In this edition:
Piedmont Farm Tour – April 16-17
Meet & Eat – May 1 at Margaret’s Cantina in Chapel Hill, NC
Upstate Farm Tour – June 4-5
Introducing our New Staff!
The New Organics Initiative
Carolina Ground, L3C Update
More Great Stories from the CFSA Blog
Kickstart Carolina Ground, L3C -
Help us raise $18,000 by April 16th.
NC Legislation Alerts: HB 446 (which would require labeling of GMO foods), HB 162 (which would exempt small-scale on-farm agricultural processing from wastewater permit requirements), and unfair budget cuts, including a proposed 30% cut to NC Cooperative Extension.
Saturday and Sunday, April 16-17, 2011 | 1-5pm
At Farms in Alamance, Chatham, Durham,
Orange, and Person Counties
Forty farms, two afternoons and lots of education and fun! $25 per carload in advance or $30 on the day of the tour.
Learn more, buy your farm tour button, download the farm tour map or check out the google map
The Young Beginning Farmer VIP Tours, as a part of the Piedmont Farm Tour, have SOLD OUT. We are excited to be hosting 40 beginning farmers and several outstanding experts, as we tour six wonderful farms in the Triangle over two days. Thanks so much to the National Center for Appropriate Technology which arranged funding through the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA, and our other sponsor, the farm-friendly cooperative Organic Valley.
Saturday, April 9 from 12-5PM
CFSA will be promoting the Piedmont Farm Tour and providing educational activities about sustainable farming for kids. Come by and visit our table!
> Learn more at: http://www.ci.chapel-hill.nc.us/index.aspx?page=515
Tuesday April 12, 7-9 p.m.
St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church, Pittsboro, NC
Roland McReynolds, CFSA’s Executive Director, will be giving a fun and informative talk about how policies shape our food supply and affect our health.
April 16 from 10 – 5 pm
Dixie Classic Fairgrounds in Winston-Salem
Stop by and visit the CFSA and Cultivate Piedmont table. It’s free and so is parking!
> Learn more at: http://www.peanc.org/earth-day-fair
April 19, 2011
The market will take place on the cobblestone area near Third Street and Patterson Avenue in downtown Winston-Salem, and will feature all-local, sustainably-produced foods, plus weekly events and expanded offerings.
> Learn more at their Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cobblestone-Farmers-Market/175172035853383
May 1, 2011 | 4-6pm
Margaret’s Cantina in Chapel Hill, NC
The Carolina Farm Stewardship Association is pleased to announce its first official Meet and Eat – Grow the Movement event, where folks can come together for an evening of great conversation and networking, with some fabulous local food thrown into the mix! Join us!
> Learn more (http://carolinafarmstewards.org/meetandeat.shtml)
> Tickets can only be purchased on-line and only until April 24th! Buy your tickets today: https://netforum.avectra.com/eweb/Shopping/Shopping.aspx?Cart=0&Site=CFSA
June 4th & 5th | 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm
$25 per carload or cycle group when you purchase in advance
Once again, the CFSA Upstate Farm Tour promises fun and learning for everyone from serious gardeners to families looking for wholesome outdoor adventure!
The 2011 tour features twenty sustainable farms throughout the Upstate region of SC, including six new farms and two meal stops! New farms include Buffalo Farms, bringing a bit of the ‘wild west’ to South Carolina; Baird Family Farm, a serene, creek side farmstead; Patient Wait, an Animal Welfare Approved heritage turkey farm and host of CFSA’s 2010 OktoberFresh event; Presbyterian College’s Green Hoes Garden where the dining hall serves right from the student garden; Garden Delights a micro-farm to inspire suburban farmers; and Barrioz Natural Gardens, who will be showcasing its completely renovated design, inspired by Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs).
Returning favorites include organic and innovative fruit & vegetable producers, pasture-fed livestock, dairies, a scenic berry farm, an artisan cheese-maker, and even a worm farm! Family fun includes hay rides, cooking demonstrations, food tastings, lots of baby barnyard animals, an exhibition of antique wagons, trolleys & carriages, and so much more!
The 2011 Upstate Farm Tour once again features two meal stops where visitors can enjoy a farm-fresh lunch or early supper, prepared on-site by celebrated local chefs. Live Oak Farm will be featuring the creations of Chef Suni McMath of The Broken TeaPot on the east side of the tour. West side visitors will want to be sure to dine with Chef Shaun Garcia of Soby’s at the Clemson University Student Organic Farm.
The 5th Annual Upstate Farm Tour is generously sponsored by Whole Foods Market who is one of seven conveniently located button vendors. Buttons will also be available soon at: www.CarolinaFarmStewards.org
> For locations and detailed information on each tour stop, as well as custom driving directions, check out this link to our Google Map!
Durham, NC | Nov. 11-13, 2011
The Carolina Farm Stewardship Association is very excited to announce the 2011 Sustainable Agriculture Conference! Mark your calendar for the food and farm event of the year!
This year we are going to be in fabulous foodie Durham, NC! The dates are earlier this year, November 11 – 13, all the better for getting out to see farms on Friday.
We’ve locked in very affordable hotel prices at the large conference hotel (the Sheraton Imperial hotel – about 15 minutes from downtown Durham) with lots of free parking.
And, we are already planning some amazing workshops, speakers, local food banquets, networking and tie-ins with local universities.
Check out conference highlights from last year and more at the conference web site:
More details and registration coming soon! Stay tuned!
For details on other sustainable ag. events – and to post your own events – visit:
We have a lot of new faces on board at Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, to go along with our new projects.
Jacqueline Thompson is our new Grants Manager. Jacqueline brings 17 years of experience in grant program management and grant writing to CFSA, and will dramatically enhance our ability to execute our enlarging portfolio of grant programs, including all our Growing Green Farmers Programs, our Organic Initiative, our Organic Grains Program, our Local Produce Safety Initiative, and our Cultivate Piedmont/Cobblestone Farmers Market Program in Winston-Salem.
Last month, Karen McSwain started as our Organic Initiative Coordinator. Karen got her masters in horticulture at Iowa State University, home of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, and managed the organic garden at Warren Wilson College. She will be providing technical assistance to organic farmers in the Carolinas and working with soil and water conservation agencies to improve the services they provide to organic and transitioning-to-organic farmers. Karen’s work is funded by grants from the SC Dept. of Agriculture and Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co, and she will work out of Asheville.
Also, Jennifer Lapidus, also in Asheville, is transtioning from a contractor on our Organic Bread Flour Project to a staff position as our Organic Grains Program Coordinator. Many of you know Jen already from her outstanding work to establish a local small scale mill for Carolina-grown organic wheat, which is now officially operating as Carolina Ground. Santa Fe Natural funds are making it possible for us to retain Jennifer on staff. She will continue to work with Carolina Ground and organic farmers to rebuild the infrastructure for a Carolinas grain economy from seed to plate.
Finally, we have hired Adrienne Outcalt as the Program Manager for Cultivate Piedmont. Adrienne is in the Sustainable Agriculture program at Central Carolina Community College and has a degree in Environmental Studies from UNC-Asheville. Cultivate Piedmont is a regional committee of CFSA members in Winston-Salem, NC that seeks to continue the phenomenally successful Krankie’s (now Cobblestone) Farmers Market, as well as initiate sustainable ag outreach and education programs in the Triad.
We owe this growth to you, our members. Thanks to your phenomenal support for our work, we are able to demonstrate to grant funders that we have the knowledge, the ability, and the passion to build the systems that sustainable family farms need to thrive, and to educate farmers and the communities they serve. The Board and (growing) staff of CFSA are grateful for that support, and look forward to more success in restoring a sustainable food system centered on local, organic agriculture in the Carolinas.
by Karen McSwain, CFSA’s new Organics Initiative Coordinator
The Organics Initiative program is a new program for CFSA with a focus on working with both the North and South Carolina NRCS EQIP-OI (Natural Resources Conservation Service – Environmental Quality Incentives Program – Organic Initiative). The primary goals of the Organics Initiative program in the coming months are to educate organic/transitioning farmers of the opportunity to apply for EQIP-OI funds, modify or develop new conservation practices compatible with organic farming and the goals of the EQIP-OI program, and provide training and guidance materials for soil and water conservation personnel on how organic practices align with existing EQIP resource conservation practices.
The EQIP-OI program cost shares practices that are designed to address nine major conservation resource concerns, 1) soil erosion, 2) soil quality degradation, 3) excessive/insufficient water use, 4) water quality degradation, 5) degraded plant condition, 6) inadequate habitat for fish and wildlife, 7) livestock production limitations, 8) inefficient energy use, and 9) air quality impacts. Examples of some practices they might fund to address conservation issues include the use of cover crops, crop rotation, nutrient planning in organic systems, critical area planting, field boarder establishment, and wet land wildlife habitat management, just to name a few. The deadline for the FY2011 cycle was March 4th and while we do not yet know the deadline for the FY2012 cycle, if you are interested in this program I encourage you to contact your district NRCS office to get started. The first step in the process is to have a site visit performed by a NRCS staff member to identify resource concerns and work with you to determine appropriate practices to address those concerns. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this program or your applications to it please do not hesitate to contact me at email@example.com.
CFSA is pleased to announce a new way that we are working to launch beginning farmers in North and South Carolina!
CFSA’s NEW on-line Internship Referrral Service connects sustainable farms throughout the Carolinas with aspiring farmers looking for hands-on learning opportunities.
CFSA Member Farmers: Post your NC and SC internship openings for free.
Students: Find your dream farm internship in the Carolinas!
Please note that listings are for farms only; the Internship Referral Service is not available for posting positions wanted. If you are seeking an internship, please follow the directions specified in each posting to apply for positions. You must contact the farms directly; CFSA cannot offer matching or placement with this service.
Post Your Farm Internship Openings
Listing services are available to North Carolina and South Carolina CFSA farm members seeking interns.
To post an opening, log in to your members-only page (http://bit.ly/exw1I4) and create a detailed internship profile. Please fill in the online form completely, then click “submit.” From there, will we format your listing and post it on our website where it will be available for general viewing within 5 business days.
Not yet a CFSA member?
Join online (www.carolinafarmstewards.org/membership.shtml) to take advantage of our Internship Referral Service – just one of many member benefits!
CFSA’s Internship Referral Service is made possible through grant a grant under the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program of the National Institute for Food and Agriculture, administered through the National Center for Appropriate Technology. The Internship Referral Service is a part of CFSA’s Growing Green Farmers program, which also includes scholarships to the annual Sustainable Ag. Conference, apprenticeships in South Carolina, and farm tours for beginning farmers.
For more information, please contact Diana Vossbrinck
Cultivate Piedmont Kicks off 2011 Season of the Cobblestone Farmers Market
by Jo Dawson
Winter was a bustling prelude to the reopening this month of Winston-Salem’s newly named Cobblestone Farmers Market. The market’s operator, Cultivate Piedmont, is a new CFSA program, and its outreach and community support are growing fast.
The market, currently the most visible of Cultivate Piedmont’s projects, has been renamed to reflect its new location — a historic cobblestone plaza at Third Street and Patterson Avenue in the city’s thriving downtown. Loyal shoppers will still be able to park free nearby, and each of the Tuesday morning markets will feature live music, cooking demonstrations and lunch prepared by local chefs.
Vendors, selected for their healthy, sustainable and humane practices, will be offering seasonal fresh vegetables and fruit as well as eggs, honey, breads and pasture-fed meats. For the first time, the market will be accepting EBT (electronic food stamps), with a matching benefit to make high-quality local food more affordable for needy families.
The market was founded in 2009 by Krankies Coffee and the Triad Buying Cooperative. All five of the original vendors (Moser Manor, Gary’s Produce, Sanders Ridge, Shore Farms Organics, Felsbeck Farm) have remained with the market through its growth. With the move outdoors, the market has also developed a partnership with the Piedmont Triad Research Park, whose property will accommodate parking and market stalls.
Cultivate Piedmont’s other partners in its expanded mission include Krankies Coffee, Triad Community Kitchen, Slow Food Piedmont, and the Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice law firm. CFSA and Cultivate Piedmont received a generous grant from the Winston-Salem Foundation to fund a program manager position and to promote sustainable food systems in the Piedmont region through a range of education and outreach programs. Look for announcements from Cultivate Piedmont for cooking classes, school programs, and even food-themed movies.
> To get involved: Email firstname.lastname@example.org
by Jennifer Lapidus, CFSA’s Organic Grains Program Coordinator
In the Carolinas, we need a revived system to re-connect small-scale grain growers with buyers. In NC, we are lucky to have existing potential markets for organic grains—Lindley Mills and Bay State Milling. But, small to medium-sized grain users are a different kind of market for a grower. The larger mills have volumes high enough to justify in-house clean- ing and lab work of grain. Grain is shipped—55,000 lbs—in bulk, in grain trucks to the mill. It’s tested, then cleaned and processed.
But for growers to access smaller buyers, or put another way, for bakeries or distillers or malters to establish direct relationships with growers, certain systems needed to be rebuilt.
Also, there was still no clear source for regionally adapted organic grain and cover crop seed (for more information about seed variet- ies developed through both the USDA-ARS Uniform Bread Wheat Trials as well as NCSU’s BOPS project, visit www.organicbreeding.ncsu.edu.
But, it just so happens that grain and seed cleaning infra- structure is one and the same. And so an idea began to take shape. Organic on-farm grain and seed cleaning infrastruc- ture would create not only a source for organic regionally adapted grain and cover crop seed, it would also provide a service to a grower who wanted to sell a higher value product—clean grain, bagged or in one-ton totes. Not only that, but numerous variet- ies of clean grain (in totes or bags) could be transported together on one truck—hard wheat, soft wheat, barley, rye, oats.
Enter Looking Back Farms. Already instrumental in their partnership with Lindley Mills in assuring a seed supply of TAM 303, a regionally adapted wheat variety, Kenny and Ben Haines expressed interest in set- ting up full-scale organic grain and seed cleaning infrastructure. This on-farm infrastructure would ensure a source for double certiﬁ ed grain and cover crop seed as well as provide a grain and seed cleaning service. But, they faced the chicken-egg scenario. Because the infrastructure did not yet exist and seed availability was still sparse, the demand for this service is not yet there.
So, in order to jumpstart this essential piece of our sustainable food system, the North Carolina Organic Bread Flour Project assisted Looking Back Farms. To- gether we sought and secured grant funding. Looking Back Farms received 40% cost share assistance from NC Market Ready for on-farm grain and seed cleaning infrastructure. And, we just learned that RAFI-USA awarded Look- ing Back Farms a Tobacco Communi- ties Reinvestment Fund Community Grant. Very good news indeed!
by Jennifer Lapidus, CFSA’s Organic Grains Program Coordinator
Carolina Ground, L3C had its first official board meeting this past week– a great group of folks and a very effective first meeting. Our board is made up of four bakeries (drawn from our pilot group of seven bakeries that have been working with the NC Organic Bread Flour Project for the last two years), one grower (Kenny Haines, for his years of experience growing and selling grains), one allied business (Brent Manning of the Riverbend Malt House), one allied non-profit (of course, our very own Roland McReynolds of CFSA!), one member from the community possessing skills the rest of us lack (John Dickson, formerly president on Asheville Savings Bank, and also a gifted photographer), and me, project coordinator of the North Carolina Organic Bread Flour Project, soon to be general manager and interim miller of Carolina Ground, L3C.
We began the meeting with introductions all around and then we dove right into the details. I handed out our financial projections, which show what we expect to pay per bushel for grain and what we expect to get per pound for flour. Here we were, bakers, a farmer, and the mill, and all the cards on the table. Our farmer (Kenny) said he thought the numbers looked fair. One of the bakers chimed in, asking why we should expect growers to sell to us at these prices in a year where commodities prices keep climbing. Kenny responded that it’s about long-term relationships. He said their farm would rather know, just like the bakeries, what their costs and income is going to look like year in and year out. We all need each other and fair pricing to the grower, miller, and baker is what is going to sustain us in the long run, not simply an amazing bushel price one year and rock bottom the next.
We rolled right into the next item of business—should we be an acting Board or simply an Advisory Board? Hands down, all agreed this would be an acting Board. A sub-committee of bakeries was established to determine criteria for the hiring of a miller—all agreed that this should be up to the bakers.
Wwhat brought us to the table for this first board meeting was not just that our growers have seed in the ground so we better have a board meeting soon, but that substantial pieces for Carolina Ground. L3C have fallen into place. At the beginning of February, our pilot group of seven bakeries met to discuss how we intend to finance Carolina Ground. It was decided we would launch a kickstarter campaign to match the grant we got which covers half the cost of our equipment (please, if you have not already done so, check us out and help us make this happen! http://kck.st/dRWAuR). It was also decided that we would seek equity investors to (hopefully) cover our build out costs. One of our bakeries compiled a list of potential investors, and, with success, he reached out to a handful of friends and community members. One of our investors wrote this to me in an email, so touching and inspiring, that I must share:
I will invest in the project because I think it is a good idea for the local farmers and bakers, not because I expect to make money. A return on my investment would be nice, but doing a project like this makes sense and seems like a better way to do things. My friendship with Steve and Gail is a big factor in my investment, but the bigger concept of connecting the growers and end users is a larger factor. Good luck with the project.
And spring has sprung!
The newest Stewardship News is now available in the members-only newsletter archive!
Just log-in (http://bit.ly/exw1I4)
and look for Newsletter Archives on the navigation
menu at the left. If you also get the paper edition, it should be in your mailbox next week!
This season’s edition features great stories about livestock! There are stories about Live Oak Farms, Labeling for Farmers, Sustainable Poultry flocks, Freedom Rangers, Backyard Chickens, Building the Local Food Economy, a delicious recipe for Beef and Spring Veggie Pot Pie, a great Ask the Expert feature all about livestock, as well as the latest association news and events! Plus – there’s a great excerpt from CFSA member, Diane Daniel’s new book, Farm Fresh NC!
Want to receive the Stewardship News? Become a CFSA member today!
The Sweet Potato—our blog about all things delicious, nutritious, and sustainably-grown in the Carolinas (http://www.carolinafarmstewards.org/blog has a gotten a face-lift and several new contributors. Posts could include anything from backyard chickens, gardening stories, great recipes or restaurant reviews, or a farm or farmers’ market profile!
> Want to write for the blog? Email Sarah today.
169 backers, $11,200 raised, 11 days to raise $6,800 More
Find out how you can support this unique program that aims to link the farmer, miller, and baker in the Carolinas with the goal of providing a viable market for local, organic hard and soft wheat and other small grains. Closing the distance between the farmer and baker is key. Fostering this relationship and reviving the community mill means a tangible level of security and sustainability for all three.
Your support of this project will be richly rewarded! Depending on the level of your donation, you could receive freshly ground flour, bread, pastries, bread making lessons and other great treats. Please support this important CFSA project today!
Watch the great campaign video and make your donation at: http://kck.st/icbcZC
Last month, attorneys for the Center for Food Safety (CFS) and Earthjustice filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), arguing that the agency’s recent unrestricted approval of genetically engineered (GE), “Roundup Ready” Alfalfa was unlawful.
The GE crop is engineered to be immune to the herbicide glyphosate, which Monsanto markets as Roundup. USDA data show that 93% of all the alfalfa planted by farmers in the U.S. is grown without the use of any herbicides. With the full deregulation of GE alfalfa, USDA estimates that up to 23 million more pounds of toxic herbicides will be released into the environment each year.
Last year the NC Dept. of Agriculture announced that it is legal afterall for a farm to process more than 1,000 poultry on premises without inspection. And as of this writing, an important bill, HB 162 passed the North Carolina House of Representatives unanimously, and is now on its way to the state Senate.
HB 162 would exempt small-scale on-farm agricultural processing from wastewater permit requirements where the farm operator produces no more than 1,000 gallons of wastewater per day and land applies that water with no discharge into surface waters. Under a hole in current regulations, even small amounts of wastewater from dairies, vegetable-washing operations, breweries and wineries are improperly classified as industrial waste, making required disposal methods prohibitively expensive for farmstead scale businesses. This bill will fix this problem.
CFSA was instrumental in the development of this bill. We conducted a survey of our farm members’ water use and documented the challenges members faced in acquiring wastewater permits. Two CFSA members, Kathryn Spann of Prodigal Farms and Debbie Stikeleather from The Winery at Iron Gate Farms testified in committee about the battles they have fought and the thousands of dollars they have spent unnecessarily under the existing regulatory program.
We are facing dire threats today that demand action by the sustainable ag community, producers and consumers alike:
Unfair budget cuts: Programs that support small-scale and organic farming and local foods are on the chopping block. In NC, the agricultural research station in Waynesville, which has been designated for organic research to support mountain producers, is at risk of being sold to help close a gap in the state budget. Likewise, NC’s state meat inspection system, which allows 147 local businesses to provide animal slaughter and processing without onerous federal inspection, may be eliminated. Ag extension and research NC State is under severe budget pressure. NC Extension is facing a proposed 30% budget cut this week.
> Take Action (taken from a Message from NC State Dean Johnny Wynne):
Contact your representatives in the NC General Assembly, both in the House and Senate. http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/GIS/RandR07/Representation.html
The Message: “I am a supporter of local foods and the state-wide initiative to increasing local foods consumption in the state. Local foods play a key role in providing nutritious, safe and healthy foods to consumers; supporting the economy and protecting the environment. I ask that you minimize reductions of the NCSU Agricultural Program that supports our valuable agricultural research and extension programs”
With these threats and a new Farm Bill on the schedule for next year, it is more important than ever that we step up the fight for policies to create a better food and farming system. Our community must take every opportunity to meet with legislators and share stories of how local, organic food can create jobs and make people and our environment healthy and productive. We must engage with regulators and traditional farmers to win their support for an alternative to the ‘get-big-or-get-out’ mindset that has driven farmers off the land and debilitated our rural communities.
We have experienced great and unexpected successes over the last several years. Now let’s build on that momentum, and make healthy, local, organic food and farming the ‘conventional’ way to grow and eat.
Share your News– Got a bright idea for a newsletter article or an upcoming event you’d like to publicize on the website? E-mail Amy.