Jennifer Berry and Honey Pond Apiary, Georgia

cJen_2013_-_1.jpgAs a beekeeper and researcher, it'd be easy for Jennifer Berry of Honey Pond Farm to be pessimistic in the face of varroa mites, environmental degradation, and Colony Collapse Disorder; in fact she is just the opposite.

But her optimism doesn't depend on just luck. She and many others are working hard to figure out the best ways to ensure that the future is bright for honey bees and for us!

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Red Hills Small Farm Alliance, Florida

Farmers_and_Sign_at_drop_off.jpgThis week we're thrilled to feature the Red Hills Small Farm Alliance, a network of farmers in the area around Tallahassee, Florida. They got started just a few years ago now, and already have a lot to be proud of.

Their two main projects are a Growers' Circle for farmers and gardeners to learn from each other, and an online farmers market to support the economic success of small farmers. Below, read more about what they're doing, and how they make it work! 

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Greg Jubinsky, The Ragged Glory Farm, FL

FL_Greg_Jubinsky_-_The_Ragged_Glory_Farm_2012-09-12_10.37.29_(1).jpgMeet Greg Jubinsky. He's the founder and farmer of The Ragged Glory Farm, a small diversified vegetable and herb farm coming up on it's 4th year of production for market. You might not call Greg verbose, but he makes his words count. Below, he shares a few words about his farm, the local network he's part of, and some dark humor about what he'd be if here weren't a farmer.

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Taos Women Farmers, New Mexico

NM.SquashBlossom.GaelMinton_JessicaMay_30__2012.jpgEarlier this week we featured CNG member Gael Minton of Squash Blossom Farm in New Mexico. Now we want to put the spotlight on the farmer network that she and few other women started in the region - Taos Women Farmers.

A supportive network of fellow farmers, opportunities to learn and share, and only as much responsibility as I have time for? Yes, please! Read more after the jump. 

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Squash Blossom Farm, Gael Minton, New Mexico

NM.SquashBlossom.GaelMinton-marigold-lei.jpgWhile Gael Minton is a transplant to the southwest, the land that she and her husband Ty own connect them to the region's history and the relationships she has built after more than a decade in Taos connect her to the community. Squash Blossom Farm is 2.2 acres of historic land irrigated by the Acequia* del Monte since the 17 Century. [*An acequia is a community-operated watercourse for irrigation.] 

Below, Gael shares about her farming heroes, the challenges of farming at 70, and what makes Squash Blossom Farm such a special place. 

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Mid-Hudson Valley Growers Network, New York

CNGfarmerstwilightmeetingpics--blog.jpgThe Mid-Hudson Valley Growers Network started in 2002 with just a handful of members. Since then, it's grown to include farmers and apprentices from more than 20 farms in the area.

The MHVG network organizes potlucks, farm tours, and has an online forum that members use for everything from advice on onion thrips to arranging bulk orders of potting mix. 

Sound good? Learn about how the network got started, what it takes to keep the network going, and why it's good for farmers by reading this short profile of the Mid-Hudson Valley Growers Network.

Dunton Family Farm/Victory Seed Company, Oregon

Mike Dunton CNGMike Dunton has farming in his blood. He can trace his roots to New England in the early 1620s and every generation has farmed, either exclusively or in conjunction with a trade. The Dunton Family Farm still truly is a family operation currently spanning 3 generations. In addition to the farm, they operate the Victory Seed Company, devoted to protecting open pollinated and heirloom seed varieties. 

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A Dynamic and Evolving Network, southwestern Colorado

Rusty_Laurie-crop.jpgMichele-crop.jpgIMG_1070.JPGEarlier this week we featured Paul and Mary of Confluence Farm, but today we want to highlight the local farmers network that they are a part of. Local networks are not static - they change and grow over time. And this network in southwestern Colorado is not exception. 

It started out with informal discussion groups where farmers and gardeners shared information about seeds, marketing, you name it! Since then local farmers have ordered supplies together, pooled their products to supply restaurant accounts, and more.

Read more about this network of Southwestern Colorado Growers

Mary Vozar and Paul Bohmann, Confluence Farm, CO

CO.Confluence.Paul_Mary-smiles.jpgMary Vozar and Paul Bohmann's Confluence Farm is a unique operation in more ways than one. They have a stunning location just down the road from Mesa Verde National Park in southwestern Colorado. They also have a unusual model - their main business is supplying two 'shoulder' CSAs one in early spring and then again in late fall into winter. And of interest for all you achey-back farmers out there, Mary and Paul have a new weeding contraption designed to save your spine.

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Jonah Vitale-Wolff and Leah Penniman, Soul Fire Farm, NY

NY.SoulFireFarm.LeahPenniman_JonahVitale-Wolf_Close-up.jpgHealth, justice, community, education, creativity, farming. 

Leah Penniman and Jonah Vitale-Wolff integrate all of these in their work at Soul Fire Farm, located in eastern upstate New York. Below, Jonah and Leah share more about their philosophy, and what motivates and inspires them to do what they do. 

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