Posted on November 2, 2009 by Virginia Citrano
The Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Jersey is calling on voters to go to the polls tomorrow and vote YES on Public Question #1. This is the ballot question that will assure continued funding for Green Acres, farmland preservation and historic preservation, and yes, you have been asked to support this initiative many times over the last four decades. And it has worked: According to NOFA-NJ, more than 1,800 farms totaling 176,500 acres have been preserved since the first open space ballot in 1961.
More remains to be done. As David and Michelle Glenn, NOFA-NJ’s co-executive directors, wrote in an email to me this morning:
On Election Day, Nov. 3, voters can decide whether we will remain the Garden State or be doomed to the Strip Mall State. Now is truly the time to “choose it or lose it!”
Filed under: Common Ground | Tagged: Farm Preservation, Green Acres, NOFA-NJ, Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Jersey, Open Space | 1 Comment »
Posted on October 13, 2009 by Virginia Citrano
After months of waiting, I finally got White House tour tickets for my family. So last Thursday we headed to DC for a long weekend and, while the rest of the Verona CSA group was at pick-up, we were at Mount Vernon, looking at George Washington’s kale. We were also looking at the founding father’s walnuts but I thought that would push the bounds of good taste in a headline.
Mount Vernon could be held up as a model organic farm, except that, in the mid-1700s, that was really the only kind of farming around. No synthetic pesticides to run off into the picturesque Potomac below, no fungicides on the fruit trees. Of course, Washington’s success as a farmer–he had 8,000 acres and was highly successful–was due in no small part to the fact that he was also a major slave owner. He freed his slaves only upon his death.
Mount Vernon today is a fraction of its old size, but several colonial-era farming practices are still in evidence. There was a deep, straw-lined manure pit next to the stables, much to the dismay of a group of visiting teenagers. And yes, I did try to explain why that was a good idea until my older son rolled his eyes and moaned “Mommmmm”. There were also several beautifully maintained garden plots, with rows of lacinato kale, cardoons, and several kinds of winter squash and cabbage.
None of which, alas, was for sale in the gift shop. But I did pocket a walnut or two.
Filed under: Common Ground, Verona | Tagged: George Washington, Kale, Mount Vernon | Leave a comment »
Posted on September 20, 2009 by Virginia Citrano
Shana Tova to all those celebrating New Year!
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Posted on September 8, 2009 by Virginia Citrano
Join us at the FREE Restore Yourself mini-workshop in Milford, PA on Sept 11th with Dr. Edy Greenblatt
Here at UMF, we work all year to help you get nutrition and social sustenance from eating our organic food. To further help you find your physical, psychological, social and cognitive energies, we invite you to join us at the FREE Restore Yourself mini-workshop and book signing this Friday, Sept 11th across the river from us at the Seventh Street Coffee Shop in Milford, PA. The workshop will be taught by 2009 Indie Book Award winning author and friend-of-the-farm Dr. Edy Greenblatt and we’ll be there to learn. If you haven’t yet come out to do your volunteer hours, why not come out to the farm at noon this Friday and then come with us to the workshop after work? Here are the details:
Restore Yourself: The Antidote for Professional Exhaustion
Mini-Workshop and Book Signing
with Edy Greenblatt, Ph.D.
Friday, Sept 11th, 2009
5:15 pm – 7:00 pm
Seventh Street Coffee Shop
611 Broad Street
Milford, PA 18337
For info on Dr. Greenblatt’s award winnng book, go to www.RestoreYourselfBook.com
For info on the workshop, see http://www.mobiusleadership.com/pdf/RestoreYourself_05192009.pdf
For more info on the event, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 626.644.7745
To schedule your volunteer time at the farm on Friday (or any day), call Len at 570.228.8368
See you Friday!
Filed under: Common Ground, In Good Health | Leave a comment »
Posted on September 6, 2009 by Virginia Citrano
In the right-hand section of this page, you’ll see links to a lot of different things: Blogs we read, blogs written by our members, music Leonard participates in, and “Food Producers We Love”. (Quick digression: If you blog and we don’t have yours listed, let me know.)
The second link in Food Producers is to Melick’s Town Farm, one of New Jersey’s oldest family farms. Melick ancestors arrived in Hunterdon county some time between 1725 and 1735, and the family now farms in Oldwick and Califon. The latter of these two locations is the one you want to focus on if you want to participate in a quintessentially New Jersey summer activity–picking your own peaches. I found my way here a few years back, after getting lost on a supposedly well-marked detour to someplace else entirely. The kids now look forward to peach picking every year, and last year picked a record 66 pounds!
The Melicks grow white and yellow peaches in Califon, as well as apples and Asian pears, which are tart like Granny Smith apples. The cost is $1.09 per pound during the week and $1.19 per pound on weekends and holidays. They have wagons to help you haul your peaches back from the orchard to the cash register, though you do have to give a $10 (refundable) deposit. The Melicks are not certified organic growers, but pretty close to it. They practice what is known as “integrated pest management”, which means that they spray as little as possible as infrequently as possible.
The results are delicious. So if you want to taste a peach that has travelled fewer miles than you have this year, take a trip to Califon.
Filed under: Common Ground | Tagged: Melick's Town Farm, Peaches | Leave a comment »
Posted on August 20, 2009 by Jeff
Farm-fresh food is all the rage in N.J. restaurants
An increasing number of chefs in New Jersey are teaming with small local farms or even growing their own produce for their restaurants. The benefits include access to unusual varieties, and inspiration to modify the menu depending on what ingredients are most plentiful. The Star-Ledger (Newark, N.J.) (8/19)
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