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Author Archive | Janna Siller

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Help Us Win Support for Farm to School in Congress

Nine years have passed since the USDA Farm to School Grant Program was successfully launched in 2010, and school food service providers still find it tough to access locally grown foods. Despite increased connectivity to farmers, logistical and cost hurdles still keep many schools from sourcing local.  With all the abundance of summer harvests, many growers would love to grow for schools. Caitlin Frame, who co-owns the Milkhouse in Monmouth, ME, has had success. “I find that to be the most exciting thing that we’re doing right now – trying to get our yogurt into school systems.” But it hasn’t come without challenges. It is kind of hard to track down the right people at these schools,” Caitlin says. For farmers who face other structural barriers, selling to schools is even more complicated. It is time to prioritize beginning, veteran, and socially disadvantaged farmers in farm to school initiatives. Now is our chance! Congress is beginning to draft the next Child Nutrition Act Reauthorization (CNR), and they need to hear from you! This is our opportunity to make it easier for schools to source local food and provide funding for innovative projects like school gardens and seasonal vegetable taste-testing that […]

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Hazon Joins NSAC: Update and Action

Hazon is now an allied member of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. As a coalition member, Hazon joins a diverse range of organizations in supporting food and farm policies that build a healthier and more sustainable world. NSAC members rely on the coalition’s expert staff on Capitol Hill to let us know when and how we can be most effective advocates so that we can each focus on what we do best. The Stone Barns Center can focus on farmer-driven cuisine; The Humane Society can focus on animal rescue; The Practical Farmers of Iowa can focus on farmer-led conservation research; and Hazon can focus on renewing Jewish life via the land – all while being in relationship with the representatives and policies that affect our work in every imaginable way. The recommendations you find in our Food and Farm Policy Updates and Action Alerts here on the blog will largely be informed by the recommendations of our partners at The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. We are grateful to live in a world where, despite the steep difficulties we face, diverse groups of motivated individuals join together in solidarity to build on one another’s strengths and to create the world we know […]

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Farm Bill: Update and Action

It is springtime on the farm which means that seedlings are sprouting in the greenhouse, the peepers are singing at dusk in Lake Miriam at Isabella Freedman, and lovers of food and earth are calling congress about agricultural appropriations. Thanks to millions of grassroots actions, the 2018 Farm Bill was passed with many important programs for sustainable agriculture and healthy eating. However, many of those programs need to be funded annually by Congress through the appropriations process. Appropriations is a process full of nitty-gritty details and back-and-forths so it can seem off-putting to engage with. However, urging a healthier and more sustainable world for everybody hinges on it and you can participate without going cross-eyed with the fine print! Below is a script that we at Hazon recommend you use when calling your member of Congress. You can read more about each of the issues, however, you don’t have to to make a difference and call! While your individual Senator or Representative might not be on the agricultural appropriations committee and thus might not have influence over the draft appropriations bill, it is very useful for them to know where you stand as a constituent so they can make public […]

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Food and Farm Policy: Update and Action

Important food and farm policy work moved forward this winter amid all of the daunting political news. On December 20th the 2018 Farm Bill became law. The law’s passage was a win simply in that it allowed the continued function of crucial programs that address issues like hunger prevention and price stabilization. Thanks to widespread public advocacy, there were also specific wins for sustainability. Keep reading to learn more about the good and bad of the law, about the work ahead in influencing implementation, and crucial action steps you can take today. If you don’t have time or energy to absorb the details of our update but want to join the throngs of individual citizens nudging those in power toward a more equitable and climate-friendly food system, you can skip to the script at the end and call your legislators! The overwhelming state of our national politics won’t stop the Jewish community from participating in the greatest work of our generation: combating climate change and inequity. Update Passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, which became law on December 20th, was critical to the continued basic functions of the farming and food systems in the U.S. Hazon applauds lawmakers for slugging their […]

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From the Field – Fall 2015

In true Adamah fashion, we’ve been scrounging up free stuff this fall. A local hay farmer found himself with a whole section of his barn full of broken bales – difficult to move, not very useful, and in the way. Across town on Beebe Hill, we have 6,000 cloves of garlic (planted by alumni during the reunion) in need of mulch, a compost yard that is ever-hungry for dry organic material, and a few empty beds that are in need of erosion-preventing cover after late fall harvests left them bare. Enter: the enthusiastic, pitch fork wielding, pickup truck loading, hay slinging, professional schleppers of Fall Adamah 2015! We got about ten truck loads of free hay and Bill got his barn cleaned out, plus a few jars of the best pickles in the world. It was a shidduch between vegetable growers and hay farmers and a case of turning one farmer’s trash into another’s treasure. But it was also something else. It was a regenerative act. One way to look at farming is as the practice of moving carbon around. A plant takes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, creates its’ body with the carbon, and then we eat the plant, […]

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Abundance on Less Land

Last year at this time, we stared out beyond the sinking candles of our menorahs with eyes as glazed as jelly donuts. We had spent the previous ten winters looking ahead to a farming season of expansion. Each year from our humble garden beginnings in 2003 we had grown to our peak in 2013 with 6 acres of vegetables, 6 acres of pasture for our goat dairy , and a 1/2 acre of maturing berries and orchards. This winter, however, millions of drowned vegetable plants from recent flooding in the Sadeh haunted our memories and we knew that the risk of planting the entire field was too great, no matter how gorgeous the soil. Between our reliable land on Beebe Hill, the small bit of the Sadeh that we decided to make a go of, and a new patch lent to us by neighbors we would have only three and a half acres to work with in 2014. We were in a pickle! There were just as many Brooklyn potlucks in need of sauerkraut and Hartford CSA members’ shabbat tables in need of broccoli. More people than ever were signed up for Isabella Freedman’s retreats, most of them expecting our […]

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