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Taking a close look at MDAR’s new farm compost regulations

August 30, 2019

August 30th, 2019

By Karen Schwalbe, SEMAP Executive Director

Sometimes the rules need breaking and other times just tweaking.  Which will it be?  Right now, Massachusetts farmers have a chance to comment on the new on-farm composting regulations proposed by the Massachusetts Department of Agriculture (MDAR).  Earlier this month I attended a listening session on these proposed regulations and wanted to share my concerns and to encourage our local farmers to comment to MDAR on the changes.  The more voices MDAR hears, the more likely we will see favorable changes.

The recently proposed changes the Agricultural Composting regulations were spurred by a neighborhood dispute in Central Massachusetts.  While the farmer’s activities were legal and met all existing regulations, the effect of odor on the neighborhood instigated a complaint to their State Senator.  The bill filed as a result of this conflict was vetoed by the Governor and now MDAR has the opportunity to issue a revised set of regulations.

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Apponagansett Bay Farm Bids Extended to August 9th

July 26, 2019

Friday, July 26th, 2019

The 28-acre working farm in South Dartmouth, MA contains a four-bedroom, two-bath historic farmhouse residence (currently set up as two apartments), a separate garage, two large barn buildings and a storage shed, in addition to 20 acres of agricultural fields. Bids are due August 9th at 5pm. The minimum bid is $700,000.

View the full property flyer here.

A Message from the Director, May 2019

May 22, 2019

Keep an eye out for the 2019 Local Food Guide coming out next month.  In case you don’t know, the Guide is the Southeastern Massachusetts compilation of all things to do with local fruits & veggies, dairy,  meat, and seafood as well as local fiber.   SEMAP member farms are highlighted in the Guide so you can easily find them and support them. We also have some brand-new advertisers we think you will find useful.  Your last chance to get an advertisement in the Guide is this week.  Reach out to us if you are interested in placing an ad! And if you would like a stack or case of the 2019 Guides for your business or farmers’ market, please contact us and we will drop them off. 

May is Beef Month – just in time for Memorial Day weekend and graduation parties.  The best beef can be found in Southeastern Massachusetts pastures.  Our farmers are using regenerative methods to pasture-raise their animals, which is good for you and for our environment.  There are several ways to buy beef from local farms including through some new venues:  Meatworks has opened their retail store, Copicut Farms is offering Jordan Farm beef, and Weatherlow Farm’s new farmstand is open.  For more locations in the region check out the MassGrown map

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Introducing SEMAP’s New Program Coordinator!

May 19, 2019

May 19, 2019

It is our pleasure to introduce Dawn Dufault as SEMAP’s new Program Coordinator. Dawn comes to SEMAP with an array of nonprofit management & horticultural experience – including her own small cut flower farm, Bayberry Farm & Flower Co. in North Dighton. Dawn will be your point of contact if you are seeking business technical assistance for your farm – which you qualify for if you are a beginning farmer or a farmer marketing direct to consumers.

SEMAP has funding to put towards business and marketing improvements for your farm business, and Dawn can help you connect with experts on a range of topics including, but not limited to business plan development, web & graphic design, e-commerce, Quickbooks training, LLC legal advice, finding farmer-to-farmer mentorships, and more!

Dawn will help you find the information and expertise necessary to get the job done. SEMAP has funding to pay for, or subsidize the cost of, working with designers, consultants, and other experts. Act quickly – funding resources end in August, so fill out this form and Dawn will be in touch soon. Dawn can also be reached at ddufault@semaponline.org.

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A Message from the Director, April 2019

April 16, 2019

April 16, 2019

SEMAP has its own version of spring planting. Each spring one of the ways we grow demand for local food in Southeastern Massachusetts is by publishing our Local Food Guide of the region’s farmers, growers, fishermen, aquaculturists, and value-added producers. In a world where demand for a customer’s attention is at a premium, we fill aunique role with the Local Food Guide where you can both peruse the offerings at leisure or zero in on a specific geographic area and type of local food. The Local Food Guide focuses solely on businesses that are part of our local food industry: farms, farmers markets, restaurants, and food establishments. We also highlight fairs and festivals to promote our agricultural heritage, and we work hard to be certain that as many people as possible learn about the options to engage with local food in our area.

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