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FOUA Winter 2018 Meeting: Climate Change & New Board Members

posted Jan 26, 2018, 9:14 AM by Arlington Friends of Urban Agriculture - FOUA   [ updated Feb 13, 2018, 7:16 AM ]
Our Winter 2018 meeting on Climate Change, Agriculture and Our Food was well attended. Our panel presented a wide range of information on climate change impacts on food plants, pests and production, plant variety changes, techniques to address the coming changes, and the role of policy and governmental planning to steer change in practices.

Kirsten Conrad, Natural Resources Extension Agent,
focused on how plants are physiologically affected by heat and other climate change impacts and outlined expected changes in foods that will grow in this region. She emphasized that high nighttime temperatures are often overlooked when talking about how rising temperatures are damaging plants. High nighttime temperatures increase plant respiration rates, which reduces biomass accumulation and crop yield. Kirsten ended her talk with a list of handy tips for how gardeners can adapt to the changing climate. Click here for her full presentation.

Don Weber, USDA Research Entomologist, discussed changes in pests and beneficial insects and adaptive approaches to controlling pests. Don focused on how microenvironments, microclimates (such as urban heat islands) and temperature extremes impact insects the most. He also provided a list of tips for gardeners, very similar to Kirsten’s list. Click here for his full presentation.

Tod Wickersham, Biodiversity for a Livable Climate and Beneficial Results, LLC, opened our discussion with an overview of climate change trends and how our weather is getting “weird.” He then highlighted how the use of regenerative agriculture and ecological restoration brings carbon back into soil and heals the climate. He highlighted ways that gardeners can bring regenerative practices to their own gardens and how people can work within their communities, and at the state and national levels to promote policies and regulations that will increase regenerative agriculture practices. Click here for his full presentation.

At our meeting, we also voted in three new board members: Robin Broder, Clean Water & Local Food Advocate and Nonprofit Consultant; Andrew Rude, Retired from Agency for International Development and USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service, and Nanda Setlur, a CPA and small business owner, Urban Farm Greens, a vertical hydroponic farming venture.

We want to thank Thomas Schneider, an original member of the Steering Committee and Board member, who has resigned so he can grow his nonprofit Rooftop Roots. He will continue to coordinate our Spring Potting Party with Marymount University.

We thank Arlington Central Library for once again providing a great venue for our meeting. We thank Pu Wen Lee from AFAC and Kirsten Conrad for bringing displays.