MOFFA WINTER MEETING 2015 POTLUCK LUNCH

Bring a dish to share at the Homegrown ‘Eat Local’ Potluck Lunch!

A potluck is a gathering of people where each person or group of people contributes a dish of food prepared by the person or the group, to be shared among the larger gathered group.

MOFFA’s Potluck lunch is one of the highlights of the Winter Meeting. Bring a dish to share at the best local lunch around!

We are looking for some volunteers to make some of the wonderful dishes that they make last year!

  • soups and stews both meat and veggie based
  • bread, no more than 2-3 loaves(my notes from last year said we had too much bread)
  • salads
  • casseroles
  • desserts(my notes from last year said we didn’t have enough)
  • breakfast items-muffins, quiche, sweet breads

Fay Walton, our Hospitality Coordinator (Yay Fay!),  will be making pumpkin something, (bread or muffins) for the morning, and egg pie. For lunch, something with chicken, (casserole maybe) and pumpkin crisp for dessert.

MOFFA will provide the following:

  • Cheese
  • Coffee, tea, juice and milk
  • Cream, honey, and sugar
  • Butter
  • Water

I can hardy wait! See you soon!

Check out the great Schedule

MOFFA WINTER MEETING 2015

FEBRUARY 21, 2015

(Snow Date February 28)
 

8:00 AM-5:00 PM

Maryland Dept. of Agriculture
50 Harry S. Truman Parkway
Annapolis, MD

Keynote at MOFFA meeting: “Turning your dreams of healthy soil into reality”

At the upcoming MOFFA meeting (3 days away!), the keynote speaker, Dr. Moebius-Clune, the Director, Soil Health Division, USDA-NRCS, Washington, DC will speak on:
“Turning your dreams of healthy soil into reality.”

The keynote will be delivered from 9am-10am this Saturday, February 21, at the Maryland Department of Agriculture in Annapolis ( 50 Harry S. Truman Parkway).

Hope to see you there!

MOFFA Winter Meeting Schedule Available

logo  

WINTER MEETING 2015
Emcee: Erroll Mattox
When: February 21 (snow date Feb. 28) 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Where: Maryland Dept. of Agriculture 50 Harry S. Truman Parkway, Annapolis
Only $5 for members; $20 for non-members
Hope to see you there!

Please note: Presentations and times are subject to change.

8:00-8:30    Registration, Coffee
8:30-8:45    Welcome & Announcements
Holly Heintz Budd, MOFFA Chair
8:45-9:00    Introduction to the United Nations International Year of Soils                              Tanya Tolchin, MOFFA Vice-Chair
9:00-            Keynote Speaker on Soil Health:
10:00           “Turning your Dreams of Healthy Soil into Reality”
                      Dr. Bianca Moebius-Clune, Ph.D.
Director, Soil Health Division, USDA-NRCS, Washington, DC
10:00-         Coffee Break
10:30           Silent Auction, Seed Swap, Display Tables, Book Sales Table                                      (Donated by Storey Publishing, 100% of proceeds for MOFFA)
                      Break into separate rooms

10:30-11:00
A) Connecting with Chefs & Distributors
Chris Miller, MOM’s Organic Market
Jonas Singer, Union Kitchen
Terrance Murphy, We’ll Juice Mobile Bar and La Fromagerie
B) Can Reduced Tillage and Cover Crop Residues be used to Manage Weeds in Organically Grown Vegetables?
Cerruti RR Hooks, Ph.D. & Guihua Chen, Ph.D., University of Maryland

11:15-noon
A) Pollinators in Peril
Kirsten Traynor, Ph.D.
University of Maryland and Bee World magazine
B) The Ethnic Crops Program at UDC
Yao M. Afantchao, Extension Agent, Ethnic and Specialty Crops Program, Cooperative Extension Service, CAUSES, University of the District of Columbia (UDC)

12:00-      Homegrown ‘Eat Local’ Potluck Lunch, Silent Auction, Seed Swap,
1:20          Networking
1:20-         Board Elections & Announcements
1:30

1:30-2:15
A) Outreach to Low & Moderate Income Shoppers at Farm Markets
Michael Tabor, Licking Creek Bend Farm, will screen his video and share questions & skepticism about current approaches to increasing access to fresh foods.
B) Integrating Horsepower & Livestock into the Diversified Farm
Tom Paduano & Sarah Rider, Owners and Farmers, Flying Plow Farm

2:15-     Silent auction winners announced, Seed Swap, Display Tables
2:30      Grab some coffee, Break into separate rooms

2:30-3:15
A) Farm to Faith: Growing Connections
Rev. Rebecca Iannicelli, United Methodist Church
Rev. Darriel Harris, Baltimore Food and Faith Project
Mike Klein, Good Fortune Farm
B) Organic Certification FAQ
Deanna Baldwin, Maryland Department of Agriculture. Certified Organic or considering certification? Deanna Baldwin will update you and answer questions about NOP interpretations and compliance with all of the rules.

3:15-4:00
A) Bio-Fuels
Jay Martin, Provident Organic Farm
B) Good Agricultural Practices
Shirley Micallef, Ph.D. & Sarah Allard, University of Maryland, will give updates on GAP research and practices for organic farming.

4:00-4:45
A) The Monsanto Experiment: What GMOs & Pesticides Are Doing to Human Health & the Environment
Alexis Baden-Mayer, Esq. Political Director, Organic Consumers Association
B) MOFFA Discussion Session
Holly Heintz Budd, Chair, MOFFA & Tanya Tolchin, Vice-Chair, MOFFA Are you new to MOFFA? Have you been a member for a long time? Join this session for a chance to meet others and share your interests, what you’re working on, and why you’re part of MOFFA.

4:45- 5:00 Wrap-up

PESTICIDES AND THE CHESAPEAKE BAY WATERSHED PROJECT EIGHTH ANNUAL MEETING

EIGHTH ANNUAL MEETING PESTICIDES AND THE CHESAPEAKE BAY WATERSHED PROJECT OCTOBER 6, 2014 9:45 AM - 3:45 PM MOFFA MEMBERS ARE INVITED TO THE
EIGHTH ANNUAL MEETING
PESTICIDES AND THE CHESAPEAKE BAY WATERSHED PROJECT

OCTOBER 6, 2014
9:45 AM – 3:45 PM
PEARLSTONE CONFERENCE AND RETREAT CENTER, REISTERSTOWN, MD

REGISTER AT: mdpestnet@aol.comWITH YOUR NAME, TITLE & AFFILIATION
REGISTRATION DEADLINE SEPTEMBER 19TH

PRESENTERS

  • Moderator: David Love, PhD, MSPH, Project Director for Public Health & Sustainable Aquaculture, Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future
  • Keynote Speaker: Melissa J. Perry, Sc.D., MHS, President, American College of Epidemiology; Chair, Dept of Environmental & Occupational Health, George Washington University Milken School of Public Health; will discuss pesticide impacts in the Potomac River Valley
  • Dennis vanEngelsdorp, PhD, Assistant Professor of Entomology, University of Maryland, is Maryland’s top bee expert and will discuss the plight of bees in our nation & region – and what can be done
  • Vicki Blazer, PhD, Fish Pathologist, USGS National Fish Health Research Lab, will present current research on fish impacts in the Bay watershed from endocrine disruptors & pesticide contamination
  • Cathleen Hapeman, PhD, Environmental Organic Chemist, USDA-Agricultural Research Service, will discuss the Long-Term Agro-Ecosystem Research Network and identifying areas where conservation practices would be most useful
  • Greg Allen, M.E.M. Environmental Scientist, USEPA Chesapeake Bay Program, will provide an update on the Chesapeake Bay Agreement

RSVP at mdpestnet@aol.com with your name, title & affiliation

Meeting agenda and details

Our Eighth Annual Meeting brings together Project stakeholders and others interested in protecting the Bay watershed, sharing cutting-edge research and monitoring data on pesticides, discussing initiatives of the Project’s four working groups and collaborating on the direction of the Project. Registration is free and an organic lunch and snacks will be served.
Registration is free & an organic lunch and snacks will be served. Directions to Pearlstone: http://goo.gl/bsxtk4

MOFFA Summer Social Farm Tour & Potluck Supper

Sunday, August 24
2:00 – 6:00 PM
Summer Creek Farm
15209 Mud College Road
Thurmont, Maryland 21788

SummerCreekFarmField

Rick Hood, of Summer Creek Farm in Thurmont, has graciously offered to host this year’s Summer Social.

Rick established Summer Creek Farm in 1992 and currently has 34 acres in organic production. Summer Creek Farm grows vegetables, grains, and raises poultry.

Rick has been active in the agricultural community for many years serving as president of MOFFA (Maryland Organic Food and Farming Association), MCOGC (Maryland Certified Organic Growers Cooperative), and the Frederick Farmers Market, as well as being a Future Harvest/ CASA board member.

Come join us for a fun and informative afternoon!

Please bring a dish to share for a fantastic potluck supper.

For more information call or email: 301-785-2936 hcole77@aol.com

Please RSVP by August 18th on Facebook or to hcole77@aol.com

American Chestnut Land Trust is hiring a Farm Manager for the Double Oak Farm CSA

American Chestnut Land Trust  Double Oak Farm CSA …Connecting people with the land
American Chestnut Land Trust
Double Oak Farm CSA
…Connecting people with the land

The American Chestnut Land Trust (ACLT) Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program: ACLT operates a sustainable agriculture program that provides fresh, locally grown produce for up to 25 paid shareholders and 5 work shareholders over a 25-week growing season. The produce is grown using approved organic methods, however, ACLT’s program is not certified under the National Organic Program. Farm improvements include a one-acre fenced area with available drip irrigation, a 70’ x 30’ hoop house, and a 30’ x 30’ timber frame barn for equipment storage. Available equipment includes a vintage Gravely A10 commercial walk behind tractor with 30″ tiller, rotary plow and bush hog attachments; a Troy Bilt 14″ tiller; a Mini Honda tiller; an Agra-Fab 48″ spreader; a Solo broadcast seeder; a Jang Precision Seeder as well as miscellaneous hand tools.

Description of Skills and Duties:
ACLT is seeking a farm manager for the 2014 season. The position requires knowledge of and willingness to perform the following duties: supervise volunteers and work shareholders; coordinate work schedules; follow an existing plan for growing sufficient crops in progression and rotation to assure delivery of a weekly share (adequate for a family of four) of a variety of fresh produce to a maximum of 30 shareholders; carry out application of fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides as well as manual control of insects, pests and weeds in accordance with approved organic gardening standards; maintain and operate irrigation system and farm equipment.

The position is flexible, part-time and seasonal (May – October). The farm manager should expect to spend part of every day, Monday – Friday, at the farm supervising volunteers and work shareholders. The number of hours per week will depend on conditions, but is expected to average approximately 30 hours per week over the course of the season. Position pays an hourly wage, depending on experience, and is a temporary position, not eligible for benefits.

A cover letter and description of experience should be sent to:

Karen Edgecombe, Executive Director
American Chestnut Land Trust
P.O. Box 2363
Prince Frederick, MD 20678
 
(410)414-3400

Or email to: Karen Edgecombe

 

 

A Call for Food Transparency

Mike Tabor of Licking Creek Bend Farm, asks Marylanders to contact their legislators to support bills SB0778 and HB1191, before March  2014 in support of GMO labeling.
MOFFA Member, Mike Tabor of Licking Creek Bend Farm, asks Marylanders to contact their legislators to support bills SB0778 and HB1191. Please call or email before March 11, 2014 in support of GMO labeling.

Regarding the March 11th hearings on GMO labeling legislation, Marylanders should contact their legislators to support bills SB0778 and HB1191.  As a farmer and consumer, I believe we should have the right to know if genetically modified organisms are in our food, just as we do with the amount of calories, preservatives and food coloring that consumers fought to have on food labels.  We’re intelligent enough to read, research and choose, if we have the information. Thus, we need to have GMO foods labeled.

Regarding the FDA’S role in protection of the public, FDA does no independent testing of GMOs.  They rely on short term tests conducted by the bio-tech industry!  And FDA’s Chief of Food Safety, Michael Taylor, has been a Monsanto Vice President.  Are these tests and individuals impartial?  You can’t blame the public for being skeptical.

On the argument of selective breeding of seeds, I do want the most disease and pest resistant varieties of seeds when I farm.  But, genetic engineering is a hit or miss, new and risky process of splicing genes from one species (usually animal) into the DNA of another (vegetable).  This is not “natural” and not what is meant by the age old practice of “selective breeding” within the same species.  GMOs are not an extension of “natural breeding”, but rather ultimately meant for company profit because bio-tech companies have received patents on these new life forms.

Monsanto, Syngenta and other bio-tech companies want control of what seeds farmers use.  They have bought up the majority of the smaller seed companies in this country.  The purchase of their GMO seeds mandates the use of their exclusive chemicals such as Roundup (glyphosate) and Atrazine, which have created super weeds that their chemicals can no longer kill.  These chemicals flow into our drinking water.  Syngenta recently lost a $100 million class action suit against many states and municipalities to clean the Atrazine out of the drinking water. Maryland has one of the nation’s highest amounts of Atrazine in its drinking water, but for some unknown reason it was not part of the suit and did not receive any money for the cleanup.

The issues of GMO health dangers have raised enough questions that 64 countries, including the European Union, require labeling.  The bio-tech industry cannot prove to them that GM foods are safe. In fact, we, the American public, never had that choice – and in the end we are really the bio-tech industry’s guinea pigs.

I am always saddened by the fact our governor, and our senate president, and most members of the
General Assembly turn to the MD Dept of Ag for guidance on these issues.  Its head, Buddy Hance, was the former president of the MD Farm Bureau.  The farming sector, which represents only 2% of the Maryland GNP, controls public policy when it comes to the health and safety of 100% of its citizenry, the environment, and health of the Chesapeake Bay.  The Farm Bureau, although composed of family farmers like myself, mostly represents the interests of large corporate farming including the multi-billion dollar profits of the biotechnology chemical companies.  They pour millions of dollars into state campaigns against the labeling of GMO foods because they believe it will cut down on company profits.  Our health and well-being are not a concern of theirs.

So, we, the citizens of Maryland, have the right to know, so we can make informed choices, which is the backbone of a democratic society.  We need to pass a GMO labeling law for ourselves, our children and the future.  Call your state delegates and let them know that!

Michael Tabor is a farmer, consumer and Maryland resident. For more information, visit needtoknowmaryland.org.

 Mike Tabor

Takoma Park, MD
esiegel2@igc.org
240-505-6282 cell

Who Is Making Our Farming Choices?

need to knowMany farmers in Maryland and across the country are using genetically modified organisms—also know as GMOs.  Most of the corn and soybeans, growth hormones and vaccines sold by Monsanto, Elanco, Syngenta, Dow, Dupont, Bayer and BASF are produced with gene altering biotechnology.

This technology allows the creation of life forms that would never occur in nature because genes from one species are being transferred into a totally different species.  In addition, these new life forms are patented so farmers cannot legally save and reproduce them.

In the mid-1990’s the promise from the bio-tech companies was that these novel products would help cows produce more milk, control or eliminate weeds, repel insects and diseases, and create heat and drought tolerance.

The idea was that us farmers would make more money, our yields would go up, our pesticide use would go down (good for sustaining the environment), and we would be on our way to ending world hunger.  Sounded pretty good.  So how do these promises stack up after 20 years?

Well, I do not know if you are feeling any richer, but most farmers I know have not noticed the difference.  On the other hand, the bio-tech companies have done pretty well for themselves, and they had enough money to buy up most of the small regional seed companies.  Genetically engineered seeds are more expensive, and now it is hard to even find locally adapted non-GMO seeds.  Interestingly, some mid-West farmers are returning to older corn varieties because they feel they are losing yield and profits with the bio-tech seeds.

Dairy farmers found cows treated with rBST hormone get more udder infections.  Most dairies have abandoned rBST, and consumers welcomed that change.  We ignored the predictions from some university weed scientists, and our fields are now plagued with about two dozen superweeds that can’t be killed by RoundUp.

But don’t worry, the bio-tech companies are trying to license new seed that resists other stronger herbicides such as 2,4D.  Without the benefit of sophisticated technology, nature’s weeds began to out smart bio-tech in a mere half a dozen years.

And pesticide use has not gone down.  And insects? You guessed it, they are attacking the Bt crops that are supposed to repel them. Drought and heat resistance, well they are still working on that one.  And world hunger?  Don’t ask.

If bio-tech were a “silver bullet,” we would all know it by now.  Instead, consumers across the nation are demanding GMO labeling laws.  They want to know what they are eating.  They want a choice.  Just as farmers want a choice to buy non-GMO seeds and vaccines.

Our rights as farmers and consumers to know and chose is in danger of being lost.  As federal Judge Jeffrey White warned in a recent case involving RoundUp ready sugar beets, genetic engineering could mean the “potential elimination of farmer’s choice to grow non-genetically engineered crops, or a consumer’s choice to eat non-genetically engineered food.”

Who is making the choice of how you farm or what you eat?  If you want the right to choose, support bills HB1191/SB0778 now in the Maryland legislature that would require GMO labeling for produce and most packaged food.

Once consumers know what they’re eating, their choices will expand and so will ours.  Get involved, go to NeedToKnowMaryland.org.

Nick Maravell,
organic farmer, Montgomery and Frederick Counties, MD
member, National Organic Standards Board

Cow Share and Raw Milk Legislation in Maryland

Liz Retzig will be presenting an update on cow share and raw milk legislation in Maryland at the 2014 MOFFA Winter Meeting.

In Maryland it is illegal to sell raw milk (as in unpasteurized, fresh-from-the-cow milk).

It is not illegal to drink fresh milk from the cow that you own, but it is illegal to even own a share of a cow in Maryland.

The Maryland General Assembly is considering lifting the ban on raw milk by reinstating cow shares which have been criminalized since 2006. This bill would do wonders for Maryland farmers who wish to engage directly with eager consumers wanting raw milk from their own animals. This legislation, once passed, would repeal the ban on cow shares (and goat) and allow people to contract directly with the farmers of their choice for raw milk.  http://nourishingliberty.com/raw-milk-could-be-legal-in-maryland/

Liz is a Mother, a MOFFA Board Member, and the Co-Founder, Farm Food Freedom Coalition. Liz has been working hard to realize the availability of raw milk in Maryland. She blogs about the right for food choice at Nourishing Liberty .

The Maryland Organic Food and Farming Association 23rd Annual Winter Meeting, is on Saturday February 15, 2014, from 8 am to 5:00 pm, at the Maryland Department of Agriculture Building, 50 Harry S. Truman Parkway in Annapolis.

Registration is $20 for non-members and $5 for members. Membership is $25 for one year or $45 for two years. Registration is at the door.