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Hello [name]. Organic in the news. This is a newsy kind of issue, leading off with senior writer Dan Sullivan's courageous effort to explain and give some perspective on a well-intentioned--and successful!--law suit designed to protect organic standards that some feel may end up biting organic on its tuckus (that thing you sit on). I'm speaking, of course, about the Harvey versus Veneman case, which has riled up the organic community because it:

  • challenges the use of some synthetic substances that many feel are critical to organic processing
  • challenges the provision allowing 20% organic feed in the first nine months of a dairy herd's conversion
  • and because it could, some say, reopen the organic rule to all sorts of tinkering from legistlators, special interests--and, generally, folks who don't really care about Organic.

Read Dan's piece for a timeline of the case, and dueling perspectives on how it may affect the Organic Rule.

Also in the news: Check out associate editor Cara Hungerford's pieces on csp and synthetic methionine in organic poultry production, and her action alert on CSP, below.

CSA Resource Page. Managing editor Greg Bowman and Institute VP David Ward were interviewed for a piece on CSAs that will appear in early April in USA Today. It should mention NewFarm.Org, so we're hoping for a little extra traffic. That's why we put up a CSA resource page--and in doing it, we found out that we have literally hundreds of stories on CSAs, from a definitive history of CSAs to a resource directory, to dozens of profiles of CSA farms, to 286 CSA farms listed on the Farm Locator. Check out this compilation of wisdom and inspiration.

51 and counting ... We now have51 reporters signed up to provide weekly farmers' market information and prices from around the country. There's still room for more. To learn more about being a reporter, click here.

Chris Hill, Executive Editor


Look familiar?
Get advice on dealing with aphids and other pests that might attack your flowers.
See Cut Flowere Column below for more.

A second chance
Organic gives the Klinkners of Wisconsin a chance to rebuild.
See below for more.

Hooray for CSAs!
Check out our CSA resource page.
See at left for more.


Fresh today from The New Farm®


Thinking out of the box
As any CSA farmer will attest, waxed boxes can be a major expense. Andy and his crew have found a local solution that reduces their dependence on box makers who may have to toast their profits with slightly less expensive champagne. At right : Old bulb totes, a dime a dozen in CA, have replaced cardboard boxes made of gold.


CSA Journal


It pays to know (and protect) your pollinators
California research documents the value of native pollinators in watermelon, cherry tomato, and hybrid sunflower production.


Organic in the News

There’s a synthetic in my organic chicken
It's been three years since the exception was made to allow synthetic methionine in organic poultry production. As the deadline on usage nears, it seems little has changed in the world of organic poultry. This has led some to question whether it ever will, others to ask if it even should, and just about everyone to throw up their hands in frustration.

Finally, a conservation program for those that are conserving
The Conservation Security Program announces its 2005 watershed eligibility list and sign-up period



CSP sign-up


ACTION ALERT: CSP funding threatened

Act now. Save tomorrow.
The Conservation Security Program may be the first government program that offers real aid to organic and sustainable farmers ... and it may not make it out of its first year. Act before April 4 to help preserve this essential program.!

  Action alert
Organic University: Greenhouses for
year-round food and farming

Part 2: Putting it all together
Our first installment covered site selection and soil preparation. Now for the bricks and mortar--or wood, metal tubing plastic. The nitty gritty of planning and constructing your greenhouse.

  Greenhouse series

Wisconsin farmers get a second chance at life
For Gerry and Ann Klinkner, going organic was part of rebuilding a healthy, small family farm after confronting a frightening diagnosis.

  The Klinkners

New Farmer Journals

Easy Growin' Farm, Buena Vista CO
How much to plant?
Although the market for organic vegetables is wide open here in Colorado, Joshua--new to growing for market--is having a tough time guessing the amount of produce he can actually sell.

Essex Farm, Essex NY
Signs of spring
The second year of this year-round CSA brings improved preparedness and a deeper understanding of the workload ahead--which is both good and bad.
At right:
The shadowy woods, 150 gallons of sweet sap, and a happy farmer.

Your Farm, Hilmar CA
The art of the deal
Who would have thought a venture into organic market gardening would require so much knowledge of planning and zoning issues?

North Country School, Lake Placid NY
Finally ... getting a real job,
and a real education

Our intern in the Adirondacks compares higher education with the practical lessons of working on a farm.


How much to plant?

Signs of spring

Signs of spring

Finally ... getting a real job,
and a real education


For the beginning grower

Flowers and insects:
a manageable combination

PART 2: Aphids, thrips, spidermites, leafhoppers, beetles and caterpillars--knowing your enemies, and how to handle them.

  Cut Flower Corner

Inspector's Notebook #12

To plant or not to plant
Answers to all your questions on organic seeds—what they are, where to find them and which will get your fields DQed for three years.

  Inspector's Notebook
NEW COLUMN: Ag Policy Perspectives

Coming soon to a billboard near you:
"Get the US out of the WTO & NAFTA & CAFTA"
Dr. Daryll E. Ray is director of the Agricultural Policy Analysis Center at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. He publishes weekly columns in the MidAmerica Farmer Grower. We've gotten his permission to reprint some of these columns on an occasional basis. Hope you enjoy his deep knowledge and insightful analysis. This issue: Dr. Ray explores the irony of our relative indifference to the broad and potentially damaging enforcement powers trade agreements like NAFTA have been granted.

  Ag Policy Perspectives


Wanted: farm to manage; farm companion in Ontario; farms in NY and PA; bulk order organic meats; foliar sprayer; large-capacity compost sifter; farm sitter in VT, first half of May; used equpment of all sorts; used greenhouse frame; dairy farm job, full-blood boer buck ... and much, much more.
For Sale:
Certified organic farm in IL, organic nursery in CA, 10-acre farm, IN; calf milk pasteurizer; Asian pear, Red Haven peach and Macoun apple trees, NY; registered yak calves; Tamworth gilts; corrugated animal bedding; quality hay, NY; certified organic alfalfa hay, MN; Oregon flower farm; ewe lambs … and much more.
Opportunities: Organic herdsperson, NY; farm managers, CT, RI; three farm internships, NY; summer internship, NC; farmland for lease, MI; organic dairy manager, MN; internships, NH; urban farming opportunity, GA; value-added producer grants, deadline May 6, executive director of ag organization in MI.








Been to our bookstore lately?

Check out featured titles on the Slow Food movement, ecological design, the history of U.S. farm policy and economics, native invertebrate pollinator conservation, and biological farming. Don't miss a special offer on three classic Rodale titles--Save Three Lives, An Agricultural Testament, and Farmers of Forty Centuries. Plus, new book reviews:

  • Brave new (greasy) world: In Biodiesel, Greg Pahl assesses the potential of an alternative fuel
  • Going underground: Amy Stewart's The Earth Moved reveals the fascinating world of earthworms

Have a book recommendation for us? Let us know by emailing senior writer Laura Sayre at

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