Blog posts by Guest Blogger

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, January 11, 2021 on

I don’t know about you, but, like most of my farmer friends, I’m looking forward to a winter break where production naturally slows or stops and the constant farm workload is reduced. As farmers, we juggle so much. There typically isn’t any time or energy left for thinking about how we could have done better until winter provides us the opportunity. One thing I love about farming is that every year there is an opportunity to make changes and redesign my business. Not many other professions allow for such creativity and challenge. At the end of the season, I reflect on how I feel about farming...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, December 22, 2020 on events, general organic

The 41st EcoFarm Conference, Reimagining Our Future, will be live online in collaboration with Sierra Harvest, Jan 20–23, 2021, featuring over 50 workshops, intensives, keynotes, Spanish content, a virtual expo, networking, special events, and more! Using a farmer-to-farmer education model, EcoFarm is an essential networking and educational hub for ecologically minded farmers, ranchers, and all who support their success in growing a healthy and just food system and world. Register by Tuesday, December 15 with code reimagine and save $30! There's something for everyone at EcoFarm Conference....
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, December 14, 2020 on


Farm cat

The bright spot in coronavirus-and-smoke summer was the surprise appearance of a feline family in our backyard. The first things I noticed about Nefertiti were her wide, crazy-looking eyes and her boldness; she came right up to the door and craned her neck to look in, even putting a paw in the sliding doorways of the living room and my brother’s bedroom on a couple of occasions. She seemed wilder than the two orange cats who had visited the prior two summertimes since I had moved to Pinole, a small city with a semirural feel in the eastern part of the San Francisco Bay Area. I soon recognized...
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 Guest Blogger on Monday, November 23, 2020 on events, general organic

The Real Organic Project celebrates nearly 500 farms nationwide and is expanding its educational efforts this winter by inviting farmers and students to attend their Virtual Symposium each Sunday in January from 12 p.m. - 2 p.m. PST at a reduced rate, or to view the recorded sessions for free. The 2021 symposium, titled “Can Real Organic Farming Be Saved?” features over 60 leading voices in sustainable agriculture and food, including Al Gore, Vandana Shiva, Leah Penniman, Paul Hawkin, Chanowk Yisrael, JM Fortier, Elliot Coleman, and Dan Barber. Did you know California is the third highest...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, November 2, 2020 on CCOF Foundation, food safety, funding

Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-Carmel Valley) announced a $318,300 federal grant for the CCOF Foundation in Santa Cruz, California. The CCOF Foundation will use the USDA-awarded grant to lead a multi-state initiative to support organic food processors through food safety compliance training and education.“When Congress passed the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) in 2011, it unintentionally left some of our small and mid-scale organic processors without the resources to live up to the standards of this law,” said Congressman Panetta. “When the federal government enacts legislation to keep...
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...

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