Local foods movement in full swing across region:
As a local foods movement is blossoming in Northern Nevada, many producers are doing their own research.
Doubletree Ranch owners John and Carol Shank and SunScience, a Reno manufacturer, are experimenting with solar power to warm a greenhouse and grow vegetables.
“We’ve been established three years now and we’re learning together and doing this with private money,” said John Shank, who owns a small spread near Lovelock.
With the 1,800 square-foot greenhouse and five hoop houses, Shank said he expects to sell a lot more produce this year. He also will sell starter plants to other gardeners for the first time. Last year, he sold more than 3,000 pounds of tomatoes.
–Read the rest of the article, including ideas about how University of Nevada, Reno can use its farm land to help local growers and to perform research, at RGJ.com.
Growers Fear for UNR Farms, local-food backers say selling meadows wastes opportunities:
Only three research projects are under way at the University of Nevada’s Main Farm station in Reno, the last green fields not yet slated for development in the Truckee Meadows.
But local-food supporters say it’s easy to imagine what could happen. At the 1,049-acre farm, 800 acres are irrigated and could feed a lot of people. People could learn about small-scale agriculture and research could be done to improve the state’s crop and livestock production on the high desert. Student farms and apprenticeships are growing across the country.
–Read more at RGJ.com.
UNR has sold farmlands in past:
To balance its budget during the Great Depression, the university sold a farm on South Virginia Street in 1931 and auctioned award-winning breeding stock for cattle, dairy cattle and sheep for meat prices.
In 2005, the Nevada Board of Regents sold off the first piece of University Farms and will be asked in March to use some of the proceeds to pay off debt owed on the closed fire science academy near Elko.
–Read more at RGJ.com.
In 2003, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension teamed up with local ranchers, businesses and nonprofit groups to capitalize on this rare gathering of majestic birds. They launched tours and related events that are held in conjunction with the calving season, and the event came to known as Eagles and Agriculture. This month it celebrates its 10th anniversary when the program is held from Feb. 24-26.Cooperative Extension Douglas County Extension Educator Steve Lewis, said Eagles and Agriculture is aimed at educating Nevadans while creating economic opportunities in Douglas County.“Eagles and Agriculture is meant to encourage the conservation and prosperity of agriculture in western Nevada, create and demonstrate sustainable agricultural tourism, promote the benefits of agriculture and wildlife relationships, and educate Nevadans about the history of agriculture and eagle habitats in Douglas County,” Lewis said. –Read more at The Record-Courier website.
Eagles and Agriculture celebrates 10 years of tours:
The demand from retailers and restaurants for locally grown products is paying dividends for northern Nevada’s farmers.Take Chris Foster, owner of Hidden Valley Honey.Foster began producing honey full time after losing his job as a molecular biologist, but it wasn’t until the small Reno company placed its products in Whole Foods Market that business really took off.Hidden Valley Honey has a coveted six-foot-tall display at Whole Foods that Foster re-stocks with about 500 pounds of honey every week.Hidden Valley Honey sells almost as much honey to Whole Foods as it sells to 14 different Scolari’s locations, Foster says.“If it wasn’t for that display, I don’t think the honey would move that well — it would disappear on the shelf. But having its own stand sets it apart and that has helped sales a lot,” he says.
Farmers enjoying increased demand for local products:
Hidden Valley Honey, which also sells beeswax candles, soap and lip balm, was recruited by Scolari’s two years ago as the demand rose for local goods. Hidden Valley Honey recently landed its products in Raley’s and three other Whole Foods stores in California as well, and Foster and his wife, Karen, estimate they are selling roughly 40,000 pounds of honey each year.
–Read more at the Northern Nevada Business Weekly website.