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Hello [name]. Finally … help choosing a certifier.
Over a year ago we began working with the Organic Farming Research Foundation to survey organic certifiers in the U.S. about their operations. What was their fee structure? What types and sizes of farms did they typically serve? What special services did they offer? What states did they operate in?

We took the answers to these questions and developed The New Farm Guide to U.S. Organic Certifiers. About two-thirds of U.S. certifiers are now listed in the Guide, which is the only qualitative guide to certifiers in the country. I’m delighted by it. You can browse all certifiers, compare two certifiers side by side, or browse for certifiers by particular criteria. Please check it out--and use the discussion forum connected with it to comment on how we can improve it. We hope you’ll also take the time to comment on your own experiences, positive and negative, with certifiers. The more people who use the guide and comment on certifiers, the more encouragement we will give certifiers to join the listing and stay current, upgrade their services, and generally create a more open competitive environment around selecting certifiers. Check the guide out now.

Rodale Institute NEWS! NewFarm.Org is brought to you by The Rodale Institute, and as many of you know, The Institute is a well-known research and training organization for organic and sustainable agriculture. One of the things we do each year is sponsor a number of field days, and coming up on July 22, on our farm here in eastern PA, is a field day featuring research and practical advice on promoting mycorrhizal fungi populations that can increase the fertility of your soil, and beneficial soil fauna (from microarthropods to ground beetles) that can help manage weeds.

The event is free and open to the public, but pre-registration is required--and if you want a lunch you'll need to pre-order it for $10. To register (and learn more about the event) click here.

You may not have heard about another Institute web site, kidsregen.org--a fun, colorful, lively web site for children about gardening and the natural world. Each year KidsRegen.org sponsors an Organic School Garden Awards contest to honor outstanding organic school gardens. Grades K-12, including home schools, can win a top prize of $1,000. Deadline for entries is October 31, 2005. If you know a school that values organic gardening, help the reap some cash prizes and get a little recognition. Click here for the complete rules and details.

Organic no-till research spreads like beneficial plague. A bad metaphor, but you get the idea: Our no-till roller/crimper research has caught the attention of lots of folks, and Michigan State University has become a hotbed of that research. Their first year results are nothing short of amazing. They drilled feed-grade soybeans into knocked-down cover crops of cereal rye and hairy vetch, and their yields were 50 percent higher than the average soybean yields in the area for that year.

Now, one of the MSU researchers has moved on to Illinois, and he’ll be experimenting with an identical roller there, with different soils and crops. Check out Laura Sayre’s article to read about these developments, and join the no-till discussion forum to ask questions and learn from others.

New student farms added to directory: Three new student farms have been added to our bulging directory of farms. Check them out, and join the ag
ed forums
to see what educators and students are saying about student farms and sustainable ag programs. By the way, we got a request from one doctoral student at UC Davis to set up a repository where we can post electronic documents that you think would help people establish sutainable ag education programs on their campuses--excel spreadsheets, PDF documents, Word documents, etc. We CAN do it and will do it if you send your valuable documents to daniel.sullivan@rodaleinst.org.

ACTION ALERT!
Important sustainable programs need your support today!
Farmer fave's--SARE, ATTRA and the Organic Transitions Program--face crippling budget cuts in a number of states.
Act before June 13!

Coming in the next month: We have around 20 articles on farmers and farming in Senegal, West Africa, which we’ve been wanting to feature for some time. Finally, we’ll begin our series on farming in Senegal in two weeks. In four weeks we’ll add a “weed page”—a repository of articles, farm profiles and research on weeds which will include the latest results of our research collaborations with Penn State and with the Agricultural Research Service station in Beltsville, Maryland. The weed page will also feature a discussion forum where we hope all of you will join in to talk about weed problems, weed management successes and more.

Enjoy!
Chris Hill, Executive Editor

 

Biodynamic heaven
Even the sheep at Camphill Village Kimberton Hills, in southeastern PA, find themselves in a supportive community in tune with the natural rhythms of life.
See below for more.

The butter master
renews the countryside

By choosing to locate its headquarters and butter plant in rural Wisconsin, Organic Valley has had a huge impact on several small towns and the folks who live there.
See below for more.


Thanks again to all of you who've donated money to help us restart the Organic Price Index. We now have:

$24,000

We'll be adding current prices starting next week, and this money will allow us to keep going for several months while we work to resolve our funding problem. The total amount needed to keep the OPX alive and well for a year is $120,000. Please donate now to keep your prices coming.

Click here to donate.

No-till organic spreads to Michigan, Illinois ...
No-till rolls on through the Midwest, picking up enthusiasts wherever it crimps.
See at left for more.

 

Zucchini alert
An urgent message to CSA farmers about how to keep from overwhelming their members with summer squash.
See below for more.

     

Fresh today from The New Farm®
   

NEWS FROM MARIQUITA: A CSA Journal

The Complete Zucchini Management Guide
Andy Griffin has a six point plan for making sure his CSA customers don't get overwhelmed by summer squash. If that doesn't work, he may have to get a pig. At least they're easy to please.

  Zucchini management
   

Rural renewal
Although its products are sold nationwide and it has farmer-members in 20 states from California to Vermont, the economic and social impacts of the Organic Valley cooperative are most strongly felt in its home territory of southwestern Wisconsin

She screams (sometimes)
Sue Huber, the owner of Sibby’s Premium Organic Ice Cream, uses cream from Organic Valley's nearby plant in Wisconsin. But premium icecream is a tough market, and she unwillingly experiences the highs and lows of pursuing her dream of moving from UPS driver to mom and icecream mogul.

At right: Sue Huber is constantly one the move as she pursues her dream of making icecream and saving the farm.

 

Organic Valley

Sibby's icecream

   
Biodynamic farm in southeastern Pennsylvania cultivates organic farmers and human dignity
Camphill Village at Kimberton Hills, one of over 100 similar intentional communities world wide, couples holistic farming practices with a supportive community for special needs residents
 

Camphill Village

   

Tool Talk: Equipment and tool basics
for the beginning farmer

Your first tractor, Part II
Buyer Beware ... the “fresh paint” ruse, and other picky pointers that will keep you from buying someone else’s problems.

At right: Knuckle-busting in action--George Devault takes safety warnings to heart and installs a roll bar on his John Deere.

 

Tool Talk

   
Vine and fig tree: Restoring agriculture in the Holy Land
Teaching farming as a balance of spirit,
soil and a healthy culture

Kibbutz Harduf is a biodynamic community from the fields to the students to the way they reach out to making each member count
 

Kibbutz Harduf

 

   

Dr. Paul's Research Perspectives
Teaching composting for soil improvement in northern Ghana
In the first of a series, The Rodale Institute's Research and Training Manager, Paul Hepperly, describes his three-week volunteer effort to help West African villagers learn about organic farming methods.

RESEARCH UPDATE
Manicured lawns lend green hand to
Washington farmland

Washington State University researchers rescue nitrogen benefits from discarded yard waste

 

Ghana training

Lawn clippings

   

THE NEW FARM BOOKSTORE

Been to our bookstore lately? Check out featured titles on farmstead cheesemaking, saving America's endangered foods, corn growing in Africa, and the founding of the Camphill movement. PLUS:

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Scott Chaskey
Farming by the sea
Poet, organic farmer and NOFA-New York governing council president Scott Chaskey talks with New Farm about farming, writing, soil, CSAs, the Organic Rule and his new book, This Common Ground, a lyrical reflection on 16 years managing a CSA on Long Island's South Fork.

DOUBLE REVIEW: A World of Presidia AND Values of Agrarian Landscapes
Food with a view
Two handsome books offer nourishment for the armchair traveler

Have a book recommendation for us? Let us know by emailing senior writer Laura Sayre at laura.sayre@rodaleinst.org.

   
   
Welcome to The New Farm Classifieds!

Wanted: Breeding water buffalo, women in agriculture, first-time farm work, small farm to lease
For sale: Meat band saw, vegetable cultivator, farm collie pups, roasted soybeans
Opportunities: Farm caretaker, online breeding service, livestock manager, milking parlor to rent

AND THOSE ARE JUST A FEW OF THE OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE RIGHT NOW ON THE NEW FARM CLASSIFIEDS!
   
   

Reader Q & A:

Can organic farming feed the world?

What are those little shiny black things sticking to my asparagus?

Reader commentary:

If you want the best-tasting and safest meet commercially available, choose grass-fed and organic.

Ask Jeff:

I’m thinking of trying out oats; which varieties to do you recommend?

I enjoyed your oats article immensely and have some comments and questions.

   
   

The Grassroots OPX

Our farmers' market price reporters are starting to stir. We have 10 volunteers this week reporting on 11 markets in 10 different states. The number of markets will continue to build as the season progresses.

 

   
   

New Farmer Journals

Loon Organics: Eagan MN
Certifiable
As daunting as it may be, the “i” dotting and “t” crossing involved in coming up with a farm plan makes one a better farmer.

Stony Lonesome Farm: Gainesville VA
Open Farm
Sharing your business with the community, warts and all, can be a positive experience for everyone.

Fresh Harvest Farm: Mokena IL
That which sustains us
With CSA shares sold out, an inspiring and inspired intern, and lists and tasks well in order, one small farm in the Chicago suburbs is ready for summer.

 

Loon Organics

Stony Lonesome

Fresh Harvest

   

Ag Policy Perspectives

New high yielding wheat eases weight
of China’s food security burden

In a country where famine memories linger, the emphasis on its new ‘Super Wheat’ is not on the super but rather the wheat

By Daryll E. Ray, Director of the University of Tennessee's Agricultural Policy Analysis Center

  Ag policy
   
ALSO LOOK FOR ...
Check The New Farm home page for the latest news. Enjoy.
   
 
   
   
     
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