Monthly Archives: February 2012

Breeding Organic Vegetables Step By Step Guide NOFA-NY


The Northeast Organic Farming Associations of New York (NOFA-NY) is happy to announce the recent publication of “Breeding Organic Vegetables: A Step By Step Guide for Growers.”

A century ago, all gardeners and farmers saved their seed and planted local strains.  Today, the art of plant breeding is nearly lost.  Much of modern plant breeding uses biotechnology and caters to the high-input needs of large-scale commercial growers.  Through the work of university researchers, on-farm researchers and home gardeners/homesteaders, NOFA-NY brings practical solutions for plant breeding to organic growers of all experience levels through the Breeding Organic Vegetables manual.

The purpose of the 96 page manual is to give farmers and gardeners clear, concise and tangible tools for plant breeding through theory and techniques that allow growers to create varieties that suit their particular needs.  In addition to explaining basic plant breeding theory and methods, the authors cover all the necessary steps in a breeding project, from deciding on a breeding goal and finding suitable germplasm to performing selections and evaluations.  Five grower-breeders also share their insight and breeding “recipes.”  The authors’ goal is to not only show how plant breeding can be done, but also to empower growers everywhere to breed imaginatively, and to produce vegetable varieties that are attractive, productive, disease resistant, and well adapted to organic systems.

The recently released publication was co-authored by Rowen White and Bryan Connolly and edited by Elizabeth Dyck. In collaboration with the Mohawk group Kanen:hiio, Rowen White is the curator of an extensive collection of heirloom seeds for native communities all over the Northeast region.  She is also the author of Haudenosaunee Native Seed Restoration.  Bryan Connolly is the state botanist for the Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program and has authored The Wisdom of Plant Heritage, the NOFA handbook on small-scale seed production.

Copies are available for purchase for $18 (plus tax and shipping) on the NOFA-NY website, or by calling (585) 271-1979.  Orders of more than ten copies are eligible for a 25% bulk discount.

NOFA-NY, Inc. is an organization of consumers, gardeners, and farmers working together to create a sustainable regional food system which is ecologically sound and economically viable. Through demonstration and educational opportunities, we promote land stewardship, organic food production, and local marketing. NOFA-NY brings consumers and farmers closer together to make high quality food available to all people.

The project was supported in part from funds from the USDA Organic Research and Education Initiative Award No. 2004-51300-02229 and USDA-SARE grant LNE04-204.



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Filed under Beginning Farmer, seed saving, seeds, Sustainable Farming

Rondout Valley Growers Association Farm to Community Series FOOD MATTERS



Food Matters!

A Series of Farm-to-Community Conversations

A Day in the Life of a Local Farmer

Friday, Febrary 24, 6:30-8:00pm, Accord Firehouse Find out from local farmers what it takes to work the land, grow crops and raise livestock that keep us happy and healthy. Chris Kelder of Kelder’s Farm, Deena Wade of Transition Marbletown and a group of local farmers will talk about the real-time world of farming right here in the Rondout Valley. Suggested donation: $5. The Accord Firehouse is at 22 Main Street (entry in rear).

Goodnight Irene: Lessons in Resilience

Friday, March 9, 6:30-8:00pm, Accord Firehouse Our region was walloped by Hurricanes Irene and Lee, and many of our local farms were hit hard. Find out from farmers how they have recovered and how we can help strengthen our local food resources for a secure future. Suggested donation: $5. The Accord Firehouse, 22 Main Street (entry in rear).

Food Landscape: Farmer, Food and Family

Friday, March 23, 6-7:30pm, Marbletown Elementary School Did you know that our valley has some of the best farmland in the United States and we are lucky to have a great variety of farmers? Come find out about the bounty outside your door. This evening is part of the “Breakfast for Dinner” event organized by the Marbletown Parent Teacher Friends and the Chefs Consortium. Join the fun with optional dinner prepared with local food, Zumba (r) workout for all ages, local food exhibits and farmers who will share with you how our local food is created. Kids are welcome! Suggested donation: $5. Dinner is $7 for adults, $4 for children, with reduced family pricing. Marbletown Elementary School is at 12 Pine Bush Road in Stone Ridge.


This program of RVGA’s Rondout Valley Growers Education Project is fiscally sponsored by the Open Space Institute as part of their Citizen Action Program. Co-Sponsored by: Transition Marbletown, Town of Rochester Environmental Conservation Commission, Marbletown Parent Teacher Friends & Chefs Consortium.

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Filed under Environment, FARMERS MARKETS, Local Business, Local Farm Food Event, Locavore Challenge Event, Sustainable Farming, Transition Towns, Workforce Development



In an effort to provide as much exposure and marketing assistance to our member producers, NOFA-NY has begun partnering with companies and organizations that promote local and organic food artisans, farmers and restaurants.  One of these companies is, which provides affordable, targeted online marketing for sustainable food enterprises.

As a new membership benefit, NOFA-NY and, have partnered to make marketing your business even more effective and affordable.  All NOFA-NY farm and business members will receive a FREE limited listing on that will allow online users to get a quick look at your farm or food business.  Example:

As an additional benefit to NOFA-NY membership, is providing a SPECIAL OFFER: of an upgraded year of targeted online marketing for only $100 to the first 50 NOFA-NY Member farms or food businesses that respond! That’s a $95 discount!

To be eligible for this offer, email Kaitlin Haskins at with “NOFA-NY” in the subject line.  After the special offer ends, NOFA-NY members will still be eligible for a $25 discount on one year of’s online marketing service as an annual membership benefit. launched in August and now has over 40,000 listings of farmers, fishermen, food and drink artisans, restaurants, markets, distributors and organizations committed to sustainable eating, including more than 4,000 listings in New York State.

Check out how businesses like yours are using FarmPlate to tell their story, promote their customers and suppliers, and grow their customer base:


Go to and check out all of the benefits of becoming a member


Filed under Local Business, ORGANIC DAIRY, Workforce Development

Greater Berkshire Agricultural Fund Now Serves Columbia Dutchess Counties New York

The Carrot Project plans to offer loans through our Greater Berkshire Agricultural Fund beginning in 2012, for up to $75,000 in the following counties: Berkshire, MA, Litchfield, CT, Dutchess, NY and Columbia, NY.  Please contact us with questions,
Or contact Benneth Phelps at: or 617.674.2371
Winter Conference Opportunities Like to catch up with us in person?
 Check out our booth at these upcoming conferences:
NOFA VT Winter Conference Feb 11&12, Burlington, VT
Agriculture and Food Conference of Southeastern MA Feb 25th, Dighton, MA
Or see us represented on a lending panel at:
Farming our Future February 25th, Craryville, NY
Carrot Project Website Resources Take a look at our revised farmer resources page for links to available funding and business planning assistance:
The Carrot Project | or 

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Filed under FARM GRANTS, Sustainable Farming, Transition Towns, Workforce Development