CFSA's Grower's Toolbox
Dear Nahid,

I had the opportunity to spend the day on a member's farm last week, which happened to be one of the first farms I visited when I started working at CFSA. It was refreshing to be able to reconnect and engage with CFSA members in person, while socially distanced of course. We spent time talking about the challenges of farming, but we were also able to celebrate the successes.

As you gear up for this year's season, CFSA is here to help you overcome challenges you might be facing. Check out our exciting list of upcoming webinars (below) or reach out to our Farm Services staff for technical assistance


Karen McSwain, CFSA Associate Executive Director for Programs

P.S. "This Week at CFSA" is back and we've made tweaks!
  • Monthly themes
    • February - food access and hunger
    • March - how to buy local food
    • April - climate change
  • Taking Q&A from viewers that tune in during live broadcasts!
  • Posting recordings to YouTube (if you don't do Instagram or Facebook)
Want to watch live? Follow us on Facebook and tune in on Fridays at 10 a.m.

Have you plateaued with your high tunnel production?

We Need Your Help Commenting on the FDA's Unfair Recordkeeping Rule
When Congress passed the Food Safety Modernization Act in 2010, it included dozens of provisions like the Tester Amendment that protect small farms and local foods from industrial-scale food safety regulations. Eleven years later, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is proposing regulations on food traceability that would gut those protections, forcing small farms, food hubs, and local food entrepreneurs to waste precious time and money on meaningless paperwork.

The agency is taking public comments on its proposal through Feb. 22. A huge public response opposing the rule is essential to defeating FDA’s attempt to overthrow FSMA’s small farm protections. 

Take action and submit your comment on this terrible rule today! Here’s how.

The deadline for comments is Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. 

Expert Tip: How to Grow Carrots Successfully
by Dylan Alexander, Lomax Farm Coordinator 
Post-Harvest Station at Central Carolina Community College Student Farm (a CFSA member)

Ever tried to grow carrots and had problems with germination? You are not alone.

Running the beginning farmer program at CFSA’s research and education farm, I get a lot of questions about growing vegetables, with carrots near the top of that list—specifically regarding germination.

Carrots can be frustrating with their sometimes lengthy germination time but are still one of my favorite vegetables to grow. That said, carrots can be difficult to grow because of weed and disease pressure. They’re not very competitive with weeds, especially when germination is slow and diseases are common, particularly in wet conditions (poor drainage or dense sowing).

Hopefully, I can share some tips to help you improve your carrot crop. Keep reading

Resources, Research, & Recommendations
for Organic Commodities & Livestock Growers

Save the date for the 2021 Organic Commodities & Livestock Conference, held online and starting Monday, March 1, 2021. 

Registration opens Monday, February 15!

Important 2021 Updates for Your Food Safety Plan
USDA Harmonized Gap Updates (PDF) coverThe USDA will soon publish changes to their Harmonized GAP Standard for the 2021 audit season. Many of these changes are mandatory, which means you must alter your food safety plan in order to pass this year's audit! CFSA's Local Produce Safety Initiative's team has written this guide (right) to the upcoming changes.

If you have been certified under USDA's Harmonized GAP Standard previously, then register for our USDA HGAP Updates Webinar, March 10, 3:30-5:30 pm.

Growing Crops on the Farm for Donation

Ever thought about growing crops for donation? What about donating excess?

Last week, we kicked off season two of "This Week at CFSA" by interviewing our farm team about growing crops for donation. Whether you're looking to reduce food waste or to grow crops to donate, the team has all sorts of tips for how other farms can make it happen. 

- 1:42: Lomax's relationship with donating food and what happened in 2020
- 3:30: Tips on setting up partnerships with food banks and pantries
- 5:15: Why is it difficult to find places that will take perishable food items?
- 6:30: How does growing all this food happen at Lomax? Any volunteer help?
- 7:55: What did you learn last year? Which crops will you grow in 2021?
- 11:45: Other tips for integrating this model onto the farm?
-13:03: Do you work with gleaners?
- 14:20: The top questions farmers should ask when setting up a donation relationship?

Check out CFSA's Farm Jobs Board

We post jobs and internships from our members throughout the year, but the biggest influx of postings is in January as farms prepare for the spring season. Check out our Internship & Farm Job Referral Service for new on-farm opportunities throughout the Carolinas!

Got a job or internship to submit? Review our posting instructions or contact Membership Coordinator, Marianna Spence. We'll post your opportunity and email it out to our membership listservs. CFSA Membership is required to post - join today!


South Carolina Produce Safety Rule Grower Training
Navigating the GAP Audit Webinar Series | Virtual
  • Feb. 15 | Field Operations Section of the USDA HGAP Certification Standard
  • Feb. 17 | Post-Harvest Operations of the USDA HGAP Certification Standard
  • Feb. 22 | Stepping Up to HGAP Plus
High Tunnel Seminar Series | Virtual
  • Feb. 18 | Season Extension in the Carolinas
  • Feb. 25 | Production Planning in High Tunnels
Carolina Regional High Tunnel Meetup | Virtual
March 9 | Second Tuesday of the month (through December)

USDA HGAP Updates Webinar
March 10 | Virtual
Good Manufacturing Practices for Small-Scale Farms & Food Businesses Making Low-Risk Foods | Virtual
Certified SC Grower-Buyer Mash-Up | Virtual
March 22 | Come visit CFSA's table!

Considering transitioning to organic? We can help!
CFSA logo

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, growers, and the land.
Copyright © 2021 Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, All rights reserved.

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