Tag Archives: food

Attention CSA Farmers!

NOFA- VT is requesting your input through our ANNUAL CSA SURVEY. We use this information to update the CSA directory on our website and to determine the economic value of CSAs to Vermont agriculture.  This data is aggregated with others’ responses and used in testimony to the Vermont legislature, to compile a report on the success and current status of CSAs in Vermont, and inform our CSA work and advocacy strategies. Check out our report based on last year’s survey: Vermont CSA Report – 2013.

Please note that our policy is to offer CSA directory listings to farms that are either certified organic through Vermont Organic Farmers (VOF) or are members of NOFA-VT.  The benefits of NOFA-VT membership extend far beyond your online listing, and include: discounts on workshops, conferences, and our annual bulk order of farming supplies; our quarterly NOFA Notes newsletter; The Natural Farmer quarterly journal; and more! Visit www.nofavt.org/join  to join, or request a membership brochure via e-mail: info@nofavt.org.

Please complete our survey by February 21, 2015.  The survey can be completed online: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NOFA2014CSA or you can contact us to request a paper copy.

If you have any questions, please contact us: erin@nofavt.org / michael@nofavt.org / 802-434-4122.

Thank you!

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UVM Food Systems Summit

NOFA Vermont is proud to be a featured partner of the UVM Food Systems Summit. Almost half of our staff plans to attend – if you’d like to as well, registration closes today at midnight. If you’d like to attend after that point, call call UVM Conference and Events Services at 802-656-5665. Walk-in registrations will be accepted on a first come, first served basis.

Who should own and control the food system? How much additional food production capacity do we need and where? How do cultural values influence food practice? Food systems scholars and leaders will address these questions and more when they convene at the University of Vermont (UVM) June 17-18 for the third annual UVM Food Systems Summit to share research and engage in dialogue on the pressing food systems issues facing our world.

With a vibrant local food economy, Vermont is a hot spot of sustainable food system development, and a prime location to explore the innovative models that are providing solutions to the multitude of social, environmental, health and economic problems arising from our broken food system. During the day and a half conference, sessions will address the following themes: the biophysical constraints we face for food production globally, the impact of our geopolitical context on our food system, and the implications of behavior and culture for our food system.

“UVM is a leading academic institution in the transdisciplinary study of food systems, and Vermont is a national model in alternative food system development with its network-based, systems-approach,” said Doug Lantagne, director of the UVM Food Systems Initiative. “Our goal is for food systems researchers, leaders, practitioners, and engaged community members to come together at the summit and expand their knowledge, network with peers to generate future collaborations, identify needs and prioritize future work.”

The summit will transcend the boundaries of academia by incorporating food systems efforts happening outside the ivory tower. Unlike traditional academic conferences, the summit is designed to optimize engagement between scholars and practitioners outside of academia. As such, the summit is open to the public, and the organizers are seeking participation from nonprofits, government, farmers and food producers.

Three keynote speakers will each provide a one-hour talk as well as participate in a panel discussion at the end of the summit: Rosamond Naylor, director of the Center on Food Security and the Environment at Stanford University, Eric Holt-Giménez, executive director of Food First/Institute for Food and Development Policy, and Nicholas Freudenberg, Distinguished Professor of Public Health at City University of New York’s School of Public Health and Hunter College.

Panel discussions will feature research and examples of how local-level responses are responding to globalization in the food system. To promote dialogue among all participants, all sessions will include time for Q&A and engaged dialogue with the audience. Participants will enjoy local foods and drink during a Taste of Vermont reception.

[post from Alison Nihart, UVM]

Congrats to Small Business Award winners!

We are excited to see a number of farm and food businesses (and NOFA-VT members!) have won awards from Vermont Business Magazine and the US Small Business Administration.

These include:

Small Business People of the Year:
Bill Cherry & Jeff Neiblum of Switchback Brewing in Burlington (not members, but great local beer!)

Family-Owned Small Business:
Kelt & Kristina Naylor of Sidehill Farm in Brattleboro (NOFA-VT members)

Vermont Micro-Enterprise:
Scott Baughman & Lisa Ransom of Grow Compost of Vermont in Moretown (not members, but compost is approved for organic use by VOF)

Woman-Owned Business of the Year:
Sharon Deitz Caroli of The Bees Knees in Morrisville (not a member, but purchases from many local farms)

Young Entrepreneur of the Year:
Joe Bossen II of Vermont Bean Crafters in Mad River (NOFA-VT member)

We know that Vermont’s strong farm and food economy contributes greatly to our overall economic stability – with the second-lowest unemployment rate in the country and a high quality of life. We’re proud of these businesses that are leading the way!

You can attend the SBA award ceremony on June 17 – click here to register.

Advertise in our organic guide – deadline 5/28! [update]

We’re putting together our 2014-2015 Vermont Organic Farm and Food Guide, which is a beautiful print directory of all of the producers certified organic by VOF.

Update! Deadline for advertisements has been extended to Wednesday, May 28!

» Click here to reserve your advertising space!

TTS_2013_Ras el Hanout_OpenWe’re excited to be featuring the story of Teeny Tiny Spice Company of Vermont this year, with a delicious recipe using local ingredients and their spices. You’ll also find a farmers’ market directory and information about choosing certified organic, locally grown.

This is a great opportunity to reach an engaged audience, dedicated to supporting local businesses. Reserve your ad space now!

Click to browse the 2013-2014 guide, below.

VOFFG_13_14-cover
(Click to browse in Issuu.)

Vermont Senate Approves GMO Labeling Bill by a vote of 28-2 !!!

On April 16th the Vermont Senate voted 28-2 in favor of H.112, which would require the labeling of foods made with genetic engineering. This brings Vermont very close to final passage and enactment of the nation’s first GMO labeling law that does not include a multi-state “trigger, which would require indefinite postponement of its implementation.  

To visibly demonstrate to Governor Shumlin how important it is for him to sign the bill into law, the Coalition is calling for “honk and wave” events next Tuesday, April 22 (Earth Day) during morning “drive time” — not just in Vermont but all across the country. Our national partners and supporters are helping to organize this.

Use this online tool to set up and share your local honk and wave! Continue reading Vermont Senate Approves GMO Labeling Bill by a vote of 28-2 !!!

Is Organic Certification Right for You?

Farms often find that organic certification helps their sales. Photo by Elizabeth Ferry at Cedar Circle Farm.
Farms often find that organic certification helps their sales. Photo by Elizabeth Ferry at Cedar Circle Farm.

Choosing whether or not to become certified organic is a decision that has a lot of factors, including environmental and social values, marketing channels, farm size and type, and more.

We’re working on developing materials to help farmers better understand the potential benefits and challenges of organic certification, including costs, recordkeeping, pricing, marketing, and political impacts.

As part of that effort – and in order to help us understand why farmers do or do not pursue certification – we held (and filmed) a workshop at the 2014 Winter Conference on the topic of “Is Organic Certification Right for my Business?”

This workshop featured three Vermont farmers discussing their experiences with organic certification, and we recommend it as a good starting place if you are considering certification for your farm.

In the coming weeks, we’ll be working with a team of UVM students to organize a few focus groups to explore more deeply what motivates or prevents certification on Vermont’s farms. We’re looking for both certified and non-certified farmers of all kinds to take part. If you’d like to talk with us about your experience with certification, please contact Charles.

You can learn more about the organic certification regulations and requirements on the Vermont Organic Farmers webpage. There are also a number of helpful resources from ATTRA and eOrganic, a program of the university extension network.

VTFMA Featured Market: Middlebury Farmers’ Market

NOFA-VT and the Vermont Farmers Market Association (VTFMA) work closely to support  farmers’ market across the state. The latest in our series of featured markets is the Middlebury Farmers’ Market.

After a mid-winter break, the Middlebury Farmers’ Market has returned from its two-month hiatus as a refreshed market, eager to supply you with its bounty! Vermonters should be excited to learn that in its pursuit of a year-round market, the Middlebury Farmers’ Market will reopen its indoor farmers’ market on Saturdays beginning March1st and ending April 27th. During the winter (November-December) and spring (March-April), the Middlebury Farmers’ Market is located indoors at the Mary Hogan School on Saturdays from 9:30 am until 1:00 pm. In May the market will return to its outdoor location at the Marbleworks in downtown Middlebury.

Learn more about the Middlebury Farmers’ Market…

For a complete directory of all VTFMA member markets, please visit our Farmers’ Market Directory. Past featured markets, market shopping tips, and resources for market vendors and managers are available at www.VTFMA.org.

“Organic Matters” film debut at the Conference!

We are exited to debut our new short film, Organic Matters, as part of the NOFA Vermont Winter Conference FarmsTED talks this morning! If you didn’t join us to watch it on the big screen in the Davis Center (or if you just want to watch it again!), take a look:

This 9-minute video features certified organic farmers across Vermont talking about why they believe in certified organic, how it defines their approach to their land and to food production, and why organic is important to the overall food movement.

Click here to learn more about the benefits of certified organic, locally grown!

GMO Labeling Hearing: February 6

The Vermont Senate Agricultural Committee has been hearing testimony on the GMO Labeling bill for weeks – ever since the legislative session opened in early January.

Now, it’s time for citizens to make their voices heard! Join the hearing at the Statehouse in Montpelier on February 6, starting at 6:00 – and tell your legislators why YOU have the right to know what’s in your food!

Vermont Right to Know! Label GMOsWe strongly recommend arriving early if you’d like to testify; the sign-up sheet should be available at 5:30. Based on our experience from a similar public hearing in 2012, the line will likely be long!

You can let us know you’re coming by registering with the Vermont Right to Know Coalition, which is a joint effort of NOFA Vermont, VPIRG, Rural Vermont, and Cedar Circle Farm.

For more information about NOFA Vermont’s role in the Vermont Right to Know Coalition, or to get involved with the campaign, contact Dave Rogers, NOFA Vermont Policy Advisor.

VTFMA Featured Market: Jeffersonville Farmers’ & Artisan Market

NOFA-VT and the Vermont Farmers Market Association (VTFMA) work closely to support  farmers’ market across the state. The latest in the series of featured markets in the Jeffersonville Farmers’ and Artisan Market.

Since opening in 2012, the Winter Jeffersonville Farmers’ and Artisan Market has continued to grow with new vendors and unite local producers and neighbors by connecting them through great food and communal engagement. The market can be found inside of the Artfull Cup Studio and Sunrise Café building; located at the corner of 16 Iris Lane and 108S (headed towards Smugglers’ Notch on Mountain Road). Look for our sign! Opened from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm on the first and third Saturday of the month, November through March, the Winter Jeffersonville Farmers’ and Artisan market offers a variety of items from producers and artisans from across the state.

Learn more about Jeffersonville Farmers’ and Artisan Market…

For a complete directory of all VTFMA member markets, please visit our Farmers’ Market Directory. Past featured markets, market shopping tips, and resources for market vendors and managers are available at www.VTFMA.org.