It may be the sultry dog days of summer throughout much of the United
States, but more than 700 NewFarm.org readers were energetic enough
to respond to our reader survey during the past two months.
Alert reader Abby Myers
of Bodega, California, was the first to submit her answers—and
the first to receive her set of classic soils booklets from the
editors of the former New Farm magazine. She’s part
of a cooperative farm raising potatoes and sheep, which is starting
to diversify into organic fruit and other vegetables in an effort
to develop a local market. We’re sending out the booklet sets
to nine other respondents with our thanks to all who took the time
to write in.
The top states in survey returns were Pennsylvania (66), California
(33), Ohio (31), New York (28) and Washington (23), also with 19
each from Illinois, Iowa, Texas and Wisconsin. We’ll be sorting
through your comments in the weeks ahead to find out how we can
serve you better.
What’s working where you are?
Our Canadian book reviewer for this issue found her title to be
rather short on hard-hitting “how-to” tips for improving
the vitality of local food systems. Our friends in Iowa have important
things to say about the challenges that lie ahead for local food
systems there, but we want to cast a broader net. Help us to find
out who is active this summer in your region, and how they have
been successful in promoting new food connections between farmers,
buyers and eaters in ways that are socially as well as economically
One example: The one-year anniversary edition of Local
Mix, a consumer-focused e-newsletter from Real People Eat Local,
the colorful and creative communications project of two metro-Washington,
D.C., local-food advocates dedicated to creating durable links with
the region’s farmers. Who would be their parallel in your
neck of the woods?
Cows are gone, but not forgotten.
We’re privileged, this month to be able to share the self-told
story of a former dairy farmer, a youngish man with enough passion
to dive into cow-care on a recycled farm two years ago, enough good
sense to hold auction this past June and enough compassion for other
beginners to be willing to humbly share his mistakes and hard-earned
What a great day we had in July for
our 2007 field day. It was truly wonderful to see
so many folks turn out for a day on our farm. You can get a quick
overview in our slideshow of field tours, speakers and farmer panels.
Reminder: Do whatever
you can today—or at least this week—to take the in-season
photos of crops, people and farmscapes that you would give anything
to have next winter.
PS, Central Pennsylvania fans:
NewFarm.org staff will be on-hand at the Boalsburg
Farmers’ Market, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, September
4, at the Military Museum parking lot along Route 322. We will
be joining the Eat
Well Guided Tour of America at its only stop in Pennsylvania,
hosted by PASA
(Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture). We will
have help in our heirloom tomato tasting-and-rating from the Slow
Food Convivium of Central Pennsylvania. See you there!