Local, regional and national food news from the Bucks County Foodshed Alliance
Bucks County Foodshed Alliance

Mark your calendar

For more details, see the BCFA full calendar here.
Wed Jan 2, 2013 BCFA Annual Meeting  - Wrightstown Village Library, 727 Penns Park Road, Wrightstown, PA [7 - 9 pm]

Sat Jan 5, 2013 Ottsville Winter Farmers' Market - Linden Hill Gardens, 8230 Easton Rd., Ottsville, PA (in the greenhouse) [10 am - 1 pm]

Tue Jan 8, 2013 Food for Thought: Book ClubDoylestown Bookshop, 16 S. Main Street, Doylestown, PA [6:30 - 8 pm]

Wed Jan 9, 2013 BCFA Board Meeting, TBD [6:30 - 9 pm]

Sat Jan 12, 2013 Wrightstown Winter Farmers' Mini-Market - Wrightstown Twp. Municipal Bldg (parking lot), 2203 2nd Street Pike, Wrightstown, PA [10 - 11 am]

Sun Jan 20, 2013 Hunterdon Land Trust Farmers’ Winter Market - Dvoor Farm, Route 12 Circle, Flemington, NJ [11 am - 1 pm]
Tues Jan 22, 2013 ABCs of Beekeeping - Neshaminy Manor Center, Almshouse Road, Doylestown, PA [7 - 9 pm]

Sat Jan 26, 2013 Wrightstown Winter Farmers' Mini-Market - Wrightstown Twp. Municipal Bldg (parking lot), 2203 2nd Street Pike, Wrightstown, PA [10 - 11 am]

Sat Jan 26, 2013 NOFA-NJ Annual Food & Agriculture Winter Conference - Brookdale Community College, Lincroft, NJ [9 am - 5 pm]
Sun Jan 27, 2013 NOFA-NJ Annual Food & Agriculture Winter Conference - Brookdale Community College, Lincroft, NJ [9 am - 5 pm]
Tues Jan 29, 2013 ABCs of Beekeeping - Neshaminy Manor Center, Almshouse Road, Doylestown, PA [7 - 9 pm]
For more details, see the BCFA full calendar here.

Help us help you

Consider making a donation to the Bucks County Foodshed Alliance. Our mission is to foster and expand a local, sustainable food supply in Bucks County, and to connect producers and consumers. Right now we are also working on establishing a Buy Fresh Buy Local chapter in Bucks County. Our goals are:
- Improve the variety, amount and availability of fresh, healthy and delicious locally grown food.
- Support local farmers’ ability to grow and market food.
- Be the “go-to” place for trusted information about locally produced food in Bucks County.
- Increase demand for local, sustainably grown food.
Click here to make an online donation. Thanks for your support.
Pasta; photo by Ruthie Hansen
Climate change could wipe out pasta

From time to time, we have a little freak-out about all the foods climate change is going to take away from us. Like chocolate. And coffee. And bourbon. But, though we’re reluctant to admit this, a lot of these food items are luxuries. Today we are having a slightly bigger freak-out, because we’re thinking about how we could possibly deal with a world where there is no more pasta. Here is basically all you need to know about this, from Newsweek: Wheat is a cool-season crop. High temperatures are negative for its growth and quality. Pasta is made from wheat, and a large, growing body of scientific studies and real-world observations suggest that wheat will be hit especially hard as temperatures rise and storms and drought intensify in the years ahead. Read more here.

Happy Holidays

As the year comes to an end, many charities solicit funds - I know by the number of emails I've gotten! If supporting new food systems and farms is a priority to you, consider donating to the Soil Trust, a new fund begun by the Slow Money Alliance, that allows regular folks like us - who may not have big dollars - to help build changes in our food system. Consider too donating to the Bucks County Foodshed Alliance. We're working to support sustainable agriculture here in Bucks County. Our farmers' markets and educational programs connect local producers and consumers. Click here to donate online. And if you'd like to become a member of BCFA for only $20 you can join here.

It may be winter but there's still plenty of product coming out of our local farms. What do Bucks County farmers do in the winter, you may wonder? Read our article about two local farmers, what they are producing during the winter months and how they spend their downtime (when they have it). In fact, winter farmers' markets are on the rise, reports There are 52 percent more winter farmers' markets operating in the U.S. this year compared to last, according to the USDA. The Wrightstown Farmers' Market has increased its winter mini-market to twice a month due to demand. See details below.

Is agroforestry the answer to climate change? Mark Shepard thinks it is. Read about his fascinating Wisconsin farm here. But more infrastructure is what is needed, says Adrien Schless-Meier, arguing that local governments can do much to support regional food systems, like creating food system-friendly codes and ordinances. Read more here. And are you ready to give up pasta? Climate change could radically affect the growing of durum wheat which likes cooler temperatures. Sarah Laskow brings climate change home to our dinner plates in this article here.

These are just a few of the articles in this issue. Read below for more about a program for starting farmers in Pennsylvania, the 2013 Chef Survey and the economic benefits of organic dairy farms.

Volunteers are needed! We need your help to make the Bucks County Foodshed Alliance grow. Consider joining any one of our committees like programming, communications, fundraising, membership, markets or finance. If you've got the skills and the desire to support our local food system here in Bucks, we would be thrilled to have you involved.
Contact Lynne at if you are interested.

Save the dates. Mark your calendar for these upcoming events.
  • Winter Mini-Markets. Many area farmers will have product to sell through the winter and you'll be able to buy it twice a month at the Wrightstown Farmers' Market Mini-Markets on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays, 10 am - 11 am, from through April 28th. Come buy produce, meat, dairy, coffee, soap, gluten free products and more from your favorite farmers and producers. If you want to receive notifications about the winter markets, sign up here for emails.
  • The Annual Meeting of the Bucks County Foodshed Alliance will take place on Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013 at 7 pm. Join us for a potluck and "Valuing Our Food," a presentation on food waste and what we can do about it. There will also be a report from BCFA's president, Jane Magne, about the last year and our goals for this year. Join us at the Wrightstown Village Library Community Room, from 7 pm - 9 pm, at 727 Penn’s Park Rd., Wrightstown, Pa 18940
Here in Bucks County, take a look at our monthly calendar of events.

Have a Happy Holiday and a Good New Year!
Winter Markets increase 52%
There are 52 percent more winter farmers markets operating in the U.S. this year compared to last, the Department of Agriculture announced this week. Winter markets now make up a larger share of farmers market sales throughout the year. Locally, come out to the Wrightstown Winter Farmers' Mini-Markets occurring the 2nd and 4th Saturday [10 - 11 am] through April 2013. For more information and a list of vendors click here.
What the food system needs now is more infrastructure

While the rejection of Prop 37 in California has been held by some as proof of the food movement’s immaturity, a lack of rhetorical and ideological cohesion is not necessarily the food movement’s biggest problem. Grassroots efforts across the country have successfully bolstered independent sections of the food system, from small farm incubators to mobile farm stands, but there’s one piece that still remains glaringly absent: infrastructure. Without well-developed and well-financed networks and institutions to build upon, advocates for strong local and regional food systems find it difficult to connect from one end of the supply chain to the other. Read more here.
The giving tree: Agroforests can heal food systems and fight climate change

“Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias,” said farmer and author Wendell Berry. Or, if you’re Mark Shepard, plant chestnuts. For Shepard, the owner of New Forest Farm and a farming consultant, the long-lived perennial trees are a central feature in the ideal farm landscape. Annuals — i.e. corn, soybeans, and many other vegetables that have to be planted and harvested every year — are labor-intensive and come with steep environmental costs such as erosion, soil degradation, and nutrient runoff. So permaculturists like Shepard see planting fruit and nut trees and other perennials — which only need to be planted once, and then, once mature, continue to produce year after year — as a key to sustainable food systems. Agroforestry — a broad term to describe ways in which forests and forest management are combined with agriculture — is key in understanding Shepard’s system. Read more here.
Cream of the Crop
The economic benefits of organic dairy farms

For many of us, the idea of a dairy farm may evoke bucolic images of cows grazing peacefully on acres of green, rolling pasture. But the reality of U.S. dairy production is making these images increasingly obsolete. In recent years, hundreds of thousands of small pasture-based dairies have disappeared, their production replaced by CAFOs (confined animal feeding operations). Reversing this trend, and promoting healthier, less damaging ways to satisfy our demand for dairy products, should be a policy priority. In their report, Cream of the Crop, the Union of Concerned Scientists visits three organic dairy farms and explains the economic benefits of organic dairy production. Read more here.
The Soil Trust
The Soil Trust helps put your money where your mouth is

Buying local, artisanal, and organic is one way to help change the way our food is made — but getting a real alternative production system off the ground will also take cold, hard cash. The Slow Money Alliance steers investment dollars to small food and farm businesses. Until recently, Slow Money has been aimed at people who can write a check for $5,000 or $50,000 to finance a food or farm startup. Now the organization has made it easier for people like you and me — people who want to see big changes in the food system but don’t have big dollars — to get involved through a new fund called the Soil Trust. Read more here.
Pig grazing
Bucks County farmers: What do they do in the winter?

It may be winter but plenty is still going on at area farms. We checked in with two local farmers to find out how they spend the winter months. Joanna and Marc Michini raise pigs, chickens, lamb and turkey at their farm in Pipersville. Sandy Guzikowski runs a winter CSA (community supported agriculture farm) from her Lower Makefield farm offering everything from apples, greens, root vegetables, eggs and so much more. They also attend winter agriculture conferences and catch up on much needed sleep. Read more here.
Will and Kelly Smith
Penn State Extension's Start Farming Program shows results

With five times as many farmers over 55 than under 35 and more than a thousand farmers planning to retire in Pennsylvania in the next ten years, we need new farmers to feed the world local food. In 2009 Penn State Extension launched the Start Farming Program, responding to the need for new farmers and an overwhelming interest in farm start-up from community members. After three years, thirteen hundred participants in fifty three Penn State Extension Start Farming programs have learned tools for success. “Farm start-up is a complicated process,” says program coordinator Tianna DuPont, “Penn State’s program offers new farmers critical production, marketing, and business training to help new farmers succeed. We also work hard to connect new farmers to a support network in the farming community.” Read more here.
2013 Chef Survey
Chef survey says: Local produce hot in 2013

Chefs across the country predict more attention to healthy menu items and increasing use of local produce for 2013. Chefs predict fresh produce and nutrition will rank among the top restaurant trends in 2013, according to a survey by the National Restaurant Association. Local produce ranks second and healthy kids’ meals are third in the association’s “What’s Hot in 2013” survey. The Washington, D.C.-based association polled more than 1,800 American Culinary Federation chefs in October and November for the seventh annual survey. Read more here.
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