NOFA-NH E-Newsletter: May 2020
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Farm Share Program Reaching 43 Households in 2020
Applications for our Farm Share Program are closed, and all shares have been distributed. With the help of our generous farmers, sponsors and donors, 43 subsidized farm shares will serve 123 low-income NH residents over 11 to 28 weeks in 2020, compared with 15 shares & 53 individuals in 2019.
Participating Farms: Abenaki Springs Farm, Brookford Farm, Local Harvest CSA, Mountain Heartbeet, Picadilly Farm, Pork Hill Farm, Stonewall Farm, Stout Oak Farm, and Work Song Farm
Gleaning Program Distributes Eggs in Plymouth Area
Our Gleaning Coordinator has been distributing eggs every week over the last month, to affordable housing communities, food pantries, and other organizations serving low-income residents in the Plymouth area. We would like to thank Pete & Gerry’s for the donation and the Merrimack County Conservation District for partnering on this effort.
COVID-19 Community Impact Survey & GOFERR Testimony
We received 178 responses to the COVID-19 Community Impact Survey. The responses were extremely valuable in shaping NOFA-NH’s testimony to the Stakeholder Advisory Board of the Governor’s Office for Emergency Relief and Recovery (GOFERR), the advisory board that will help the Governor decide how to spend New Hampshire’s $1.25B CARES Act funds.
NOFA-NH Signs on to "Relief for America's Small Farmers Act" Letter
Together with our national allies, NOFA-NH has signed a letter in support of proposed legislation from Senator Gillibrand: The Relief for America's Small Farmers Act. This bill would provide direct relief to small farmers to alleviate their crushing debt and protect our most vulnerable farmers. Such legislation and advocacy for local farms is vital at this time. Small and mid-scale farmers producing for local markets have the greatest potential for providing food security and resilience to New Hampshire, helping to circulate money through our economy, and provide jobs.
Failings of the Global Food System & A Need for Resilience
The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the fragility of our global food system and the importance of our local food producers. This article from The American Prospect highlights major failings in the international food system, and also addresses the potential benefits and challenges associated with the local and regional food systems that are emerging here in New England.
In New Hampshire, farmers’ experiences during the pandemic are mixed. While smaller producers are experiencing an uptick in sales, larger farms who sell on the wholesale market are not as fortunate. But no farm should go out of business during the pandemic, according to Sarah Alexander, Executive Director of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA).
COVID-19 Brings Back 'Victory' Gardens
Many Americans are turning to gardening in response to the coronavirus pandemic; the trend has been compared to the Victory Gardens of the World War II era. Gardening helps us feel connected. It offers signs of life’s resilience. It grounds us in a time of uncertainty. Read more about the impulse to garden in hard times here.
If you’ve started a garden or are considering starting one, check out these helpful resources:
COVID-19 Resources for Farmers
Congress is working on the next round of COVID-19 stimulus funding, which includes aid for organic farmers. In the meantime, check out these resources:
Farmers’ Guide to COVID-19 Relief – Farmers' Legal Action Group
SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance – Small Business Administration programs
5 Lean Concepts for Farming During Turbulent Times – Ben Hartman, author of The Lean Farm
On-Farm Food Safety – Rutgers
Resources for Consumers
Find Meals for Kids — Helping families find meals for their children while schools are closed.
NH Food Access Map — Enabling food access organizations to offer their services and share their needs with the public.
NH Farm Product Map — Connecting farms directly with consumers.
NH Feeding NH Initiative
NOFA-NH is collaborating with the NH Food Alliance, NH Farm Bureau, the NH Food Bank and other statewide organizations to organize a crowdfunding campaign that will support the procurement of local foods by food pantries around the state. The program will help fresh, healthy local foods reach those who are facing food insecurity, while helping farmers receive fair prices for their products. Stay tuned for more information!
Welcome to the Board of Directors, Colleen O'Brien!
Colleen O’Brien joined our Board of Directors in April 2020. Colleen works for a national nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting and advocating for organic food and farming, and she specializes in policy and regulations for organic crop and livestock production. She has a long career dedicated to organic certification, agriculture policy, and environmental education.
NOFA-NH Board of Directors Changes Leadership
Our Board of Directors changed leadership in April, as Amy Manzelli, Esq. termed off the Board after seven years of service. Many thanks to Amy for all that she has done for NOFA-NH during her time as Board President.
Laura Hartz (Orr & Reno, P.A.) has assumed the role of President, Edith Pucci Couchman is the new Vice President, John Martin is now Secretary, and Steve Forde remains NOFA-NH's treasurer.
Meet Our Members: Introducing Patti Powers and Cheshire Garden
NOFA-NH's knowledgeable and passionate members make our organization great. That's why we offer our members with farms and farm-related businesses eligibility to be featured in the 'Meet Our Members' e-news column. Each month, we make our community a little closer by introducing you to someone new. Featured members are chosen by random lottery.
Welcome New & Renewing Members
Thank you to our NOFA-NH Members who became new members and renewed their membership in April 2020.
Sharon Ayer, Susan Gonya
Kroka Expeditions Seeking Farmer to Join Dynamic Team
Kroka Expeditions is seeking a farmer to join our dynamic team. Our diversified farm is comprised of 30 acres of pasture, hay fields and gardens amidst a beautiful 100-acre campus. Livestock includes dairy cows, laying hens, and a draft horse. Our gardens produce a variety of greens, root crops, fruits, and berries to feed 1,000 students who join Kroka’s programs annually. The farm is managed by two full-time farmers and aided by apprentices, staff, and students. Working in a close-knit team, our farmers plan and execute food production and farm education, while caring for the land and the animals using biodynamic and organic practices. To apply visit www.kroka.org/hiring or email email@example.com.
Farming couple (early thirties) looking to acquire farmland in Cheshire or Sullivan County, NH
We have many years of experience in intensive no-till organic vegetable production, and we would like to begin a similar farming operation in driving distance from Keene, NH. We are looking for a long-term or even permanent location in which to farm. We have steady day jobs currently, so financing is not a problem. We are open to discuss different options for land transmission, whether it be lease to own, a standard purchase, etc. Please get in contact with us if you or anyone you know is looking to sell a piece of land and who would like to see it farmed responsibly. Contact Kyle at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 603-242-6202 (landline, no texts).
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.
May 5-26: Edible Landscaping with a Permaculture Twist Webinar Series (NOFA-NJ)
May 15: Resiliency Skills Webinar Series: Growing Worms for Greener Gardens, Living Soil & Healthy Climate (NOFA/Mass)
May 18: Best Practices for Farmers Markets: Thinking through Operations during a Pandemic and Beyond (UNH Extension, NH DAMF)
May 20: Backyard Chickens with Joseph Heckman, PhD (NOFA-NJ)
May 21: Food Systems Summit: Building Bridges with Farmers and Industry
May 22: Resiliency Skills Webinar Series: Inviting Beneficial Insects to Your Farm (NOFA/Mass)
May 27: Soil Health Assessment for Farmers & Gardeners (NOFA/Mass, NOFA-NJ, CT-NOFA)
May 28: Food Systems Summit: The Future of Food Policy
June 9-10: NH Gives
June 10: North Country Lunch & Learn: Backyard Chickens: Bird is the Word
Future NOFA/Mass Min Till Farmer Call Dates: Mon July 6, Mon Aug 3, Mon Sept 7, Mon Oct 5, Mon Nov 2, Mon Dec 7. All calls 7-8 pm. Dial 413-259-8022 to join.
What's happening in neighboring states?
NOFA/Mass Events | NOFA-VT Events | MOFGA Events