G.M.O.’s: Let’s Label ‘Em – NYTimes.com

Unsurprisingly, Big Food in general — and particularly companies like Monsanto that produce genetically engineered seeds and the ultraprofitable herbicides, pesticides and other materials that in theory make those seeds especially productive — have already thrown  tens of millions of dollars into defeating Prop 37. On the other side is a relatively underfunded coalition led by California Right to Know, which collected the necessary million-plus (yes!) signatures to get the proposition on the ballot. Although television advertising has just begun and its advocates would never say so, at the moment the bill seems assured of passage. Excellent. read more here G.M.O.’s: Let’s Label ‘Em – NYTimes.com.

NOFA-NJ’s Kickstarter needs your help.

The NOFA NJ Beginner Farmer Incubator by Eve Minson — Kickstarter

HI KICKSTARTER!!   Our tradition at NOFA-New Jersey has always been to promote local, organic agricultural products, for healthy environments and healthy communities. The demand for local, organic foods is high. But New Jersey farmers are retiring and all over the state, development continues to push out dwindling farmland. This is not a good situation. But we are doing SOMETHING about it!

To help address this, NOFA-NJ is launching the Beginning Farmer Incubator Program at Duke Farms in Hillsborough, NJ with the help of the USDA Beginning Farmer & Rancher Development Program Grant, bringing small scale farming back to New Jersey by helping train new farmers.

This is where YOU come in. We need YOUR HELP acquiring some basic and essential tools to make this program happen!

We need a Tiller – For field and bed preparation, to get fields ready for planting and to incorporate organic matter into the soil.

We need Irrigation – To get water out the farm fields, and to expand the irrigation to the (farm) fields to insure availability of water when needed.

We need a Vegetable Wash Station  – The proper washing of Vegetables in post-harvest handling will ensure food safety and freshness.

And finally we need a Cooler – We plan on building a low cost cooler so crops can be properly cooled and stored before being delivered to market.

This adds up to a project total of $15,000

We need this funding for equipment to build a viable community of future farmers. There should always be room for more farms so that there is value for everyone: on the land, and in your belly! Farming is everyone’s business. read more: The NOFA NJ Beginner Farmer Incubator by Eve Minson — Kickstarter.

Thank you for supporting our project!  Come visit our incubator soon.


The NOFA NJ Beginner Farmer Incubator by Eve Minson — Kickstarter

WHAT’S NEW IN FARMING? A new program designed to provide a helping hand for beginning farmers is set to debut in the coming year. The Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Jersey (NOFA-NJ) is launching an incubator farm on Duke Farms in Hillsborough that will create a network of solutions to a complex issue – too few beginning farmers and not enough access to farmland.  The goal is to once again make small-scale farming a viable profession in New Jersey.

“We are thrilled to offer this new program,” said Eve Minson, Beginning Farmer Program coordinator. “The Incubator Farm is basically a low-risk opportunity for a new farmer to launch a business. Through this three-year program, he or she will have access to land and a chance to test out a business model on a small-scale, build up capitol, graduate onto his or her own land and run a successful business.”

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the average age of American farmers is over 55 and continues to increase, while the number of young farmers under the age of 25 has declined by 30 percent. At the same time, new people are coming to agriculture and beginning farm enterprises; however, many of these new farmers do not come from farming backgrounds and may not possess the technical or hands-on skills needed to start a successful farming business. In response to this issue, the USDA has begun to grant funds to regionally-based groups to train and support beginning farmers through their Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program. NOFA-NJ was a recipient a Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Grant in 2011.

Application information on the Beginner Farmer Program is available online and  farming will get underway in the fall of 2012.

This project was supported by a three year Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA, Grant #2011-49400-30739. read more: The NOFA NJ Beginner Farmer Incubator by Eve Minson — Kickstarter.


For more information, visit the NOFA-NJ Website at www.nofanj.org.




WHAT IS FARMPLATE? FarmPlate is a revolutionary online community that connects farmers, fishermen, foragers, food artisans, restaurants, markets, distributors and foodies everywhere. Our searchable directory of 40,000+ business listings across the country, networking tools and reviews make it fun and easy to find and enjoy real foods near you.

Use FarmPlate to:

Discover & Connect
From truck farms and fishermen to crop mobs, microbreweries and apiaries—we’ve got them all covered. Search for real food businesses near you. Just type what you’re hungry for in the blue search bar above and let us do the work!

Rate & Review
Can’t wait to share your latest find from the farmers’ market? Taste a new dish at your favorite farm-to-table restaurant around the corner that others should know about? Post your opinions and “dig” businesses you love. Discover the places and products other people are talking about.

Explore & Learn
FarmPlate’s glossary has more than 300 sustainable food terms for you to browse, plus we’ve got a valuable resources section that’s guaranteed to be your go-to guide for information about sustainable foods and farming.

Find Your Inspiration
We post hand-picked seasonal recipes, dish up our regular fare of real food news and share the most interesting and engaging stories we can find about farms, food artisans, restaurants and more right here on our blog. Check out the latest posts.

Grow Your Business
Are you a farmer, fisherman, food artisan, restaurant, market, distributor, organization or other real food business? FarmPlate is here to help: upgrade your listing and watch your customer base grow. read more at FarmPlate.

Between The Lines – Bill Duesing: Study Ignores Reasons Why People Buy Organic Foods (Week Ending Sept. 21, 2012)

A Sept. 4 headline in the New York Times read “Stanford Scientists Cast Doubt on Advantages of Organic Meat and Produce.” The study cited was a meta-analysis of 40 years of research on organic and conventionally produced produce, that is, produce sprayed with pesticides. The study concluded that organic food was no more nutritious than non-organic. The research didn’t focus on questions of sustainability or even of flavor, though many people who responded to the article stated these issues were paramount in their decision to pay a premium price to buy organic food.

via Between The Lines – Bill Duesing: Study Ignores Reasons Why People Buy Organic Foods (Week Ending Sept. 21, 2012).

NOFA-NJ Harvest Dinner

Honoring our 27th year in operation celebrating local seasonal food as a community.With Guest Speakers Gary Hirshberg, Co-Founder, past CEO, and Chairman of Stonyfield, and freelance writer and founder of NOFA-NJ, Meg Hirshberg. Gary is a frequent speaker on topics including sustainability, climate change, the profitability of green business and organic agriculture. He also advocates for change in national food and agriculture policies, including those regarding the labeling of genetically engineered foods. Meg is a magazine writer, author of two Stonyfield Farm yogurt cookbooks and a celebrated food activist. Sponsored by local and sustainable restaurants.

Please contact us to participate as a sponsor. Attendees must be at least 21 years of age.

via NOFA-NJ Harvest Dinner.

US Ark of Taste : Slow Food USA

Reflecting on your successes of this season? Now is the time to think about what you would like to grow next year. Why not take part in preserving some of our most precious heirlooms? Try Cherokee Trail of Tears, Hidatsa Red Bean or Chrismas Lima for reliable dry bean selections. You can get started today by ordering some Inchelium Red Garlic for your October garlic plantings. Which crops from The Ark of Taste have you planted?
The US Ark of Taste is a catalog of over 200 delicious foods in danger of extinction. By promoting and eating Ark products we help ensure they remain in production and on our plates. Check out the list:  US Ark of Taste : Slow Food USA.

Towards an energy-positive food system « Path 2 Resilience by Eric Garza

“Food activism of all sorts –centered on the availability of un-pasteurized dairy products, meat butchered on the farm where it was raised, and direct-to-consumer sales of products that currently require inspection or certification – is rising up throughout American society like a wellspring. This wellspring is creating an enormous opportunity, both to create new food products and markets, but also to ask deep, profound questions about our food system’s development and whether its path is a viable one over the long term. What good is a food system, after all, if its high energy intensity eventually sends the nation spiraling into both nutritional and energetic poverty?” Read Eric’s article

About the Author, Eric Garza
Eric Garza received his PhD from the University of Vermont in 2011. He consults in the energy, agriculture and food sectors and teaches courses in environmental pollution, energy systems and food systems at the University of Vermont. He manages the Path2Resilience.com website. For permission to reprint this essay, contact the author at Eric@Path2Resilience.com.

“My flexible schedule allows me to be deeply involved in my community. I’m one of three primary organizers of my local chapter of the Weston A. Price Foundation, and I’m also the treasurer of the Mad Robin Callers Collective, a local group who promotes traditional contra dancing and organizes a variety of local dances and events. I volunteer with a range of community organizations, most notably the Intervale Center, a local organization that runs a range of innovative programs to promote small-scale, organic, localized food systems. Beyond my community involvement, I enjoy practicing and teaching ancestral skills, hunting, fishing, foraging wild edible plants, spending copious amounts of time outdoors, and generally relishing life.” read more about Eric

via Towards an energy-positive food system « Path 2 Resilience.

Raíces Eco-Culture Sustainability Series: Will Allen-Visionary Farmer

Presentation and discussion led by Raíces Eco-Culture Group Member Ellen Rosner.Will Allen grew up with whose parents who fled the South in the Great Migration to escape a life of sharecropping. Growing up, although poor, his family had a plot of land of their own, and so always had enough to eat. As an adult, Will never forgot the taste of fresh food, and the satisfaction of growing and harvesting it ones self. He left a career as a successful executive with the goal of bringing fresh produce to low-income people. This is the story of how – starting out selling vegetables off the back of his truck – he created an urban food network that today distributes food across seven states, produces 40 tons of vegetables a year, and provides a serious challenge to the industrial agricultural system. This 2008 recipient of the MacArthur Genius Grant, shows us how urban farming can not only provide a solution to our ecological and energy crisis, but can also lead us back to a time of community, sustainability and self-respect.Come learn about what one man has done to make an impact on his own community and dialogue about ways we can implement projects and programs to provide and support fresh, local, healthy food in our own community.Meetings are free and open to the public. Refreshments available for purchase from Ruthies Bagel Dish. Please support the local business that is supporting Raíces and our Eco-Culture Community.Please help spread the word so our dialogue can grow read more

via Raíces Eco-Culture Sustainability Series: Will Allen-Visionary Farmer.