October 16th, 2012
01:15 PM ET
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Miranda Lynch believes a vegetable garden has the power to revolutionize a community.

It's the idea behind of Isipho, the nonprofit organization Lynch conceived when she was just 12 years old. It all started in 2008 when her father, Tom, won a trip to South Africa at an auction.

The father-daughter adventure began with a stay on a wild game reserve in KwaZulu-Natal. Assuming it would be the only time he and his daughter would set foot in South Africa, Tom wanted Miranda to see more than the commercialized landscape of the reserve.

"It was important, as she was turning 13 that year, for her to see that the world that she knew was not the entire world," Tom says.

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Filed under: Charity • Food Politics • Gardening • Gardening • Hunger • News • South Africa • World Food Day

CSI: CSA – kohlrabi, a highly adaptable space octopus
August 21st, 2012
01:30 PM ET
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Stacy Cowley is CNNMoney's tech editor. She's in a complicated relationship with her CSA and explores the odd vegetables that show up in her haul in CSI: CSA. Previously, she discovered the weedy joys of purslane.

If you’ve got kohlrabi in your fridge, you’re probably in a CSA. I’ve never met a single person who has procured a kohlrabi in the wild*.

I’d certainly never run across one until my CSA started sticking them in its shares. With most new produce, I can at least take a guess at its likely texture and taste. With kohlrabi, I had absolutely no clue. Its appearance has famously been described by nutritionist Jonny Bowden as “a cross between an octopus and a space capsule."

Lacking any idea where to start, I hit the Internets. First step: Figuring out what to make. Kohlrabi turns out to be obscure but incredibly versatile - you can use it in pretty much anything that works well with root vegetables, but it will also stretch in unusual directions.

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Filed under: CSA • CSI: CSA • Gardening

Building an out-of-this-world menu for Mars
August 3rd, 2012
04:30 PM ET
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As the rover Curiosity makes its journey to Mars, food scientists on Earth are exploring whether astronauts with a green thumb will be the key to feeding at least a six-person crew on a future mission to the Red Planet.

"The big challenge is having a food system that is going to work for that long-duration mission," says Michele Perchonok, NASA's Advanced Food Technology Project Scientist.

A “Martian greenhouse” is one of the food systems being considered for a manned mission to Mars, which isn't scheduled until the 2030s.

It takes six months just to get to Mars and the team in charge of food, including Perchonok, is responsible for feeding the crew every day for two and a half years.

“If we didn't go with the plant-based bioregenerative food system, and all we did was provide packaged food for a 1,000-day mission for a crew of six, it’s about 20,000 pounds of food plus packaging," she says.

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Filed under: Gardening • Make • Travel

Feeding a family of four for $100 a month
July 13th, 2012
01:45 PM ET
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To housewife Mavis Butterfield of Gig Harbor, Washington, saving money is a game. And she isn't afraid to roll up her sleeves to win.

No, this thrifty, coupon-clipping mother of two plans on growing 2,000 pounds of fresh food this year right out of her own back yard. Armed with 1.25 acres of planting space, Mavis says spending less on groceries and growing as much food as possible is great way to save those pennies.

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Filed under: Buzz • Fit Nation Farming • Gardening • Gardening • iReport

June 29th, 2012
06:45 PM ET
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“Look at these...beautiful, purple. We just harvested these too.” Sam Kass brushes away the leaves to reveal Japanese eggplants.

It’s a beautiful summer day in Washington, DC. Instead of toiling in a government office building, Kass is digging in a backyard garden. And it's not just any garden; he’s in the White House kitchen garden. Kass is a White House assistant chef, working his dream job.

Chefs with Issues: Buying food is a political act
June 4th, 2012
04:00 PM ET
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Chefs with Issues is a platform for chefs and farmers we love, fired up for causes about which they're passionate. Jay Pierce is the chef at Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen in Greensboro and Cary, North Carolina and frequently contributes to Edible Piedmont Magazine and the restaurant's Farm-to-Fork blog.

As this year’s political season wends its way to Election Day, we voters will be implored to act, decide, stand up for what we believe in.  Our voice matters; as every child learns in school, one vote can make a difference.  No matter how disaffected or energized you are by rhetorical jousting about healthcare, debt ceilings or foreign aid, there is one topic that hits close to everyone’s home: buying and eating food. 

May 29th, 2012
01:00 PM ET
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May 9th, 2012
10:45 AM ET
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Eight years ago, 52-year-old flight attendant Louise Tremblay thought she had finally found her dream home tucked into the woods in the Quebec countryside. But, as she attempted to draw a relaxing bath her first night in the house, she realized quickly that something was amiss. The tub filled a scant two inches and she realized to her horror that she had poured her entire life's savings into a home with no viable source of water. The house, as it turned out, had been built atop an old garbage dump.

The nearest neighbor was unwilling to work with her to fix the shared, faulty well and city officials would not allow her to dig a new one. Drained of financial resources, she looked around to take stock of her surroundings. "I had my garden to keep me alive," she said. "I had my vegetable garden to keep me healthy."

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Filed under: Feature • Fit Nation • Fit Nation Farming • Gardening • Gardening • iReport • Urban Gardening

iReport: Grow it and show it
April 19th, 2012
02:00 PM ET
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There are lots of reasons to grow your own food. It’s cheaper, safer, healthier, better for the environment, and even reduces stress.

So this year, we challenge you to grow one thing for your dinner table: Herb, vegetable, fruit … just one thing that you cultivate yourself.

Whether you're using a rooftop, countertop, or community garden, if you're blessed with full sun or none, we invite you to join the iReport kitchen garden club - and chronicle your successes and foibles through photos and video.

We'll all learn together.

Let's get started! See the garden assignment on iReport.

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Filed under: Buzz • Gardening • Gardening • iReport • Local Food • Rooftop Gardening • Urban Gardening

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