NOFA-NJ Fall Harvest Dinner

Join us in celebrating the season with all local food, wines, beer, desserts, drinks from the great Garden State!

Displaying Harvest Dinner 2014 Poster.jpg

Harvest Dinner 2014

The Evening will include:

  • Cocktail hour
  • Wines and craft beers
  • Farm-to-Table tastings from over a dozen of New Jersey’s finest restaurants
  • Dessert room of pastries, ice cream and coffee
  • Music and dancing
  • Silent Auction

For more information and to register visit NOFA-NJ

via Fall Harvest Dinner.

Jersey Fresh|Pick Your Own Fruits & Vegetables

The growing season is not over yet! Here are some resources from the Jersey Fresh website to help you find fresh local produce. The key is to buy a lot of what is in season and preserve or store it so that it lasts through the winter. Some of what is still in season includes peppers, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, collards, pumpkin & winter squash, beets, lettuce and apples.

Let’s continue to support our local farmers!

Pick Your Own Fruits & Vegetables
 

Call Ahead To Avoid Disappointment

Slow Food USA: A Future for Food that May be Hard to Digest

By Carlo Petrini, Founder and President of Slow Food

What would you say to your neighbor if he and the other residents of your housing complex informed you (with your only notice the demolition crew in front of your house) that he and the others have decided to raze the building and there is nothing you can do about it? This might seem an odd question, yet it might be useful to ask oneself: Can democracy justify an individual’s ability to make decisions for others, without the interested parties’ participation in the discussion?

The governments of modern countries are the delegates of the world’s housing complex. What happens if they make a decision that doesn’t resonate with the majority of the citizens they represent, or if it jeopardizes freedom of choice for oneself and one’s children? Those decisions, then, should not only be able to be freely discussed, but should, at the very least, be allowed to be made public.

This is what terrifies me about the imminent ratification of the transatlantic trade agreement TTIP (one of those common cryptic acronyms- Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership). If passed, our everyday food system, which already lends itself to drastic and surreptitious change, will continue to become even more disconnected from the purview of the people.

The treaty is proclaimed an extraordinary economic growth opportunity, one which would foster economic growth and magically make both Europe and the US richer. I say magically, because Nobel Prize winner in Economics Joseph Stiglitz wrote openly that the theory that if the upper class becomes even richer the entire society benefits is simply a lie. The free trade agreements, from NAFTA on, have not actually lead to an increase in a quality of life for small producers and those at an economic disadvantage, but have only multiplied the earnings of the richest speculators.

read more Slow Food USA: A Future for Food that May be Hard to Digest.

Love Sustainable Ag? Work at WoodsEdge Wools–they’re hiring!

WoodsEdge Wools Farm is looking for personable, responsible, outgoing, hard-working, reliable individuals who enjoy being outdoors, interacting with people and love farming!

WoodsEdge_2014 Hiring

Applicants must appreciate local food, sustainable agriculture and enjoy working with people and interacting with customers at farmers markets. They must also be enthused about our local farm products made from our alpaca and llama fiber, honey from our beehives and the farm to table movement which includes our farm raised yak meat.

Current Available Employment Opportunities Include:
Part-time, Seasonal and Year-Round Jobs.

Farmers’ Market Help Needed:
Sales Associates at Markets
Market Van Loaders
Market Van Inventory Control

Other Farm Jobs:
Fencing and Grounds Maintenance

Download an employment application: WoodsEdge is Hiring!

Indigenous diets can help fight modern illnesses, say health experts | Global development | theguardian.com

MDG : An Okiufa boy in Papua New Guinea

Unprecedented levels of chronic non-communicable diseases are prompting calls to revert to the diets of our ancestors to regain lost nutrients.
It is believed that such a shift would help to improve society’s relationship with the Earth and restore human and environmental health.
“The rise of the industrial model of agriculture has contributed greatly to people being disconnected from the food on their plates,” says Sarah Somian, a France-based nutritionist.
Many traditional and non-processed foods consumed by rural communities, such as millet and caribou, are nutrient-dense and offer healthy fatty acids, micronutrients and cleansing properties widely lacking in diets popular in high- and middle-income countries, say experts.

Indigenous diets worldwide – from forest foods such as roots and tubers in regions of eastern India to coldwater fish, caribou and seals in northern Canada – are varied, suited to local environments, and can counter malnutrition and disease.
“For many tribal and indigenous peoples, their food systems are complex, self-sufficient and deliver a very broad-based, nutritionally diverse diet,” says Jo Woodman, a senior researcher and campaigner at Survival International, a UK-based indigenous advocacy organisation.
But the disruption of traditional lifestyles due to environmental degradation, and the introduction of processed foods, refined fats and oils, and simple carbohydrates, contributes to worsening health in indigenous populations, and a decline in the production of nutrient-rich foodstuffs that could benefit all communities.
“Traditional food systems need to be documented so that policymakers know what is at stake by ruining an ecosystem, not only for the indigenous peoples living there, but for everyone,” Harriet Kuhnlein, founding director of the Centre of Indigenous Peoples’ Nutrition and Environment at McGill University, Canada.
Since the early 1960s, economic growth, urbanisation and a global population increase to more than 7 billion have multiplied the consumption of animal-sourced foods – including meat, eggs and dairy products – which comprised 13% of the energy in the world’s diet in 2013, according to the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Nairobi, Kenya. Farm-raised livestock consumes up to a third of the world’s grains, the institute notes.
Agricultural expansion, some of it to cultivate more grains, accounts for 80% of the world’s deforestation, says the UN Environmental Programme.
With the global population expected to rise to some 9 billion by 2050, 50% more food must be produced to feed these people, depending on whether there is a healthy ecosystem. “When environments are destroyed or contaminated, this affects the food they can provide,” Kuhnlein says.
Indigenous food systems – gathering and preparing food to maximise the nutrients an environment can provide – range from nomadic hunter-gatherers such as the Aché in eastern Paraguay, the Massai pastoralists in northern Kenya, and herding and fishing groups including the Inuit in northern Canada, to the Saami of Scandinavia and the millet-farming Kondh agriculturalists in eastern India.

read more:  Indigenous diets can help fight modern illnesses, say health experts | Global development | theguardian.com.

Workshop: Return on Investment Strategies for Sustainable Waste Stream Management | NJ Farm To School

Hosted by Duke Farms with collaboration from the New Jersey School Board Association, New Jersey Audubon, NJ Eco-Schools, Sustainable Jersey, New Jersey Farm to School Network and Sustainable Jersey City, this workshop will focus on Sustainable Waste Stream Practices presented by experts who will demonstrate unique reuse and recycling technologies and the policies, contracts and strategic planning methods that can result in healthier schools at reduced operational costs. The various sessions will provide a brief overview of why schools should strongly consider adopting sustainable waste stream practices as an integral part of their districts’ strategic plan for school improvement.

This workshop includes technical assistance presentations on two alternative forms of composting and a break out session specific to school board policy that will help improve your district’s bottom line. Examples will be provided of schools that have successfully implemented recycling and composting and the cost avoidance that occurred from their actions.

Click for more info: Workshop: Return on Investment Strategies for Sustainable Waste Stream Management | NJ Farm To School.

HERE’S A PUBLIC HEALTH PLAN TO SAVE RAW MILK DRINKERS FROM THEMSELVES–David Gumpert

“Take me to your leader.”

I couldn’t help thinking of that cliche from old cowboy-Indian-style movies, as I listened to a recent podcast by two professors of food safety discussing raw milk (this is the podcast Joseph Heckman originally provided a link to; it’s the last 25 minutes that are most relevant to raw milk risk and safety).

The two professors are Don Schaffner of Rutgers University and Ben Chapman of North Carolina State University. Schaffner is also president of the International Association of Food Protection, one of the largest educational organizations around food safety. They regularly discuss various aspects of food safety, and this week chose to focus on how to more effectively alert raw milk drinkers about the dangers of the product.ened to a recent podcast by two professors of food safety discussing raw milk (this is the podcast Joseph Heckman originally provided a link to; it’s the last 25 minutes that are most relevant to raw milk risk and safety).

“This product is risky,” said Schaffner. “We have to figure out a better way to get to the people with that risk information.”

Giving the professors new hope, they gushed, was the recent Minnesota study on raw milk (sponsored by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control)–the one that estimated that more than 20,000 people got sick from raw milk between 2001 and 2010, versus the 21 reported.

“Kudos to the people in Minnesota who carried out that study….it’s a fascinating piece of work,” said Schaffner, who is taken by its confirmation (to him) of the huge risk associated with drinking raw milk. It seems so obvious to the professors that not only is raw milk terribly dangerous, but that anyone who chooses to drink it must be completely uninformed….or just plain weird.

After all, how could anyone not understand? “It’s going to be hard to reach them” (these hardcore raw milk drinkers), bemoaned Schaffner.

Read more Saving Raw Milk Drinkers from Themselves.

 

Dine With Pat | NJ Slow Food Winter Markets

It’s That Time Again: Slow Food Winter Farmers Markets

Saturday, January 11: From 11 am to 3 pm at Tre Piani restaurant, Forrestal Village, Princeton. Vendors: BeechTree Farm, Birds & Bees Farm Honey, Cherry Grove Farm, Chickadee Creek Farm, Davidson’s Exotic Mushrooms, Donna & Company Chocolates, Elijah’s Promise Bakery, Happy Wanderer Bakery, Judith’s Desserts, Nice & Sharp Knife Sharpening Service, Rocky Brook Farm, Shibumi Mushroom Farm, Trappers Honey, Valley Shepherd Creamery, WoodsEdge Wools Farm. Directions at trepiani.com ($2 suggested donation)

via Scott Anderson @ Beard House; 2 NJ Slow Food Winter Markets; “Somm” the Movie | Dine With Pat.

From Garden to Glass: Home Brewing with Your Garden Harvest Fri Jan 24th 6:30 Free Class at the E.A.R.T.H Center!

 

Brew Workshop 2014

Home Brewing Workshop at the EARTH Center

Rutgers Master Gardeners want to help you gain knowledge of home brewing at a new EARTH Center workshop called: From Garden to Glass: Home Brewing with Your Garden Harvest. Featured will be vegetables and fruits you can use in the home brewing process, such as pumpkins and figs.  The workshop takes place on Friday, January 24, at 6:30 PM, in the EARTH Center, located in Davidson’s Mill Pond Park 42 Riva Ave. South Brunswick, NJ.

Presenter Michael Klaser has been a home-brewer and amateur brew-master for 4 years. Also the editor of a home-brewing blog, Michael will lead the seminar and share his experience in this art and science. A brief overview of the different methods of making beer and discussion of the major ingredients will follow including; beer history, modern home-brewing procedures, and equipment considerations. Equipment and raw ingredients will be on display so attendees can see the tools firsthand. Resources will be available too for people to carry out their own research.

There will be plenty of time for Q&A, as new brewers often have many questions. No Walk-ins are permitted. Though this is a free workshop register at 732-398-5262 by January 22.

Even if you can’t visit the EARTH Center this season, you can still get great gardening tips by calling the Master Gardner Helpline at 732-398-5220.

If you are not familiar with your local Extension office, it is part of a nationwide network that brings the research of the state land-grant universities to local people. Rutgers Cooperative Extension offices throughout New Jersey are cooperatively funded by; the County Board of Chosen Freeholders, Rutgers University- New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Rutgers Cooperative Extension educational programs are offered to all without regard to race, religion, color, age, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.