Blog posts by Guest Blogger

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, October 19, 2020 on CCOF Foundation, financial assistance, general organic

 The first “gigafire” in  California  in decades, a single wildfire has reached a stunning size of more than 1 million acres, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. This record-breaking fire has destroyed homes, farms, and farmlands, and has displaced families and animals from their habitats. A community in the direct path of these angry wildfires is our fellow organic farmers, who already operate on razor-thin margins. This has been an extraordinary year with  organic farmers being hit with twofold challenges: first from the COVID-19 pandemic and now the...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, October 19, 2020 on events, general organic

Are you interested in planting hedgerows of native plants on you farm, but aren’t quite sure how to get started? The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) is currently offering free consultations and free plants to California farmers interested in planting hedgerows on their land.  Whether you are looking to provide habitat for beneficial insects such as pollinators, predators, and parasites, establish a windbreak, or plant a vegetative buffer at the edge of your property, NCAT can help you select the most appropriate plants for your hedgerow and give you tips on hedgerow planting...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, October 6, 2020 on crisis resilience, general organic, marketing

With many people working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we increasingly display the backdrop of our lives during business meetings on Zoom. No matter how we try to put our best faces forward, it is inevitable that your home life will now slip into your work, like your kid coming over to discuss their bodily functions while you are in the middle of an important meeting. Whether we try to hide it or not, life is messy! Everyone can relate as we adapt to our new COVID-19 reality.  Transparent marketing is a relatively new concept that aligns well with our current moment where the lines...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, October 6, 2020 on crisis resilience, general organic, producer

Many state and local areas continue to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and may otherwise be unable to meet certain crop insurance policy requirements due to concerns of spreading COVID-19. Beginning in March, the USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA) began issuing Manager’s Bulletins to provide program flexibilities in response to COVID-19. Recognizing the industry, farmers and ranchers continue to face challenges, RMA remains committed to providing flexibility that supports the health and safety of all parties, while also ensuring the Federal Crop Insurance Program continues to serve as a...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, September 21, 2020 on education, general organic

OFRF’s free beginning farmer training program for organic specialty crop farmers in California is now available. This online training program is for beginning farmers, existing organic farmers, and farmers in transition to organic production. While it was developed for California specialty crop farmers, the content is based on foundational principles that are relevant to all organic farmers and our hope is that growers across the United States find it to be a useful resource.  The program contains six learning modules: 1) soil health, 2) weed management, 3) irrigation and water management, 4...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, September 21, 2020 on crisis resilience, general organic

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) today announced that the counties of Kings, Riverside and Tulare will participate in Housing for the Harvest, a program announced by Governor Gavin Newsom in July to provide temporary hotel housing options for farm and food processing employees to self-isolate if they are COVID-19 positive and do not require hospitalization, or have been exposed and cannot properly self-isolate at home. Six counties are now participating in Housing for the Harvest: Kings, Riverside, Tulare, Santa Barbara, Fresno, and San Joaquin. The state is securing...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, September 21, 2020 on crisis resilience, general organic

El Departamento de Alimentos y Agricultura de California (CDFA) anunció hoy que los condados de Kings, Riverside y Tulare participarán en Housing for the Harvest, un programa anunciado por el gobernador Gavin Newsom en julio para brindar opciones de alojamiento temporal en hoteles. para que los empleados de granjas y procesamiento de alimentos se autoaislen si son COVID-19 positivos y no requieren hospitalización, o han estado expuestos y no pueden aislarse adecuadamente en casa. Seis condados participan ahora en Housing for the Harvest: Kings, Riverside, Tulare, Santa Barbara, Fresno y San...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, September 21, 2020 on education, general organic, pests and pesticides, survey

Going directly to those hurt most by the devastating citrus greening disease, researchers are asking organic citrus growers and other organic stakeholders to help them develop a holistic research program in their fight against the ruinous disease. Citrus greening disease has been decimating domestic citrus in the United States over the past decade, and organic growers have been hit especially hard with few effective tools to control the disease. A research team led by the University of Florida is collaborating with The Organic Center; University of California, Riverside; a number of organic...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, August 4, 2020 on general organic

The Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model has seen a resurgence since COVID-19. This mutually beneficial relationship provides the community with fresh harvested produce each week, supports the farmer with funds at the beginning of the season for growing their crops to harvest, and gives farmers the peace of mind knowing their crops are sold. The traditional CSA model requires the customer to pay in advance for a “share” in the farmer’s crops, over a period of 4 weeks, 12 weeks, or the full season.  During the pandemic, a CSA can be a good way to connect with your customers and be a...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, August 4, 2020 on advocacy, education, general organic, grower

A new technical but approachable guide developed by the Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS) at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) offers small- and medium-scale organic growers valuable information on organic and sustainable seedling production. The 20-page guide describes how to effectively and efficiently grow vegetable and flower seedlings for organic operations using environmentally responsible practices. It offers an overview of greenhouse structures and basic cultural requirements and environmental management techniques to optimize germination and...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, August 4, 2020 on biodiversity, general organic

What strategies do you implement in order to respond to climate change impacts? What regulations or programs have you found encourage or discourage you responding to the changes you face? My family’s involvement in agriculture through the dairy industry has long shown me that our farmers and farmland are essential to the livelihood of California and its people. A driving force of my research is to understand how climate change impacts agriculture, how the farmers involved in these businesses respond to those impacts through their actions, and why farmers make the decisions they do regarding...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, July 28, 2020 on general organic

Healthy PlanEat is a new sustainable food startup based in Southeastern Connecticut which exists to connect people to local farms that use sustainable growing practices. Are you interested in creating an online presence and helping customers conveniently pre-order food from your farm? Using Healthy PlanEat, you can easily upload inventory, set distribution options, and manage incoming orders from local individuals and wholesale buyers. Local customers can find your farm and place an order to pick up at the farm, farmers’ market, pop-up location, or get delivery if that’s a service you’d like...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, July 7, 2020 on advocacy, biodiversity, education, general organic

California’s newly approved 2020-2021 budget bears almost no resemblance to its rosy origins back in January, as we continue to weather the public health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there is one bright spot in the otherwise mixed outlook: the legislature approved Governor Gavin Newsom’s proposal to create a $10 million California Farm-to-School program, which includes about $8.5 million in school grants as well as $1.5 million for sustained staffing at the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Office of Farm to Fork to implement the program in the...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, June 29, 2020 on CCOF, crisis resilience, general organic, marketing

If there has been anything I have learned from experiencing the response to the COVID-19 pandemic these past few months, it is how amazing my farming community has been in rising up to meet the needs of their community and supporting each other. We make up truly important, interconnected food webs within the local food shed. We may grow different crops, but we all have a strong work ethic and the desire to feed people local food. I believe it is crucial that we see our farmer peers not as competition, but as collaborators working towards the same goal. There is plenty to go around. We are...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, June 23, 2020 on food safety, general organic, survey

To better understand produce industry’s education and training needs on topics related to cleaning and sanitizing, the Western Regional Center to Enhance Food Safety invites you to take a short survey. It should take approximately 10 minutes to complete. The survey is a collaboration among Oregon State University - Western Regional Center to Enhance Food Safety, United Fresh Produce Association, Produce Marketing Association, National Farmers Union, and the Food & Drug Administration’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN).  The results of the survey will help guide the...

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