Even though it's summertime, there's agricultural news right in our backyard. Here are 5 local good-news stories you might have missed, so we've rounded them up. Read up on the new ideas growing here in the Valley, and maybe gain some inspiration.
USDA Launches Website for New Farmers and Ranchers There's a lot to know about starting a farm, especially if farming is not in your family. According to the FFA, the site (http://www.usda.gov/newfarmers) "takes users through a step-by-step process in creating an operations." These steps include education and technical assistance, acquiring land and capital, managing risk and financial management.
City of Tempe To Create Farm and Garden on Golf Course Site, More Community Gardens Expanding Tempe's Rio Salado Golf Course is in the process of being turned into a community garden and farm, with assistance from Ken Singh of Singh Farms. The 63 acre site will become "an urban farm and garden that could include a farmers market, community garden space, plant nursery and educational programs," according to the city's website. Other notable large garden expansions include Cancer Treatment Centers of America's Goodyear campus adding another 66 acres of land to their garden and a large hoop house at the St. Vincent de Paul garden in south Phoenix is nearly finished and will be used for plant propagation, microgreens, tropicals, Aquaponics and Vermicomposting.
Gilbert Startup Creates App for Herd Management Gilbert-based startup, GESDATE LLC, has built a mobile and web application to help farmers with herd management. Available soon for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, the app helps managers make decisions along with tracking breedings, sales, vaccinations and more. Prices range from free to $229.99, and while testers right now are all out of state, cheers to this innovative app for being locally grown.
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North Mountain Brewery Partners with Local Company to Turn Spent Grain Into Compost North Mountain Brewery recently partnered with Recycled City to compost food waste and utilize spent grains to make Bokashi. As we all know bokashi cuts composting time in half and is great for use in the desert. Recycled City started composting services with the brewery in March 2014, and recently began picking up spent grain. Recycled City Co-Owner Tiera Allen says, "Previously, Recycled City was buying wheat bran to make the Bokashi. "Now that North Mountain Brewing has us pick up their spent grain, we can use that to create the Bokashi instead." The brewery collects their food waste, which Recycled City picks-up and takes back to their urban farms where the food waste is then broken down into compost. North Mountain also has plans to donate their earned compost to a near by community garden.
Plants Can Heal: Arizona State University Scientist's Research Made Tobacco-Derived Drug for Ebola Possible An Arizona State University scientist's work led to an experimental drug recently taken by two health care workers who became ill with the deadly Ebola virus. ASU's Biodesign Institute's Charles Arntzen began a study in 2002 of Ebola-fighting drugs. The tobacco-derived drug ZMapp was developed by California's Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc. and according to many news sources, the drug is made by a Kentucky company owned by the tobacco company Reynolds American Inc. Arntzen is still at ASU and continues to work on other plant-derived research and findings.