New Jersey Ag News
NOFA-NJ announces summer farm meetings schedule
HILLSBOROUGH — Summer is in full swing in the Garden State – an array of Jersey fruits and vegetables are making appearances in local grocery stores, CSA boxes, farmers’ markets and roadside stands and farmers are working non-stop to keep their crops hydrated and healthy.
While it’s hard to get away from the garden and farm during the height of the season, it’s also the time when growers become aware of emerging issues and seasonal themes in the production chain.
The Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Jersey has organized three on-farm workshops for the 2012 season, called “twilight meetings,” to bring producers together to talk about sustainable agriculture.
“Twilight meetings are an important part of what NOFA-NJ does,” said Camille Miller, NOFA-NJ executive director. “They’re an opportunity to meet sustainable, local growers and learn about a specific topic or discuss an important issue. We’ve been doing them for years to give sustainable farmers a forum to really dig into what farming in New Jersey looks like.”
NOFA-NJ’s twilight meetings are informal workshops designed for growers that discuss relevant topics and draw attention to unique and innovative production and marketing methods that support organic and sustainable agriculture in New Jersey.
This season will highlight three topics: creating on-farm internships and effective mentoring techniques, orchard planning and diversity and, finally, pasture management and marketing niche meats.
Attendees will hear from experienced farmers, and agricultural experts, and join the discussion.
“We really stress the importance of conversation and discussion at the meetings,” Miller said. “There is so much knowledge in the field that can be shared — agriculture in New Jersey is challenging and these meetings are an important part of a farming support network.”
These meetings are also an important part of NOFA-NJ’s Beginning Farmer Program, as they provide beginning farmers with an opportunity to meet experienced farmers and learn new skills.
The three meetings are scheduled as follows: “On-farm internships: Responsibilities and rewards for mentors and interns,” hosted by North Slope Farm in Lambertville on July 23; “Holistic orchard design and management,” hosted by Genesis Farm in Blairstown on Aug. 15; and “Pasture management and specialty meats,” hosted by 7th Heaven Farm in Tabernacle on Sept. 14.
Twilight meetings are free for NOFA-NJ Members and $10 for non-members.
More details and registration information is available at http://www.nofanj.org.