The VINE - e-Newsletter


January 2014   

Winter Networking Meeting
SEMAP Farm Spotlight
SEMAP Ag & Food Conference!
Local Food 101 events
Events & Announcements
Shout Outs
Send Us Your News
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Four Town Farm 
Dear Friends and Supporters: 
Happy 2014! Thank you again to all of our donors who have helped make our Annual Appeal a success! We raised just over $30,000 in donations and we're optimistic that this year will be a very productive one! Thank you all!
SEMAP's interim Board of Directors has been hard at work to guide SEMAP through this transition period. I'm thankful for their support and hope that you'll reach out to them in the coming months with feedback or questions. 
We hope to see you at our Annual Winter Networking meeting, Monday January 27th, or at our upcoming Winter Farmer Potlucks (schedule tbd)! And if you haven't registered for our 7th Annual Ag & Food Conference at New Bedford Voc Tech on March 22nd! Read on for more information on these events and other excellent opportunities this year. 
Kristen Irvin
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

3:00pm - 4:00pm - "Ask the Expert" one-on-one sessions with the Carrot Project (limited availability!)
3:30pm - Registration begins
4:00pm - Welcome & SEMAP organizational and program updates
4:30pm - Featured Presentation: Myrna Greenfield, Good Egg Marketing
5:30pm - 6:30pm - Networking time, snacks/refreshments, & tours of Simpson Spring

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 by marketing professional Myrna Greenfield of Good Egg Marketing, and time for "Ask the Expert" one-on-one 20-minute 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 goodies. 
*There are only a couple of "Ask the Expert" spots left! Email Kristen at [email protected] today to reserve your 20 minute session!
New in 2014: Come to hear all about SEMAP's new Farm Advancement Grant Program, piloting in 2014! This mini-grant pilot program will be open to SEMAP farm members, and requests for proposals will be coming soon! Learn more about this opportunity at our Networking Meeting. 
The winter networking meeting is a free event. Please register online.
SEMAP Farm Spotlight:

[Your Farm Pictured Here]

Announcement: SEMAP is looking for applicants for our new "Farm Spotlight" section of the Vine! The Vine is sent to our list of over 5,000 email addresses (businesses & individuals) each month, and we want to use this excellent opportunity to showcase YOU, our innovative,  talented, and dedicated local farmers. The information we gather from you on your farm, growing practices, acreage, challenges, successes, and more, might also be used for a Food System Assessment for our region, conducted by the Southeastern MA Food Security Network. The Assessment will serve as an overall snapshot of our current regional food system, and will be used as a tool for improving our food system into the future. 
We'll accept applicants on a rolling basis. However, the deadline to apply to be highlighted in the February Vine is next Friday, January 24th.
Interested in being profiled or want to learn more about the Food System Assessment? Please contact Kristen at [email protected] to learn more!
SEMAP's 7th Annual Agriculture & Food Conference
Saturday, March 22, 2014
at the Greater New Bedford Regional Voc Tech

Get the Early Bird Price by March 1st:
$25 for SEMAP Members
$35 Non-Members

$15 for High School Students (Bristol, Plymouth, Norfolk, Barnstable Counties) - Contact Kristen Irvin for student registration

Here's a sneak peak at this year's workshops and panel discussions:
Successful CSA Programs
Strawberries: Varieties, Planting Basics, Disease & Pests
High Tunnel Tomato Production Trials
Understanding Plant Growth for Gardeners
Home Brewing
Beginning Farmer Panel
Marketing/Social Media
Plus a farm tour
Yummy lunch prepped and served by the Voc Tech's own Culinary Department students!
...and a whole lot more!

We're looking for Conference SPONSORS & EXHIBITORS!
Great opportunity to advertise!
Please contact Kristen at [email protected] for more information. 
Thank you to our committed sponsors!
GNB Reg Voc Tech HS logo    

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 [email protected] 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.

Events and Announcements

SEMAP Winter Farmer Potlucks
Evenings, various locations - Coming soon! 
SEMAP's Farmer Potlucks are coming back! All growers welcome! Meet new farmers and old friends while enjoying home cooked (and grown) potluck delights.  Families welcome. More info to come.
SEMAP Farm Advancement Grant Program 2014
Attend SEMAP's Winter Networking Meeting to learn more about our mini grant pilot program for farmers! 
SouthCoast Serves Anti Hunger Campaign & MLK Day of Service
January 20th 5pm
Pilgrim United Church of Christ, New Bedford
Join SouthCoast Serves and partners this upcoming Monday, January 20th, at the Pilgrim United Church of Christ in New Bedford for the opening art exhibit for the Anti Hunger CampaignStop in 5PM-7PM and enjoy live music and good conversation. Stick around for a screening of 'A Place at the Table' for 7PM - learn about how food insecurity is effecting our country and support the pantries, food projects and soup kitchens trying to resolve the problems.


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 [email protected]


MDAR Ag Business Training Course: "Exploring the Small Farm Dream"
5 session evening courses (6pm-9pm)
Amherst: Wednesdays February 5, 12, 19, 26
Marlborough: Tuesdays February 4, 11, 18, 25
The Explorer Program is intended for those who are considering farming as a (small) business. Its purpose is to help pre-venture, aspiring farmers learn what it will take to start and manage their own agricultural enterprise. Contack Rick Chandler, MDAR, for more information: [email protected]

NOFA/RI Winter Conference & Annual Meeting: The Past, Present & Future of Organics

February 16, 2014, 10:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum

101 Ferry Road, Bristol, RI

Enjoy a potluck meal with delicious food. Please bring a dish or beverage to share and your own plates, cups and utensils to minimize waste. Enjoy the Mansion and Gardens before or after the event. Everyone is welcome. Pre-registration is recommended. Registration is on a sliding scale. Learn more and register at http://nofari.org/events/our-events. Send questions to Sanne Kure-Jensen at [email protected] or call (401) 369-3303.


Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts Local Food Trade Show

March 4th 8:30am - 1:30pm

Northeastern University

The Local Food Trade Show is designed to facilitate connections and stimulate trade between buyers and producers of local crops and food products. This event is organized by the Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts (sbnmass.org) and supported in part by a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (mass.gov/massgrown). Through this grant, the focus is on promoting specialty crops, but we also hope to engage other local food producers and interested wholesale buyers from Massachusetts and New England. For more information visit the website here


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

Register now! Contact Kristen Irvin at [email protected] if you are interested in presenting a workshop or becoming a sponsor or exhibitor!  


Mass Maple Association's Maple Weekend
March 22nd & 23rd
Participating in Massachusetts Maple Weekend is a great way to show that your restaurant is committed to supporting local farmers and serving your customers the sweetest ingredient the state has to offer. Please contact MMPA coordinator Winton Pitcoff at [email protected] or 413-628-3912 for more details or to sign up to participate. Visit http://www.massmaple.org/restaurants2014.php for more info.

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. 


Looking for employment? We like these sites:

Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group's Job Page


Land Jobs Stuff Google Group Page 


Shout-Outs & Extras
Check out our friends, the Beginning Farmer Network of Massachusetts! Visit their website for their awesome collection of resources and event calendar, and contact them if you have an event or resource to add!

Do you love dairy?? We do, too! Visit the Massachusetts Dairy Promo Board website and facebook page for great resources on Massachusetts dairy farms, products, and recipes!

To indulge your love of local food writing, pick up a copy of edible South Shore & South Coast or visit their website today to find great recipes, insight into hidden gems of the region's best local food producers, and to learn more about events and markets.

Excellent networking opportunity + fun: Young Farmer Nights! These evening gatherings at various farms in RI & Southeastern Mass are wicked fun and great chances to build your network of fellow farmers! Look for these to start back up again in the Spring/Summer.
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