As we reflect on 2012, SEMAP hopes you have found The VINE to be an e-newsletter that is a resource for you. As you purchase gifts and ingredients for the holiday season, and throughout the year, we hope that the On-Line Farm Guide proved an essential tool. We hope you have experienced working farms and tasted local food at our events like the Farm to Table Dinner, Bog Jog & Veggie Stampede. We hope you grew in knowledge and understanding of our local food system or increased the viability of your farm or local food business through our workshops and conference.
While our important work serves an essential role in the local food system of southeastern Massachusetts we were informed of some difficult news last week. Due to state budget cuts the Buy Local Grant Program will not be funded, These cuts have negatively impacted SEMAP's program budget for 2013 by $30,000.
SEMAP's programs and services will continue, and we see this as an opportunity to review our work, but we need your support now more than ever. Please click the link below to make a donation.
We hope you enjoy this month's The Vine e-newsletter and find it a resource you would not want go without.
SEMAP Executive Director
ANNUAL WINTER NETWORKING MEETING
Calling all Growers, Artisan Food Producers, Chefs & Local Food Purchasers
Wednesday, January 9th, 2013 - 6:00pm-7:30pm
187 Plymouth Ave., Building #8, Fall River, MA
Attend this year's Annual Winter Networking Event at
Urban Acres Farm in Fall River, MA!
For 2013, SEMAP has partnered with The Carrot Project to increase their programmatic outreach, offering financial opportunities for farms through loan programs specific to Southeastern MA. Executive director, Dorothy Suput will present on programs available to MA farmers, as well as offer free 'Ask the Expert' consultations.
hand before and during the meeting to sit with farmers and discuss their farm related financial questions. Sign up for these 15 minute one-on-one 'Ask the Expert' sessions now! (Limited availability.) Email Sarah to secure a time!
Bring your farm financial questions!
'Ask the Expert' One-on-One Sessions: The Carrot Project will be on
As always, the Annual Winter Networking Meeting is a free event that allows plenty of time for meeting new faces,catching up with old friends and sampling local food! We will also have an opportunity to view Urban Acres Farm (recent article) experiment lab where farm managers experiment with plant varieties, atmospheric conditions and nutrient mixes. This hydroponic farm is in its second growing season whose products include tomatoes, lettuce, herbs, cucumbers, peppers and melons. President
of Urban Acres, Brad Dean will also discuss their future ideas of expansion and the importance of food security in urban settings.
A Conference for Farmers, Families & Foodies
4 Workshop Tracks to include:
- UMass Extension Pest & Disease Workshops - Organic Soil Nutrient Management - Youth 4-H Workshops - Youth Cooking Demos - Backyard Gardener Workshops - Organic Track for Farmers/Gardeners - Land Leasing Opportunities - Farm Marketing Assessment Tools - Equipment Procurement & Maintenance - Farm Energy & Grant Information - Permaculture 101 - and much more!
Farmers' Market Events!
LOCAL FARM & FOOD EVENTS!
Soule Homestead Winter Vacation Program!
The Soule Homestead Education Center is accepting registrations for their December Vacation Program to be held December 26th through 28th. Children 5 to 10 years of age can sign up to participate in one, two or three days of wintertime fun, along with games, songs and crafts. [More information.]
South Shore Locavores: Easy Holiday Breakfast Ideas
Thursday, December 20th, 2012
Beal House, 222 Main Street, Kingston, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.
The next session of the South Shore Locavores series is coming right up on Thursday, December 20th, at the Beal House, 222 Main Street, Kingston. This session is "Easy Holiday Breakfast Ideas." This month, local chefs Martha Stone (of the much-missed Martha's Stone Soup restaurant) and Sara Welsh will give us ideas for delicious, easy holiday breakfasts, sweet and savory. Meaghan Swetish from Brown Boar Farm will join them to talk about local, humanely-raised breakfast meats. It won't be all talk -- expect some tasty samples, too!
Forgotten Foods, Lost Flavors, and Why They Matter
January 11, 2012 6:00 - Westport Town Grange - Main Rd., Westport, MA
The Trustees of Reservations proudly invites David Buchanan to the Westport Town Grange to talk about his new book, "Taste, Memory: Forgotten Foods, Lost Flavors, and Why They Matter.". David is the author of Taste, Memory which describes the importance and pleasures of biodiversity and its essential role in sustainable food systems.
Contact Nancy Durfee for more information, email@example.com, 774-488-9604
26th Annual NOFA/Mass Winter Conference
Worcester State University - January 14th, 2013
Join us for an exciting day with keynoter and seminar leader, Karen Washington. Karen will address the conference as a whole in her keynote speech, Hands across the Fields: Bridging the rural/ urban connections. What role do we each play in working towards a sustainable food system? Read on...
[Beginner Farmer Scholarships available!]
Farmer Announcements & Opportunities
REMINDER: USDA/NRCS EQUIP FUNDING DEADLINE - Dec. 21st, 2012
NRCS has announced a new round of funding as part of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), which helps to support energy audits and on-farm energy conservation. The application deadline is December 21, 2012.
Maple Producers - Efficient evaporators, steam enhanced units and reverse osmosis.
Greenhouses and Nurseries - Efficient heating systems, energy screens, and HAF.
Dairies, Orchards and Vegetable Farms - Electricity saving measures include refrigeration upgrades, pumps, motors and fans. (Contact your NRCS field office to apply.)
Farms interested in applying are required to meet NRCS eligibility requirements. Or get more information and updates on the website.
5th ANNUAL WINTER STUDY SERIES AT BRIX BOUNTY FARM
Agriculture In-Depth for Commercial Growers. Five Mondays beginning Monday Jan. 14th, 2013 through Monday Feb 11th (with snow date Feb 18th). We'll be reading/studying "The Intelligent Gardener: Growing Nutrient Dense Foods" by Steve Soloman. More info at http://www.brixbounty.com/event/winter-study/
AG CENSUS - Complete your form online!
Conducted every five years by USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service, the Census aims to capture a complete count of all U.S. farms, ranches and those who operate them. Census forms will be mailed out in late December, and responses are due by February 4th, 2013. Producers also have the option to complete their forms online.
Your response is important. Results of the Census are used to serve farmers and their communities today, and help benefit the future generations of farmers tomorrow. Legislators at various levels of government use the data when shaping farm policy, and agri-businesses factor it into their planning efforts. For more information about the Census, visit www.agcensus.usda.gov or call 1-800-4AG-STAT (1-888-424-7828).
RIACD FARM EQUIPMENT NEEDS & COOPERATIVE SOLUTIONS REPORT
RI Association of Conservation District's Farm Equipment Needs and Cooperative Solutions for Southern New England.
This report is the result of a year-long study made possible by a USDA/NIFA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Grant, and by the Rhode Island Agricultural Partnership through a van Beuren Charitable Foundation Grant. View the FULL REPORT here.
UNIVERSITY EXTENSION SURVEY ON FARM PROFIT PROGRAM
University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension and UMass Cooperative Extension are seeking your input to develop an educational program aimed at building capacity in existing farms to improve their net farm profits. In order to show interest and secure funding for this program, we need your help. Please take the online survey at the link below to help make the case. The survey should only take a few minutes of your time.
Your input is anonymous and will be extremely helpful in shaping this program and procuring funding. Here is a link to the survey https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/5MNBLPS
EMERGENCY CONSERVATION PROGRAM FOR HURRICANE SANDY
Owners of farmland in Bristol County who suffered severe damage from Hurricane Sandy may be eligible for assistance under ECP. While the USDA-FSA has already been accepting applications from farmland owners; this announces an official signup period that is required by program regulations. Farmland owners in Bristol County who may have suffered a loss should contact the following USDA, Farm Service Agency office:
Bristol/Norfolk/Suffolk County Farm Service Agency
104 Dean Street, Suite 204
Taunton, MA 02780
BEGINNER FARMER NETWORK LAUNCHES NEW WEBSITE!
A new website aimed at beginner farmers throughout MA has been launched by The Beginner Farmer Network of MA. This website is the product of a collaborative process with beginning farmers and farm service providers (including SEMAP!) throughout the state who want the information and services for beginning farmers to be coordinated and easy to find. Visit the new site at www.BFNMass.org.
NEW ONLINE FARM PROPERTY CLEARING HOUSE - New England Farm Finder
This new website, www.newenglandfarmlandfinder.org offers landowners a place to post available farms and farmland. With links to informational resources and complementary programs, this service fills an urgent need identified by task force research.
NEW MASSACHUSETTS FARM ENERGY GUIDES
Local farmers looking to cut energy costs can now plug into a wealth of information contained in the series of guidebooks released by the Massachusetts Farm Energy Program (MFEP). A project of Berkshire-Pioneer Resource Conservation & Development, MFEP is celebrating the national release of Massachusetts Farm Energy Best Management Practices Guides, now available online at: www.berkshirepioneerrcd.org .
LAND JOB STUFF
Visit this online bulletin board for jobs, equipment, housing, etc.
AG POSITIONS - OPPORTUNITIES:
YOUTH SERVICE AMERICA FOOD DAY GRANT OPPORTUNITY
Youth Service America and Sodexo Foundation are calling on young people to join the fight to end childhood hunger. Grants of $500 are available for youth ages 5-25 that live in the U.S. for projects to take place on or around Global Youth Services Day, April 26-28, 2013. Deadline for application is January 31, 2013. Find out more here: http://www.ysa.org/grants/sodexoyouth.
SEMAP Staff - Bridget, Sarah, Kristen