Category Archives: Processing

Making More From Milk!

Have you ever thought about adding value to the milk you produce on your farm? This May, join with other farmers to learn about value-added dairy, including visits to retails that specialize in specialty cheeses, and visits to farms that are making cheese and ice cream from their milk. Cow, sheep and goat milk dairies and cheese makers are featured, especially those producing artisan and raw milk cheeses from grass-fed animals.

This is three full days of on-site expert introduction to value-added dairy. The event fee of $695 includes:

  • 3 farm visits,
  • 3 processor visits,
  • 5 retailer visits,
  • 5 seminars with industry experts,
  • 3 lunches,
  • ground transportation to visits,
  • Translation to Spanish.

There are also optional cheese making opportunities on Thursday May 4.

  • Option one – make cheese with an award-winning cheese maker in a small factory setting. $425.
  • Option two – make cottage cheese with professionals from the University of Wisconsin. $525.

The event runs Monday May 1 at 8 am to Wednesday May 3 at 3:30. Seminars are offered in Madison, WI and tours are concentrated in the Fox Valley.

Register at https://fs3.formsite.com/8onTH0/form1/index.html

For more details on the program, go to http://globalcow.com/making-more-from-milk/

Contact Karen@globaldairyoutreach.com to register. 866-267-2879

Open Source Food Safety

Announcing new open source hub for food safety information

processed cold products

Photo: R. Stone

Open Source Food Safety has launched a new initiative and website opensourcefoodsafety.org for the benefit of regional food systems. Food safety is important to everyone, but the information food-related businesses need to make safe products isn’t always affordable or easy to access. The Open Source Food Safety Initiative is setting out to change that.

A collaboration between the University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Humanities, Underground Food Collective, Sarapis Foundation, and open source software developers, the Open Source Food Safety Initiative aims to make information about food safety free, publicly available, and easy to understand. This project emerged out of a Kickstarter-funded campaign in 2014 that has raised $49,000 to date, and received national press on NPR’s Salt, Eater, and The New Food Economy for its innovative approach to helping food businesses navigate the complex world of food safety regulation.

Normally, this information is copyright-protected and food businesses have to pay consultants tens of thousands of dollars to access it. To date, Open Source Food Safety Initiative collaborators have assisted over 20 restaurants and plants with their HACCP plans, thereby bringing the cost of starting a business down and generating for them an estimated quarter million dollars of value.

Now, the initiative’s new website is taking its approach to collaboration around food safety information to the next level. This new hub, www.opensourcefoodsafety.org, hosts Creative Commons-licensed Hazard Analysis of Critical Control Points (HACCP) plans and invites people to share their own plans, commenting on existing plans and adapt plans for their own businesses. The free, familiar, and easy to use online tools makes all this (and more) possible.

“We think this is an incredibly innovative way to help small processors tackle food safety issues,” said Jonny Hunter, project founder and Underground Food Collective co-owner. “We hope processors will not only use this information, but contribute back – strengthening the overall safety of our food system.”

“This project is a delicious example of how widely used free software tools like Google Docs and open source collaboration techniques can be used to improve our food system,” said Devin Balkind, founder of Sarapis Foundation. “This effort not only lowers the cost of starting businesses while increasing the availability of awesome food. It also invites people to imagine other ways food producers can use collaborative technologies to work together and transform their industry.”

Sharing HACCP plans is just the beginning. The Open Source Food Safety Initiative aims to provide food businesses with multi-media guides to navigating food safety regulation, including step-by-step videos that document the process of validating and verifying HACCP plans, interviews with food scientists, and blog posts tackling common food safety issues faced by processors. Their website also hosts a forum for discussion around food safety issues.

Those interested in starting or building a food business, strengthening knowledge infrastructure for regional food systems, or simply invested in the safety of our food system can visit www.opensourcefoodsafety.org to use and modify food safety plans featured on the site, and can share their own food safety plans with others as open source documents by emailing info@opensourcefoodsafety.org

For project updates, subscribe to the Open Source Safety Initiative’s blog, join their Google Group, or check out their Facebook page

Inside scoop for cider makers

slide01Hard cider webinar: Industry Survey Findings and Opportunities for Rural Development. Tuesday, Dec 6, 1:30est.

Matt Raboin, researcher – apple grower – cider maker, has some findings to share and would like to chat with you on the future of cider making. Please join us next Tuesday and invite your colleagues.

To join the call, go to: https://ncrcrd.adobeconnect.com/ncrcrd

For more information, go to: http://expeng.anr.msu.edu/…/…/133/Hard%20Cider%20Webinar.pdf

Continental Nut Grower conference July 26-29 in LaCrosse

The 106th Northern Nut Growers Conference will be held this July in LaCrosse!

July 27-28, speakers from across North America will share their experience with a variety of nuts – chestnuts, hazelnuts, oaks, butternuts, hickory nuts, walnuts, even cashews. Sessions will cover breeding, crop management, marketing and business development.

The tour organized for July 28th includes a hike through a native chestnut grove, a tour of Mark Shepard’s polyculture farm, and a look at the American Hazelnut Company’s processing facility. The tour ends with dinner at the Rooted Spoon.

Register by July 1 and save. Register now at the NNGA website at  or go directly to the meeting registration website at: https://uwlax.ungerboeck.com/prod/emc00/register.aspx?OrgCode=10&EvtID=5084&AppCode=REG.

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.

 

Time to register – growing woody perennials

Time is short to make the registration deadline for this workshop – one that you won’t want to miss! Check out the draft agenda and handouts we are preparing for the event! Registration information here.

(ps: more than 60 people turned out for the aronia field day in Soldiers Grove at Star Valley — see previous post)

 

8:30-9:00 a.m.                  Welcome & introductions

9:00-9:45 a.m.                  Principles of ecological gardening

9:45-10:30 a.m.                split into 2 groups:

  1. Small group discussion/Functions worksheet: What are the functions you want fulfilled on your land? What are your land’s needs, yields, characteristics?
  2. Tour at Nature Nooks — motivation and philosophy, species selection for food production, wildlife buffer, riparian plantings, visual screens, ecotourism

10:30-10:45 a.m.              Break

10:45-11:30 a.m.              Small Group discussion /Tour at Nature Nooks

11:30-12 p.m.                    Lunch

12-12:30 p.m.                    Travel to Cullen and Micaela’s Long Arm Farm

12:30-2:30 p.m.                Tours at Long Arm Farm with 3 groups :

  1. philosophy, context & background, plant selection, how to plant different species (sheet mulching, etc.), plant selection for hedgerows, what is working well, markets
  2. animals, chicken tractor and rotations, plants for fodder, cheese cave, markets
  3. plant varieties, plant selection, propagation, what to grow along riparian zones & edges, sun/shade, guilds, juglones tolerant plants

2:30-3:00 p.m.                  Travel to Mike Breckel’s Hawkstone Vineyard

3:00-4:15 p.m.                  Tour at Hawkstone Vineyard – motivation and philosophy, elderberry production, processing and markets

4:15-5:00                            Elderberry tasting (tentative), Wrap Up

 

Handouts:

  • Definition of Terms – perennialization, forest garden, agroforestry, permaculture, organic/gardening/farming, sustainability, resiliency, food security
  • Functions worksheet– what are your goals (hobby farm, supplemental food or income, primary income, etc.), what things do you need to consider on your land? What functions do you want fulfilled?, Do you have specific goals? Land use plan? Biz plans? Markets in mind? Philosophy about land?
  • Observations & Basic Principles worksheet —  aspect, sun/shade, slope, water, soils, cycling, stacking functions, interrelationships, relative location, species selection (needs, yields, characteristics), guilds, animals
  • Plant Lists – fruit and nut varieties, native plant lists from the UW Arboretum, permaculture guilds
  • Plant Nurseries
  • Participant List

To register, use using
the form available on the CIAS website at www.cias.wisc.edu and send with payment to Michelle Miller at UW-Madison CIAS, Attn: Growing Woody Perennials in the Kickapoo Region, Ag Bulletin Building, 1535 Observatory Drive, Madison, WI 53706. Contact Michelle with registration questions at mmmille6@wisc.edu or 608-262-7135. For workshop questions, contact Marian
Farrior: mlfarrior@wisc.edu, 608-265-5214.

Register now – Marketing the Native Understory

Marketing the Native Understory: Selling Driftless Hazelnuts, Aronia and Mushrooms Direct to Chefs

June 27, 2013, Viroqua / Viola, Wisconsin

9:30-4pm

Hosted by: Rooted Spoon Culinary, Viroqua, WI and New Forest Farm, Viola, WI in collaboration with the Hazelnut Development Initiative, the Midwest Aronia Growers Association, and the UW Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems.

Hazelnuts and aronia are newly emerging, cultivated woody perennial crops in the Upper Midwest, and wild mushrooms are part of a long tradition of foraging in this region. These “forest products” can help chefs create locally-sourced signature dishes, and can help landowners supplement and diversify their income.

Selling direct to chefs may be an important way for growers and foragers to get their products to market,  invigorate production and develop the necessary processing infrastructure. One of the main barriers to chefs purchasing local products is a lack of information about crop attributes or availability. With this in mind, the UW-CIAS  is working with local partners to connect chefs and growers from around the Driftless Region at this event. Throughout the day, growers and chefs will have opportunities to develop contacts with potential buyers and suppliers.

Two panel discussions will address the marketing of these crops. Chefs will speak to their experience working with forest products from local growers. Hazelnut and aronia growers, and a mushroom forager, will share their experience marketing to local restaurants.

After a lunch at Rooted Spoon Culinary highlighting some of these forest products, the venue will shift to New Forest Farm in Viola, WI (about a half-hour drive). Here, attendees will tour the largest hazelnut planting in Wisconsin situated within this perennial permaculture farm. Check back for updates on the agenda and participating organizations.

The registration fee for this event is $10. Space is limited to the first 80 people to register. Visit our web page, where we will post agenda updates and participating organizations. Or, if you are ready, you can  register on-line.

Specialty Pork forum – update

August 2012, CIAS convened a meeting of people passionate about specialty pork. Specialty-finished, heritage breed pork is much-sought-after, especially by restauranteurs interested in an authentic, innovative and sustainable menu item. Heirloom breeds, unique finishes, and artisanal processing are coming together to give consumers a taste of regional flavor. In the Upper Midwest prok finished with hazelnuts, chestnuts, acorns, and apples provide that regional flavor. This one-day forum, co-hosted by Rooted Spoon Kitchen Table,  brought together farmers, processors, restaurants and vendors to discuss regional pork. They shared their expertise and experiences, and discussed next steps toward developing a regional supply chain for local pork.

More than 30 stakeholders from around southern Wisconsin gathered in Viroqua for a forum on the region’s nascent specialty pork sector. Some pasture-based hog farmers have begun finishing their animals with specialty products to alter the flavor and distinguish their products to consumers. CIAS recognized that this could be a new niche for small- and medium-scale pasture-based operations in the state, and so we convened a forum to discuss its potential. We posed the question of whether a marketing program akin to “Wisconsin Specialty Pork” could serve participants along the pastured pork value chain. With farmers, processors, vendors, and representatives from CIAS in the room, the group held a lively one-day discussion on issues facing the growth of a specialty pork economy.

We first heard from growers Jeannie Herold (Hazel Valley Farm) and Mark Osterberg (Hawk’s Cry Farm) on the value they’ve found in hazelnut-finished hogs. Both Herold and Osterberg began their operations with hazelnuts before incorporating hogs. Without the necessary industrial facilities available, they have found that pigs are the next-best way to process their hazelnut crop. Herold sells her pork directly to consumers, and she reports that her customers appreciate the rich flavor the meat takes from the nuts.

Next Christopher Pax (Black Earth Meats), Scott Buer (Bolzano Artisan Meats), and Tim Blokhuis (Pete’s Meats) presented on the state of specialty pork from the processor’s perspective. During a break, Caitlin Henning (MSc candidate in Agroecology) discussed her fieldwork on denominations of origin for specialty pork in Spain and how lessons from that country could help farmers and vendors in Wisconsin market specialty pork as a terroir product.

For the final panel discussion, Jeremy Johnson (Willy Street Grocery Cooperative), Nik Novak (Together Farms), and Talish Barrow (Graze Restaurant) talked with the group about marketing challenges and opportunities for specialty-finished pork. While the panelists haven’t yet observed consumer demand for specialty finishing, their businesses have responded to consumer interest in local and pasture-raised pork. Barrow proposed that specialty finishing could be another niche for farmers and vendors with the right amount of consumer education.

Most farmers attending the event were curious about whether specialty finishing could work for their operations. Surveys completed during the event indicate that there is interest in both specialty finishing and product aggregation to take advantage of larger markets and niche consumers.

Another note – if you are on FaceBook, check out the Black Pork site. Lovely photos! https://www.facebook.com/BlackPorks

black pork

Meeting participants:

Last Name First Name Affiliation/Organization
Armbrust Matt Organic Processing Institute
Barrow Talish Graze Restaurant
Bernardoni Bob Roller Coaster Farm
Blokhuis Tim Pete’s Meats
Buer Scott Bolzano Artisan Meats
Doherty Charlotte Roller Coaster Farm
Fabos Steve April’s Garden
Fox Dan Fox Heritage Foods
Fox Art Fox Heritage Foods
Goetzman Sandra Fair Wind Farm
Goetzman Tom Fair Wind Farm
Henning Caitlin UW-Agroecology
Herold Jeannie Hazel Valley Farm
Hoch Harry Hoch Orchard and Gardens
Holmstrom Deanne Holmstrom’s Grassy Acres
Holstrom Jamie Holmstrom’s Grassy Acres
Hunter Jonny Underground Food Collective
Johnson Jeremy WSGC
Johnstone-Buer Christin Bolzano Artisan Meats
Keeley Keefe UW-Agroecology
Mabe Nick Hoch Orchard and Gardens
McCann Nick Iowa State Univerisity
Moths Jessi CIAS
Novak Nik Together Farms
Osterhaus Max Hawks Cry
Osterhaus Mark Hawk’s Cry Farm
Pax Christopher Black Earth Meats
Prusia April April’s Garden
Schneider Stephanie Together Farms
Schriefer Gene Iowa County UWEX
Solberg Dan prospective farmer
Toepper Lorin Madison College
Williams Brady CIAS
Wong Kristina Hawks Cry
Wright Carla Organic Processing Institute

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.

 

4th Annual Upper Midwest Hazelnut Growers Conference

March 1-2, Eau Claire

Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin hazelnut growers plan to convene this spring to share information on growing, processing and selling hazelnuts. Researchers from Ontario, New Jersey, Minnesota and Wisconsin will share their work on propogating commercial nuts from hybrid and native hazelnut stock, and various ways growers are marketing their crops.

For more information and to register, go to:

http://www.midwesthazelnuts.org/assets/files/2013%20Hazelnut%20Conference%20Brochure.pdf

hazelnut