FSMA Comment Period: less than two weeks to go

Hope you all are making some time to submit comments to FDA on the proposed rules for Produce Safety and for Preventive Controls at food facilities.  These rules have the potential to change the nation’s food system in ways that we will not like, and will make it harder to build vibrant family farms, rural communities,and local food systems.  However, with enough of us submitting comments in our own words, FDA will have to reconsider these proposed rules, and come up with something that works better for the common good.

For a little inspiration, see the following recent blog post by Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture’s executive director, Brian Snyder:

Hi everyone.  Here is the last blog post I’m going to do until the comment period is over, entitled FSMA: There’s Something Happening Here.  As you’ll see, I use this opportunity to put FSMA into an historical context, highlighting the progress of the sustainable ag community and of NSAC in particular.

Please do whatever you can to help promote this.  This is it, the homestretch. Let’s use it to build momentum for everything we are doing!


Mushroom Production Workshop

Nov 20, Dec 5 and Dec 12

Learn about the biology of fungi, and mushroom production and marketing, with a focus on shiitake mushroom production on natural logs. Participants will try their hand at shiitake log inoculation. Presenters include Dr. Greg Frey and Wanda Johnson, of Virginia State University, Petersburg, VA, and Mark Jones, owner and operator of Sharondale Farm, Keswick, VA.Cost: $5.00 per person includes informational material and supplies for the hands-on activity. Participants should pre-register. More information in attached flyer.

Blackberry Trellis and Pruning Demonstrations

Friday, November 22 1-4pm

VSU, College of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service, invites you to come out and learn about pruning techniques and various types of trellises for blackberry production. Jeff and Joey Cole from Cole Berry Farm will also be there to share with you their 20 years of experience growing blackberries.  They will demonstrate pruning and explain the advantages and disadvantages of different types of trellises. This is a FREE event and open to the public at Wilde Wood Berries & Produce – 6035 Bethlehem Rd.  Charlotte Courthouse, VA.  Registration online y November 20 at tinyurl.com/BlackberryDemo2013


Strawberry Creek Farm seeks an apprentice

2014 season from March thru Oct.

Strawberry Creek Farm is a Certified Naturally Grown, CSA and Farmers Market operation,in the Chatham Va. area. We would have housing ( a late model motorhome with heat, air and wifi ) Limited use of the company pick up. Snippet of $500.00 a month, for a 5 day work week and all the produce, greens and eggs one could eat. Valid drivers lin. and character reference a is a must.  The farm is in the beautiful foot hills of southern Virginia, on White Tail Mountain. Please sent resume or gen. info to Starwberrycreekfarm@hotmail.com

Wanted:  Farmer or farming couple to operate CSA farm in Virginia

Are you interested in growing organically and building a sustainable garden operation?  I am interviewing.   We offer a good salary and on-farm or off-farm living. The right individual or couple would have market garden experience, excellent work ethic, a strong desire to grow our CSA and other market outlets of their choosing, and be committed to achieving financial break even or better. Lease, employment or partnership arrangements are available for right candidate, depending upon their experience. We offer am integrated farm using organic and biological methods in Burkeville, VA.

I am interviewing candidates at this time – please contact me if you are interested.

Patti Rosenberg <pattirosenberg@icloud.com>

Wanted:  Farmers who have hosted and trained interns, apprentices

Virginia Tech grad student is conducting a survey on farm apprenticeships

My name is Lorien MacAuley, and I am a Master’s Student in the Department of Agriculture and Extension Education at Virginia Tech. I would like to invite you to please spend 15-20 minutes of your time to fill out an anonymous online survey for the On-Farm Apprenticeship Research Project (O-FARP). O-FARP is researching how farm apprenticeships are currently structured, common practices, how learning occurs in farm apprenticeships, and the types of farms that host apprentices.

If you are a Virginia farmer, farm manager, or other supervisor who has worked with apprentices, please click here to fill out the survey.

For the purposes of this research, an on-farm apprentice:

  • May be referred to as apprentice, intern, or on-farm student
  • Is over 18 years of age
  • Works on the farm for a specified length of time
  • Can be paid or unpaid
  • There is an expressed agreement that the farmer teaches them how to farm.

See attached flyer for more.