Farm Progress

The Lazarus thread. One man feeding multitudes. TomKat. Nuts outsell houses. Starbucks bought the farm. Vanishing lakes. Gunfire and grapes. Killing cane workers.

Chris Bennett

February 21, 2014

2 Min Read


1. Starbucks Bought the Farm

Every year Starbucks buys over 500 million pounds of unroasted coffee beans (3 percent of global supply), and last year bought a 600-acre coffee farm in Costa Rica to experiment with growing its own beans. (Businessweek)

2. When Nuts Outsell Houses

The math is not complicated: When housing lots are selling for $10,000 per acre, and potential walnut acreage is going for $15,000 per acre (not to mention established walnut ground at $25,000 per acre), the choice to plant, rather than build, is easy to understand. (Sacramento Bee)

3. Organic or Conventional … Maybe Both

Pay what you will for fruits and vegetables, it’s thankfully a free market, but organic claims don’t always measure up. (Slate)

4. The Vanishing Lakes

It’s not just the Dead Sea or Aral Sea … more of the disappearing lakes. (Smithsonian)

5. One Man Feeding Multitudes

“As a man soweth, so shall he reap,” is printed on his business cards and Jacko Garrett backs his beliefs with action. Garrett, a 70-year-old Texas farmer, has donated 6 million pounds of rice to charity. (Houstonia)

TomKat, Gunfire and Grapes

6. What’s Killing the Cane Workers?

What’s behind an unexplained kidney disease epidemic among sugar workers in Central America? (Scientific American)

7. Water-Cleaning Technology Could Help Farmers?

Can WaterFX tap a contaminated water resource and do it for less than the normal cost of desalinization? (New York Times)

8. The Lazarus Thread

Made in the USA: Lazarus is walking down U.S. textile factory floors: $54 billion in 2012 shipments and 223,000 jobs. Yarn, thread, and fabric production is rolling tight and growing. (USA Today)

9. Gunfire and grapes

Syria's civil war caused the country's only commercial winery, Bargylus, to abandon ship just before harvest, nearly costing the 2013 vintage. (Decanter)

10. TomKat Ranch a World Away From Wall Street

What does Tom Steyer’s TomKat Ranch have in common with his $20-billion hedge fund? Nothing really. (Bloomberg TV)


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