Learn From The Past, Don’t Replicate It

I've been reading Zero to One by Peter Thiel as I move into the next phase of my Shinecast® business and thought this quote would be a good reminder to share as I began to promote the Ignite Alabama podcast and resource website to Spark Innovation in Alabama. More later. … [Read more...]

Publicly-Traded Companies: Idea Machine, Day 34

Today's Idea Machine topic is to list 10 companies that I use often and find out if they are publicly-traded on a stock exchange. This topic seems a bit random, so I'm guessing it will come up again at some point later in the book. Perhaps as the basis for coming up with ideas of businesses I could start to offer a product or service that competes with these companies. Maybe James Altucher … [Read more...]

Bye-Bye Lemonade Stand: Day 33

It's Day 33 of the Idea Machine Project and today's topic is business ideas for kids. The premise that is that today's kids are so tech-competent that the traditional lemonade stand is passé. Here are my 10 business ideas for kids, other than the lemonade stand. The first 5 are do-able today. The second 5 will be viable opportunities within 18 months, if they aren't already. 1. Dog … [Read more...]

Ideas and the Revival of The Ben Franklin Follies

After a long hiatus from publishing new content on The Ben Franklin Follies, the site is suddenly active again. As I explained a while back, I've been trying to figure out how best to focus The Ben Franklin Follies around a theme that makes it easier to explain what the site is about. At the same time, in an effort to better organize my writing and interests, over the past 18 months or so I've … [Read more...]

008 Shine Springs Farm Shinecast: Jan Hoadley & Slow Money Farm

This week's Shine Springs Farm Shinecast features an interview with Jan Hoadley of Slow Money Farm. Jan shares her farming philosophy, offers tips for cooking rabbit and talks about the importance of community in farming.   Jan and her family raise poultry, rabbits and produce at Slow Money Farm. Jan blogs about Life, Farm & Food at Slow Money Farm. She's also a Ag Chat … [Read more...]

006 Shine Springs Farm Shinecast Featuring J3 Organics

Episode 006 features a detailed update on what's growing this Fall at Shine Springs Farm and a conversation with John Obert Jr. of J3 Organics LLC, a family-owned composting business in Bessemer, Alabama.   What's Growing at Shine Springs Farm Pak choi and golden turnips are looking great. I can start clipping those for greens any day now. Lots of kale on the way. Kohlrabi is slow to … [Read more...]

004 Shine Springs Farm Podcast Episode 004

This week's episode of the Shinecast features an interview with Jen Barnett, co-owner of Freshfully, a local-foods market in Birmingham, Alabama (and beyond) with a mission to make more local food available to more people—more conveniently. Freshfully is starting to expand to other cities across the Southeast. If you're a farmer and want to sell through Freshfully or a locavore looking for … [Read more...]

Women Leaders in Local Foods: USDA & White House Hangout

Tuesday afternoon, July 17, I tuned in for the White House Hangout on Local Foods. The specific focus: Women leaders in agriculture and food policy who are working to build local food systems in their respective regions. The program was fast-paced, but fortunately there's a YouTube video: See below. Speakers: Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Kathleen Merrigan Baltimore Mayor Stephanie … [Read more...]

Huntsville Local Foods Tasting to Benefit Food Bank

As part of my research to identify who is working on local food systems in Alabama I had the great fortune of discovering a local foods event in Huntsville, Alabama a few days ahead of time--I usually find out about these types of events the day after or five minutes before. Fortunately, for me, the North Alabama Food Bank has a great local foods initiative underway and lots of information on its … [Read more...]

UVM Food Systems Summit Public Conference: Storify Recap

Last week I was a part of the University of Vermont's Breakthrough Leaders Program. As part of our VERY intensive week of food systems leadership training, the Breakthrough Leaders attended the UVM Public Conference: "Leading the Necessary [r]Evolution for Sustainable Food Systems: AMPLIFIED" held on Thursday, June 28, 2012 from 1-6 p.m. During the public conference I took as many notes as I … [Read more...]