Ditching the Cubicle For the Pasture

Our friend Edith Zimmerman, who wrote this piece about the young farmers who call themselves the Greenhorns, just told us about a new Greenhorns’ Web documentary. What is it like, to ditch the city and figure out how to be a farmer?

It is hard work, and it takes years to make sense of it all, and nobody’s making Silicon Valley wages, but my god what a beautiful place. And look at these healthy young adults, able to move around of their own accord, outside in the pasture, surrounded by green hills and ramshackle barns. (more…)

Berkeley Farmers Market

Farmers Markets: The New Grocery Industry Trade Show

What’s the new trade show for new grocery food? Try your local farmers market. That’s where Neal Gottleib’s ice cream took off, and that’s where Whole Foods found his organic ice cream, at the Berkeley Farmers Market.

Most people think of farmers’ markets as a place to pick up healthy food from mom-and-pop-operations, but it can also be a breeding ground for entrepreneurship. In fact, grocery stores often visit them looking for new ideas, said Harv Singh, a “forager” for Whole Foods’ Northern California region. “A farmers’ market is like an incubator for food companies,” he said.

In 1980, there were about 1,800 farmers markets across the country. Now there are nearly 6,000 and they’re the agora in the full sense of the word: community meeting places, usually outdoors, a Saturday or Sunday morning ritual that fills the need once served by churches. (more…)