“Connecting with chefs and restaurants can be intimidating, and it can be hard to figure out where to start. Restaurants can become some of your most reliable customers, placing predictable orders on a regular basis which can help you plan your season and give you a solid base to grow from. Beyond this, restaurants can introduce your farm to a wide audience who may be interested in direct sales as well, either via CSA shares, farmers markets, or through local retailers.”
We came across this useful little 9 page guide written published by Local Food Marketplace recently. It gives hints and tips on how to establish relationships with local chefs, and find organisations who support local agriculture. It also offers practical marketing, promotion and business management advice. It’s a fantastic resource for those looking to start selling and marketing their produce for direct sale for the first time ,or those who feel like they could do with a little help. It’s also completely free. You can download it here.
‘Tis the season for nailing down your crop plan for the Spring! (Hypothetically, this would have been on our to-do lists for early December ago, but I can’t be the only one whose holidays got the better of her business agenda, right?) Is this your first time crop planning? Looking to upgrade your system? Maybe you’re feeling a little lost or a little down-to-the-wire. Here’s a collection of resources to make the process a little easier:
3. A template that you can edit: a template from Tom Becker of Sunseed Farm, which will potentially save first-time veggie farmers a lot of time and energy: the sheet includes already-made formulas and already input crop information. Note: will have to be adjusted to reflect individual USDA zones.
Fields for Food
a workshop on leasing farmland Tuesday March 17, 6:00-8:00 p.m.
St. Bede’s Episcopal Church
1609 Elm St.
Forest Grove, OR
To RSVP, call: 503-992-0078 ext. 302
Free with snacks provided!
Nellie McAdams, Director of Farm Preservation Program at Rogue Farm Corps. Nellie will explain how to find farmers and craft a lease. http://www.roguefarmcorps.org/
Greg Malinowski, farmer at Malinowski Farms and Washington County Commissioner. Greg will share his experience in leasing portions of his land to farmers for over 20 years. http://www.friendsoffamilyfarmers.org/
CALL FOR NOMINATIONS for Glynwood Center’s 6th Annual National Harvest Awards!
The Harvest Awards honor individuals, organizations, and businesses across the United States that do an exceptional job of supporting sustainable agriculture and regional food systems. Do you know visionary farmers who not only raise amazing food but have also developed innovations in growing, marketing, and collaborating with their community in new and exciting ways? Are there inventive individuals, organizations or businesses in your community who are developing cutting-edge models to connect people and sustainable, regionally-produced food?
Please help us recognize outstanding work from around the country by nominating someone whose work you admire. This year’s categories include:
Connecting Communities, Farmers, and Food Award
Wave of the Future Award
Good Food for Health Award
Please vist our website www.glynwood.org for nomination details and to make an electronic submission. To receive nomination forms via snail mail, please contact Kim Vargo at firstname.lastname@example.org or (845) 265-3338 ext. 131. Additional information about Glynwood Center and past Harvest Award winners can also be found on our website. Nominations must be postmarked or emailed no later than July 21, 2008.
While we’re on the topic of young farmer visionaries, we want to give a big shout out to Simon Huntley, farmer/founder of Small Farm Central. Check him out. He’ll help expand your capabilites to farm the web and entice customers, new and old, with the greatest of ease.
And last but not least, for burgeoning young farmers out there in the West who are looking for funding, check out the Western Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program through Utah State University… they are offering grants for farmers, research and education, professional development, etc. For more on this visit http://wsare.usu.edu/.