The VINE - e-Newsletter


December 2013   

Winter Networking Meeting
Local Food 101 events
SEMAP Ag & Food Conference!
Dairy Spotlight
Events & Announcements
Send Us Your News
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View our photos on flickr
Four Town Farm 
Dear Friends and Supporters: 
As the year comes to a close and we busy ourselves with preparing for the holidays, buying Christmas gifts, making travel arrangements, and planning menus, it's important to take a few minutes to slow down and relax. We at SEMAP have not been immune to the end-of-the-year stress and whirlwind, but I encourage us to pause for a second to exchange some virtual pats on the back and high fives. I'd like to extend some great big thank yous to the SEMAP Team: our executive director, Bridget Alexander; the Board - the current members and incoming group; our enthusiastic and passionate volunteers; our generous donors; and our farmers and food producers. We're looking forward to a busy, productive, and exciting 2014, and recognize that, without everyone's support and collective effort, SEMAP's impact would be less. Thank you to all who have already donated to our annual appeal! If you haven't, please click here to make your tax-deductible year end contribution to SEMAP today. 
Happy holidays and we'll see you at our Annual Winter Networking event on January 27th! 
Kristen Irvin
SEMAP Executive Assistant 
Some of the SEMAP "Annual Appeal Crew" stuffing those envelopes! Go Team!

Calling all Farms, Chefs, Schools, Caterers and Businesses:
You are invited to attend
SEMAP's Annual Winter Networking Meeting
Monday, January 27th, 3:30pm - 6:30pm
hosted by
719 Washington St. Route 138, Easton, MA 02375

The Annual Winter Networking Meeting is an excellent opportunity to meet new buyers, growers and producers, and reconnect with businesses and individuals you may already know but want to learn more about! This year's meeting will be hosted by SEMAP member business Simpson Spring in Easton (easy to find on Rt. 138!) and will feature an update on the state of SEMAP, a featured presentation for farmers, and time for "Ask the Expert" one-on-one sessions with the Carrot Project  consultants where you can ask your burning financial and business planning questions. And of course, the event will offer plenty of time for networking and munching on local food! 

Save the Date! Registration will be open soon. The winter networking meeting is a free event.

PLUS look out for details on our Winter Farmer Potlucks! More info to come in our January Vine.

Local Food 101: The How, Where & Why of Local Food & Sustainable Farming 
in Southeastern Massachusetts

Interested in having a discussion with your community or school group on various aspects of the local food system?  Want to learn more about where to find locally produced food? Call SEMAP! We'd like to engage with you on the how, where and why of local food and sustainable farming in our region. One of our goals is to increase awareness on the environmental, social, economic and health impacts of our food system, and we want to hear from you! Contact Kristen Irvin at kirvin@semaponline.org for more information on organizing a (free) "Local Food 101" event!

Local Food 101 presentations made possible by a grant from the Community Foundation of Southeastern MA - SEEAL Fund.

Save the Date: 
SEMAP's 7th Annual Agriculture & Food Conference
Saturday, March 22, 2014
at the Greater New Bedford Regional Voc Tech

Registration will be open soon!

Here's a sneak peak at this year's workshops and panel discussions:
Understanding Plant Growth for Gardeners
High Tunnel Tomato Production Trials
Beginning Farmer panel
Value added production
How to Start a Garden
Grass-based Protein Production in Southeastern Mass.
Plus a farm tour
...and a whole lot more!

Interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at the Conference? 
Please contact Kristen at kirvin@semaponline.org. 
Dairy Spotlight:
Lolans Farm
121 Thompson St.
Middleboro, MA

Run by Sam & Susan Shields, Lolans Farm is a 100 acre farm owned by the Blanchard family in Middleboro where the Shields raise about 60 Holsteins milking for the Agri-Mark/Cabot Cooperative. The family also raises laying hens and has a seasonal farm stand where they sell their eggs and their own produce, annuals, seasonal decor, as well as local fruit. 

Follow Lolans Farm on Facebook, visit their farmfresh.org page for contact information, and check out the Massachusetts Dairy Promo Board online as well! 

Events and Announcements

Scholarship Opportunity for Better Process Control School
Application Deadline: December 20th
Offered through UMass Amherst and MDAR
Better Process Control School: January 7 - January 10
Interested in learning more about food safety around value-added processing?
MA Food Policy Alliance Convening
January 23, 2014 9:30am - 3:00pm
Central MA Planning Commission, Worcester Union Train Station
Food and agriculture leaders and professionals are invited to participate in the Massachusetts Food Policy Alliance convening, Food Systems Planning: Need, Efficacy & Engagement on Thursday, January 23, 2014 from 9:30 - 3:00
 at the offices of the Central MA Planning Commission in the Union Train Station in Worcester. This is an opportunity to learn about and discuss food systems planning and to begin participating in the Massachusetts planning process. If you are interested in attending, send an email to manager@mafoodpolicyalliance.org.


NOFA/MA Winter Conference
January 11, 2014, Worcester State University
60+ workshops! Keynote by Restoration Agriculture author, Mark Shephard. 
New England Meat Conference

March 7th & 8th, Concord, NH

The goal of the New England Meat Conference is to enhance the production, processing, and marketing of sustainable, nutritious, humanely-raised, and delicious meat from New England farms and processors by providing educational and networking opportunities for meat producers, processors and consumers. 

View the Conference website here.


SEMAP's 7th Annual Ag & Food Conference

March 22, 2014, New Bedford Regional Voc Tech High School

Registration will be open soon! Contact Kristen Irvin at kirvin@semaponline.org if you are interested in presenting a workshop or becoming a sponsor or exhibitor! 


Legal Issues: Free webinar series from Farm Commons

Follow this link to the Beginning Farmer Network of MA website to see the lineup of Farm Commons' free Legal Issues webinar series. The webinars cover everything from CSA Legal Issues (Dec. 17th) to Hosting On-Farm Events (Jan. 13th) and Food Safety Liability & Regulations (March 25th). The 8-webinar series began with Overview of Farm Legal Issues on Dec. 2nd. 


Ivory Silo Seed Project

The mission of the Ivory Silo Seed Project is to foster a regionally-adapted seed stock for the South Coast.  If we continue to lose genetic diversity in the seed world, we put our food supply at risk. Click here to learn more about this new endeavor and to contribute to the fundraiser to get it going.


In the News:

Proposed raw milk regulations from Foxboro Board of Health withdrawn at public hearing, December 16th

Click here to read the story 


Looking for employment? We like these sites:

Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group's Job Page


Land Jobs Stuff Google Group Page 


Want Your Events & Announcements in
The Vine?

 Email us your events and share with our 5,000+ readers!  A benefit of SEMAP Membership.

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Please contact us with any questions, suggestions or concerns.  We want to hear from you!
Bridget & Kristen