1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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

    See on Scoop.it - FoodHub Las Vegas

    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
  5. Can LED Advances Help Vertical Farms Take Root?

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    It turns out that the price reductions and efficiency gains we’re hearing about this year for LED technology aren’t just interesting for traditional lighting applications in warehouses, streets, office buildings and so on. They’re helping a very niche area of green tech, vertical farming, take root in cities around the world.

    Vertical farms aren’t just next-generation greenhouses for hobbyists, where the focus on growing vegetables and fruits on buildings rather than fields. A handful of notable startups have started tackling this space far more aggressively  – at least one of which has scored seed funding from Whole Foods.



    Rick Passo's insight:

    There are three different technologies prevalent among vertical farming startups:

    Hydroponics, which uses a solution to grow crops rather than soil;Aeroponics, where food it grow using air and mist;Aquaponics, which raises vegetation alongside aquatic animals

    “When judging farming for the nutrient-rich foods that will help feed the population boom, success depends on producing calories efficiently,” notes the Clean Edge report. “Vertical farming success may also be measured in terms of kilowatt-hour per grams of fresh produce weight.”

    See on forbes.com
  6. Earth Day 2014 … Grow a Garden in a Bottle Cap

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    Just in time to celebrate Earth Day 2014 (Tues Aprill 22, 2014) we have created kits that can be used to promote recycling, sustainable gardening and really provide a fun activity for kids of all ages.  We call them CapGardens as these tiny plants are growing in recycled or upcycled caps from water or soda bottles.  They come in all colors and teach that us that we can find other uses for things than normally end up in our landfills.


    Rick Passo's insight:

    Urbaform is a technology integrator and developer specializing in food production in the urban environment …


    Vertical Farming & more … 

    We believe that the production of food within the urban environment will become a necessity in our future.  New technologies and innovations like vertical farming will drive us to a more sustainable future ….


    DIY Microgreen Kits

    Our microgreen growing kits contain all you need to grow nutritious trays of microgreens for you and your family. Microgreens literally grow before your eyes, your first crop in 7-14 days !!


    See on microgreenfarm.co
  7. Can local food reach mainstream supermarkets?

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    Regional food hubs help meet consumer demand for local food by aggregating products from local farmers. The next step: expanding the supply chain to national retailers.


    The Wallace Center is also reaching out to organizations like the Food Marketing Institute. FMI is a national trade group representing nearly 40,000 retail food stores and 25,000 pharmacies. 

    Mark Baum, FMI’s senior vice president and chief collaboration officer, says: 

    “The retail industry recognizes the broad consumer shift towards fresher foods. We also know that meeting this demand means addressing the challenge of how to pull consistent volumes of safe, locally sourced products through the supply chain. FMI looks forward to exploring how regional food hubs can help our members implement economically viable solutions.” 

    Next week, America’s food hub community gathers in Raleigh, North Carolina, for the National Good Food Network (NGFN) conference. NGFN is a peer-to-peer network of regional food systems practitioners, supporters, and food hub developers across the country that the Wallace Center launched in 2008. Investors, buyers, food hubs, and more will be there to learn, connect, and grow.

    Later this year, NGFN will release a financial benchmarking study of member food hubs with Farm Credit System, a national cooperative of agricultural lenders. The study’s development of sound economic metrics and measures will be another forward step in market-based approaches to a more sustainable food and farm sector. 

    These efforts are important because food hubs are emerging as linchpins of regional food system infrastructure. Growing their market share is essential. Equally important is ensuring the market’s understanding and adoption of “good food” values embedded in demand for local. 

    The Wallace Center and National Good Food Network are bringing together the entrepreneurs, researchers, and partners needed to succeed. We invite you to join us in growing the business of good food. Share Solving Local with your networks, and learn more at foodhub.info.

    Rick Passo's insight:


    2014 National Food Hub Conference

    The National Good Food Network Food Hub Collaboration’s National Food Hub Conference will be March 26-28 in Raleigh, NC.

    What is a food hub?

    A regional food hub is a business or organization that actively manages the aggregation, distribution, and marketing of source-identified food products primarily from local and regional producers to strengthen their ability to satisfy wholesale, retail, and institutional demand.

    See on csmonitor.com
  8. 5 Reasons The Future Of Argiculture Is Indoors | Visual.ly

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    This infographic comes from the Indoor Agriculture Conference team. It lists the reasons why farming’s future is indoors, and introduces some of the key players in the movement.


    Rick Passo's insight:

    via https://www.facebook.com/IndoorAgCon

    The 2nd Annual Indoor Agriculture Conference unites farmers, entrepreneurs, suppliers, technology geeks, investors, researchers and policy makers in an educational two-day discussion on the status and future of hydroponic, aeroponic and aquaponic produce farming. Join us to hear leading experts explore the state of the industry, take a walk by cutting-edge technology and innovation displayed in the exhibitor hall, and leverage plentiful networking opportunities throughout the conference! 

    More details at: www.indoor.ag

    See on visual.ly
  9. Las Vegas is now Live … as in live food !!!

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    Here are the first pictures of our Urbafresh / Cowboy Trail Farms Live Towers that are now on display and use in the Aliante Casino in Las Vegas.  The installation features fresh produce that will be replenished as needed for the chefs as they prepare foods using our “tower to table” freshness for the finest in nutrition and taste.


    Stay tuned … More to come from the emerging gardens in the desert.

    Rick Passo's insight:

    Cowboy Trail Farm@CowboyTrailFarm

    Organic Edibles LV, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) public charity. We grow fresh vegetables and provide food to the needy. Education on growing our own food is our mission


    COWBOY TRAIL FARMS COMMUNITY SUPPORTED AGRICULTURE IN LAS VEGASCowboy Trail Farm is now open every Saturday 10am-12pm

    We’ve got great plans for 2014; there will be a focus on promoting natural health plus showing kids that it’s fun to grow and eat healthy food.

    Visit us to see what’s Growing On.

    See on urbafresh.weebly.com
  10. Seed Bombs for the Seed Library Las Vegas at Maker Faire!

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    See you at the Mini Maker Faire LVCC at Las Vegas Mini Maker Faire on Saturday, April 5th! Bombs away!
    Have great fun and learn more about the goals and vision of Seed Library Las Vegas!
    Lots of amazing community groups will be collaborating for this wonderful event including but not limited to Diverse City Civitan Metro Arts Council of Southern Nevada Clay Arts Vegas Fan Page Downtown 3RD Farmers Market 

    Rick Passo's insight:

    A little background:
    refer to



    5 parts dry red clay

    3 parts organic compost

    1 part seed

    1-2 parts water

    Combine the seed and compost. Mix in the clay. Be sure you have completely mixed these ingredients. Gradually add enough water to allow the mixture to stick together. Take a pinch of the finished mixture and roll in the palm of your hand into penny-sized round balls. Place the balls on a tray or some newspaper and dry for 24-48 hours. Scatter your seeds and water or wait for the rain.

    Please note that this is a fun and easy project, but can be a little messy!

    see also 


    additional information at 


    Seed bombing or aerial reforestation[1] is a technique of introducing vegetation to land by throwing or dropping compressed bundles of soil containing live vegetation (seed balls). Often, seed bombing projects are done with arid or off-limits (for example, privately owned) land.

    The term “seed grenade” was first used by Liz Christy in 1973 when she started the “Green Guerrillas”.[citation needed] The first seed grenades were made from balloons filled with tomato seeds, and fertilizer.[2] They were tossed over fences onto empty lots in New York City in order to make the neighborhoods look better. It was the start of the guerrilla gardening movement.[citation needed]

    'The earliest records of aerial reforestation date back from 1930. In this period, planes were used to distribute seeds over certain inaccessible mountains in Honolulu after forest fires.[1]

    Seed bombing is also widely used in Africa; where they are put in barren or simply grassy areas. With technology expanding, the contents of a seed bomb are now placed in a biodegradable container and “bombed” grenade-style onto the land. As the sprout grows, the container biodegrades into the soil. The process is usually done as a large-scale project with hundreds dropped in a single area at any one time. Provided enough water, adequate sunlight, and low competition from existing flora and fauna, seed-bombed barren land could be host to new plants in as little as a month.

    In 1987, Lynn Garrison created the Haitian Aerial Reforestation Project (HARP) in which tons of seed would be scattered from specially modified aircraft. The seeds would be encapsulated in an absorbent material. This coating would contain fertilizer, insecticide/animal repellent and, perhaps a few vegetable seeds. Haiti has a bimodal rainy season, with precipitation in spring and fall. The seeds are moistened a few days before the drop, to start germination. Tons of seed can be scattered across areas in the mountains, inaccessible to hand-planting projects.

    Another project idea was to use C-130 aircraft and altering them to drop biodegradable cones filled with fertilizer and saplings over hard-to-access areas.[3]

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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.