5 MORE Things To Know About The Fight Against GMOs -Michelle Jacobson

PictureUntil recently, GMOs was an unfamiliar acronym to most Americans. Genetically modified and genetically engineered were scientific terms that seemed to belong in a laboratory, not a supermarket, kitchen, or pastoral farming locale. Our farms, we thought, were a place where Mother Nature held absolute dominion.

Well, enter the 21st century, folks. Many farms may as well be laboratories these days, with each hole dug in the ground akin to a test tube, as the seeds that are pla
For the American people (yes, specifically, the American people) to be kept unaware of what their food is comprised of – in these days of local, organic and sustainable sensibilities – is a serious travesty. Beyond that, it’s just plain dishonest.nted are not always natural, as forged by nature; often they’ve been tampered with to conform to mans’ will.

My first article, 5 Things You Need To Know About GMOs Right Now (1), was a primer for anyone seeking to know the basic facts about GMOs. Things were moving at a slow rumble until 2012, and I was trying to inform people so they’d be in the know when the hoopla started to get louder. And get louder it did.

This article picks up where that one left off, covering the vast amount of activity which has transpired across the country in the past few months, both in town halls and town squares. I can assure you that when you read this information you’ll be concerned and outraged enough to want to take control over the food you eat, once again. How can you turn away now?


1 – How do you know the difference between a food that’s genetically modified and a food that isn’t? read more

via Michele Jacobson – GMO Blog.

Community Composting at Cherry Grove Farm | Cherry Grove Farm

Community Composting at Cherry Grove Farm

We at Cherry Grove Farm stumbled across a little-known, yet significant fact: the Environmental Protection Agency states that food waste in the United States is the number-one filler of our landfills! Ecocentric’s blog post 18 Little-Know Facts That Will Motivate You to Cut Back on Food Waste explains that “[b]etween on quarter and one half of the more than 590 billion pounds of food produced each year in the United States is squandered during the farm-to-table supply chain.” That is 147.5 to 295 BILLION pounds of food each year—enough, says Ecocentric, to fill the Rose Bowl stadium one to two times every day! Even the visual description is difficult to wrap your brain around.

Arming ourselves with the facts, we have decided to go into battle against this mind-boggling number by starting a Community Compost Site on the farm. We know it will be a small operation, but hey—it only take one drop of water to send ripples across the surface a pond!

To accomplish our goal of composting on a larger scale, we sought the help of our friend Dhara, a high-school student who is well educated in the fine art of composting. Dhara earned her Gold Award for the Girl Scouts of America by setting up 10 compost bins for people and organizations in her community. Even after completing her project, she continues to spread the word about this amazing way to turn household waste into what she calls “black gold.” Dhara helped us set up three different composting piles: an open pile, one made out of shipping pallets, and an Earth Machine, which her family is lending us. Check out Dhara’s blog, The Black Gold, to learn more about her hard work!

Bring yourselves and your food waste from 10 am to 2 pm on Sunday, September 2nd for the Grand Opening! Drop-off will be every Sunday thereafter from 10 am to 2 pm. There will be 2 drop-off bins on the farm where you can deposit your food waste from the week. Here is a list of what is acceptable to bring: click  Community Composting at Cherry Grove Farm | Cherry Grove Farm.

Healthy, Fresh Food in the Hub City – New Brunswick, NJ Patch

On a rainy day in August, a group of about 40 people from the New Brunswick, Newark and Rutgers communities toured the 2.75 acre Added Value Community Farm in Red Hook, Brooklyn, an expansive growing operation built upon an abandoned paved park.
The topics of the day were complicated – urban agriculture, food security and local economic development.
“It’s a lot more than growing a couple (of) tomato plants,” said trip organizer Matthew Sarsycki, a grad student at the Rutgers University Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy.
In New Brunswick, these very issues are tackled daily by a number of agencies that are working to bring fresh food that is accessible to all of New Brunswick’s diverse residents, stir economic development to create further opportunities for local business owners, and do all of these things in a way that is sustainable.

“This is a movement,” said Lisanne Finston, Executive Director of Elijah’s Promise, of New Brunswick’s growing involvement in education, community gardens and healthy eating. read more:  Healthy, Fresh Food in the Hub City – New Brunswick, NJ Patch.

Fund’s goal allows direct purchases from farms

American Farm :: The New Jersey Farmer
Fund’s goal allows direct purchases from farms


BRANDYWINE, Md. — People from as far away as California came to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the founding of the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund (FTCLDF). The celebration was held on a day of sweltering heat at the P.A. Bowen Farmstead, which is operated by Sally Fallon Morell and Geoffrey Morell as a pastured-based dairy.

The FTCLDF was founded on July 4, 2007. Its core mission is to protect the constitutional rights of people to obtain foods of their choice directly from family farms. A major focus of the organization is support for direct farm-to-consumer distribution of raw dairy from grass-based farming systems.

The enthusiasm for this mission has only increased since the inaugural event attracted hundreds of people to a pasture-based mixed livestock operation in Lancaster County, Pa., five years ago. Besides raw dairy, the program works to protect small farms and local meat, egg, and vegetable producers from unnecessary and burdensome regulations. Members of the FTCLDF are offered legal advice, for example, on how to set up a dairy herd share. In some cases, FTCLDF provides legal representation. The organization also publishes educational materials relating to the safe production of raw milk.

Sally Fallon Morell is president of the Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF), a nutrition education foundation. The WAPF teaches people how to prepare and eat nutrient-dense whole foods. The impact of that organization has been to greatly increase demand for special foods like grass-fed raw milk. The FTCLDF was a necessary offshoot of this parent organization as it became exceedingly difficult to procure these special artisan foods. Interestingly, as a result of the educational efforts of Sally Fallon Morell and the publication of her bestselling the cookbook “Nourishing Traditions,” new opportunities in farming are opening up. An example is the new dairy farm established by the Morells in Prince Georges County, Md. The county has had operating dairy farms for over three decades.

By some estimates, about 10 million people in USA now drink raw milk. Currently about half of the states in the nation allow raw milk sales and legislation for expansion is pending in several, including New Jersey. In Pennsylvania, farms with permits to sell raw milk increased from 25 to 153 over the last decade. In California, there are only two farms with permits to sell raw milk but more than 150 raw dairies operate as herd shares.

At the June 7 anniversary gathering, attorneys Pete Kennedy and Gary Cox talked about the history of the FTCLD and updated members on some recent legal cases and other activities. Gary Cox joined the organization shortly after winning a court case that set a precedence that legalized herd share agreements for raw milk dairy farms in Ohio. The recently released documentary Farmageddon provides a good introduction to the challenges of food rights and the how the FTCLDF became involved in many of them.

After the celebratory events and tours of the P. A. Bowen Farmstead, the farm store was opened for the sales of artisan raw milk cheeses made on the farm using milk from the herd of Jersey cows. Whey-fed pork, pastured poultry, and grass-fed beef were also for sale. This farm, which is open at other times for tours, serves as a model of traditional farming and food systems as promoted by the FTCLDF.

To learn more about the FTCLDF, visit http://www.farmtoconsumer.org.

Editor’s note: Dr. Heckman is a soil scientist. He operates a small farm with chickens on pasture in New Jersey. His farm is a member of The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund.

via American Farm :: The New Jersey Farmer.

Benefactor Appreciation Event

Joel Salatin

Donors providing $250 during the 2012 FundRAISER are invited to a very special event at Joel and Teresa Salatin’s Polyface Farm in Swoope, Virginia.

Highlights will include Joel’s behind the scenes in-depth tour of Polyface Farm, local wine sampling, buffet lunch with the Salatin family, interns and staff, and door prizes including a shopping spree at the Polyface Farm Store.

**NEW THIS YEAR – Each adult guest will receive a $10 shopping certificate for use in the Polyface Farm store!

For more info: Benefactor Appreciation Event.

How The Taste Of Tomatoes Went Bad And Kept On Going : The Salt : NPR

Notice how some of these tomatoes have unripe-looking tops? Those "green shoulders" are actually the keys to flavor.The tomato is the vegetable or fruit, if you must that we love to hate. We know how good it can be and how bad it usually is. And everybody just wants to know: How did it get that way?Today, scientists revealed a small but intriguing chapter in that story: a genetic mutation that seemed like a real improvement in the tomatos quality, but which actually undermined its taste.Before we get to the mutation, though, lets start with the old tomatoes — the varieties that people grew a century or more ago. Thanks to enthusiastic seed savers and heirloom tomato enthusiasts, you can still find many of them. Eric Rice, owner of Country Pleasures Farm near Middletown, Md., first encountered heirloom tomatoes when he was a graduate student in North Carolina.”I decided I really liked them,” he says. He liked the vivid taste and the unusual colors, from orange to purple. These tomatoes also have great names: Cherokee Purple, Dr. Wyches, Mortgage Lifter.Rice now grows these tomatoes to sell at a farmers market in Washington, D.C. But he admits that all that tomato personality can make heirlooms harder to grow and sell. “Heirloom tomatoes dont ship very well because theyre softer. And frankly, theyre all different shapes and sizes.” This makes them more difficult to pack.Theres something else youll notice as these tomatoes start to get ripe — something central to this story. The part of the tomato near the stem — whats called the shoulder of the fruit — stays green longer.”I think it is an issue for the consumer,” says Rice, “because people do buy with their eyes. And green shoulders also mean its not entirely ripe or not as soft and tasty there.”Those green shoulders turn out to be more significant than you might think. In this weeks issue of the journal Science, scientists report that when they disappeared from modern tomatoes, some of the tomatos taste went with them. Read more…

via How The Taste Of Tomatoes Went Bad And Kept On Going : The Salt : NPR.

Middlesex County EARTH Center’s Garden Field Day


The EARTH Center, home to Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County, New Jersey will host their Garden Field Day Open House on Saturday, August 18, from 10 am to 3 pm . The event will take place at the EARTH Center located at 42 Riva  Ave. in Davidson’s Mill Pond Park, South Brunswick, New Jersey and is the EARTH Center’s biggest event of the year.

The Extension Agriculture Department as well as the County Master Gardeners will be on hand, offering sound advice on horticulture and environmental stewardship. Tours will be given of the various demonstration gardens including a huge vegetable display garden, the “Circle of Thyme” herb garden, Rain Garden and the popular, newly expanded Butterfly House.

Also part of the EARTH Center Garden Field Day, the Second Annual “Greatest of the Garden” competition will take place, so gardeners are encouraged to bring along their biggest or most outstanding home grown produce to win prizes and recognition. This will give residents a chance to show off their green thumbs to fellow gardeners… Attendees are encouraged to bring their homegrown entries for the following categories..Biggest Tomato
Biggest Cucumber
Biggest Zucchini
Biggest Pumpkin
Biggest Squash
Biggest Water Melon
Biggest Sunflower Head
Longest Gourd
Smallest Pumpkin
Smallest Cherry Tomato
Oddest Heirloom Tomato
All Vegetables..Best Likeness to Celebrity or Historical Figure.
Hottest Pepper Variety Grown (judged by Scoville ratings)

4-H clubs will be present offering activities for the kids. Extension personnel will also be conducting a Jersey Fresh Taste Test. There will also be live music, “green” living displays and kids can meet MC Blue, the recycling robot.

Even if you can’t visit the EARTH Center this season, you can still discover what types of programming the EARTH Center offers, just visit www.co.middlesex.nj.us/extensionservices.

For more information call 732-398-5262.