Farmers! Don’t miss Grower’s Own

January 23, 2012
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
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
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
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
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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