March to the new beat of your own spirit!
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2012 NOFA-NJ Annual Gathering!
gathering takes place one day a year. Duke Farms hosts in Hillsborough, NJ
Somerset County. The event is free for all members and $25 for non-members.
hear reports from staff & vote to approve a slate of Board Members for the
year. Following the reports, there is a question and answer period.
Jeff Moyer, Director of
Operations for the Rodale Institute, and chair of the USDA National Organic
Standards Board will be the keynote for the evening. Jeff is an expert in
organic crop production systems including weed management, cover crops, crop
rotations, equipment modification and use, and facilities design. He has helped
countless of farmers make the move to ecologically sustainable and organic
production methods from chemical-based farming.
from 6 pm - 7 pm for tastings from some of New Jersey's leading restaurants in
sustainable organic foods will be in attendance -- Fresh , Live Jolly Foods , and A Toute Heure are the highlights! Made With Love Bakery will also be providing a wonderful take-home desert for the first 70 attendees. Jeff Moyer will be speaking
following the Annual Meeting which will commence at 7 pm.
Our Beginning Farmers will also be meeting that evening at 5pm. Don't miss this
opportunity to network with our beginning farmers!
We hope you can join us on Thursday, March 8th! Register at NOFA-NJ website (nofanj.org) or call at 908-371-1111.
Member Editorials :
Montville Community Gardens
During World War II families supported the war effort by conserving food for the troops overseas and the idea of growing your own food in small Victory Garden plots was born. These small productive gardens had a life long impact on some folks that moved and raised families in Morris County’s Montville Township. In the early 70’s, as part of the township’s master plan the township acquired Sisco Dairy Farm, located at the heart of the township, as an area to build the township’s high school, library and sports playing fields. Today, as a reminder to Montville Township’s agricultural heritage, the old farm’s silo still proudly stands in the mist of Montville’s busy Community Park.
In the mid 1970s, as the Montville’s Community Park was being developed, a group of gentlemen* that grew up with the Victory Gardens of the World War II era in their blood initiated an effort to develop a complex of community gardens on the 4.3 acre of the old farm. The goal was to provide the residents of Montville recreational activity by producing locally grown food and build a community of gardeners. The result of the dairy farm’s fertile soil provided a great opportunity for Montville residents to grow in generous 30’ x 30’ plots, and today Montville’s Community Park gardens have 171 plots of various 30’ x 30’ and 15’ x 30’ sized plots. Field water spigots for hand watering were installed with underground lines though out the area and the township tills the ground for plot holders in the early spring. Plot holders are responsible for there own small fencing (to address small animals but deer pressure is not significant in the area) which needs to be installed at the beginning of the season and dismantled in mid-November to allow brush hogging of the entire area.
Although the plots satisfied many, there was a continuous annual waiting list for folks to grow on these plots, as well a group of gardeners that wanted more space. During the Fall of 2010 an idea came forth to consider expanding into another area in the township which was an old 4.5 acre field that once grew corn and pumpkins and was part of Montville’s Open Space inventory. The field on Indian Lane East was located above the township’s aquifer, the idea was to develop larger 30’ x 60’ and 30 x 45’ plots that would focus on organic guidelines, by way of a signed Letter of Promise, and be available year around for a longer growing season. The larger plots provide the ability to grow perennial crops, such as garlic, asparagus and berries; along with a semi-permanent installed deer fence, all of which are additional advantages to the area. After primary tillage with a tractor, soil working is done by each plot holder which allows everyone to manage their specific plot with amendments and organic matter. Water is provided by a main field hydrant and a series of hoses and manifolds bring water to each plot area. Initially, there were eight 30’ x 60’ plots established in the spring of 2011 and due to the success of the area we have in the spring of 2012 19 plot holders. Our short term goal is to install an underground water system and to increase to approximately 40 plots. With the expanding interest in growing your own food we believe we believe we will reach that goal very shortly.
*We acknowledge the following founders of the Montville Township Community Gardens:
Al Bakken, Ernie Niles, Hjalmar Johansson, & Joe Quade
Clif Seipel, Lead Organizer | Montville Community Gardens | firstname.lastname@example.org
Jim Muhaw Montville, Co-Organizer | Montville Community Gardens | email@example.com
Grow and Behold: Kosher Pastured Meats
By Michele Jacobson
In the interest of full disclosure I must first state that I am a vegetarian.
This is my second statement, though: after unpacking my first order from Grow and Behold, I was actually tempted to give up that practice just by regarding the quality of the meat. Usually, it’s the other way around.
You may want to know what qualifies a vegetarian to write an article about meat. Well, first of all I am also a certified nutritionist and author of a book on food, so I’ve done quite a lot of research on the topic. I’ve researched which types of meat and poultry are the healthiest to eat, and why exactly this is the case. I also know how to differentiate between labels at the supermarket. What seems trustworthy on a meat or poultry label -- words like “organic” or “free-range” for example -- are not necessarily always what they seem to be. I was looking for a product that was the perfect trifecta: pasture-fed, ethically-raised and certified kosher; I knew I was facing a challenge.
Ninety percent of Americans consume some type of meat in their diet, generally beef or chicken. Kosher may be a microcosm of the larger meat category, but it doesn’t mean that we who follow the laws of kashrut want to settle for shrink-wrapped supermarket meat. Those of us who choose to eat organic produce from CSA’s, as well as organic whole grains and other wholesome fare as part of our regular diet, often have an issue with this sub-standard meat, as well as nagging thoughts of how the animals may have been treated; this product just isn’t what we want to bring home to eat -- or even cook -- for our families. I have been wandering farmers’ markets for years now, enviously passing by stands with coolers filled with pastured or grassfed meats and true free-range poultry, knowing it wasn’t something I could bring into my kosher kitchen.
Occasionally I would see USDA certified organic or free-range kosher chicken at the supermarket; yes, an improvement, but a dubious one, as the USDA label in this case only verifies that the chickens either are eating organic feed (not necessarily a natural diet for a chicken), and/or they have access to the outdoors (not necessarily that they are going outdoors to eat). As for red meat, I saw no good kosher options at all.
The time had come for me to up the ante. And then lo and behold, there was Grow and Behold.
Grow and Behold Kosher Pastured Meats is, to say the least, a company which fills a niche market. Naftali Hanau and his wife Anna met while working on an organic farm. They first considered starting a CSA, but while living an observant lifestyle this presented some challenges; eventually the lack of availability of pasture-raised, ethically produced kosher meat became evident to them and Grow and Behold was born. Today, Naf, as he likes to be called, and Anna make their home in Brooklyn, along with their eleven egg-laying backyard chickens. He runs the operations of the business from there, which includes managing and coordinating deliveries, butchering, distribution, packaging and ordering, as well as visiting the farms in Pennsylvania and Maryland where the cows, chickens and turkeys are raised.
It’s important to note that Grow and Behold’s meats are termed as pastured, which is somewhat different from grassfed. The company, however, is completely transparent about their practices. True grassfed beef is never fed grain, and according to Grow and Behold’s website, “During their last few months, a limited amount of grain is gradually added to our cattle's diet (up to 50%), while the cattle continue to eat as much grass as they wish. Including some grain in their diet helps us deliver a more tender, delicious and consistent product.”
Differentiation between the terminology is something that people should educate themselves on. “This is a really confusing topic for many people,” says Marilyn Noble, spokesperson for the American Grassfed Association “ -- consumers, farmers, chefs -- but we're working hard to educate people so they know what they're buying or at least have a good idea about what questions to ask.” She has recently written a blog on meat terminology which is really helpful in educating anyone who’s interested in reading up on these terms (http://www.mariasfarmcountrykitchen.com/how-to-buy-grass-fed-meats/).
This information is tremendously useful for consumers who buy non-kosher meat, but for me, and many others, Grow and Behold seemed the only game in town. Certified as Glatt Kosher by the Orthodox Union, Grow and Behold’s mission really goes beyond that, to the humane treatment of the livestock and the fowl. The company adheres to the strictest standards of animal welfare, worker treatment and safety, as well as sustainable agriculture. I was fascinated to find out that just because a meat is certified kosher, the practices involved during ritualistic slaughter are not necessarily humane and ethical. Grow and Behold follows the practices of Dr. Temple Grandin, ensuring that the animals are kept upright, stress-free and calm throughout the entire process. thereby reducing the secretion of adrenaline and cortisol into the meat.
There are other kosher meat products, some grassfed, but their literature seemed to stop short of providing information about the ethical treatment of the animals once they were in from the pasture. Grow and Behold’s practices seemed more transparent and accessible to me. They encourage visits to their farms. Prior to this article even being conceived, I encountered a level of customer service and cordiality which made me feel as if I were dealing personally with a farmer I knew and trusted.
Grow and Behold offers Glatt Kosher Pastured Beef, Chicken and Turkey, as well as specialty items such as chorizo, sausages, beef bacon, and hot dogs, with boneless chicken breast fillets the most popular item. All products are nitrite and nitrate free, with no antibiotics and no hormones.
The greater New York area is the largest kosher market in the world, says Naf, therefore the company offers weekly home delivery to the entire region, which includes the boroughs, Long Island, Rockland County, Westchester and Bergen and Essex Counties in northern New Jersey, as well as monthly delivery to South Jersey and the Philadelphia area. But that’s not all; mail order is also a huge part of Grow and Behold’s business, and the way I received my first order. It arrived well packaged and insulated in dry ice, and I would not hesitate to order this way again. They ship via FedEx Brown nationwide. They also have “buying clubs,” which cut down on delivery costs, to key markets such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, St. Louis and Seattle.
You’ll pay a premium for pastured, humanely raised, kosher meat, but truthfully, the larger leap was from conventional to kosher...this was just one more step, and a necessary one from my point of view.
But how does the meat taste? I started with the chopped meat. Although I cook meat regularly for my family, I have an elaborate system of utensil usage to avoid touching it (if you’re a vegetarian you’ll understand this!), and I actually hadn’t handled chopped meat in about fifteen years. However, this meat was actually so appealing that I put my hands right on it. I felt a respect for where it had come from and how it had been produced. It smelled fresh as it cooked. My husband took one bite of his burger (on a stone-ground whole wheat bun, with organic lettuce and onions, of course!) and promptly announced that he would never eat anything other than this type of meat again. That’s how different it tasted, that’s how good it was. When I asked for other adjectives to describe it what I got was “it tastes like real meat.” Hmmm. What did the other kosher meat taste like? “Bad aftertaste.” Clearly, he’s not a food writer, but a voracious eater for sure. He downed the two large burgers in nothing flat.
Naftali Hanau, CEO and Founder, is a member of NOFA-NY.
or call 888-790-5781
We're Welcoming New Member-To-Member Discounts to Help You Expand Your Businesses Scalability, and Sustainability!
Register for your 2012-2013 NOFA-NJ membership. Click here to sign-up!
As a new member-to-member benefit FarmPlate.com makes marketing your business even more effective and affordable. All NOFA-NJ farm and business members will receive a FREE limited listing on FarmPlate.com that will allow online users to get a quick look at your farm or food business.
As an additional benefit to NOFA-NJ membership, FarmPlate.com is providing a Special Offer: $50 off an upgraded year of targeted online marketing for NOFA-NJ members only.
To be eligible for this offer, Please email Kaitlin Haskins: firstname.lastname@example.org with "NOFA-NJ" in the subject line. All NOFA-NJ members are eligible for a $50 discount on one-year of FarmPlate.com's online marketing service as an annual membership benefit. JOIN NOFA-NJ to be eligible for this wonderful member-to-member discounts today!
Small Farm Central provides out-of-the-box website and CSA member management services for direct-marketing farmers. A professional, attractive website is a cornerstone of a web marketing plan for a farm, but getting one can be expensive and daunting - SFC makes this easy by putting everything in to one package and providing farmer-friendly support. For CSAs, SFC provides the Member Assembler which takes the work out of managing members: online sign-up, accounting, payment processing, member communications, and more.
In short - web services for farmers that work. In addition, SFC knows farms because the founder grew up on a small farm and ran a 130-member CSA farm himself. Special Offer: Members will receive a month long free trial & additionally 15% off their Small Farm Central Membership! Click here to sign up for free now!
BUY LOCAL HIGHLIGHTS
East Brunswick Winter Farmers Market via Friends of the East Brunswick Environmental Commission. March 10th, 2012, 10 - 2 pm at the E.Brunswick Community Arts Center: 721 Cranbury Road.
Thinking about adding chickens to our backyard soon? Here is a neat article that a member recently discovered. Maybe you already have chickens, but if not, they might be a good way to get rid of bugs, teach your children about responsibility and enjoy some delicious eggs !!!
PLEASE SEE THE FLYER BELOW FOR A NEW ENERGY GRANT OPPORTUNITY
NOFA-NJ is featured in NJ's Daily Record!
NOFA-NJ & Shaun the Farmer host:
Beginning Beekeeping: Is Beekeeping for You?
Monday, March 5, 2012
$10 for members & $15 for non-members
Registration is now limited please call NOFA-NJ.
Introduction to Organic Land Care
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
$50 from 7am- 3:30pm
Widening the Circle
Two Pond Farm is hosting a March workshop on
Notes to Help You Benefit Most from Working with Us:
Have you completed the 2012 Winter Conference Evaluation Form ? Your feedback is greatly appreciated !!! The 2013 Winter Conference planning committee will begin meeting this month to discuss plans next years event so please drop us a line!
Please take a moment to fill out our 2012 Membership Survey so that NOFA-NJ can continue to service the needs of our membership to the best of our ability! Your feedback is extremely valuable to us. Please click here to take the survey!
Spring is vibrating with a new hum!
Tilling the Soil of Opportunity classes are currently meeting every Tuesday and Thursday evening! Be sure not to miss this exceptional farm and business planning course!
A Special Thanks to Our 2012 Annual Gathering Restaurants!
And, to our farmers who supply these wonderful restaurants with such tasty, local, and organic foods!
Spring Detox Soup
1 cup fresh peas,1 cup fresh sugar snap peas, 1 cup chopped carrots, 1 cup shredded cabbage, 2 Tablespoons Braggs liquid amino's (found in health food section), toasted sesame oil, 250 g of thin rice noodles.
Place sesame oil and braggs in a soup pot. Add the fresh veggies and cook lightly for a few minutes. Add plenty of water to almost the top of the pot. Bring to a boil and then add rice noodles. Turn down the heat and cover for two minutes. Veggies should be bright and cheery, retaining their color, and noodles nicely cooked. You may add a few more drops of sesame oil to taste. This is a nice clear broth soup that is fresh for spring and good for healing purposes. It is a great replacement for chicken noodle soup for colds and flu's.
NOFA-NJ friends and family: given this very mild winter and probable early spring, we are soon likely to be looking tasty to ticks, even between car and house- you cannot assume safety just because not wading in tall grasses in may. Below is a very detailed article about the cognitive, psych, & behavioral effects of Lyme disease. Please take extra precautions this year to stay safe and remember to see a doctor immediately for antibiotics if you think you may have been bitten. "The psychological effects of Lyme disease. Can a tick bite drive you crazy? Doctors warn that Lyme disease may cause personality changes".
334 River Road
Hillsborough, NJ 08844
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