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How a Kiva Zip Loan Can Help Small Farms

This blog post was written by Sarah Tait of Kiva Zip and Alan Haight of Riverhill Farm.

Kiva Zip is a nonprofit located in San Francisco, California, that offers 0% interest loans up to $5,000 to financially excluded entrepreneurs who lack access to traditional sources of capital. Kiva Zip is actively looking for small farms and food producers that could benefit from their program.

Innovative Certified Organic Seed Technology Now Available for Organic Growers

For growers producing organic baby leaf crops, the spread of bacterial diseases can be rapid with devastating results. Additionally, harvesting clean, organic, pathogen-free seed is another challenge for both seed producers and growers. Short of discarding the seed or accepting a decline in harvest quality, organic growers have few viable options to recover their crop once it is infected with bacterial diseases.

It's a Family Tradition

CCOF’s annual membership meeting will take place at the top of a series of anniversary events – Celebrating Forty Years of Growing Organic Agriculture. The meeting will be held 9:00–10:00 a.m. this Wednesday, January 23, in the Kiln Room at the Asilomar Conference Center in Pacific Grove, California. This meeting is an opportunity for CCOF members to meet with each other, CCOF staff, and board members to let us know what’s on your mind (there will be an open microphone!), so please join us!

Massa Organics: Sustainability Hits Home

Massa rice house

Massa Organics has had an incredible journey to sustainability. It began shortly after college when Greg Massa and his wife, Racquel Krach, returned to Greg’s family rice farm. They utilized their tropical ecology background to prime themselves for their next venture: organic farming.

New USDA Microloans Expand Small Farm Finance Options

This post was written by Val Dolcini, State Executive Director of the USDA Farm Service Agency in California

New “Farmers’ Guide” Helps Organic Producers Apply for Buffer Initiative

On May 13, 2016, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) announced the publication of their Organic Farmers’ Guide to the Conservation Reserve Program Field Border Buffer Initiative. The guide is intended to assist organic farmers interested in accessing the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) new Organic Buffer Initiative, and is one of many free resources produced by NSAC for farmers and farm groups.

OFRF Researches Organic Suppression Methods for Soil-Borne Plant Pathogens

The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) is currently working on a project that could assist organic farmers in seed treatment. Conventional farming practices that focus on chemical treatment and fumigation can be harmful to both the environment and humans alike, and many of these methods are prohibited in organic production. OFRF is expanding on the work of prior studies that found suppression of soil-borne plant pathogens from microbes present in solid and liquid organic soil amendments.

Organic Buffer Plantings Eligible for Conservation Payments

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced that new buffer plantings around organic fields are eligible for rental payments and cost-share if they are enrolled in 10-15 year conservation contracts.

Part of the Continuous Conservation Reserve Program (CCRP), the new organic option is open for sign-up throughout the year and is not subject to bidding and ranking processes. Instead, land is enrolled automatically if it qualifies for the program.

Organic Seed Resources Available for Farmers and Certifiers

In the past, it was a challenge for many organic farmers to source organic seed. Fortunately, there are now a number of resources available to make it easier for farmers to find organic seed or to produce it themselves.

Organic Strawberries Celebrated by California Assembly Resolution

California state Assembly Members Susan Eggman and Luis Alejo introduced a resolution on April 21 celebrating National Strawberry Month, which will begin May 1 and continue throughout the month. The resolution has passed the Assembly and is headed to the Senate.

The resolution’s language includes as one of its “whereas”es that “California grows more strawberries than any other place in the world, … and more organic strawberries than all 49 other states combined.”

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