Monthly Archives: January 2012

Farmers’ Market Workshop in Nampa

January 24, 2012
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Farmers’ Market Workshop in Nampa

Farmers’ market vendors and managers across the state will have the opportunity to participate in one of several upcoming regional workshops! Workshops Are Schedule for: - Nampa, February 4 (Click here to register) - Idaho Falls, March 3 (registration coming soon). - Moscow, March 23-24, with one day focusing on agritourism! (registration coming soon).     Agendas will vary by location, but will cover topics such as marketing, business development, legal structures, financial management, customer service, food safety, regulatory issues, market and vendor success stories, and plenty of networking opportunities.  The cost is $25 per person, with an early bird rate of $20 per person which includes lunch and materials. In the past decade, the number of farmers’ markets operating in Idaho has nearly tripled.  This is our fourth year working with University of Idaho Extension to host these workshops. Participants of past workshops have said it’s definitely a day well spent and of great value to their business. If you are involved in direct marketing in any capacity or are considering becoming involved in the future, you should plan to attend this valuable training. For more information contact Lacey Menasco at (208) 332-8538 or lacey.menasco@agri.idaho.gov .  The workshops are a cooperative…

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Farmers! Don’t miss Grower’s Own

January 23, 2012
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Farmers!  Don’t miss Grower’s Own

Grower’s Own 2012 Whether you call it networking, peer-to-peer learning, or something totally different, the Grower’s Own Conference is a vibrant, interactive gathering where farmers come to share tips and hear from the real experts: other organic farmers. The day consists of farmer-to-farmer work sessions covering topics chosen by you. Plus, this year’s conference offers an extra afternoon filled with updates on organic research and resources for organic and diversified farms. If you’re a grower, this is for you! Friday, Feb. 3 – Saturday, Feb. 4 College of Southern Idaho – Herrett Center Twin Falls, Idaho Learn more

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It’s not dirt—it’s soil. Take Care of It!

January 20, 2012
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It’s not dirt—it’s soil. Take Care of It!

 The Third Annual SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE SYMPOSIUM is being held February 16 in Ontario.  Its emphasis on good soil health will feature nationally-known soil scientists.  One speaker, Don Huber, is at the epicenter of controversy for questioning  the long-term effects of Genetically Modified (GMO) crops on soil health.  Gary Zimmer is a frequent contributor to ACRES magazine, advocating natural soil processes to enhance soil fertility. Here’s the press release announcing the symposium: A one-day Sustainable Agriculture Symposium is to be held at Four Rivers Cultural Center on Thursday, February 16, 2012 in Ontario, Oregon.  The event is sponsored by both the Malheur County and Payette Soil and Water Conservation Districts.  This third annual event emphasizes improving the quality and longevity of production land through optimum balance of the soil’s physical, chemical, and biological properties. The symposium will benefit farmers, crop advisors, and others with agriculture interests and will feature case studies that demonstrate increased crop quality, increased pest resistance, and reduced plant disease attributed to well managed soils and improved farming practices. Featured topics will include:  Biological Farming, Herbicide Interaction With Disease and Crop Production, Soil Quality, and No Till/Strip Till Practices. Featured speakers include:  Gary Zimmer, President Midwestern Bio-Ag; Don…

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Dinner in the Cellar returns!

January 12, 2012
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Dinner in the Cellar returns!

After a holiday break, the Treasure Valley Food Coalition dinners in the Red Feather cellar resume on the last Thursday of each month.  January’s event will be a discussion about food security in the Treasure Valley. Our food, an essential element of our daily life, is anything but secure.  Grocery stores have just a few days’ worth of food on the shelves.  The overwhelming majority of the food we eat everyday in the Treasure Valley is grown elsewhere, even though we have the climate, soil, water, and ability to grow much of it here. Come enjoy a terrific meal from local ingredients, meet folks who are interested in the food system of the Treasure Valley, and share your thoughts on what we can do to ensure we have a nutritious, sustainable food supply for all residents. Thursday, January 26, 2012  Doors open at 6:30.  Dinner at 7:00 p.m.  Cost:  $25, supporting the work of TVFC. Seating is limited.  RSVP to:  treasurevalleyfoodcoalition@gmail.com or respond to this post.

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Menu for the Future at Fettuccine Forum

January 12, 2012
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Menu for the Future at Fettuccine Forum

Local food in the Treasure Valley is on the agenda for the next Fettuccine Forum.  Amy Hutchinson, Guy Hand and Janie Burns will present on 2011: The Year of Idaho Food. Recently concluded, the Year of Idaho Food was a grass-roots, year-long, statewide look at the surprising variety of foods grown in Idaho – and not simply focusing on the foods themselves, but also on the social, economic and environmental significance of those foods. In addition to discussing the many ways Idahoans celebrated the year and the valuable insights these celebrations engendered (i.e.  in a world of uncertainty we have the ability to feed ourselves, and feed ourselves well)  presenters also will share their 2012 plan for engaging more people as active participants in our food system through an in-depth look at twelve foods historically grown in Idaho for local consumption. Come listen to the presentation at 5:30 p.m.,  Thursday February 2, 2012 at the Rose Room, downtown Boise. The forum is a free public lecture series held the first Thursday of the month during the academic year. Founded in 1989 by the College of Social Sciences and Public Affairs, the educational forum about the history and cultural life of…

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Financial condition of Idaho Agriculture released

January 6, 2012
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Financial condition of Idaho Agriculture released

With all the appeal of dry toast, a joint legislative committee met yesterday, January 5, 2012 to read the tea leaves of the state’s economy in 2012.  Every year, groups with major economic impact like the Department of Labor, realtors, timber interests, contractors, tourism and agriculture offer their best “guesses” of what the economy will do in 2012.  The legislature uses this information for a variety of things, but primarily to predict how much money will come into the state coffers during the next year so they can set state budgets.  The University of Idaho report is chock full of data, most useful if you know a farmer who is living it. The Idaho Statesman headline of the agriculture forecast was, “Agricultural Income Sets A Record“.   The Capital Press, a Northwest agriculture weekly announced “  Idaho Agriculture Shatters Cash, Income Records“  And it is true.  For every crop, except for onions, farmers made money, offsetting for some, years of losing it. One of the charts caught my attention.  It isn’t the numbers—the millions of dollars of farmer income.  Look at the wild swings of income on the graph.  How many folks or businesses could withstand such volatility?   It is…

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The Year of Idaho Food isn’t the end of Idaho Food

January 5, 2012
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The Year of Idaho Food isn’t the end of Idaho Food

Over a year ago, Amy Hutchinson and Janie Burns helped create a campaign called 2011: The Year of Idaho.  This grassroots effort received a broad reach across Idaho, and even throughout the Pacific Northwest through the work of many individuals and particularly through the media work of Guy Hand.  His Northwest Food News has chronicled the past year with colorful,weekly print articles in the Boise Weekly and radio segments on Boise State Public Radio.  Sadly, the weekly radio spots will be discontinued. These weekly stories about Idaho food helped to enlighten us about the surprising variety of food grown in the state.  They introduced us to the people who are quietly rejecting cookie-cutter industrial food and expanding our notions about what we can grow in our backyards, neighborhoods, and farms.  They brought us passion and joy about food.   Most importantly, these weekly profiles gave us hope—hope that in a world of uncertainty we have the ability to feed ourselves, and feed ourselves well. Just because the Year of Idaho Food has come to an end doesn’t mean that we should stop the festivities.   There are more stories to tell.  Please consider writing one for Northwest Food News.  And…

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