Thursday, April 30, 2009

Roots Down - New Bedford, 4PM Tuesday May 5th

Roots Down - New Bedford will continue next Tuesday afternoon with a presentation focusing on: Starting Your Own Seedlings and Using Transplanting and Crop Succession to Increase Production. This meeting is part of our monthly workshop series and will begin at 4PM at the Lawler Branch Library on Rockdale St. in New Bedford.

Succession planting is an effective way to increase yields with limited garden space; we'll review techniques and timing of seeding/transplanting different crops throughout the growing season. We also encourage folks to bring soil test results and/or general vegetable gardening questions as we'll set aside time at the conclusion of the presentation for technical assistance.

Whether you are looking for peppers, eggplants, tomatoes, lettuce, kale, cucumbers or flowers, now is a great time to purchase seedlings from your local nursery.

Other upcoming Roots Down - New Bedford events: Monday May 4th at 6PM we'll be presenting a neighborhood workshop to the Cove St. Neighborhood Association at New England Demo and Salvage (73 Cove Road). The public is invited to a presentation focusing on: an Introduction to Organic Gardening, the Benefits of Soil Testing, and Container Gardening.

Have an idea for a topic for Roots Down, or a neighborhood in the city where you would like to host a workshop? Please contact Brix Bounty Farm at 508-992-1868.

mmm... crunch - local lettuce season has arrived in gardens throughout the Southcoast.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Film Viewing - Flow (a focus on the 21st Century Water Crisis)

While we may take fresh water for granted here in the Northeast; there is growing concern about struggles and conflicts over fresh water. Join the community for a viewing of Flow at UMass Dartmouth, this Tuesday evening April 28th at 6:30 PM at the Library Browsing Area.

While, Flow, will likely focus more on the privatization of water and corporate control of a basic need; the growing water crisis will impact our communities in many ways beyond drinking water. Drought conditions are severely impacting agriculture in California right now; and will likely lead to higher grocery store prices for produce this season. Perhaps, another great reason to support local farms and gardens.

Water is quite a huge issue, with many different viewpoints focusing on a range of solutions. One call for a balanced response to the California crisis was posted last February on Civil Eats: California Drought, Climate Change, and Recommendations for Action. Flow is just one of a number of recent films focusing on Water; see also Blue Gold: World Water Wars and a list of water related films from

Every time I've seen a Poland Springs truck drive by the farm this past year; I've wondered how many more years we will see such a tremendous use of energy transporting bottled water to communities that have high quality tap water...

Monday, April 6, 2009

Answering the Call of Good Work

Planting the seeds of future wealth; Brix Bounty Farm is pleased to announce the development of new apprenticeship, internship, and research opportunities for the 2009 growing season. I've compiled a very brief list of local agricultural opportunities. For more information about specific positions with Brix Bounty Farm please contact Derek, 508-992-1868.

The work we carry out on the farm and in our community aims to increase working knowledge of vegetable production and contribute new insights into sustainable vegetable production. The backyard garden and local agriculture renaissance is well underway. It provides our towns and cities a response to a deeper understanding of peak energy's impact on future food production and the current economic crisis (or opportunity). Growing more healthy food locally, is only one part of the mosaic.

This month we'll be presenting a springtime bounty of garden workshops through our Roots Down - New Bedford series; our next monthly workshop focusing on New Garden Bed Production, Rejuvenating Existing Gardens and an Introduction to Container Vegetable Production will be held at 4PM this Tuesday at the Lawler Branch Library in New Bedford. Our free educational offerings include an expanding list of neighborhood workshops that will begin with a workshop focusing on soil testing and soil biology basics at 5PM this Wednesday April 8th at the potential community garden location on Brock Ave. at Victory Park in the South End of New Bedford. We encourage you to join us at one or more of our Roots Down workshops in the coming weeks. Workshops will provide information for new and experienced gardeners, with a focus on growing healthy foods using safe, sustainable production methods.

While we focus on this Spring and the opportunities that lay directly before us, we are reminded the importance in considering the long view of the great work that lies ahead. As we confront the realities of a rapidly changing foodscape and slowing world monetary economy; we embrace the call of good work and real economy. Last week, The Post Carbon Institute released a timely paper; The Food and Farming Transition: Toward a Post Carbon Food System. Well worth the read.

Along these lines; mindful of the future, in the coming months we hope to be involved in efforts to initiate Transition Planning for our region on the Southcoast of Massachusetts. Interested in getting involved in a real economy renaissance, the mosaic of good work? Be in touch with the farm for details about tranisition town planning, plans to begin a regional community food security assement (based on the Center for Whole Communities - Whole Measures Tool), and other opportunities focusing on elements of a healthy local food system. Embrace the Spring of 2009.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Exciting News, New Ag Commision in MA and Nutrient Density Field Trainings

Massachusetts will soon receive new agricultural commissioner this past week, as Scott Soares was appointed to replace the recently retired Doug Petersen. Scott grew up here in Dartmouth and has been a great champion of local agriculture (including organizations like SEMAP); his appointment is good news for the Massachusetts Sustainable Agriculture community.

Politically minded? Interested in keeping abreast of action in Washington impacting sustainable agriculture? Check out the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition an organization that formed from a recent merger between the National Campaign for Sustainable Agriculture and the Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. One political issue that will be a major focus in 2009 is the Child Nutrition and Wic Reauthorization Act. Read the recent publication; Nourishing the Nation One Tray at a Time for a perspective one this important legislation.

On a different note, NOFA-Mass has recently announced a series of Nutrient Density Field Trainings that will be held throughout 2009. Folks looking to build their working knowledge of techniques used to grow high quality nutrient dense foods are encouraged to attend.