New Jersey Ag News
Young farmers set to share ideas, energy at NOFA-NJ
By JANE PRIMERANO
NEW BRUNSWICK (Jan. 15, 2017) — Sometime just the enthusiasm of young farmers is enough to make old timers feel re-energized, but Alec Gioseffi is trying to share ideas as well at the NOFA-NJ Winter Conference on Jan. 28-29.
Gioseffi will present a discussion on soil blocking and remineralizing the soil and talk about Cooperative 518.
The farm co-op grows 400 varieties of staple fruits, vegetables, herbs, flowers, berries and nuts with seeds sourced from heirloom providers.
The farmers produce 42 varieties of tomatoes alone for their 65 CSA families as well as potatoes, onions, peppers, carrots, eggplants, sweet potatoes and squash.
They also raise sheep, chickens and pigs.
After the first season on the farm, Gioseffi got a $10,000 grant to build a high tunnel to extend the growing season.
He got a second USDA research grant to improve the soil and conduct soil tests.
He will share the expertise he gained from these experiments.
A graduate of the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers, Gioseffi majored in photography and art history and minored in agroecology.
However, he didn’t think he’d be starting a farm.
Now he’s the main farmer on the 10-acre parcel although others, including his fiancé, Laura Nagy, help.
Also at NOFA-NJ, Nina Planck will offer a Saturday workshop on traditional fats, pastured and grass-fed meats, whole eggs and fermented and cultured foods.
Planck, who lives in Stockholm, Hardyston Township, Sussex County, is a cookbook author and wrote “Real Food: What to Eat and Why.”
She worked in politics before she started a farm market in London.
In 2003, she was director of Greenmarket, the largest group of farm markets in the United States.
Her husband, Robert Kaufelt is proprietor of Murray’s Cheese.
In addition, Sarah Williford of East Brook Farm and Lizabeth Marks of the USDA-NRCS will present a session on preparing mission and vision statements for family farms.