Keeping your money green: Weekly roundup

When I was in business school in 1999 and 2000, the entrepreneurial program was packed with young capitalists trying to make money online. Everything ended in "dotcom" (or, if you were cool, "dotnet.") If we were to have been faced with a business plan about farming in the famously launchity "entrepreneurial management" course? We probably would have laughed our classmate off the PowerPoint projector.

Not so today. This week the world is full of people getting money for things like organic fertilizer and soy-free chickens:
  • An innovative incubator in New England, the Vermont Food Venture Center, helps small farmers by letting them rent commercial kitchen space and gives advice on "adding value to raw ingredients." Farmers in the small town of Hardwick, Vermont are working together in other ways, sharing tractors and trading resources, co-marketing, and lending one another working capital.
  • The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has always been committed to fighting hunger in third-world countries. This year, the charity doubled its commitment to African agriculture with $306 million in grants going towards causes such as developing drought-tolerant maize.
  • A few weeks ago, Will Allen got big press after receiving the MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant for his super-green vertical growing operation meant to bring fresh food, produce and fish to the "food deserts" of urban America.
  • Too broke to travel with your kids? Try a family farmstay, where you can get cheap lodging in exchange for hard work. But those photos of your children nuzzling lambs and milking cows will be worth the early mornings. [via DeliciousBaby]
  • I wrote earlier today about the idea of spending my time and resources teaching my kids to farm instead of saving for college. In this financial climate, it makes sense.
In the spirit of this week's roundup, Thursday, October 16 is World Hunger Day. Why not pledge all the money you would have spent on food toward a charity meant to reduce hunger and promote farming education among people living in poverty, like this Food Works program on Sauvie's Island, in Portland, Oregon?
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