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Showing posts from November, 2022

Winter Trainings for food safety - includes farmer/ buyer networking sessions

Annalisa Hultberg, Extension Educator, food safety Winter is a great time to update your knowledge and skills for your farm, including on-farm food safety topics. There is a lot of increased interest in farm to school, food hubs and retail and these markets often require food safety training and education, a food safety plan, and sometimes a GAP audit. A  Produce Safety Mini Grant  will be available through the Minnesota Department of Agriculture that will be open in February 2023, and the certificate provided via this training can also be used for this application.  New this year! All in-person trainings will include a bonus farmer/buyer networking event after the GAPs training to connect local farmers and buyers, hosted by Renewing the Countryside. The farmer/buyer networking will be a facilitated connection time to meet prospective buyers and talk about potential connections for sales to these markets. Agenda for all in-person trainings: 10:00am - 2:00pm: GAPs training (for fruit

Is my farm covered by FSMA? Reminders about the FSMA law for food safety

Annalisa Hultberg, Extension Educator, food safety Food safety is a critical part of all produce farm operations to protect your customers from foodborne illness, and your farm from potentially being involved  in a foodborne illness outbreak. As a reminder, the Produce Safety Rule is a federal law and is part of the federal Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) that was passed in 2015. The rule sets, for the first time, science-based standards for growing fruits and vegetables for human consumption.  Fruit and vegetable farmers that grow, pack, harvest and/or hold produce and that do not qualify for an exemption or exclusion are required to comply with the Rule. While food safety is important for all farms, the FSMA Produce Safety Rule regulations only apply to some farms.  Your farm will fall into one of three categories under the Produce Safety Rule:  Not Covered  / Exempt from the rule If your farm’s adjusted average annual produce* sales during the previous 3-year period were less

Winter 2022 climate resilience cohort

Climate change is making our farms and our farm planning more unpredictable. It is becoming increasingly important to address climate change considerations in our land management planning and decision-making. This winter, join the Land Stewardship Project, UMN Extension, and Laura Lengnick of Cultivating Resilience for a four-part training series targeted to specialty crop growers. Through this series, you will be guided through a five-step process of Whole Farm Planning for Climate Resilience in order to: Learn more about the potential impacts of increasing climate variability and change on your agricultural operation. Evaluate climate risk management options that best support your farm and family goals by reducing risks and capturing new opportunities associated with changing climate conditions. Make a plan to implement selected climate resilience strategies and evaluate their effectiveness over time. This four-part series will give you tools to incorporate climate cha

Broccolini variety trial results

This summer, Lizbeth Salamanca, a visiting student from Oregon State University, trialed four different broccolini varieties on the Student Organic Farm (SOF) on the Saint Paul of the University of Minnesota. Broccolini is a cross of broccoli and gai lan choy, made by the Sakata Seed Company, and released in the early 1990s. We’re examining broccolini as an alternative to broccoli, which can only be harvested 1-3 times a season, and is susceptible to pests such as black rot and swede midge, a new insect pest of brassicas. The four broccolini varieties tested in Lizbeth’s trial were: BC1611 Happy Rich Melody Sweet Stem All seeds were sourced from Johnny’s Selected Seeds. Lizbeth collected data on overall yield, earliness, bolting, and pest problems. All varieties were transplanted into slightly raised beds with drip tape and white plastic mulch on May 17, 2022. Lizbeth also calculated an enterprise budget to determine how much the SOF needed to charge buyers in order to make a profit.