SN2016 audio recordings, upcoming workshops, chapter news, and agronomy questions...
  
Soil & Nutrition Conference: Nurturing Nature for Food Quality

Along with presentations by local and national leaders in best practices for growing high quality crops, the conference this year highlighted presentations from university researchers discussing the plant and soil microbiome, the inherent potential of different cultivars in producing secondary metabolites, and the modulations in quality based on environmental conditions. We also had presentations from nutritionists and researchers on crop quality and human health, and human microbiome responses to different nutritional conditions. An opening plenary with perspectives on food quality from retailers and chefs, as well as a keynote on the food industry and how it uses our instinct for flavor were other highlights. In short, the long-term agenda of the conference to host the conversation about crop quality from growers to eaters and the pieces between has been accomplished to a greater degree than ever before.

Missed the conference? Or just want to revisit the presentations?

Links to audio recordings of presentations are now available on the website. Video recordings will hopefully be available in the next month, with commentary reviewing topics covered. Watch the newsletter and website for this content as we put it up.

Plans are already in motion for next year's conference. Those with thoughts and insights about topics and speakers who can help move this conversation forward are encouraged to reach out to us.

As always, thank you for your continuing support and interest in growing and eating high quality food!

For a better earth,
Dan Kittredge
BFA Executive Director

Mar 5-7 in Warren, RI
Quantum Agriculture for Gardeners, Growers, and Lifelong Learners with Hugh Lovel

Apr 12, June 7, Aug 23 in N. Brookfield, MA
Farm Evolutions: A 3-day workshop with Mark Fulford

High Bionutrient Crop Production Courses
April 2 & 3
Bedford Hills, NY
April 16 & 17
Farmville, VA
Apr 30 - May 1
Newbury, MA

Upcoming Workshops

Hugh Lovel, Mark Fulford, and our High Bionutrient Crop Production Courses...

Quantum Agriculture for Gardeners, Growers, and Lifelong Learners - there's still time to register for what promises to be an amazing three-day workshop with Hugh Lovel this weekend!  March 5-7, 2016 in Warren, Rhode Island. Over the 3 days, he will cover topics such as: Biochemical Sequence, Comprehensive Soil Testing - A revelation, Sulphur - the Catalyst, Boron - the Bouncer, Silicon - the Aristocrat, and several other thought-provoking topics and teachings from Hugh. Don't miss this one! Register at http://tinyurl.com/hughlovel2016

We're also very pleased to announce another three-day workshop series over the course of the growing season with Mark Fulford of Teltane Farm in Maine. Farm Evolutions with Mark Fulford: Philosophies, Methods & Practices for Mutualizing Human Relationships with the Environment. We will explore a range of practices and philosophies embracing common sense, science and cultural wisdom for the times we live in. Mark grounds his practices in experience, while bringing with him a lifelong study of the natural world and immersion in agriculture on his own farm and abroad, having studied with some of the most accomplished mentors in biological agriculture, including Dr. Arden Andersen, Neal Kinsey, Dan Skow, Gary Zimmer, Elaine Ingham, Jerry Brunetti and Graeme Sait among others. Workshop will track the course of the season with single day gatherings on April 12, June 7, and August 23. Learn more and register at www.bionutrient.org/mark-fulford

Spring is around the corner, and many of us have already begun starting seeds, but we still have several High Bionutrient Crop Production Courses scheduled for April. Dan has been logging significant mileage this winter in presenting courses and at conferences around the country, and he will be in Bedford Hills, NY on April 2 & 3, Farmville, VA on April 16 & 17, and Newbury, MA on Apr 30 - May 1.  This two-day workshop provides an overview of the principles and practices of biological farming. Our goal is to build upon your knowledge and experience to find ways to increase the health of your soil and crops for greater yields, healthier produce and better marketability. Over 1,800 growers have attended the course over the past four years; our attendance continues to grow thanks to word-of-mouth promotion of the course by previous attendees! Learn more and register at www.bionutrient.org/workshops

Learn more and find a local chapter near you!

Some chapter benefits:
Mineral Depots,
Food Cooperatives,
Consumer Education,
Grower Education,
Networking w/ Allies

Local Chapter Highlights

The Connecticut chapter was one of the first chapters that formed, having their first meeting in March 2014, and they have continued to grow since then. They now host at least 1 meeting per month, and regularly bring in speakers from across the northeast to keep learning and broadening the conversation.

Their latest meeting brought in Phil Jones from Massachusetts to talk about foliar feeding, essential oils, and the impact that high quality, and the subtle qualities of, water has on plant health and vitality. Over 40 people turned out to hear Phil speak on how he has used these techniques on his own farm. "Structured" water and the effects that “energized” water has are topics that are rarely discussed in agriculture, or anywhere, but have a growing body of evidence to suggest that they could be very important considerations for healthy growth.

They continue to schedule great topics and speakers, and are working on numerous projects as a local chapter, including their own BFA demonstration plot on a large organic farm in Simsbury, CT. If you are near Connecticut, or would simply like to keep up with what they are working on, check out their blog page.

Questions about starting a chapter?

Start or join a chapter

We would also like to mention that our local chapter network continues to grow! One of the best ways for you to help us coordinate local chapter formation is to go to the website and update your user profile to include your local chapter (the chapter selection button will be at the bottom). Click here to update your profile or request a bionutrient.org user account (allowing access to the forums, where you can interact with other users and post questions for the Agronomy Conference Calls).

And if there isn't a chapter in your area, please let us know where you are, and whether you're willing to help start a chapter (which anyone can do).
 

BFA members
Time to place you mineral depot orders with your local chapter...

Grower members
Contact David Forster to schedule a free hour of consultation. Not a Grower Member yet?
Learn more about the benefits of membership.

Seasonal Growing Notes

Now is the time to plan your strategies to support plant health and nutrition for the season

With the approach of spring comes the planning for, and excitement of, a new opportunity to grow bountiful, high-quality, bionutrient-rich crops. I hope that you are incorporating the principles and practices of the Bionutrient Food Association; expanding your use of biological inoculants, balancing soil minerals, addressing water management, cover crops, and mulches, and improving biological diversity above and below the soil. And while it's exciting to start planting your seeds, remember to delay it as much as you dare, to minimize transplant shock.

One of the most powerful approaches to improving plant health and food quality is to support plant health and nutrition at key times in the growing season, and I highly recommend that you start planning for that now. Applying foliar and soil drench nutrients at times when your plants are rapidly growing, or setting fruit, can have an outsized impact on the quality, and quantities, produced.

The BFA mineral depot system is now operational, and we're shipping out materials to members on a rolling basis once minimum order quantities are received for their chapters... so talk with others in your area, join (or form) a local chapter, and get your mineral depot orders in! Check back often as we'll be adding biological inoculants, and plant nutritional foliars and soil drenches, within the next couple weeks.

Upcoming Agronomy Conference Call:
March 8 at 7pm EST
Details here.

Grower members!
Contact David Forster to schedule a free hour of consultation. Not a Grower Member yet?
Learn more about the benefits of membership.

Agronomy Questions

with David Forster, BFA soil & farm consultant

The next Agronomy Conference Call with David Forster, our in-house soil and farm consultant, will be held on Tuesday, March 8. The topic of this call is seed starting and biological inoculation. These calls are 1-hour calls that are open to members and non-members alike, so tell your friends. Please post your questions ahead of time in the forum to be sure we get to them, and to make our limited time more effective and efficient.

7pm EST on Tuesday, March 8

Check the Agronomy Consulting page for dial-in numbers and additional details.

Smile for BFA

Every little bit helps!

If you ever shop through Amazon.com, why not direct a small percentage of the purchase price towards supporting the BFA? It's called "AmazonSmile" - and Amazon donates 0.5% of your purchase price to the non-profit organization of your choice. We're asking you to consider supporting us with the purchases you were going to make anyway. AmazonSmile is the same Amazon you know - your account with Amazon.com is the same as with AmazonSmile. Your shopping cart, wish list, registries, and other account settings are all the same. And of course it's the same products, same prices - just with 0.5% of the purchase price going to support the BFA!

Start by going to https://smile.amazon.com/ and logging in to your account. Amazon will prompt you to select an organization to receive donations from eligible purchases before you begin shopping. Find us by searching for "Bionutrient Food Association". Once you select us, Amazon will remember your selection, and then every eligible purchase you make at smile.amazon.com will result in a donation to the BFA. Easy!

Every little bit helps support our efforts - we thank you for your support!

Friends & allies seeking help

Field Manager
Carversville Farm Foundation is hiring a Field Manager with significant experience growing Certified Organic vegetables, herbs, and perennials. This is an exciting opportunity for a professional grower looking for a career on the cutting edge of sustainable food production. You will have access to brand new, state-of-the art equipment and the opportunity to work with the world’s foremost consultants on soil regeneration, land planning, and crop and livestock production on an ongoing basis. Responsibilities include planning and managing farm staff and apprentices in the production of vegetables, fruit, and herbs. This position reports directly to the Farm Manager and works continuously with the Herd Manager to plan daily, weekly, and seasonal workflow, personnel, and equipment distribution as well as the planting of cover crops, pasture, and other livestock forage.

The ideal candidate will be willing to make a long term commitment and possess the following qualifications and experience:

  • A minimum of 3 seasons managing Certified Organic vegetable production on 5+ acres.
  • Perennials including herbs, small fruits, and trees.
  • Utilizing a diversity of cover crops and field crops on a broad-acre scale is a plus, especially in mixes or "cocktails."
  • Pasture cropping, polycultures, companion planting, inter-seeding, and living mulches.
  • No-till vegetable and crop production and a desire to be on the edge of progressing the science of no-till production systems on a broad-acre scale.
  • Soil testing, re-mineralization, foliar feeding, pest and disease scouting (NOP/OMRI compliant).
  • Exposure to Keyline Landscape Design, Keyline soil formation, and the Yeoman's Plow.
  • Experience and desire to work with and teach apprentices on a daily basis.
  • A track record of success working in a cooperative team environment requiring a high level of planning, communication, and documentation.
  • Desire and willingness to work with world-class consultants and advisors.
  • Knowledge of the principles of soil biology, ecosystem function, plant science, and environmental regeneration.
  • A desire to produce food of the highest nutritional, culinary, and ecological quality.
  • A desire to continue to learn and grow as a person and farmer. Continuous personal development is encouraged and supported at CFF.
  • Mechanical and technical ability to troubleshoot issues with equipment, irrigation, and infrastructure with the help of the farm manager, farm mechanic, and professional contractors.

Compensation:
This is a salaried, full time, year round, permanent position. You will be provided housing and a share of food from the farm. Compensation is commensurate with experience and includes 100% paid health, dental, and other benefits. For consideration, please go to http://carversvillefarm.org/field-manager.html to learn more, and submit a resume and cover letter.


Farm Manager
White Gate Farm is seeking a farm manager for a year round, full-time position, available immediately. Located on 100 picturesque acres in East Lyme CT, White Gate Farm is seeking someone for a multi-year commitment to head up crop production and to participate in other aspects of this certified organic farm. We have 5 acres under cultivation plus two hoop houses. We grow many varieties of vegetables, berries, and flowers, and raise laying and meat chickens and turkeys. Our on-site farm stand is open two days a week -- Wednesday and Saturday. We also sell to restaurants, grocery stores and to Dinners at the Farm, which we host each year.

The Manager's responsibilities include:

  • Crop production with the help of our small experienced team
  • Filling orders for off-farm sales
  • Assisting with chicken and turkey operations, including processing
  • Managing the farm stand
  • Coordinating with the Farm Chef to make the best use of produce in value-added products.

Required skills and experience:

  • 1 to 2 years experience on an organic farm and a degree or training in agriculture or horticulture
  • Knowledge and skill in all aspects of crop production and harvesting
  • Tractor skills
  • Ability to lift 40 lbs.
  • Ability to work in all kinds of weather
  • Experience with poultry operations
  • A passion for farming and healthy food
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Computer skills
  • Electrical know how and machine repair a plus.

Benefits:

  • Salary commensurate with experience
  • Health insurance and dental coverage
  • 1 week paid vacation after 6 months
  • Delicious healthy organic food
  • "Package" includes two-bedroom cottage on the farm

To apply, please submit cover letter and resumé to Pauline Lord at info@whitegatefarm.net.