Weekly Column

A 7-step recipe for a community garden

A community garden is a way to grow delicious, fresh produce and to bring together neighbors and community members. A community garden also requires buy-in from the community, proactive planning, and ongoing maintenance.

Every community is unique, and every garden has different needs and ingredients for success. Here are tips for a successful, sustainable community garden:

1. Plan ahead. Don’t feel like you need to plant all at once. Space plantings so you have a harvest most weeks.

Transmission lines provide a pathway for renewable energy

The Midwest has experienced a renewable energy boom. Renewables have provided the region with clean, low-cost energy and created new economic development opportunities for communities. The expansion of renewable energy has presented a challenge—the electric grid was not designed to connect wind and solar generation to customers. Taking full advantage of the region’s clean energy resources requires a concerted effort to improve existing electric transmission infrastructure.

Field needs to be leveled for family farmers

Sen. Grassley (IA) and Rep. Fortenberry (NE) are standing up for family farmers in very tough times. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced they plan to release regulations this year addressing payments to family farms. These payments offer essential support to family farmers, but current loopholes are exploited by the largest farms that sometimes receive hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars in payments.

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