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Hello. Sorry for the holiday delay. We took our annual break here at New Farm from before Christmas until after New Year's. And we didn't publish an update on December 23rd, as planned, because we were busy finishing up a web site on immigrant farming in the U.S. through a collaboration with Heifer International. More on that initiative (and where to find the web site) when it has been fully reviewed by all those involved.

So, it's been four weeks since we updated the web site, but we're back in the saddle. Before describing what's available in this issue, an order of business:

We're looking for a few good NEW farmers!

Many of you who read New Farm are beginning or aspiring farmers. We think regular, detailed and practical journal entries from a variety of farmers who have been farming on their own for 1 or 2 years is probably the best way to provide insight and support to all of the rest of you dreamers and fellow laborers in the fields. If you can write, and are interested in sharing your day-to-day on-farm lessons and observations in a once-a-month journal entry, please contact Senior Editor Dan Sullivan at A small stipend is available.

We're also still interested in a few good graduate students working in organic agriculture who would consider writing about current organic farming research for us. Submissions would be 350 to 600 words long, and would summarize a scientific paper published in a peer-reviewed journal--or unpublished research results from university sustainable ag programs. The articles would emphasize practical results for organic farmers. Modest compensation is available.

If you can write and are interested, drop a line to Tells us who you are, where you're based and what you’re studying. Also send us a few citations or abstracts of research you’d like to cover. (You’ll need to have access to the full paper in order to write the summary.) Also write Laura if you know someone you think would be a good candidate. Ag profs or extension folks, we’re talking to you!

Finally, if you know of some creative on-farm experimentation that’s taking place in your region, please let us know. Email me at

At the feet of the masters. I remember a crowded room two years ago at the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture annual conference in February. It was standing room only for a group of farmers striving to absorb the wisdom and elegance of Anne and Eric Nordell's system of cover crops and rotations. And all of us, for the moment, felt touched by angels. We got it. We understood. We experienced the whole, complex system in its entirety, and the reason for every choice in every field in every season.

But, like a lovely dream, the details faded with time, though each of us, I think, retained some lingering wisdom and insight. This issue's article on the Nordells is another chance for you to experience the wisdom--including a chart of their 4-year rotation. Click here to enjoy.

In memory of ... Iowa State Organic ag specialist Kathleen Delate pays tribute to Ben Stinner, a friend and colleague whose work as a 'dreamer and weaver’ in sustainable ag leaves a deep legacy. Ben was killed in a car accident in late November. For more on Ben and his contributions, read Kathleen's eulogy.

Another delay: the launch of Farm Select, our economic modeling tool, was postponed from December 23 to January 27. Look for it then.

Chris Hill, Executive Editor


This is the face that drove Andy Griffin to vegetable farming.
For more, see below.

Rotational magic. Just let the wisdom and elegance of the Nordells' system of cover crops and rotations wash over you.
For more, see at left.

Evolution of a farm. I really believe that every square foot of this earth requires its own particular attention," says Rebecca Routson.
For more on her own square foot in Arizona,
see below.


Fresh today from The New Farm®

Hard times for a big organic orchard
One New England farmer, Read Miller, shares some of the struggles and triumphs of going organic

At right: Keeping up with market trends isn't always easy. The Miller's still have most of their orchards in Macintosh.


Organic apples


For the beginning grower

Living the high life
High value flowers have high standards and absolutely thrive in high tunnels. So, Mel and George are adding another gothic arch to their property and populating it entirely with the best-selling blooms.


Cut flowers


A truly regenerative agriculture
At Anne and Eric Nordell's Beech Grove Farm in north-central Pennsylvania, horses, cover crops, and reduced tillage add up to "bio-extensive market gardening"


The Nordells


Renewing the Countryside: Four Corners Region

The story of our intentions
At Lost Cabin Ranch in north-central Arizona, farm, family and work have evolved together into a sustainable, interdependent whole.


Lost Cabin Ranch

Vine and fig tree:
Restoring agriculture in the Holy Land

Amidst political strife and a firing range on the West Bank, the Zimmermans farm, market and sanctify the land

Combining biblical rituals with remarkable flexibility, the Zimmermans have thrived because of their faith ... and because of their ability to shift from export markets, to local markets, to value-added products in response to the pressures of war and politics.

Vine and Fig Tree



Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group
Hank Herrera and others to speak on community food systems at the 14th annual Southern SAWG conference
January 21-23, 2005 – Hilton New Orleans Airport Hotel in Louisiana

6th Annual Virginia Biological Farming Conference
Increasing the market share for organics, and other stories
. February 18-19, 2005 – Eagle Eyrie Convention Center, VA


Southern SAWG

Virginia conference



A very dairy New Year
Life slows down at Mariquita and, as another year begins, Andy reminisces about the 42 hours of exhausted delirium on a fateful New Year's Eve that inspired him to farm vegetables.

  CSA Journal

The Inspector’s Notebook #8
Planning the perfect rotation: A three part series on creating crop rotations

Part 1: NOP requirements and the ten things you must consider before buying the season's first bag of seeds.


Inspector's Notebook



Classified information

Looking for committed intern(s) to train to take over our thriving CSA. Research openings at Johnny’s Selected Seeds. Apprenticeship opportunities. Experienced farm partners wanted …

Post-interns ready to farm. Organic farmer. Used plucker. Horse-drawn log loader …

For Sale:
Hobby farm. Organic blue corn. Cut flowers. Mobile rotary composter ...




Where does the time go?
Sure, it's more of the same this year, says Farm Manager Jeff Moyer: The weather. Our on-farm research. Meetings and conferences. But with a little planning, it does keep getting better and better ... and more and more interesting.

Insights and experiences from organic farms


New Turf

One intern packs her bags for graduate school while another makes the trek from an organic farm in Arkansas to a completely different operation in California.

  Intern Journal

Dr. Paul's Research Perspectives

Vitamins, organic food and your health
Researchers are uncovering more reasons to get your daily allowances—and they say organic foods may be the best sources


Research Perspectives



Reader commentary: Paying tribute to a friend and colleague. Ben Stinner’s work as ‘dreamer and weaver’ in sustainable ag leaves a deep legacy, says Iowa organic specialist Kathleen Delate.

Dear New Farm: Where can I get seeds for Andy Griffin's artichokes?

Dear New Farm: Having trouble getting my lettuce growing here on the central coast of California. Any ideas?

Reader commentary: Green around the gills over the Green Revolution. The December Letter from NY column sparks a reader to remind us all about the impacts of Big Chem in the developing world.

Reader commentary: More on the bean breeding front
Don Lotter responds to a reader's call to include information on vertical resistance bean breeding in Mexico. And another reader says Lotter's article was dead on.


Dear Jeff: Can I collect forage for winter without a bailer?


Bookstore Updates and Reviews

Check out three new cookbooks highlighting local, organic and traditional foods, as well as featured books on women and sustainable agriculture and the emerging 'micro eco-farming' movement. Plus, new book reviews:

Check The New Farm home page for the latest news. Enjoy.
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