1. Together, we can build a food system that’s better for everyone! Help make it happen by crowdfunding #openfoodnetwork http://thndr.it/VXClCF

    Together, we can build a food system that’s better for everyone! Help make it happen by crowdfunding #openfoodnetwork http://thndr.it/VXClCF

  2. Gardens that take care of us : The Lancet Neurology

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    Gardens that take care of us. By - Adrian Burton


    The idea that gardens can have calming, restorative, and even healing effects is certainly not new to western medicine. InVictorian Britain, gardens were an important feature of many psychiatric hospitals. In the modern design of hospital and care-facility gardens, however, landscape architects are looking to understand and maximise these effects for different types of patient. via https://www.facebook.com/therapeuticlandscapes “In the case of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, we now know enough about the implications of changes in spatial cognition to create gardens that are accessible, supportive, and prosthetic”, explains Clare Cooper Marcus (University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA). “For example, the Living Garden at the Family Life Center (designed by Martha Tyson) in Grand Rapids, Michigan (USA), is [first] designed to be safe for patients. It is visible from a frequently used indoor space since residents may forget it is there. Entry from a single door to a level garden path, which is a simple figure-of-eight loop with recognisable landmarks along the way, enables people to navigate with no confusing right or left turns or dead ends that could give rise to agitation or anger. The return of the path to that single door prevents any confusion as to how to re-enter the building, and all parts of the garden are visible to the staff.”
    Rick Passo's insight:

    Nice article about  Gardens in Health Care conference. It was a good one! 


    The Therapeutic Landscapes Network is a knowledge base and gathering space about healing gardens, restorative landscapes and other green spaces that promote health and well-being. We are an international, multidisciplinary community of designers, health and human service providers, scholars and gardeners. Though our focus is broad, our primary emphasis is on evidence-based design and landscapes in healthcare settings.

    Naomi Sachs, ASLA@healinggarden

    Director of the Therapeutic Landscapes Network: Connecting people with nature to promote health and well-being.



    See on thelancet.com
  3. The Top 5 Must-See AgTech TED Talks

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    TED talks dive into a bit of everything, including agriculture. Among the many to choose from, we’ve pulled out 5 AgTech TED Talks must-see’s.


    Cori is a multimedia journalist and digital producer for AgFunderNews. With a background in environmental engineering and sociocultural anthropology, her work focuses on the intersection of environmental science, finance and social interest. Cori holds her M.S. in Journalism from Columbia University. You can follower her on twitter @coricapik.

    Rick Passo's insight:


    AgFunderNews is the one-stop-shop for learning about all things Ag. Covering Ag and AgTech startups, innovations and studies, AgFunderNews explores the intersection between finance and Ag. We want to give you the news about today’s Ag and tomorrow’s changes.


    An online syndication platform connecting investors with ag investment opportunities



    MIA-NYC. Pilot, foodie, and ag enthusiast. Digital Producer for @AgFunder and Producer of Spears: The Gospel According to Britney. @columbiajourn grad 



    See on agfundernews.com
  4. Open Source Seed Initiative | “Free the Seed!”

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    The most distinguishing aspect of OSSI, it is the idea that genetic resources – in the form of seeds- are going to be set aside for humanity to use in any way it sees fit. These genetic resources cannot be patented or otherwise legally protected, making them essentially available in perpetuity in a protected commons. If they were just in a regular commons, people could obtain them and protect them, but in this commons they must remain free.

    Hence the phrase “Free the Seed!”

    refer also to www.facebook.com/SeedLibraryLasVegas

    and to 


    This week, scientists, farmers and sustainable food systems advocates will gather on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus to celebrate an unusual group of honored guests: 29 new varieties of broccoli, celery, kale, quinoa and other vegetables and grains that are being publicly released using a novel form of ownership agreement known as the Open Source Seed Pledge.

    The pledge, which was developed through a UW-Madison-led effort known as the Open Source Seed Initiative, is designed to keep the new seeds free for all people to grow, breed and share for perpetuity, with the goal of protecting the plants from patents and other restrictions down the line.

    Rick Passo's insight:


    The Open Source Seed Initiative (OSSI) has been developed over the past two years by a working group of plant breeders, farmers, non-profit agencies, seed advocates, and policy makers. OSSI is dedicated to maintaining fair and open access to plant genetic resources worldwide. OSSI supports innovative plant breeding that produces resilient and productive cultivars.

    Enabling the open exchange of germplasm, with no restrictions on further breeding, is crucial to this new agriculture. OSSI will work toward achievement of (1) A germplasm release framework with no breeding or seed saving restrictions on the germplasm released through its auspices other than that derivatives must also be released with the same freedoms; (2) A robust, vibrant, and well-supported public plant breeding sector producing germplasm and cultivars that can be equitably grown, sold, changed, and distributed; (3) A plurality of sources for farmers, gardeners, and breeders to obtain seed; (4) Integration of the skills and capacities of farmers with those of plant scientists for enhancing and enlarging participatory plant breeding; and (5) Respect for the rights and sovereignty of indigenous communities, and of farmers and farm communities, to play a role in solutions to obtaining seed for food production.

    See on opensourceseedinitiative.org
  5. 2nd Annual Indoor Agriculture Conference | The Future of the Indoor Agriculture Industry - 2nd Annual Indoor Agriculture Conference

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    2nd Indoor Ag-Con @indooragcon Apr 9
    Excited to have @Seedstock join us at ‪#‎indooragcon‬ to moderate a panel with @pammarrone @hortamericas & @ARCHISACRES

    See on indoor.ag
  6. Video: What is a Food Hackathon? – Future Food Tech News

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    Food Hackathon 2.0 - The Future of Food Video Recap #foodhackathon


    Future Food Tech+

    We are a collective of food lovers, hackers, designers and entrepreneurs who love to create, build, prototype, birth and scale innovative solutions to the challenges in our food system. We plan and host Food Hackathons.


    Food Hacking the world!

    Rick Passo's insight:


    Over the course of the two-day event, techies and food lovers alike will hack the food system to, as described by Food Hackathon’s website, “build networks, cross pollinate ideas and create new products and tools to innovate and improve the food ecosystem.”

    “Food is our greatest common denominator,” West said in a post on Foodnetconnect.com. “If we begin to address the challenges in our food system, then we will begin to solve the problems in our economy, our environment and our health care all while building community.”

    See on futurefoodtech.com
  7. USDA Announces Funding to Train and Educate Next Generation of Farmers and Ranchers

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    Release No. 0058.14Contact:Office of Communications (202)720-4623 USDA Announces Funding to Train and Educate Next Generation of Farmers and Ranchers 

    WASHINGTON, April 11, 2014 – Today, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the availability of more than $19 million in grants to help train, educate and enhance the sustainability of the next generation of agricultural producers through the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP).

    "USDA is committed to the next generation of America’s farmers and ranchers because they represent the future of agriculture and are the backbone of our rural economy. As the average age of farmers continues to rise, we have no time to lose in getting more new farmers and ranchers established." said Secretary Vilsack. "Reauthorizing and expanding the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program is one of the many resources the 2014 Farm Bill gave us to build America’s agricultural future. Through this program, we can build a diverse next generation of farmers and ranchers."

    BFRDP is an education, training, technical assistance and outreach program designed to help farmers, ranchers and managers of non-industrial private forest land – specifically those aiming to start farming and those who have been farming or ranching for 10 or fewer years. It is managed by the National Institutes of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). NIFA will competitively award grants to organizations conducting programs to help beginning farmers and ranchers. Learn more about eligibility and how to apply (applications are due June 12, 2014).

    Priority will be given to projects that are partnerships and collaborations led by or including non-governmental, community-based, or school-based agricultural educational organizations. All applicants are required to provide funds or in-kind support from non-federal sources in an amount that is at least equal to 25 percent of the federal funds requested.

    By law, at least five percent of available funding will be allocated to programs and services for limited-resource and socially-disadvantaged beginning farmers and ranchers and farmworkers. Additionally, another five percent of available funding will be allocated for programming and services for military veteran farmers and ranchers.

    BFRDP was authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill, receiving $100 million to be awarded over the next five years. The program was originally funded through the 2008 Farm Bill. Since then, NIFA has awarded more than $66 million through 136 grants to organizations that have developed education and training programs. More than 50,000 beginning farmers and ranchers have participated in projects funded by BRFDP.

    NIFA is hosting two upcoming webinars for interested applicants on April 30 and May 6 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern. The first webinar will focus on general guidelines for the program, while the second webinar will focus on the funding allocations for socially-disadvantaged and military veteran farmers and ranchers.

    Through federal funding and leadership for research, education and extension programs, NIFA focuses on investing in science and solving critical issues impacting people’s daily lives and the nation’s future. More information is available at: www.nifa.usda.gov.

    Rick Passo's insight:


    NIFA grants openings, closing

    Listed below are NIFA grants that have been opened for applications in the last 30 days or will close for applications in the next 30 days. The grant names are linked to grant summary pages, which include links to the RFA and other information. Summaries for all of our grants, both open and closed, can be found on our Grant Search page.


    See on content.govdelivery.com
  8. Wholesome Wave Triggers $4 Million in Three Innovative New England Food Hub Investments

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    (Bridgeport, CT – April 10, 2014) Throughout 2013, Wholesome Wave’s Healthy Food Commerce Investments has coordinated and triggered over $4 million of investment in local food infrastructure through three deals in New England.

    Wholesome Wave’s Healthy Food Commerce Investments initiative aims to strengthen regional food systems by supporting the development and expansion of innovative businesses that manage the aggregation, distribution and processing of regional food products – i.e. “food hubs.” The Investment’s team connects food hubs with impact investors, orchestrating innovative financing deals that address critical gaps in capital.

    By directing business development assistance and capital to mission-driven food hubs, Wholesome Wave helps build the infrastructure that supports small and mid-sized farms and grows local and regional economies.  “The businesses and entrepreneurs who are creating great innovative models connecting regional producers with regional markets are growing rapidly and finding themselves needing capital.  On the other side we have people interested in providing capital. We found ourselves in the middle and realized there was work to be done to bring them together,” says Malini Ram Morgahan, Director, Healthy Food Commerce Investments in a recent interview.


    Rick Passo's insight:


    Wholesome Wave is a national nonprofit that is helping to reshape the American Food system by putting entrepreneurial, innovative thinking to work. The organization partners with farmers and farmers markets, community leaders, healthcare providers, like-minded nonprofits and government entities to implement programs that increase affordable access to healthy, locally grown fruit and vegetables for consumers in underserved communities.


    Food Hub Business Assessment Toolkit

    Thank you for your interest in the Food Hub Business Assessment Toolkit.  Please complete the following form to access the Toolkit and Resources.

    We see this Toolkit as a living document based on our and others’ experiences and want to revise our approach to reflect your experience as well. We may contact you to ask you to share feedback about how you are using the Toolkit and adapting it to your needs.  And please reach out to us with your thoughts and feedback.


    See on wholesomewave.org

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    Gawad Kalinga (GK, is officially known as the Gawad Kalinga Community Development Foundation, a Philippine-based poverty alleviation and nation-building movement. Our mission is to end poverty for 5 million families by 2024.




    Our country’s land area and tropical climate set us up to grow our own crops but instead we import 70% of our chocolate, milk and cheese demand, among others. If only we made productive use of our lands and started to hammer away and innovate on the structure that makes farming a discouraging venture, there’s no reason for any Filipino to be poor.


    The village aspect of the Enchanted Farm lies in the belief that it is our disconnectedness from our land, from the poor, and even from one another through artificial barriers such as economic status, ‘public and private’ distinctions, that sustains poverty in the country. GK EF is one physical space where we can all come together and plant seeds of goodness side by side with the very poor whom we wish to help.


    Our current educational system can do better in instilling appreciation for the agricultural industry and love for the poor. Coupling these two with the courageous spirit of an entrepreneur, the possibilities for our country become endless!

    Rick Passo's insight:

    The GK Enchanted Farm is Gawad Kalinga’s platform to raise social entrepreneurs, help our local farmers and create wealth in the countryside. As we learned that the road out of poverty is a continuing journey and therefore, providing homes is merely the beginning, we also realized that our country is abundant with resources (land included) that we can harness for every Filipino to continuously lead a life with dignity.

    cherrie atilano@cdatilano 

    Farmerpie.Filipina, Social Entrepreneur, Agriculturist, Landscape Designer, Gawad Kalinga Fulltime Worker,TOSPian


    See on gk1world.com

About me

“Dream of Mindanao of being independent economically will remain an elusive dream if present Mindanao leaders will always forget to empower the poorest of the poor in Mindanao. This is the reason why armed conflict always flourish in the country’s second biggest island because the mass based are always forgotten” - Beverly Del Valle, urban poor leader in Caraga region.