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Hello. What's that I smell? The conference season is winding down, along with our coverage. But everywhere we've gone, there's excitement in the air. Farming is tough, sure, but there's a smell of change, and it's not just spring. It's that palpable sense in every conference hall, on every farm tour farm, that we're on the verge of creating a whole new agriculture in this country. The stories in this issue of the web site confirm that, as does browsing through the Farm Locator entries on our site. So much diversity, so much talent, so much creativity invested in farms and markets in every corner of the country.

I spent hours last week just browsing through the farms on our newly renovated farm locator. 127 CSAs, over 100 offering eggs and dairy, and dozens of farms offering everything from feed grains and bulk seeds to edible flowers and fiber products.

The Farm Locator, with all its spiffy new features, is ready for prime time. Our zipcode radius search--which lets you search for farms within a specified number of miles of your zipcode--is working beautifully. The dozens of new categories we've added makes searching for specific products and services much easier. Check out the Farm Locator now.

And, to encourage you to add your farm to the listing, we're giving out a New Farm hat--my, they're handsome--each week starting this coming week. Click here for more details.

And here's another great addition to the web site: We're finally going to answer your questions online each week. Check out our home page for the first weekly installment of "Reader Mail."

Finally, we've updated the book store again with new reviews and new book entries. Check it out at

--Chris Hill, Executive Editor

Don't forget to check out our latest Organic Price Index.


My, it's handsome ... and it might be yours, FREE, when you list your farm on our farm locator.
Click here for more

Farmhands in CA build innovative cover crop seeder (for more on the berry operation that inspired this tool, see below.


Fresh today from The New Farm®

Agritourism in Hawaii: Somebody's gotta do it

From 2-acre coffee growers to 15,000-acre sugar plantations and 225,000 acre ranches, Hawaii's farmers get on board with the state's tourism industry.

SLIDESHOW! 6 agritourism farms on the big island.




Seed: The Achilles’ heel of organic

The growing evidence in this country that much of our seed stock is GMO-contaminated raises tough questions about the future of organic—what it is, what it should be, and how we can reduce our vulnerability and preserve our integrity and vision as organic farmers. Mary-Howell Martens takes a hard look at this critical topic.


Seed and organics



Guerilla garlic
Battling the influx of cheap Chinese garlic—even in to Gilroy, the “Garlic Capital of the World”—Mariquita Farm grows green spring garlic, and banks its garlic dollars long before the garlic festival in July.


Guerilla Garlic


Susanna’s Costa Rican Sojourn: Finca la Puebla

Coffee co-op depends on compost, self-processing and premium quality to beat slumping market
Biodiverse plantings provide secondary crops for these small, mountain-side farmers, reducing dependence on income from fluctuating coffee prices. Includes a great slideshow illustrating small scale coffee processing, step by step.


Fina la Puebla



A day in the life of the country’s
original organic produce distributor

Veritable Vegetable—80 percent women, $22 million in annual sales—does more than move veggies at a furious pace. Somewhere between a for-profit business and an advocacy group, it gives fair prices and an increasingly rare wholesale outlet to smaller-scale organic growers.

  Veritable Vegetable


Hungry for spring
Most of the repairs are done, the re-certification paperwork is almost finished and the vetch and rye covers are pushing through the stubble. If only the mud would go away, says Institute farm manager Jeff Moyer.


Jeff Moyer




The Eco-Farm Conference, California
Magic bus ride to sustainable farms of many scales
From a modest hillside of kiwifruit, to hundreds of acres of organic and IPM raspberries, a sprawling ranch where holistically managed grass-fed beef cattle are raised, to a 20-acre valley of intensively cultivated vegetables, each farm—and farmer—has a unique story.

Southern SAWG Conference, Gainesville, Florida
Practical tools and solutions for sustaining family farms in the South
The workshops at the 13th Annual Conference of the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group in Gaineville, Florida ran the gamut from hands-on farming techniques to soil biology and community food systems.

Practical Farmers of Iowa, Des Moines, IA
Food safety, business planning, and local food advocacy take center stage
PFI speakers call for scrupulous post-harvest handling to keep food safe, careful planning to guide farm entrepreneurship and persistent advocacy to re-localize community food purchases.



Southern SAWG

Practical Farmers of Iowa




For the beginning grower

Summer Harvest: Thinking warm when
it's cold means better variety
There’s plenty of time to think about sunflowers and zinnias, the summer garden workhorses, but they only go so far. Some of the best summer sellers need to be started NOW!

Your flower problems ... and possible solutions
Mel shares her thoughts on some questions from a recent conference--concerning zinnias and sunflowers.


Summer harvest





Introducing our new reader mail feature. Each week we'll answer several questions online. And we’ve beefed up our staff in order to respond individually to each of your queries, even if they don’t make the pubic posting. This week:
Am I nuts, at 40, to start a goat dairy farm?
Looking for apprentices. Can you help?


Goat dairy farm?




Dairy farmers win back their freedom of speech
In a unanimous decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit ruled the dairy check-off unconstitutional under the First Amendment. The challenge was brought to the court by Pennsylvania farmers Joe and Brenda Cochran, who do an occasional column for New Farm.

  Dairy checkoff news


Check the home page for the latest news, a new Dr. Don research update and a new Final Word from ag curmudgeon Alan Guebert. Enjoy.

  Go to the home page now!
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