Monthly Archives: December 2011

Upcoming Farming Conference – Grower’s Own

December 23, 2011
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If you are a farmer, where do you go when you need to know what cover crop works best in southwest Idaho or where to find a local source for drip tape? Other farmers – of course! This is particularly true if you are involved in organic and sustainable farming. That’s why this conference features the collective knowledge of the farmers in our community. It is an amzing opportunity for networking, problem solving and dreaming! Grower’s Own kicks off with an evening of virtual farm tours. Jump on the digital highway to visit Meadowlark Farm, M&M Heath Farms and Next Generation Organics, as well as featured guest farm Praying Mantis Farm from Oregon. Saturday gets underway with conversations in the round, based on topics decided by those attending. New this year is a Friday afternoon symposium: Cultivating Connections – Building Idaho’s Organic Community. Register at www.pesticide.org. Grower’s Own Conference Friday, February 3 – Saturday, February 4 The Herrett Center, College of Southern Idaho, Twin Falls, Idaho

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New grocery stores looking for vendors

December 23, 2011
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New grocery stores looking for vendors

Interested in becoming a vendor for Rosauer’s and Whole Foods?  This from Leah Clark at the Idaho Dept. of Agriculture: ROSAUER’S IS COMING TO TOWN: Rosauer’s grocery store chain, with 20 store locations in Washington, Oregon, Montana and Idaho, will open their newest store at 2986 N. Eagle Rd in Meridian this spring. The store will include bakery, deli, pharmacy and grocery under the Rosauer’s banner, but will also include a Huckleberry’s store that focusses on natural, organic and local foods.  With the store slated to open in March,  the company is aggressively seeking local vendors for its new Meridian location.  To become a vendor a company must have liability insurance, all products must have UPC codes, and products must be approved and set up in their system for pricing, inventory, etc. by February 1.  The store will accept Direct Store Delivery if approved in advance or products can be shipped to URM or UNFI warehouses in Spokane.  If you are interested in becoming a vendor or talking to Rosauer’s about products – please drop me (Leah) an email with a list of products you would like to offer – and whether you are interested in the conventional Rosauer’s market…

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Conservation Funding Deadlines Coming in Early 2012

December 22, 2011
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Farmers please take notice – There are several conservation sign-up deadlines coming in January and February. Contact your local Natural Resources Conservation Service office soon! Conservation Stewardship Program Deadline is January 13 The Conservation Stewardship Program rewards farmers for the conservation they are already doing and provides the means to do more. To learn more, check out the Farmers’ Guide to the Conservation Stewardship Program from the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC). Find additional details on this year’s program from NSAC here. Organic Initiative Deadline is February 3 NRCS will use three sign-up cutoff dates for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) Organic Initiative in 2012. Applications are due by February 3, March 30, or June 1. The Organic Initiative provides funds for certified organic and transitioning farms to implement conservation practices. Less than half of the funds available through this program in Idaho have been used in recent years, so contact your local NRCS office! Seasonal High Tunnel Pilot Initiative Deadline is February 3 NRCS will also use three sign-up cutoff dates for the the Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative. Applications are due by February 3, March 30, or June 1. NRCS provides funds through the Initiative to help producers…

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That PBJ is no longer as cheap

December 21, 2011
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That PBJ is no longer as cheap

Every once in a while, when probing the dark corners of my food shelves, mostly out of curiosity about that mysterious, half-used, dusty package of something that seemed critical to a recipe made only once, I encounter a can with a price tag.  You may have to be of a certain age to remember the sight and sound of the stock boy in the supermarket aisle, leaning over a case of cans, inking each with a staccato of a price gun before arranging them on the shelf.  Easy to know the price of what you bought.  Easy to compare prices when you got home. I have to believe that this up-front-and-center approach to what things cost made it easier for mothers to enforce a “don’t touch, don’t eat” policy when it was clear the numbers on that item were bigger than on something else. Not so easy today with the prices encrypted into bar codes, defying even the most savvy shopper to remember the price on the shelf in the short walk to the checkout laser reader.   It’s even harder to know if you are paying more than you did two years ago.  No wonder we Americans have no idea…

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Seeding the future

December 19, 2011
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Seeding the future

From Northwest Food News: Seedy Confessions: Birthing a seed freak December 14, 2011 By Casey O’Leary A story contribution to the Year of Idaho Food Soaking seeds to prepare them for saving. Photo courtesy of Casey O’Leary I never used to save seeds from my gardens. For years, I dutifully pulled the bolted plants, wiping the slate clean for the next season. I’d pour over seed catalogues, snuggled up against my heater with a steaming mug of tea, and make my selections. Plucking varieties trucked from here and there across the country, a smorgasbord would arrive in a box seemingly far too tiny to hold the hundreds housed within. Then, in 2005, I visited a farm in Sooke, BC, that changed my life. Mary Alice Johnson runs ALM farm, a tiny farm much like mine, but with one major difference—instead of working against each plant’s biological predisposition to survive by setting seed, she embraced it, allowing it to flower, to have sex, to make babies in the form of seeds. Looking around her exuberant, wild farm, full of flowers and buzzing pollinators, I clearly grasped the faux pas I had been committing. I was killing my beloved vegetables before they…

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World’s food consumption infographic

December 15, 2011
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World’s food consumption infographic

Source: Food Service Warehouse

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SE Idaho Growers Network starts up

December 12, 2011
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SE Idaho Growers Network starts up

From our friends over in southeastern Idaho. Great news for southeast Idaho small scale farmers and ranchers!    Three Rivers RC&D is excited to launch a new online resource for our region’s small acreage, sustainable growers. The Southeast Idaho Grower’s Circle is now a website, dedicated to reconnecting our region’s small acreage growers with each other and our communities.  It is designed to be a simple way to see what is going on in our region, learn about upcoming events, meet other grower’s, ask questions, and participate in the sharing of skills, knowledge and information.  The blog feature hosts monthly workshops and is an opportunity to share information and network with others. Please take a moment and check out this exciting new resource at  http://www.idahogrowerscircle.org/ You can also participate in our December Workshop Series on the Blog page, which is a 3-part series exploring the role of NRCS and small scale agriculture. We are looking forward to growing this resource and making it as dynamic and useful as possible—so of course, that takes people power!  If you know of any resources, events, activities, or other information that should be shared with our regions small acreage growers, please participate and let…

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Food Deserts in the High Desert

December 11, 2011
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Food Deserts in the High Desert

Is everyone in our community well fed and nourished?  It might seem hard to believe that our neighbors may go hungry as you stroll down your favorite grocery store aisles brimming with food, or at least food-like substances.  We forget that most of us drive to the grocery store.  That simple act allows us to shop for food almost any time of the day, in scorching sun or pouring rain.  We can drive miles out of our way to get that “special” ingredient or to stock up on sale items.  Not everyone is so fortunate to have a reliable car, or the gas to put in it.  Getting food is anything but simple. There are plenty of factors to be sure, but planning plays a bigger role in our food and health than you might think.  The easy mobility afforded by the automobile and cheap fossil fuel  seduced an entire generation of municipal planners into an obsession with roads.    How else to explain subdivisions plopped in the middle of farmland, miles from the nearest services and shopping? Fortunately, a new wave of thinking is rising within the planning community, evinced by a new report from a trio of Boise…

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Planning for Profit II farm course available

December 8, 2011
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Sign up quick for a new on-line whole farm planning course offered by Moscow-based Rural Roots.  This weekly webinar series running from mid-January to mid-March and is designed to help experienced farmers with the next level of planning, financial management and marketing.   Preferred registration deadline is December 9, 2011.  See the flier:  Planning for Profit Flier, or visit the Rural Roots website.

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A food book for Christmas? What Idahoans recommend

December 4, 2011
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A food book for Christmas?  What Idahoans recommend

After decades of food ambivalence,  the literary scene has exploded with  books about food.  Authors have unveiled the politics behind our food.  They have penned wide-ranging tutorials from gardening and backyard chickens to root cellar construction and pressing cider.  Most importantly, they have inspired and empowered millions of readers to broaden their thinking about food and how it is raised, processed, transported, and eaten. Just in time for the Christmas gift calculus comes a thoughtful guide,  2011 Year of Idaho Food An Annotated Reading List. The Idaho Center for the Book asked Idahoans for the books that “informed or inspired their relationship to food”.  Readers from all over the state enthusiastically listed dozens of books and shared their significance. The director of the center, BSU art professor Stephanie Bacon, was inspired by the Symposium on Food Security and the Year of Idaho Food.  The new Arts and Humanities Institute at Boise State sponsored a “Symposium on Food Security” in September, subtitled “Sustainable Communities: The Intersection of Food and Art.”  The keynote speaker was author Gary Paul Nabhan . Other presenters included Kathy Gardner, Director of the Idaho Hunger Relief; Bittercreek/Red Feather restauranteur Dave Krick, artist and architect Anne Trumble, and…

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