What are some resources for information on alternative farming methods?
J.M.VirginiaAnswer: I am pleased to provide you with information on alternative farming in Virginia.Organic PricesOrganic Farmgate and Wholesale Prices ? USDA ERSMonthly organic and conventional farmgate prices for broccoli and carrots; monthly organic and conventional wholesale (first receiver) prices for poultry (broilers) and eggs; monthly organic market (f.o.b. or spot) prices for grain and feedstuffs; monthly organic and conventional wholesale prices for broccoli, carrots, and mesclun mix; and a limited set of organic prices (and corresponding conventional prices) for other fruits and vegetables from the Boston and San Francisco wholesale markets.NewFarm Organic Price ReportTracks selected prices from the fruit, vegetable, herbs, and grain sectors, comparing organic prices to conventional prices in markets across the country.Statistics on Alternative Farming Industry Statistics and Projected Growth, Organic Trade AssociationA comparison of conventional, low-input and organic farming systems: The transition phase and long-term viability. UC SAREP Progress Report 1993-1995.Organizations and Organic CertifiersVirginia Association for Biological FarmingConferences, publications, and links to local and regional organizations.Appalachian Sustainable DevelopmentFocuses on developing healthy, diverse, and ecologically sound economic opportunities through education and training, and the development of cooperative networks and marketing systems.Virginia Organic Producers and Consumers AssociationAdvocacy and information.North Carolina Crop Improvement Association3709 Hillsborough St.Raleigh, NC 27607-5464Phone: 919-513-3444 www.nccrop.comOrganic certification services.Pennsylvania Certified Organic106 School Street, Suite 201Spring Mills, PA 16875Phone: 814-422-0251www.paorganic.orgOrganic certification services.MarketsConsider such marketing avenues as Community Supported Agriculture, farmers markets, on-farm stands and u-pick, food cooperatives, buying clubs, restaurants, and supermarkets. If there is stagnant demand for organic produce in your town and local region, look for opportunities to market crops in areas such as Blacksburg, Lynchburg, and Roanoke.The ATTRA publications Bringing Local Food to Local Institutions: A Resource Guide for Farm-to-School and Farm-to-Institution Programs, Community Supported Agriculture, Direct Marketing, Farmers’ Markets: Marketing and Business Guide, and Selling to Restaurants are good places to start for learning about these venues.All publications from ATTRA are available in downloadable PDF or HTML format, or can be ordered free of charge in hard copy by calling 1-800-346-9140.Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)CSA consists of a community of individuals who pledge support to a farm operation so that the farmland becomes, either legally or figuratively, the community’s farm, with the growers and consumers providing mutual support and sharing the risks and benefits of food production. Members or shareholders of the farm or garden pledge in advance to cover the anticipated costs of the farm operation and farmer’s salary. In return, they receive shares in the farm’s bounty throughout the growing season, as well as satisfaction gained from reconnecting to the land. Members also share in risks, including poor harvest due to unfavorable weather or pests. Below are several resources to learn more about establishing a CSA farm.Local HarvestMaintains database of farms, markets, CSA’s, restaurants, and retails outlets that sell locally grown food. Webpage for creating a farm listing: http://www.localharvest.org/register.jspRobyn Van En Center, Community Supported AgricultureFulton Center for Sustainable LivingWilson College1015 Philadelphia AvenueChambersburg, PA 17201-9979Phone: (717) 264-4141Maintains a database of CSA farms nationwide as well as numerous resources on CSA’s.Henderson, Elizabeth and Robyn Van En. 2007. Sharing the Harvest, Revised and Expanded. A Citizen’s Guide to Community Supported Agriculture. White River Jct., Vermont: Chelsea Green Publishing. 800.639.4099 Selected topics covered in the book:Creating a CSA: The Decision to Form a CSA , Steps to Forming a CSA , Regional CSA Support GroupsLabor: Family Work, Hiring Help, InternsShare Pricing and CSA Budgets, CSA Legal Structures, Distributing the Harvest, Regional Networking for Farm-Based Regional DevelopmentOrganic Resources, Reports, and Publications1 ? ATTRA has several free publications to assist you in transitioning to organic production, which can be downloaded from http://www.attra.org/organic.html Titles include:Organic Certification ProcessPreparing for an Organic Inspection: Steps and ChecklistsTransitioning to Organic Production (A Sustainable Agriculture Network publication)Guide to ATTRA’s Organic Publications2 ? The Transition from Conventional to Low-Input or Organic Farming Systems: Soil Biology, Soil Chemistry, Soil Physics, Energy Utilization, Economics, and Risk. SARE Grant Project Number: SW99-008 3 ? Growing for Market Magazine: The monthly publication of Growing for Market provides a lot of practical information, much of which is written by farmers, on production and marketing topics. The contact information for Growing for Market is:Growing for MarketP.O. Box 3747Lawrence, Kansas 66046Phone: 785-748-0605Toll-free: 800-307-8949Fax: email@example.com