A Gathering of the Farmers - Welcome Address by Alice Varon

gathering_flyer_front.jpgA Gathering of the Farmers
An Agricultural Revival
March 8, 2014
Wilson College, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania

It’s a real treat to be with all of you today. I spend a lot of hours thinking about CNG’s work – how we can do more for our members and have a greater impact. Most of these hours I spend alone, or with one other person. And sometimes that gets old. But there also are those brilliant moments when I see that I’m really not alone. I get a note from someone who tells me how much they value being a part of CNG, or shares how much they learned when they had their annual farm inspection. 

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Grassroots Family Farm, Monique & Jesse, PA

PA.Grassroots.Monique_Cow.jpgIn a manner of speaking, Jesse Mattern's interest in farming sprouted from the soil. Monique Blais' passion for farming was sparked through a passion for good food.

They met in the middle, and haven't looked back. Bit by bit, they've been building their farm dream in central Pennsylvania, and growing their family. Their 3-month old son is the newest addition to the farm team at Grassroots Family Farm!

 

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Spreading Oaks Farm, Ken & Patti Cook, GA


GA.SpreadingOaks.Field2.jpgThe weather is a perpetual source of joy and heartbreak for farmers - there's nothing better than the rain watering in seeds for you, but there is nothing worse than late frost killing half of your precious tomato seedlings.

Farmers Ken and Patti Cook, and their son Jason, are no strangers to the trials and travails that the can weather bring. For the folks at Spreading Oaks Farm in Dallas, Georgia (just west of Atlanta), it's the incredible support of their customers that keeps them going in the face of the ice and snow and storms and blazing sun.

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Reclaim Natural

only-organic-question_logo.jpgCertified Naturally Grown's Response to the “Only Organic” Campaign 

We applaud the overall spirit of the new video campaign by Organic Voices taking aim at the misuse of “Natural” by processed food manufacturers. The Certified Naturally Grown (CNG) community is very concerned about how this word is used to peddle processed foods packed with genetically modified ingredients (GMO’s) and synthetic additives.

However, we can’t embrace the exclusionary and false conclusion of the Organic Voices video, nor will we join them in conceding yet another valuable word to big agribusiness. 

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Continuing to explore aquaponics certification

Aquaponics system at Growing Power, Milkwaukee, WI. Photo by Ryan GriffisThings have been moving right along with our project to explore the possibility of launching new certification programs for aquaponics and hydroponics. We have lots of news to share!

Exploratory Committee: All-Star Cast
We're thrilled to announce the members of our Aquaponics/ Hydroponics Exploratory Committee -- 6 experts and practitioners from across the country with decades of experience between them. They are:

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Winter Newsletter - 2013

Opening1.jpgWe're already looking forward to a year when even more local farmers and beekeepers will produce food in harmony with nature.

We envision vibrant grassroots networks of CNG producers sharing knowledge and supporting each other to help strengthen local food systems. 

And we envision that in more communities, people who seek good clean food, will look for Certified Naturally Grown. 

 

 

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Cooper-Lasley Farm, Daniel and Allison Cooper, NC

NC.CooperLasley.Allison_Daniel_(2).jpgThough Allison and Daniel both grew up on farms and went to school for agriculture, they still face the same challenges any young farmers face: having enough capital, being taken seriously by the older generation, balancing off-farm jobs until they can afford to farm full-time.

But with their skills, grit, and faith, along with a good measure of support of their family and community, you get the real sense that they're going to make their farm dreams a reality.  

 

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Honeybee Keep, Don Studinski, CO

CO.HoneybeeKeep.Don-profile.jpgDon Studinsky started his apiary only four years ago and - if you'll excuse the pun - he's been busy as a bee ever since. Not only do his 24 hives keep him busy, but he also runs a beekeeping mentor program, collects swarms, consults, provides pollination services, and performs extractions.

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Lemon Ladies Orchard, Karen Morss, CA


Karen_harvesting.jpg

Karen Morss is an orchardess with an incredible story -- it includes more than 2 decades in the computer industry, starting a flight school, writing children's books, and more.

Nowadays, her story also includes tending her Meyer lemon orchard in Emerald Hills, California, not too far from San Francisco. We'll let her tell the rest. 

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Become a Friend of CNG!

Icon_fullcolor.jpgSince CNG was founded, many people have expressed their enthusiasm for what we do. But until now, we haven't offered a way for people be a part of CNG unless they were in need of certification.

This fall, for the first time, all our supporters can be a part of our grassroots initiative as Friends of CNG by giving $15 or more. Friends of CNG will be among the first to be invited to upcoming gatherings, and they'll be informed of other ways to get involved in CNG as local leaders.

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