Maryland Organic Food and Farming Association to Hold Conference in Annapolis

Maryland Organic Food and Farming Association to Hold Conference in Annapolis

MOFFA, the Maryland Organic Food and Farming Association, announces its 23rd Annual Winter Meeting, 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.

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.

MOFFA Chairperson Holly Budd says, “I am looking forward to the Panel Discussion on GMO and Food Safety Issues, Organic Food Justice Discussion, an update cow share and raw milk legislation in Maryland, and learning more about farming techniques and research from other organic farmers and researchers.”

Presentations, Panels and Workshops Include: 

  • Panel Discussion GMO/Food Safety Issues Exciting News in State politics moderated by Sophia Maravell, Brickyard Educational Farm.  Panelists include: Alexis Baden-Mayer Organic Consumer’s Association, Darla Eaton, Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, MD Delegate Ariana Kelly, Montgomery County, MD Sen. Karen Montgomery, Montgomery, Colin O’Neil, Center for Food Safety.
  • Panel Discussion:  Organic Food Justice Panelists: Carrie Vaughn, Claggett Farm, Lavette Sims, Capitol Area Food Bank. Greg Bowen, Hub and Spoke Program for SMADC

Erroll Mattox from UMES – MD Cooperative Extension will be talking about ethnic vegetable production

Tanya Tolchin: Exploring Low Tech Food Dehydration to Increase Profits on Small Farms.

Mike Haigwood, PA Bowen Farm, “Grassfed and Beyond” – Mike recently returned from Australia where he was studying permaculture and he will include some of that in his presentation.

Maryland Green Registry A good program to share and improve green practices for your farm and great tool for consumers too

Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) Update on the Organic/GAP University research and GAP training session

Maryland Department of Agriculture Organic Program presentation

Tyler Brown Real Food Farm. Urban farming collective The Farm Alliance of Baltimore

Research Talks by Extension and UMD Researchers:

  • Buchanan, A., G. Chen, L. Hunt and C.R.R Hooks. 2014. Using cover crops for pest suppression in crookneck squash.  Presented by Amanda Buchana
  • Chen, G., A. Buchanan, R. Weil and C.R.R. Hooks. 2014.  Integrating reduced or no tillage systems with cover cropping for organic vegetable productions.  Presented by Guihua Chen.

Attendees are encouraged to bring a dish to share for the potluck lunch, one of the highlights of the meeting.

Attendees can bring seeds to exchange with the other participants in the MOFFA Seed Swap.

There will be a silent auction.  Members may bring display materials; table space is available in exchange for silent auction item donations.

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. For more information, go to http://www.marylandorganic.org or contact Holly Heintz Budd at 443-975-4181

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 WINTER MEETING 2014 SCHEDULE

TIME

Room  A

Room B

8:00-8:30

Registration

8:30 -8:45

Welcome and Announcements/Holly Budd MOFFA Chair

8:45-9:00

Laura Armstrong of MDE, Julie Oberg MDA Maryland Green Registry A good program to share and improve green practices for your farm and great tool for consumers too.

9:00-9:30

 Shirley Micallef: update on GAP research and organic by Shirley Micallef, University of MD

9:30-9:45

Coffee Break, Silent Auction, Seed Swap Break into separate rooms

9:45-10:30 Buchanan, A., G. Chen, L. Hunt and C.R.R Hooks. 2014. Using cover crops for pest suppression in crookneck squash.
Presented by Amanda Buchana
Shirley Micallef, Donna Pahl:  Pre harvest organic production and GAP
10:30-11:15 Chen, G., A. Buchanan, R. Weil and C.R.R. Hooks. 2014.  Integrating reduced or no tillage systems with cover cropping for organic vegetable productions.
Presented by Guihua Chen.
Shirley Micallef, Donna Pahl:  Post harvest organic and GAP
11:15-12:00 Mike Haigwood, PA Bowen Farm, “Grassfed and Beyond” – Mike recently returned from Australia where he was studying permaculture and he will include some of that in his presentation! Deanna Baldwin, MDA Organic Certification FAQ.  Certified Organic or considering certification? Deanna Balwin will update you and answer questions about NOP interpretations, and compliance with all of the rules.
12:00-1:20

Potluck Lunch, Silent Auction, Seed Swap, Networking

1:20- 1:30

Board Elections and Announcements

1:30-2:30

Panel Discussion: GMO/Food Safety Issues Exciting News in State politics  

Moderated by Sophia Maravell, Brickyard Educational Farm

Alexis Baden-Mayer Organic Consumer’s Association
Darla Eaton, Southern Exposure Seed Exchange
MD Delegate Ariana Kelly, Montgomery County
MD Sen. Karen Montgomery, Montgomery      Colin O’Neil, Center for Food Safety

2:30-2:45

Last Chance for Silent Auction, Seed Swap, Grab Some Coffee, Break into separate rooms

2:45-3:30 Tanya Tolchin: Exploring Low Tech Food Dehydration to Increase Profits on Small Farms. Liz Retzig Update cow share and raw milk legislation in Maryland
3:30-4:15 Erroll Mattox from UMES – MD Cooperative Extension will be talking about ethnic vegetable production Panel Discussion:  Organic Food Justice Panelists: Carrie Vaughn, Claggett Farm, Lavette Sims, Capitol Area Food Bank. Greg Bowen, Hub and Spoke Program for SMADC
4:15-5:00 Tyler Brown Real Food Farm. Urban farming collective The Farm Alliance of Baltimore

Is Your Farm Climate-Ready? Best Practices for Managing Climate Risk on Your Farm

Laura Lengnick
Laura Lengnick, Director, Sustainable Agriculture Program, Department of Environmental Studies, Warren Wilson College, will present: Is Your Farm Climate Ready? Best Practices for Managing Climate Risk on Your Farm at the MOFFA Winter Meeting, on February 16, 2013, from 8 to 5.

Are you prepared to manage the increased weather variability and extremes that are currently underway and predicted to intensify in the coming years as our planet warms?  Over the next 10 to 15 years, projected changes in precipitation and temperature patterns will increase water and pest management challenges and the potential for crop failure.

Laura Lengnick will present a new way of thinking about climate risk and offers some best practices for managing climate risk challenges on your farm, at the  MOFFA Annual Winter Meeting.

The  event is February 16, 2013, at the MD Dept. of Agriculture Bldg., Annapolis MD  it will run from 8 to 5. Laura  Lengnick will speak from 3:35 to 4:30.

Laura serves as the Director of the Sustainable Agriculture Program, in the Department of Environmental Studies at Warren Wilson College, a small undergraduate college near Asheville, NC offering a liberal arts education through a triad of academics, work and service.  Since joining the Warren Wilson faculty in 2002, Laura has been actively involved in sustainable agriculture advocacy in North Carolina: she is currently on the Carolina Farm Stewardship board of directors and is a past president and board member of the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project.  Laura advises and teaches in several community-based sustainable agriculture education programs and works with a number of citizens groups on issues around sustainable food systems, sustainable resource use and resilient community redesign.  She brings to this work 25 years of research, teaching and public policy experience in soil quality and sustainability assessment, sustainable agriculture systems, and sustainable farm management.

Trained as a soil scientist, Laura’s work in sustainable production systems research at the Beltsville Agriculture Research Center was nationally recognized with a USDA Secretary’s Honor Award in 2000.  She has federal agriculture policy expertise gained through work experiences as a U.S. Senate staffer, as a research scientist serving in the Executive Branch of the federal government, and as a private consultant and lobbyist advocating for sustainable and organic farmers in the U.S. Congress.  While on sabbatical in 2011/12 as a visiting scientist on the USDA National Program Staff, Laura researched best practices for adapting agriculture to climate change as a lead author of the recently released USDA Report “Climate Change and U.S. Agriculture: Effects and Adaptation”.  Laura’s work on the report included a focus on identifying effective practices for farmers faced with managing the increased variability in temperature and rainfall, extreme weather events and novel pest pressures associated with the climate change impacts currently underway in the U.S.

Click here to find more details about MOFFA Annual Winter Meeting.

Fall MOFFA Event a Great Success

It was a beautiful day at the Pasture Party at the P. A. Bowen Farmstead!

Great food and music, informative educational exhibits, and lots of fun. Enjoy our slide show from the day:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Our next event is the MOFFA Winter Meeting
February 16, 2013, at the Maryland Department of Agriculture, Annapolis, Maryland

Introducing the Insight of Environmental Educator, Tom Harbold

Tom Harbold, Guest Blogger for Maryland Food and Farming Association
Tom Harbold, Guest Blogger for Maryland Food and Farming Association

My name is Tom Harbold, and I’m honored to have been asked by Holly Heintz Budd to serve as a guest blogger for the Maryland Organic Food and Farming Association’s new website. What are my qualifications? Since 1998, I have been working mostly as an outdoor or environmental educator. I hold a BA and a Masters in humanities disciplines, and in 2001, I graduated with a certificate in park management with a concentration in environmental education from Frederick Community College.

I’ve served as an educator at the Carroll County Outdoor School, a flagship week-long educational enrichment program for Carroll County 6th graders, and as a naturalist at both the local (Piney Run, in Sykesville) and State (Cunningham Falls, near Thurmont) levels. I’ve been a conservation educator for the Carroll County chapter of Pheasants Forever, an international upland conservation organization. And from 2005-2009, I was active with Spoutwood Farm Center, Inc., an educational and community-supported agriculture farm in Glen Rock, PA, starting as a working shareholder with the CSA, and working my way up.

From 2007-2009, I served as Education Coordinator for Spoutwood, and also coordinated the work-and-learn (intern and apprentice) program for the farm. Spoutwood’s programs include a 100+ member CSA, the aforementioned work-and-learn program for those interested in learning to practice natural farming/sustainable agriculture, an excellent observatory which holds regular “Evenings of Wonder” to share the glory of the night sky, and (since my tenure there) “Teen Battle Chefs,” a youth development program exploring culinary arts, food systems and gardening education, while battling obesity and chronic disease.

In addition, Spoutwood offers two major public programs: the annual May Day Fairie Festival, a celebration of the mythic arts and the warming Earth, now in its 22nd year, and the Mother Earth Harvest Festival in September, dedicated to sustainable agriculture and sustainable living in general. Spoutwood is not certified organic, but has used organic techniques since its inception; and its CSA is Certified Naturally Grown. Spoutwood is a proud and active member of the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture, and its President, CEO, and chief land steward, Rob Wood, has served on the PASA board.

Spoutwood helped to turn my interest in sustainable and organic agriculture into a passion, but that interest goes back to my childhood, where my maternal grandparents were early adopters of the organic movement. I remember sitting fascinated for hours, in the living room of the old farmhouse in Dennisville, NJ, poring over copies of Rodale’s “Organic Gardening and Farming” magazine, or digging gallon ice-cream pails of kitchen scraps into their big garden to enrich the soil. My paternal grandmother lived on a workiing – though, sadly, not organic – farm in Highland, MD, so I got bitten by the farm bug on both sides!

As regards writing, since 2004 I have written a regular op-ed column for the Carroll County Times, which frequently deals with agricultural, environmental, or sustainability issues. I have also written essays and articles which have been published in The Bay Journal, the sadly now-defunct Edible Chesapeake, the Upland Journal, and Farming: People, Land, Community.

My interests include sustainable and organic agriculture education (obviously!), whole and natural foods cooking, environmental education and the relationship between agriculture and environmental stewardship, draft animal power (especially horses and oxen) for small farms and woodlots, renewable and alternative energy, green building, and supporting and empowering local communities. Not to mention growing and cooking with fresh, natural, and local, foods!

Influences include, but are not limited to, the inimitable Wendell Berry, Amish farmer, author and philosopher David Kline, and “the father of modern conservation,” Aldo Leopold. I also draw wisdom and inspiration from the likes of Nina Planck (“Real Food”), Joann S. Grohman (“Keeping a Family Cow,” and the online “Heifer Diary”), Barbara Kingsolver (“Animal, Vegetable, Mineral”), Michael Pollan (“The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” etc.), Richard Kunstler (“The Long Emergency”), Kim Hartke (“Hartke Online” blog), Mark Sissons and his “Primal Blueprint,” and the Weston A. Price Foundation, among others.

I appreciate the opportunity to share some of my thoughts with the MOFFA community, and look forward to getting to know you! Please don’t hesitate to contact me with questions or comments, and I shall do my best to respond in a timely manner. Happy and healthy farming, and eating!

“We abuse land because we see it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to treat it with love and respect.” ~ Aldo Leopold

Tom Harbold lives in Hampstead, Maryland. Contact him at neodruid1@gmail.com.

2012 Pasture Party for Land Conservation

Jersey cows graze on lush green pasture at the P A Bowen Farmstead
Jersey cows graze on lush green pasture
at the P. A. Bowen Farmstead

You are Invited!

 4th Ever Pasture Party for Land Conservation!

Saturday, October 6th, 2012

11 AM to 3 PM

Location: P.A. Bowen Farmstead
5701 Dr. Bowen Road
Village of Aquasco
Brandywine, MD 20613

Welcome a new-fashioned, pasture-based farm!  Join us for an afternoon of rural FUN while you learn about initiatives to conserve and renew our natural and cultural heritage.

 Fun Activities to Celebrate Rural Living!

  • Live Music by “The Swampy Bottom Boys” and Special Guests!
  • Taste of Local-Potluck starts at 12 Noon
  • Hoops and stilts for kid fun
  • Nature scavenger hunt starts at 1 PM
  • Sustainable Door prizes
  • “Prettiest Cow” Contest!
  • Old Jar Flea Market/Farmer’s Market & Local Artisans /Red Bud Trees
  • “What is it?” collection of farm and home items from the past
  • Antique tractors and cars
  • Birds of prey/Pottery Making /Silent Auction
  • Scarecrow Stuffing … And more FUN
  • Informative Displays

Sponsored By: The Black Swamp Creek Land Trust Inc., Maryland Organic Food and Farming Association, Prince George’s Soil Conservation District, The Paturxent Tidewater Land Trust and The Patuxent Riverkeeper. Agency and organizational representatives will be on hand to answer questions you may have about voluntary land conservation methods.

Please let us know if you are planning to attend, wish to contribute an activity, or volunteer! – contact Joanne (301) 502-3261 or blackswamp@me.com.  The event is FREE, however donations are encouraged. See you there!