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May 2014   

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May 22nd
"Raising Nigerian dwarf dairy goats as part of a sustainable farming system"
Rosasharn Farm, Rehoboth

June
(date tbd)
California Variegated Mutant Sheep (CVM), a critically endangered and rare breed! (Click here to read more!)
Bristol Aggie High School
, Dighton

July 29
"Growing the Best Heirloom Tomatoes"
24K Heirloom Tomatoes, South Dartmouth   

August 13th
"Organic Weed Control"

September 2nd
"Biodiversity on the Farm"

October 6th
"Storage Crops for Winter Sales"
Skinny Dip Farm, Westport

Check SEMAP's website for details on these events and for registration

Vegetable Farming by Derek Christianson 

Welcome to the May issue of the Vine.  As one of my roles as a SEMAP board member I'll be contributing a short monthly column to each month's vine, including brief updates from our region and sharing a couple of resources/tips for vegetable growers.   

SEMAP Updates:

Annual Meeting
We have decided to postpone our Annual Meeting originally scheduled for this May until the Fall.  
 
SEMAP is Hiring!  We will be posting two job announcements in the coming week: 1) SEMAP Director (Full-Time) and 2) SEMAP Admin & Outreach Specialist (Part-Time, Seasonal).  Look for a special e-blast announcing these positions next week.

Celebrating Good News
Asparagus is in Season!  Fresh harvested spears are among the most coveted of the early season crops.  Looking for a bunch for your grill or an Asparagus salad this Memorial Day Weekend?  Visit the online farm guide at www.semaponline.org and search for growers in the region harvesting Asparagus right now...  many farmstands in the area are open for the season and harvesting fresh greens and other seasonal veggies, including Four Town Farm in Seekonk, Silverbrook Farm on Chase Road in Dartmouth, & Ward's Berry Farm in Sharon.  Hope you can take advantage of the long weekend to enjoy a locally grown meal and pick up some flower or vegetable starts for your garden from one of our great local nurseries in the region.

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.

Agricultural Resources
In addition to the MDAR grant deadlines upcoming; there are a couple of other funding programs which should be on everyone's radar.  Farm Service Agency's (FSA) Microloan program continues to provide a great opportunity for growers seeking direct farm operating loans.  The Maximum loan amount under the Microloan program is $35,000, with current FSA interest rates under 2.5%.  Check in with your County FSA Office for Details.

The results of the 2012 Census of Agriculture were published on May 2nd.  You can download State & County level results online, we'll provide a brief review of the Census data as it pertains to our region in an upcoming edition of the Vine.

I imagine most wholesale producers are familiar with the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service Terminal Market Reports, which provide daily wholesale prices at terminal markets across the country.  For smaller producers, I've found the reports to be a great way to gain a sense of the direction of wholesale market prices as well as trending volume and availability.  The most recent article I've read about the California droughts estimated growers will fallow more than 400,000 acres in California this season, though I've also seen estimates as high as 800,000 acres.  How the reduction in fresh vegetable production out west will impact our markets this summer remains to be seen.  One aspect is almost guaranteed, the droughts will be on the radar of the general public and may help to promote the value and necessity of regional food production...

-Derek
 SEMAP's Guide to Local Food and Farms in Southeastern Mass!
 
 
Coming Soon!
Look for the guide at farm stands, markets, and events starting in June! The guide will contain SEMAP member farms and local food businesses, as well as a list of farmers markets in our region.
  
Farmers Markets in Southeastern Massachusetts
Find One Near You
Farmers Market Today  
Events, Announcements and Resources

 

Event for Southeastern MA Livestock Association (SEMALA)

Friday, June 6th, 6:00pm | Dedee Shattuck Gallery, 865 Main Rd., Westport, MA - Free

All are invited to learn more about our region's livestock producers and the newly formed Southeastern MA Livestock Association at this informational and social event hosted by Dedee Shattuck at her gallery in Westport. Please come to learn more about SEMALA, how you can support the Association with your membership, and come ask questions about the campaign to build a state-of-the-art custom and USDA-certified slaughter, butchery, cut and wrap facility in Southeastern MA. Learn more about SEMALA here. SEMAP is a proud supporter/partner of SEMALA. Snacks, beer and wine will be available. Free event but donations to SEMALA are encouraged!

  

NOFA-MA Presents Food Forest Swales: Design & Implementation

June 21st, 1pm-4pm | Silva Residence, 47 Union Ave., Westport, MA

Led by permaculture educator Lydia Silva. In this workshop participants will learn how to site swales in the landscape and lay out a swale on contour using an A-Frame level. They will then design a plant polyculture that is suitable for a Linear Food Forest Swale and help plant an existing swale with Food Forest trees and perennial vegetables! Wear your "get dirty" clothes. Click here for details.

 

Save the Date! NOFA-MA 2014 Summer Conference is August 8-10 at UMass Amherst

 

  Attention Farmers! The Local Juice needs product! 

The Local Juice is a company driven by a passion to promote a sustainable lifestyle that is locally driven and nutritionally mindful. We are striving to be 100% organic, 50% local, cold-pressed andbottled on Cape Cod. We need your help! Please contact us if you'd like to supply any of the following produce items for our menu:

Fennel, Parsley, Celery, Beets, Kale, Cayenne, Cucumber, Spinach, Mint, Carrot, Pea greens.

Please email Nicole Cormier: [email protected] or call 508-813-9282

 

 

 

Makepeace Farmers Market in Wareham is seeking vendors:The market will run Wednesdays 3pm-6pm June 25th through Oct. 29th. Click here for vendor information and application.

 

MONEY

MDAR Grants! Open Application Period 

Farm Viability Enhancement Program, APR Improvement Program, MEGA Grants for Beginning Farmers - DEADLINE TO APPLY for FY2015 IS JUNE 24th for these programs. Click here to learn more about the programs and applying.

 

USDA Agricultural Marketing Service Grants: Money available for Organic certification cost-share; farmers markets and local food promotion; and more

 

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

 

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. 

 

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.

  

JOBS

 

The Trustees of Reservations - Garden Stewardship Coordinator

The TTOR Garden Stewardship Coordinator will develop and coordinate a community garden support program in partnership with the City of New Bedford for New Bedford's community gardens. The Coordinator is responsible for outreach, organization, and the planning of activities that will engage gardeners at three existing community gardens to better care for and make better use of their gardens. View details here.

 

Colchester Neighborhood Farm is looking for a Field/Harvest Assistant! Click here to read the job description.

 

Looking for employment? We like these sites:

Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group's Job Page

Goodfoodjobs.com

Land Jobs Stuff Google Group Page 

 

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The Vine?

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