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CFSA's Grower's Toolbox
Dear Nahid,

As the days continue to get shorter and many of you have experienced a hard frost, I hope you are able to sit down with this month's edition of the Grower's Toolbox with a well-deserved warm cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate. Hopefully, you also have some time to finally reflect on the past growing season and can take pride in your accomplishments. 

Our farm services team is also taking a moment to take pride in our 2019 accomplishments. Having conducted more than 45 workshops for over 750 attendees, provided one-on-one direct assistance to 135 North and South Carolina farmers, and hosted 1,000 sixth graders at Lomax over four days, 2019 has been busy, but rewarding. 

With your support, CFSA can continue to provide needed services and support to North and South Carolina farmers. Please consider a tax-deductible gift to CFSA in your 2019 philanthropic efforts. Together, we can ensure a fair and sustainable food and farming future.

In addition to what's below, we want you to know: Cheers,

Karen McSwain, CFSA's Associate Executive Director for Programs


Expert Tip: How to Build A Compost Bioreactor
What's as important as adding nutrients to your soil through compost? Adding microorganisms to your soil to increase overall biological health and function. Compost made with the Johnson-Su Bioreactor ​is full of beneficial organisms that can restore life to degraded soil, aid in nutrient uptake for plants, build soil structure, improve soil water retention, and sequester carbon.

Late fall is a great time to build your reactor, so the compost will be ready to amend or inoculate your soil by next summer.
Did you know that we've been creating Expert Tips for nearly a decade?
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As a farmer, you're on the front line of Earth’s climate crisis. Farmers feel the harsh effects of climate change first-hand and know that the weather today is more unpredictable and extreme than ever. If we don't take action now to solve this crisis, many farms will not survive, and our food security will be at grave risk.  

Yet solutions are right in front of us. Sustainable and organic farmers have pioneered regenerative practices that build healthy, productive soils and protect natural resources. Multiplying those practices across hundreds of millions of acres will help avoid the worst effects of climate change. 

We need sustainable farmers like you to lead the call for real action to solve the climate crisis. 

Please review and add your name to this Farmer Letter on Climate Change Solutions in Agriculture. Tell our nation’s leaders it’s time to help all farms adopt climate-smart strategies and to reward producers who already use these practices.  

We want 1,000 Carolina farmers to sign this letter and send a powerful message that we need action now to combat climate change and make agriculture more resilient.

This is an opportunity for farmers or farmworkers only. Politicians assume that farmers oppose action on climate change, and this campaign is intended to prove the conventional wisdom wrong. If you are a gardener, homesteader, service provider, advocate, or organic consumer, please share this opportunity with the farmers in your networks or at farmers’ markets or farmstands where you shop. 

CFSA thanks farmers for what they do every day to care for people and the planet, and for joining in this vital campaign! Please sign on to this letter today!

Want to Work with CFSA?
We're looking for a development coordinator as well as a policy director to join the CFSA family! Take a closer look at these opportunities on our jobs page.

We're committed to attracting a diverse candidate pool. We invite you to apply or help us reach a broader audience by sharing these positions with friends and peers interested in supporting small- to mid-sized family farms in the Carolinas.

Watch the 2019 Keynote Address: Dr. Allen Williams
On Nov. 1, 2019, at the 34th annual Sustainable Agriculture Conference in Durham, North Carolina, Dr. Allen Williams gave the keynote address, "Adaptive Stewardship: Your Key to Regeneration & Profitability."

View most of our SAC keynote addresses since 2014 over on our YouTube channel.

Farmers: Have a Say on the Future of the
Harmonized Food Safety Standard
The public comment period for proposed changes to the Harmonized GAP Standard runs until January 30, 2020.

Get a copy of the "redline" version (the current version of the Harmonized GAP Standard with proposed changes highlighted in red text) and enter your comments and projections about how any proposed changes might impact farmers.

This is a rare opportunity to let United Fresh (the organization who maintains the Standard) know:
  • What you think of the most popular food safety certification standard.
  • How the changes would actually impact your operation if passed
CFSA advocated for farmers in a meeting debating the new changes, but the voices of individual farmers are sorely needed as these Standards are being codified. 

Contact our local produce safety coordinators, Kim Butz (SC) or Chloe Johnson (NC), with questions about the process, proposed changes, or help entering comments.

Did you know that CFSA has an online FSMA + Food Safety Hub?
FAQs? Videos? Workshops? It's all there.



Farm Dreams
Saturday, Jan. 18 | (Lomax Farm) Concord, NC

Southern SAWG Conference
Wednesday, Jan. 22 - Saturday, Jan. 25 | Litte Rock, AR

10th annual Organic Commodities & Livestock Conference
Tuesday, Feb. 11 | Raleigh, NC
Registration will open next week

Want more? Stay abreast with CFSA events by subscribing to our events-only monthly digest, The Training Ground.
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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, growers, and the land.
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Copyright © 2019 Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, All rights reserved.

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