In the past year, Farmers Markets have increased 16%, with about 850 new ones opening across the country. CBS Sunday Morning also reports that the increase in markets and Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs) is keeping family farms viable:
“For decades we’ve been hearing about the death of the family farm, but consider this: Farmers markets and other forms of selling straight to customers are helping to keep farmers in business.
Third generation Maine farmer John Snell makes twice as much money selling at this Portland market as he would selling wholesale to middlemen.
Now, this next piece of information may come as a shock:
Snell says a farmer with 1,000 acres or soybeans and corn in rotation do NOT make more money per acre. “No, no. Their gross, per acre is significantly less, which is why they’re farming 1,000, 2,000 acres, where we’re probably farming for vegetables, maybe, 25.”
Markets and CSAs are in full swing as summer ends. Not only do they offer the very best food, they are a great place to connect with your local community. Visit our local food page to learn more.
Ag Reserve Farmers Shannon Varley from Bella Terra Family Farm and Lee Langstaff from Shepherd’s Hey were on Channel 9 news last night discussing how smaller scale egg production makes for safer eggs. In the face of massive egg recalls from large scale egg processing plants, there has never been a better time to shop locally and know where your food comes from. Eating a more local, sustainable and likely safer egg is as easy as visiting your local farmers market or co-op. Visit our local food page to learn more. Or, check the list of Montgomery County and Frederick County Farmers Markets.
Headed to the fair? You can help our local food bank while you are there. Please see the poster below.
Everyone needs fresh fruit and vegetables in their diet, especially those that have fallen on hard times. Three cheers to Manna Food Bank, Whole Foods Market and Woody Woodroof of Red Wiggler Farm for providing fresh produce to food bank clients. Read the Gazette article here.
In November 2009, MCA awarded Woody the Royce Hanson Award in honor of his work with Red Wiggler Community Farm. Click here to learn more.
Button Farm Living History Center is also growing food for Manna, and going a step further to handle the spoiled food that would otherwise go to waste. It works like this: Manna gets donations of food from farms, individuals and grocery stores, because of the sheer volume of food, some of it passes its prime and would have to be thrown out, eventually ending up in a landfill. Enter GrowingSOUL, a new nonprofit organization that takes all of Manna’s spoiled food back to Button Farm where it is composted into rich soil that can then be used to grow more food for Manna. See the video below:
Conservation Montgomery is a new civic organization dedicated to quality of life issues in the County. In line with the organization’s focus on responsive government, they will be sharing the results of the following survey with county officials. Read on to take the survey and learn more about Conservation Montgomery.
We are inviting you to participate in a countywide survey of residents. We hope that this survey will be informative and will help Montgomery County agencies and elected officials understand how residents view the connection between protection of natural resources and our overall quality of life and health.
The survey should take no longer than about 20 minutes to complete, depending on your desire to comment on some of the questions and issues presented. A summary of this survey will be published at www.ConservationMontgomery.org before mid-September. However, no names will be published in association with comments. We do reserve the right to edit out profanity or text that is inappropriate for Web publication. Thank you in advance for participating in this project.
Conservation Montgomery Email: ConservationMontgomery@live.com
The Gazette has run an excellent editorial in opposition to the Planning Board’s 4-1 decision approving the Barnesville Oaks Subdivision, a 24 house development on the largest remaining parcel of farmland in the Ag Reserve. The article speaks to the fact that even with the protections of the Reserve, “continued vigilance is required.” Thanks to all those that have been both vigilant and vocal throughout this process by sending letters and attending hearings.
Despite the disappointing hearing, MCA will be filing a Motion to Reconsider within 10 days of the written decision. Staff is gathering all the necessary materials for this filing now.
Additionally, MCA has partnered with Sugarloaf Citizens Association to hire legal representation for this issue. To help in this effort, please consider a donation to the Barnesville Oaks Legal Fund through our secure pay pal site.(In the message box, please write “Barnesville Oaks Legal Fund.” Thank You!)