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Urban agriculture has taken off in a big way over the last couple of years, and this year seems to be the best yet, with first harvests from newcomers at the Battery Conservancy’s turkey-shaped farm and Gotham Greens’ hydroponic greenhouse. Brooklyn Grange is the largest rooftop farm in the country (and possibly the world), spanning some 40,000 square feet atop a former industrial building in Queens.
Added Value, located in Red Hook Brooklyn, is a non-profit farm dedicated to nurturing future generations through a variety of training programs geared towards 14 to 19-year-olds living in southern Brooklyn. Tenth Acre Farms had a humble beginning in the backyard of co-founder Jordan Hall’s apartment. Using organic growing methods means all the produce is free of harmful chemicals, however, like Brooklyn Grange, Tenth Acre has no plans to become USDA organic certified. Newcomer, The Battery Conservancy’s turkey-shaped urban farm had its very first harvest in mid-May, starting the season off right with some delicious radishes, grown by local students.
The urban farm will provide outdoor classroom space for local schools across the city, including PS 276, PS 896 and Millennium High School’s Environmental Club, who were all there to help at the open ceremony back in April.
While Gotham Greens had its first harvest this month, the hydroponic greenhouse has actually been an on-going project for a couple of years.
Because the greenhouse uses hydroponic techniques to grow its goods, less square footage is required to grow 7-8 times more food than traditional soil farming.
Please note that gratuitous links to your site are viewed as spam and may result in removed comments. LeBron James and Kyrie Irving helped end Cleveland’s 52-year championship drought with a win over the defending-champion Golden State Warriors in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals. On opposite ends of California last night, the exit of one of the league’s most singular stars and a record set by one of its most singular teams made for a spectacular end to the NBA regular season. The NBA makes social call to China, The Swiss air force puts on a display, a sunken 18th-century Spanish galleon is found off the coast of Sicily and more in today’s daily brief.
We appreciate the opportunity to provide comments on the broad consequences of deregulating MON 87460 (Docket No. Because seed is the first and most vital resource in the production chain, the integrity of seed is paramount to the success of organic and non-GE farmers. Organic farmers and seed producers also need the organic label to remain credible, as consumers reasonably assume organic means GE-free.
Costs associated with contamination – testing for contamination, reimbursement for eradicating unwanted genetically engineered material from seed stock, lost premiums, and other costs – cannot continue to be borne by the organic and non-GE farming community. When a product threatens to impact not just a single neighboring crop, but the integrity and viability of a farm and industry label, what recourse do those not choosing this technology have when seed genetics, markets, and reputation are harmed?
We urge you to take seriously contamination prevention strategies that adhere to principles of diversity, fairness, liability, precaution, sustainability, and transparency. Lastly, it is disconcerting that USDA continues to rely on data provided by the manufacturer petitioning for, and profiting from, the release of the product at hand.
USDA also has the responsibility to bolster public programs involving classical plant breeding to meet the diverse needs of farmers without putting the integrity of a valuable and growing industry at risk. No it does not – while the NOP excludes GE crops, it does not require that organic seeds or crops are free of transgenes, nor does it require testing to enforce any such absence. I think part of the problem here is that certain members of the organic community and advocates are trying to both convince consumers that absolute purity with 0% transgenes is necessary, and then turn around and say that their hands are tied by the demands of their consumers.
The ironic part in all of this is that the Organic Seed Alliance is penning opinions opposing a trait that will not only be useful in helping adapt crops to drought and the effects of climate change, it is precisely the kind of trait that could be grown in an organic agricultural system and provide benefits to that system.
As to this drought corn, I believe Pioneer already has a conventionally bred drought tolerant corn that is performing as well or better than Monsanto’s trangenic, with perhaps a 1 or 2% difference in extreme years (and a potential yield drag in normal years). It was not my intention to obscure discussion of the compensation fund idea, but to focus on how you said that the GE-free-or-not-certified stance is untenable.
Your compensation fund idea is interesting in several ways, in fact I have been mentioning it to a lot of people. Woven Meadows provides year-round free-range, pastured, organic-fed chicken eggs, and seasonal duck eggs.
Our ducks live closer to home, going into the barns for shelter, and daily range the yard and nearby pasture (taking a few trips down to the pond each day). Daily Pet NewsWoman and Dog Saved During Flood August 15, 2016A woman and her dog were rescued from their convertible moments before it sank into floodwaters in Baton Rouge.


With continued stellar production from Brooklyn Grange, Added Value, and Tenth Acre Farms, New Yorkers are definitely in for a treat this summer.
As one of the oldest urban farms in the city, Added Value has played a major role in transforming vacant lots into urban gardens and improving access to local, healthy and affordable food for Brooklynites. Since 2009 though, the trio of farmers have expanded and have taken over an abandoned basketball court at St.
Tenth Acre Farms also uses raised beds for growing which allows for a 3 to 4 week increase in their growing season because the soil cools faster in the summer and takes longer to chill in the winter. Inspired by the park’s  resident turkey, Zelda who appeared at Battery Park back in 2003 from an unknown location, the farm is protected by 5,000 repurposed bamboo poles in the shape of the fowl’s silhouette. This is the first farm at the Battery since 1625, back when New York was still New Amsterdam. Winning the New York’s Green Business competition last year gave the trio the extra boost they needed to get the impressive greenhouse project underway. This week, that includes a Beatles anniversary, an angry organic farmer and a hungry Angela Merkel doppelganger. Introducing yet another GE corn trait that is rejected by organic and non-GE farmers and the markets they serve – and, to date, has proven uncontainable – places even more undue burden on the organic and non-GE community.
Cross-pollination (and other routes of contamination) between GE and organic and other non-GE corn already increases production costs, eliminates markets for organic and non-GE producers, and harms the credibility of the organic label. Organic farmers and seed producers need seed that is free of transgenic material to meet USDA’s national organic standards, which require seed absent GE traits. Many organic farmers and businesses know their customers well, and they know these customers expect their products to be free of GE traits.
Although both the organic and biotechnology industries acknowledge that GE material is moving into fields and markets where it is not allowed or wanted, little has been done to address the problem through regulatory processes and enforcement.
Only then will we make progress toward protecting the integrity of organic and non-GE seed and feed sources. It is long past due that rigorous independent studies be initiated and considered by USDA in these decision making processes. While both the biotechnology industry and USDA claim that GE crops are the solution to feeding our growing population, side-by-side comparisons show that genetic engineering does not have an advantage when it comes to producing better crops faster.
This sentence in an official statement by the Organic Seed Alliance is false, and should be retracted. It is stated that organic consumers demand 100% freedom of transgenes, which is not actually true, by the way. Is the Organic Seed Alliance interested in forging alliances beyond the previously-drawn nation-boundaries that we have all inherited? The article clearly makes a case for accepting LLP, but ONLY under a regulatory system that collects fees from GE sector to pay for contamination above a set acceptable limit. You did not say in the article that this stance only applies if the compensation fund is generated. To a farmer, 2% is still substantial, but news reports are pegging the Pioneer corn with 5% in drought years, and Monsanto says its GE variety pushes above 6%.
I came back to this page because I read the news about drought hitting a lot of farms and affecting the crops this summer. During the grazing months, our chickens live out on the meadows with the cows, in portable shelters in electronet paddocks for protection from predators, and are provided with fresh water and certified-organic grain. Each of the five farms has something unique to offer but they are all committed to the same thing: making healthy, local food readily available for all New Yorkers. The Grange is dedicated to using organic principles in the growing process, however they are not certified organic by the USDA and has no plans to do so because this often leads unnecessary increases in costs. The farm, which uses raised beds, has “three main incentives: growing a just food system, youth empowerment, and farm-based learning” and has year-long training programs for nearly 115 neighborhood teens.
The Farm is open to visits and the team encourages folks to come check out what’s growing right in their backyards!
The posts were donated by artists Mike and Doug Starn following their exhibition, Big Bambu at the Met, and local designer Scott Dougan created the fun fencing. We look forward to the harvesting of 20 local vegetables including broccoli rabe, turnips, and summer squash. The greenhouse, located in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, will produce 80 tons of herbs and veggies throughout the year.


While the other farms on the list grow traditional fall vegetables, Gotham Greens has the advantage of growing summer veggies in the middle of February, giving some green to a usually barren landscape. In Oakland, the Golden State Warriors became the first team to win 73 games in one campaign. The Environmental Assessment does not take seriously the risks this new GE crop poses to this valuable and growing sector of agriculture. In the event contamination occurs, organic and other non-GE seed producers need those who own, promote, and profit from GE seed technologies to be held responsible for the irreparable damage contamination causes.
Any and all presence of such traits will cause their customers to lose confidence in their products. Furthermore, any discussion involving the introduction of a new GE crop must be coupled with a contamination plan to protect non-GE seed and crops. This research must examine, for example, existing work on drought-tolerant corn bred and produced in organic and sustainable farming systems – research that does not rely on a technology that does not benefit, and indeed harms, farmers who rely on organic and sustainable farming systems, and marketplaces that do not tolerate the technology. Given this fact, the lack of attention and funding for classical plant breeding in the public sector is a critical issue that must be addressed through USDA’s research programs.
Until that occurs, then we are forced to fight what I do believe to be an un-winnable war, but a necessary one to protect choices to eat food free of unacceptable levels of GE presence.
To suggest that growing corn in drought-prone western Kansas is beneficial and will mitigate climate change is a joke.
So that I understand your position clearly, you believe that until such a fund is set up – organic farms should be decertified if any GE plants show up?
I think there are more details that need to be considered, and I have asked you a couple questions about it that have gone unanswered. Now I’m not going to say before seeing more detailed information how fantastic either of these will really be, because it is still early, but I was thinking more along the lines of an open-minded approach to determining whether or not it would be beneficial. They believe that using natural growing techniques should be standard when trying to help create healthy and sustainable cities. Like all the farmers on this list, Tenth Acre’s main goal is to provide the freshest and healthiest vegetables possible to the citizens of NYC. And we believe that any new GE crop under consideration requires a full Environmental Impact Statement that looks at any potential environmental, economic and social implications of introducing the new biotechnology trait.
At a minimum, there must be a contamination compensation fund of some kind that is paid by GE crop patent holders to provide immediate assistance to those who are contaminated.
Note that absolute absence of synthetic pesticide residues is neither demanded, nor met by organic consumers and the industry, respectively.
Hopefully we might be able to discuss it in more detail in the future, but this digresses from the reason why I commented.
Matthew, you have dismissed such an approach out of hand, without suggesting that maybe there is some interesting discovery to be made that our simple human philosophies didn’t consider. They are excellent helpers in pasture renovation and maintenance, by scratching up the thatch and incorporating organic matter into the surface of the soil, while eating weed seeds and leaving behind nitrogen-rich manure. But prohibitions on their use in organics is strict, much stricter than the presence of transgenes. It’s absurd, and to promote a drought tolerant biotech trait without looking at the entire system in which it is being promoted is to not see the forest for the trees. Could the drought benefits of a soil-building organic regime and of crops bred – and engineered – to use water better not only combine well, but combine in such a way that the result is greater than the sum of its parts? In the winter months the birds come indoors for protection from the cold, living on cozy deep bedding, and are supplemented with vegetable scraps and sprouted grains for some winter greenery. Finally, I would like to note the contradiction in that you are arguing against the GE drought-tolerant corn because it is not needed or would be bad for Kansas and beyond, yet, you also say that drought-tolerant non-GE corn would be fine to buy. Apart from cost, I think deciding whether or not the trait would be beneficial to farmers is independent of how it is derived.




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Comments

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