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Posts Tagged ‘organic’

Announcement on the Organic Certification of Hemp

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Hi FOG Family! Quality Certification Services (QCS) here! We are the organic certification body of Florida Organic Growers and we are excited to announce some changes in regards to the organic certification of hemp.

First, some logistics:

The H.R.2 – Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill) was signed into law on December 20, 2018 (Public Law No: 115-334), meaning the 2018 Farm Bill has replaced Section 7606 of the Agricultural Act of 2014. Thus, the August 12, 2016 Statement of Principles on Industrial Hemp is no longer relevant; the National Organic Program (NOP) Guidance Document 2040 is no longer applicable.

…so?

The 2018 Farm Bill fully legalizes general agricultural production of hemp for farmers in the U.S. who have been licensed and regulated by their state or tribe to do so. Therefore, we can certify any such organically produced hemp to the NOP organic standards!  Furthermore, certified organic hemp grown in the United States or legally imported can be used as an organic ingredient by QCS certified processors in products that are to be labeled as “100 percent organic”, “organic”, or “made with organic (specified ingredients)”. We will be certifying U.S. grown and legally imported hemp as both a crop and a processed product ingredient going forward.

Ryan Brouillard, QCS Senior Certification Manager, had this to say: 

“Now that the Hemp Farming Act become law, new opportunities for domestically grown hemp will open throughout the whole organic supply chain.  By staying informed of and preparing for these regulatory changes and by employing staff knowledgeable about cannabis production, QCS is ready to become a leader in providing organic certification to producers and handlers in this new, rapidly growing market”.

Stay tuned for the most up-to-date information on this matter. QCS out!

Quality Certification Services (QCS) has been an industry leader in providing organic, food safety, and ethical certifications since 1989. As an accredited certifying agency, QCS has been meeting the demands of a growing food industry for more than 25 years. QCS is proud to offer organic and food safety certifications for crop production, livestock, retail, restaurants, processing and handling, and importer and exporter operations of all sizes. As the largest certification agency on the eastern seaboard, QCS and our staff of highly qualified and dedicated food and agricultural scientists, educators, and regulators, is capable of meeting all certification needs with expertise. In fact, QCS was recently given a performance rating by GLOBALG.A.P. that ranked its Food Safety/GAPs Team No. 1 in the USA, and in the top 10 worldwide, out of 138 approved Certification Bodies.

Glaser Organic Farms serves South Florida community

When Stan Glaser started Glaser Organic Farms in 1980, his mission was to create good food for people, striving for harmony between our bodies and the Earth. Glaser’s farm was one of the first that specialized in gourmet, raw food and also one of the first that received USDA organic certification from Quality Certification Services (QCS). More than 30 years later, their Coconut Grove Saturday Organic Market in South Florida serves more than 1,000 people every Saturday. They also sell products online and ship them UPS all over the country and, in a few weeks, they will open an on-farm store.

Glaser Organic Farms provides naturally grown organic produce and gourmet raw, vegan food. They specialize in growing tropical fruits, such as mangoes, papayas, lychees, bananas and avocados, winter vegetables and herbs. Their practice of organic farming uses only nutritive components on their trees, gardens and soils.

Prepared in their own farm’s certified kitchen, their recipes use the fruits, vegetables, flowers, sprouts and herbs grown right there on the farm. In addition, they select the finest produce and certified organic ingredients from local organic farmers and certified organic growers around the world. They also provide freshly prepared refrigerated gourmet raw foods – from salad dressings, sprouted spreads and raw fruit pies to pestos and sauerkrauts. They also offer raw sweets such as Rawies, Temple Balls, Snow Balls and Carob Fudgy Brownies.

In addition to the Coconut Grove Saturday Organic Market, Glaser Organic Farms hosts raw food culinary arts class with Executive Chef Tracy Fleming. The classes teach theory and preparation of raw food cuisine. They also teach about germination, sprouting and how eating raw foods can be a life-changing experience towards vibrant health for body and mind.

For more information on Glaser Organic Farms, the Coconut Grove Saturday Organic Market and the raw food culinary arts class, please visit their website!

glaser organic farm - fruit pie glaser organic farm - farmers market

Free Organic Solutions Seminar

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Espoma CompanyAnyone and everyone with an interest in sustainable, organic gardening is invited to Espoma’s free seminar this Wednesday February 13, 2013. Bonnie Satterthwaite, Southeastern Sales Representative for Espoma will be discussing the exciting features and benefits of these organic fertilizers, soils, and insect controls. Participants will have the chance to learn about Espoma’s entire product line of organic gardening products. The seminar will be held on Wednesday February 13, 2013 at 7:30am, in the Courtyard of the Food & Thought Organic Farm Market Café located at 2132 Tamiami Trail N, Naples, Florida. For more information please see the attached flyer.

Attachments:
Free Organic Solutions Seminar flyer

Cost Share Deadline September 30, 2012

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$$ Last Chance for Organic Farmers to Apply $$

 

Did you know that if you’re certified organic you are entitled to be paid back for 75% of your fees, up to a maximum of $750? You are, but the deadline to apply for the 2012 Florida Organic Certification Cost Share Program is the end of this month.

Florida Organic Growers administers this program as part of our appreciation and support for your efforts in the continued success of the organic industry. We hope this program will help ease financial pressures you may experience during the process of becoming certified organic. You can use your reimbursement to assist with your certification fees or as an opportunity to expand your business.

It is easy and fast to apply, simply fill out the application on our website, send that along with a W-9 form, and a copy of your organic certification. We’ll also need a document from your certifier showing all the money you paid that you can be reimbursed for this past year. You can send them through e-mail at costshare@foginfo.org, fax at 352-377-8363 or by mail to:

Florida Certified Organic Growers & Consumers, Inc.
Attention Cost Share Department
P.O. Box 12311 Gainesville, FL 32604

Applications are due by September 30th, 2012, so apply today! If you have any questions we’re here to assist you from 9am – 4pm Monday through Friday, so don’t hesitate to give us a call at 352-377-6345, ask for Danielle or e-mail me directly at OfficeManager@foginfo.org.

Thank you again for everything that you do! 

World Environment Day

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Happy World Environment Day! This year’s theme for the United Nations-sponsored event, an awareness-raising function similar to Earth Day, is “Green Economy.” The UN’s Environment Programme describes a green economy as fundamentally “one which is low carbonresource efficient and socially inclusive.” Organic farming fits perfectly into this conceptualization of a healthy, sustainable world–in fact, it’s the only way to ensure the maintenance of our well-being and that of the planet’s. FOG’s focus on supporting local farmers is a part of the national emphasis on eating close to home–a means of lowering food transportation distance and therefore fuel use as well as encouraging consumption of the produce that’s grown by farmers who actually live in the counties where their crops are eaten. It’s all part of a cycle of giving back–to the environment, to ensure sustainable economic growth while maintaining natural resources; to family farmers, the people who live and love their jobs; and to consumers, whose health and social connection to their local community is boosted with every organic cucumber and pea pod they buy.

GIFT Gardens

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The Gainesville Initiative for Tasty Gardens or GIFT Gardens builds raised bed vegetable gardens and edible landscaping for low-income families and institutions that support them. By providing physical and education resources GIFT Gardens aims to increase food production in Alachua County, to increase self-sufficiency of community residents and to beautify neighborhoods. To date there are GIFT Gardens at 257 locations across Alachua County, including 17 schools, 7 churches and 17 community centers.

Free GIFT Gardens

Residents of Alachua County with low incomes and the institutions that serve those residents are eligible to apply for a free GIFT Garden, helping them become more self-sufficient and increasing their ability to provide for some of their own food needs.

Participants receive up to 3 raised beds, fertile soil, seeds, vegetable starts, a GIFT Gardens Growing Guide and ongoing assistance free of charge. Organizations can receive up to 10 raised beds. After the installation by FOG staff and volunteers, participants plan and plant their gardens, allowing them to take ownership of the GIFT Garden and learn how to start, take care and maintain a vegetable garden plot. All GIFT Garden recipients also receive a free year long membership to Grow Gainesville.

To apply, submit an application form linked below. For more information contact Travis Mitchell at Travis@foginfo.org.

 

APPLICATION FORMS:
Organization Application

For churches, schools, community gardens or other institutions and organizations.

Individual Application
If you rent, your landlord will also have to sign off on the GIFT Garden by completing the Landlord Agreement (required for renters).

 

RESOURCES
GIFT Gardens Growing Guide

IFAS Vegetable Gardening Guide

 

Fundraising GIFT Gardens

Individuals can also purchase a GIFT Garden to grow healthy food nearly all year long if they do not meet income eligibility requirements for a free GIFT Garden. The purchase of a GIFT Garden goes helps support the gifting of free gardens for low-income Alachua County residents, so part of the cost is tax deductible. GIFT Gardens make great gifts too, or donate a GIFT Garden in your name or someone else’s name to a low-income person, and receive the reward of knowing your gift has helped someone provide food for themselves and their family. GIFT Gardens can be adapted to your physical needs as well, i.e. increasing the height to decrease need for bending down. A standard 8 x 4 x 1 ft garden will cost approximately $200 depending on your needs and location. We can also install in ground gardens and additional edible landscaping. Prior to installation you will be contacted to schedule an appointment for a site visit. This site visit will be considered a consultation and we ask for $25 donation per site visit which will be added to your total. During the site visit one of our gardening experts will help you decide what kind of organic garden best fits your needs, where it should be located and to go over any other details necessary to insure you have a successful garden. After the visit you will be notified of the price based on what you and the coordinator have agreed to. The price will include the cost of the gardens plus a minimum $100 donation to Florida Organic Growers to go toward the GIFT Garden program. Should you decide to continue, a check will be requested in full, made payable and sent to the name and address listed above. The check will be deposited only after your gardens have been installed.

For more information contact Travis Mitchell at Travis@foginfo.org or send in the application form below and someone will contact you promptly to arrange for a site visit.

 

APPLICATION FORMS
Fundraising Garden Application
Landlord Agreement (required for renters)

 

RESOURCES
GIFT Gardens Growing Guide
IFAS Vegetable Gardening Guide

 

Garden Consultations

Struggling with your vegetable garden? Donate to FOG and receive a free consultation!

With a minimum donation of $75 receive a vegetable garden consultation from our Community Food Project Coordinator and resident gardener Travis Mitchell. Travis has worked for with the Gainesville Initiative for Tasty Gardens for the past three years and has built over 90 gardens across Alachua County. Each consultation will be roughly one hour in length, an cover a variety of organic gardening techniques including best watering and fertilizing practices, how to compost, weed prevention techniques and pest management. Upon request seasonal plants and seeds can also be included with consultation along with minor soil amendment and assistance with planting. Contact Travis Mitchell at Travis@foginfo.org or call 352-377-6345 for more information.

 

GIFT GARDENS AT ALACHUA COUNTY ORGANIZATIONS/INSTITUTIONS
Meridian
Villages at Forest Green
Turkey Creek Forest
Twinlakes Fishing and Camping
ARC of Alachua County
Coworkers, Inc.
Comprehensive Community Services, Inc.
Boys & Girls Club of Alachua County, Woodland Park
Service Options Unltd Inc.
Shands at Vista Child and Adolescent Unit
Interface Youth Program – CDS
YMCA Camp McConnell
Greens Group Home
Sisters Helping Sisters in Need
MISA @ Veterans Hospital
North FL/South GA Veterens Health System (VA Domicilliary)
Gainesville Harvest
Gainesville Job Corps
Rose Garden
S.E.T. on Success, LLC
Parklands Rehabilitation and Nursing Center
A Future and a Hope
Acorn Clinic
Peacock Houses
Parkview Baptist Church
Oak Ridge Appartment Complex
Vocational Industries
Addison’s Daycare
Krishna House
Palm Garden
Citizens Co-op Community Garden
Arbor House, Inc.
City of Gainesville Thelma Boltin Center
Alachua County Downtown Farmers Garden at Alachua County Administration Building
GIFT GARDENS AT ALACHUA COUNTY SCHOOLS
Reichert House Youth Academy
Lake Forest Elementary
Eastside High School
Bell Nursery School
Einstein Montessori School
Expressions Learning Academy
Horizons Center Alternative School
Idylwild Elementary
Littlewood Elementary
Metcalfe Elementary
Morning Meadow Preschool
Sidney Lanier
Baby Gator Child Development and Research Center at UF
Lincoln Middle School
Howard Bishop Middle School
One Room School House
Hoggetowne Middle School
Stephen Foster Elementary

 

The program is made possible by grants from Alachua County, City of Gainesville, Satchel’s Pizza and Yes to Carrots, Inc.

 

If you would like to get involved please call 352.377.6355 or email Travis Mitchell at Travis@foginfo.org.