NOFA-NH E-Newsletter: June 2021
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Dear Friend of NOFA-NH,
Thanks to a heat wave earlier this month, early summer crops like strawberries have already been popping up around the state. It’s a good time to revisit the EWG’s “Dirty Dozen” and Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce — strawberries are at the top of the list! Nearly 99 percent of strawberries tested by the USDA in 2015-16 had residue of at least one pesticide and about 30 percent had residues from ten or more. Try to buy organic whenever possible and ask your local farmers about their growing practices when shopping at a farmers’ market or farm stand. To find local producers, check out guides like the Merrimack County and Seacoast Harvest Local Food Guides or use NOFA-NH's Farm & Food Map to locate certified organic produce.
This summer, join us for the NOFA Summer Conference (virtually) from July 30th to August 6th, NOFA-NH's next Organic Gardening workshop with technical assistance, and our CRAFT of Farming peer-to-peer farmer training and farm tours, which will start later this summer.
Until then, happy growing!
Yours in Good Health & Healthy Food,
CRAFT Farmer Training Tours Start This Summer!
We are pleased to begin launching our 2021 CRAFT Farmer Training Program, a peer-to-peer farmer-led education, training and networking program for beginning and experienced farmers, farm workers, and anyone interested in learning about organic farming practices. Topics range from intensive growing to certified organic maple syrup to leasing land. More tours will be announced soon!
Guidance for Your Organic Gardens
Looking for advice about your veggie garden or want to learn how to make it better? As part of NOFA-NH's Organic Gardening Series, organic farmer Ron Christie is providing monthly instruction and technical assistance to help growers with their gardens during the season. Enter your questions here and join us for the next class on Tuesday, July 13th from 6:00-8:00 p.m.
NOFA Summer Conference, July 30th - August 6th
Enjoy this year’s NOFA Summer Conference from the comfort of your home roost! Gather virtually with great minds in the world of organic agriculture in this virtual week-long event. Going virtual means more organic farmers, soil enthusiasts, food lovers, and activists can come together during the busy growing season. Now with a sliding scale registration structure that makes attending more accessible than ever.
NOFA-NH's 50th Anniversary Event: What Stories to Tell?! What Memories to Share?!
The Northeast Organic Farming Association was formed in 1971. To celebrate NOFA’s 50th anniversary, this fall NOFA-NH will be hosting a gathering of members from across the decades, organic farmers, gardeners, and eaters. Planning is underway – stay tuned!
Help make the event even more celebratory by sharing your NOFA-NH memories! We’ll be collecting stories, photos, and videos to memorialize NOFA-NH’s first 50 years, to honor the struggles and the fun, and to pass along lessons learned. Keep an eye out for an email next week with more details, and in the meantime, we invite you to start reflecting on your NOFA experiences over the years.
It's National Dairy Month! CAFOs Impact Small Farmers
Started in 1939 as a marketing campaign to encourage folks to drink more milk during the warm summer months, National Dairy Month can be something more than just that: it can become a time to celebrate local dairy farmers, amazing and generous cattle, and the soil health benefits of certain types of grazing.
As you may already be aware, a dairy crisis has been going on for a long time; factory-scale farms are flooding the market with milk produced under environmentally destructive and inhumane conditions. This has driven down the price per gallon and is forcing smaller family farms out of business. Here's an article that describes what's happening and why it's important to support organic milk sourced from small-scale producers.
Remembering Organic Farmer and NOFA-NH Board President Larry Pletcher
NOFA-NH is saddened to learn of the passing of Larry Pletcher of Vegetable Ranch in Warner, NH. We remember with gratitude his leadership in the organic community across many years. He was a NOFA-NH member, a former Board Member and past Board President (more than once).
Three years ago, Larry shared some of his perspectives on organic agriculture in an interview for an in-depth article about the Local Harvest CSA, another organization to which his farm belonged. While Larry explained that he chose to farm organically because of the harmful health effects of pesticides and persistent synthetic fertilizers, he also championed organic produce for its good flavor.
We are heartened to know that the Pletcher Family will continue farming the land in some capacity, as it is now conserved through an easement with Five Rivers Conservation Trust. We are grateful for Larry's vision and work.
More Evidence Against the Use of Pesticides and Herbicides
Perhaps not surprisingly, there is increasingly more scientific evidence of the harm caused by pesticides and herbicides in our environment. Recent examples include:
Study shows that non-active, inert ingredients in Roundup brand herbicide have larger impact on bee deaths than glyphosate. Read More.
As contaminated water concerns grow, Massachusetts towns urge the state to stop spraying pesticides in their communities. Read More.
How Pesticides Are Harming Soil Ecosystems. Read More.
The Benefits of Locally Produced Foods in Schools
Fresh, locally produced food in schools is good for children, farmers, and the local economy. The Vermont Legislature passed a Local Foods Purchasing Incentive bill last month, which will allocate $500k to encourage schools to buy more VT-produced food by offering “an additional reimbursement to schools that achieve local purchasing targets.” The discussion on the House Floor, including folks speaking in support of the initiative, is available to watch here.
Juneteenth Food Traditions
Juneteenth (June 19) is a holiday that commemorates the day in 1865 that Union troops entered Galveston, Texas to spread the word that slavery had ended. In celebration of Juneteenth last year, A Growing Culture in partnership with The Hunger for Justice Series hosted panel discussions with prominent Black voices in the food movement. Episode 10 was a panel discussion about land ownership and self-determination for BIPOC farmers. For a short period of time following the Civil War, formerly enslaved people made some gains in land ownership; there was a recognition that working together was mutually beneficial and food was grown and shared communally. Years later, Fannie Lou Hamer started The Freedom Farm Cooperative in Mississippi in 1969, understanding that collective liberation could be gained by communal land ownership and stewardship. As Leah Penniman says, “To free ourselves, we must feed ourselves.”
Here are two recipes that celebrate the long-standing food traditions associated with Juneteenth.
Majority Stake in Pete and Gerry's Organics Acquired by LA-based Company
The majority stake in Pete and Gerry’s Organics, LLC of Monroe, NH has been acquired by Butterfly, a Los Angeles-based investment management company.
"Pete and Gerry’s CEO, Jesse Laflamme, will retain an ownership position and continue to help move the business forward. British Columbia Investment Management Corporation will become a new minority investor in Pete and Gerry’s alongside Butterfly and Mr. Laflamme."
NH Eats Local Month: Call for Partners
We’re partnering with the NH Food Alliance, farms, restaurants, and other businesses around the state to celebrate our local food system during NH Eats Local Month in August. The NH Food Alliance is seeking partners for this year’s celebration! It's a no-cost, in-kind promotional partnership opportunity that all farms, restaurants, food producers, and other small businesses invested in our local food system can join. Help us spread the word about the importance of eating local!
Opportunities for Farmers and Other Food System Folks
COVID Relief for Farmers of Color — Pasa Sustainable Agriculture is accepting applications through June 26th for $500 one-time payments to farmers of color.
Call for Proposals, NESAWG Conference — The Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group is seeking proposals connected to the 2021 Conference theme, Resistance and Healing Amidst Crisis and Injustice. Priority will be given to sessions presented by traditionally underrepresented groups which directly address some aspect of inequity in the food system.
Volunteer with NOFA-NH!
We're expanding our Volunteer Program and are looking for folks who are interested in supporting our mission of building a local, sustainable, and healthy NH food system. Click here to read about the different opportunities or fill out this Volunteer Interest form to be added to our list.
Please join us on July 14th from 6:30-7:00 p.m. for our first bi-monthly, virtual Volunteer Meeting to learn more about NOFA-NH's programs and volunteer opportunities. Contact us for the Zoom link.
Invitation to Join Fundraising & Marketing and Other Board Committees
NOFA-NH's Fundraising & Marketing Committee helps develop financial resources and implements fundraising activities so that NOFA-NH can increase awareness of the organization and its mission to potential financial contributors including stakeholders, legislators, policy makers and the general public.
We invite passionate and enthusiastic volunteers to join the Fundraising & Marketing 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.
Welcome to the Board, Deneé Woods!
Deneé Woods joined NOFA-NH's Board of Directors earlier this year. Born and raised in rural Illinois, Deneé has been passionate about local food and organic farming since high school and spent her early adulthood exploring homesteading, farming, urban gardening, and keeping backyard poultry and rabbits. She holds a degree in Communication & Media Studies and Marketing from Plymouth State University, and now works in digital marketing at Pete and Gerry's Organics, LLC while serving on NOFA-NH's Fundraising & Marketing and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committees.
NH Farmer Spotlight: Hari Adhikari and Prem Khatiwada
This month, we’re highlighting two farmers who settled in New Hampshire after emigrating from Nepal. Hari Adhikari and her husband Prem Khatiwada participate in the Organization for Refugee and Immigrant Success’ New American Sustainable Agriculture Program. They sell their produce through the Concord Farmers’ Market and Fresh Start Farms CSA.
Welcome New & Renewing Members
Thank you to our NOFA-NH Members who became new members or renewed their memberships in May 2021.
Farm Help Needed (Contoocook)
Grounding Stone Farm is a small certified organic blueberry family farm in Contoocook, NH. Duties include, manning farm stand for our "Pick Your Own" customers, guiding and checking out customers, picking and sorting for pre-ordered and wholesale customers, helping to schedule and manage pickers, weeding, and recording the farm stand sales. Seasonal: late June to late August 2021. Contact Kathleen Jacobs or David Miller: 413-563-5912 or email email@example.com
Seeking Full Time Dairy Herd Manager
Churchtown Dairy seeks full time Dairy Herd Manager. See website for details: https://www.churchtowndairy.org/careers.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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!
June 22: Virtual Sustainable Gardening Workshop (Climate Action NH)
June 22-July 20: Crop Production Workshop Series, Summer Management (New Entry Sustainable Farming Project)
June 24: Disparity to Parity Webinar: The History of Parity
July 5: Min Till Farmers Call (NOFA/Mass), held the 1st Monday of every month
July 13: Organic Gardening Series Workshop
July 20: Beecology: a Citizen Scientist Helping Pollinators (NH Audubon)
July 30-August 6: NOFA Summer Conference
August 3-31: Crop Production Workshop Series, Fall Harvest (New Entry Sustainable Farming Project)
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