Why they garden, plus organophosphate escapes ban

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A sustainable e-newsletter from GrowerTalks and Green Profit GrowerTalks MagazineGreen Profit Magazine

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Jennifer Duffield White Subscribe

Kids Inspired to Garden?
Evolving CSAs 
Chlorpyrifos Not Banned
Publix Reinvests in Organic
A Cut Flower Revolution?

Inspiration for KidsGarden Month
The folks at KidsGardening.org are running an inspirational campaign for their KidsGarden month in April. They’ve been sharing and soliciting stories about how gardening changes lives. During the month of April, they’re running a Facebook contest to promote the idea of #GardeningChangesLives. 
You’ll find videos from the likes of Joe Lamp’l as well as young gardeners. Check it out HERE. It might make some great social media content for your garden center. 

CSAs: Growers Find New Ways to Cater to Consumers
Last fall, I signed up for my first-ever CSA share. I’ve always been more of a DIYer, but I spent more time camping last summer than I did planting the garden, and I didn’t have the robust harvest of past years. So I signed up and started picking up a box of vegetables—root veggies, greens grown in cold frames, and an occasional canned or frozen veggie from their summer harvest.  Granted, I ended up with a real surplus of turnips I didn’t know what to do with, but I loved it and looked forward to each pickup day. 
Community supported agriculture (CSA) has changed a lot since the 1980s. The farmer selling food shares directly to the consumer has helped many growers find a stable income flow. These days, the CSA models are getting more innovative and consumer centric. They’re adding new products, finding ways to extend the season, collaborating with multiple farms, creating innovative marketing collaborations, finding new delivery strategies and even seeking out health and wellness alliances. 
The farm I used combines the CSA model with regular sales to restaurants, grocery stores and local farmers’ markets. They also offer herb and cut flower shares. 
If you’re interested in the various CSA models, check out the new USDA report “Community Supported Agriculture: New Models for Changing Markets.”  It features a number of case studies that look at new ways to increase consumer support. 

EPA Gives Chlorpyrifos the Green Light
At the end of March, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officially announced that they would not ban chlorpyrifos. It’s been a long road of up and downs for the common insecticide. 
Back in 2000, Dow AgroSciences and all other chlorpyrifos registrants reached a voluntary agreement with the EPA to phase out residential uses of chlorpyrifos. The EPA had been considering a petition from environmental groups to further ban agricultural uses of the organophosphate insecticide. In October 2015, it appeared that the EPA was going to support the ban. But last month, under the new administration, the EPA announced they would not ban chlorpyriphos. They did, however, state, “We will continue to review the science addressing neurodevelopmental effects of chlorpyrifos as part of the ongoing registration review and complete our assessment by the statutory deadline of October 1, 2022.” 
Read the latest stance from the EPA HERE.

Publix Reinvests in Organic Markets
In February, Whole Foods announced they would be closing nine stores. They had just logged six consecutive quarters of declining same-store sales. Gone are the days when high-end grocers were the only source for organic food.
While Whole Foods may be hurting, other retailers are still rapidly pursuing the still-growing organic market. Publix Super Markets is putting more emphasis on organics, saying they will open a new GreenWise Market, dedicated to organic products, in Florida, in 2018. The supermarket chain first launched GreenWise in 2003 and currently has three locations.

Further Reading: Cut Flower Revolution
The New York Times just said, “This country is in the midst of a floral revolution.” They opine that social media has made room for a creative flourish of more seasonal (if not slightly odd) floral arrangements that bring us back to nature. 
But the article, which you can read HERE, also brings up the issue of origin, pitting foreign-produced cut flowers against local flower farmers. 

Until next time,

Jennifer Duffield White

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