Shinecast 016: Skye Borden Returns to the Land

Episode 016 of the Shine Springs Farm Shinecast features an interview with Skye Borden and her quest to grow and raise most of her family's food. Skye, an environmental lawyer/writer and her husband returned to their home state of Alabama 2 years ago after living in Vermont for several years. Check out her story here (or download via iTunes and doubleTwist).     … [Read more...]

014 Shinecast: Water Policy, Water Use

We talk water use, water policy and water rights with Mitch Reid, program director for the Alabama Rivers Alliance, in this week's episode of the Shine Springs Farm Shinecast. The focus of this episode is how water policy and a comprehensive water resources management plan helps to ensure everyone who needs water has reasonable access. Water uses include drinking and residential use, … [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...]

Alabama Irrigation Project & Water Management

Even in a water rich state like Alabama, where average annual rainfall is plentiful,  agricultural irrigation can provide the difference between success and failure. Ask anyone who has a backyard garden. For the medium and large-scale farming operations, though, irrigation is not a widely-used practice in Alabama. The absence of irrigation has probably contributed to the decline in agriculture … [Read more...]

Wild & Scenic Film Festival (Preview)

I'm excited that I'll finally be able to attend the Wild & Scenic Film Festival, an annual event of the Alabama Rivers Alliance and the Alabama Environmental Council. I'm thinking my favorites will be Water Loving Doggies, Rosa & A GASP for Clean Air. You can see a complete list of films here and buy tickets here. Trailer for A GASP for Clean Air:   … [Read more...]

Water: The Resource We Can’t Take For Granted

Alabama is a water-rich state. Alabama has 77,000 miles of rivers and stream and ranks sixth in the nation for the most continuously-flowing streams. Our waters sustain us physically, recreationally and economically. Alabama also has 47 reservoirs larger than 500 acres that cover 551,220 acres and 23 Alabama State Public Fishing Lakes. The waters of Alabama provide a major economic … [Read more...]

Rain Barrel Filled to Overflowing…

My new rain barrel filled to overflowing in less than 20 minutes this afternoon. Before today's thunderstorm—a real "gullywasher"—the barrel was about 20-25% full thanks to a brief shower over the weekend. Given the short duration of that rain, I was shocked at how much collected. Based on the weekend collection, I knew today's heavy rain would fill the barrel. But I had no idea it would fill … [Read more...]

Making A Rain Barrel

I spent a couple of hours at the Lauderdale County Extension Office on Wednesday, July 6, making rain barrels. Mom and I learned a great deal about how to use the rain barrels to catch water and, more significantly, how to use the rain barrels in a systematic way to run a drip irrigation system to our gardens and landscaping. Chris Becker, regional extension for home grounds, gardens and home … [Read more...]