Check out the latest Mountain Top Ag Newsletter, heading in the mail today! In it you'll find information about lots of great educational opportunities for farmers and gardeners this spring. Don't miss out on these opportunities to help your farming business thrive!
Chilly temperatures and flurries are no match for area small farmers.
More than 20 local farmers will gather on Feb. 9 as part of this year's Winter Blues North Farmers Market to showcase products available during cooler months: locally raised meats, eggs, cheeses, fresh produce, breads, fruits, jams, jellies, nuts, honey, fruits, woolen products and more.
"This is a great opportunity to highlight the amazing variety of products available in the winter months," said Bryan Cheslock, president of the Morgantown Farmers' Market Growers Association, which is hosting the event in coordination with WVU Extension Service Small Farm Center. "Our farmers are a major economic driver, and this event not only boosts local business but supports our community with fresh, delicious goods."
Local Food Dine Around
In addition the fresh produce and goods, this year's event will feature the new Local Food Dine Around and the Cast Iron Cook-Off.
Local restaurants will serve up specialty dishes that will be available for purchase. Chefs from Hill & Hollow, Morgantown Brewing Company, and Garcia's Grill, among others, will prepare entrees with locally grown foods so diners can fill their bellies while browsing the market.
Cast Iron Cook-Off
The Cast Iron Cook-Off, which is a cooking competition that celebrates food, culinary heritage and sustaining the local farm-to-table movement, will pit chef against chef in a competition to cook the best meal.
Inspired by Food Network's "Chopped," chefs will have 20 minutes to pick their ingredients from the market and prepare their meal in 1 hour and 15 minutes. The five chefs will then be judged on their dishes.
The Cast Iron Cook-Off competition, hosted by the Collaborative for the 21st Century Appalachia, will recognize a Grand Champion and Best Overall Dish at the Awards Ceremony at 6:30 p.m. A Junior Cast Iron Cook-Off competition will be held simultaneously with up to eight teams of high school students and a mentor.
More than 1,000 are expected to attend this premier event, which will also feature Romney, West Virginia-based bluegrass Buck Mountain String Band.
The 2017 Winter Blues North Farmers Market will be held Feb. 9 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Ruby Community Center at Mylan Park.
This event, which is sponsored by City Neon, is open to the public. The entry donation of $2 will help benefit Empty Bowls Monongalia.
For more information, visit http://smallfarmcenter.ext.wvu.edu/events/winter-blues-north-farmers-market or http://castironcookoff.org/.
Check out the latest edition of the Mountain Top Ag News here!
Can we help your food/farm business? Natural Capital Investment Fund & Tri-County Council of Western Maryland have funding from the U.S. HUD Appalachian Economic Development Initiative to provide technical assistance free of charge as well as financing to small businesses and farms in western Maryland.
To learn more or share additional feedback, please contact NCIF Project Manager Hannah Vargason at email@example.com or 304-870-2238.
Click the link below to take the survey by January 31!!
The Appalachia Grows - Small Farms Conference will be held March 17-18 at Allegany College of Maryland near Cumberland. More info soon at www.AppGrows.com !
Come on out to the Benefit for Glenn Hardesty Sunday! Silent Auction starts at 4:00, ends around 7:30 (after the 6:00 local foods dinner). Join us for the Corn Hole Tournament as well!
Other silent auction items not pictured below: Quilts, toys, fabric, gift baskets, matted photos, home decor, and more!
More info here: www.GarrettFarms.org/glenn
Local Opinions on Access to Quality Food Sought During FSU Concern-Gathering Event
As part of a national data-gathering project on citizens’ concerns about access to quality food, members of the local community are invited to a “concern-gathering” session at FSU on Wednesday, April 20, at 10 a.m. in the Lane Atkinson Room (232). The program is part of FSU’s daylong Focus Frostburg annual day of learning on sustainability issues.
The region’s citizens have a unique opportunity to shape the national conversation on the topic of access to quality food, and diverse perspectives are being sought. Participants will be asked to describe what the topic means to them and to share their concerns. Results will be compiled into a National Issues Forum national issue guide.
This endeavor is part of 18-month-long learning opportunity for Dr. Elesha L. Ruminski and Christine Willingham, faculty in FSU’s Department of Communication, with the Kettering Foundation to learn best practices as moderators of citizen discourse with the goal of using deliberative processes to put the work of the community in the hands of citizens, as opposed to top-down solutions.
The ultimate goal of these efforts is to create a communication leadership lab at FSU, envisioned as a hub of project activity that enables students, faculty and regional citizens to navigate collectively the complexities and contradictions of the changing world through access to expert, developmental and technological resources on dialogue, deliberation, collaboration and communication leadership.
The Kettering Foundation focuses on research and facilitation that supports “democracy working as it should through the alignment of citizens who are civically engaged and can make sound choices about their future; communities of citizens acting together to address common problems; and institutions with public legitimacy that contribute to strengthening the work of citizens.” For info on the Kettering Foundation, visit www.kettering.org.
For info or to share perspectives if you cannot make this session, contact Ruminski, associate professor of Communication Studies and coordinator of Leadership Studies, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 301-687-4480.
The latest version of the Mountain Top Ag News is hot off the press! There are lots of great workshops, conferences, and other information in this edition. Click here to download a copy.
Error Correction: In the printed mailing that went to some homes, the price for the Appalachia Grows Small Farms Conference was incorrect. The item has been corrected in the online version. The correct price is:
$20 first adult
$15 additional adults
Garrett & Allegany County Producers Urged to Consider Risk Protection Coverage Before Crop Sales Deadlines
The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) reminds producers to review available USDA crop risk protection options, including federal crop insurance and Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) coverage, before the crop deadline of March 2016.
Federal crop insurance covers crop losses from natural adversities such as drought, hail and excessive moisture. NAP covers losses from natural disasters on crops for which no permanent federal crop insurance program is available, including perennial grass forage and grazing crops, fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, floriculture, ornamental nursery, aquaculture, turf grass, ginseng, honey, syrup, bioenergy, and industrial crops.
The following NAP application closing dates have been established for Garrett and Allegany Counties:
Federal crop insurance coverage is sold and delivered solely through private insurance agents. Agent lists are available at all USDA Service Centers or at USDA’s online Agent Locator: http://prodwebnlb.rma.usda.gov/apps/AgentLocator/#. Producers can use the USDA Cost Estimator, https://ewebapp.rma.usda.gov/apps/costestimator/Default.aspx, to predict insurance premium costs.
For more information on NAP, service fees, premiums and sales deadlines, contact the Garrett County FSA Office at (301) 334-6954 or the Allegany County FSA Office at (301) 777-1536 and toll free at (866) 723-6407. Producers may visit the web at www.fsa.usda.gov/nap.