Tuesday, March 29, 2011

2011 Tour Schedule in Western North Carolina

April 16: Production Planning & Greenhouse Management at Full Sun Farm

May 14: Cut Flower Production & Management at Sweet Earth Flower Farm

June 11: Cost-Effective Ways for Reducing your Farm's Carbon Footprint at Thatchmore Farms

July 16: Marketing Basics, Creating & Selling Value-Added Products at Imladris Farm

August 20: Managing Farm Diversity & Agritourism Snapshot at Green Toe Ground Farm

September 10: Commercial Permaculture  at Useful Plants Nursery

October 8: Sustainable Timber Harvest at Mountain Harvest Organics

Nov 12: Year One- Lessons Learned + Season Extension Basics at The Patchwork Underground

For more information, visit the CRAFT website at http://www.organicgrowersschool.org/content/1874, or just contact Andrea at 828.338.9508 or andrea@organicgrowersschool.org . 

Friday, March 25, 2011

Calling all farmers: Dig Into Local Show at WNC Farmers Market-April 9

WNC Farmers,

The North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is showcasing local farmers and a variety of WNC food products with the “Dig into Local” show at the WNC Farmers Market on Saturday, April 9th 11 am – 3 pm. Farmers can stay later if they would like. The tent will be set up all day. Please register on the attached application so we know how many tables to have and the size tent to use. This event to promote NC local foods is made possible with funds from the Golden Leaf Foundation.

A table will be provided for each farmer/organization at the show - no charge. Please bring all other marketing materials (i.e. brochures, display boards, banners, product, etc.) and product samples, if available, to advertise your farm or agricultural products. This preseason event is an opportunity to introduce the farmers to the consumers so that the customers have a greater awareness of where to buy fresh, local food and can connect the farmers with the food.

Any farmers or farm related organizations in the surrounding areas who sell directly to consumers via road side stand, CSA, and/or “pick¬ your own”, or farmers who are interested in expanding their retail and wholesale markets, are eligible to participate. This event will offer education, exposure, and outreach for NC products as well as potentially increase sales opportunities for farmers in local markets with fruits, vegetables, plants, fiber products, meats, seafood and dairy. Additionally, the event will focus on drawing in consumers from surrounding counties to further emphasize buying local and the chefs from area restaurants will be invited to scope out the products and help promote NC products in restaurants.

This showcase of WNC local products is being held in conjunction with the BBQ Cook¬-Off & Bluegrass Jam at the WNC Farmers Market in Asheville and the “Jam” is known to attract large crowds of people from the local and surrounding communities. In fact, in past years the BBQ Cook¬-Off & Bluegrass Jam has attracted as many as 10,000 people.

If interested, and to get an application, please contact Dee Bartlett, NCDA&CS Marketing Specialist, at dee.bartlett@ncagr.gov  or 919.707.3106.

Information provided by Debra Sloan, Agribusiness Development & Aquaculture Consultant, North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, 208 Sugar Cove Road, Franklin, NC 28734. 
debrasloan@earthlink.net Phone & Fax - 828.524.1264

Friday, March 18, 2011

NC Regulatory Reform Public Hearings-Do Farmers Have Issues to Bring Up?

This is information that came through the NC Farm Bureau that I thought might be of interest to farmers.

Regulatory Reform Meetings — The North Carolina General Assembly recently established a regulatory reform committee made up of House and Senate members. The committee's purpose is to look closely at the entire regulatory environment in North Carolina and determine what problems exist and what changes are necessary. The committee plans to conduct public hearings across the state to solicit public comments. Farmers and landowners who have been adversely impacted by current state regulations or who would be adversely impacted by proposed regulations are asked to attend these meetings and express their concerns to committee members.

Farmers Wanted!

We need farmers with stories to speak at these meetings.

Triad – Monday. March 28. Guilford Technical Comm. College – Jamestown Campus, Koury Hospitality Careers Center Auditorium, 601 High Point Road, Jamestown, N.C. Signup to make a two minute statement: 12:30 p.m. Meeting: 1 to 3 p.m.

Eastern N.C. – Monday, April 4. Pitt Community College, Goess Building, Rooms 137-139, 1986 Pitt Tech Road, Winterville, N.C. Signup to make a two minute statement: 12:30 p.m. Meeting: 1 to 3 p.m.

Western N.C. – Friday, April 15. Blue Ridge Community College, Thomas Auditorium, 180 West Campus Drive, Flat Rock, N.C. Signup to make a two minute statement: 12:30 p.m. Meeting: 1 to 3 p.m.

Raleigh – Thursday, April 21. Legislative Building Auditorium (3rd Floor), 16 W. Jones Street, Raleigh, N.C. Signup to make a two minute statement: 12:30 p.m. Meeting: 1 to 3 p.m.

The Joint Committee on Regulatory Reform website is here: http://www.ncleg.net/gascripts/DocumentSites/browseDocSite.asp?nID=139