In this issue:

Commissioner's Column - Gregory C. Watson

FOREFRONT

UPCOMING EVENTS / WORKSHOPS

IN EVERY ISSUE


Commissioner's Column

Commissioner Gregory C. Watson

Dear Friends,

We all know that making a living farming in Massachusetts is not easy. There are a number of challenges and obstacles facing farmers that we have become all too familiar with, and the list just seems to grow. Everyone agrees that it shouldn’t be this difficult, but it is.

We also know that Massachusetts farmers are hard working, intelligent, innovative, and resilient. They love what they do and continue to find ways to make it all work.

While all of us here at MDAR will continue to work with the farming community to address the barriers, I also think it’s important to highlight our many success stories. Sharing these can be both a source of information and inspiration.

Following is the first of series of snapshots of farms that I have been able to visit as I travel across the Commonwealth.

“My glass is always full.”

That was Carl Hills’ succinct response to the series of questions I asked to help me understand what makes his 155-acre agricultural enterprise (one of 856 farms enrolled in MDAR’s Agricultural Preservation Restriction (APR) program) based in Pepperell, Massachusetts so successful. It was delivered with a slight twinkle in his eye.

After receiving a tour of his farm and a description of his marketing strategy, I thought to myself, “His response has to be among the mother of all understatements!”

Carl, Chris Chisholm and I were talking as we stood on a loading platform where two young workers were busily stuffing a truck with crates of freshly picked fruits and vegetables. As I looked inside, I could see that there were two distinct loads. Mark pointed and informed me that it as all going to Arlington. However, the fruits and vegetables on the right (roughly three-quarters of the load) would be sold at the Arlington farmers’ market. The remaining produce was pre-sold and would be picked up by restaurateurs, caterers and artisans who appreciate the many virtues of produce, poultry, meats, eggs, wine, cheeses and other products produced on Massachusetts farms.

Arlington is one of eleven high-volume, Greater Boston area farmers’ markets where you can find Kimball Fruit Farm produce being sold. In fact, produce-laden trucks from Kimball Farm roll into a bustling city six days a week. Other market stops include Cambridge, Cambridgeport (not to be confused with Cambridge), Brookline, Newton, Somerville, and Belmont

Back on the farm, Mark manages the Kimball Farm Fruit Stand and a robust Pick-Your-Own (strawberries, apples and raspberries) operation. In order to create an even greater market advantage, Mark looks to get an early jump on the tomato market with his greenhouse hydroponically raised varieties.

From what I observed and heard, Mark’s glass is more than full – it literally runneth over. By all indications, Carl and his team work just as hard at marketing as he does at growing. Moreover, his marketing strategy is as diverse as the crops he cultivates on his fields. Nothing about it is easy, but it can clearly be very rewarding.

Best,

Commissioner Greg's Signature

Gregory C. Watson, Commissioner

Twitter @MDARCommish

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FOREFRONT


MDAR Announces $419,000 in Grants from USDA to
Market Massachusetts Specialty Crops

This 2013 round of Specialty Crop Block Grants supports initiatives that establish local and regional fresh food systems, increase nutritional knowledge and specialty crop consumption, enhance food safety, and support research through standard and green initiatives. Organizations representing area buy-locals, cranberry growers, horticulture and maple are among the recipients of this year’s USDA Specialty Crop Block Grants. This year, the USDA provided an estimated $52 million to state departments of agriculture to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops – defined as fruits and vegetables, dried fruits, tree nuts, horticulture and nursery products.

This year’s grant recipients include:

  • Stockbridge School of Agriculture will address current and proposed GAP/Harmonization/FSMA produce rule requirements for adoption by MA specialty crop growers. Award: $119,000
  • Cape Cod Cranberry Growers' Association (Carver) will create a mapping application toolkit for BOGS online grower system. Award: $45,000
  • MA Farm to School Initiative (Amherst) will increase wholesale sales of specialty crops by developing wholesale workshops and toolkit for growers and provide direct support to connect growers to food service management companies. Award: $40,000
  • MA Nursery & Landscape Association (Conway) & Massachusetts Flower Growers’ Association (Bedford) will build upon the MA Plant Something campaign to build states green infrastructure by capitalizing on the buy-local movement. Award: $36,000
  • Boston Public Market Association (Boston) will engage MA specialty crop growers and provide them with education and assistance to determine optimal capacity and analyze best sales models for participation in the upcoming year round market. Award: $30,000
  • Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (South Deerfield) will collaborate with Berkshire Grown and Northeast Harvest to provide training and support to growers interested in starting or expanding their wholesale business and to retailers interested in purchasing local specialty crops. Award: $26,500
  • U.S. Cranberry Marketing Committee (Wareham) will collaborate with the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism and The Cape Cod Cranberry Growers’ Association to increase Chinese consumer awareness of cranberries, thereby driving demand and increasing cranberry exports to China through a cranberry media tour. Award $20,000
  • Lutheran Community Services, Inc. (Worcester) will expand farmer training for new Americans seeking specialty crop market opportunities in central & western MA. Award $15,000
  • MA Ag in the Classroom (Seekonk) will develop expanded tools and trainings to provide garden-based connections to local farms and farmer’ markets for MA educators. Award: $15,000
  • Sustainable Business Networks of Greater Boston (SBN) will organize a 2nd annual trade show that will create connections between MA specialty crop producers, local and regional food systems, and consumers. Award: $12,700
  • Tufts University, Friedman School of Nutrition (Boston) will address sales at MA farmers’ markets by examining perceptions of produce attributes among specialty crop producers and consumers. Award: $9,775
  • MA Maple Producers Association (Plainfield) will produce a “Massachusetts Maple” weekend event designed to promote Ma maple producers and encourage direct marketing to consumers. Award: $5,500

Exploring The Small Farm Dream 2014

5-Session Evening Courses (6-9PM) - Amherst on Wednesdays February 5, 12, 19, 26, March 5, or Marlborough, on Tuesdays, February 4, 11, 18, 25 and March 4.

The Explorer Program is intended for those who are considering farming as a (small) business. Its purpose is to help pre-venture, aspiring farmers learn what it will take to start and manage their own agricultural enterprise. Explorer makes use of four guided group sessions and a farmer panel of those who have already done what you are contemplating. It is based on an acclaimed workbook and is presented by instructors experienced in starting ag businesses. Explorer was created to help you articulate the clear vision and goals you will need to guide a new agricultural venture. The registration cost of $125 includes instruction, materials, guest speakers and a session of Q&A with a panel of varied-stage farmers.

For a Registration Form, please visit the agricultural business training (ABTP) website or contact: Rick Chandler, MDAR, 101 University Drive, Suite C-4, Amherst, MA 01002, Rick.Chandler@state.ma.us.


Energy News

Patrick Administration Announces 56 Grants for Energy and Environmental Improvement Projects at Massachusetts Farms - Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Rick Sullivan awarded 56 grants to Massachusetts farmers to implement renewable energy systems, improve energy efficiency on farms and help farmers reduce or prevent negative impacts to natural resources from agricultural practices. The announcement took place at Couto Cranberries in East Taunton, a recipient of one of this year’s grants, which all total $700,000.

Twenty-three grants from the MDAR Agricultural Energy (Ag-Energy) Grant Program will fund projects to reduce energy consumption and increase renewable energy use at Massachusetts farms. The projects include photovoltaic systems for vegetable and orchard operations, variable speed vacuum pumps for dairies, reverse osmosis machines for maple syrup operations and shade screens for greenhouses.

Thirty-three grants from DAR’s Agricultural Environmental Enhancement Program (AEEP) will fund projects like automated irrigations systems for cranberry operations, milkhouse wastewater treatment, manure storage areas, fencing and pesticide storage.

The Ag-Energy Grant and AEEP programs are two of several within DAR’s Division of Agricultural Conservation and Technical Assistance (DACTA). The division’s mission is to provide technical assistance, training, conservation and funding to promote economically viable and environmentally sound agricultural practices in Massachusetts.

The Ag-Energy grants have funded 143 projects statewide since 2009, providing growers and producers more than $1.9 million to address energy issues on their farms. This year, 38 applicants submitted requests for a variety of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects totaling approximately $810,000. AEEP funds practices that improve water and air quality as well as promote water conservation. Farmers selected to participate are reimbursed for the approved costs of materials and labor up to $25,000.

Ag-Energy Grant Awardees:
Amherst, Black Squirrel, LLC Super Insulated High Tunnel $10,000
Chesterfield, Flat Rock Farm Maple HE Evaporator $7,126
Colrain, Hager Bros. Farm, LLC Maple HE Evaporator $25,000
Colrain, Sunrise Farm Reverse Osmosis $5,000
Conway, Goldthread Herbal Apothecary 5.5kW Photovoltaic System $8,000
Cummington, Goat Nook Farm 9.6kW Photovoltaic System $20,000
Danvers, Connors Farm, Inc. Walk-in Cooler $25,000
Dracut, Farmer Daves Geothermal $24,000
East Taunton, Couto Cranberries 51kW Photovoltaic System $25,000
Gill, Upinngil Farm 10.0kW Photovoltaic System $15,000
Granville, Evans Farm 6.0kW Photovoltaic System $10,000
Hancock, Ioka Valley Farm 15.0kW Photovoltaic System $16,916
Hawley, Sidehill Farm 9.75kW Photovoltaic System $11,250
Lenox, Mill Brook Sugarhouse Reverse Osmosis $10,500
Leverett, EIEIO Farm 8.5kW Photovoltaic System $15,000
Monument Beach, Luscious Organics Greenhouse HE Heaters $15,000
Oakham, Dismas Family Farm 20.4kW Photovoltaic System $15,000
Phillipston, Green Acre Farm 2.0kW Photovoltaic System $8,500
Plymouth, Plymouth County Sheriff's Department Greenhouse Electronic Controls $10,000
Sheffield, Maple Shade Farm, Inc. Variable Speed Pump $3,209
South Dartmouth, Eva's Garden 20.0kW Photovoltaic System $15,000
South Deerfield, Nourse Farm Greenhouse Shade Curtain $15,000
Whatley, Enterprise Farm Greenhouse HE Heaters; Roof Vents $15,499


AEEP Grant Awardees:
Adams, Heavy Use Area, Broadlawn Farm $25,000.00
Adams, Alternative Water Source, Susan B. Anthony Farm $10,000
Ashfield, Runoff Diversion, Carter & Whitcomb, LLC $20,000
Ashfield, Fencing; Manure Storage, Crossroads Farm $15,000
Carver, Tailwater Recovery, Weston Bros. Cranberries, LLC $10,000
Carver, Automated Irrigation System, Silva Cranberries $7,500
Carver, Pesticide Storage, Fresh Meadow Farm $1,748
Carver, Irrigation Pump Steve, Ward Cranberry $5,000
Duxbury, Automated Irrigation System; Lift Pump Koplovsky Cranberries $20,000
E.Bridgewater, Sand Filter, Morse Brothers, Inc. $6,526
Halifax, Automated Irrigation System, Palmer Mill Cranberry, LLC $7,500
Halifax, Automated Irrigation System, Harju Bog Management, Inc. $7,500
Hanson, Lift Pump Automation; Irrigation Pump, K.D.B. Cranberries $7,500
Ipswich, Septic System, Marini Farm, LLC $20,000
Kingston, Automated Irrigation System, Dunham Cranberries $7,500
Lunenburg, Manure Storage, Stillman Dairy Farm $15,000
Middleboro, Tailwater Recovery; Automated Irrigation, Ken Harju & Sons Cranberries, Inc. $20,000
Middleboro, Automated Irrigation; Automated Lift Pump, Waterville Cranberry Co., LLC $7,500
Montague, Double Wall Fuel Storage, Red Fire Farm $5,090
New Braintree, Fencing, Grass Roots Farm $18,000
New Braintree, Runoff Improvements; Drainage; Fencing, Shady Pine Farm $10,000
Plymouth, Automated Irrigation; Irrigation Pump; Fuel Storage, Landers' Farm, LLC $15,000
Plymouth, Automated Irrigation, Forges Cranberries $7,500
Plymouth, Lift Pump, RJ Meharg Cranberries $14,000
Plympton, Pesticide Storage Shed, Grandpa Tom's Vegetable Farm @ Billingsgate Farm $7,000
Plympton, Irrigation Pump; Fuel Storage, Mayflower Cranberries, LLC $7,875
Raynham, Automated Irrigation System, Brenda Piawlock Cranberries $4,000
Rehoboth, Ice Accumulator, Bettencourt Dairy Farm $12,500
South Carver, Pesticide Cabinet, Lim-Kran, Inc. $761
Sunderland, Sewer Connection for Milkhouse Wastewater, Thomas Farm $12,500
Wareham, Automated Irrigation System, Agawam Cranberry Co., Inc. $7,500
West Wareham, Water Conveyance System, Bartholomew Family Bogs, LLC $20,000
Westfield, Manure Storage; Fencing Prospect Valley Farm $20,000

New Funding for Greenhouse Heating

The Mass Clean Energy Center and DOER have announced a new grant program for qualifying projects implementing biomass boiler technology, ground source heat pumps and/or qualified district energy systems. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until 3 pm, March 28, 2014, or until funds are depleted. 

Some items to note - please see solicitation for a full list of requirements:

  • Eligible biomass feedstock includes wood pellets, wood chips, and stick wood. Outdoor hydronic heaters are not eligible.
  • Applications require a complete feasibility study as well as an energy audit. Funding for feasibility studies is available though MassCEC.
  • District heating projects should consist of a central plant providing 2 or more buildings with hot water/chilled water for space heating, hot water, process heat or other end uses. Acceptable heating methods include biomass boilers, ground source heat pumps, solar thermal, advanced biofuels, and some natural gas.
  • Greenhouses have been specifically identified as eligible entities.
  • Most measures are funded up to 75%. Check page 6 of the solicitation for exact details.

Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to discuss their projects with MassCEC and DOER staff prior to preparing an application. Call 617-315-9379 or email renewablethermal@massscec.com with questions. Application materials can be found on the MassCEC website. For assistance with energy audits required for an application, please contact MFEP at 413-475-2234.

MA DOER Releases Renewable Thermal Business Investment Financing Program

Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources has released a competitive solicitation entitled Renewable Thermal Business Investment Financing Program which is being made available to provide financial support for businesses or business services that seek to establish or expand distribution, manufacturing, or marketing of renewable thermal technologies, or supply chain infrastructure within Massachusetts. The renewable thermal technologies eligible for this program are woody biomass, grass pellets, advanced biofuels, biogas, inverter driven air and ground source heat pumps, and solar thermal. This program will not support feasibility studies, engineering/design or construction of any of the above technologies at a facility.

This solicitation is for $3 million and applications will be considered by DOER from $20,000 to $1 million. Projects must be located within Massachusetts to qualify.

The solicitation can be found on the Commonwealth of Massachusetts procurement website www.comm-pass.com or through the following link.

Please read through the entire solicitation for eligibility, the application process and submittal requirements including important submittal scheduling requirements.

Mass Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) Organics-to-Energy Program Updates

MassCEC’s Commonwealth Organics-to-Energy program, which supports the use of anaerobic digestion and other technologies that convert source-separated organic wastes into electricity and thermal energy, has a number of updates.

First, MassCEC is announcing a grant opportunity for organics-to-energy construction projects. Starting October 17, 2013, MassCEC will begin accepting grant applications for projects using organics-to-energy technologies and for projects that add combined heat-and-power capabilities to existing anaerobic digestion facilities. Both private and public-sector entities are eligible to apply.

Second, MassCEC is announcing a grant opportunity that is open to public entities only for technical services or technical studies related to the development of organics-to-energy facilities. These grants may be used either to advance the planning of a project on public property OR to evaluate a project that has been proposed on private property within the public entity's jurisdiction.

Finally, MassCEC recently posted a directory of vendors of small organics-to-energy systems. These systems are of potential interest to small farms, individual food waste generators, small community systems, or others who have feedstocks in the range of 0.5 to 30 tons per day. Please visit MassCEC’s Commonwealth Organics-to-Energy website for more information @ www.masscec.com/programs/commonwealth-organics-energy.

Hosting Ag-Related Events?

Need some help promoting your farm/community festival or culinary event? Mass Grown & Fresher hosts a year round calendar filled with a variety of ag-tivites - fun for the entire family! It is one of our most popular features; highlighting the diversity of food and farming waiting to be discovered across the Commonwealth. Next to the map, it is one of the most clicked on webpages under MassGrown. Email calendar submission form to Julia.Grimaldi@state.ma.us. These events also help us build upon our social media network on Twitter @Massgrown, bringing event information to hundreds of our followers.

If you would like to be included on our Agri-Google Map, please click here (.pdf, .doc) for our Farm Marketing Survey. Already a part of MassGrown? Make sure your information is up-to-date on our map. Send updates/edits to Rick LeBlanc: Richard.LeBlanc@state.ma.us.

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Mass. Farm to School Project's Harvest of the Month

Mass. Farm to School Project's Harvest of the Month is in full swing and over 120 schools and colleges are serving these highlighted crops in their cafeterias. The remaining crops are:

  • Apples (November)
  • Kale (December)
  • Butternut (January)
  • Carrots (February)

Do you want to participate? Farm to School project staff are available to help connect you to prospective institutional customers. For more info contact Simca Horwitz, simca@massfarmtoschool.org.


Tracking the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Video

Researchers and growers explain management methods for BMSB such as insecticides, trap cropping, physical barriers, and organic and biological control techniques—in a new video.

The video is the latest installment in the “Tracking the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug” series produced by the Northeastern Integrated Pest Management Center at Cornell University. Earlier videos explain history and identification, overwintering and spread, monitoring and mapping, and host plants and damage.

BMSB, recently found in Sacramento, California, has been detected in 40 other states plus Ontario, posing severe agricultural and nuisance problems in six states. The insect threatens an estimated $21 billion worth of crops in the United States alone.

Link to view the video: www.stopbmsb.org/video


Whole Farm Planning for Beginning Women Farmers

Last Call for Applications – Limited Space Available: Whole farm planning for beginning women farmers, 2013-2014 session

If you're a women who has been farming for less than ten years, then Holistic Management International's whole farm planning program is an opportunity for you to learn from other women farmers. The objective of this program is to educate and empower new women farmers to build successful farm businesses and provide a forum for sharing experiences, challenges and successes with a network of other beginning women farmers. In order to cultivate a holistic understanding of farm management, the course touches on a variety of topics including: business planning basics, marketing, goal-setting and financial planning, time management, reading your landscape, land and infrastructure planning, leadership/communication skills and more. This is a 10-workshop series that has seven one-day sessions held in winter and three on-farm field sessions in spring. The first class will be held November 17th in Brimfield. Dates, times and locations for the other workshops are to be decided. Participants must attend all 10 sessions and the class size is limited to 17 attendees who are MA residents. There is a sliding scale fee for this series of $150-500 and scholarships are available.

2010-2013 participants had this to say:

“All the other participants are great resources and their energy and goals make me realize I’m not alone.” Jennifer Peotter, Dirigo Farm

"As a very small, organic market farmer I was looking to augment my knowledge in a number of areas related to my farm business - financial planning, farm planning and business strategic planning. Working with the women farmer group provided a number of groundbreaking opportunities and resources...The course material and instruction is both inspiring and extremely useful. Having taken many other ag business classes - Whole Farm Planning's approach and high caliber of instruction is refreshing. The most amazing part of the process was meeting and visiting other women farmers. The networking and learning that has been facilitated by this process is priceless." -Barbara Link

"The class was great, I really enjoyed it and learned a lot. As we plan the next phase of our farm we will use the test questions." - Maribeth Ritchie, Sangha Farm

If you're interested in learning more or signing up for this program, contact Devon at 413-665-7100 or devon@buylocalfood.org. The enrollment form is available on CISA's website www.buylocalfood.org.


Boston Area Gleaners

Farmers, do you have excess crops that you hate to see go to waste? Boston Area Gleaners is here to help! We organize groups of volunteers to harvest excess crops, help with maintenance harvests, and collect excess produce from farmstands and coolers. All of the gleaned produce is then donated to different food access organizations and pantries in the Boston area. So far this season, we have donated over 4000 pounds of food to area pantries and free food organizations, but pantries are always asking for more!

Please contact Matt Crawford, Gleaning Coordinator, if interested: office: 781-894-3212, cell: 978-578-5647, email: coordinator@bostonareagleaners.org. Boston Area Gleaners is fully insured.


2014 MA Agriculture Calendar Now Available

The 2014 Massachusetts Agriculture Calendar is now available. Proceeds benefit Massachusetts Agriculture in the Classroom. The calendar makes a great gift for a friend or family member who enjoys agriculture. 

In its fourteenth year, the 2014 "Celebrating the Seasons of Massachusetts Agriculture" calendar was unveiled and released on Massachusetts Day (Sept. 19) at the Big E. Each year, the photo contest has become a popular annual opportunity to highlight and feature farms and products across the Commonwealth. The calendar was produced in collaboration with the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR), MA Ag in the Classroom (MAC), and MA Farm to School Project . Each month features a photo of a farm business or crop grown across the Commonwealth, along with teaching tips, statistics, and fun facts on Massachusetts Agriculture. Besides having the photographs in the calendar, they are also featured on the MDAR's homepage. Each month’s winning photo adds a colorful touch highlighting the rich diversity of our Commonwealth’s agricultural community. View pictures or order at aginclassroom.org. For farms interested in selling calendars, click here for wholesale order form.


UPCOMING EVENTS


Massachusetts Prepares to Celebrate National Food Day
with Hundreds of Activities

October 24, 2013, the 3rd annual Food Day will be celebrated in towns and cities across Massachusetts! Food Day is one of the fastest growing national food movements for healthy, affordable, and fairly produced food, often referred to as “Earth Day for food,” Food Day strengthens the connection between consumers and local producers, while advocating for policies that support productive and respectful food systems.

Participants will hold activities to engage residents to share information, skills, and resources, bringing residents together to build a healthier food system in the Commonwealth. Visit www.fooddayma.wordpress.com for more information.

Food Day events will range from “Eating Real” school challenges, university forums, “locally sourced” restaurant challenges, film screenings, farmers’ markets festivals, taste tests, community potlucks, food demos, family dinners with food focused discussion, and so much more.

Last year, Massachusetts led the country with the number of activities (see feature in the Food Day 2012 Report), this year, the Bay state is on track to host 700 activities to support this movement. Residents in all communities can find an activity to support by putting their town/zip code here.

Food day activities are created and hosted by organizations from many sectors, small and large, to share information, community build and make positive changes within our food system. Contact Rose for more ways to get involved at Rose.Arruda@state.ma.us.

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Flower and Nursery Programs

Wednesday, October 16 - Fall Flower Grower Program - Open to all! 8:00 am – 3:00 pm, Pioneer Gardens, Deerfield, MA. Full day education, lunch and open houses of area greenhouses! Featuring: Ira Bryck, Director of the UMass Amherst Family Business Center on “Your Family Business: How to Survive with Your Family”, also a panel on the economics of using biological control, best energy conservation paybacks, growing calibrachoas and more! Mass Farm Energy Program will have information about energy funding program. Sponsored by UMass Extension and Massachusetts Flower Growers Association.
Program and Registration: http://extension.umass.edu/floriculture/ (mail in registration). Contact: Tina Smith at 413-545-5306; tsmith@umext.umass.edu

Wednesday, November 6 - The Ins and Outs of Biological Control - 9:30 am – 3:00 pm, Publick House, Sturbridge, MA
Learn about banker plants, trap plants and habitat planters, research update on biocontrol, grower to grower session and more! Co-sponsored by UMass Extension and UConn Extension, 4 pesticide credits
Program and registration: http://extension.umass.edu/floriculture/ (mail in or on-line registration). Contact: Tina Smith at 413-545-5306; tsmith@umext.umass.edu

Wednesday, November 13 - UMass Landscape Education Day - 8:30 am – 3:00 pm, Bowker Auditorium, UMass Amherst campus. Join UMass Extension educators at their home base – the UMass Amherst campus – for a detail-oriented day of learning about landscape pests and diseases, nutrient management, weed management and storm water options. The special end of growing season time frame was selected in order to summarize take-aways from the 2013 season while also allowing sufficient time to utilize the latest research-based information in planning for next season and beyond. Don’t miss this unique and valuable educational opportunity! Program and registration: http://extension.umass.edu/floriculture/ (mail in or on-line registration)

Contact Ellen Weeks at 413-545-0895; eweeks@umext.umass.edu or Jason Lanier at 413-545-2965; jdl@umass.edu.

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Taking on Invasives - Invasive Forest Beetles

Thursday, October 17 - 44 Baker Farm, Lincoln - 7:00 pm, wine & cheese reception, 7:30 pm, presentation - The Asian Longhorned Beetle is causing problems in the Worcester area, and the Emerald Borer Beetle has recently been discovered in western Mass. Both represent real threats to Walden Woods and the SuAsCo River Watershed. Join Jennifer Forman-Orth, Ph.D, State Plant Pest Survey Coordinator with the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, for a discussion about these pests, how to recognize them and signs of their presence, and what we can do to eradicate them. Seating limited, please call to reserve, 781-259-4707. Detailed flyer.

MAC Workshops and Updates

MA Agriculture in the Classroom(MAC) present the following:

Saturday, October 19, Day of Garden Skills Workshops & Demonstrations for the School Garden - 9:00 am to 3:00 pm at the New England Small Farm Institute in Belchertown

Spend an educational and fun day brushing up on your gardening techniques and learning new activity ideas for school gardens. Twelve workshops and demonstrations to support successful efforts in the school garden will be held throughout the day, including soils tests, building cold frames and garden beds, fall crops, garlic, square foot beds, mulch and more. Free and open to all with registration. Thanks to New England Small Farm Institute for hosting this event and to the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources for sponsoring the workshops. Details here.

Saturday, November 9 - Fall “Greening the School Conference” - Clay Science Center of Dexter & Southfield Schools in Brookline

Our 5th Annual Fall Conference for Educators theme is “Greening the School.” All workshops will focus on composting & healthy soils; school gardening; natural resource conservation, and nutrition & local foods. The $50 fee includes a breakfast snack, lunch, all materials and ten professional development points with a related classroom activity.

The Clay Center for Science and Technology is a state-of-the-art astronomical observatory and learning center. Allandale Farm is Boston’s last working farm. It practices growing methods that meet organic requirements, produces compost, offers CSA shares, a farm market and locally grown and artisan foods.Tours of the school and farm will be available during the day.

The Chipotle Mexican Grill, proud supporter of MAC’s Greening the School conference, is changing the way people think about and eat fast food by serving food made from ingredients sourced with respect for the land, the animals, and the farmers who produce the food. Visit www.chipotle.com to learn more. Once again this year, Whole Foods Markets have also provided sponsorship support. The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources sponsored four workshops. A limited number of registration Scholarships are available for new and urban teachers and farm educators thanks to a grant from Northeast Farm Credit Ag Enhancement. The full schedule, registration and scholarship details can be found aginclassroom.org.

MAC still looking for a few school garden educators to present during the workshop sessions “Getting Started in the School Garden” and “Success in the School Garden” at the Fall conference on November 9. Send an e-mail if you are interested at massaginclassroom@earthlink.net.

The MAC Fall Newsletter is available on-line here. The newsletter celebrates our 30th year, our teacher of the year winner Cyndi Jensen and provides a resource on Agriculture and Stem connections.

MAC has a few dairy grants available in the amount of $250. Grants can be used for purchasing materials, developing lessons, etc. to anything that will enhance your classroom with dairy education. These grants were sponsored by the Massachusetts Dairy Promotion Board and will fund projects related to dairy cows. If you are interested send an e-mail to massaginclassroom@earthlink.net.

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26th Annual Governor's Conference on Travel and Tourism

Monday, October 21 - 10:00 am - 4:00 pm (Registration at 9:00 am) - Massachusetts State House, Boston

Speakers include:

  • Christopher Thompson, President & CEO, Brand USA
  • Tom Glynn, President & CEO, Massport
  • Just added: Patricia Rojas, Vice President Government Relations, USTA

A light lunch will be served. Registration is $50 per person; You must pre-register on line. Payment of any kind may not be accepted at the door. Click here to register now. Space is limited!

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Bi-Annual MA Cultivated Blueberry Grower’s Association Meeting

Sunday, November 3, Harvey’s Conference Center, 68 Hopkinton Rd., Rte. 135, Westborough, MA 12:30 pm, (www.elharvey.com/contact). The MA Cultivated Blueberry Grower’s Association has been in existence since 1944 and is devoted to the development of the cultivated blueberry industry in all its phases: propagation, culture of bushes, harvesting and marketing. It fosters co-operation among its members in solving problems of growing and marketing cultivated blueberries.

To that end, we meet bi-annually and have a speaker who is knowledgeable and/or engaged in current research in this field. Our annual meeting is held during the first weekend of November and our spring meeting is held in early June at a different member's blueberry plantation.

Please join us as an active member this year ($20 per family per year) and come hear Sonia Schloemann, UMASS Extension Small Fruit Specialist, speak on the current research regarding the management of Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) and Dr. Anne Averill, Associate Professor, Department of Plant, Soil, Insect Sciences, speak on the Disappearance of Bees.

A catered dinner is being offered for an additional $25.00 per person. If you do not want to join the association, and are only interested in hearing the speakers, please send in a $10 check payable to the Massachusetts Cultivated Blueberry Grower’s Association: MCBGA c/o Debbie Baisley, PO Box 287, N. Uxbridge, MA 01538 and arrive at 2 pm. Contact Debi Baisley for reservation form, 508-234-9859, sunburstbee@yahoo.com.

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BFN/Mass Fall Forum 2013

Beginning Farmer Network (BFN) presents their Fall Forum:
Tuesday, November 12, 2013 - 10:00am to 3:00pm, 40 Main Street, Charlton, MA
Event URL: http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07e85lx1sz3971bb74

  • Are you a new farmer or thinking about farming?
  • Are you looking to connect with beginning farmers or farm service providers in MA?
  • Are you interested in beginning farmer success in MA?
  • Do you want to figure out how to work together and leverage resources?

Come to the Beginning Farmer Network of Massachusetts (BFN/Mass) Fall Forum. This networking event will be a chance to meet other farmers, farm service providers, and engaged food system advocates who are concerned with beginning farmers’ livelihood and success in the Commonwealth. We’ll get a chance to meet each other, talk about hot-button issues, identify gaps in resources, and figure out where we can collaborate to ensure beginning farmer success. Register at: www.tinyurl.com/bfnfallforum2013

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Regional Ag Commission Meetings

SAVE THE DATES! – December 7, 2013 and January 11, 2014

The MA Association of Agricultural Commssions (MAAC) will hold the following regional AgCom Conferences this winter:

Saturday, December 7, 2013, Hancock Shaker Village – especially for Berkshire County AgComs, all Mass AgCom members, farmers, farm supporters, and others who may be interested

Saturday, January 11, 2014, Smisth Vocational School, Northampton – co-sponsored by MAAC, MDAR, CISA, the Northampton Ag Commission, and others

Agendas and registration will be mailed to AgComs and farmers in the region soon. Hope you can attend!

www.massagcom.org/; MDAR Ag Commission page. Contacts: Peter Westover, 413-665-4077, westover03@comcast.net, Cheryl Lekstrom, 508-835-6936/2452, clekstrom@mac.com.

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NOFA/Mass Workshops & Events

The Northeast Organic Farming Association/Massachusetts Chapter (NOFA/Mass) offers a variety of workshops and events across the state, on food production, preparation, marketing and more. For more information, www.nofamass.org/events.

Managing and Growing a CSA - Saturday, October 19 - 9am to 12pm in Dover, MA

Season Extension - Sunday, October 20 – 1pm to 4pm in Somerville, MA

Fat-Soluble Vitamins in Traditional Diets: Nutrient-Dense Animal Foods as the Keys to Vibrant Health Seminar - Thursday, October 24 - 9am to 5pm in New Bedford, MA

Home Brewing - Sunday, October 27 – 1pm to 3pm in Boston-area – (location TBD)

Run or Walk with Team NOFA/Mass in Lexington - Sunday, November 3 - 12pm to 1:30pm in Lexington, MA

Farm Profitability: Season Extension and Marketing for the Small Farm Seminar - Monday, November 4 - 9am to 5:30pm in Barre, MA

Sauerkraut and Lacto-fermentation - Sunday, November 10 - 2pm to 4pm in Boston, MA

27th Annual NOFA/Mass Winter Conference - January 11, 2014 - 9am to 4pm in Worcester, MA

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HACCP Workshop

December 3-5, 2013 - University of Massachusetts Amherst Campus Center

This workshop will provide the tools for you to complete the requirements for HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) certification, understand HACCP principles, identify the resources needed to develop, implement and maintain a HACCP plan, understand and identify process step hazard assessment and understand and identify steps required to determine critical control points. This course will include interactive exercises to help illustrate HACCP planning with an emphasis on FDA regulated food products.

Early bird rates available until November 1st. SRA Registration fee $500, Professional Registration fee $600, Registration and additional information: www.umasshotel.com/groups-meetings/registration/.

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Better Process Control School

January 7-10, 2014 - University of Massachusetts Amherst Campus Center

The Better Process Control School (BPCS) certifies supervisors of thermal processing systems, acidification, and container closure evaluation programs for low-acid and acidified canned foods. Each processor of low-acid or acidified foods must operate with a certified supervisor on hand at all times during processing. This school satisfies the training requirements specified in both the FDA and USDA regulations. Instructors for this school are drawn from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the University of Massachusetts, and industry.

Early bird rates available until November 29th. SRA Registration fee $700, Professional Registration fee $800, Registration and additional information: www.umasshotel.com/groups-meetings/registration/

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Ag Day at the Statehouse

Save the Date - Agriculture Day at the Statehouse will be Wednesday, March 26, 2014.

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IN EVERY ISSUE

Classified Ads

  • Natick Winter Farmers Market, looking for a coffee bean vendor. Saturdays, 9 am – 1 pm, November 23 to April 2. Contact Deb Sayre, debra@sayre.com, 508-259-9118
  • For Sale: PTO driven International corn binder with conveyor - $2400, 781-235-7249
  • Dairy Farm looking for farm help in central Massachusetts to feed and clean a heifer operation. Opening immediately. If interested, call 508-989-1802
  • Burroughs Farm is seeking someone to cut cordwood on 25 acres in Boxborough, MA. Contact Bryon Clemence at 978-263-4346 or burroughsfarm@verizon.net
  • Northeastern IPM Center has released its RFA for the 2014 Partnership Grants Program - Up to $300,000 is available, with a maximum of $50,000 per award. Projects should foster the development and adoption of integrated pest management (IPM) methods in three areas: IPM Working Groups, IPM Issues, and Regional IPM Communications. Please click here for details and a link to the complete RFA. Applications must be submitted online by 5:00 pm, December 5, 2013
  • Agricultural Excavation – Grading Services - Provide earth moving, drainage, land/pasture reclamation, greenhouse preparation, and rock raking services. Includes but not limited to orchards/equine facilities/cranberry bogs/nurseries. Chris Merrill Excavating - merrilltrucks@comcast.net 978-897-9977

How to Place a Classified Ad

Classified ads are accepted free-of charge on a first-come basis. Be sure to include a phone number. No display ads will be accepted. Only one ad per business/individual per issue, unless space permits. Ads may run in consecutive issues, space permitting. Ads must be of interest to Massachusetts farmers. The Massachusetts Dept. of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) reserves the right to refuse any listing it deems inappropriate for publication. E-mail, fax or mail ads to: Farm & Market Report, MDAR, 251 Causeway Street, Suite 500, Boston, MA 02114, fax: 617-626-1850, Richard.LeBlanc@state.ma.us.

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About the Farm & Market Report

Published bi-monthly by:

Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Deval L. Patrick, Governor
Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, Richard K. Sullivan, Secretary
Department of Agricultural Resources, Gregory C. Watson, Commissioner

Boston Office:
251 Causeway St., Suite 500,
Boston, MA 02114
617-626-1700, Fax: 617-626-1850
Amherst Satellite Office:
101 University Drive, Suite C4
Amherst, MA 01002
413-548-1900, Fax: 413-548-1901
Division Directors

Next issue to be published for December / January. Please send news, calendar and/or classified information by November 30 to Richard.LeBlanc@state.ma.us. To unsubscribe or change your address, send an e-mail message to Richard.LeBlanc@state.ma.us or call 617-626-1759.