2013 Farm Bill

2013_5-farm-bill-senate-floor-for-take-action-page.jpgNo need to feel flummoxed by all the Farm Bill fuss. Here’s a round-up of our favorite links that are helping us sort it all out.

There's something for everybody - GMO labeling, "Monsanto Protection Act", conservation programs, funding for local food and beginning farmers, nutrition assistance, and more. [Image courtesy of National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition]

There's a tremendous amount at stake for farmers and food eaters. 
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Parke Creek Farm, Eric and Bambi Miller, Washington

Bambi_at_market_-_FB.jpgThe high desert climate of central Washington State can make it a tough place to grow food. Bambi and Eric Miller - the farmers at Parke Creek Farm - face high winds, low precip, and extreme temperatures. And yet, amidst the challenges, Parke Creek Farm is thriving! 

Read more about what keeps them going. (Hint: at least part of it has to do with colcannon and 10 layers of clothing in the winter.)

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Broadfork Farm, Dan Gagnon & Janet Aardema, Virginia

family-ed.jpgDan Gagnon and Janet Aardema are the owner-operators behind Broadfork Farm in the Richmond Metro area, Central Piedmont of Virginia.

Farmers are a busy bunch, but this pair might take the prize - full time farming, plus 3 kids under five years old, and Janet is part time Executive Director of the Virginia Association for Biological Farming

Read on to hear more about their farming experience, their advice for new farmers, and what their guilty pleasure is. 

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Glynwood Farm, Dave Llewellyn, New York

NY-Glynwood-Dave_Llewellyn_on_tractor-cropped.jpgGlynwood Farm in Cold Spring, NY is part of a larger nonprofit with a big mission - saving farming in the Northeast. The farm itself "expresses Glynwood's mission by testing, innovating, and demonstrating sustainable agricultural practices, while growing food for our community," and training the next generation of farmers. The veggies for their 130-member CSA and market stand come from the 6.5 most tillable acres of the steep and rocky 225 acres that make up the farm. The rest is devoted to the pasture-based livestock program and woodlands. We caught up with Dave Llewellyn (CSA Manager and Director of Farmer Training) at a particularly busy time of year; his responses may be short in words, but not in substance. 

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The Carolina Bee Company, Todd & Monica, North Carolina

CarolinaBee_NC_todd_and_monica_-_festival_of_legends_2012_-_photoby_Monika_Shakinovsky-c.jpgTodd and Monica of The Carolina Bee Company have been keeping bees for nearly ten years now. They started with just 2 hives in 2004 and now they have up to 65-85 hives scattered throughout Franklin County, North Carolina. Todd and Monica tend the bees together, and Monica handcrafts beeswax candles, bath and body products and CNG honey. Yum!

[Photo by Woodland Willow Photography]

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Herb and Plow, Tennessee

Herb and Plow Farm in Tennessee is Certified Naturally GrownCNG member Chris Arnold penned an recent article in Grit Magazine about her experience with Certified Naturally Grown. Here we learn more about the farm she and her husband Ron own and operate on the Cumberland Plateau in east Tennessee - Herb and Plow Farm. 

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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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