• 26Feb

    In 2013, five young women chronicled their experiences of starting dairy farms on the National Young Farmers Coalition Bootstrap Blog. In the long-awaited final installment of the series, three of the women take us to their farms in short films. Watch now and see how these women overcome icy temps, broken tractors, early mornings and a tough farm sector. Films are produced by Farm Run Media and sponsored by Stonyfield.

    See Sarah Chase of Chaseholm Farm transition her family’s dairy to a grass-fed herd. 

    See Laura Ginsburg of The Golden Yoke start the only grass-based, seasonal dairy in Montana.

    See Ashlee Kleinhammer of North Country Creamery at Clover Mead Farm bring 100% grass-fed, non-GMO and Animal Welfare Approved yogurt, cheese and raw milk to the Eastern Adirondacks of New York. 

  • 26Feb

    Weeding VegetablesGore Place Farm Internships in Massachusetts for 2015

    Gore Place is seeking 3 farm interns for2015 season .  Gore Place is the 1806 historic mansion and estate of politician, lawyer, investor, and gentleman farmer Christopher Gore and his wife, Rebecca. Christopher Gore referred to their estate as “My Farm at Waltham”, on which he practiced innovative agricultural methods. The produce was grown for their table, for their animals, and to be sold in Boston. Today, the remaining 48 acres of land include organic row crops, raised beds, gardens, animals, a 1793 carriage house, and clues of the early 19th century landscape. The produce grown on the farm and raised beds is sold in a farm stand on the property and donated to area food pantries and shelters.

    Farm Intern Responsibilities:

    • Assist in all aspects of crop production, including planting, weeding, and harvesting 2.5 acres of vegetables.
    • Feed and care for animals (sheep, goats, chickens, and llama) on the farm.
    • Interact with visitors, both adults and children, answering questions and providing information about the farm.

    Farm Intern Qualifications:

    • Interest in agriculture and education.
    • Desire to work with farm animals.
    • Ability to lift 50 pounds and work outdoors in various weather conditions.
    • Ability to work well alone and with others.
    • Undergraduate student, graduate student or career changer.

    20 hours a week for 8-10 weeks.

    $500 one-time stipend.

    Free parking. Accessible by MBTA bus 70 or 70A.

    To apply please send letter of interest  by Email: farmer@goreplace.org or by Mail: Gore Place, 52 Gore Street, Waltham, MA 02453.

  • 25Feb

    New Funding Sources for Food-Related Businesses

    A publication by Anel Guel, Emily Kim, Rich Pirog & Emily Harper of the Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems

    Published January 27, 2015

    Here you will find various financing sources that offer loans, grants, and other options to food hub and local food type businesses.  The categories of financing sources include, startup accelerators, crowdfunding, and a variety of other resources, as well as Federal sources of information on funding.

    If you know of any resources that should be added to this document, please contact Rich Pirog: rspirog@msu.edu.

    New Funding Sources for Food-Related Businesses

  • 24Feb

    CSP Deadline Approaching: With a February 27, 2015 deadline approaching, farmers and ranchers have only one week left to apply to enroll in the federal Conservation Stewardship Program for 2015. NSAC has released two free resources to help farmers and ranchers nationwide learn how the program works and navigate the application process. Check NSAC’s webpage again on Monday for some important, late-breaking CSP information.


    Community Food Project Funding Now Available
    On February 13, 2015, the USDA’s National Institute for Food and Agriculture posted a Request for Applications for the 2015 round of the Community Food Project Grants Program. Initiated in 1996, CFP is a competitive grant program supporting the alleviation of food insecurity in low-income communities. Approximately $9 million will be available for this funding cycle. Applications are due 5:00pm EST on March 17, 2015.


    Healthy Food Access Project Funding For FY 2015 Available Through HHS
    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a modified Funding Opportunity Announcement for fiscal year 2015. HFFI is a tri-agency program to increase the availability of healthy food in low to moderate-income under-served communities through the creation, expansion, and equipping of healthy food retail outlets such as grocery stores, corner stores, and farmers markets. The deadline for applications is April 24, 2015.


  • 24Feb

    Northwest Permaculture Convergence “Greening Our Neighborhoods With Permaculture.” The weekend of August 28, 29 and 30, 2015.

    This year’s Convergence will be in the River Road Neighborhood, 3 miles northwest of downtown Eugene, Oregon.

    We are excited to be planning the first Convergence ever to be held in a residential suburban neighborhood.

    We also call attention to ways people can help with the Convergence. There are coordinator positions, volunteer opportunities, work trade and task teams. Helping with the Convergence is a great skill building experience. There are many ways to help no matter where you live. Several important
    positions to fill include Registrar and Food Coordinator. You can find how-to-help info here

    Many people know River Road has an unusual number of property transformation projects. Grass to garden, solar design, edible landscaping, rain water catchment, reclaimed automobile space, green building and more. There are several dozen projects within a 5 to 20 minute bike ride of the River Road Recreation Center- Convergence Central. Literally thousands of people have attended tours and permaculture events in the neighborhood. You can find many of the places we will be visiting on tours here <http://www.suburbanpermaculture.org/fotos.html>.

    Plus, there are “invisible social structures” of friends and neighbors engaged in various mutual assistance networks and outreach to the public.

    The Convergence will feature a variety of site tours, plenary sessions, panels and presentations from urban to rural, an educational expo along with hands on projects around the neighborhood. You can find early schedule info here <http://northwestpermaculture.org/content/convergence-schedule>. Read more »

  • 23Feb

    One of the largest problems beginning farmers face is pest control. It could be that insects are a problem for you, but as bad as they are, something even bigger lurks in the shadows, that being mice, rats, and other vermin. Difficult to handle with trapping alone, these rodents can wreak havoc and contaminate animal feed. They are capable of damaging crops or anything else that suits their fancy. With teeth made for chewing, it can be tough to keep these animals from making their way into containers and feed bins that are not tough enough to keep them out. Even then, it is not possible to contain everything you need and use on the farm, so there comes a time when a choice must be made. Oftentimes that choice is to get a barn cat.

    Although it is not always high at the top of our lists to acquire another mouth to feed, having barn cats can make a world of difference when it comes to pest control. Keep in mind that for mice and rats, your barn and farm are quite literally an all you can eat buffet. Poison is an option, albeit a risky one because it can harm or even kill animals for which it was not intended. A cat, on the other hand, with its natural prey drive, is a much more logical solution to the pest problem.

    Even if your feed is secure, that is not to say that mice and rats cannot pose a problem. For one thing, they are drawn to and like to chew electrical wires. That means lighting and other electricity is at risk of not only failure to work but chewed, frayed wires present a fire hazard. Aside from that, there is the fact that such animals carry and spread the hantavirus as they move about, dropping feces along the way.

    Photo: Feral Cat Focus

    Photo: Feral Cat Focus

    Though we’ve all heard stories of failed mousers who’d rather lie around and do nothing, most barn cats are attune to their job and very willing to do it. Even so, there are some steps you can take to gently encourage your barn cats to embrace a working lifestyle as opposed to a leisurely one. For starters, get them young–yes, them, as in more than one, since we all enjoy having a buddy for hunting, playing, and keeping warm. Much as you would with any other type of animal, select your kittens from good stock, such as another successful, proven barn cat. If their mother knew and did her job well, she will usually teach her babies, which means that by the time they are a few months old, they will have the know-how to do their job. In the event you do not want kittens, it is often possible to get feral cats in need of relocation through your local animal shelter.

    With kittens it is also easy to establish a home area, making them less likely to relocate on their own accord which could be a problem with older, more independent cats. Keep your kittens contained for a few weeks, providing food, water, and litter box access so they will understand that this is their home base. A stall is a good area in which to start them, and as they grow they will likely venture out on their own to explore their world. Once this exploring starts, it is likely that the mousing will, too. Don’t let this be an excuse to stop feeding them or cut them back; a mouse only diet is not enough to sustain, especially during cold weather, and the presence of cat food will reiterate where home is. Just take care to keep cat food in an area away from other vermin; twice daily feedings after which uneaten food is picked up is useful in removing temptation when it comes to other animals.

    Don’t forget to provide routine healthcare. This means worming, treating for fleas, and vaccinating. Just as you wouldn’t want unhealthy vermin around your barn, you do not want unhealthy cats. A sick animal is a sick animal, after all, so stay on top of the health care of yours. Also, don’t forget to spay and neuter unless you want more barn cats…and more and more and more. Additionally, part of their health and wellbeing is giving them a place to stay warm. Make sure that place is not your house as it negates the purpose of a barn cat, but set aside a space in the barn where they can get out of the elements and remain warm when the mercury drops.

    Though cats are very useful in pest control, it may be necessary to keep them away from baby chicks as those could be mistaken for a snack. Barring incidents such as this, most barn cats truly are worth their weight in gold. Not only do they keep rodent populations under control, they also give you the peace of mind that is knowing your barn and feed is safe from contamination, saving you the time lost and headaches you could have without feline employees on the payroll.

  • 22Feb

    February Food Sleuth Radio Shows:

    February 5th:  Eliza Greenman, owner/operator of Legacy Fruit Trees in Virginia and Director of Biodiversity for Greenhorns, an organization made up of young farmers, to recruit, promote and support the new generation of farmers. Greenman describes her experiences in the orchard and at the annual Future Farmers of America meeting in KY.

    February 12th:  Gary Wenk, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, Neuroscience, and Molecular Virology at the Ohio State University, and author of “Your Brain on Food: How  Chemicals Control Your Thoughts and Feelings,” will talk about coffee, chocolate, food addiction and more.

    February 19th:  Stacia Nordin, R.D., Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Advisor for the United Nations, has worked in  worked in Malawi, East Africa, for 17 years. She describes her work and the benefits of biodiversity and permaculture in truly feeding the world sustainably.

    February 26th:   Roni Neff, Ph.D., Director of the Food System Sustainability Program at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for a Livable Future, and editor of  “Introduction to the U.S. Food System:  Public Health, Environment, and Equity.” Neff describes sustainable diets and climate-friendly eating.

    From the archives: Food Sleuth Radio Shows for January 2015

    January 1st:  Nancy Clark, M.S., R.D. Registered Dietitian, internationally respected sports nutritionist, athlete and author of “Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook: The #1 nutrition resource for active people,” describes elements of a winning sports diet and how to “fuel better to feel better.”

    January 8th:  Paul Hanley, environment columnist with the Saskatoon StarPhoenix and author of “Eleven” which describes how 11 billion people on Earth by century’s end will change everything.  Hanley discusses consumerism and the need to evaluate food and farming through an ecological  lens for a sustainable future.

    January 15th:   Ted Genoways, author of “The Chain: Farm, Factory, and the Fate of Our Food,” a riveting, compelling expose of the meatpacking industry, through the lens of Hormel. Genoways describes working conditions and related injuries, the shift in labor force and  immigration. Part I of II.

    January 22nd: Ted Genoways, author of “The Chain,” continues his discussion  revealing the true cost of “cheap” food, including antibiotic resistance, declining water quality and how we can help build a sustainable food system.  Part II of II.

    January 29th: Jim Gerritsen, owner and operator of Wood Prairie Farm in Bridgewater, Maine, and President of the Maine-based Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association, which in 2011 filed a lawsuit against Monsanto to challenge seed patents. Gerritsen describes the lawsuit, our common heritage of seeds, transgenic contamination and why he supports GMO food labeling.

  • 22Feb

    Organic Farm FieldChatham Bars Inn Farm Job: Organic Farm Hand – in Chatham, Massachusetts for 2015

    JOB DESCRIPTION: The Farm Hand will be working at the Chatham Bars Inn Farm, located on Route 6A in Brewster, MA.  This facility produces high quality organic vegetables for use at several restaurants located at the Chatham Bars Inn resort in Chatham, MA.  Candidates with a strong passion for sustainable agriculture and experience farming are preferred. This position will provide the right candidate with a hands-on opportunity to experience and master nearly every aspect of organic vegetable production. The Farm Hand is responsible for but not limited to:

    Harvesting, transplanting, weeding, pruning, trellising, thinning, managing irrigation systems, and pest control

    Some tractor and rototiller work will be required for soil preparation and cultivation

    Post-harvest operations will include sorting, washing, bunching of harvested crops, quality control, and packing/storage responsibilities

    Transport and delivery of farm products will also be required

    Greenhouse operations will entail but are not limited to seeding, potting-up, irrigation, pest control, and fertility management. Read more »

  • 22Feb

    Child Fence GoatHidden Villa Animal Husbandry Manager Job Description - February 2015

    Location: Los Altos Hills, California

    Working Hours:  This is a full time, salaried exempt position with variable 8-hour days, seasonal variations due to animal life cycles, and rotating weekend duties.

    Position Description:  The Animal Husbandry Manager oversees the care of Hidden Villa’s animals, while providing maximum access and educational opportunities for Hidden Villa programs. This is a residential position that includes a 2 bedroom on-site home, and the responsibility to be on-call for property needs on rotating weekends.


    This is a full time, exempt position with salary DOE. Hidden Villa provides a benefit package that includes vacation and sick leave; medical, dental, acupuncture/chiropractic and retirement benefits. This is a residential position that includes a 2 bedroom on-site home, and the responsibility to be on-call for property needs on rotating weekends.  Hidden Villa is a nonsmoking environment. Salary range: $35-43K. Start date for this position is April 2015; moving into residence, May 1, 2015. Read more »

  • 21Feb

    Farm ViewChamplain Valley NY Vegetable Production/Livestock Farming Intern Opportunities

    Heirloom Vegetable Production: Interns will be involved in all facets of mostly-heirloom vegetable production in greenhouse and field from seed to storage: soil sampling & testing; starting and transplanting seeds, cultivating, weeding, irrigating, maintaining, harvesting, cleaning, trimming, and storing a wide variety of heirloom vegetables, fruits, berries, herbs and flowers as well as hops and vinifera grapes using organic and sustainable practices. Experience with farming tools and equipment preferred but not required. Interest in organic/sustainable practices a must.

    Heritage Livestock: 1-2 interns will be involved with the care and maintenance of heritage sheep, layers, broilers and pigs as well as non-heritage cattle. Tasks include: creating new grazing paddocks on a weekly (sometimes daily) basis, rotating the animals and fencing; caring for, monitoring, feeding, and watering all animals; egg production, and making hay.  Knowledge of farm equipment and tools preferred. Carpentry skills a plus. Read more »

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