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Hello. It's round 2 in the great Extenstion debate. Two more people have weighed in on the role of Extension in organic. See below for more. As always your thoughts and comments on these and other issues are welcome and appreciated.

This week on NewFarm.Org we start a new series ... Lisa Hamilton, an exceptional writer from California, has been working for several months on a series about Shumei Natural Agriculture, a farming movement driven more by yearnings than yields. See below for more details.

See you at Farm Aid. We'll have a booth at the Farm Aid concert on September 7 in Columbus, Ohio. If you're there, stop by and say hi!

New poll this week. And the question is .... "Which direct marketing option generates the most income for you?" Take the poll on our home page.

We hope you do, in fact, have many diverse revenue streams. Two of our columnists this week point out how essential diversity is in both production and marketing. In her letter from New York, Mary-Howell Martens talks about defensive farming, where diversified crops insure that at least something will do well when the weather doesn't cooperate. In her CSA Notebook, Wisconsin's Linda Halley points out that a diversified marketing plan insures that you have markets for the excess produce your CSA members can't absorb.

--Chris Hill, Executive Editor

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


A close look at an indigenous Japanese agricultural movement (more below)

Deep in the heart of commercial blueberry land, an organic berry grows (more below)


Fresh today from The New Farm®

Extension & Organic: The Dialogue Continues

What Cornell Cooperative Extension can do for organic farmers
New York Extension agent Jim Ochterski outlines a new paradigm for collaboration between organic growers and Extension

An organic grower questions the value of inviting Extension to the organic party
Michigan grower John Simmons is concerned that Extension does what it does very well ... but what it does well may not be good for organic.



Cornell Extension

A concerned organic grower


Shumei Natural Agriculture:
Farming to create heaven on earth

Farming measured by a different yardstick altogether

How did an agricultural movement develop in Japan that is defined less by commercial success than by close harmony with nature? To tell that story, you have to understand the history of farming in Japan. In this first installment of a three-part series, Lisa Hamilton describes the geographic and religious realities that first shaped farming in Japan.


Natural Agriculture



Gooooooo BLUE!
Developing organic management strategies near the birthplace of commercial blueberry cultivation: John Marchese trades in a six-figure salary for the chance to raise organic blueberries in Ocean County, New Jersey … picking up where his dad left off when he died suddenly in 2001. Includes a slideshow detailing the operation, from production to processing.




Letter from New York

18 years ago, Mary-Howell Martens’ mother-in-law cautioned her suburban-raised daughter-in-law that “the weather is never going to be right.” How right she was! So what do you do to survive in the tough years – which include every one of the last 4 years here in the East? Mary-Howell says it takes the right attitude, diversification ... and calm, creative thinking, not panic.


Letter from NY


Dealing with over-abundance:
mid-summer at Harmony Valley CSA

What you DON’T put in your box may be as important as what you do. And having other markets that can absorb overproduction are essential.
  CSA Notebook

Nuts & Bolts & Dreams: A beginners’ guide to farming

Veggie Farmers’ Marketing 101
Be clean. Price fairly. Don’t discount. And use every opportunity to educate, educate, educate.




Beginning farmers

One Farm to Another

All my trials, Lord...
The wheat’s pretty much a loss, the oats lodged, the weeds are having a field day and the leaf hoppers worked over the alfalfa and potatoes. But on the bright side...
  One Farm to Another

Grassroots OPX
Take a look at what farmers are getting for their goods at farmer's markets across the country. This week: 7 markets. And thanks again to all the readers who have helped us with this venture.


Grassroots OPX



Just say no to drugged meat
The unnecessary feeding of antibiotics to livestock is helping sustain questionable industry practices and contributing to antibiotic-resistance. Act now: support legislation stopping this needless practice.


Antibiotic ban

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