Don’t miss these items in local food and agriculture news from around our region:
LOCAL SPECIALTY CROP & LOCAL FOOD TRADE SHOW
Join us on Tuesday, March 5 at Northeastern University. Don’t miss your chance to develop new trade relationships with wholesale buyers — restaurants, chefs, grocery stores, schools, hotels, institutional buyers, distributors, and more. Meet: Boston Organics, Big Y, Costa Fruit and Produce, Associated Buyers,
Sid Wainer & Son, Newton-Wellesly Hospital, Boston College, and more!
A CONVERSATION WITH THE AGRICULTURAL COMMUNITY
The Rhode Island Environmental Education Association (RIEEA) and the Young Farmer Network invite you to discuss the advancement of environmental literacy and education efforts in Rhode Island on Fri., March 8, from 10am-12pm at the Audubon Society of RI Powder Mill Ledges Refuge in Smithfield.
There is no cost to attend and refreshments will be provided. Although not required, an RSVP by March 4 would be appreciated so we may contact you with any updates.
Farmers and forest landowners have a significant impact on the environment and in educating our residents. An environmentally literate public is more aware of where their food comes from and how it is processed, the benefits of locally-sourced food, and how the environment impacts daily living. They are more aware of the importance of our forests and farmlands, of threats to their health, and of the value of conserving these important assets.
Your feedback will help to further refine our understanding of the issues and help generate solutions; build support for efforts already in place and for developing new programs; forge new community relationships and strengthen existing partnerships; inform leadership about your community’s values, concerns and priorities; and help us root our work and decisions in what matters to people.
RHODE ISLAND FOOD POLICY BILL TRACKER
The RI Food Policy Council will be publishing our new resource, the RI Food Policy Bill Tracker, on a regular basis through the legislative session. We hope you will find it useful! The first one of the sessions was just posted on the @RIFoodPolicyCouncil Facebook page — check it out!
6TH ANNUAL NOFA/RI WINTER CONFERENCE
Join us for our 6th annual Winter Conference, Sunday March 3, 2019 at our NEW location at the Audubon Education Center in Bristol, RI. We are thrilled to welcome keynote speaker Jack Algiere of Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture. Jack Algiere was born and raised in southern Rhode Island, graduated from the University of Rhode Island. He’s cultivated a wealth of experience working on farms from Rhode Island to Costa Rica, to Colorado to California, to Connecticut and now New York where he is currently the farm director at Stone Barns Center.
Jack Algiere: Farm Director and founder at Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture. Jack has been actively farming since the early 1990s. His lifetime of experience in organic, biodynamic and ecological systems brings a broad diversity of experience in greenhouses, orchards, fields and pastures. Jack was born and raised in southern Rhode Island on a family homestead.
Shannon Algiere, Farm Liaison Stone Barns Center. While studying at the University of Rhode Island, Shannon was inspired to think about food sourcing and holistic nutrition. She’s taught at the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center, volunteered for the Costa Rica National Park Service, managed a biodynamic greenhouse operation and helped develop a 60-member market farm in Connecticut.
Bill Braun, Ivory Silo Farm. Bill is a vegetable grower and seed saver at the Ivory Silo Farm in Westport, MA. He and his partner Deanna Levanti grow on roughly 4 acres using sustainable practices and with great respect to biological diversity. Bill launched the Ivory Silo Seed Project, with a mission to foster a regionally adapted seed stock for growers. The farm is working to serve as a hub for seed processing and education, and partnering with farmers and gardeners to expand seed saving efforts.
Bryan O’Hara, 2016 NOFA Organic Farmer of the Year. Bryan has been growing vegetables on his Connecticut farm, Tobacco Road for over 25 years. With an intensive focus on building the health of the soil, he employs no-till natural farming methods. Bryan also introduces indigenous microorganisms (IMOs) from the surrounding forest into his compost systems and foliar sprays to feed, protect, and invigorate their field soil and vegetable crops.
Laura Davis: Owner at Long Life Farm in Hopkinton, MA, and is a NOFA Mass Board Member and assists growers with their soil amendment needs as the NOFA Mass Certification Assistance Coordinator & Soil Technical Assistance Co-Coordinator. Trained at Many Hands Organic Farm, Tufts New Entry Sustainable Farming Project, UMASS Extension Green School Sustainable Vegetable Farming, NOFA/Mass Seminars and Workshops. Laura also works as an Independent Organic Inspector for Baystate Organic Certifiers
Christina Dedora, Co-Founder of Sanctuary Herbs and Owner Blue Skys Farm. Christina began her farming career working on a farm in France. What had originally begun as a way to extend her visa, has become a passion that would shape her life and impact others. She not only started her own farm but open opportunities for immigrant farmers with Sanctuary Herbs. Christina began the start-up Sanctuary Herbs to showcase the important contributions of farmers from around the world who make their homes in the U.S.
John Kenny: Owner Big Train Farm, North Scituate, RI. Big Train Farm is a small certified organic farm practicing intensive crop production with an emphasis on soil health and sustainable growing practices. John Kenny has over 15 years of experience as an organic farmer as well as an academic background in biology and chemistry.
Nhia Lee, Lee Family Farms, an herb farmer and partner grower for Sanctuary Herbs. who immigrated to the US as a refugee from Laos when she was a child. Nhia grows mint, lemongrass, and basil. For Lee, working with Sanctuary Herb represents a chance to chart her own path to success —something she’s dreamed of doing since landing in the U.S. when she was just 11.
Perry Raso. Potter’s pond is where Perry Raso’s vision for Matunuck Oyster Bar restaurant and Raw Bar was born with the concept to provide “simple food, fairly priced using farm fresh products. The Farm to Table mission statement comes full circle with fresh vegetables grown on Perry Raso’s own vegetable farm on Potter Pond in Matunuck, RI. Perry holds both a BS and a MS in Aquaculture & Fisheries Technology from the University of Rhode Island.
Rich Pederson. A former schoolteacher with a master’s degree in Environmental Education, Rich’s interests in food, environmental and social justice found a natural outlet when he joined Southside Community Land Trust. He specializes in growing rare fruits and vegetables, composting and teaching others how to grow mega amounts of produce in small areas. Rich is a founding member of the Little City Growers Co-op and the Southside Market Collaborative. He loves his work.
Jayne Merner Senecal, Earth Care Farms, Owner, Golden Root Gardening, Horticulturalist, Owner. Jayne grew up on the organic Earth Care Farm in Charlestown, and now operates Golden Root Gardening, a garden design and installation business that specializes in native plantings and has earned several awards including 1st place in Sustainable Landscapes from Rhode Island Nursery and Landscape Association. Jayne teaches workshops on home composting, soil preparation and more all using organic methods.