With the official kill frost now past us, we start to clean up the year and get the fields put to bed for the winter. Root crops are stacked up in the coolers and root cellars for the winter CSA and the few winter markets that will be running in the off season. I find it hard to believe how fast this year has gone past. With a second, dry summer the local farmers found themselves in a learning curve and from what I saw, they have adjusted well. What will next year bring and how do we prepare for it? is the big question.
Over the past year, SEMAP has worked very hard to connect with some amazing people to better the services to our members…People like Chris Rezendes from INEX. Chris and his team are designing technology that will give data right to the farmers about the conditions on their own farm, not a regional average. It will cover things like well monitoring and use Doppler radars the size of a basketball to give data on fields from the other side of town that a farmer may be working. Matthew Tortora, CEO and Founder of Crave Food Services, is another great connection for SEMAP. Matthew has been working on the food service side to get chefs and restaurants to buy local. He is also using technology to make it faster and easier to connect them with farmers. SEMAP is trying to find ways to help its farm members more. Creating network resources offering access to easy, user friendly technology to the farmer members seems like a great start to our goal.
The ‘Farmers Little Red Book’ is also in the works. This pocketsize, resource book will be catered to the SEMAP territory and list resources like farm services, equipment repairs and servicing, marketing support, attorneys, accountants, plus the top seed and soil companies most used in our territories. The purpose of the book is to give our member farmers a fast reference book to keep in the truck or on the tractor. We understand that you could ‘just Google that,’ but then you can find yourself in a sea of websites and end up in upstate New York instead of locally for help. We hope to have this book out for the Spring of 2016 or even available for the Food and Ag Conference. Read more →
BY KENDRA MURRAY
Situated right on Main Street in Easton is a great eatery full of local ingredients. The Farmer’s Daughter, which opened just two years ago has already become a staple in Easton. You can expect to see lines out the door on a Sunday, and even have a full restaurant during a weekday lunch. The taste of local food cannot be matched, and Easton residents have embraced this farm-to-table establishment.
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The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) has been working with its sister agencies and federal partners on establishing an emergency response plan for the introduction of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI). Since mid-December 2014, there have been several ongoing HPAI incidents along the Pacific, Central and Mississippi Flyways. Due to the mixing of birds from different flyways up through Canada, it is likely that exposed birds will be found in the Atlantic Flyway during the current southern migration. This strain of the HPAI virus devastated the domestic poultry population in 21 Midwestern and Western states over the past year. It has not been found to affect humans. Ongoing, routine testing of wild birds and domestic poultry is being conducted and to date no HPAI has been found within Massachusetts. MDAR is seeking to educate poultry owners about the risk this virus poses to their birds in hopes that owners will take every precaution to prevent their flocks from being exposed. Additionally, the MDAR wants poultry owners to understand what will happen if their flock becomes infected.
HPAI is a deadly disease for poultry. It can infect all types of chickens, turkeys and many other kinds of birds. HPAI can strike suddenly and spread fast. Infected poultry may die within hours of becoming infected. The virus can be spread by contact with infected birds or contaminated materials. Read more →
BY KENDRA MURRAY
It isn’t hard to find a farm when driving around Southeastern Massachusetts. With over 1,700 farms across Bristol, Plymouth, and Norfolk counties and the continual growth of farmers markets, it’s easy to find fresh, local, and delicious ingredients. What about dining out, though? Stumped as to where you can find local lunch and dinner (without having to cook it yourself)? Read more →