Catch the premier of a new documentary, The Call of the Land, tomorrow, February 20, 2016 at the Maryland Organic Food and Farming Association Winter Meeting.
Courtney Buchholtz is one of the Montgomery County farmers featured in the new documentary film, Call of the Land created by high school students, Allie Goldman and Danielle Roche.
Created by high school students, Danielle Roche, and Allie Goldman, the Call of The Land is a documentary aiming to recognize and share how rewarding one of America’s least desired and most misunderstood careers is; farming. As the US population continues to age, so does the average age of the American farmer. Now, more than ever, America is in need of next generation farmers.
The new film will be shown at 10:30. Meet the creators of the film and Caroline Taylor, Executive Director of Montgomery Countyside Alliance.
The MOFFA Winter Meeting is shaping up to be a great meeting. It runs from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, February 20, 2016, at the Maryland Department of Agriculture in Annapolis, Maryland. There will be information for farmers and gardeners in search of new ideas, techniques, & inspiration, as well as networking opportunities for consumers and distributors looking for good sources of local, organic food. For more information about the MOFFA Winter Meeting, please visit the Events Page.
According to the US Agricultural Census roughly 6100 of 3.2 million are black female farmers. And the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics reports only 3600 of 89,000 Registered Dietitians-Nutritionists are black women are among their ranks. Yet one in 4 African-American women older than 55 has diabetes. And more women must become producers of their destiny vs. bystanders to their death.
That’s why investing in women and girls, we build local economies, improve the community’s health and build confidence in them to aspire for change. To this end, NativSol is kick starting WANDA– an initiative to encourage, engage and empower women & girls to advance their education and leadership in agriculture, nutrition and dietetics.
Tambra Raye Stevenson, MS Founder/Nutritionist NATIVSOL KITCHEN, come back home Washington, DC, will open the Maryland Organic Food and Farming Association Winter Meeting in Annapolis, Maryland on February 20, 2016. In this presentation you will learn why it’s an imperative to invest and how to support the movement. This workshop share the opportunity and the movement creation process of improving the food system with women leaders as change agents.
Tambra Raye has beenHonored as the 2014 “Nutrition Hero” by Food & Nutrition Magazine, she is an inspiring speaker, nutrition justice advocate, and consultant. The award-winning Tufts-trained health communicator has emerged as a media source for NBC’s The Grio, WHUR-FM, Huff Post, Washington Post, Sirius XM Radio, NBC Nightly News, BET.com, TheRoot.com, and New America Media.
She has spoken at the U.S. Library of Congress, U.S. Department of Agriculture, W,K, Kellogg Foundation, Howard University, John Jay College, African Immigrant Refugee Foundation, American Public Health Association, and National Association of Black Journalists.
In 2014 Tambra was selected as National Geographic Traveler Magazine’s Traveler of the Year for her passion of finding her Fulani roots in Niger and Nigeria and purpose of promoting health of African heritage foods. As the founder of NATIVSOL KITCHEN, she was shortlisted by the Olusegun Obasanjo Foundation as a Young African Leaders Summit delegate in Ethiopia during the African Union Summit to speak on youth employment in Africa related to food security and agriculture.
Coming from a family of healers, she develops cultural and faith-based nutrition and wellness programs. She is the founding member of the DC Mayor’s Office on African Affairs’ Health Education Planning Committee. She serves on the Mission Committee for the American Heart Association and community leadership board for the American Diabetes Association. She created the culinary ministry at Saint Teresa of Avila Roman Catholic Church to address the intersection of faith, food and justice and teaches faith-based nutrition.
She is an advisor for Oldways Preservation Trust’s African Heritage and Health Program and leads the health committee for the NAACP DC Branch and serves on the DC Dept of Health’s diabesity committee. Tambra holds a bachelor’s degree in Human Nutrition/premedical sciences and a Spanish minor at Oklahoma State University and completed her dietetic internship from Dominican University. On the David Boren National Security Scholarship, she studied and practiced community health at Ponticifia Universidad Catolica Madre y Maestra in Dominican Republic. She is a 2013 Echoing Green Fellowship semi-finalist.
The MOFFA Winter Meeting runs from 8:00 am to 5:oo pm, February 20, 2016, at the Maryland Department of Agriculture in Annapolis, Maryland.There will be information for farmers and gardeners in search of new ideas, techniques, & inspiration, as well as networking opportunities for consumers and distributors looking for good sources of local, organic food. For more information about the MOFFA Winter Meeting, please visit the Events Page.
At the upcoming Maryland Organic Food and Farming Association 2016 Winter Meeting, Dorn Cox, PhD, will discuss crowd sourcing farm tools and technology.
Dorn Cox is a founding member of the Farm Hack community, executive director for GreenStart, and a farmer working Tuckaway Farm,his 250-acre a multi-generational organic family farm in Lee, New Hampshire with his wife, Sarah, and two boys.
His participatory research focuses on collaborative open source research and development for regenerative agricultural systems. He is a co-founder of the FarmOS software platform and he has developed and shared systems for small-scale grain and oil seeds processing, biofuel production, no-till and low-till equipment and cover crop systems to increase carbon capture and soil health.
Dorn is also a founding member of the New England Farmers’ Union, the Great Bay Grain Cooperative, and the Oyster River Biofuel Initiative. He was recognized in 2015 by that National Association of Conservation Districts as a Soil Health Champion and speaks regularly around the country about open agricultural knowledge exchange. He has a B.S. from Cornell University and a PhD from the University of New Hampshire in Natural Resources and Earth Systems Science.
Farm Hack is a worldwide community of farmers that build and modify their own tools. Farm Hack community shares tools online and at in-person events to improve farming and farm tools by working together. Dorn Cox will provide examples of tools for small scale production agriculture that draw on newly available technology, as well as upgrades of historic farm tools.
Dorn Cox will be presenting at the MOFFA Winter Meeting on February 20, 2016, at 2:30. His talk will provide the basic information about the Farm Hack methodology and how to participate using the on-line tools and incorporate it into in-person events.
The MOFFA Winter Meeting runs from 8:00 am to 5:pm. There will be information for farmers and gardeners in search of new ideas, techniques, & inspiration, as well as networking opportunities for consumers and distributors looking for good sources of local,
organic food. For more information about the MOFFA Winter Meeting, please visit the Events Page.
MOFFA, the Maryland Organic Food and Farming Association, announces its 25th Annual
Winter Meeting, on Saturday February 20, 2016, from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, at the Maryland
Department of Agriculture Building, 50 Harry S. Truman Parkway in Annapolis. The meeting is open to the public.
Go Back to the Future with Maryland Organic Food and Farming Association: Combining the old tried and true sustainable organic farming techniques with the latest science and research.
At this public meeting, you can join farmers, consumers, advocates, and researchers to:
● Learn how Maryland producers are going back to the roots of organic agriculture, and
beyond organic into the future.
● Add your voice to discussions about nutrition and agriculture, climate change, soil and
sustainable organic farming and gardening.
● Network with some of the pioneers of the organic food movement.
● Find a local CSA, Farmer’s Market, or organic food resource.
MOFFA Chairperson Holly Budd said, “Whether you are a consumer or distributor looking for good sources of local organic food, or a farmer or gardener in search of new ideas, techniques and inspiration, the MOFFA Winter Meeting has something for you.” The day will consist of presentations, panels , and workshops , including research talks by Extension and UMD researchers.
● Should bring a dish to share for the Potluck Lunch , one of the highlights of the meeting.
● Can bring seeds to exchange with the other participants in the MOFFA Seed Swap .
● Are encouraged to donate an item for the Auction to support MOFFA.
● Members may bring display materials and table space will be available in exchange for
auction item donations.
Registration is $20 for non-members and $5 for members. Membership is $25 for one year, $45 for two years and $12 for students. Registration is at the door or online. For more information, or to register online, go to marylandorganic.org.
Maryland Organic Food and Farming Association (MOFFA) was established in 1991 as a
non-profit organization. MOFFA strives to build a sustainable network of individuals and
organizations that support small farms, family gardens and ecologically sound businesses.
MOFFA founding member, Nick Maravell recently attended his last official meeting as a member of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) in Stowe, Vermont, as his five-year term comes to an end. Originally appointed by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Nick was one of four “farmers/growers” on the 15-member board, which serves as a federal-level advisory body to the National Organic Program (NOP). Technically, he remains in his seat until January 2016.
Over the years, Nick has attempted to represent the interests of organic family farmers. But his job has not always been easy, and many in the organic community have been frustrated by the influence of larger corporate organic interests on the body’s decision-making. Two of the four “farmer/growers” are corporate employees.
At the most recent meeting in Vermont, local farmers demonstrated in favor of the NOSB’s recent policy not to allow the organic label on soilless hydroponics. The USDA has not endorsed this policy and does appear to not prohibit labeling hydroponic food as organic at this time.
In addition, the Board reviewed over 100 “sunset” materials that are exceptions to the normal ban on using synthetics in organic food and farming. About 11 materials were successfully removed from the so-called “National List,” while Nick voted unsuccessfully to remove even more of these synthetics. USDA changed the rules for removing synthetics from the National List while Nick served on the Board. The new rules make it more difficult to remove synthetics. Had the original rules stayed in effect, more synthetics would have been removed at the recent board meeting.
Nick has enjoyed his opportunity to serve the organic community, and he looks forward to devoting his time back to the farm and to continuing his public advocacy for organic food and agriculture.
While much attention has been given to stopping global warming by reducing carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels, little attention has been given to the fact that even if we reduced carbon emissions to zero, the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere would still remain above 400 ppm and the devastation of global warming would continue. Only if the carbon dioxide concentration is brought down to 350 ppm or below will we be able to return to a comfortable climate again.
The Climate Stewards of Greater Annapolis is holding a program at the Annapolis Friends Meeting House on November 14, 2015. The mini-conference will address how the carbon dioxide concentration can be reduced.
By photosynthesis and fixing the carbon in the soil using organic agricultural systems, carbon dioxide concentration can be potentially reduced to 280 ppm in 16 years, even with continued emissions from burning fossil fuels, though reducing fossil fuel emissions would certainly help.
The key to increasing carbon fixation in the soil is restoring the micro organisms in the soil that convert some of the plant sugars (from photosynthesis) in the roots into humus, which permanently fix the carbon. Grazing animals on grasslands accelerates the process.
The organization providing the speakers for the program is Biodiversity for a Livable Climate. The D.C. Chapter is directed by Philip Bogdonoff. Biodiversity for a Livable Climate has presented other conferences on climate change, carbon sequestration, and organic farming, including, Tufts, Harvard Science Center , and University of the District of Columbia.
Face it. Most humans treat soil like. . .well dirt. At USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), there is a new urgency for people to know more about our soil, as good soil is disappearing due to erosion, compaction and loss of organic matter. NRCS has created a new Soil Health Division to focus on education. Maryland Organic Food and Farming Association (MOFFA) attendees were fortunate to have the Division’s new Chief, Dr. Bianca Moebius Clune, to be the featured speaker at their Winter Meeting.
Of course, organic farmers must know and appreciate the value of healthy soil. But without being able to use herbicides, most organic farmers have to till their soil. Dr. Clune says that intensive tillage is “like a little earthquake” for the soil. It breaks up soil structure, damages the biota, and can compact soil and reduce absorption. It can even affect pest management. For organic farmers, some tillage is inevitable to reduce weed pressure, but they can take actions to reduce the impact and they can monitor the conditions of the soil.
Dr. Clune provided information on how to take shovel tests to check for compaction and how to evaluate the roots for soil health and where to send your soil for testing to get a more complete analysis of soil condition, such as the Cornell Soil Health Assessment.
She urged farmers to get in touch with local NRCS offices for assistance and to be aware of the EQIP Organic Initiative that “provides financial assistance to implement a broad set of conservation practices to assist organic producers in addressing resource concerns including, but not limited to assistance with:
Developing a conservation plan
Establishing buffer zones
Planning and installing pollinator habitat
Improving soil quality and organic matter while minimizing erosion
Developing a grazing plan and supportive livestock practices
Improving irrigation efficiency
Enhancing cropping rotations and nutrient management”
We hope that the survey results will help all of us better understand the diversity, strength and potential of our region’s ag sector and begin to quantify how many growers have the capacity and desire to meet demand if it is created through a new Food Hub or other aggregation/distribution outlet. We are also looking at the need for a shared processing facility; the survey results thus far show interest. Please give us your input!