THE ORGANIC BEET:
FOG's Bi-Monthly E-Newsletter
Early Bird Registration Now Open! 

Have you registered yet for FOG’s inaugural statewide Organic Food & Farming Summit in September? This three-day summit provides opportunities for interaction and learning with innovators and leaders in organic agriculture in various ways.


Sunday September 17


Sunday will include Food & Farm Tours in and around the Gainesville area from 11:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.  Get a chance to learn about different organic operations and talk directly with farmers and entrepreneurs! Space is limited so register now to ensure your place!

After the farm tours, join us for the trade show mixer for drinks and treats featuring organic beer from Orlando Brewing Co., Florida’s only certified organic brewery. Dozens of exhibitors will be in attendance to show off their wares and speak with you about their organization and businesses! The mixer is free for all to attend and starts at 6:00 pm at the UF Hilton Conference Center. Check out some of our exhibitors here .   

Monday September 18th

Monday includes workshops and talks by innovative organic farmers, extension agents, researchers, and advocates covering topics including climate change, pest management, urban agriculture, livestock, farm business, citrus greening, policy, and much, much more! 

Marty Mesh, Executive Director of FOG, will be speaking during the summit luncheon sharing his experiences working on-farm and advocating for organics in Florida for over three decades.  The trade show will also be open all day Monday. 

To learn more about our speakers and workshops, please click here

Tuesday September 19th

Tuesday take part in one of two post-summit daylong training sessions. Sign up for either the “Food Safety Grower Training Course” or “Beyond the Soil: Resources for Beginner Organic Producers”. For more information check out course descriptions here

Thank you! FOG would like to thank the following sponsors for their generous support of the 2017 Organic Food & Farming Summit:   Eden Foods;  Southern Sustainable Agricultural Research & Education (SSARE);  Sweetwater Organic Coffee;  Mountain Rose Herbs;  Everlizer; USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service; and  Sow True Seeds.  
  Visit the Summit Website to Register Today! 
 

Education &
Outreach Roundup


  • FOG is seeking to partner with organic and sustainable farmers to host on-farm workshops that provide invaluable peer-to-peer education. We are currently looking for farmers in West Florida and North Florida. Workshops are typically 4 hours long, and include lunch. Host farmers will provide a tour and discuss unique attributes of their farm. A guest speaker may also be invited to speak on relevant topics. FOG will cover lunch expenses and provide compensation to participating farmers. Please contact Tyler at tyler@foginfo.org or 352-377-6345 ext. 123 for details.

  • The USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service will be hosting a Summer Cover Crop Tour at the Plant Materials Center in Brooksville on July 14.  See how 17 summer cover crops perform in west central Florida and the results of a new study of five summer cover crop species to improve soil health.  Please contact Janet Grabowski at 352.796.9600 (ext,. 3831) or janet.grabowski@fl.usda.gov. for more information.  

  • Join Dr. Xin Zhao, University of Florida Horticulture researcher, as she shares her research findings and demonstrates organic tomato grafting techniques. Grafting is an effective way to increase yields and manage disease, available to both conventional and organic producers. The workshop will be hosted by Frog Song Organic Farm, east of Gainesville, on July 27th.  There is no charge for this workshop. Refreshments will be provided. Please register now by clicking on this link. Please contact Tyler with any questions: tyler@foginfo.org or 352-377-6345 ext. 123.

  • Dr. Xin Zhao will also be holding a meeting in Gainesville on a date in July TBD to share the results of an Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative- funded high tunnel planning grant project. Dr. Zhao is seeking to include as many organic grower stakeholders as possible. Reimbursement for travel and lodging is available. There will be an option to participate in the meeting online as well for those unable to travel.  Please contact Tyler Nesbit with any questions: tyler@foginfo.org or 352-377-6345 ext. 123. 
Free EBT Equipment for Farmers Markets
Direct Marketing Farmers



The Farmers Market Coalition has announced that there is now funding available for free electronic benefit transfer (EBT) processing equipment that's offered through the USDA's Free SNAP EBT Equipment Program .  

The program enables more than 1,000 farmers markets and direct marketing farmers across the United States to accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, which were formerly known as Food Stamps) benefits.

While additional funding is available, that funding is limited and available on a first-come, first-serve basis. You may apply online here .  

To learn more about the opportunity, please reach out to our staff at  info@freshaccessbucks.com.  
  Bring Local Produce Home. Double the Purchasing Power of SNAP!
FOG would like to proudly spotlight one of the participating farmers markets in its Fresh Access Bucks (FAB) program.  

White Harvest Farms & Market is the newest program offered by Clara White Mission in Jacksonville. A multi-faceted program aimed at providing fresh food options in a “food desert” community, the White Harvest Farm & Market features an urban farm, farmers market, and commercial kitchen space.

It offers job training and creation for homeless and low-income veterans. Closely located to the White Harvest Farmers Market, much of the produce grown on the farm is sold at the market. The farm continues to grow, recently adding a hoop house to increase organic production and expand summer produce offerings. 

The White Harvest Farmers Market is the only farmers market on the Northside of Jacksonville. The market provides fresh food options in a community in which fresh, affordable food is difficult to obtain. The market is open every Saturday from 10am to 2pm and features produce from the White Harvest Farm as well as other local farms. WIC coupons are accepted at the market and the use of SNAP and FAB continues to grow as more community members learn about and visit the market. Working in partnership with area churches, the White Harvest Farmers Market also offers a mobile market.

The Junior League of Jacksonville Kitchen at White Harvest Farms & Farmers Market opened in May. This is a commercial kitchen space used for nutrition education and cooking demonstrations. The kitchen currently hosts one cooking demonstration per month and will increase its offerings during children’s summer camps.
Quality Certification Services

QCS currently offers three kinds of training: FDA Standardized Curriculum, Organization Trainings, and Specialized Trainings.

There are upcoming workshops in Gainesville, Miami, and Ecuador. 

Please visit the new QCS web site for details! 

Important Organic Cost Certification Cost Share Program Update! 

FOG, in cooperation with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS), is pleased to administer the 2016-2017 National Organic Certification Cost Share Program in Florida.

The Organic Certification Cost Share Program provides cost share assistance to producers and handlers of agricultural products who are obtaining or renewing their certification under the National Organic Program (NOP). To be eligible for reimbursement the operation must have received or renewed organic certification on or between October 1, 2016 and September 30, 2017. The amount of reimbursement is 75% of certification costs (maximum of $750) per scope of activity. Instructions can be found on the application and all questions can be directed to our Cost Share coordinator at costshare@foginfo.org or by calling 352-377-6345 ext. 116.

Please note:  this application must be signed and be postmarked no later than October 31, 2017.

Thank you, Lucky's! 

FOG would like to offer a special thank you to Lucky's Market in Gainesville for hosting a special Impact Day on June 7 to benefit our soon-to-be launched Learning Garden in East Gainesville.  

Thanks to their generosity, and those loyal Lucky's shoppers, more than $3,500 was raised to support our efforts to teach local children in Gainesville to grow their own food organically! 

To learn more about Lucky's support throughout the United States, please click here .  
Support us as we continue
the fight for organic
and sustainable agriculture!
We need your support as we continue the fight for organic and sustainable agriculture in Florida and beyond!

We have exciting plans this year to host farmer workshops, an organic food and farming summit and more!

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