Category Archives: Organic Veggies

Field days at West Madison Agricultural Research Station focus on vegetable flavor

This year at West Madison, Horticulture professor Julie Dawson planted trials of several
species of vegetables with a particular focus on flavor, with varieties selected by plant breeders at UW Madison and by seed companies with organic seed offerings for direct-market growers.

They have beets, carrots, onion, lettuce, hot and sweet peppers, melons, winter squash, cabbage, tomato, potato and sweet corn in collaboration with plant breeders at UW Madison and the West Madison demonstration gardens.

Field days are each month from 3-5 pm. Participants will tour a breeding nursery or larger trial each time, and also look at all the crops in the demonstration gardens and do a taste test.

  • Wednesday August 27th: tomatoes, sweet corn, melons, peppers
  • Monday September 22nd: beets, carrots, onions, tomatoes
  • Tuesday October 21st: potatoes, winter squash, carrots

All the field days will be held at the West Madison Agricultural Research Station 8502 Mineral Point Rd, Verona WI 53593, universitydisplaygardens.com.

For more information and to receive information on project results, contact Julie Dawson,
Department of Horticulture, dawson@hort.wisc.edu.

Two new reports : regional food transportation and climate

CIAS and USDA-AMS transportation division just released our report: Networking Across the Supply Chain http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/AgTransportation  We are continuing this work, hoping to host a meeting next spring in Chicago for the logistics and transportation sector. If you are working on freight transportation and values-based food supply chains, I would love to hear your thinking on this.

I’ve also been working with the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters on a report we released last Friday: “Climate Forward: A new roadmap for Wisconsin’s climate and energy fuuture” https://www.wisconsinacademy.org/sites/default/files/ClimateForward2014.pdf  The Academy will continue its work on this area into 2015. We hope to link CIAS faculty, students, staff and our many community partners (that means YOU) to it through our work on perennializing agriculture.

 

Networking Across the Supply Chain – LaCrosse 2/20-21/2013

100 regional food supply chain entrepreneurs are gathering in LaCrosse this week to shape a public R&D agenda for getting local food to market in a way that is economically viable, socially just and environmentally sound.

Visit this link to see the agenda, speaker bios and a list of organizations attending.

http://www.cias.wisloraxc.edu/networking-across-the-supply-chain-transportation-innovations-in-local-and-regional-food-systems/

Can’t join us? A proceedings will be published later this year.

 

Building the Base of Your CSA: Legal Best Practices, Including Member, Volunteer, and Intern Agreements Webinar

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012 from 6:00-7:30pm, Central
Location: Online
Do you have a CSA program or are you planning to start one? Would you like guidance on how legal documents can help you achieve your CSA goals?
Farmers are invited to attend a webinar December 18th at 6pm (Central) to learn about the legal aspects of running a CSA and gain strategies for crafting a CSA member agreement to improve customer satisfaction and retention. This webinar will also discuss how to create meaningful volunteer opportunities with worker share or volunteer agreements, while also identifying potential legal risks. We will discuss setting up a CSA business, hiring interns and apprentices, and overall risk management strategies to build a CSA that can thrive.
CSA farmers, educators, and advocates are invited to attend. The legal principles discussed will be relevant to CSA farmers nationwide, although Wisconsin and Illinois examples will be emphasized for state-specific discussions.
Please register for this webinar at www.farmcommons.org.
For individuals that cannot attend the December 18th event, the webinar is also being offered on December 10th at 6:00pm Central. Please email Rachel@farmcommons.org to sign up for December 10th.
After registering you will receive more information about how to log into the webinar. We are excited to use the University of Illinois’ user-friendly and interactive webinar presentation resources. It will be accessible for those on dial-up. Phone support will be available if you have any trouble accessing the presentation.

Rachel Armstrong
Executive Director- Farm Commons, Inc.
Post-Doctoral Research Associate
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The Equitable Food Initiative

Please share widely with your friends and colleagues!

The Equitable Food Initiative is hiring a Senior Advisor to engage major actors in the food industry to join the EFI.

The Equitable Food Initiative (www.equitablefood.net) is a consortium of major food buyers, growers, farm worker groups and consumer advocates to ensure dignified livelihoods for farm workers; a trained workforce and safer, more sustainable food. The co-chairs of the coalition are Oxfam America and the United Farm Workers of America.

The position will engage major actors in the food industry, other organizations and the public with the goal of strengthening the EFI program as well as providing steering for the design of field-based training, certification and verification.

The position will be based on the West Coast. To apply, see Positions at Oxfam America.

Peter O’Driscoll
Project Director
EquiTABLE Food Initiative
www.equitablefood.net

202-777-2933 (desk)
617-407-8171 (cell)

PODriscoll@OxfamAmerica.org

 

Building the Base of Your CSA: Legal Best Practices, Including Member, Volunteer, and Intern Agreements

Webinar: Monday, December 10th, 2012 at 6pm

Do you have a CSA program or are you planning to start one? Would you like guidance on how legal documents can help you achieve your CSA goals?

Farmers are invited to attend a webinar December 10th at 6pm to learn about the legal aspects of running a CSA and gain strategies for crafting a CSA member agreement to improve customer satisfaction and retention. This webinar will also discuss how to create meaningful volunteer opportunities with worker share or volunteer agreements, while also identifying potential legal risks. We will discuss setting up a CSA business, hiring interns and apprentices, and overall risk management strategies to build a CSA that can thrive.

CSA farmers, educators, and advocates are invited to attend. The legal principles discussed will be relevant to CSA farmers nationwide, although Wisconsin and Illinois examples will be emphasized for state-specific discussions.

Please register for this webinar at www.farmcommons.org.

After registering you will receive more information about how to log into the webinar. We are excited to use the University of Illinois’ user-friendly and interactive webinar presentation resources. It will be accessible for those on dial-up. Phone support will be available if you have any trouble accessing the presentation.

This webinar is presented by Professor A. Bryan Endres at the University of Illinois Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics and Rachel Armstrong of Farm Commons and the University of Illinois. It is hosted by the University of Illinois, Online and Continuing Education and funding is provided in part by the North Central Risk Management Education Center.

1.3 million servings of WI veggies, please

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack is in Madison today to award our project a grant!

CIAS is working with farmers, processors, and distributors  to go from zero Wisconsin veggies in Wisconsin public schools to 1.3 million servings in 2014.That amounts to targeting 60% of Wisconsin school districts with two new food service-friendly products.

Andy Dierks, Coloma Farms, Teresa Engel at DATCP, Anna Maenner at the Wisconsin Fresh Market Vegetable Growers Association, Mary Pesik with DHS, June Paul with DPI, Cheryl Piel with the School Nutrition Association, and Mike Bell (CESoc) and Alfonso Morales (URPL) at the UW,  supported the project proposal.

The project encourages two new products to the school lunch menu: Harvest Medley – a mix of root vegetables, squash and herbs – and a roasted potato blend. Both products have been successful in St. Paul and Milwaukee school lunch program trials.

Fifth Season coop in Viroqua will be working with Reinhart to get the new products to market. Maglio’s in Glendale is working with SYSCO.

Not too shabby.

Congratulations and thank you to Sarah Tedeschi and project partners for making this happen!

 

 

Want to sell wholesale?

Looking for a buyer? The Local Food Expo has a couple of display areas for you at its meeting next Tuesday, September 18. Hosted by the Institutional Food Marketing Coalition, this event brings buyers and sellers together to swap business cards and learn about their mutual interests and concerns around wholesaling food grown in our region. They are especially interested in meat and cheese vendors. To register for the meeting. reserve a display table or learn more, go to www.ifmwi.org. Register now!

Organics as value-added approach for Driftless agriculture

Jim Riddle recently did a video on “What is Organic?” for SPNN and the St. Paul Farmers Market. View it at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQskVbWGT2c

During the interview, he was asked about GMOs, and why people are concerned. I mentioned that researchers in Europe have found Bt corn damages the liver and other internal organs of lab animals. Here’s a link to one of the studies I was referring to, “A Comparison of the Effects of Three GM Corn Varieties on Mammalian Health,” published in the International Journal of Biological Sciences: http://www.biolsci.org/v05p0706.htm