Blog posts by education

Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, May 3, 2021 on CCOF Foundation, education, events, organic training institute


Livestock

Join the CCOF Foundation and EcoFarm on May 18 for a webinar that dives into the details of the organic labeling requirements for organic meat producers, including marketing strategies for organic livestock producers who don’t have access to certified organic slaughter facilities. Expect to learn about marketing tips from successful organic meat producers, organic labeling requirements from organic certification experts, and state-wide efforts in California to address the lack of certified organic slaughter facilities.Organic regulations and labeling requirements are intended to foster...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, April 5, 2021 on education


Greenhouse seedlings

Extending your farm’s production season—either by getting a jump on an early harvest or by continuing into the winter months—is a great way to bring additional income to the farm. Both early-season or late-season extensions are worth considering. However, if you can offer spring and summer crops before other farms, you will reap more of the benefits. Customers drawn to your early produce are more likely to stick with your stand throughout the entire season. It is much harder to get customers to shop with you once they have already found another source they like. Customers are more excited to...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, March 15, 2021 on CCOF Foundation, education, food safety, organic training institute


FSMA

Join the CCOF Foundation, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) on March 23 for a webinar that will provide updates on the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule.As of January 2020, farms with more than $25,000 in annual produce sales need to comply with the federal FSMA Produce Safety Rule. The March 23 webinar will provide a brief overview of the three legal classifications for farms: fully exempt, qualified exempt (partially exempt), and fully covered (full compliance required). Presenters from CAFF and the FDA’s...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, March 15, 2021 on education, events


soil

The California Farm Demonstration Network (CDFN) is hosting a four-part series about California soils. This series will feature four speakers, each with extensive knowledge of California agriculture and soils. Speakers will cover various topics, including composting, orchard recycling, soil sampling, testing for microbial dynamics, and more.PART 1 | March 24, 2021 | 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.“What happens to soil properties when you add compost or cover crop?”Meeting RegistrationPART 2 | April 21, 2021 | 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.“What are the benefits of whole orchard recycling, including disease...
Written by Laetitia Benador on Monday, March 8, 2021 on education


The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) new Farm to School Grant Program, released in January 2021, brings welcome news to organic fields and public school lunchrooms alike. With a declared purpose of encouraging schools to buy from small and medium-sized farms, farms using climate-smart practices, and from Latinx, Black, Indigenous, and other farmers of color, this program does more than just feed children: it seeks to ensure their futures are resilient and equitable.The program recognizes that organic, transitioning to organic, and certified 100 percent grassfed...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, March 1, 2021 on CCOF Foundation, education


collaboration

In my last blog, Delegating Responsibilities to Lighten Your Workload, I discussed strategies for handing off tasks to employees to allow for personal time or exciting work projects.With my extra time, I like to cultivate creative collaborations with other food businesses. These mutually beneficial relationships increase marketing exposure and income for both businesses.Typically, these collaborations arise organically. For instance, I have excess blueberries, and a fellow business owner who I know from the farmers' market makes a product that can utilize blueberries.Benefits of...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Tuesday, February 16, 2021 on CCOF Foundation, education, organic training institute


CCOF now has a YouTube channel! If you are curious to learn how to run a socially distanced drive-through farm stand, get the latest on sustainable produce packaging, or find out what it takes for an organic farmer to get certified as Biodynamic, search no further than CCOF’s YouTube channel.The channel hosts all of the CCOF Foundation’s previous webinars, including topics on organic recordkeeping, food safety for produce growers, and farm business management.Subscribe to the channel to get the latest information on timely topics for organic producers.
Written by Jane Sooby on Tuesday, February 16, 2021 on education, grower

As regional agricultural orders mandate more rigorous nutrient and irrigation management, fine-tuning nitrogen applications is an increasingly important skill for organic growers.To help address this challenge, University of California Cooperative Extension specialists are offering a three-part online workshop, Practical Training on Nitrogen Management in Organic Production of Vegetables and Strawberries, which will be held the first three Tuesdays in March from 9-11 a.m.Over the three sessions, experts will discuss sources of nitrogen and their roles in organic soil fertility and the...
Written by Jane Sooby on Tuesday, February 16, 2021 on education, grower

An Organic Agriculture Seminar Series for Growers is offered via Zoom on Tuesdays from 12-1 p.m., now through May 4.University of California Cooperative Extension Small Farms and organic advisor Margaret Lloyd have organized the series aimed at providing useful information on organic topics for growers.Each seminar features a guest speaker and a group conversation with questions from the audience. No pre-registration is required. The Zoom meeting link is the same each week.The series began on January 26 of this year with a talk on biochar. Recordings of past seminars, written summaries, and...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, December 7, 2020 on education, general organic, webinar

Are you a farmer or prospective farmer in inland Southern California who wants to learn more about organic farming methods and regulations? Attend the free Zoom workshop, Introduction to Small Scale Organic Farming, on December 15, 2020, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., taught by the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) and the University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE).  Topics include UC ANR Sustainable Agriculture Research and Extension Program (SAREP) Goals and Resources (Gail Feenstra, director),UC ANR Organic Agriculture Institute (OAI) Goals...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, November 2, 2020 on education, farmers markets, organic training institute, webinar


Join the CCOF Foundation on November 17 for a webinar that highlights the innovative ways farms and local food businesses like restaurants, bakeries, and candymakers have joined forces to support each other and pivot marketing in light of COVID-19 restrictions. Unprecedented times call for creative measures. Gain tips from two farms that have partnered with food businesses to expand their marketing and support their communities during the pandemic. In the first half of the webinar, hear about Soil Born Farms’ drive-through farm stand. Started after COVID-19 stay-at-home orders went into...
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 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 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 Lulu Garcia on Tuesday, August 4, 2020 on advocacy, education, general organic, grower

Una nueva guía técnica, pero accesible, desarrollada por el Centro de Agroecología y Sistemas Alimentarios Sostenibles (CASFS), en la Universidad de California en Santa Cruz (UCSC), ofrece a los agricultores orgánicos a pequeña y mediana escala, información valiosa sobre la producción orgánica y sostenible de plántulas.   La guía de 20 páginas, describe cómo cultivar, de manera efectiva y eficiente, plántulas de hortalizas y flores para granjas orgánicas, utilizando prácticas ambientalmente responsables. Además, ofrece una visión general sobre las estructuras de invernadero y los requisitos...

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