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  • Congress Considers the Beef about Animal Antibiotics | OEFFA News
    s top veterinarians weighed in on the issue Some Ohio farmers feed antibiotics to their cows pigs and chickens to keep them healthy and prompt faster growth but Lauren Ketcham at the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association says the practice also has environmental effects Animal waste that is produced on factory farms contains ammonia nitrates phosphorous and in many cases antibiotics When these waste products are concentrated in such high volumes and not properly disposed of these things find their way into our groundwater and our soil The FDA is suggesting what it calls judicious use of antibiotics in food animals although some people don t believe the agency s stance is tough enough A bill in Congress to restrict antibiotic use in animals except for treating diseases has 130 co sponsors including four Ohio representatives Reps Fudge Kaptur Kilroy and Sutton Ketcham says no matter what Congress decides Ohio consumers who are concerned always have a choice to buy organic Farmers and producers who sell their products with the organic label may not use drugs including hormones to promote growth and cannot sell animals or animal products treated with antibiotics as organic And the organic standards are rigorously enforced so consumers can be assured that they re getting what they re paying for The bill Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act is HR 1549 amd S 619 Post navigation Farmers markets are integral to Ohio s communities consumers Think about your food choices and you might be surprised Archives Select Month February 2016 January 2016 December 2015 November 2015 October 2015 September 2015 August 2015 July 2015 June 2015 May 2015 April 2015 March 2015 February 2015 January 2015 December 2014 November 2014 September 2014 August 2014 July 2014 June 2014 May 2014 April 2014 February 2014

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?p=21 (2016-02-17)
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  • OEFFA in the News | OEFFA News | Page 9
    be limiting the expansion of the organic market On a central Ohio dairy farm 20 jersey cows stand patiently inside the milking parlor So all the milk is coming down that pipeline from the cows says dairyman Perry Clutts It goes from the cow into this big pipeline here It gets chilled and every other day the milk truck comes and picks the milk up It s a special dedicated milk truck organic milk only Clutts is a former North Carolinian who returned to Ohio and the family farm near Circleville Clutts designed and built a modern dairy parlor that can milk 100 cows per hour While they re milked the cows munch on certified organic feed They always get organic feed which means no pesticides insecticides herbicides no added hormones to make them produce more milk Clutts says Converting to organic farming is a lengthy process So is obtaining organic certification But there s a new challenge facing producers As Clutts and others scale up production of organic milk and meat they face a looming shortage of organic animal feed The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association known as OEFFA is an Ohio based group that does organic certification OEFFA s Eric Pawlowski says there are too few acres devoted to growing organic grains and other feed components Right now the demand exceeds the supply here in Ohio We have more of a demand than what our producers can grow Pawlowski says Take the 3 million acres of corn that are grown in Ohio to feed livestock Pawlowski calculates that less than 100 000 of those acres is certified organic According to another dairyman the demand for organic feed is driving prices up If you re willing to pay the price at this point in time you re able to find feed It is a lot more expensive It is getting harder to find says Ernest Martin Martin runs a 55 cow dairy farm northwest of Mansfield He says that several years ago there was not much of a price difference between organic and conventional hay But that s changing And as feed becomes more difficult to find Martin says he s had to search for suppliers outside the Mid West And there s yet another problem says Martin There s been a reduction in organic acres which has hurt dairy or any organic livestock producers It makes sense then that organic meat and dairy producers raise their own organic feed Again Eric Pawlowski They have seen a greater challenge of sourcing as they have been trying to grow their business if they aren t already producing their own feed for their livestock which the vast majority of our farmers do they view their farm as a complete organism so that the less that they have to input from off their farm the more stable their business model is Pawlowski says Dairyman Ernest Martin says he sees a bright spot in the not too distant future I think that it ll eventually straighten out again With the feed prices as high as they are right now it s a little hard to make a profit but I think that if we re steady at it I think things will turn around again I think things will look better in the near future Martin says Federal food safety laws could cost industry millions November 10 2013 Farm Policy OEFFA in the News Lauren Farm and Dairy June 25 2013 By Chris Kick WOOSTER Ohio When the new federal produce safety rules become effective a process likely to happen in the next 12 months they will do so at an additional cost to the farmers who must comply The Food and Drug Administration estimates that its new rules which meet the requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act will prevent 1 75 million foodborne illnesses with about 1 04 billion in estimated benefits At the same time the new rules will cost the produce industry about 460 million annually and 171 million annually for foreign farms that export to the United States The rules which are available for public comment in the Federal Register until Sept 16 are estimated to cost a very small farm about 4 700 a year Small farms would pay nearly 13 000 a year and large farms will pay 30 500 Farm sizes A very small farm according to the Food and Drug Administration is a farm that sells more than 25 000 worth of food but less than 250 000 as an average of the previous three years Small farms are slightly larger and sell up to 500 000 And large farms are those that sell above 500 000 a year Farms that sell less an average of less than 25 000 the previous three years would be exempt For growers like Don Bessemer of Akron the new costs are too much He figures he could spend nearly 100 000 just to come into compliance and would see the 30 000 fee for every year thereafter He and his wife Carol decided to lay off 30 workers this year and exit the produce industry over what they say are too costly regulations You just can t afford to farm he said The smaller growers are being put out of business The farm was started 117 years ago by Don s grandfather William Bessemer The Bessemers said their age also is a factor Don is 70 and Carol is 66 Although they re in good health and don t want to quit the produce industry they say the investment in new equipment would not be a good business plan for their age Instead they re planning for an auction in November Don Bessemer said the farm s workers already followed Good Agricultural Practices designed to keep the food safe Now the Bessemers fear they would need to hire separate staff to fill out the stacks of records and documents being required from the federal government What they want you to do is hire somebody to document this he said We ve been here 117 years we ve never poisoned anybody Common sense Some growers say they ll be prepared for the cost and expect it could be less as the rule is finished At a public listening session April 30 Raymond Yoder of Yoder s Produce Supply in Fredericksburg said most of what s being required is common sense and he doesn t expect much of a burden to the industry Not alone But Bessemer is not the only grower who is concerned The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association says the costs as they stand today could put small farmers out of business Maintaining safe food in this country is essential but it should not create unnecessarily burdensome regulations that put diversified sustainable and organic farms at risk of going out of business MacKenzie Bailey OEFFA s policy program coordinator said during the listening session We just can t compete said Mark Bender an Akron area farmer who has operated a farm market since 1973 The costs just got too crazy Bender still operates a self service farm market but has converted most of his produce farm to raising beef cattle and conventional crops Mike Laughlin of Northridge Organic Farm in Johnstown said as a small farm it could cost him 25 000 27 000 just to come into compliance and about 13 000 annually thereafter He fears it will hurt small growers like himself and favor larger farms that can adapt I can t raise my prices enough to cover that he said That s going to cut right into the money I make in my profit It s already pretty tight He said it s simple math If you re only making 30 000 50 000 a year and they re going to take 10 000 15 000 of that away from you that s a huge pay cut Laughlin said he s not ready to make a decision about the future of his farm until the rule is finalized But if the costs hold up he said it will be a major challenge to staying in business You just have to start thinking is this worthwhile to do he said Serious about safety Laughlin said he s not balking at food safety adding it has always been a huge part of our operation with workers trained on how to handle food and conduct operations But with the new requirements for new equipment and documentation it will become more costly The Bessemers say they want safe food as much as anyone but that the words safe food can be used for a lot of different motives Don Bessemer said he fears the inspectors will not have a good knowledge of farming and what they re supposed to inspect He s also concerned inspectors will purposefully try to find issues to keep their jobs I just keep thinking they re federal government trying to create jobs he said Carol Bessemer said the news reports about foodborne illnesses often incite more concern than the actual issue She said when even a couple people get sick it makes national headlines and legislators want to pass new laws That small percentage has got a lot of power and sympathy power she said One relief for farmers is that when the rule becomes effective they will have a pre determined amount of time to come into compliance Farms would generally have two to four years to comply with smaller farms given the most time They re giving you time but then again how much is it going to cost Carol Bessemer said The proposed rule would cover an estimated 40 496 domestic farms and 14 927 foreign farms It is available online at www regulations gov and also on the FDA website at www fda gov Food GuidanceRegulation FSMA New Food Safety Rules Too Much for Ohio s Small Farms November 10 2013 Farm Policy OEFFA in the News Lauren Public News Service September 16 2013 By Mary Kuhlman PHOTO Some Ohio growers are concerned that new federal food safety rules are burdensome enough to hurt their business and ultimately reduce access to fresh local foods Courtesy OEFFA COLUMBUS Ohio Some Ohio growers are concerned that regulations they see as overly burdensome are being proposed for reasons of food safety The Food and Drug Administration FDA wants to make changes to its Food Safety Modernization Act that the agency estimates will prevent close to 2 million foodborne illnesses However as a result small family farms such as Northridge Organic Farm in Licking County could incur expenses that the farm s owner Mike Laughlin said are higher than they can afford for changes that he sees as excessive The added expense is going to drive an awful lot of farms out of business he warned At a time when people are asking for more and more local food for their tables it s going to mean fewer venders available to sell to farm markets fewer choices for consumers According to FDA estimates a small farm would bear an initial cost of more than 27 000 and then an annual cost of nearly 13 000 figures Laughlin said could wipe out a good chunk of annual profits The FDA is taking public comment on the proposed changes until Nov 15 While he agreed food safety is an important matter Laughlin said smaller operations are already at lower risk due to their size scope and for some alternative farming practices that maintain soil and water integrity He predicted that the new rules would favor larger farms and hurt the smaller growers who will struggle to absorb the costs of new equipment and documentation required under the changes When you have rules and regulations they do need to be size specific he said It can t be a one size fits all Laughlin added it isn t just farmers who need to weigh in on the matter For the consumers who are out there shopping at the farm markets if it s something that s very important to you then you need to get involved and get a hold of the FDA and let em know what you think Farm Bill Left Hanging in Congress November 10 2013 Farm Policy OEFFA in the News Lauren 91 3 WYSO By Lewis Wallace A truck outside Mike Farm Enterprises south of Dayton A variety of farm and nutrition programs are at risk since the Farm Bill expired Oct 1 Remember the Farm Bill The omnibus law that funds food stamps crop insurance and a slew of farm subsidies At midnight Monday a nine month extension of the latest version of that bill expired which means for the moment the law reverts to its 1949 version MacKenzie Bailey with the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association says the ongoing insecurity over the bill makes life harder for organic farmers Farmers rely on programs like farmers market promotion programs that help put investments in our local farmers markets the national organic cost share program which helps alleviate the costs of organic certification she said This expiration won t immediately affect food assistance or crop insurance But a safety net program for dairy farmers that keeps down the price of milk support for seniors to shop at farmers markets and international food aid in the bill are among the programs to be suspended If no new bill is passed by Jan 1 2014 consumers could see those changes on the shelves The two houses of Congress had been playing ping pong with the bill after the House stripped out the food stamp program known as SNAP and sent the Senate two separate bills The House version of the SNAP program included 40 billion in cuts rejected by the Senate which proposed around 4 billion in cuts and insisted on keeping the farm programs and nutrition programs in one bill Government impasse could have big impact on farming November 10 2013 Farm Policy OEFFA in the News Lauren The Columbus Dispatch Sunday October 6 2013 10 15 AM By Mary Vanac The federal government shutdown and the looming debt limit fight have dominated the headlines the past week But a constituency that includes small farmers has been dealing with consternation caused by a different federal concern Dozens of programs that create jobs invest in the next generation of farmers and protect the environment lost their federal funding when farming legislation expired at midnight on Monday The most profound effects could be years away when new businesses products or farming innovations fail to come to market for lack of funding Enough is enough MacKenzie Bailey policy program coordinator for the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association in Columbus wrote in a statement Farmers have been without a farm bill for a year Congressional funding for nutrition and crop insurance programs which account for about 90 percent of the farm legislation budget is permanent and not affected by the lapse However funding for programs that help specialty crop growers new farmers and farmers markets as well as farm related conservation must be renewed by a farm bill typically every five years The most recent farm legislation expired a year ago and a nine month extension expired on Monday In spite of a partial government shutdown some work on a new farm bill is being done in Washington D C said Yvonne Lesicko senior director of legislative and regulatory policy for the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation Programs for dairy farmers won t be affected until the end of the year and those for farmers who grow commodities such as grain and cotton next spring However farmers who want to enroll new acreage in agricultural conservation programs will have to wait for new funding from Congress So will farmers who use agricultural export programs The Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program which provides low income seniors with coupons that can be exchanged for food at farmers markets roadside stands and community supported agriculture programs also has lost its funding Toledo Farmers Market used a grant from the Farmers Market Promotion Program now unfunded to recruit vendors establish and promote an electronic benefit transfer system for food stamp recipients and build relationships with community partners that provided additional funding and support said the Ecological Food and Farm Association s Bailey And a three year 740 096 grant from the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program enabled Ohio State University Extension to help new farmers many of them women minorities immigrants and the disabled to start tilling tracts of abandoned land in and around Cleveland That program stopped taking grant applications on Monday The OSU Extension Cuyahoga County project helped create the 40 acre Stanard Farm and its Cleveland Crops business which employs developmentally disabled people to pick pack and sell produce grown on the farm said Marie Barni the project s director The grant also helped establish an incubator farm to train new farmers build hoop houses that extend growing seasons and set up a food processing center that soon will employ people to process food grown on the farm and sell it to local schools restaurants and institutions Barni said We would be so much farther behind without the grant she said A 16 000 Value Added Producer Grant another farm bill supported program that has temporarily closed helped Abbe Turner owner of Lucky Penny Creamery in Kent develop cajeta a Mexican caramel sauce made from goat milk We ve already been funded Turner said but it s going to affect other small agricultural producers who are trying new entrepreneurial ventures That s the sad thing she said If this program doesn t get funded then we won t see these fantastic and important projects come to fruition OEFFA on Deadline Now August 27 2013 OEFFA in the News Organic Certification Other Lauren Watch this highlight video featuring OEFFA Executive Director Carol Goland

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?cat=3&paged=9 (2016-02-17)
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  • Lauren | OEFFA News | Page 9
    to withstand the Enlist Duo herbicide which is a blend of 2 4 D and glyphosate not yet been approved by the Environmental Protect Agency EPA In the same way that the overuse of antibiotics has created antibiotic resistant super germs the pervasive use of Roundup Ready crops and Roundup has created superweeds resistant to glyphosate including pigweed horseweed and giant ragweed According to Dow resistant weeds have more than doubled since 2009 and infest approximately 70 million acres of U S farmland Now Dow claims these new crops are the solution to this weed resistance But they are simply the beginning of a new superweed problem setting the stage for still more superweeds resistant to both glyphosate and 2 4 D We must stop this dangerous chemical treadmill This decision flies in the face of the vast majority of consumers who have serious concerns about GE crops And with good reason GE crops encourage the use of ever more toxic herbicides on our farmland and threaten our environment public health and the future of agriculture Although Dow has assured farmers that this version of 2 4 D is less volatile growers are at risk from the chemical drifting into their fields If contaminated organic farmers certifications would be jeopardized and 2 4 D is highly toxic to fruits and vegetables Despite promises that GE crops would help feed a hungry world any yield gains attributable to biotechnology have been modest at best And while we re seeing little benefit in the short term we re damaging our soil water and air and jeopardizing the future of U S food production There is an alternative Organic and sustainable farming safeguards water quality builds soil organic matter and nutrients reduces greenhouse gas emissions eliminates antibiotic use protects biodiversity supports small and mid scale family farms and reduces exposure to pesticides all without GE crops and herbicides Our future depends squarely on our good stewardship of the natural resources on which we all depend Rather than treating the symptoms of a broken agricultural system sustainable farming offers a long term solution for nourishing our farming communities feeding our families and protecting our environment The EPA should act to protect the environment and public health by denying registration of the Enlist Duo herbicide Three ways to extend your gardening season August 25 2014 Other Lauren Farm and Dairy by Katie Woods 8 19 14 Harvest time will arrive sooner than we know If you re not ready to part with your plants at the end of summer consider extending your garden into the fall and winter The biggest hindrances to a healthy full garden are insects wind heat and frost Autumn s biggest threat is frost but wind can also dehydrate plants Several methods including raised beds tunnels and greenhouses allow you to protect your fruits and vegetables and continue to grow them after summer s end Options Gardening needs vary by region gardener and plants so several options are available for those wishing to continue gardening into the cooler months Raised beds According to The Ohio State University Extension raised bed gardening involves a portion of soil that is higher than the rest of the soil and is in a place that will not be stepped on Raised beds are normally up to four feet wide and are raised six inches to several feet above the ground The soil is warmed more quickly by this method The benefits of raised bed gardening include higher yields ease of working and water conservation Hotbeds and cold frames Purdue University Extension explains that hotbeds and cold frames which are build the same can be used both in the spring and in the fall Hotbeds get heat from the sun as well as another source while cold frames get their heat solely from the sun In the fall hotbeds and cold frames can be used without heat but with proper insulation and ventilation A hotbed or cold frame should have full sun exposure protection from the wind a water source and good drainage A hotbed or cold frame can be anywhere from a few inches to a few feet deep in the ground and four to six feet wide The base can be built out of wood concrete or concrete block High Tunnels Penn State University Extension explains that high tunnels are a fairly new method for extending the growing season They can protect plants from excess precipitation and cool temperatures A high tunnel is made of a metal frame and a plastic covering much like a greenhouse Raised beds can be used inside high tunnels as well as thermal blankets and cold frames Typically there are fewer pests in high tunnels so less pesticides need to be used Also ventilation and temperature can easily be controlled depending on the types of plants grown Since the plants are always covered they must be watered by hand or drip irrigation Advice for winter gardening The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association offers advice for winter gardening including notes about raised beds high tunnels and other methods for extending the growing season as well as the types of plants that have been known to grow well in the fall and winter Overall trial and error must be used to determine when certain plants should be planted and how they should be protected from the elements once summer ends Peak season vegetable report from Chef Alfonso August 25 2014 Other Lauren PerryDaily com by Alfonso Contrisciani 8 18 14 With a break in rain and a few cool nights most folks recouped from the tomato blight Our yields in the raised bed plot suffered with first course harvest with our indeterminate varieties Last week s 3 5 inches of rain helped our dry fields but woke up the dreaded fungus Very important to be preventative with fungicides and my favorite is Serenade It s an organic compound and works wonders I gave our tomato plants a shot of Serenade on Wednesday night Our chemical free vegetables coming out of the fields at the Cooperrider farm are of the best quality I am forbidden to use the word organic because of the field s conventional past Our greenhouses and raised plots are organic but not certified as of yet If I see another cucumber or zucchini this year I m going to have a nervous breakdown What a year for those vegetables the heavy rainfall and heat in the spring and early summer gave us a bountiful supply I have plenty of Dutch flathead cabbage for sale along with eggplants and many varieties of peppers A good friend gave me 12 fennel plants in May I must say they were one of the finest vegetables I picked this year I ordered 2 cups of fennel from the Athens area for my recent farm to table dinner Bounty on The Bricks The fennel I purchased could not come close to what we grew in Thornville in our raised beds I am keeping a daily log on this growing season and recording dates feeding and spraying applications and harvest dates Also critical are harvest amounts with current market pricing To be successful I am convinced that specialty crops such as patty pan squash Marzoni peppers fennel garlic jumbo candy onions parsley lemon thyme garlic chives and various other specialty items are essential My recent presentation titled Bridging the Gap between Chef and Farmer is based on farmers growing what chefs want and need Also from a farmer s perspective do I want to grow zucchini for 40 cents per pound in return or fennel for 4 per pound Do the math Canning and Preserving I am designing and building a canning and preserving workshop to be taught at Hocking College in the near future We just purchased 5 000 worth of commercial pressure cookers home canning supplies along with a dehydrator pH meters thermometers etc I think it s essential to take a few steps back and rekindle our family heritage and culture in relationship to food Did you know you could easily feed a family of five year round from a 25 x 25 garden The use of vertical trellises and planting with the inch by inch format I spent some time in major food processing plants while in California I developed 12 pasteurized sauces and 2 FZ proteins for a major manufacturing company At that time I fell in love with food canning and the value added world I am looking forward to sharing my research with the folks of Central Ohio For all you home canners please feel free to contact me at my Hocking College office with any questions or comments I will spend more time on this topic in September prior to first frost Bounty on the Bricks Bounty on The bricks was a great success this past Saturday in Athens We served 372 folks a four course meal along with three passed appetizers including 100 homestyle made from scratch country pies all made with locally grown and raised products within 30 miles of Athens OK I lied the zucchini came from Deer Valley Farms along with the plum tomatoes and fresh herbs But everything else was within 30 miles I am happy to report we raised 75 000 for the Athens foundation which will use the funds for our local food pantries Thanks to all who supported these venues and the volunteers who worked endless hours Thanks to Hocking College and our wonderful staff and administration The Athens Foundation Cheryl Sylvester Susan Urano and Cindy Hayes And finally thanks to the city of Athens Ohio Future Event Sept 7 I will be cooking at Val Jorgensen s organic farm in Westerville Ohio The proceeds from The Farmers Table event will support OEFFA the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association of which I m an active member and greatly support Hope to see you there If you need tickets please contact me The Blue Barn at Deer Valley Farms My phone rang at 2 50 in the morning last week It was Dylan Cooperrider Olivia a registered Berk from the Shipley farm in Mt Vernon was having piglets I arrived at the farm at 3 10 and the second was just born In total she had two males and seven gilts Dylan knows his pigs he has a barn full of sows and gilts behind Olivia Olivia s first born was the largest boar We named him Alfonso I have 50 full blooded Topline Yorkshire boar named Oliver at the farm also I am building a pig barn with a farrowing room at Oliver farms this fall I will raise show pigs and breeding stock for our soon to come Oliver farms all natural non GMO pork line Olivette our second registered Berk is due on Sept 3 Oliver Farms I am currently gearing up for sauce and condiment production at the end of this month I am going to share for the first time my eggplant caponata recipe This sauce is multipurpose for a salad served cold or warm a pasta sauce or a condiment on a sandwich Please enjoy Until next article cook with your heart and soul Alfonso Eggplant Caponata 1 1 2 Each eggplants peeled and cut in to med dice 2 1 4 teaspoons kosher salt 1 Pound Italian sausage loose Perry County Blue Ribbon Brand 1 Each red onion diced very fine 1 1 2 Tablespoons garlic peeled and finely minced 1 2 Cup golden raisins 1 Teaspoon ginger peeled and freshly minced 3 Teaspoons capers chopped fine 1 1 2 Cups tomato concasse 1 Cup orange juice 3 Teaspoons curry powder 1 2 Teaspoon red pepper flakes 1 Teaspoon honey 1 Cup water 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar 2 Tablespoons fresh basil chopped 2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro chopped 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley chopped 1 1 2 Teaspoons fresh rosemary de stemmed and chopped 2 Tablespoons scallions chopped Sprinkle eggplant with salt In large skillet heat up oil and saute eggplant on all sides until golden brown about 10 to 15 minutes Remove eggplant from pan and drain on paper towels Reheat pan and add sausage and cook over medium heat until golden brown and cook until done Drain grease from sausage and discard Chop sausage roughly when cool Reheat pan and add olive oil saute garlic and onions until translucent add reserve sausage eggplant raisins ginger capers tomatoes orange juice curry powder pepper flakes honey and water and the remaining salt and simmer for 3 5 minutes Pull from heat and stir in all fresh herbs Cool and store in refrigerator covered until needed Or serve hot over pasta or place in mason jars and put in canner and seal for the winter months Enjoy Grower s passion for food yields uncommon produce August 25 2014 Sustainable Agriculture in the News Lauren The Columbus Dispatch by Jeannie Nuss 8 18 14 To make a living Milan Karcic has tended bar washed dishes and even made wooden replicas of World War II airplanes Photo Credit Brooke Lavalley Dispatch Photos The resident of the North Side was unfulfilled by such jobs though and decided last year to cultivate a fresh career growing food Now his work is bearing fruit and vegetables In a 6 000 square foot patch of land fenced off in his backyard Karcic tends predictable produce such as corn carrots and cabbage He also turns out quirkier fare Take for example the ground cherry a marble sized fruit clothed in a baggy paper husk that tastes like pineapple Or the Wapsipinicon peach tomato which with its slightly fuzzy and yellow orange skin seems to belong in a pie Or the cucamelon an itty bitty cucumber that looks like a miniature watermelon but tastes slightly sour I always like the underdogs said Karcic 45 and I guess I m just an oddball His peculiar produce has proved popular in central Ohio His customers including chef Richard Blondin at the Refectory Restaurant Bistro rave about his array of fruits and vegetables despite any lament about their limited quantities He s a little tiny pea in terms of what he brings here but it s high quality said Blondin who uses vegetables from Karcic as garnishes for Refectory dishes And usually what he brings me was picked maybe an hour ago Karcic offers the same level of freshness to Columbus area farmers markets and to clients in his community supported agriculture program known among the cage free egg buying crowd as a CSA On a recent Wednesday he collected fruits and vegetables for six orders He crawled on his belly and slithered under leafy ground cherry plants to scoop handfuls of their ripened fruits he plucked peach tomatoes off vines and he gathered colorful carrots red cabbage and more He then separated the produce into six bags all the while playing the soundtrack of the farm centric movie Babe from a nearby boombox A few hours later Karcic met BeJae Fleming at a nearby store to hand off her weekly CSA share What d I get What d I get Fleming 64 eagerly asked as Karcic approached Peering into a bag she said with a smile Tomatoes The Grandview Heights resident didn t know what kind of tomatoes she had but that s kind of the point of a CSA which allows people to buy a share of a farmer s harvest for a prearranged period Since signing up with Karcic last year Fleming said she has learned to cook with fruits and vegetables she wouldn t have bought otherwise It forces you to be creative in preparing food she said Fleming has grown particularly fond of the ground cherries as have others People come back and ask for those said Ruth Brown manager of the Blendon Township market where Karcic sells his produce on Thursday afternoons Karcic also peddles his harvest along with homemade mosquito repellent at the 400 Farmers Market in Franklinton on the second and fourth Saturdays of the month under the name Peace Love and Freedom Guild He used to call his operation a farm and himself a farmer but he grew tired of people asking him How many acres do you have His entire lot stretches less than an acre So he refers to himself as a gardener who happens to work 100 hours a week Despite the long hours Karcic said he loves his job I don t have to get up and drive to work I just get up and go outside The son of eastern European immigrants he grew up near Mansfield before moving to Columbus to study interpersonal communication at Ohio State University In the early 1990s outside an apartment in the University District he planted his first garden Probably what happened was I realized I could buy a pack of seeds for 1 and grow a ton of tomatoes Karcic said I was a college student and didn t have any money He stuck with the pursuit through the years eventually launching his CSA in 2009 and last year becoming a full time gardener and making a deal with the Refectory The CSA has since grown to encompass about two dozen customers with each paying 26 a week for a full share or 13 a week for a half share Karcic hopes that his tight finances will ease soon He wants to sell directly to homes in what he plans to call the Before You Eat Ice Cream Truck Instead of a truck though he ll drive his 1991 Volvo which has more than 200 000 miles on it It s the same principle as an ice cream truck he said just with healthy organically grown produce He feels good about selling vegetables and so does his wife artist Meagan Alwood Karcic He s doing what he loves to do she said so it s kind of a fantasy existence Nearby a couple

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  • Federal Sustainable Agriculture Spending Cuts Would Hurt Economy, Local Food Systems | OEFFA News
    Incentive Program Farmland Protection Program and the Wetlands Reserve Program These cuts are between 20 and 30 percent and are grossly disproportionate to other spending cuts The Conservation Stewardship Program cut is particularly egregious as it would require USDA to break contracts the government has signed with farmers who have committed to conservation practices Conservation program spending has been slashed while funding for commodity programs remains untouched in the House passed bill If cuts to mandatory funding are to be made then everything has to be on the table A provision denying any funding for the Know Your Farmer Know Your Food initiative is a direct attack on new farm and market opportunities rural job growth and public health The initiative provides crucial coordination and public outreach to build new income opportunities for farmers producing for the local and regional markets These markets are essential to rural economic recovery and eliminating the Know Your Farmer initiative is shortsighted and extreme Development of local and regional food systems and markets is a job creator and a good investment in public health We strongly urge the Senate to reject these unfair cuts to sustainable agriculture research conservation and education The Ohio Ecological Food Farm Association OEFFA is a non profit organization founded in 1979 by farmers gardeners and conscientious eaters who committed to work together to create and promote a sustainable and healthful food and farming system For more information go to www oeffa org Contact Carol Goland Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association 614 421 2022 Ferd Hoefner National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition 202 547 5754 Post navigation Field Day Joseph Swain Turns His City Lot Into Bountiful Urban Farm Athens County aiming to be farm to table epicenter Archives Select Month February 2016 January 2016 December 2015 November 2015 October 2015

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  • Good Earth Guide Moves Local Food from Field to Fork | OEFFA News
    demand for locally sourced and sustainably produced foods said OEFFA Program Director Renee Hunt The Good Earth Guide aids consumers interested in buying wholesome organic and ecologically produced food and helps Ohio s farmers flourish by helping to promote the high quality food being grown locally You can find just about anything you d want being grown or produced right here in Ohio By offering this guide we hope to help Ohioans make the connections they need to find quality local foods and to help ensure the future of a vibrant and sustainable food system said Hunt Each farm listing includes name and contact information products sold a farm description and whether the farm is certified organic Both the print and online versions include tools that make it easy to search the listings for a specific product farm or farmer by county or by sales method Additionally the online version includes locations and maps for where the farm s products are sold The Good Earth Guide helps provide a blueprint for consumers interested in eating locally and in season Eating locally allows consumers to get to know who raises the food they eat and to find out how it was produced It keeps produce from traveling far distances allowing it to be picked and sold ripe and full of flavor and nutrition Buying locally and directly from the farmer also helps keep our food dollars in the local economy which in turn helps our rural communities concluded Hunt The Good Earth Guide is available free to the public in an easy to use online searchable database at http www oeffa org search geg php Print copies are distributed free to OEFFA members and are available to non members for 7 50 each at http www oeffa org oeffastore php The

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?p=313 (2016-02-17)
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  • FAMILY FARMERS AMPLIFY COMPLAINT AGAINST MONSANTO’S GMOs,REINFORCING THEIR ARGUMENTS WITH TWO DOZEN ADDITIONAL PLAINTIFFS: | OEFFA News
    biotech impact on the quality safety and nutritional integrity of food will be brought up for public and courtroom scrutiny so that the truth can be determined between their arguments and ours states Ravicher If Monsanto is proud of what they do they should be happy for the opportunity to present the evidence in support of their ideal To help stimulate and promote objective debate between the differing agricultural philosophies the new group of plaintiffs has joined the case as part of today s filing Included among these are groups long committed to food safety and environmental responsibility in the public interest Some of the new plaintiffs have been prominent in other legal actions and advocacy against Monsanto s efforts to aggressively and monopolistically assert its chemically and transgenically dependent agricultural system In addition to supplementing the complaint with Monsanto s most recent clarifying statement confirming its threat to the plaintiffs and GMO free agriculture the new group of 23 organizations seed companies farms and individual farmers includes fourteen organizations Weston A Price Foundation Center for Food Safety Beyond Pesticides Northeast Organic Farming Association of Rhode Island Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Hampshire Northeast Organic Farming Association of Connecticut Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York Western Organic Dairy Producers Alliance Manitoba Organic Alliance Michael Fields Agricultural Institute Wisconsin Midwest Organic Dairy Producers Alliance Florida Organic Growers Peace River Organic Producers Association Alberta and British Columbia and Union Paysanne Quebec two seed companies Seed We Need Montana Wild Garden Seed Oregon and seven farms or individual farmers Common Good Farm LLC Nebraska American Buffalo Company Nebraska Full Moon Farm Inc Vermont Radiance Dairy Iowa Brian L Wickert Wisconsin Bruce Drinkman Wisconsin and Murray Bast Ontario These plaintiffs join the 60 plaintiffs from the original filing of the lawsuit in March including twenty two organizations Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association Organic Crop Improvement Association International Inc OCIA OCIA Research and Education Inc The Cornucopia Institute Demeter Association Inc Navdanya International Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association Northeast Organic Farming Association Massachusetts Chapter Inc Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont Rural Vermont Ohio Ecological Food Farm Association Southeast Iowa Organic Association Northern Plains Sustainable Agriculture Society Mendocino Organic Network California Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance Canadian Organic Growers Family Farmer Seed Cooperative Sustainable Living Systems Montana Global Organic Alliance Food Democracy Now Family Farm Defenders Inc Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund twelve seed companies FEDCO Seeds Inc Maine Adaptive Seeds LLC Oregon Sow True Seed North Carolina Southern Exposure Seed Exchange Virginia Mumm s Sprouting Seeds Saskatchewan Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co LLC Missouri Comstock Ferre Co LLC Connecticut Seedkeepers LLC California Siskiyou Seeds Oregon Countryside Organics Virginia Cuatro Puertas New Mexico Interlake Forage Seeds Ltd Manitoba and twenty six farms and farmers Alba Ranch Kansas Wild Plum Farm Montana Gratitude Gardens Washington Richard Everett Farm LLC Nebraska Philadelphia Community Farm Inc Wisconsin Genesis Farm New Jersey Chispas Farms LLC New Mexico Kirschenmann Family Farms Inc North Dakota Midheaven

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?p=295 (2016-02-17)
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  • OEFFA Announces Free, Public Tour Series Featuring Ohio’s Organic and Sustainable Farms | OEFFA News
    farm descriptions directions and maps go to www oeffa org farmtour This tour series offers conscientious consumers established growers and aspiring producers a unique learning opportunity to see first hand how the mechanics of sustainable agricultural methods really work said Gregg Skinner The series was expanded this year to showcase not just producers but also handlers and points of sale helping tour participants better understand the process that brings food from the farm to their dinner table concluded Gregg Skinner Twenty tours are being sponsored by OEFFA and will be held between June and November These tours feature organic dairy farms and artisan cheese production a canning facility grain production a poultry hatchery farms using season extension heirloom vegetable and flower production diversified livestock farmers farm markets and retail locations fiber and fabric production and farmers using a wide range of direct to consumer marketing strategies including farmers markets restaurants and Community Supported Agriculture CSA The tours are Saturday June 4 Full service sustainable dairy Snowville Creamery Pomeroy Ohio Meigs Co Saturday June 18 Grain production and cleaning organic vegetables and season extension Hirzel Farms Luckey Ohio Wood Co Thursday June 30 Family owned poultry hatchery Ridgway Hatcheries LaRue Ohio Marion Co Saturday July 9 Organic dairy and herdshare Double J Farm Hamilton Ohio Butler Co Tuesday July 12 Heirloom vegetables buffalo and season extension Heritage Lane Farms Salem Ohio Columbiana Co Tuesday July 19 Farming with horses Turner Farm Cincinnati Ohio Hamilton Co Saturday July 23 Rain and butterfly gardens and native seed production Ohio Prairie Nursery Hiram Ohio Portage Co Saturday July 30 Women in agriculture Blue Rock Station Log Cabin Weaving and Butternut Farms Retreat and Education Center Philo Zanesville and Glenford Ohio Muskingum and Licking Co Saturday July 30 Year round organic farm and market Trinity Farms Market and Meadow Rise Farm Bellville Ohio Richland Co Thursday August 11 Value added fiber and fabric Morning Star Fiber Apple Creek Ohio Wayne Co Saturday August 20 Farmstead cheese and diversified livestock Canal Junction Farmstead Cheese Defiance Ohio Paulding Co Saturday August 27 Organic pork grain and livestock feed mill Curly Tail Organic Farm Fredericktown Ohio Knox Co Saturday September 10 Grass fed marketing and NRCS EQIP demonstration Marshy Meadows Farm Windsor Ohio Ashtabula Co Saturday September 17 All in one organic farm Mile Creek Farm and CSA New Lebanon Ohio Montgomery Co Saturday September 24 Organic family dairy Pleasantview Farm Circleville Ohio Pickaway Co Saturday October 1 Year round growers market Local Roots Market and South Market Bistro Wooster Ohio Wayne Co Sunday October 9 Living off the land Carriage House Farm North Bend Ohio Hamilton Co In addition the series features the following workshops sponsored by OEFFA Friday October 14 Advanced Sustainable Tomato Production This interactive workshop is designed for experienced growers looking to improve tomato production and management Cost 85 OEFFA members 100 nonmembers Lunch included Saturday November 5 Tuesday November 8 Raising the Salad Bar Advanced Techniques and Season Extension for the Established Specialty

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?p=264 (2016-02-17)
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  • Organic Farms and Seed Sellers File Suit Against Monsanto | OEFFA News
    each of those crops too Monsanto is developing genetically modified seed for many other crops thus putting the future of all food and indeed all agriculture at stake Consumers indicate overwhelmingly that they prefer foods made without genetically modified organisms said Dr Carol Goland OEFFA s Executive Director Organic farms by regulation may not use GMOs while other farmers forego using them for other reasons Yet the truth is that we are rapidly approaching the tipping point when we will be unable to avoid GMOs in our fields and on our plates That is the inevitable consequence of releasing genetically engineered materials into the environment To add injury to injury Monsanto has a history of suing farmers whose fields have been contaminated by Monsanto s GMOs On behalf of farmers who must live under this cloud of uncertainty and risk we are compelled to ask the Court to put an end to this unconscionable business practice In the case PUBPAT is asking Judge Buchwald to declare that if organic farmers are ever contaminated by Monsanto s genetically modified seed they need not fear also being accused of patent infringement One argument justifying this result is that Monsanto s patents on genetically modified seed are invalid because they don t meet the usefulness requirement of patent law according to PUBPAT s Ravicher plaintiffs lead attorney in the case Evidence cited by PUBPAT in its opening filing today proves that genetically modified seed has negative economic and health effects while the promised benefits of genetically modified seed increased production and decreased herbicide use are false Some say transgenic seed can coexist with organic seed but history tells us that s not possible and it s actually in Monsanto s financial interest to eliminate organic seed so that they can have a total monopoly over our food supply said Ravicher Monsanto is the same chemical company that previously brought us Agent Orange DDT PCB s and other toxins which they said were safe but we know are not Now Monsanto says transgenic seed is safe but evidence clearly shows it is not The plaintiffs in the suit represented by PUBPAT are Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association Organic Crop Improvement Association International Inc OCIA Research and Education Inc The Cornucopia Institute Demeter Association Inc Navdanya International Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association Northeast Organic Farming Association Massachusetts Chapter Inc Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont Rural Vermont Southeast Iowa Organic Association Northern Plains Sustainable Agriculture Society Mendocino Organic Network Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance Canadian Organic Growers Family Farmer Seed Cooperative Sustainable Living Systems Global Organic Alliance Food Democracy Now Family Farm Defenders Inc Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund FEDCO Seeds Inc Adaptive Seeds LLC Sow True Seed Southern Exposure Seed Exchange Mumm s Sprouting Seeds Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co LLC Comstock Ferre Co LLC Seedkeepers LLC Siskiyou Seeds Countryside Organics Cuatro Puertas Interlake Forage Seeds Ltd Alba Ranch Wild Plum Farm Gratitude Gardens Richard

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?p=237 (2016-02-17)
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