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globalbriefs


News and resources to inspire concerned citizens to work together in building a healthier, stronger society that benefits all.


Touch Nature Vacation Down on the Farm


With the family farm an endangered institution, urbanites have a growing desire to reconnect with America’s rural countryside. Farm Stay U.S. found- er Scottie Jones, of Leaping Lamb Farm, in Oregon, is showing the way with a directory of farms that welcome visitors.


California Dreamin’ Golden State Leads in


Clean Energy Standards


In the nation’s most aggressive clean energy legislation to date, California will require utilities in the state to obtain at least 33 percent of their elec- tricity from clean, renewable sources such as the wind and sun by 2020, revising the previous standard of 20 percent by 2010 (they hit 18 percent, on track for the full 20 by 2012). Ad- opted as part of a green jobs stimulus package, “Today’s vote is not just a victory for California’s economy and environment, but for the entire na- tion,” says Laura Wisland, an energy analyst at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).


The new standard garnered the backing of a broad range of electric utilities, ratepayer groups, environ- mental organizations and renewable energy businesses. The UCS esti- mates that the state will be respon- sible for more than 25 percent of the renewable energy generated by state standards across the country in 2020. The amount of heat-trapping global warming emissions displaced as a result will be equivalent to removing about 3 million cars from the road. A 2011 Gallup poll found that of eight actions the U.S. Congress could take this year—from overhauling the tax code and immigration reform to speedy withdrawal of our troops from Afghanistan—Americans most favor an energy bill that provides incen- tives for using alternative energy; 83 percent said, “Do it!”


Jones and her team have seen firsthand how guests are nourished by their farm-stay experienc- es, reaping indelible memories of the lost rhythm of farm life. They return to their daily lives with an appreciation for farming and a greater likelihood of supporting local farms and food production through their everyday purchases.


Jones hopes that Farm Stay U.S. will provide an economic, educational and even spiritual bridge for both rural and urban Americans eager to expand their stewardship of the land with their newfound friends.


Search a wide range of farm types, activities and amenities by state at FarmStayUS.com.


Local Eats Feds Boost Support for Local Farm-to-School Meals


A new ruling by the U.S. De- partment of Agriculture (USDA) underscores the federal govern- ment’s intent to encourage use of local farm products in school meals. It allows schools and other providers to give preference to unprocessed, locally grown and locally raised agricultural prod- ucts for school-based nutrition assistance programs.


“This rule is an important milestone that will help ensure


that our children have access to fresh produce and other agricultural products,” confirms Agriculture Undersecretary Kevin Concannon. “It will also give a much- needed boost to local farmers and agricultural producers.” Part of the landmark Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 signed into law by President Obama—which improves the critical nutrition and hunger safety net for millions of children—the rule supports USDA’s Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative and builds on the 2008 Farm Bill designed to revitalize rural economies by supporting local and regional food systems. USDA expects Ameri- cans’ spending for locally grown food to rise from an estimated $4 billion in 2002 to as much as $7 billion by 2012.


For more information, visit fns.usda.gov/cnd/f2s. natural awakenings June 2011 15


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