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September 2014   

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Four Town Farm 
Jason Wentworth Director

Admin & Outreach
Event Highlights

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

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

Make Plans to Attend our SEMAP Annual Meeting
Thursday November 6th
Location TBA

& a Special SEMAP Social on Sunday December 7th.
Vine news couldn't get more exciting than this...

SEMAP hires Jason Wentworth as new Director. 

The Southeastern Massachusetts Agricultural Partnership (SEMAP) is excited to announce the hiring of Jason Wentworth as its new Executive Director.  Wentworth, who has served as Legislative Aide to State Representative Christopher M. Markey of Dartmouth since 2011, brings a diverse skill set to his new role with SEMAP.  "One of my primary focuses since joining the Legislature almost 4 years ago has been working to sustain and enhance agriculture within Massachusetts, and particularly Southeastern Massachusetts," said Wentworth.  "I'm very eager to continue that work as Executive Director of SEMAP."  


Read Full Announcement

Jason joins Kendra Murray our terrific recently hired Admin & Outreach Associate.  Alongside an active board of directors our  team is dedicated to our mission:  preserving and expanding access to local food and sustainable farming in Southeastern Massachusetts through research and education.

Jason is currently scheduling farm visits and is very interested in connecting with area growers.  Whether you are interested in hosting a farm visit, need our assistance, or just want to have a conversation, please reach out to Jason and help us welcome him as he jumps into his new role leading SEMAP. 

We are absolutely thrilled to have Jason and Kendra on board and look forward to introducing them to our community at many of the regional Agricultural events this fall (Save the Date - SEMAP Annual Meeting - November 6th - Location TBA).... speaking of important events: 

Massachusetts Statewide Food System Plan
Southeast Regional Forum
Monday October 6 - 3PM-6PM in New Bedford

The Massachusetts Food System Plan is a statewide planning initiative that is working to build a stronger, robust food system where there is less hunger, more access to local and healthy foods, where there are improved job and business opportunities, and where food system development is ecologically sustainable.

We want to hear from you! Join us at the Southeast Regional Forum and come weigh in on what's happening in your local food system - on farms, in food processing, with community food organizations, in fisheries.
  • What are you doing really well?
  • What are the major problems in the area?
  • What do you see as the most important ways to improve your food system?
Let's lend our collective voices to the statewide planning process and make sure Southeastern Massachusetts issues are included in the new MA Food System Plan

Vegetable Farming by Derek Christianson 
Fall Equinox Edition - Time for Cover Crops 
I imagine I'm not the only vegetable grower who has been patiently waiting to seed our fall cover crops, patiently waiting for a bit of rainfall to moisten our dry soils before turning in the remains of this season's crops.  We are hoping Thursday's rainfall picks up a bit and provides us an opportunity to get our oats, rye, vetch, & wheat seeded down.  If not, I reckon we'll till the "dewfall" early or late on a calm day next week in hopes of keeping our topsoil on the farm.

For the past 6 years we've been adding a step to our fall cover cropping by spraying a fall "bio-builder" field spray on our fields.  We typically will spray this mix after flailing our crop residue and right before incorporation.  In the best of seasons, we've followed up with another spray about 7-10 days after emergence.  Keeping in mind we are pretty small scale (~7 acres in 2014), but we've found this to be a nice addition to our fall field work... 

Our basic recipe includes a bit of liquid fish (Organic Gem) from New Bedford) which is a good fungal stimulant, some sugar (we use organic molasses), a broad spectrum mineral (sea water or ocean minerals), and a good biological inoculant (our own barrel compost).  We typically apply three backpacks (4 gal each) per acre.  The field sprays take about an hour for spraying plus additional mixing time.  We often will stir the mix for 15 minutes to allow the compost to inoculate the water.  Straining well is a necessity if you want to avoid clogged nozzles.

Per 4 gallon Backpack:
  • 32 oz. Liquid Fish
  • 4-8 oz. Molasses
  • 1-2 oz. SEA-CROP or up to 6 oz. clean ocean water
  • 1/4 cup barrel compost or other good inoculant
  • plus any other suitable materials
  • clean water to fill the pack.
This might seem like a lot of work for some growers, an additional task among a busy fall season.  We consider the reality that once we have a cover crop down we won't be doing much with the land for another 5-6 months, this extra task is pretty minimal viewed from the perspective of a full year and the potential impact on next season's harvests.  The genesis for these crop residue sprays came from a number of conversations, including testimony from a conventional corn grower in the Midwest who attributed an average of 10-15 bushes/acre increased yield the to his crop residue sprays.  The core idea is to stimulate strong root growth during the establishment phase of the cover crop while helping to provide the microbes a bit of a boost as they break down crop residue.

Patiently waiting for rain, of course it's easy being patient waiting on the rain, with the abundant fall harvests keeping us busy.  Our summer crops are slowing down, just a couple more weeks of tomatoes and string beans before we turn our attention solely toward fall crops.  We seeded our final field seeding of radishes and arugula on September 13th, but with the continued heat (and forecast for dry warmth in early October) are still weighing the option of one final seeding of late greens by the end of this weekend.  These plantings would be promptly covered with Agribon to speed their growth into the fall, and would typically be for field harvesting around Thanksgiving.  Battling windy conditions has made setting out fall row cover a seasonal challenge, and part of farming on the Southcoast. 

We've got plenty to do this time of year and have been thankful for the productive crops this year.  Hope your harvests have been bountiful and your customers plentiful.                           ~Derek

Fall is a Great Season to Support Your Local Farmstands, Farmers Markets, Harvest Festivals, Corn Mazes & More!

The fall provides an abundance of harvest celebrations and opportunities to eat & experience a taste of local agriculture. 

Whether you are running through a sky high corn maze, enjoying this weekend's Working Waterfront Festival,  enjoying a fine autumn hayride, or picking your own apples in a local orchard there are literally dozens of great agricultural events happening every weekend throughout Southeastern Massachusetts.

Don't know where to start?  Check in with your local farmstand or visit MDAR's Mass Grown Map to start planning the fun.

As the tagline goes:  Buy Fresh, Buy Local!  

 SEMAP's Guide to Local Food and Farms in Southeastern Mass!
Coming Soon!  We have pushed the publication date for this year's Local Food Guide back 'til the early Fall.  Thanks for understanding.  The good news - if you are a farm or local business you now have until September 30th to renew your SEMAP membership and be listed in the 2014 guide.  Members joining SEMAP between now and December 31st will automatically be eligible for listing in our 2015 Local Food Guide (print date:  May 2015)

 The guide will contain SEMAP member farms and local food businesses, as well as a list of winter farmers markets, farmstands, & CSA's in our region.
Farmers Markets in Southeastern Massachusetts
Find One Near You
Farmers Market Today  
Events, Announcements, and Resources

Visit our  Website for a Complete List of Events

Good News:  We are updating our events page this fall with a wide selection of events in our region, beyond, and online


For other "foodie" events, check out  Edible South Shore & South Coast


South Shore Great Pumpkin Challenge

September 26th-October 9th, 2014 Easton, MA
Visit Easton for pumpkin happenings all over town. Event timeline here  


Webinar > Food Safety:  The Elephant on the Farm  

Join us on October 1st (12PM -1:15PM) for the next webinar in our New England Food Policy series.  In this webinar, two produce safety experts will dive into the complex and critically important world of produce safety. The first half of the webinar will explore the current state of produce safety certification. How can farms sell into broader markets? What policy and regulatory barriers keep produce farmers from scaling up?  The second half will dive into the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). FDA just released supplemental Produce Safety and Preventive Controls rules. What are the changes? How will FSMA affect existing produce safety standards? What role will states play in implementing FSMA? Understanding FSMA - and getting it right - is crucial for farms throughout New England.  


NOFA/RI CRAFT:  FSMA Compliant Produce Handling and Building a Cooler with a Coolbot

October 2nd, 2014, 5:00pm-6:30pm, Wishing Stone Farm, Little Compton, RI 


Skip Paul will discuss his approach to the upcoming produce sanitation protocols of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). More details here 


Massachusetts Food Systems Plan - Southeast Regional Forum
October 6th, 3PM-6PM (tentative)
Buttonwood Senior Center, New Bedford, MA

The Massachusetts Food System Plan is a statewide planning initiative that is working to build a stronger, robust food system where there is less hunger, more access to local and healthy foods, where there are improved job and business opportunities, and where food system development is ecologically sustainable. 

Twilight Grower Education Series

October 6th, 2014 5pm - 7pm, Skinny Dip Farm, Westport, MA -View event details here 


Join us for our monthly Twilight Education Series on farms and gardens throughout Southeastern Massachusetts.  Whether you're a novice gardener or an experienced farmer, these workshops prove to be educational and exciting!


11th Annual Cranberry Harvest Celebration

October 11th and 12th, 2014, 10:00am-4:00pm A.D. Makepeace Company, Wareham, MA 


Visitors are treated to demonstrations of the wet cranberry harvest, cooking demonstrations, an enormous tent full of juried crafters, paddleboat rides on scenic Tihonet Pond, food vendors, music, and more. Event details here 


Webinar > Using Cover Crop Mixtures to Achieve Multiple Goals on the Farm
Join eOrganic for the first webinar of the fall 2014 season on Using Cover Crop Mixtures to Achieve Multiple Goals on the Farm by a research team at Penn State University. The webinar will take place on Tuesday, October 14 at 2PM Eastern Time. The presentation will last for an hour, and it will be followed by a 30 minute question and answer time. Attendees will be able to type in questions for the speakers. The webinar is free and open to the public, and advance registration is required.

Norfolk County Farm Bureau Annual Meeting

October 14th, 2014, 6:00pm-9:00pm, Wonderland Conference Center, Sharon, MA
Join Norfolk Country Farm Bureau members at their annual meeting as they pass resolutions in advance of the state-wide meeting in December. More details here 


Bristol County Farm Bureau Annual Meeting

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014, 6:00pm-9:00pm, Venus de Milo, Swansea, MA 


Join Bristol Country Farm Bureau members at their annual meeting as they pass resolutions in advance of the state-wide meeting in December.  More details here 


Food Day - www.foodday.org  

"Food Day is a nationwide celebration and a movement for healthy, affordable, and sustainable food." 


October 24th 2014 is Food Day! Food Day is a national day of celebrating local food and motivates consumers and organizations to take part by participating in or hosting an activity focused on education. Find food day events in your area.  


Connecting for Change Conference

October 24th and 25th, 2014, Downtown New Bedford, MA 


Keynote speakers include Joel Salatin & Janisse Ray.  Check out their sliding scale registration fee, making this terrific conference affordable for all!


This conference will feature dozens of leading innovators and countless activities that will cover a range of topics, including food and farming, policy, innovative tech and design, health and healing, green business, indigenous knowledge, environmental and social justice, women and youth empowerment, impact investing, spirituality and sustainability. 


NOFA/Mass-Succeeding with Grass-Fed Beef: Human Health, Carbon Sequestration, and Farm Viability

November 3rd, 2014, 9:00am-5:15pm, Heifer International, Rutland, MA 


Would you like to build the health of your soil, produce great meat, improve your family's health, and combat climate change? You can do all of this-and make a profit-by raising 100% grass-fed beef. Join us for a one-day conference with Ridge Shinn, an expert in grass-fed-and-finished beef production.


Northeast Greenhouse Conference and Expo

November 5th and 6th, 2014, Mass Mutual Center, Springfield, MA 


Join other growers and retailers for the largest nationally recognized floriculture industry show in New England!  More details here.  


Slow Money Boston - Entrepreneur Showcase 

November 5th, 2014, Cambridge, MA


We will be bringing together investors, sustainable food entrepreneurs and leaders working together to rebuild our local food system. Learn about investment opportunities and how you can participate in rebuilding local economies based on the principles of soil fertility, sense of place, care of the commons and economic, cultural and biological diversity.  Entrepreneurs interested in presenting should download the application and submit it by October 9th to be considered. 

SEMAP Annual Meeting

November 6th, 2014, Location TBD 


Join SEMAP at our annual meeting as we share news of our accomplishments of the past year; help us to look ahead to envision our next season and the upcoming year.

NOFA/Mass-When the Belly is the Beast: Dietary Interventions to Address Autism and Neuro-Degenerative Disease

December 4th, 2014, 9:30am-4:00pm, Bristol Community College, Fall River, MA 


This seminar explains how environmental factors, including exposures to toxins in food and the environment, and the consumption of highly processed, nutrient-poor foods, are contributing to a wide range of chronic and neuro-degenerative illnesses in the population.  More information here.  


Massachusetts Farm Bureau Annual Meeting

December 4th and 5th, 2014, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 


Annual state-wide farm bureau meeting featuring workshops for farmers. For details visit the Farm Bureau website.


Greenhouse Vegetable Production in Containers
December 10, 2014, 9:30am-3:45pm, Publick House, Sturbridge, MA

Join the UMass Extenstion Program for a day filled with workshops on growing greenhouse vegetables.  More details here.




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.





SEMAP 2015 Winter Networking Meeting | Monday January 26  


Location & Topic will be announced in the December Vine.



SEMAP 2015 Ag & Food Conference | Saturday February 28, 2015  


Workshops for farmers, gardeners, and consumers... Featuring a Local Lunch and 

Agricultural Service Provider & Business Trade Show.  Registration will open early November. 





SEMALA (Southeastern Massachusetts Livestock Association) is Seeking a Project Manager for the next stages of their efforts to develop a state of the art meat processing facility in Westport, MA.  Visit the SEMALA website for more information.

 Unique Farming Opportunity (Land) in Plainville, MA 


Looking for employment? We like these sites:


Land Jobs Stuff Google Group Page  - For SE Mass & Rhode Island 




Farming Opportunities for 2015 are already being posted...

  Check Them Out!  


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