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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.
Sat Mar 9 Bee Keeping - Snipes Farm, 890 West Bridge Street, Morrisville, PA [9 am - 12 pm]

Sat Mar 9 Wrightstown Winter Farmers' Market - Wrightstown Twp. Municipal Bldg (parking lot), 2203 2nd Street Pike, Wrightstown, PA [10 - 11 am]
Tues Mar 12 Food for Thought: Book club - Doylestown Bookshop, 16 S. Main Street, Doylestown, PA [6:30 - 8 pm]
Tues Mar 12 Sustainable Movie Series: King Corn - Ambler Theater, 108 East Butler Ave, Ambler, PA [7:30 - 10 pm]

Tues Mar 12 BCFA Board Meeting - TBD [7 - 9 pm]
Sun Mar 17 Hunterdon Land Trust Farmers’ Winter Market - Dvoor Farm, Route 12 Circle, Flemington, NJ [11 am - 1 pm]
Wed Mar 20 The Farm Fresh Film Series: Food, Inc. - County Theater, 20 E State St Doylestown, PA [6:30 - 9:30 pm]
Sat Mar 23 Successful Organic Backyard Gardening - Snipes Farm, 890 West Bridge Street, Morrisville, PA [9 am - 12 pm]

Sat Mar 23 Wrightstown Winter Farmers' Market - Wrightstown Twp. Municipal Bldg (parking lot), 2203 2nd Street Pike, Wrightstown, PA [10 - 11 am]
Thur Mar 28 Backyard Poultry - Penn State Cooperative Extension, 1015 Bridge Road, Collegeville, PA [7 - 9 pm]

For more details, see the BCFA full calendar here.
Donations

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.
Global Farmland Rush; graphic by Joohee Yoon
The Global Farmland Rush

Over the last decade, as populations have grown, capital has flowed across borders and crop yields have leveled off, food-importing nations and private investors have been securing land abroad to use for agriculture. Poor governments have embraced these deals, but their people are in danger of losing their patrimony, not to mention their sources of food. The commoditization of global agriculture has aggravated the destabilizing effects of these large-scale land grabs. Investors typically promise to create local jobs and say that better farming technologies will produce higher crop yields and improve food security. However, few of these benefits materialize. Many investors, in fact, use their own labor force, not local workers, and few share their technology and expertise. Moreover, about two-thirds of foreign investors in developing countries expect to sell their harvests elsewhere. Read more of Michael Kugelman's article in the New York Times here.
Tinicum Farm CSA; photo by R. Kintzel
New Upper Bucks farm among growing trend of community supported agriculture

Stefan Streit
, one of the co-managers of Tinicum CSA, looks over the land as he and John Crooke launch their first season as a community-supported agriculture venture on the preserved farmland of the Schneiderwind Farm & Nursery in Upper Black Eddy. It will offer fresh, naturally grown fruits and vegetables to its subscribing members — carrying on the tradition established over the last three years at the same location by Open Acres CSA. Read Amanda Cregan's article in the Intelligencer here.

2013 Bucks County CSAs: It’s time to sign up!

Bucks County Taste gives some background about CSAs, what they're about and how they work. NOW is the time to sign up for CSAs. Here’s a list of CSAs in Bucks County and nearby.
Cows; photo by Shutterstock
Upping the steaks: How grass-fed beef is reshaping ag and helping the planet

Bartlett Durand is the rare local-food entrepreneur who has no trouble turning a profit: Durand’s Black Earth Meats processes and sells grass-fed beef, and these days grass-fed beef sells like crazy. Is it just a fad? Folks like Durand don't think so. They believe that grass-fed beef — which cuts out both feedlots and the resource-intensive practice of raising grain just to feed cows — can catalyze a great change in American agriculture. As Fred Kirschenmann, a sustainable farmer and noted agricultural scholar, says: “Putting cattle back on pasture will be the beginning of more resilient, less energy-intensive farming systems that are more likely to survive in our future of higher energy costs, unstable climates, and depleted fresh water and mineral resources.” Learn more about raising grass-fed beef here.

Locally, you can buy grass-fed beef from Tussock Sedge Farm in Blooming Glen (direct from the farm), Naturally @ Holben Valley Farm (at the Wrightstown and Doylestown Farmers' Markets) and Lima Family Farms (also at the Wrightstown Farmers' Market).
Garlic growing
Join a New Community Garden in Central Bucks

A group in the Doylestown/New Hope/Newtown area is working to put together a hip and fun community garden. The emphasis is going to be on creating a supportive community of gardeners.  We hope to create a spiritual oasis to come and just be healthy. We have a few options as far as locations but we are open to more options. The intention is to create a democratic community of people who want to work with the soil and help others without access or the resources to have their own. There might be a small fee depending on location but maybe not, it’s up to the group. If interested please contact Steve at Outsidetheboxlandscape@yahoo.com or call me at 215.595.6184.  We hope to build the gardens this July. Come hold our hands in support of our community.
Farmer on tractor
Corbett budget: Farmland preservation, Pennsylvania fairs receive boost
 
Agriculture would see about a 10 percent cut in Gov. Tom Corbett's 2013-14 budget.The agriculture budget looks as it has been cut, but thanks to monies available through funds, such as the PA Race Horse Development Fund, the the budget receives a financial boost. Corbett has proposed funding $35 million for farmland preservation, up $10 million over last year. He also is suggesting $2.5 million for Pennsylvania fairs, and about $17 million to fund the state Food Purchase Program for those Pennsylvanians who are at risk of having too little to eat. Read more here.
Farmer Hugh Bowman
Farmer’s use of genetically modified soybeans grows into Supreme Court case

Farmer Hugh Bowman hardly looks the part of a revolutionary who stands in the way of promising new biotech discoveries and threatens Monsanto’s pursuit of new products it says will “feed the world.” “Hell’s fire,” said the 75-year-old self-described “eccentric old bachelor,” who farms 300 acres of land passed down from his father. “I am less than a drop in the bucket.” Yet Bowman’s unorthodox soybean farming techniques have landed him at the center of a national battle over genetically modified crops. His legal battle, now at the Supreme Court, raises questions about whether the right to patent living things extends to their progeny, and how companies that engage in cutting-edge research can recoup their investments. Read more from the Washington Post here.
Gavel
Will a Federal Compromise on GMO Labeling Trump State Law, Forever?

Recent reports of secret meetings among industry reps and the Food and Drug Adminstration over GMO labeling piqued my interest, says Michele Simon in Food Safety News, mostly because this critical aspect was missing: any effort to label GE foods at the federal level could bring the current grassroots movement to a grinding halt by preventing any stronger local laws from ever being enacted...I am not opposed to federal labeling on GMO food. I agree this is where the problem must ultimately be solved. However, any federal standard must set a floor and not a ceiling, and not hand preemption over to industry. The role of the federal government is to set minimum standards, while still allowing states to go further. Read more here.

Read the Organic Consumers Association article

Read the Grist article

Read the New York Times article
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