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Hello. It may be the sultry dog days of summer throughout much of the United States, but more than 700 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 profitable.

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 wisdom.

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.

Farm on.
Greg Bowman

Managing Editor

PS, Central Pennsylvania fans: 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!


Fresh today from The New Farm®

Bootstrapping the organic market for NZ lamb
In 20 years of raising organic lamb in New Zealand's Wairarapa region, Ian and Heather Atkinson have seen—and helped shape—the market's evolution from export niche to emerging local staple.

Local food networks reflect progress and potential
At the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture's 20th anniversary celebration, discussion swirls around supporting the blossoming connections between local consumers and local farmers.
Strategic thinking
In New Zealand, domestic demand for organics is catching up with overseas markets while supply struggles to keep pace. Now a new outreach program aims to boost production tenfold by 2013.
The end of farming for me, for now
A people-loving storyteller in an area lacking basic farm-supports tells why his short, valiant effort to be an organic dairyman ended in a total auction to pay off his debts.

book review The End of Food
Less nutritious and more toxic
A farmer-writer-raconteur documents the destruction of good food, but falters in showing the surging efforts of those who are working to do things right.

Reader Mail
This month features questions and answers about micro farming, roosters, grants and loans and more.


News & Views
Raw-milk market booms despite barriers...Resistance mounts to almond fumigation...Crops absorb antibiotics through manure...Online map shows factory farm details...NC legislature bans new hog waste lagoons...Chefs say local, organic are top trends... Organic food boosts quality of mother’s milk... Autism linked to prenatal pesticide exposure.

letter from ontario
Replacing imports with local food
Quiet leadership with solid proposals lead to real impact.


at the rodale institute®
intern journal
Rodale Institute intern offers perspective on values, culture and priorities following Peace Corps stint in Mali.
Yes, Africa can feed itself—through a sustainable agriculture revolution
Building soil—not importing more inputs—will be the best way for this bio-diverse continent to improve its food security.
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