CFSA Growers Toolbox

CFSA's Grower's Toolbox
Dear Rebecca,

Spring is in the air! It’s a time for new beginnings and so we’re excited to launch our newest technical consulting service: High Tunnel Consulting. Need help planning crops, maximizing your production potential or solving high tunnel issues? Apply for CFSA’s High Tunnel Consulting. It’s free for farmer-members.

In this month’s Grower’s Toolbox, we’ve got answers to the tricky question, “When should I plant in my high tunnel?” Plus, blog posts on how to market your farm and why having a farm mentor is so important.


Karen McSwain, CFSA’s Director of Farm Services and Food Systems

P.S. Want more inspiration? Come to our Piedmont Farm Tour, happeningApril 23-24.

High Tunnel at Lomax
When to Plant in YOUR High Tunnel

by Gena Moore, CFSA’s Organic Research Coordinator

I’m sure you’ve heard that no two snowflakes are the alike. The same can be said for high tunnels. The fact that all high tunnels are different makes determining planting dates difficult for many growers. Accepting general planting date recommendations can be a risk when working in high tunnels and risk-taking in agriculture is, well, risky. Although determining planting dates for high tunnel production can be challenging, if you get to know your tunnel, you can minimize your risk.

Apply now to be a Farmer in Training at Lomax Incubator Farm
Apprentice at DirtWorks Farm
A Farm Mentor Makes All the Difference

by guest author Brian Wheat, the Growing New Farmers Program Manager at Lowcountry Local First, a CFSA member and partner nonprofit

Ninja Cow pig
When TMI (Too Much Information) Is Just Enough 

A 4-part farm marketing, record-keeping, and story-telling series by farmer and guest blogger, Dan Moore of Ninja Cow Farm in Raleigh, NC

Life is Short! Work Somewhere Awesome!
CFSA is looking for excellent candidates for our new Local Produce Safety Coordinator position! This part time, salaried position will be responsible for delivering an innovative training program to operators of diversified farms seeking food safety certification, specifically the USDA GAPs and Harmonized GAP Audits. Apply by March 25.
Organic Inputs Finder
Just in time for spring planting, CFSA has answers to your questions about everything from the certification process to weeds, disease, pests, and soil fertility to record keeping and marketing options. We’ve also compiled Carolina-specific resources – certifying agents, certification cost share, organic seed sources, fertility inputs, reported problem pests, wholesale opportunities, and more – all in this helpful handbook.
Organic Inputs Finder
Looking for OMRI-approved pesticides; NOP-compliant organic inputs; organic dry or liquid fertilizers, potting mix, and cover crop seeds, compost, or non-GMO, organic feed and hay in the Carolinas? We’ve got you covered with three convenient ways to search: by supplier, by pest control product and by hay and feed suppliers.
Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) One-Day Workshop: Navigating the USDA GAP Audit

Monday, April 11 from 9:00am – 4:00pm

Summerfield Farms
3203 Pleasant Ridge Road, Summerfield, NC 27358

The Navigating the USDA GAP Audit workshop, will combine classroom and on-farm instruction to provide producers with the tools needed to identify potential food safety concerns, as well as strategies to minimize potential contamination.

Cost: $20 (includes lunch)


Piedmont Farm Tour

April 23-24, 2016 from 2-6 PM

The tour is a great way for farmers (and aspiring farmers) to see how sustainable, family farms are thriving in the Carolinas. Learn how they do it. Ask questions. Get inspired.


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The Carolina Farm Stewardship Association is on a mission to bring local, organic food to your table from a farmer who shares your values – and we can’t do it without you. Together we are building a regional food system that is good for consumers, good for growers, and good for the land.
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