GOOD
Photo by Stella de Smit on Unsplash

There was once a time in Florida where you could park your boat in your front lawn, but you were SOL if you wanted to grow squash and lettuce there. However, thanks to one Miami Shores couple, that's about to change.

Hermine Ricketts and Tom Carroll had been growing a front yard garden for 17 years, but in 2013, Miami Shores changed its city ordinance, making the activity illegal. The new city ordinance said that backyard vegetable gardens were a-OK, but Ricketts and Carroll couldn't keep a garden in their backyard because it didn't get enough sun. So the couple could either dig up their garden or face $50 in daily fines for letting it continue to grow. The couple opted to do neither and instead, they sued the city.

Ricketts and Carroll took their case to the Florida Supreme Court. Initially, the courts sided with Miami Shores, but the fight wasn't over. Florida State Senator Rob Bradley introduced legislation preventing "a county or municipality from regulating vegetable gardens on residential properties." Earlier this year, the Senate passed the bill 35-5.

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The Planet

How Much Water Could California Save?

Almonds and other crops are sucking up California’s water supply. Even nuttier: The state’s inefficient farming methods.

California’s in the middle of its most significant drought in half a millennia. According to Jay Famiglietti, senior water cycle scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Golden State’s reservoirs contain only a one-year supply* of water. If California continues to be caught in this drought through 2016, America (and much of the world) might be a whole lot hungrier. By many calculations, 80 percent of California’s developed water supply is dedicated to agricultural needs. The state’s vast and historically fertile lands, particularly in the Central Valley, have made it the nation’s number one producer of countless desirable crops: walnuts, strawberries, avocados, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, grapes, lettuce, peppers, spinach, tomatoes, artichokes…

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Articles

Our Top 9 Most Portlandia Headlines of 2014

A round-up of the 2014 headlines we swear we didn’t write with the People’s Republic of Portlandia in mind.

Portlandia, which holds a funhouse mirror up to a certain set of (ahem) earnestly progressive urbanites, begins its fifth season on IFC starting January 8. From farm-to-table extremists to fixed gear cyclists and the dour owners of a proudly unprofitable feminist bookstore, we here at GOOD are well aware that when we laugh at these characters, we’re also laughing at ourselves. We’ve rounded up a few of last year's headlines from GOOD which, when taken on their own, might seem to have been written with the citizens of the People’s Republic of Portlandia in mind.

1. How I Tried to Turn Prison Into a Colorful Experience

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Articles

Organic vs. Conventional Farming: Which Method Uses Less Energy?

A new study shows that organic farming uses quite a bit less energy than conventional, though not for the reasons people might generally expect.

After a recent study released by Dena Brevata and her team of researchers at Stanford argued that there is little evidence of health benefits from eating organic foods, many were left to wonder what the other benefits of eating organic might be? What differences might there be in energy use or land use between conventional and organic farming methods?

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Articles

Our Name Is Old, But Our Organic, Fair-Trade Store Is New

Viandas is a Spanish word that belongs to a time when all foods were whole foods.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GkKgGWNHjWo

Viandas is an old Spanish word for food, most Spanish speaking people don’t really know it or maybe have heard it but never used it. Viandas is also the name of an organic grocery store I started in March 2012 here in San José, Costa Rica. I decided to call it that because for me it embodies a "back to basics" for everything food-related. It's a word that belongs to a time when all foods were whole foods, there were no pesticides, goods weren’t over-packaged and being wasteful wasn’t the norm.

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Articles

Pocket EPA: iPhone Gadget to Measure Environmental Hazards

New gizmo will measure local radiation, electromagnetic pollution, and whether or not food is organic.

It's a hazardous world out there. Some things we have control over—like the food we put on our plates—but other risks are harder to detect. Lapka Electronics sees an opportunity in our anxiety over contaminated environments and is soon bringing a device to market that holds some promise to mitigate the toxicity to which we're all exposed.

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Articles