Blog posts by Guest Blogger

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, December 3, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, financial assistance


Left photo: Me, spending my Saturday mornings selling our produce at the Davis Farmers’ Market. My parents and fellow graduate students founded the market in 1976. Right photo: My parents, Kathleen Barsotti and Martin Barnes, strolling the farm. They were early visionaries of an organic revolution. When I was a kid in the mid-1980s, my parents, my brothers, and I would wake up before dawn on Saturday morning, load the blue van with whatever seasonal produce we had harvested the day before, and head to the Davis Farmers’ Market. During the summers we grew amazing melons, and our dad taught us...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, December 3, 2018 on advocacy, education, events

Organic vegetable and strawberry production are vital parts of agricultural on the Central Coast. There have been many changes over the years in the scale of production, but there continue to be challenges in soil fertility. The University of California Cooperative Extension, Monterey County and the Vegetable Research and Information Center at the University of California, Davis are presenting a short course that pulls together recent research on soil fertility management for organic vegetable and strawberry production. The course is intended to provide information to help growers and...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, November 19, 2018 on advocacy, biodiversity, CalCAN, events, policy

 The sixth California Climate & Agriculture Summit kicks off on Monday, March 4 with tours of innovative, climate-friendly farms in Yolo County. On Tuesday, March 5, we will convene for a day-long conference followed by a festive evening in celebration of 10 years of advocacy and leadership by the California Climate & Agriculture Network (CalCAN). Join us to: Explore the latest science, policy, and practice of climate-friendly farming in California. Network with a diverse group of leading growers, researchers, policymakers, agricultural professionals, and advocates. Engage in a robust...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, November 5, 2018 on advocacy, financial assistance, grants

Win up to $10,000 for your farm  Local produce distributors, in partnership with PRO*ACT, are inviting qualifying farms to apply for Cultivating Change Grants to pay for certification costs, marketing, infrastructure projects, and capacity building. With a total of $85,000 available for farms looking to fund new and innovative projects, these grants seek to promote a culture of sustainability in the fresh food supply chain by encouraging innovation and environmentalism to local farms nationwide.   2017 winner Arizona Microgreens used their $5,000 grant for a germination chamber, optimizing...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, October 29, 2018 on advocacy, events, general organic

Sponsorship opportunities are available for The Organic Center’s 16th Annual Benefit Dinner on March 6, 2019! Make your commitment now to maximize the return on your sponsorship. This can't-miss event is the biggest all-organic dinner and premier executive-level networking event at Natural Products Expo West. Hundreds of organic visionaries, activists, and businesses come together to enjoy an organic feast and raise money to support the latest science on the environmental and health benefits of organic food and farming. Your sponsorship supports the critical work of The Organic Center and it...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, October 22, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, education, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


Myra & Drew with Earthbound Truck

Earthbound Farm founders Myra and Drew Goodman were fresh out of college when they decided to move to the Salinas Valley. With the intention of taking a year off before entering the “real” world, Myra and Drew agreed to clean up the farm on which they lived in exchange for free rent.  The Goodmans were shocked to discover that part of maintaining the farm was adhering to a strict chemical spray schedule to keep the raspberries free of pests. They saw this and thought, “This is how our food is made?”  When Myra and Drew realized that the fruits and vegetables they eat were being treated with...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, October 15, 2018 on biodiversity, education, events, general organic

California Marine Sanctuary Foundation and Hedgerows Unlimited will host a workshop to demonstrate how to plant hedgerows and to outline their benefits on November 10, 2018, from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.   Hedgerows provide habitats for beneficial insects and pollinators, serve as windbreaks and visual barriers, sequester carbon, and protect against soil erosion. Beneficial insects attracted by hedgerows can reduce pests and sometimes increase crop and forage growth and yield.  Hedgerows also can produce crops, such as lavender, persimmon, nuts, and/or flowers.   The free workshop and planting...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, October 8, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, education, events, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, general organic


Rhyne Cureton

Rhyne Cureton, a 2018 CCOF Foundation Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund recipient, has joined the agenda of speakers for the 2018 “We Are Organic” Dinner at the Organic Grower Summit on December 12 in Monterey, California. Cureton was born in rural Monroe, North Carolina but has lived most of his life in the metropolitan city of Charlotte. His family is two generations removed from agriculture. At an early age, Cureton realized a great disconnect between modern agricultural practices and nature. Later at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (a land-grant university),...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, October 2, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, policy

Assembly Bill 2377, authored by Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks), was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown earlier today. This bill funds technical assistance for farmers and ranchers seeking to transition to Climate Smart Agriculture. “As California continues to lead the way in climate change, it’s imperative that we assist all industries so that they adopt practices that will help achieve our climate goals,” said Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin. “I’m grateful that the governor saw the need to improve these programs as a vital piece of hitting our climate objectives.” California...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, August 27, 2018 on biodiversity, general organic, member news

I was lucky enough visit Whisky Hill Farms and Blume Distillation this summer. I was blown away by the scope of this 14-acre certified organic farm. Not only are they the largest producer of domestic Turmeric, but they provide answers to the food waste dilemma by producing high grade commercial alcohol. I soon learned that everything that comes from the distillery goes right back into the farm! This is the second of a two-part blog focused on food waste.   Composting in place After learning about the distillery, we came upon a prodigious mound of traditional looking compost, but this one held...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, August 27, 2018 on general organic, research

As part of our efforts to develop a biological control program for bagrada bug, the laboratory of Dr. Brian Hogg at the USDA in Albany, California, is seeking sites for bagrada bug research.  We would be interested to hear about bagrada bug infestations anywhere in California. Any cole crop fields or weed patches that are currently infested with bagrada bug would work for our purposes. We are investigating whether native predators or parasitic wasps attack bagrada bug eggs. We would put out frozen bagrada bug eggs (dead, so there is no possibility of spreading the bug around) on index cards...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, August 20, 2018 on biodiversity, general organic, member news


Dave

I’ve been to a lot of farms in my day but have never witnessed one so profoundly bent on creating a closed loop symbiotic system as Whisky Hill Farms. This 14-acre CCOF certified organic farm cultivates tropical plants, heirloom vegetables and biorefined high grade commercial alcohol!   I met David Blume, part innovative farmer and part mad scientist on a midsummer day. I had the opportunity to have my mind blown several times that day touring his farm and distillery.  This is the first of a two-part blog which will focus on food waste and Blume Distillation.  No Such thing as wasteBlume...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, July 31, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, policy


State Board President Don Cameron, left, next to Governor Brown and CDFA Secreatary Karen Ross. Other meeting attendees included Rob Yraceburu, Wonderful Orchards LLC; Carolyn Wasem, Jackson Familiy Wines; David Ahlem, Hilmar Cheese Company; Dan Sumner, UC Ag Issues Center; Mike Gallo, Joseph Gallo Farms; Aaron Lange, Lange Twins; Jonathan Hoff, Monte Vista Farming; Frank Muller, Muller Ranch; Rayne Thompson, Sunkist Growers and Fruit Growers Supply Company and Paul Wenger, Wenger Ranch. CDFA Secretary Karen Ross and State Board of Food and Agriculture President Don Cameron joined a group of...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, July 23, 2018 on biodiversity, financial assistance, funding

The state of California is offering $57 million in grants to help the food processing industry cut emissions and energy use. “This type of support not only helps the industry reduce operating costs and greenhouse gas emissions, but it helps the industry remain competitive so jobs associated with food production remain in California,” said California Energy Commission Chairman Robert Weisenmiller in a news release. Food processing is one of largest users of energy in California, according to the California Energy Commission. That use included 7 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity and 500...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, July 16, 2018 on advocacy, biodiversity, general organic

Greenpeace USA launched a campaign in January 2018 to protect California’s climate and combat the impacts of climate change. As we know, California is a unique state, especially in its important role as a major source of the nation’s food—the food that farmers help bring to our tables every day. The state’s farming community has been highly affected by our changing climate and experiences the negative consequences firsthand, from increased wildfires, mudslides, and smog, to more severe droughts and rising sea levels. Greenpeace understands that we must support our farmers and the agricultural...

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