Friday, March 29, 2013

Network, Share Ideas, Ask Questions, Grow the Farming Community with FarmsReach!

I'm spreading the word about a new farmer-to-farmer networking and information-sharing platform called FarmsReach (  The platform has been designed by CA farmers and several nonprofits that work with the farming community.  Right now we're expanding our reach from a member base of producers at all levels of production, to all the organizations out there helping them. The more people talking, the better!     

There are a lot of features I think you'll find useful:
  • Discussion forum, where we have 17 respected and knowledgeable "Featured Farmers" at the ready to answer questions and share wisdom.
  • An Events calendar with all the events hosted by Extension, Farm Bureau, NCAT/ATTRA, NRCS, CCOF, FarmLink, FSA, CRAFT etc. all in one place - if you have a great event, pass it on to me!
  • A News section with news feeds, newsletters from the organizations above, NOAA's monthly reports, and policy action alerts.
  • Easy Toolkits about business planning, marketing & sales, and seed.
  • A Seed searching tool (soon to be expanded!)
  • A Services Directory, like a "yellow pages" with the organizations, lenders and brokers that serve CA producers (soon to be expanded!)
Let me know if you have any questions or want more info.  Membership is free and it takes a minute or two to sign up.

Thanks for checking us out!  And pass this along to others who might be interested!


Grow Your Groceries: Urban Farming Initiative still accepting applications!

Have you dreamed of starting a small farm in the city, bringing your organic produce to sell at a weekend farmers’ market? Would you like to turn your yard into a garden that will feed your family throughout the year? Or, do you want to help a school or your community grow healthy food?

Soil Born Farms’ Grow Your Groceries is a beginning farmer training program designed to provide knowledge and hands-on experience to the aspiring urban grower. Our instructors are experienced masters of organic agriculture and experts in farm entrepreneurship. Through this class series, you’ll learn business skills as well as best practices in sustainable fruit and vegetable production.

Choose from two different tracks:
Urban Farmer •
Through core and elective classes, this course will teach you the sustainable farming practices and business skills necessary for starting your own small fruit or vegetable farm.

Home Gardener•
Designed for those interested in growing an ample amount of fruits and vegetables in a home, school, or community garden, this course will provide in-depth training on garden design and sustainable annual and perennial crop production.

Both tracks include:
• Three- to four-hour core and elective classes, taught
by experienced organic farmers and farming educators;
• Educational visits to organic farms throughout the
region, and
• Hands-on work days at Soil Born Farms.

For more information, please contact
SaraH BarneS, Education Coordinator
916 252-6695 •

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Upcoming Finance Workshops in Fresno

April 3 - Find the Money Loan Workshop - Fresno
Time: 5:00pm
Location: Park Inn by Radisson (3737 N Blackstone Ave, Fresno)
SBA Loan Workshop: SBA 7a loans, Business loans, Micro loans. Improving Your Cash Flow and Credit Score. Prepare for a Business Loan Application. No cost to attend. Refreshments provided.

April 4 - Capital Readiness 2013 - Modesto Junior College
Time: 2:00 - 4:00pm
Location: Modesto Junior College - Founders Hall, Room 155 on East Campus (435 College Ave, Modesto)
Assisting rural small businesses and agriculture-related businesses in accessing capital to grow your business!
No cost to attend.

April 11 - Find the Money Loan Workshop - Modesto
Time: 5:30pm
Location: Bank of the West McHenry Branch (3600 McHenry Ave, Modesto)
For businesses getting started or ready to expand, now is the time to get the financial house in order.  The workshops will highlight various loan programs as well as offer tips on how to build credit and prepare for a loan request.
No cost to attend. Refreshments provided.

April 22 - Road to Good Credit - Credit Building Workshop
Time: 12:00pm
Location: 1900 Mariposa Mall, #125, Fresno
Building your credit takes patience, diligence, and knowledge of issues... Discover an action plan  that can get you on the road to good credit. No cost to attend.

April 25 - Find the Money Loan Workshop - Turlock
Time: 5:30pm
Location: Bank of the West Turlock Branch (2101 Fulkerth Rd, Turlock)
For businesses getting started or ready to expand, now is the time to get the financial house in order.  The workshops will highlight various loan programs as well as offer tips on how to build credit and prepare for a loan request.
No cost to attend. Refreshments provided.

April Farmer-to-Farmer Networking Breakfast

Wednesday April 3rd, 2013, 7 to 8:30 AM
Awful Annie's, 490 G Street, Lincoln
Come and meet other farmers and ranchers. Enjoy a chance to relax and talk with other producers about issues affecting local agriculture.
Full menu will be available. Each producer will pay for his/her own breakfast. 
RSVP by replying to this e-mail by Monday morning, April 1st at 9 AM. We need to give the restaurant numbers, so it is really important that you RSVP ahead of time!

Placer Ag Resources Fair

Placer Ag Resources Fair
Wednesday April 24th, 6 to 8 PM
Loomis Vet Hall, Loomis
Learn about all the agencies that serve local farmers and ranchers and see what services they can provide you.
Free. More details and online registration coming soon to the Foothill Farming website.

Breaking Ground: Commercial Vegetable Production Workshop

Friday April 12, 2013, 9 AM to 1 PM, Jim’s Produce, Wheatland
This on-farm workshop is focused on commercial vegetable production. It includes hands-on activities, equipment demonstrations, and discussion of ways to increase production efficiency.
Workshop topics include:
·         spring soil preparation
·         fertilizers and amendments
·         planting/transplanting
Equipment demonstrations include mowing cover crops, spreading fertilizer, field tillage, and mechanical transplanting.
The workshop fee is $5 per person, payable in cash at the workshop. Fee includes drinks, snacks, and materials.
Pre-registration is required, as the workshop is limited to 20 people.
Or contact Cindy Fake or Jim Muck

Friday, March 22, 2013

Farm Worker Job Opp, Say Hay Farms in Woodland

Say Hay Farms is a 20-acre CCOF certified organic farm based in Woodland, Yolo County, CA that produces high-quality eggs and vegetables in an ecologically-minded manner. We direct market our produce and eggs through Bay Area farmers’ markets, our CSA, restaurants, and a network of local food purveyors. 
We are accepting applications for both full and part time, year round and seasonal positions. The work may include raising and caring for hens, collecting and washing eggs, planting, weeding, harvesting, irrigating, washing, sorting, packing, truck driving, deliveries, and occasional selling at farmers’ markets.
The work is tough and often repetitive. The hours can be long. But the challenges can be rewarding. We have a great small team that knows how to be positive and co-ordinate with each other to solve problems and think creatively while enjoying a robust sense of humor and camaraderie.
Some farm experience preferred. Local applicants prioritized. Reliable transportation necessary. Compensation DOE.
To apply, email your resume to with a brief answer to the question: What do you hope to get from your experience working on a small organic farm like Say Hay Farms?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

REMINDER: On-Farm Labor Workshop Tomorrow! RSVP Today!

Apprenticeships: Risk Management Tools for Farmers & Mixer!

Thursday March 21st 
Workshop: 1:00‐4:00pm
Mixer: 4:00pm-6:00pm
Loomis Train Depot
5775 Horseshoe Bar Road,
Loomis, CA  95650

Please join us for a workshop about how to manage the risk of your on-farm labor, including information about on-farm apprenticeship and internships.

ï Legal Farm Employees- Everything you’ll need to manage legal risk
ï How to differentiate between employee and apprentice
ï Innovative models currently in use for having on-farm apprentices; Lease Model, Farm School, Working with Community Colleges/Extension, Government Registered Apprenticeship Programs

Presenter:      Liya Schwartzman, California Farmlink
Presenter:       Jessy Beckett, Consultant with California Farmlink

& Mixer!
During the networking mixer, Jeffrey Bordelon of PLANT (Placer Lands Agrarian Network Training) will introduce an opportunity for experienced local growers to participate in a new incubator farm at Shepherd of the Sierra (SOS) Church as a mentor farmer. Lights refreshments to be served.

In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.  To file a complaint of discrimination, contact USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Civil Rights, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Ave., SW., Washington, D.C., 02050-9410 or call 1-866-632-9992 Toll Free; or 1-800-877-8339 Federal Relay Service;  or 1-800-845-6136 (In Spanish); or 1-800 795-3272 between the hours of 8:30 am and 5:00 pm Eastern Standard Time; or (TDD) 720-2600. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

This material is based upon work supported by USDA/RMA under Project Number: RMA-RJ404921

New West Sacramento Farmers Market Now Accepting Vendors!

We are working to make this a reliable and profitable market specifically for new farmers, and other small local producers. The market is centered on food, offering a meaningful experience of connecting farmers and eaters. The market will close down a stretch of West Capital Ave in front of the city hall, adjacent to the new library, community center and Sac City College satellite campus.
West Sac is developing a strong market for local food producers, and is taking a unique approach to local food systems. 
The market will run Thursday evenings from 4:30 to dusk, from May 23 until the end of September. All local, small producers are welcome to reply to this. Please reply within the week if you have any level of interest. You may share this with other farmers you know.
Dan Gannon, Humble Roots CSA