NOFA-NH E-Newsletter: April 2021
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Dear Friend of NOFA-NH,
When the COVID-19 pandemic entered our lives just over a year ago, supporting local farms, growing our own food, and cooking and baking at home increased in popularity. Not only were most of us spending all of our time at home, but more folks began to realize the importance of a resilient food system and enjoyed reconnecting with nature.
As the world slowly returns to normal, we face an opportunity to avoid going back to business as usual. With your help, we’ll continue to share the importance of caring for our planet through using organic practices, managing healthy soil, and protecting our pollinators (to name just a few actions!). We encourage you to follow along and help us spread the word! You can also support our work by joining NOFA-NH or making a donation today.
We're looking forward to seeing you all again soon and hope you’ll be able to join us this summer for in-person, socially distanced and safe outdoor events. Stay tuned for details!
Yours in Good Health & Healthy Food,
One Day Left to Purchase the Winter Conference Video Package!
Workshop recordings from NOFA-NH's Winter Conference are available exclusively to conference ticket holders, and those who purchase the video package, through August 2021. Today’s the last day to buy the recordings – don’t miss out!
Watch the entire inspiring and educational weekend on video and learn from knowledgeable speakers covering topics including soil health, container gardening, herbalism and immune health, Indigenous foodways, farmland access and social justice, food systems, and so much more!
Gardening Classes & Technical Assistance During the Growing Season
There are two more weekly sessions of our Organic Gardening Series: “Growing Great Tasting Tomatoes” on April 20th and “Four Season Farming” on April 27th. From June to October, join us for monthly classes including instruction and technical assistance with organic farmer Ron Christie. Sign up for the series or individual classes at any time to get the recording and supplemental resources provided by Ron.
*If you’re an NH Electric Co-op member and interested in accessing financial assistance for the series, please contact us! Free tickets are available.
"The Illusion of Targeted Pesticides" published in the Concord Monitor
An opinion piece by NOFA-NH's Board of Directors was recently published in the Concord Monitor on April 7th. They wrote it to dispel some of the myths about pesticides that were advanced by two NH state legislators in a recent article entitled "Targeted Pesticides Crucial for New Hampshire Agriculture." In the article, the Board also promotes the idea that diversified, small-scale, organic agriculture is key to keeping New Hampshire healthy, well-fed, and flourishing in the 21st century.
NOFA White Paper: Organizing for Soil Health
Over the last couple years, the seven state NOFA chapters collaborated on a regional “Organizing for Soil Health” initiative. Supported by Farm Aid and Clif Bar, the project engaged organic and conventional farmers through conference workshops, educational events, field days, roundtable discussions and a final survey. To wrap up the project, former NOFA/Mass Education Director Caro Roszell put together a White Paper to present farmer perspectives and inform policy makers and ag service providers on what farmers need to support climate mitigation practices.
Help Add to the New Statewide Youth Gardening Map
A new resource is being developed by the NH School and Youth Garden Network, of which NOFA-NH is a partner, with the help of UNH Cooperative Extension. It will list and locate school and youth gardens across the state, and serve as a resource for learning and sharing about garden programs and ideas. Its aim is to generally build networks for garden support. Please fill out this survey or pass it along to the relevant folks and encourage them to complete it.
Gardening with kids is a priority for NOFA-NH. Along with food education, it has been a particular focus of our Education and Outreach Committee. We believe everyone benefits when children’s education includes time to learn about (and enjoy!) gardening of all kinds. Such learning is especially memorable and powerful when it’s combined with cooking and food education, including both nutrition and cultural heritage. If gardening is not part of the educational experience of children in your community, please advocate for such programs with your local School Boards, Principals, and Superintendent, and / or after-school children’s clubs and programs.
True Cost Accounting Considers Impacts of Food Production Systems
Considering all that goes into producing what we eat, large corporations are selling food at astonishingly low prices. But at what cost? They cut corners during production (pay their workers low wages, use systems that pollute the environment, concentrate animals in small spaces, etc.) and taxpayers ultimately end up paying for it elsewhere — excess healthcare costs (due to the lowered nutritional content and chemical contamination of the national food supply), assistance for underpaid workers, environmental cleanups, etc.
True Cost Accounting is "an initiative aimed at expanding our current economic methods for understanding the diverse impacts of various [food] production systems." It considers secondary costs and measures externalities and, while complex, it may help convince governments, companies, and citizens to make changes to their practices.
EWG's 2021 "Dirty Dozen" and "Clean Fifteen" Lists
Every year, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) releases a list of the top twelve crops contaminated with more pesticides of 46 tested. These are deemed the "Dirty Dozen." Of note: a single sample of kale, collard, and mustard greens contained up to 20 different pesticides.
On the other hand, the "Clean Fifteen" had the lowest amount of pesticide residues. Only 8 percent of these contained two or more pesticides.
Racial Equity Resources from Food Solutions New England
The 21-Day Racial Equity Habit-Building Challenge, organized by Food Solutions New England (FSNE), is currently underway. If you didn’t sign up for the challenge this year, we encourage you to take a look at the resources curated by FSNE, including overviews of race and racism, systems and structural racism, implicit bias and stereotype threat, whiteness and white privilege, food-system specific resources, and so much more.
Fiddleheads will be appearing soon. Maybe you have already seen them. How do you tell the difference between ferns that are edible and ones that are not? Go with someone knowledgeable the first time. The Ostrich Fern, which is the source of edible fiddleheads, isn’t the only fern that was foraged by Indigenous communities, but nowadays it is the most popular. The Abenaki considered them to be a valuable nutrition source particularly after the cold winter months when most of the storage crops had been depleted.
If you are lucky enough to find ramps, or wild leeks, along with the fiddleheads they will add tremendous flavor. (Please remember to forage responsibly, and with a spirit of reciprocity and gratitude. Take only what you need, and make sure to leave behind part of the patch so the plants can continue to thrive.)
You can find recipes for fiddleheads in the Spring Indigenous Harvest Calendar put together by NH Farm to School, Indigenous NH Collaborative Collective, and the Cowasuck Band of the Pennacook-Abenaki People.
Vital Communities & Others Offer Support to NH Farm and Food Businesses
Looking to take your farm business to the next level? A customized team of coaches can be just a call away. Thanks to a grant from the Northern Border Regional Commission, nonprofits from all over New Hampshire are teaming up to help farms and food businesses in in Belknap, Cheshire, Coös, Grafton, and Sullivan counties with business management, succession issues, financial matters, land planning, production planning and marketing. Get the support you need from Vital Communities, NH Community Loan Fund, Land for Good, and ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture.
Soil Health and Community Resilience: Stories from the North Recordings
"Stories from the North" is a six-part online webinar series organized by the Vermont Healthy Soils Coalition and Littleton Food Co-op. The webinars focus on soil health and community resilience in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont and the North Country of New Hampshire.
The final event of the series, "Learning from the Original Vermonters," will be held next week, on April 21st, from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. If you missed any of the previous webinars, recordings are available on the Vermont Healthy Soils Coalition's website.
Opportunities for Producers & Future Farmers
NH Department of Agriculture, Markets & Food’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program – Deadline: April 30, 2021
ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture Program Survey – Help identify needs among specialty crop producers in NH. Complete before April 30 for a chance to win a $75 gift certificate to Chappell Tractor in NH.
CCOF Future Organic Farmers Scholarship – Available to vocational and higher education students. Deadline May 14, 2021.
USDA Pandemic Assistance for Producers – Expands assistance and adds $500 million of new funding to existing programs, including support for socially disadvantaged farmers.
Scholarship Memberships Available: Join NOFA-NH for Just $20!
New this year, we are offering a $20 Scholarship NOFA-NH Membership to anyone requesting financial assistance. Members receive the same benefits as a Standard or Student/Senior member.
Please help us spread the word! Current members are eligible to receive a $5 discount toward any NOFA-NH event or educational program for referring a new member.
Invitation to Join Governance & Other Board Committees
NOFA-NH's Governance Committee develops and recommends to the Board a functional governance structure for the organization to increase effectiveness and efficiency, and it analyzes and recommends changes to current NOFA-NH governance structure.
We invite passionate and enthusiastic volunteers to join the Governance Committee or any of our seven other volunteer Board Committees. (Note: You do not have to be a Board Member to join.) Prospective members are welcome to attend a meeting. Please contact us for more information.
NOFA-NH Is Seeking Additional Board Members
Do you care about our food system? Do you have time and energy to offer NOFA-NH? We invite you to consider joining our Board of Directors! We’re looking for folks who: care about the environment, health and wellness, community advocacy; are skilled professionals or farmers; and/or are interested in farming, gardening, cooking, food, and drink. If interested, please contact our office at 603-224-5022 or email@example.com.
Meet Our Members: Introducing Liz and Rachel Freierman & Highwater Farm
NOFA-NH's knowledgeable and passionate members make our organization great. That's why we offer our members eligibility to be featured in the 'Meet Our Members' column of our e-news and on our website. Each month, we make our community a little closer by introducing you to someone new. Please contact us if you'd like to be featured.
Welcome New & Renewing Members
Thank you to our NOFA-NH Members who became new members or renewed their memberships in March2021.
Abenaki Springs Farm, Timothy Ainsworth, Good Earth Farm, John Herrmann, Hip Peas Farm, Shelley Laurie, Frank Mitchell, Ann and Tom Parziale, Todd and Sandra Ringelstein, Margaret Watkins, Work Song Farm
Fine Garden Assistants (Hillsborough County), 2-4 days per week
Gardens in Time is a small specialty gardening business that focuses on design, installation and renovation. We often coach clients so good social and communication skills are a must. Our goal is client satisfaction. We establish healthy environments for people, pets and plants. We transplant annuals, perennials, trees and shrubs with care. We nurture gardens by edging, weeding, deadheading, pruning, watering, compost mulching, also known as “fine tuning”. Knowledge of organic practices and plant materials is a plus, but willing to train if motivated to learn. Must be able to work independently with minimal direction.
Compensation dependent on experience and commitment level. Bonus commensurate with commitment when season is finished.
Please email work history and letter indicating your interests. Contact: Martha Coutts-Eisenberg, firstname.lastname@example.org
Camp Garden Coordinator: Have an interest in working with kids and experience in sustainable farming? (Lakes Region)
This is a summer position at Camp North Woods in the beautiful Lakes Region of NH. In addition to pay, room and board will be provided. For more information contact Elizabeth Dales at 603-273-2120. For a full description of this position go to the link below and use the search work “garden”. https://secure4.entertimeonline.com/ta/6115252.careers?rnd=FBD&JobsSearch=1
250 ft. Clear Slitted Plastic Row Cover & 500 3 to 6-in. pots (Canterbury)
Clear Slitted Plastic Row Cover, 250 feet. Place over wire hoops to create greenhouse environment; two self-venting slit rows. $45.00 You pick up. Canterbury, NH.
Also 500 3 to 6 inch pots; plastic and clay. Best offer. You pick up. Canterbury, NH.
Looking for Folks to Split Shipping Fee on 275 Gal. Food Grade & Clean IBC Containers (Keene)
Looking for folks interested in splitting the $125 shipping fee on 275 gallon food grade and clean IBC containers. Enterprise is in Louden. Price per container is $175. Shipping is $2.00/mile one way for up to 16 containers. Drop is in Keene. I need 6. Planning to place an order around April 20th. Call Jean 617-959-6791 soon!
Grow Nashua In Search of Volunteer Garden Tenders (Nashua)
Grow Nashua is in search of volunteer Garden Tenders for Nashua urban community gardens. The Tenders: act as hosts to their assigned site, coordinate with the Grow Nashua Garden Team to ensure the site is well-maintained, communicate with gardeners and the neighboring community, and ensure that gardeners have necessary resources and supplies. To learn more about this and other volunteer opportunities please visit this link.
NOFA-NH Members may post 1 free Classified per month on our Classifieds page and in this newsletter. Not yet members may post a Classified in the e-news and on our website for $45 per Classified per month. To inquire about this program and to share your Classified with our community, please contact email@example.com.
Please Note: The views and opinions expressed in these classifieds are those of our members and sponsors, and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of NOFA-NH, its staff, or Board of Directors. We reserve the right to reject content deemed unsuitable or inappropriate for our readership and distribution.
NOFA-NH's Winter Conference Book Store
Hosted by Main Street Book Ends
MainStreet BookEnds of Warner is a family owned, independent bookstore serving NH since 1998. They share a strong commitment to community, local farmers, children, teachers, local artists and authors, and all who enjoy reading the printed word. MainStreet BookEnds is proud to once again be the bookseller for NOFA-NH’s Winter Conference.
Books by conference presenters and others are available through our Winter Conference Book List! When placing a book order, be sure to write "NOFA-NH" in the comments. As always, 20% of proceeds from book sales go back to support NOFA-NH throughout 2021!
April 15, 16: Stonewall Farm's Holistic Management Series, Foundations of Holistic Management
April 20, 27: NOFA-NH's Organic Gardening Series, Classes #9-10
April 22-24: Monadnock Earth Day Film Festival
April 27: Cheshire CCD's BCS Tractor Trainings at Stonewall Farm
May 6, 20: Book Study with NOFA-NH & Seacoast Permaculture (every other Thursday)
May 6, 7: Stonewall Farm's Holistic Management Series, Holistic Planned Grazing
May 6: Virtual Sustainable Gardening Workshop, Climate Action New Hampshire
May 7: NH Food Alliance 2021 Network Café Series, held the first Friday of every month
June 3, 4: Stonewall Farm's Holistic Management Series, Holistic Financial Planning
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