Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Farmer to Farmer Breakfast

The February Farmer-to-Farmer Breakfast will be Wednesday, February 12th at 7AM
at the Happy Apple Kitchen, 18532 Colfax Hwy. in Chicago Park.

The Bierwagens are making breakfast especially for us, so you need to sign-up and pay ahead of time as we need to guarantee the number of breakfasts they will be serving.
The cost is $12 per person, and does not include tip.
Register at: http://ucanr.edu/survey/survey.cfm?surveynumber=12204  Please register by 9 AM, Monday, February 10th.
We will not be able to take late registrations, nor drop ins, so if you plan to come, Sign-up and pay today!

Reminders:
Farm & Ranch Business Planning starts next week…February 6th…if you are planning to attend, please apply on-line at http://ucanr.edu/survey/survey.cfm?surveynumber=11983
Farm Marketing Academy is February 21 & 22…Register at http://ucanr.edu/survey/survey.cfm?surveynumber=12020

Monday, January 27, 2014

Upcoming Educational Opportunities for Farmers & Ranchers

Farm & Ranch Business Planning Course: February 6th through March 13th.
This 6-week / 7-session course is designed for established farm and ranch businesses, with at least one year of actual cost and sales figures.  Topics include mission and vision, business structure, economic analysis, operations planning, risk management, marketing strategies, and cash flow budgeting.
More details on the Foothill Farming website at http://ucanr.edu/sites/placernevadasmallfarms/?calitem=226537&g=22527 and on attached flyer. Class is limited to 8 operations. $40 per operation, up to 3 people. If you are interested, apply as soon as possible at http://ucanr.edu/survey/survey.cfm?surveynumber=11983 to ensure a place.

Marketing Academy: Intensive 2-day course to help you develop your marketing plans. February 21 & 22. More information at http://ucanr.edu/sites/placernevadasmallfarms/?calitem=226436&g=22527 and on attached flyer. Online registration at http://ucanr.edu/survey/survey.cfm?surveynumber=12020. Class limited to 15 people. $70 per person to cover meal cost.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Farmer Training Course at Soil Born Farms

Farmer Training Course
Soil Born Farms
Sacramento, California

 
Soil Born Farms Grow Your Groceries farmer training course is starting its third session in March.  This course is designed to provide the new and aspiring grower with the tools and knowledge necessary to produce food sustainably in small spaces, and to start a successful farm-based business.
 
Pre-register for our Open House & Orientation at http://growyourgroceries.eventbrite.com/
 
The Urban Farmer track includes:
  • Fourteen classes on production skills and business topics
  • Three educational visits to local organic farms
  • Twenty hands-on field hours at Soil Born Farms American River Ranch and the Farm on Hurley Way
  • One-on-one technical assistance on production, marketing, business, and legal issues
 
The Home Gardener course consists of eleven seasonally-aligned classes and runs from October through August 2015 to support home, school and community gardeners in producing abundant produce all year long.
 
We’re holding two FREE Open House events about this course on
 
Saturday, February 15, 2pm-4pm
Saturday, February 22, 2pm-4pm
 
At these events, you will:
-learn about what the Grow Your Groceries program has to offer
-take an introductory mini-soil class from Soil Born Farms Founder & Co-Director, Shawn Harrison
-tour the American River Ranch
-enjoy farm-fresh appetizers
-take home free seeds and growing resources
 
Pre-register early to reserve your space!
 
 
Or email sbarnes@soilborn.org for more information!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Job Announcement- California FarmLink! Come work with us!

Central Coast Regional Program Coordinator

California FarmLink is a statewide nonprofit whose mission is to link independent farmers and ranchers with the land and financing they need for a sustainable future.

Job Description:

FarmLink is looking for a Central Coast Regional Program Coordinator to oversee FarmLink programmatic activities along the Central Coast of California. This position is based in Santa Cruz. Responsibilities include:

— Provide farmers, ranchers and landowners with information on land leasing, land purchasing/sales and alternative land tenure options

— Help farmers negotiate strong leases

— Coach farmers on how to find land for lease or sale, and help them find financing for land purchases

— Assist in maintaining an online hub of land for lease or sale, connect landowners and farmers, and "broker" farmland leases

— Work with and develop a network of experienced farm service professionals, including attorneys, CPAs, family communications specialists, realtors, insurance providers, and business consultants.

— Provide farmers with information on farm financing options and credit education

— Organize and present Farm Finance Expos, workshops, and seminars

— Assist in grant reporting

— Outreach to agricultural landowners and organizations to increase FarmLink’s capacity to offer quality land opportunities

— Outreach to beginning and underserved farmers to increase awareness of FarmLink programs

Qualifications:

— Experience in Central Coast agricultural, emphasis on small and mid scale farms

— Experience in farm financing and farm business management

— Familiarity with California agricultural organizations

— Experience working with farmland leasing, real estate transactions, and conservation easements

— Oral communication skills, including ability to present complex information to groups

— Computer skills include basic familiarity with Microsoft Office Suite, Salesforce or similar database, email, website, Internet and website updating

— Valid California driver’s license, ability to travel locally and regionally on a regular basis and spend overnights out of the area on occasion.

— Spanish fluency

— Ability to work in a team atmosphere

— Ability to complete self-directed projects with minimal day-to-day supervision;

— Writing skills, including the ability to prepare professional letters, newsletter articles, and reports

— Experience in nonprofit project management

Compensation and Terms:

Salary range $37,000-$50,000 depending on experience. California FarmLink offers a generous benefit plan, including health insurance after 60 days, retirement, and vacation. California FarmLink maintains a drug-free workplace and is an equal opportunity employer.

Position open until filled. Please send resume, letter of interest, and three references to Eric Winders:

eric@cafarmlink.org. No phone calls please.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Job Opportunity at Natural Trading Co Organic Farm!

Field Crew Position
Natural Trading Co Organic Farm
Sacramento, California


Natural Trading Co Organic Farm is looking for someone bright, enthusiastic, hard-working, passionate, and experienced to join our 10-person crew to fill out our 2014 summer season. Applicants should have experience farming for one or more seasons, know how to put a long day in, working in hot weather conditions, and be able to lift 50 pounds. You should be comfortable living and working with co-workers – good communication skills appreciated! There’s lots going on here at NTC and you’ll experience a little bit of everything, pitching in where needed – primarily field work (harvesting, planting, weeding), in addition to greenhouse work, farmers’ markets, CSA, and animal care.  We work hard because we love our work.

Located in the beautiful foothills of the Sierra Nevada, 30 miles northeast of Sacramento, Natural Trading Co is a 40-acre organic, mixed crop, orchard, greenhouse, and poultry farm. We operate a 200+ member CSA program, and sell our produce at five weekly Foothill Farmers’ Markets in the Sacramento foothills and Tahoe/Truckee areas, in addition to deliveries to local supermarkets, co-ops, and distributors.

We’re seeking candidates who are committed to staying the entire season (March/April to October/November).  Housing and farm food are available. This is a paid hourly position. Interested applicants, please submit a resume and letter of interest to ntc@naturaltradingco.com. For more information about the farm, visit http://naturaltradingco.com
 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Hope to see you there!

The 4th Annual Nevada County's Sustainable Food and Farm Conference is coming up this weekend!
Our 2014 Speaker Line-up:
Wes Jackson
Founder of The Land Institute & Member of World Future Council will discuss perennial polyculture, how we can change our Ag system to become more sustainable and efficient.

Elaine Ingham
Founder of Soil FoodWeb Inc. & previously the Chief Scientist at The Rodale Institute will discuss the importance and role of microbes in our farm and pasture soils, how to increase their populations and their effects, compost tea and other soil fertility subjects.

Amigo Bob Cantisano
President of Organic Ag Advisors & Nevada County farmer will discuss the past, present and future of the modern organic movement with a special focus on Nevada County and the surrounding Northern California area. Where did the movement originate, how it grew and where we should be taking it now for a more sustainable future.

Owen Hablutzel
Holistic Managment Educator & Permaculture Researcher will discuss methodologies for managing pastures and grass lands with a holistic approach. Combining the ideas popularized by Alan Savory, the Permaculture Movement & other similar disciplines to get the most production and resilience from your pastures and grass lands.
Check out the speakers page for complete bios on each speaker. 

Sunday we have a full day of workshops at the Grass Valley Charter School, located next to the Veteran's Hall. We've expanded the workshops even more this year to cover a much larger spectrum of topics and skill levels. Many local and regional experts will share their knowledge. Whether you are just starting out, or been at it most of your life, there will be a full day of knowledge to be gained by all. 
We have increase the scope and the number of workshops that we will be presenting this year. That means more to learn, more opportunity to go to the workshops you want to go to, more workshops about your specific interests, at your level of knowledge and your target application. 
Get all the information:
Speaker Bios, workshop listings and more at
LIKE us on Facebook (click here) and stay updated as more details come available, workshops are announced and tickets go on sale
Get your tickets:
Starting at $30, Only $100 for an all conference pass for both days!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Turn key farm operation for lease in Nevada County!

Nevada County #1472

Heaven and Earth farm comprises 11.5 acres, of which approximately 3.5 acres are in production. The farm is a mixture of wooded areas, grasslands, hillside and bottomland production areas. The farm has been in diversified production since 2000. We grow mixed seasonal vegetables, numerous fruits including apples, pears, cherries, plums, figs, mulberries, peaches, nectarines and nuts, 8 vars of table grapes grapes, seed crops, flowers, herbs, chickens, bees, hops, boysenberries, marionberries, ollalieberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, currants, and more.
All production uses organic farming principles since the farm was established.  We use cover crops extensively, composts both from on farm and purchased, rock minerals, foliar feeding, fertilization, animal protein nitrogen sources. The farm is currently registered organic with the state of California, and is eligible to become certified organic, which will be one of the requirements of the lessee. Soil is a mixture of Class II and Class III bottomland and foothill soils. Irrigation is provided by a 35 GPM well.
We utilize limited motorized equipment, predominately relying on hand work with rototillers, hand tillage, backpack sprayers, and other assorted manual tools. The farm is completely equipped for virtually all needs for the production of the crops now on the property. The lessee will have access to all of the equipment, tools and necessary infrastructure. Equipment includes mowers, weed eaters, rototiller, push seeders, motorized backpack sprayer, large array of hand tools, lots of irrigation supplies, propagation supplies, harvest tools, and much more. We have all the equipment for marketing as well including scales, tents, F150 Ford pickup, tables and other materials. 
The lessee will occupy a small, modern wood heated cabin with kitchen, power and potable water, sleeping loft, outdoor heated shower, covered outdoor composting toilet, wifi and more. The space is very comfortable for one, and two will be cozy. Also there are two small trailers, powered by solar electricity, which have been used for employees or apprentices. 
The farm has numerous small fields, each individually fenced to exclude deer, rabbits and other critters. The largest area is approximately 1 acre of vegetable ground, bottomland, and the rest are in smaller blocks, mostly flat, some on hillsides. Irrigation is a mixture of mini sprinklers, sprinklers, drip tape, drip emitters, and some dry farmed crops. Currently the well is powered by electricity from PG & E, although we are installing solar panels this winter to offset a portion of the electricity charges. 
There is a 24’ x 50' double poly unheated greenhouse, with production area for starting seedlings using supplemental heat; approximately half of the house used for seasonal crop production, the other half for seedling production. Most propagating supplies and equipment are available. There is also a 24’ x 50' seasonal hoop house. We have a 8’ x 12’ walk-in refrigeration, dry storage, freezer, and additional storage. The walk-in is equipped with lighting and heat for use as a seed germination chamber, when not used for cooling produce.
There is a large, completely equipped outdoor kitchen, used seasonally for production of on farm value-added products, as well as harvest, cleaning and packing of crops. This area has been used by us, employees and apprentices for meal production, processing, gatherings and relaxation. We have nearly all the equipment for preserving foods including juice press, extractors, fermentation supplies, canning equipment, dehydrator, freezer and more. 
We are very willing to share their knowledge as needed including all the basic aspects of how the farm works to date, and encourage ongoing conversation and advice as needed. We have extensive experience and knowledge in all aspects of running a small farm, food processing, herbal preparations, homesteading skills and much more.  We are willing to provide training and advice as needed with all aspects of the farms crop production and overall management. 
Heaven and Earth Farm is located on the San Juan Ridge of Nevada County, California in the Sierra foothills at 2400 feet elevation, between the South and Middle forks of the Yuba River. We are in the zone of transition between oaks and pines, with madrone and manzanita, with long Mediterranean summer and fall, rainy cool to cold winters, and usually rainy spring. The average rainfall is 60 inches, however the range has been between 30 and 115 inches in the last 10 years. We have four distinct seasons. Most years we get little or no rain from early May to mid October. We get occasional snow, 3 to 5 times per year, usually no more than a few inches per snowfall. The Northern Sierras, a vast and beautiful mountain range, is our back yard. Recreation opportunities are huge.
The farm is located in a rural area, populated by long-time residents and a mix of long time and new back to the landers. We are 15 miles from the nearest urban area, Nevada City and Grass Valley. The county population is approximately 100,000. We have an extremely active community with social and political diversity. Although the towns are relatively small, they have all of the features of a large city. Where we live on the ridge is much smaller, but it also has an active social and educational scene. If you're interested in social, entertainment and educational opportunities, the list is almost endless.
We need a highly motivated, friendly and innovative person(s) to lease this small farm and grow it to its ultimate potential. The successful applicant will have a minimum of three years of organic farming experience, preferably in a management role. We are not able to accommodate recent apprentices or interns, as we need a more experienced farmer. Applicants should have extensive experience in a wide variety of vegetable and flower production, greenhouse and hoop house, and preferably perennial crops as well. Knowledge and ability to organize a farm work plan, manage interns or employees, market crops, use basic farm equipment and maintain as needed, crop rotation, fertility, pest and weed management, irrigation, bookkeeping skills, record-keeping skills are all essential.
We look forward to hearing from you and establishing a great, nourishing, mutually beneficial friendship.
Interested? Read the instructions for How to Find Land Through California FarmLink.