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Hello. It's been over a month since our last
full update. Sorry.
You can blame the delay on the federal grant season.We've been trying to take down big bucks (not the antlered kind) so we can continue to fund our web site and the on-farm research we do here at The Institute. Hope we have good news to share with you in the months to come. If you'd like to donate now to The Institute to fund the work we do, click here.

Grassroots OPX season is in full bore: We have prices from 16 markets in 11 states, with more to come. Check it about by clicking here. For those who don't remember, the Grassroots OPX consists of prices from farmers markets around the country, gathered for us by a gaggle of dedicated volunteers.

New Farm Classics: Those of you who subscribed to The New Farm magazine will remember Gene Logsdon, "The Contrary Farmer." At the request of a reader, Gene is back this week in the form of a reprint from 1993. With it, we're launching a new occasional series, New Farm Classics, which will reprint articles from The New Farm magazine archives. If you have an article you're particularly interested in seeing again, let us know. As for Gene, we're in discussions with him to get some new pieces on the web site. Stay tuned.

One series winds down, two others gain steam:
Lisa Hamilton wrote and photographed our series on farming in Japan. That series winds down this month with a final article and a slideshow. Don't morn for Lisa, though. She's also starting a series this month on ranching in Wyoming. See below for more. Also gaining steam this month: the real start of our series on farming in Latin America, which will run for over a year. This month our reporter Don Lotter drives the length of Baja California talking to farmers, ranging from well-off organic grape and olive growers in the north to paraquat-drenched cactus farmers further south. See below for more on this installment in Don's series.

--Chris Hill, Executive Editor

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


Gene is back! See at left and below for more details.

1st in a series on ranching in Wyoming. For more, see "Grass Farmers," below.

The final installment in our 10-part series on natural farming in Japan.
Check out "Natural Farming" below for details.


Fresh today from The New Farm®

1st in a series on sustainable ranching in Wyoming

Seeing the big picture
Ranchers who practice Holistic Resource Management focus on keeping the native grasses healthy. Everything else follows from there.


Grass farmers


Wine, olives, and nopales in Baja California
On the second leg of his Latin American journey, Don Lotter takes us from border town maquiladoras, to lush wine and olive plantations, to hard scrabble nopal cactus farms … and the long, empty roads of southern Baja.



Down the Baja


National Organic Standards: Kiss of Death?
Gene Logsdon asked that question in an essay for The New Farm magazine, back in March of 1993. We reprint it here as the first in a new series featuring classic articles from the magazine.

  New Farm Classic

Cracking the organic nut
Pecan grower Sally Harper has led the way toward organic management and marketing for this traditional southern New Mexico crop.


Organic nuts

VIDEO: PA sustainable farmers tell their real stories
of drip tape, customers and long days

PASA video provides excellent window into the lives of innovative, entrepreneurial farmers who connect to customers through direct marketing.


Kinky Carrots
It's astounding to what uses Andy Griffin's farmers' market customers will put his kinky, crooked carrot culls. Every carrot has a home.


Kinky carrots

Shumei Natural Agriculture:
Farming to create heaven on earth
Morioka Town: Yoshinori Takahashi

Obligation evolves into romance for CSA farmers
and customers in northern Honshu

The process was rocky, the results amazing. Stumbling into farming, the farmers learned to balance consumer demand against their own sheer joy of growing food. Their customers grew to see the healing power of their food and develop deep respect for the farmers’ role.

BONUS: A final slideshow from Japan

  Natural farming

On-farm wind power: Part 3 of a 3-part series

Wind in the silos
Making wind power safe and cost-effective on your farm: the nuts and bolts of off-grid versus on-grid, lightening protection, zoning issues ... and opportunities for cash support from your rich Uncle Sam.


Wind power



CROPP contracts brings profitability
to Ohio grass-based, organic dairies

Small-scale, enterprise-integrated Amish farmers were already using the breeds, pasture-management and herd-health methods favored by many certified organic farmers. Now, two-year contracts for a national organic market bring stability, strong returns.


Ohio dairy



For the beginning grower

5 timesavers for flower growers
Weed management help, watering aids, smart tool use and more.

A flowering of questions from readers: How to price; preserving organic flowers; help ... do I need a permit to sell?



The crops are poppin' this spring ...

Can the weeds be far behind? Jeff talks about cultivation, no-till organic, apple production ... and an opportunity to run a CSA here at The Rodale Institute®.



One farm to another



Facilitating global trade in organics
The U.S. and the EU are brokering a trade agreement that could establish official equivalence between USDA and European Commission organic regulations.

Global trade


Cody vs. Schmeiser: Has the organic community been tarnished by our poor choice for a poster boy? New Farm reader and ecologist rules against both Monsanto and Schmeiser and suggests we choose those we rally behind carefully.
Do we hafta have CAFTA? National Farmers Union President Dave Frederickson argues that the Central American Free Trade Agreement will be bad for U.S. farmers.
Who’s getting fat off the fat of the land? New report says California’s residents, farmers, citizenry and environment suffer at the hands of global trade policies that favor corporations over people, communities and culture.


Each week we answer several of your questions and post them on the home page of the web site. We'll also respond individually to each of your queries, even if they don’t make the pubic posting. Keep the comments and questions rolling in.

DEAR NEW FARM: How do I find an organic certifier in my area (South Carolina)? I have organically raised animals and vegetables.

DEAR NEW FARM: I am doing a presentation on land pollution and was wondering whether or not some of the solutions that you have for farming and avoiding pesticides, herbicides, and artificial fertilizers could also apply to landscaping in residential and community spaces.




Been to our bookstore lately? Check out featured books on agroforestry, Holistic Management, rural architecture, and the history of migrant farmworkers on the Atlantic Coast. And for all you Fukuoka fans: A reader tipped us off to a new edition of The One Straw Revolution. Plus, new book reviews of:

  • Vandana Shiva, Water Wars (South End Press, 2002)
  • Jason Clay, Agriculture and Environment (Island Press, 2004)

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



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

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