Atina Diffley http://atinadiffley.com Organic Consultant, Author, Public Speaker Sat, 06 Jun 2015 13:42:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Abundant Clean Water and Optimism http://atinadiffley.com/clean-abundant-water-and-optomism/ http://atinadiffley.com/clean-abundant-water-and-optomism/#respond Tue, 11 Nov 2014 04:07:45 +0000 http://atinadiffley.com/?p=3888 Share

Screenshot 2014-11-11 11.23.40When had I last stayed in a $45 hotel? I didn’t know they existed anymore. The decor was simple, and the sheets clean—no problem with that. The bath water however, was piss-yellow.

I thought maybe it hadn’t been run for a while and might clear, or maybe the fire that the clerk told me had burnt half the rooms a few nights before had somehow left soot in the water lines. I opened the drain, turned the faucets full open, and left the water running while I brushed my teeth.

When I returned, it was . . .a little lighter? Maybe? Still yellow though. What the heck, it was hot, it was water, I was sticky-dirty-tired from traveling, and it was the only hotel in the area of Belington, West Virginia where I was visiting from my home in Minnesota to conduct a Wholesale Success training in nearby Oak Hill that day.

I switched from bath to shower to minimize my skin imbibing whatever was coloring the water yellow, and hopped in for a quick rinse. In that moment, I felt BIG gratitude to Joy, the host at that day’s training, who had given me a gallon of water from her farm’s spring for drinking.

Clean, abundant water was the top criteria for Joy when she was searching for land to buy. She found it in a deep mountain spring. She has tested the water repeatedly for e-coli and nitrates, and always the test has come back negative.

She had brought water from her spring to make the coffee and tea for the training, and the gallon she gave me would get me through the next two days in the area. Joy’s commitment also shows up in her work with the Value Chain Cluster Initiative, the group hosting my visit. Also Screenshot 2014-11-11 11.27.16known as “VC2,” the organization provides hands-on business development and coaching services to strengthen local food and farm businesses in four regions of West Virginia.

Water quality and quantity is the most difficult challenge that comes up in the food safety trainings I provide through FamilyFarmed.org. Sufficient volume of water with low enough levels of pathogens to use for overhead irrigation, and water that is potable for drinking and produce washing, hand washing, and cleaning produce contact surfaces.

Joy advised me to stop at a grocery on my two-hour drive to the next training. She laughed when she said that a Walmart might be the only place available to buy “fresh” food.

I knew why she laughed; upon meeting her I had immediately recognized her as a kindred spirit. And I knew her suggestion spoke volumes about the realities of the economy and food systems in the region; I would need to include a robust discussion on market development for the farmer-participants. West Virginia felt like a step back in time.

At the start of the next day’s training, most of the farmers raised their hands when I asked for a showing of who used organic methods. Then every up hand dropped when I asked who was certified. I was told that organic is referred to as the “O” word, as if it were dirty, and shouldn’t be said for fear of lost sales.

In Minnesota, where I live, the market broke free of that negative connotation decades ago after the 1990 Organic Production Act passed. This set the stage to talk about marketing to values. We mapped Market Sheet copythe demographics of their customer base, and the psychographics—why they buy. We then had a fascinating discussion on why it is crucial to focus marketing on a customer’s personal values while educating them on the larger social and environmental values of local and organic—fundamental strategies for successful market development.

The people had a vibrancy I don’t see everyday. Their farms and markets were small. It was challenging to obtain a fair price to cover their cost of production and earn a modest living. Some counties were so poor they didn’t have a full grocery. Yet the people were optimistic, and they clearly had passion for growing good food.

At the end of the day I knew the workshop had been successful when each participant shared a personal take-away from the six-hour training. People appreciated the emphasis on identifying potential risks and minimizing them in a scale-appropriate, economically-viable way. Several proclaimed a change in thinking about organic certification—they are now planning to get certified and use it as a tool to educate customers and develop their market.

I also heard a shift in thinking from the concept that the FSMA Produce Rule is a witch-hunt on small farmers and that food safety doesn’t apply to them, to a commitment to work toward compliance with the eventual final rule even though they expect to be exempt. Smart thinking. All of us farmers are food handlers, handling someone else’s food.

But best of all, every hand went to their pen and wrote down National Sustainable Action Coalition to get information on commenting on the proposed supplement to the FSMA Produce Rule, and every hand went up, waving high in the air, when I asked, “Who will be making an informed citizen comment on the rule before the December 15, 2014 deadline.

And by the way, of the three nights I spent in WV, the best sleep was there in that $45 half burnt, Belington motel! I like West Virginia—yellow water, Walmart, and all. The people I met engage and take action, working together from where they are.

© Atina Diffley 2014

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Seed Beds: Bare-Root, Field-Grown Brassica Transplant Production http://atinadiffley.com/seed-beds-bare-root-field-grown-brassica-transplant-production/ http://atinadiffley.com/seed-beds-bare-root-field-grown-brassica-transplant-production/#respond Wed, 09 Apr 2014 16:02:26 +0000 http://atinadiffley.com/?p=3816 Share

Martin and I recently visited Nash’s Organic Produce Farm in Sequim-Dungeness Valley and had a conversation with organic farmer Nash Huber about the use of Seed Beds to grow bare-root transplants for brassica crops. Both our farms produced high quality bare-root transplants at a fraction of the cost and labor of greenhouse grown transplants.

Bare-root red cabbage transplant ready for planting

Bare-root red cabbage transplant ready for planting

Pre-1970s it was common practice to produce cabbage, broccoli, kohlrabi, onions, tomatoes and peppers as bare root transplants in hot-beds, the garden, or in the field. Bare-root plants were also grown in the south and shipped to northern growers.

Seedbed of organic broccoli bare-root transplants

Seedbed of organic broccoli bare-root transplants

Martin and I grew about $200,000 worth of cabbage and broccoli annually from bare-root transplants that were started outside weekly in seedbeds from May 1 to mid-July. This saved us labor and inputs costs and enabled us to manage the farm with significantly less greenhouse space.

When we discussed this with Nash we found we had all learned the technique from old-timer market-gardeners. On both Nash’s and our farm we had developed similar techniques to stale bed with basket weeders for today’s production needs.

As many beginning farmers and gardeners ask me how to grow bare-root transplants (YES! this works at all scales: farmers and gardeners alike), I’m providing a link to a 9-page manual I wrote detailing our seedbed production process.

http://atinadiffley.com/wp-content/uploads/Bare-Toor-Transplants-Seed-Beds.pdf

Happy spring! Soon the soil will warm and it will be seed planting time!

Atina

bare-root1 (1 of 1)

140 IH tractor with basket weeder creating stale beds for transplant seeding

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FREE – Turn Here Sweet Corn by Atina Diffley NOW in Author-Read Audiobook http://atinadiffley.com/free-turn-here-sweet-corn-by-atina-diffley-now-in-author-read-audiobook/ http://atinadiffley.com/free-turn-here-sweet-corn-by-atina-diffley-now-in-author-read-audiobook/#respond Tue, 22 Oct 2013 18:08:08 +0000 http://atinadiffley.com/?p=3674 Share

 

AudioCover-2in

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FREE with Audible 30-day free trial.

Also available at Audible || Amazon

Listen to Turn Here Audio Book Samples

Chapter 20 – Coyote Scene

Chapter 1 – Cold Hard Water

www.atinadiffley.com

Atinarecording

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Turn Here Sweet Corn . . . the corn dance http://atinadiffley.com/turn-here-sweet-corn-the-corn-dance/ http://atinadiffley.com/turn-here-sweet-corn-the-corn-dance/#comments Tue, 15 Oct 2013 21:53:41 +0000 http://atinadiffley.com/?p=3667 Share

 The CORN DANCE and the ORGANIC PHEROMONES

For those of you who have already read Turn Here Sweet Corn, here’s a wild video to supplement your mental image of the Corn Dance. For those of you who haven’t yet read . . . after watching this video of the Pipeline Energizer and The Organic Pheromones, follow the links below.

Turn Here Sweet Corn: Organic Farming Works by Atina Diffley
NOW In Author-Read Audio Book
Paperback, Hardcover and Kindle

www.atinadiffley.com

What readers are saying . . .

A pair of feisty, dedicated farmers staring down one of the world’s largest companies—and getting Goliath to blink first! This must-read, legal-thriller memoir tells the story of the pipeline case between Koch Industries and Diffley’s Gardens of Eagan Organic Farm. How did a little organic farm succeed in court against Koch? With the support of thousands of informed citizens, expert witnesses, and an organic system plan. By offering a look inside her own experience, and often her own heart, Diffley creates a multifaceted, powerful, and compelling memoir about trying to live organically. — Elizabeth Millard

“As Malena and I sat in bed, listening to the first thwaks of what would end up being a full 20 minutes of hail, all I could think of was the first chapter of your book. This morning began with the phrase, ‘Things are going to bounce back fine… these plants WANT to live.’ Much Love.” — Michale Jacobs, Easy Bean Farm

“Your book is so thrilling!!! I can’t stop turning the pages. Seriously. You rock. Write more, please!” — Katherine Plowman

Atina Diffley’s memoir “Turn Here Sweet Corn” is a great, absorbing read, even for those of us who cannot grow anything and do not worry about pesticides. It’s a classic tale of the little guy fighting the big corporation and of people working hard all their lives only to face the loss of their livelihood. There’s a sweet love story in there, too. Star Tribune Staff

Video by Mike Rivard

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Marketing, Postharvest Handling, and Food Safety for Vegetable Growers http://atinadiffley.com/marketing-strategies-for-vegetable-growers/ http://atinadiffley.com/marketing-strategies-for-vegetable-growers/#respond Sun, 28 Apr 2013 15:56:13 +0000 http://atinadiffley.com/?p=3394 Share

In my last post I told you that I had a busy winter doing farmer trainings on post harvest handling, food safety, and marketing in 29 cities nationally. Thanks goes to the USDA Risk Management Agency for funding these trainings and familyfarmed.org for development and administration. Attendees received a 5 hour training and a copy of  “Wholesale Success” , edited by Jim Slama and Atina Diffley. Several of the host partners recorded the trainings and they can now be viewed on-line. Share this link with your vegetable farming friends!

Agriculture Expert, Atina Diffley, Encourages Local Growers to Differentiate Their Product

Market research starts long before the seed is in the ground. Learning how to actively seek buyers, negotiate contracts, and build relationships with wholesalers, consumers, and other farmers is crucial for small and mid-sized farmers to succeed—and it’s not a passive process. A Wholesale Success workshop in Leelanau County gave local food producers an opportunity to learn how to enhance their success in the marketplace. Wholesale Success program trainer Atina Diffley said it’s important for local growers to add value to their products and differentiate themselves from large producers.

Wholesale Success: Farmer Training Videos, Marketing, Postharvest Handling, and Food Safety

Louisville Farm to Table sponsored “Wholesale Success,” a two-day event focused on helping farmers learn important tips of the trade, and how to connect with buyers. Consultant Atina Diffley teaches how to pick and handle produce crops to keep them not only safe, but high quality, and how to keep records of performing these tasks. 4.5 hour video training. To purchase the Familyfarmed.org, Wholesale Success Manual visit Wholesale Success: A Farmer’s Guide to Selling, Post Harvest Handling, and Packing Produce.

© Atina Diffley 2013

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Busy months behind and ahead. http://atinadiffley.com/busy-months-behind-and-ahead/ http://atinadiffley.com/busy-months-behind-and-ahead/#respond Tue, 12 Mar 2013 15:16:41 +0000 http://atinadiffley.com/?p=3278 Share

I’ve been on the road more often than not since December with “Wholesale Success” doing farmer trainings on post harvest handling, food safety, and marketing for familyfarmed.org in 29 cities nationally. Four trainings left to go in S.C., Al., MS., and IN. I’m enjoying meeting farmers all over the country and deepening my understanding of local and organic market development. The travel has been a little brutal and hasn’t left creative energy for this blog. I’m looking forward to spring, the family garden, starting the next book, and returning to blog writing.

As a family we’re planning our 1st formal “family garden.” We’ve always had a personal “kitchen garden” with herbs and salad greens near the house, but we haven’t had an official “family garden” since 1990 when it was bulldozed in Eagan.  We’re really excited about this, three generations in the garden together–planting, weeding, harvesting, and the family meals and canning/freezing activities associated. Each of us will pick our “personal” crop(s) that we’ll give special attention to. I think Chase (9-year old grandson) might pick giant pumpkins (I’ve got the seeds ready for him.) Anya, the newest member of our family (Maize’s wife) is after strawberries and lemon sorrel, Eliza wants kale! The rest I’ll write about here as it unfurls in the garden. Spring will be here soon and as we all know it’s SPRING’S DOING that people plant!

Upcoming Turn Here Sweet Corn Book Events this week.

I hope to see you somewhere soon!
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Dear Valerie: Cigars and Tobacco Mosaic Virus http://atinadiffley.com/dear-valerie-cigars-and-tobacco-mosaic-virus/ http://atinadiffley.com/dear-valerie-cigars-and-tobacco-mosaic-virus/#respond Tue, 11 Dec 2012 22:07:29 +0000 http://atinadiffley.com/?p=3160 Share

On Dec 4, 2012, at 6:02 PM, Valerie . . .  wrote to Atina Diffley:

Hi Atina,

Firstly I LOVE your book!

My husband and a group of his friends get together about once a month and smoke cigars. Last summer one evening it was at our house and they smoked on the back deck which is level with and about 8′ away from my vegetable garden. I did not put it together with the smoking but my tomatoes were a total flop last year. Some people said it was blight. This year when the smoker was at our house it rained so they moved it to my front porch nowhere near my vegetable garden. I had a nice crop this year . . .  actually still have kale growing. Before I become the wicked witch and ban the guys from smoking here do you think it was the tobacco mosaic you speak about on page 310 that messed up my crop last year. It seemed like no matter what I did they just seemed dehydrated. My husband suggested I contact you before I ban the smoker.

A tobacco plant infected with Tobacco Mosaic Virus. Knapp, E. and Lewandowski, D. J. 2001. Tobacco mosaic virus, not just a single component virus anymore. Molecular Plant Pathology 2(3):117–123. Article first published online : 21 DEC 2001, DOI: 10.1046/j.1364-3703.2001.00064.x

Thank you!!

Valerie

On Dec 11, 2012 at 1:02 pm Atina Diffley responded:

Dear Valerie,

According to plant pathologists at the University of Minnesota, Tobacco Mosaic Virus is one of the most common plant virus diseases in Minnesota. The dreaded virus is transmittable to tomatoes via tobacco smoke in the air, or transferred via smoke on human/animal skin or clothing. It can survive for up to 50 years in dried plant parts, and there are no efficient chemical or organic treatments that protect tomatoes from the infection or that eliminate viral infections from plant tissues once they do occur. Thus the only known controls are prevention, ie. limiting its spread. Detailed information from the University of Minnesota can be found here.

Typical mottling symptoms appearing on tomato fruit with Tobacco Mosaic Virus (photo John Paul Jones).

It is quite possible that your tomato plants suffered Tobacco Mosaic Virus, however, without the actual plants for physical identification and/or a lab tissue test I fear your claim could be rejected as specious. The plants could also have been infected with late or early blight, anthracnose, septoria leaf spot, fusarium or verticillium wilt, bacterial spot or speck or canker, or a host of other frightful tomato diseases. In fact, it is highly probable that a combination of pathogens caused your plant’s distress–they frequently operate in tandem.

Even if credible evidence were at hand, your advocacy for preventative health measures may be a challenging concept for people who smoke on a regular basis. Since you’ve read Turn Here Sweet Corn, you know I am a strong supporter of women not-giving-up-their-personal-power. I encourage you to carefully evaluate your goals, motives, and all involved parties’ personal agendas in this case while also considering the finances, food supply, and the health–both physical and emotional–of all your family members. (including pets and plants)

I am confident that once you are clear on your priorities you will be able to achieve an outcome based on what is best for you and your family. In the case of the Koch pipeline legal proceeding we were creating a first-of-its-kind organic mitigation plan, designed to “make an offense or crime less serious or more excusable, less harsh, severe, or violent,” and our livelihood and the food source of many eaters was threatened. A complete prohibition of smoking and smoke on pipeline worker’s clothes and bodies while working on our organic farm was our desired outcome.

The leaves of a tomato plant with Tobacco Mosaic Virus exhibit a clear mosaic pattern. (photo John Paul Jones)

In your case, cigars  are an ancient and oft-repeated source of spousal disagreement, and compromise is likely possible as the smokers could choose to move to a different part of your home, and refrain from wandering in the garden. Or you could choose to indulge your husband knowing that your tomato needs can be met by the many farmers at the farmers market anxious to cash in on his habit and social life.

We have had another cigar experience that may be of use in your present situation. A female neighbor of ours was an antique collector and fed up with her husband’s daily cigar smoke. She told him that he could either stop smoking in the house, or build an additional room to store her antiques sans cigars. He choose the latter, a three season room was added onto the house, and she moved her antiques there. Their problem appeared to be solved, but then, ironically, the main house caught fire and was completely destroyed except for the added-on room, which survived the fire with the antiques intact. We purchased the room and moved it to our farm where it now serves as a summer cabin (non-smoking). While this story is clearly hearsay when holding court with a Tabagie,* it may serve as a helpful antidote to share in private with your husband if he resists a compromise and you wish to draw in further influence of a slightly hoodoo nature to emphasis your point.

Best to you and may your smoke issues be peacefully mitigated for your household and garden,

Sincerely, Atina Diffley

*Tabagie: A group of smokers who meet as a club, (1819).

© 2012 by Atina Diffley, All Rights Reserved.

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Read Turn Here Sweet Corn | Amazon | Barnes & NobleIndieBound | University of MN Press

Atina Diffley is an organic consultant (Organic Farming Works LLC), educator, public speaker, and author of the 2012 memoir, Turn Here Sweet Corn: Organic Farming Works, published by the University of Minnesota Press. Until 2008, she and her husband Martin ran the Gardens of Eagan, one of the first certified organic produce farms in the Midwest. One of her favorite things in the world is rain.

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The Atina Diffley Kitchen and Give To CURE! http://atinadiffley.com/the-atina-diffley-kitchen-and-give-to-cure/ http://atinadiffley.com/the-atina-diffley-kitchen-and-give-to-cure/#respond Thu, 15 Nov 2012 05:43:58 +0000 http://atinadiffley.com/?p=3102 Share

Guess! Where in the world is the Atina Diffley Kitchen!

What could be better than having a kitchen named after oneself!

The Atina Diffley Kitchen in the Writer’s Retreat at CURE in Montevideo, MN.

Today is GGive to the MaxIVE TO THE MAX DAY in Minnesota! On Thursday, November 15, every donation you make gives your favorite organizations the chance to win even more money. Here’s my pick for 2012. I hope you’ll join me in supporting CURE, a MN non-profit that is making a BIG difference.

CLEAN UP THE RIVER ENVIRONMENT is doing quadruple duty. There’s our precious Water, CURE is leading the charge in cleaning up the Minnesota River. They protect Soil. To clean up the river they work to create more living cover on the land–they want more buffer strips everywhere! And Fertilizer–a lot of “nutrients” get into the river by attaching themselves to soil particles, so keeping the soil covered can help stop nutrient pollution as well. And on top of all that CURE supports Writers!

Upstairs of their office in downtown Montevideo CURE has built a writers retreat which they graciously made available to me when I started writing Turn Here Sweet Corn. Each of the retreat rooms are named after authors. There’s the Paul Gruchow Parlor, and the Joseph Amato Study, Joe and Nancy Paddock have a hall named after them, and I slept in the Florence Dacey Bedroom when I wrote there. The Athena Kildegaard Bedroom is just down the hall, and now I am absolutely tickled, pleased giddy-silly, and honored red to be part of this amazing group of passionate writers and to tell you that the the Atina Diffley Kitchen has recently been christened!!!

Turn Here Sweet Corn ready to infiltrate cereal bowls in the Atina Diffley Kitchen!

So next time you’re in Western Minnesota, swing into downtown Montevideo and stop at CURE to see what’s cooking . . . in the meantime,

Audrey Arner, Atina Diffley, and Patrick Moore at the “Atina Diffley Kitchen” christening at CURE in Montevideo.

 

Click Here to Support CURE – Give to the Max November 15

 

 

 

© 2012 by Atina Diffley, All Rights Reserved.

Subscribe to Atina Diffley’s Blog, What Is A Farm?

Read Turn Here Sweet Corn | Amazon | Barnes & NobleIndieBound | University of MN Press

Atina Diffley is an organic consultant (Organic Farming Works LLC), educator, public speaker, and author of the 2012 memoir, Turn Here Sweet Corn: Organic Farming Works, published by the University of Minnesota Press. Until 2008, she and her husband Martin ran the Gardens of Eagan, one of the first certified organic produce farms in the Midwest. One of her favorite things in the world is rain.

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GMO Sweet Corn Varieties and Genetic-Contamination – Just Label It! http://atinadiffley.com/gmo-sweet-corn-varieties-and-genetic-contamination-just-label-it/ http://atinadiffley.com/gmo-sweet-corn-varieties-and-genetic-contamination-just-label-it/#comments Mon, 27 Aug 2012 15:21:29 +0000 http://atinadiffley.com/?p=2922 Share

In Turn Here Sweet Corn: Organic Farming Works, I wrote about cross-pollination and the threat of genetically modified organisms.

If our sweet corn is cross-pollinated by neighboring field corn, it is not sweet nor is it marketable. Martin manages this threat by recording the dates of all the developmental stages for our crop, as well as the neighbors’ planting and pollen dates. He then adjusts his varieties and planting sequence by what the neighbors plant and when. But genetic contamination is impossible to avoid completely. When there are field corn–pollinated kernels in our sweet corn, they are visible; dark yellow kernels mixed in like polka dots among the small, tender sweet corn kernels. But now there is an even larger challenge and looming threat.

Cross–pollination/genetic-contamination in our organic, bio-color sweet corn seed breeding project in August, 2012. The three dark yellow kernels were cross-pollinated by field corn — 88% chance that it is GMO.

It is 1997, and our neighbors are experimenting with genetically modified field corn (GMO). We don’t want GMO traits in our organic crops, and there is no controlling the pollen. We know from firsthand experience how readily cross-pollination occurs. We are concerned that eventually it will become impossible to find seed and food that isn’t contaminated with GMO traits. — excerpt Turn Here Sweet Corn

I was concerned in 1997, but I couldn’t even imagine then that by 2012 the U.S. Department of Agriculture would report that 88 percent of corn raised in the United States is grown from what scientists now call transgenic seed (a.k.a. GMO, or GE for genetically engineered.)

BT: Insect-resistant crops containing the gene from the soil bacterium Bt
HT: Herbicide-tolerant (HT) crops, developed to survive application of specific herbicides that previously would have destroyed the crop along with the targeted weeds.

Cross-pollination

As careful as we are about planting dates, cross-pollination in a corn-growing region is inevitable — pollen can travel long distances on wind.

Each kernel has it’s own silk. A pollen grain must travel down each silk to pollinate each kernel. One ear of corn can be pollinated from multiple plants.

And for those of us that wish to avoid eating GMO traits, the threat isn’t only from GMO field corn pollen. Many local, non-organic* sweet corn producers — YES, “people-corn”, not only “cow-corn,” and YES, even at local farmers markets — are now planting GMO sweet corn varieties.

I find that often when I ask the market sales person if their corn has GMO traits they say “no,” or “what is GMO?” But when I speak to the farmer I learn that it is a GMO variety. The sales staff don’t always know, and labeling is not yet required.

(*Organic farmers are not allowed to use genetically modified seed.)

Sweet Corn Variety Descriptions From Our Local MN Vegetable Seed Supplier.

*ATTRIBUTE VARIETIES – Insect Resistance for European Corn Borer & Corn Earworm

*IMPORTANT – When buying ATTRIBUTE varieties, _ _ _ _ SEEDS, INC must have the waiver before seed can be released.  Contact us for waiver.

  ATTRIBUTE VARIETIES Insect Resistance                                                 Price per thousand (M)

DAYS

EAR SIZE

ROW

HEIGHT

DESCRIPTION

25M

GH08511
(S.E.xSh2)

80

8×1.8″

16

6.5′

YELLOW, triplesweet, good husk protection & disease package

$9.18

BC 0801
(S.E.)

79

8×2″

16-18

6.5′

BI-COLOR, good tip fill, good disease package

$8.50

Was it clear to you from reading this description that Attribute Varieties are genetically modified with BT?

Would you like them to be labeled in the market so you can choose if you want to eat them or not?

How about this one?

*PERFORMANCE SERIES corn provides control for Fall Armyworm, Corn Earworm, European Corn – Southwestern Corn – Sugar Cane – Southern Cornstalk & Common Stalk Borer, Western Corn & Northern Corn Rootworm Larvae.  Also tolerant to ROUNDUP WEATHER MAX & ROUNDUP POWER MAX.

*PERFORMANCE SERIES can only be shipped upon receiving your TECHNOLOGY LICENSE number.  We will send you the LICENSING AGREEMENT if you don’t have one already.

PERFORMANCE SERIES Advanced Insect Resistance – Roundup Ready   Price per thousand (M)

DAYS

EAR SIZE

ROW

HEIGHT

DESCRIPTION

25M

Obsession II
(AuSh2)

79

8.5″

16-20

6.5′

BICOLOR
less $2 rebate = $11.12 M

$13.12

Passion II
(AuSh2)

 81

8×1.7″

18-20

6.5′

YELLOW
less $2 rebate = $11.12 M

$13.12

Temptation II
(S.E.)

 70

7.7×1.7″

14-16

6.5′

BICOLOR
less $2 rebate = $9.65 M
$11.65

 

The PERFORMANCE SERIES is “pyramided” or “stacked” — meaning it has multiple GMO traits — BT insect control AND HT Round-up herbicide resistance.

GMO BT sweet corn has been on the market for years, but the addition of herbicide resistant has make it “irresistible;” a grower can now use the same herbicide and sprayer on their field corn and their sweet corn — they don’t even have to rinse out the tank!

Do you want to eat sweet corn with Round-up herbicide and GMO traits?

Myself, I prefer organic butter and sea salt.

When I spoke with the seed vendor he told me that he had no idea that the Performance series would sell so well — he repeatedly sold out this spring. He added that even the Monsanto sales rep wasn’t expecting the high sales!

Genetic modification is an experiment not of our choosing. But we all are participants. It’s not if cross-pollination happens but when. There is no taking it back, and segregation in the field is not possible. It is a threat not just to our survival but also to the future of our genetic heritage and to nature itself.

© 2012 by Atina Diffley, All Rights Reserved.

Subscribe to Atina Diffley’s Blog, What Is A Farm?

Read Turn Here Sweet Corn | Amazon | Barnes & NobleIndieBound | University of MN Press

Atina Diffley is an organic consultant (Organic Farming Works LLC), educator, public speaker, and author of the 2012 memoir, Turn Here Sweet Corn: Organic Farming Works, published by the University of Minnesota Press. Until 2008, she and her husband Martin ran the Gardens of Eagan, one of the first certified organic produce farms in the Midwest. One of her favorite things in the world is rain.

 

 

 

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Organic Certification Cost Share Program http://atinadiffley.com/organic-certification-cost-share-program/ http://atinadiffley.com/organic-certification-cost-share-program/#respond Tue, 21 Aug 2012 15:54:14 +0000 http://atinadiffley.com/?p=2906 Share

Minnesota’s organic certification cost share program is now accepting applications!

Often I hear that farmers decide to not certify because of the cost, and when I tell them about the federal cost share program — which can rebate up to 75 percent of the cost of their organic certification — they were not aware of it. If you are a supporter of an organic farm, you can support them but letting them know about this opportunity. Farmers: this is a federal program, check with your state’s department of agriculture to learn their process and timing.

Organic certification is a third-party verification system that assures consumers that the organic products they buy are truly organic, produced in compliance with federal organic regulations. Organic operations are monitored through review of their records and on-site inspections at least once a year. Additional benefits of certification include, sending a clear message to the USDA — farmers are growing organically and consumers are buying it, legal protection for farmers, and protection from co-opting.

“The cost share program provides some regulatory relief from a financial burden that is unique to organic farms and other organic businesses,” said MDA Organic Program Administrator Meg Moynihan. “Organic growers and processors who sell more than $5,000 of organic agricultural products are legally required to obtain certification at their own expense. Depending on the farm or business size, the cost ranges from hundreds to thousands of dollars per year, so this program can be a big help.”

Funds for the cost share program come from a cooperative agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Operations that received certification (or had ongoing certification) between October 1, 2011 and September 30, 2012 are eligible for reimbursement of up to 75 percent of certification-related costs  up to a maximum of $750 per category (crop, livestock, processing/handling, wild harvest). Last year, the MDA disbursed nearly $381,000 to 480 certified organic farmers and processors in the state.

To qualify, applicants must be certified by a USDA-accredited certifying agency. The MDA has already mailed application packets to more than 900 certified organic operations in the state. Any certified organic farmer or processor who did not receive a packet can obtain all the program details and necessary materials on the MDA’s web site www.mda.state.mn.us/organic or by calling 651-201-6012. Deadline: October 31, 2012.

1) Certification Sends A Clear Message To The USDA

(Reposted from July 30, 2012, Organic Certification Supports And Protects Farmers And The Organic Movement)

Farmers are growing organically and consumers are buying it. The USDA tracks the number of certified organic farms. A growing, quantifiable number of certified organic farms is a strong indicator that organic production is viable: that farmers are achieving it, that consumers want it, and that organic must be supported with research, farm support payments, insurance, and cost share funds. Certification supports the organic movement and is a crucial element in the transition to an organic agricultural system.

2) Certification Provides Legal Protection.

Every certified organic farm has an Organic System Plan (OSP)—unique and specific to their individual farm. As an inspected, certified, and federally registered document, an OSP is a respected and credible document in a court of law. Without certification, production claims and statements are hearsay and unconfirmed in a court of law.

1. Chemical Trespass: Minnesota organic farmers Oluf and Debra Johnson had success in 2011 when the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled that an organic farm surrounded by chemical-laden conventional farms can seek damages for lost crops, as well as lost profits, caused by the illegal trespassing of pesticides and herbicides on its property.

2. Eminent Domain: In 2006 our organic farm succeeded in a legal proceeding against one of the largest privately owned company in the world, Koch Industries. Because the farm—Gardens of Eagan—was certified, we were able to prevent a crude oil pipeline from crossing our organic fields, and work with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission to create and implement an organic mitigation plan providing protections to all certified organic farms in Minnesota. Certification was crucial to this success.

3) Certification Provides Protection From Co-opting

As the market grows, more conventional and industrial companies and farms are developing “local” and “sustainable” products with glorious labels, professional promotion plans, and prices far lower than any small, organic farmer can produce. Organic certification is crucial to differentiate product and protect farmers and consumers alike from this green washing and eroding of the local and sustainable market.

Interested in growing organic? Start here!

MOSES ORGANIC CERTIFICATION GUIDEBOOK.

This 36-page guidebook will answer your questions about organic certification! From general production questions, to a discussion on approved materials, this guidebook is an indispensable resource.

The guide includes listings of:
1. Steps to Certification
2. Certification Agencies
3. Helpful Organizations
4. Resources for Transitioning
5. Organic Research

© Atina Diffley 2012

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Atina Diffley is an organic consultant (Organic Farming Works LLC), educator, public speaker, and author of the 2012 memoir, Turn Here Sweet Corn: Organic Farming Works, published by the University of Minnesota Press. Until 2008, she and her husband Martin ran the Gardens of Eagan, one of the first certified organic produce farms in the Midwest. One of her favorite things in the world is rain.

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