Plus, SAC workshop proposals, if growing Organic is worth it, and details on a new beginning farmer program in SC
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CFSA's Grower's Toolbox
Dear Farmer,

Rain, rain, go away. Come again another day! Depending on where you are in the Carolinas, you may have had 20+ inches of rain in just two weeks! Flooded fields and standing water might be your biggest reality right now. If that's the case, we thought we would repost our Expert Tip from a few years ago below on how to handle flooded fields.

Meanwhile, as the heat sets in across the Carolinas, time on the farm becomes even more precious. The days are extended, but so is the list of tasks--the cool hours of early morning and dusk diminish with each day. For many growers, addressing weed pressure consumes much of this time and can be labor-intensive and costly without the right tools.

At the Lomax Incubator Farm, our staff continues to research and implement strategies for managing weeds in organic systems. Last month, we mentioned the on-farm research we're conducting at Lomax, including organic herbicide trials. We had the opportunity to share details of the research with participants at the 3rd Annual Lomax Farm Field Day in May and are excited to share the full results of this research at the 2018 Sustainable Agriculture Conference in November. 

Read this month’s Expert Tip below to learn more about strategies we use at Lomax to address weed pressure in our education fields, which will hopefully add to your toolbox and save you some valuable time.

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

P.S. Don't miss our article, "Is Buying Organic Worth It?" While it is written for consumers, we think there is great value for our growers who are wondering if it's worth becoming, or staying, certified.

As growers, much of our time is actually spent making sure certain plants do not grow. We affectionately refer to these plants as weeds, and whether you are growing vegetables in a small garden or grain on 100 acres, managing weeds can be costly and time-consuming.

At the Lomax Incubator Farm in Concord, NC, we use integrated pest management strategies (IPM) to tackle weeds, including mechanical cultivation, flame weeding, solarization, mulching, and smother cropping. By far, the best way to deal with weeds in organic systems is with a multi-faceted approach that incorporates the biological, physical, and chemical components of soil with targeted strategies for control. 

When dealing with weeds, we use the following approach...

(If you're new -- or missed an edition -- please see our Expert Tip index.)
Want help assessing if wholesale is right for your farm?

Apply Now for 2018-2019 SC New & Beginning Farmer Program
Attention aspiring and emerging farmers in South Carolina: Applications are now open for the 2018-2019 South Carolina New & Beginning Farmer Program.

Want more information?
The SC New & Beginning Farmer Program is a Clemson Extension Agribusiness program, open to South Carolina residents, 18+ years of age, with less than 10 consecutive years of farming experience. The deadline to apply is July 15th, and the program runs from November 2018 through May 2019.
Can your farm afford to get certified Organic?

Last Call: Request for 2018 SAC Workshop Proposals

It may seem premature to talk about your plans in November, especially given that your summer crops are just starting to kick in, but in event planning time, our 2018 Sustainable Agriculture Conference is just around the corner!

Do you have a topic that you'd love to teach?

Or perhaps you know someone who would be a compelling presenter? Help us spread the word by n
udging your farming mentors to apply!

We're currently accepting workshop proposals until Friday, June 15th.


(Originally published in 2013)

Whew...what a wet summer it’s been!

Anyone growing anything this summer has to face a multitude of problems associated with all this rain. Weeds growing like gangbusters, diseases you never knew existed, and water in places you wish it wasn’t – like my basement!

Depending on where you are in the state, you may have had over ten inches of rain in one month. Here in Asheville, I cannot remember the last time we went two days without rain, which is an improvement over a few weeks ago when I could not remember when we went one day without rain!​

Continue reading this Expert Tip here.

Is Buying Organic Worth It?

By Glenn Kern, CFSA Organic Policy Coordinator

Back in January, CFSA was invited to participate in a panel discussion about organic agriculture at a community center in Charlotte. The title of the event and the topic to be discussed was “Is Buying Organic Worth it?” As CFSA’s Organic Policy Coordinator, I sat on the panel alongside two organic farmers from the nearby area: Shelley Proffitt of Proffitt Family Farms, and Ben Street of Street Fare Farm.

The next day, CFSA posted a brief description of the event and a picture of the panelists on our Facebook page. Shortly thereafter, a member of the public posted a question in response: “So, is it worth buying organic? And if so, why?”

Instead of replying directly on Facebook, we decided to publish a blog post. The question is a good one, and we wanted to provide a more exhaustive reply than what would be appropriate as a Facebook comment.


Tuesday, July 31 | Winston Salem, NC

Writing an On-Farm Food Safety Plan
Tuesday, August 7 | Winston Salem, NC 


Fundamentals of On-Farm Food Safety
Monday, July 23 | Roebuck, SC

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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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