The VINE - e-Newsletter


March 2014   

SEMAP Ag & Food Conference!
Events & Announcements
Send Us Your News
Like us on Facebook
View our photos on flickr
Four Town Farm 
Dear Friends and Supporters,
The 7th Annual Ag & Food Conference of Southeastern MA is just around the corner! Come out to the New Bedford Voc Tech High School this Saturday, March 22nd, to connect with your fellow farmer and gardener friends, meet new people to exchange ideas with, take advantage of the Resource Fair exhibitors, and of course, take part in the awesome lineup of educational workshops. 
Visit the conference website to learn more and sign up!  The lineup of workshops and presenters is not to be missed! See below for the list of presentations. 
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 (email Kristen to sign up for a session now!), and Todd Sandstrum will take the stage to present the story of the South Shore Great Pumpkin Challenge during the conference plenary session. Learn more on the conference website. We hope to see you there!
Kristen Irvin
SEMAP Program Director
and the Conference Steering Committee:
Ashley Brister, Derek Christianson, Sue Guiducci, & Kyle Medeiros
SEMAP's 7th Annual Agriculture & Food Conference
Saturday, March 22, 2014
at the Greater New Bedford Regional Voc Tech


This year's workshops and panel discussions:


  • Land Leasing Panel -- Fred Ames, Easton land owner; Bill Braun, Ivory Silo, Westport; Ashley Brister, Round the Bend Farm, Dartmouth; Moderated by Margiana Petersen-Rockney, Beginning Farmer Network
  • Rotational Grazing as a Management Strategy for Conservation Land, Geoff Beresford, Beresford of Tiverton, pasture-based livestock
  • Growing Hops and Brewing Beer, Sanne Kure-Jensen, NOFA/RI, Agricultural Writer & Grant Writer
  • Improving Production for Medium/Large-size Gardens, Steve Walach, Friends Academy School, Dartmouth, MA
  • Intensive Tomato Production in the High Tunnel, Andy Radin, URI Extension
  • Food Safety Modernization Act Update & The MA Commonwealth Quality Program - Richard Bonanno, University of Massachusetts Extension; Michael Botelho, Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources 
  • Soil and Nutrient Management in High Tunnels, Geoffrey Njue, UMass Extension, Green Industry Specialist
  • Starting Your Organic Garden, Jim Lough, founder of Backyard Gardens, Buzzards Bay, MA
  • Building a Strong Brand to Increase Sales and Build Customer Loyalty, Myrna Greenfield, Good Egg Marketing, Boston, MA
  • Growing Strawberries: Focus on Insect and Disease Management and IPM -- Sonia Schloemann, UMass Extension Fruit Program; Jim Ward, Ward's Berry Farm, Sharon, MA
  • Cucumber Production in the High Tunnel & the Field -- Brad Clegg, 4 Town Farm, Seekonk, MA; Derek Christianson, Brix Bounty Farm, Dartmouth, MA
  • CSA Panel -- Panelists: Susan Murray, Apponagansett Farm, Dartmouth, MA; Steve Murray, Heart Beets Farm, Berkley, MA; Kate O'Dwyer, Langwater Farm; Moderated by Ashley Brister, Round the Bend Farm, Dartmouth, MA
  • Eating Farm Fresh in Every Season, Nicole Cormier, Delicious Living Nutrition, Sandwich, MA
  • Urban Tree Farms: Helping Communities Grow Green and Grow Strong -- Perry Long, Director, Office Neighborhood Development, Fall River, MA; Matthew Thomas, Attorney
  • Growing Organic Carrots for CSA Into Winter / Carrots: Post-Harvest Methods & Storage -- Laura Tangerini, Tangerini's Spring Street Farm, Millis, MA; Ruth Hazzard, UMass Extension
  •  Got Worms? Vermicomposting with Red Wigglers, Jenny Galli, formerly of The Worm Ladies of Charlestown
Funded in part by a grant from MDAR
Mass Grown & Fresher

 in partnership with Bristol County Conservation District


Thank you to our committed sponsors!
GNB Reg Voc Tech HS logo       

Join the edible South Shore & South Coast crew at Travessia Urban Winery in New Bedford to celebrate the Spring issue and edible's expansion to the South Coast! 

Thank you eSS+SC for sponsoring the 2014 Agriculture & Food Conference of Southeastern MA
The March SEMAP Farm Spotlight:
Pasture-raised poultry in Dartmouth, MA
Story by Nicki Anderson
Events and Announcements

Wednesday, March 26th is Massachusetts Agriculture Day!

On 3/26, representatives from various ag sectors all across the state will convene at the State House in Boston to celebrate MA agriculture. Ag Day is one of the most important days for our industry as it provides a forum for advocating our concerns and priorities to our legislature. SEMAP and other Buy Local groups in addition to various trade associations and producers will attend. Read more about Ag Day and its importance at the Farm Bureau website.


The Online Farm Guide

So it's mid-March and we're still feeling the deep winter chill... burrrr! But we know Spring is just around the corner so let's start thinking about Community Supported Agriculture farm shares, farm stand visits, and markets! Visit www.farmfresh.org to find local food near you. 


-This report is full of information on grants, loans/microloans, events and other resources for growers, organic cost share program, and lots more

Specialty Crops Block Grant - Information and request for response and application instructions available. Concept proposals DUE APRIL 4th. Read here for details.

Follow link to view MDAR's Guide: Resources for Farmers' Markets and Farmers to Receive a Wireless Point of Sale Terminal to Process SNAP Payments

2012 Ag Census Data: Preliminary Report released
Read an update from Gary Keough, USDA National Agriculture Statistics Service, on the 2012 Prelim report and how it relates to beginning farmers. For more info on the Census, visit the Census website.

Bristol County Conservation District Annual Tree & Shrub Sale

Order forms are now available for the 2014 Bristol County Conservation District Tree & Shrub Sale. The district has expanded its customary offerings of its familiar favorite evergreens and ornamental shrubs to include not only apples but pears, cherries, mulberries, persimmons, blackberries, and others. Other popular items include a great selection of flowering shrubs and perennials which are ideal for attracting pollinators, wildlife or for an edible landscape. This selection also includes plants which have proven to be deer resistant. Also 'new' for sale this year are horseradish root and rhubarb. The deadline for orders is Wed., March 19th, 2014.

'Certified' Cape American Beach Grass for shoreline stabilization projects will be available for early bird pick-up scheduled for third week of March (see contact info below).

To get a copy of a free brochure, to place an order for beach grass or for any additional information, feel free to 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."


Get Ready for Family Fun at Sheep Day / Earth Day!

May 3rd, Soule Homestead, Middleboro

Earth Day is officially in April, but at the Soule Homestead Education Center in Middleboro, the Sheep Day / Earth Day event will be held rain or shine on Saturday, May 3rd from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.  Sheep shearing demos, sheepdogs at work, crafts, wool spinning demos, beehive exhibits, plant sale, and lots more! Visit www.soulehomestead.org 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!  Visit the website to read the RFP.
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 


Want Your Events & Announcements in
The Vine?

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

We track clicks and opens.