Field Studies

OnEarth • July 8, 2014

A few early-summer visits to the local farmer’s market are usually all it takes to turn us into cheerleaders for the American farm. But if you really want to know about the current state of farming in the U.S.A. (as opposed to merely knowing the current state of this summer’s heirloom tomatoes), you’ll need some real, hard facts.

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One Stop Shop

Plenty • July 6, 2007

A couple years ago, Veronica Uy, a staffer for the Philadelphia-based food justice group the Food Trust, got an intriguing assignment: Visit the country’s biggest and best farmers’ markets—and help create something similar in the City of Brotherly Love.

It was a perfect fit for Uy, a Filipina-Canadian transplant to the States who developed a passion for food markets during a trip to Southeast Asia. She’d recently dropped a fledgling career as a computer programmer to work on food issues, and the project came with a double lure. Not only would a flagship market appeal to Uy’s foodie instincts, (she’s an avid home cook) it would highlight the local produce available in the city—and help publicize the fact that in Philly, most farmers’ markets accept food stamps and other government benefit coupons.

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From Soil to Stoops: The Local Food Movement Hits Urban America

Plenty • June/August 2007

There’s a subtle irony embedded in our current national craving for locally grown food: Cities, the antithesis of the countryside, have arguably become the easiest place to indulge it. The rise of farmers’ markets and buying clubs has transformed urban food possibilities and the economic viability of small American farmers. It’s a radical shift, and one driven not by market forces or government, but by the work of a burgeoning cadre of activists from coast to coast. Driven by the belief that everyone should have access to fresh, local food, these visionaries are changing the contents of city shoppers’ carts from Philadelphia’s tony Society Hill to the gritty edges of Oakland, California. Enjoy!

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For a Scrappy Neighborhood, a Scent of Farm Fresh

The New York Times • July 10, 2005

After 17 years, Joanne Grant knows Bushwick. So when she looked out her kitchen window and saw a farmer unloading his bounty onto her Brooklyn street Wednesday morning, she knew something was up.

Still clad in slippers and an aqua housedress, her hair tucked under a nightcap, Ms. Grant headed over to the farmer and waited in line to buy the three bunches of broccoli she clutched in her hand. But she also watched her front door anxiously.

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