Visit Licking Creek Bend Farm for Farm Visit Day on Sunday, May 22, 2016.
Meet the amazing staff, tour the farm, see the farm equipment, plant or pick your Christmas tree, share a veggie pot luck, swim in the creek, and enjoy a day in the country. Bring a snack for the tour, bathing suits and towels.
11:00am sharpTOUR OF FRUIT TREES Michael Tabor
Explanation of holistic approach (no chemical pesticides) to growing APPLE & PEARS
11:30am ORGANIC NO-TILL FARMING Charmaine Peters/Justin/Kyla
Tour the fields and learn about the radical departure from using plasticulture
12:00noon TOUR HIGH TUNNELJustin Guyer
Or OUR APPROACH TO CHRISTMAS TREE PRODUCTIONMichael
Plant or Tag your own Christmas Tree (bring a water proof luggage tag)
12:30pm KNOW YOUR EDIBLE WEEDSKyla Zapisek
POT LUCK LUNCH Bring a veggie dish to share, your own dishes, cups & silverware to minimize garbage
Update on community opposition to confined Hog operations
Outreach to DC Ward 8
PASA (PA Association of Sustainable Agriculture) S.O.I.L. Program: advance sustainable agriculture education – Aaron DeLong
Making SALVES out of HERBS – Lauren Nazza
Mike Tabor is a longstanding MOFFA member and Tacoma Park Resident.
Contact for the best directions. It takes about 2 hours from the DC/MD area.
Address: 928 Donahoe Lane, Needmore, PA 17238. 717 573-4527
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.
Maryland Organic Food and Farming Members Mike Tabor and Nick Maravell speak out about how new federal regulations could threaten local farms.
“Each week at farm stands in the Maryland area, we try to explain a peculiar situation to our customers. On the one hand, they want to buy our fresh fruit and vegetables. However, I tell them, that in a few years, these will all be illegal to sell!
Because they have some degree of dirt and bacteria on them. The strawberries for instance, have some trace amount of straw and soil on them. As do the tomatoes, beans and cucumbers. We do rinse them before leaving the farm — but we won’t put them through a disinfectant bath nor pack them in antiseptic plastic containers and put “PLU” labels on them. That’s not what consumers want at a farm market — nor is it something we’ll ever be able to do.
Regulations for a new food law — FSMA, the Food Safety Modernization Act — administered by the FDA are currently in the process of being finalized. Although the act originally had protections for family farmers like myself, we see those being ignored or phased out over time.
Common sense and following the data of recent food safety scares lead us to a very strong conclusion: the further the food travels from the farm to the consumer, the more opportunities it has to become a food safety problem. The current cyclospora food poisoning problem in bagged salads is a good example.
This is one reason why 20 million consumers come to farmers markets like ours and want fresh produce from our fields — preferably grown without pesticides, herbicides or GMO seeds. And sadly, protecting consumers from these synthetic perils is not addressed by FSMA.”
The MOFFA Annual Winter Meeting is February 16, 2013, at the MD Dept. of Agriculture Bldg., Annapolis MD it will run from 8 to 5. The event includes a panel in the afternoon, from 1:40 to2:40 p.m., to discuss the new FDA Food Safety Rules, and what they mean for small, local, and organic farmers. Click here to find more details about MOFFA Annual Winter Meeting.
What will new FDA Food Safety Rules mean for small, local, and organic farmers?
Find out how the proposed rules could affect your growing, harvesting, on farm processing and post-harvesting handling practices. Find out what new labeling and record keeping requirements you may have to meet for sales on farm, at farmers markets, and to retailers and wholesalers. Learn about exemptions from certain requirements.
Ariane Lotti, Assistant Policy Director, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
Mike Tabor, Licking Creek Bend Farm, Needmore PA and Takoma Park, MD
Deanna Baldwin, Program Manager, Food Quality Assurance, Maryland Department of Agriculture
Ariane coordinates NSAC’s policy campaigns including organic and food safety issues.
She holds a B.A. and a Master of Environmental Management from Yale University. She has served as the Policy Director for the Organic Farming Research Foundation. She is a published author, and has worked on and conducted research on organic and conventional farms in the US and Europe.
Since 1972, Michael Tabor has been producing local fresh food for DC area residents of mixed income groups using organic methods. Mike has also been active in many causes to advance environmental and social justice, including access to healthy local food for inner city populations.
Deanna is responsible for the Maryland Organic Certification Program as well as other grading and certification programs, including Fruit and Vegetable Grading, Egg Grading, and Good Agricultural Practices/Good Handling Practices Certification. Deanna has a broad perspective on issues of food safety and local and organic production practices across Maryland.