The VINE - e-Newsletter


February 2014   

SEMAP Ag & Food Conference!
SEMAP Farm Spotlight
Events & Announcements
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Four Town Farm 
Dear Friends and Supporters,
Had enough of winter yet? Don't despair! Mardi Gras, maple season, and spring planting are right around the corner! What better way to cope with the slush and cold than with a tasty new winter recipe using products grown and raised in our region? Head on over to edible South Shore & South Coast's website for a recipe to warm up your home and belly. And visit the Online Farm Guide and MDAR's Mass Grown & Fresher site for information on finding local ag products, specialty foods, recipes, and guides to what's in season. 
Still need more to look forward to? Mark your calendars: March 22nd is SEMAP's Annual Agriculture & Food Conference! Registration is open and we're keeping the fee low to make sure beginning farmers, students, and families can all come out to enjoy the day. Visit the conference website to learn more and sign up!  The lineup of workshops and presenters is not to be missed and there will be something for everyone. Plus: The Carrot Project will once again be offering their "Ask the Expert" one-on-one sessions for those of you getting started with your farm or local food business, and Easton's Todd Sandstrum will take the stage to present the story of the South Shore Great Pumpkin Challenge. Learn more on the conference website. We hope to see you there!
Kristen Irvin
SEMAP Program Director
SEMAP's 7th Annual Agriculture & Food Conference
Saturday, March 22, 2014
at the Greater New Bedford Regional Voc Tech


Volunteer opportunities are available - Email Kristen at [email protected] if you would like to volunteer at this year's conference. All volunteers receive a lunch, access to the conference workshops, and a SEMAP t-shirt.

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

This year's workshops and panel discussions:


Successful CSA Programs (Farmer panel with Kate O'Dwyer of Langwater Farm, Steve Murray of Heart Beets Farm, and Jim Buckle of Buckle Farm)

The Importance of Record Keeping - Brad Clegg, 4 Town Farm

Strawberries: Varieties, Planting Basics, Disease & Pests - Sonia Schloeman, UMass Extension Fruit Specialist

High Tunnel Tomato Production Trials - Andy Radin, URI Extension

Understanding Plant Growth for Gardeners: From Nutrient Uptake & Mobility to Photosynthesis, Plant Compounds, & Plant Secondary Metabolites - Derek Christianson, Brix Bounty Farm

Beginning Farmer Panel - Land Leasing focus (presenters TBD)

Building Your Brand - Myrna Greenfield of Good Egg Marketing

Soil Nutrient Management in High Tunnels - Geoffrey Njue, Green Industry Specialist, UMass Extension - Wareham



Home Brewing - Sanne Kure Jensen, NOFA/Rhode Island, URI Extension

Starting A Garden - Jim Lough, Bay End Farm

Cooking Nutrionally In Season - Nicole Cormier, Delicious Living Nutrition

Vermicomposting - The Worm Ladies

Community Tree Farm of Fall River - Perry Long, Director of Neighborhood Development & Outreach, City of Fall River, and Matt Thomas, attorney

Farm Tour: The Trustees of Reservations Haskell property and gardens, New Bedford


Thank you to our committed sponsors!
GNB Reg Voc Tech HS logo    
SEMAP Farm Spotlight:

Heart Beets Farm
Berkley, MA

SEMAP's new Farm Spotlight series has kicked off this month with an interview at Heart Beets Farm in Berkley, MA. Owners Steve and Sarah Murray, along with new bundle of joy Juniper and a very energetic and friendly Australian cattle dog, Opal, welcomed us into their home to tell us about their new business venture. Read the full story and view photos of the farm on SEMAP's website here! 
Events and Announcements

Bristol County Conservation District is pleased to offer for sale this year 'certified' Cape American Beach Grass for shoreline stabilization projects. The deadline for orders is Thurs., Feb. 27th, 2014. To place an order or for any additional information contact Sue Guiducci at 508-990-2854 or [email protected] The Bristol County Conservation District is a subdivision of state government and is responsible for the wise use and conservation of the County's natural resources. 


SEMAP Workshop: Cooking Nutritionally In Season, with Nicole Cormier of Delicious Living Nutrition
Wednesday, March 5th, 6:30pm-8:00pm
How on Earth, Mattapoisett
There are only a couple of spots left! Learn more & register here.
Rhode Island Women in Agriculture Conference
Tuesday, March 11th
URI, Kingston, RI
SEMAP Farmer Potlucks!
Wednesday, March 12th, Easton; future dates TBD
SEMAP's Farmer Potlucks are coming back! Meet new farmers and old friends while enjoying home cooked (and grown) potluck delights.  Families welcome. 
SEMAP Farm Advancement Mini-Grant Program 
The request for proposals for SEMAP's 2014 farm advancement mini-grants will be announced Monday, March 3rd. Stay tuned!

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] for more information on the lineup or registration. 


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. 

Join the National Young Farmers Coalition:

National Young Farmer Coalition, of which YFN is an affiliate member, is building individual membership right now! We encourage you to check out their website  to learn about the work they do, and consider joining. The membership perks include discounts to seed companies and other service providers, so now is the time to join.   


Snake Den Farm - Request for Farm Proposals 

In September of 2013, the Northern RI Conservation District obtained a long term lease on historic Snake Den Farm in Johnston, RI. Since then, we've been working tirelessly to lay the foundation and build the structures needed to get the land opened back up for farming.  
We fully intend to lease land and buildings on this 150 acre farm to agricultural producers in Spring of 2014. This goal has taken a considerable amount of preparation. It's a big project with more moving parts than one might think, but we're finally ready to commit!  
If you or someone you know is looking for farmland, keep us in mind. A formal and detailed Request For Proposals will be released on or around 2/26, but our website provides potential leaseholders with a brief overview and RFP preparation checklist. 
Farm land opportunity: Hilltop Farm, Westport, MA
Earl Matthews and wife Allison own and operate Hilltop Farm in Westport, MA.  28 acres total, 5 cultivated currently. The couple is thinking of converting the old farmhouse and one of the out buildings into 3 farm condos.  Each unit would have a minimum of 5 acres (currently in pasture), an out building, 2 parking spaces (one in the garage the other in the driveway) a chicken coop (approx 100 feet long), the use of tractor implements (disc harrow, tyne harrow, tiller, bedder, transplanter, sprayer, spreader, manure spreader and box blade).  The house will be totally remodeled inside and out.  The units will have a kitchen, a bath and a half bath, family room and one or two bedrooms. The fields are available now for this seasons growing, the renovations should be complete by the years end. Contact Earl at [email protected] or (857) 636-9674.


Looking for employment? We like these sites:

Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group's Job Page


Land Jobs Stuff Google Group Page 


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