Workshop on starting a market garden business | CITIZEN-TIMES.com | Asheville Citizen-Times

From the web…

The North Carolina Arboretum launches its 2009 adult education series with a new workshop on Jan. 31, “First Steps in Starting a Market Garden Business,” led by Peter Marks, director of the Local Food and Farm Campaign for the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP). The workshop is free and will be held from 2-4 p.m.

Participants will learn five important first steps every young or second-career farmer should consider before embarking on a market garden business. “Many people dream of farming, but few succeed in building viable farm businesses that contribute to or provide their income,” Marks said. “For anyone who has thought about growing food to earn part or all of their income, this workshop will take an honest look at what is involved to turn a dream into reality.”

via Workshop on starting a market garden business | CITIZEN-TIMES.com | Asheville Citizen-Times.

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Workshop on starting a market garden business | CITIZEN-TIMES.com | Asheville Citizen-Times

From the web…

The North Carolina Arboretum launches its 2009 adult education series with a new workshop on Jan. 31, “First Steps in Starting a Market Garden Business,” led by Peter Marks, director of the Local Food and Farm Campaign for the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP). The workshop is free and will be held from 2-4 p.m.

Participants will learn five important first steps every young or second-career farmer should consider before embarking on a market garden business. “Many people dream of farming, but few succeed in building viable farm businesses that contribute to or provide their income,” Marks said. “For anyone who has thought about growing food to earn part or all of their income, this workshop will take an honest look at what is involved to turn a dream into reality.”

via Workshop on starting a market garden business | CITIZEN-TIMES.com | Asheville Citizen-Times.

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Saturday in Boone

Watauga County Farmers’ Market | Please Support Local Farmers

Watauga County Farmers’ Market would like to thank everyone who visited the Wednesday market on opening day. We will continue to have a selection of local produce, plants and hand crafts on Wednesday mornings until the middle of September.

Don and Roger Owens use their greenhouses and season extenders to provide ripe produce as early as possible. They will be harvesting all of summer’s goodness through the next few weeks. Other growers expect to be harvesting the first of the tomatoes to begin to ripen in the next couple of weeks.

Charles Church will be harvesting broccoli for the market this Saturday. He should also have plenty of onions, and cabbage very soon.

read more…

Saturday in Boone

Watauga County Farmers’ Market | Please Support Local Farmers

Watauga County Farmers’ Market would like to thank everyone who visited the Wednesday market on opening day. We will continue to have a selection of local produce, plants and hand crafts on Wednesday mornings until the middle of September.

Don and Roger Owens use their greenhouses and season extenders to provide ripe produce as early as possible. They will be harvesting all of summer’s goodness through the next few weeks. Other growers expect to be harvesting the first of the tomatoes to begin to ripen in the next couple of weeks.

Charles Church will be harvesting broccoli for the market this Saturday. He should also have plenty of onions, and cabbage very soon.

read more…

The Cool Truth About October: Shorter Days, Longer Harvests – washingtonpost.com

This column from Barbara Damrosch came at a very good time.  It reminds me why I loved fall as a boy…The air is cooler but the overall feel is of warmth…

When T.S. Eliot wrote “April is the cruelest month,” he might have added, “October is seriously underrated.”

Consider those two months. We expect from both a temperature range midway between hot and cold, with unpredictable doses of either. But gardeners, especially, embrace April with exaggerated hope and cheer, oblivious to the imminent onset of blistering heat, drought and bolted lettuce. By October many edge wearily and even gratefully into the shadow of oncoming winter, forgetting to enjoy the gardening year’s best weather.

Source: The Cool Truth About October: Shorter Days, Longer Harvests – washingtonpost.com

Spring brings thoughts of gardens…

“Perhaps the truth depends on a walk around the lake.” – Wallace Stevens

Barbara Damrosch has a new column out. It seems to be timed to remind all the gardeners out there to start thinking tomatoes. Particularly the small pop’em in the mouth kind.

Cherry bombs, the exploding kind, must have been named after cherry tomatoes, the edible kind, which burst in your mouth with a charge of candy-sweet juices. Pop one in and another must follow, whether you’re raiding the shopping bag in your car or gorging your way down a garden row. The outdoor route is pure luxury, when the little orbs are warmed by the sun, their vitamin C at magnum force.

I can remember a time not many years ago when I couldn’t help but wonder at my lack of luck with these little ruby colored jewels of the garden. My plants were beautiful, flowered profusely, even set little green fruit in large numbers. For some reason though, there were never more than a handful of ripe tomatoes. Then one day I spotted youngest son in the garden by the cherry tomato plants, and as I watched he stripped all the ripe ones off the plant to eat right there in the garden. I quit wondering then and there and the next year I planted more plants…

Source: A Stalk on the Wild Side – washingtonpost.com

Reading Barbara’s column led me back to her and Eliot’s website
where I reread Eliot’s “Authentic Food – Authentic Farming” article from The Mother Earth News.

The label “organic” has lost the fluidity it used to hold for the growers more concerned with quality than the bottom line, and consumers more concerned with nutrition than a static set of standards for labeling. “Authentic” is meant to be the flexible term “organic” once was. It identifies fresh foods produced by local growers who want to focus on what they are doing, instead of what they aren’t doing. (The word authentic derives from the Greek authentes: one who does things for him or herself.)

Eliot goes on to lay out specific standards for the term “Authentic” to be used as a descriptive label for food products. He has spent a lot of time in the Organic movement and a lot of thought has gone into his standards. He closes the article with this statement…

“Authentic” growers are committed to supplying food that is fresh, ripe, clean, safe and nourishing. “Authentic” farms are genetically modified organism-free zones. I encourage all small growers with local markets who believe in exceptional food to use the word “Authentic” to mean “Beyond Organic.” With a definition that stresses local, seller-grown and fresh, there is little likelihood that large-scale marketers can steal this concept.

Go spend some time with Eliot and Barbara, it’ll be time well spent.
Source: “Authentic Food – Authentic Farming”

Spring brings thoughts of gardens…

“Perhaps the truth depends on a walk around the lake.” – Wallace Stevens

Barbara Damrosch has a new column out. It seems to be timed to remind all the gardeners out there to start thinking tomatoes. Particularly the small pop’em in the mouth kind.

Cherry bombs, the exploding kind, must have been named after cherry tomatoes, the edible kind, which burst in your mouth with a charge of candy-sweet juices. Pop one in and another must follow, whether you’re raiding the shopping bag in your car or gorging your way down a garden row. The outdoor route is pure luxury, when the little orbs are warmed by the sun, their vitamin C at magnum force.

I can remember a time not many years ago when I couldn’t help but wonder at my lack of luck with these little ruby colored jewels of the garden. My plants were beautiful, flowered profusely, even set little green fruit in large numbers. For some reason though, there were never more than a handful of ripe tomatoes. Then one day I spotted youngest son in the garden by the cherry tomato plants, and as I watched he stripped all the ripe ones off the plant to eat right there in the garden. I quit wondering then and there and the next year I planted more plants…

Source: A Stalk on the Wild Side – washingtonpost.com

Reading Barbara’s column led me back to her and Eliot’s website
where I reread Eliot’s “Authentic Food – Authentic Farming” article from The Mother Earth News.

The label “organic” has lost the fluidity it used to hold for the growers more concerned with quality than the bottom line, and consumers more concerned with nutrition than a static set of standards for labeling. “Authentic” is meant to be the flexible term “organic” once was. It identifies fresh foods produced by local growers who want to focus on what they are doing, instead of what they aren’t doing. (The word authentic derives from the Greek authentes: one who does things for him or herself.)

Eliot goes on to lay out specific standards for the term “Authentic” to be used as a descriptive label for food products. He has spent a lot of time in the Organic movement and a lot of thought has gone into his standards. He closes the article with this statement…

“Authentic” growers are committed to supplying food that is fresh, ripe, clean, safe and nourishing. “Authentic” farms are genetically modified organism-free zones. I encourage all small growers with local markets who believe in exceptional food to use the word “Authentic” to mean “Beyond Organic.” With a definition that stresses local, seller-grown and fresh, there is little likelihood that large-scale marketers can steal this concept.

Go spend some time with Eliot and Barbara, it’ll be time well spent.
Source: “Authentic Food – Authentic Farming”

Stalking the Vegetannual | by Barbara Kingsolver | Orion Magazine March-April 2007

Fred First pointed a link at this article. Thanks Fred. The entire article is worth the read but I found the last paragraph very important…

Locally grown is a denomination whose meaning is incorruptible. Sparing the transportation fuel, packaging, and unhealthy additives is a compelling part of the story. But the plot goes beyond that. Local food is a handshake deal in a community gathering place. It involves farmers with first names, who show up at the market week after week. It involves consumers who remember that to be human is to belong to a food chain, wherever and whenever we find ourselves alive. It means remembering the truest of all truths: we are what we eat. Stepping slowly backward out of a fuel-driven industry of highly transported foods will alter more than a person’s grocery list. Such small, stepwise changes in personal habits aren’t trivial. Ultimately, they will add up to the story of who we were on this planet: what it took to keep us alive, what we left behind.

Source: Stalking the Vegetannual | by Barbara Kingsolver | Orion Magazine March-April 2007