turns Georgia into a police state,” says Azadeh Shahshahani of the Georgia chapter of the ACLU. Even Carlos Santana weighed in on the national debate: “The people of Arizona, the people of Atlanta, Georgia, you should be ashamed of yourselves,” said Santana earlier this month at Major League Baseball’s annual civil rights game.
Along with opposition from civil rights groups, leaders of the agricultural industry—one of Georgia’s largest—are protesting the bill. Charles Hall, executive director of the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, says migrant workers have “heard horror stories of people being harassed, being deported, being stopped at a licence check.” As a result, says Hall, farm workers are bypassing Georgia, causing a massive labour shortage in the state and sending the $1.1-billion industry into a tailspin. Hall reports farmers are experiencing labour shortages of up to 50 per cent, and estimates that a quarter of Georgia’s crops will go unharvested—representing some $300 million in lost revenue.
Although Georgia’s unemployment rate sits at 9.9 per cent, Hall says hiring domestic workers isn’t an option. “If we could get domestic workers to do our field work, we would,” he says, “but they’re not available.” Domestic workers might work in the cooler packing houses, but not in the fields. “It’s back-breaking work,” says Hall.
By Andrew Potter - Tuesday, January 11, 2011 at 9:20 AM - 37 Comments
When a farmer’s market went ‘100 mile,’ vendors of Lebanese pita and Asian fruit saw the dark side of a trend
The year 2010 marked the moment when the locavore movement went thoroughly mainstream, with even Wal-Mart getting with the program. But while it is invariably promoted under the guise of progressive values of living healthy, building community and preserving the environment, residents of Hamilton recently discovered the dark side of the cult of local.
Like the city itself, the Hamilton Farmers’ Market is a no-nonsense place. Along with the usual stalls of locally grown seasonal produce, it has long featured vendors selling imported foods—Asian fruit, Colombian coffee, Polish baked goods, Lebanese pita, etc.—making the market an unpretentiously cosmopolitan affair.
By Julia Belluz - Thursday, December 23, 2010 at 1:20 PM - 4 Comments
White farmers are renting land
Renting land to prop up a dictatorship: that’s how some see the return of a new group of about 120 white farmers to Zimbabwe’s contested agricultural land, where they are leasing plots from supporters of President Robert Mugabe. “These farmers handed Mr. Mugabe victory,” former Zimbabwe Tobacco Association president Andy Ferreira told London’s Telegraph newspaper.
By Sarah Elton - Thursday, December 2, 2010 at 1:20 PM - 5 Comments
Canadian garlic types, once shunned, are a sought-after, and scarce, autumn staple
Like gold, you can judge the value of garlic by its weight. Rest a bulb harvested from local soil in one hand and an imported bulb in the other and you will feel that Canadian garlic weighs about double. Devotees will tell you it also tastes twice as good. But try to purchase the local stuff and you are in for a hunt. It’s garlic season but already farmers are just about sold out. Demand is high, as more and more fans search out the juicy, firm cloves with a sweet smell that clings to your fingers hours after you’ve chopped it. Compare this to those dry, shrunken cloves with little flavour or taste, and you may understand the passion. “No one will have garlic for the winter,” said Daniel Hoffmann, who grows heritage varieties of garlic from around the world on his farm in Brampton, Ont. Already the 16,000 bulbs he grew to sell are just about done.
By Kate Lunau - Thursday, November 18, 2010 at 12:00 PM - 0 Comments
Lufa Farms, says its greenhouse will give urbanites a chance to eat veggies grown in their own neighbourhoods
Montreal is better known for its urban parks and nightlife, but soon, the city will be home to a world first in farming. That’s because a commercial-scale rooftop greenhouse is set to open on the flat, concrete roof of an office building close to the city’s Marché Central, north of the downtown. Planting should begin in January and, if all goes to plan, customers will be able to get pesticide and herbicide-free vegetables, including tomatoes, cucumbers, bok choy and arugula as early as next spring.
Supermarket produce often travels thousands of kilometres to store shelves, fuelling concern about everything from food quality to greenhouse gases. Lufa Farms, the Montreal company behind the project, says its greenhouse will give urbanites a chance to eat veggies grown in their own neighbourhoods. As the population increases—especially in cities—and arable land becomes scarcer, the notion of urban farming is getting more popular. One of the best-known advocates is Columbia University’s Dickson Despommier, who last month published The Vertical Farm: Feeding the World in the 21st Century. In it, he describes farms several stories high, in the heart of the city.
Vertical farms are still a ways away, but “to innovate, you have to do it in steps,” says Lufa Farms president and co-founder Mohamed Hage. He and co-founder Kurt Lynn talk about building rooftop greenhouses in other cities, like Toronto—which last year became the first North American city to require “green roofs” on new buildings of a certain size (the bylaw comes into effect next year). “We believe urban farming is key to any healthy city,” says Hage. “If you look around Montreal, there’s ample roof space to feed all of Canada.”
By Julia Belluz - Thursday, October 21, 2010 at 10:40 AM - 0 Comments
Are genetically modified animals the solution to the environmental problem of a growing market for meat?
“When I look at the Enviropig,” says professor Richard Moccia, associate vice-president of research at the University of Guelph, “I’m in awe and amazement at the ability of humans to create this technology.” Though the pink mammals look, oink and act like regular Yorkshire pigs, they were created in a lab. In 1999, scientists at Guelph added an E. coli gene and mouse DNA to a normal pig embryo. The result: the “greener” Enviropig pig. Though no one has ever tasted an Enviropig, testing on its internal organs and meat cuts revealed it’s identical to a regular oinker. Except that this transgenic animal may solve an environmental problem, namely pollution caused by pig farming.
We know all about eating local foods, recycling and carpooling to reduce our environmental footprints. But how about opting for animal products genetically modified to be greener? A number of researchers in Canada and around the world are working at the frontiers of genetic modification to create animals—from pigs to trout—that they claim are less injurious to the environment.
By Chris Sorensen - Thursday, September 23, 2010 at 11:20 AM - 0 Comments
A Toronto firm plans to build the world’s biggest farm, and maybe one day a brand name in food
The seed of what would become One Earth Farms was planted years ago when Kevin Bambrough, the president and CEO of Sprott Resource Corp., was standing in the middle of a sprawling field on the Canadian Prairies. Bambrough discovered that most of the land around him belonged to First Nations, but that very few Aboriginals were involved in farming it (the land is instead leased out). He spotted a rare opportunity to grab a massive chunk of an industry that’s still dominated by smaller, family-owned farms in Canada, but where most of the money is increasingly being made by larger, corporate-run operations.
“What was typically happening is, guys would come in and lease a smaller chunk of land for their family operation,” says Steve Yuzpe, the CFO of Sprott Resource, an arm of the investment firm founded by legendary investor Eric Sprott. “No one thought to take the next step.” That step was to launch negotiations with some 40 different First Nations who control two million acres of land in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and offer them a chance to participate in the business. The goal is to eventually create a giant, one-million-acre operation, scattered over the three provinces, that would rank among the biggest farms in the world.
By Pamela Cuthbert - Thursday, July 1, 2010 at 2:20 PM - 3 Comments
Fresh produce starts to deteriorate as soon as it’s picked. Sometimes, frozen is better.
The harvest season has begun and we can finally feast on local fresh produce. Already there’s an abundance of asparagus, tender greens, ruby-red strawberries and the promise of peas. But as the season heats up, the cold hard truth is that while fresh produce can be great, sometimes frozen is better.
Fruits and vegetables begin to deteriorate as soon as they’re picked; too often, that means limp spinach, starchy corn, wooden carrots and tasteless, watery berries. (The exception can be veggies grown underground like onions and potatoes, which are designed for hibernation and therefore keep well.) But putting produce on ice right after it’s picked, especially if industrial-strength flash-freezing is used, seals in flavour. It also keeps the food’s molecular structure intact—kind of like those cryogenically frozen people we hear about.
By Stephanie Findlay - Thursday, July 1, 2010 at 1:20 PM - 2 Comments
The New Russian Village offers new homes, modern family farms and competitive pay
Russians are being offered the chance of a lifetime in a multi-million-dollar private venture that gives them new homes, modern family farms and competitive pay. The project, called the New Russian Village, aims to revive Russia’s countryside by funding a collection of privately run single-owner farms.
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, November 24, 2009 at 1:30 PM - 19 Comments
Gerald Keddy, yesterday. If anyone ever stops Nova Scotia farmers from hiring migrant labourers to harvest their crops, they would destroy a lot of businesses because unemployed Nova Scotians don’t want those jobs, says Gerald Keddy, the Conservative MP for South Shore-St. Margarets. ”Nova Scotians won’t do it — all those no-good bastards sitting on the sidewalk in Halifax that can’t get work,” Mr. Keddy said Monday.
Gerald Keddy, today. Conservative MP Gerald Keddy is apologizing for referring to some unemployed Haligonians as “no-good bastards.” Keddy, MP for the Nova Scotia riding of South Shore-St. Margaret’s, issued a statement Tuesday saying he was sorry for the “insensitive comments.” ”In no way did I mean to offend those who have lost their job due to the global recession, nor did I mean to suggest that anyone who is unemployed is not actively looking for employment,” he said.
By Nicholas Köhler - Thursday, September 17, 2009 at 5:20 PM - 4 Comments
WWOOF connects volunteers with organic farmers
The routine was brutal. He got up at 4:30 a.m. and started weeding at five. Two hours later they passed around the bread for breakfast. On his hands and knees, loaned out to a neighbour’s farm, he thrust his gloved hands into mud and yanked out potatoes. The woman next to him grabbed what she thought was the stem of a potato plant and pulled up a rat instead. After lunch, they packaged the vegetables harvested that morning for market, slaving until nine at night. Then James Bejar fell into the men’s quarters, a mouldy, dank place, and slept. He was not an indentured servant; Bejar was on holiday.
“It was just back-breaking work,” says the 31-year-old Toronto public servant, whose vacation à la Dickens dates back to a two-week stint WWOOFing—volunteering on an organic farm in exchange for room and board—in Nagano, Japan. His story might suggest his was a one-time experiment; yet Bejar has returned again and again to what he sees as a cheap method of travel offering a glimpse of “part of a society and of a people you don’t get by travelling from hotel to hotel.”
WWOOFing organizations—the acronym stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms—now exist in over 100 countries, connecting volunteers with farmers. In exchange for weeding, feeding and shovelling manure—normally for no more than six hours a day (Bejar’s Nagano jaunt was an anomaly)—the volunteers receive food and accommodation, usually living as part of the family.
By Rachel Mendleson - Thursday, September 10, 2009 at 1:40 PM - 5 Comments
He loved working on the farm, and adventure. His latest passion was the freedom of flight.
R yan Bartt Chute was born on Sept. 13, 1980, in Moose Jaw, Sask., the second of four children to Bartt and Marla Chute. His parents were grain farmers whose sprawling fields, located about 25 km north of town, had been in the family since the 1920s. A “fun-loving” child, Ryan “loved to tuck his head in the crook of your neck and cuddle,” says Marla. He was drawn to the outdoors—particularly whatever his dad was doing. As a toddler, he had his own corner in the tractor cab, complete with a pillow and blanket. “When he got tired, he’d lay down and have a sleep,” says Bartt. The harvest was an early source of fascination. In late August, he would spend hours in the fields with his dad, watching him combine the lentils, peas and wheat.
A curious boy, Ryan trailed Bartt in the workshop, tinkering with the machinery. Like his father, he was eager to try new things, and fuelled his bent for adventure with dirt bikes, jet skis and snowmobiles, later learning to drive a motorcycle and a big rig. In school, Ryan’s ability to elicit laughter made him a favourite among his classmates, if not always his teachers. “He spent a fair bit of time in the hallway,” says friend Jason Doney. He extended his good-natured teasing to sisters Andrea and Alana, but was also protective—his brother Reid, born in 1985, died in infancy, and Ryan kept a close eye on them. Continue…
By Rachel Mendleson - Thursday, August 20, 2009 at 2:00 PM - 6 Comments
Forced to flee Zimbabwe, he longed to learn of farming here, and to take his knowledge home
Tarivona Asher Mutsengi was born on March 8, 1983, in Bulawayo, a city in southwestern Zimbabwe, the first of five children to Philip Gilbert, a businessman, and his wife, Martha. As a child, Asher, as everyone called him, spent most of his time in the nearby town of Plumtree, where Philip owned a gas station, and the family had enough land to grow watermelons and maize. During holidays, cousins, aunts and uncles would descend on their garden. With his wide smile and quick wit, Asher was always “the centre of attention,” says sister Rumbidzai, naturally assuming the leadership role in childhood games, pretending he was a priest (the family were devout Catholics) or a doctor. Whenever one of the kids had a loose tooth, he insisted that the new one would grow in faster if they let him remove it—which they did. “We believed everything that he told us because he was so convincing,” says Rumbidzai.
In addition to their ﬁelds in Plumtree, the family had a farm in Gutu. At the time, they could have afforded to hire farmhands, but “my father preferred us doing it, so that we experienced it,” says Rumbidzai. Philip rewarded his children for good grades, and Asher had no trouble meeting those expectations; he was once given a bicycle for his academic achievements, and would let Rumbidzai ride it—as long as she paid him in chocolate. A member of the debate club, Asher held firm to his convictions. The only time he didn’t make the top spot in his class was on purpose, after an argument with his father. Says Rumbidzai, “He liked stressing his point, even if it was a losing side.” Continue…
By Nancy Macdonald - Thursday, August 6, 2009 at 2:00 PM - 1 Comment
Composters, Vivienne Westwood overalls: the design world discovers homesteading
The pivotal moment arguably came around the time architecture magazine Wallpaper*—that bible of modernist chic—featured a gorgeous 14-page photo spread titled “Agricool” and featuring ethnically ambiguous models amongst sheep, dead geese and deep-red prosciutto. With it, urban homesteading was given a facelift. The movement, an outgrowth of localism, 100-mile dieting and the urge to rebuild a lost connection to food, sweat and dirt, has ofﬁcially arrived in the design world.
With its functional, back-to-basics ethos, the homesteading trend has until now represented everything haute design is not. But we’re talking about urbanites after all, and a trend that isn’t going away. Since 2006, Vancouver—which recently lifted a ban on backyard hens—has added some 1,800 plots to the cityscape: several have wait lists of 100 people or more. Recently, Michelle Obama added bees to her White House garden. The chicken hatchery featured in Farm City, Novella Carpenter’s hot new memoir about farming on a vacant lot in a ghetto in Oakland, Calif., has actually run out of chicks. Continue…