The VINE - e-Newsletter


April 2014   

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Four Town Farm 
Dear Friends and Supporters,
Welcome to the April issue of the Vine.  As one of my roles as SEMAP board member, I'll be contributing a short monthly column to each month's Vine, including brief updates from our region and share a couple of resources/tips for vegetable growers.  First up: We are currently seeking a couple more qualified candidates for SEMAP board membership and advisory board roles; if you are interested in considering supporting SEMAP with your time & energy, please contact Derek Chrisitanson at 508-992-1868 or [email protected]
Employment Resources
As the planting season approaches, there are plenty of operations looking for qualified help this year.  Opportunities include:  waitstaff positions with Just Right Farm in Plympton, vegetable fieldwork at Skinny Dip Farm in Little Compton/Westport, farmers market staff with Copicut Farms, a pastured poultry farm in Dartmouth, and permaculture help in Kingston.  Visit the online Land, Jobs, Stuff board to post job openings or look for your next opportunity.

Celebrating Good News
Brix Bounty Farm moved this winter, migrating a couple of miles south to leased land at the King Farm in Dartmouth.  We weren't the only farm in the region celebrating change this winter...
  • We are excited to welcome Chuck Currie across state lines as he relocated Freedom Food Farm to Raynham from Johnston, RI. Be sure to stay posted on SEMAP's Twilight Grower Education Series this season -- Chuck will be hosting our September Twilight meeting!
  • Did you hear?  Billingsgate Farm is opening a second farmstand this year on East Center Street in West Bridgewater.
  • Incoming SEMAP board member, Ashley Brister has passed her torch as garden manager at Eva's Garden in Dartmouth and has started a new vegetable operation, Ashley's Produce, at nearby Round the Bend Farm.
  • Steve & Sarah Murray formally started Heart Beets Farm in Berkley.  The farm is located on Bayview Ave on the Kettle Pond Farm property.   
  • Last year, Pine Hill Dairy joined the short list of regional Raw Milk producers.  Located in Westport, Pine Hill joins other raw cow milk producers, Dartmouth's Paskamansett Farm and Oake Knoll Ayrshires in Foxboro.  
Have you started a new farming business, made a move this year, or have good news to share with folks?  Let us know and we'll include the update in the Vine.

3 Agricultural Resources Everyone Should Know About
Mass Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) Grant & Funding Programs for farmers have just been announced.  Deadlines are typically late June.  Get a jump on a application before the busy planting season keeps you in the fields.

I doubt I'm not the only grower who needs to submit paperwork for their current NRCS contract, get in touch with your local office to ensure your paperwork is filed in time.  Don't have a farm plan through Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS) yet?  Give the the good folks in the West Wareham NRCS office a call to start the process and learn about funding opportunities for conservation and improvement work on your farm.

One of my favorite resources for crop & pest updates during the growing season is UMass's Vegetable Notes.  It's quite literally one of the emails I actually read every week throughout the year.  Subscriptions are free!

Hope to see you at SEMAP's upcoming Annual Meeting in May and the kick-off for our 2014 Twilight Series (details coming soon!).  Until then enjoy the spring planting and return to pasture season.

SEMAP BFBL label  
Farms & Local Food Businesses: Would you like your farm or business to be listed in SEMAP's Local Food Guide this year? We'll be printing them soon so please sign up today as a member.
Your membership dues are an important part of SEMAP's budget and help us run our programs and events like the Twilight Grower Education workshop series, Networking Meetings, the winter Ag & Food Conference, the Bog Jog 5k, and the monthly Vine e-newsletter.
Events, Announcements and Resource


We're hiring! 

SEMAP is looking for an intern to work with us this summer. 

Please read the job description and application instructions here. Applications are due Friday, May 9th! 


Tonight! Open Sesame: The Story of Seeds

Wednesday, April 23rd, 7:30pm

Cable Car Cinema & Cafe, Providence, RI

About the film: One of Earth's most precious resources is at risk. Featuring Vandana Shiva and some of the greatest Seed Keepers of our time, this timely and emotionally moving film illuminates what is at stake and what can be done to protect the source of nearly all of our food: SEEDS.  Click HERE to see more information on the film, and click HERE to purchase tickets!


Additional Showing of Open Sesame: Friday April 25th, 10:00am

Patriot Cinemas at the Hingham Shipyard


Farm Tour Cooking Classes at the Dartmouth Grange

Upcoming classes:

Copicut Farm Tour and Cooking Class, May 24th

Running Brook Vineyard & Winery Farm Tour & Cooking Class, June 14th

Click here to learn more


Slow Money Boston is hosting an Entrepreneur Showcase next Tuesday night, and some of SEMAP's friends have been among the few chosen to present their projects! Click here to learn more about the showcase, and here to lean more about Slow Money.


The Online Farm Guide

Farmers: Keep your farmfresh.org listing up-to-date! The online farm guide, farmfresh.org, is a go-to for anyone looking for local foods, beverages and farm fun. Eaters: Visit www.farmfresh.org to find local food near you. 


Check out this awesome video on the Marshfield Farmers Market with manager Lorrie Dahlen!


Korean Natural Farming, May 3rd, 9:30am - 4:30pm - Rutland, MA

A NOFA/MA event - Korean Natural Farming (KNF) is an agricultural method that encourages self-sustaining, closed loop systems through minimizing external inputs.  Developed by Master Han Kyu Cho in South Korea, KNF echoes many of the principles central to Masanobu Fukuoka's Natural Farming technique as well as Permaculture. This all-day, hands-on workshop will focus on both the philosophies and the practices of KNF.  Workshop attendees will learn to make various KNF inputs such as Indigenous Microorganism (IMO) soil inoculant, Fish Amino Acids, Water-soluble Calcium, and Oriental Herbal Nutrient.  KNF is applicable to many types and scales of farming, from backyard veggie gardening to larger scale livestock operations.  Students will walk away from the workshop equipped with the knowledge to implement KNF practices on their own farm or garden. 


All vendors interested in leasing space must submit their 'Intent to Apply' by May 9 to[email protected] or PO Box 52385, Boston, MA 02205.

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: Full report scheduled to come out on May 2nd
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.

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.


The Beginning Farmers Network of MA has resources for beginning farmers, including an ever-expanding calendar of events statewide, helpful tips from guest bloggers, a jobs board, and a referral network. Get in touch or check out the BFN/MA site today to find the help you're looking for. See links to Young Farmer Nights (RI & MA super fun farm visits!) and New Entry's brand new publication, An Entrepreneur's Guide to Farming in Massachusetts.


SEMAP needs volunteers! Please email Kristen at [email protected] if you would like more information on volunteer opportunities this Spring and Summer.


Looking for employment? We like these sites:

Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group's Job Page


Land Jobs Stuff Google Group Page 


Need your online foodie fix? Check out the eSS&SC blog! Features include everything from in-season recipes and tips for home brewers to stories on local chefs and popular restaurants.


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