Can you feel it—Spring that is? Maybe not yet...especially given the snowfall from Winter Storm Stella. But while we wait for its full arrival on March 20, there’s cause for pause as we recognize some of March’s special milestones: National Ag Day, World Water Day and National Nutrition Month.
National Ag Day—March 21, 2017—Hosted by the Agriculture Council of America, this day is dedicated to raising the public’s awareness about the abundance agriculture provides our society. The 2017 theme is Food for Life and with ~9 billion people to feed by 2050, certainly a relevant one. Interesting agriculture facts from the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) include: 7,755 working farms statewide, 80% of these farms are family-owned and MA has a #6 national ranking for CSA participation. For our part, Nourse Farm will be observing National Ag Day by getting back in the greenhouse, planting seeds, transplanting seedlings, and preparing the fields.
World Water Day—March 22nd, 2017—an international day created by the United Nations as a way to learn more about the world’s most precious resource. Interesting water facts from the United Nations (UN) include: 663 million people lack access to a safe water supply, new efforts to reduce and reuse wastewater are being piloted in agriculture across the globe, even for activities like cooling and irrigation. At Nourse Farm, we work to ensure appropriate water utilization—our new pump increases irrigation efficiency and the 2016 perennial plantings on sloped fields more effectively contain run off, lessening erosion and water loss.
National Nutrition Month—all of March—the annual campaign hosted by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics promotes the importance of informed food choices that contribute to healthy eating and physical activity habits. This year’s theme is “Put Your Best Fork Forward” serves as a reminder that we all hold a tool to make healthier food choices. Interesting nutrition resources include: the USDA 10 Tips Series (free food and nutrition tips and tricks), the Dietary Guidelines for American guidance on estimated daily calorie needs, and the suggestions from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics for ways to participate in National Nutrition Month. Nourse Farm is participating throughout Westborough at school and community events and has a new cookbook available for download.
I hope that you enjoyed this food for thought as you March toward April.