26 September 2016


2016 Winter Cover Crop cost share program for Pajaro Valley growers

The Resource Conservation District (RCD) of Santa Cruz County offers financial assistance to growers in the Pajaro Valley to plant winter cover crops for erosion control during the rainy season. Growers are eligible for a $ 1:1 match rebate (up to $500 per grower) for cover crop seed of their choice that they have already purchased. Cost-share rebates are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

Cover crops can help you slow down runoff and minimize soil erosion during heavy storms. This protects your fields from soil loss, and prevents excessive sediment loading onto downstream receiving waters. Cover crops can also help you avoid soil crusting and improve rainfall infiltration, which is important given the recent drought years and our region’s reliance on groundwater resources. Even crop residues may provide surface cover that protects structure and reduces crusting.

To receive up to $500 in cost share for planting a winter cover crop, please complete and sign this form. Submit form to the RCD along with a copy of your cover crop seed purchase receipt for this year and a signed W-9 form (attached) in order to get your reimbursement. Preferably, submit via E-mail to: slozano@rcdsantacruz.org , but you can also Mail to: Sacha Lozano, 820 Bay Ave suite 136, Capitola CA 95010. For further questions call 831-464-2950 x 11. 


Programa de asistencia para control de erosión en el Valle de Pájaro

El Distrito de Conservación de Recursos (RCD) del Condado de Santa Cruz ofrece asistencia financiera (subsidios) a agricultores en el Valle de Pájaro, para plantar cultivos de cobertura para control de erosión durante la temporada de invierno. Cada agricultor podrá recibir un reembolso de 1:1 dólar por dólar gastado (hasta un máximo de $500 por agricultor) por gastos en compra de semilla para cobertura durante el invierno de 2016. Los reembolsos serán distribuidos por orden de llegada de las solicitudes.

Los cultivos de cobertura pueden ayudarle a detener la escorrentía y minimizar la erosión o pérdida de suelo durante tormentas fuertes. Así protege sus campos y ayuda a prevenir la descarga excesiva de sedimentos hacia cuerpos de agua cercanos. Los cultivos de cobertura también le ayudan a evitar la formación de costra en la superficie del suelo y a mejorar la infiltración de agua lluvia, lo cual es muy importante para contrarrestar los impactos de la sequía y para recargar las aguas subterráneas. Aún los residuos del cultivo de cobertura ofrecen buena protección para el suelo.

Para recibir un reembolso de hasta $500 por plantar cultivos de cobertura en invierno, favor completey firme esta solicitud. Envíela al RCD junto con una copia de su recibo de compra de semilla de cobertura para este año y un formato W-9 firmado (adjunto). Preferiblemente, envíe todo por vía E-mail a: slozano@rcdsantacruz.org , pero también puede enviarlo por correo postal a: Sacha Lozano, 820 Bay Ave suite 136, Capitola CA 95010. Para mayor información llame al 831-464-2950 x 11.

31 August 2016

RSVP for a Beginning Farmers' Field Day at UC the Santa Cruz Farm

Peppers and Potatoes Field Day for Beginning Farmers
Image result for peppers and potatoes field day santa cruzImage result for peppers and potatoes field day santa cruz
Monday, September 12, 1 pm – 4 pm
UC Santa Cruz Farm
Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS)

Join growers Darryl Wong, Kirstin Yogg, and Orin Martin of the UCSC Farm and Alan Chadwick Garden for a field day on organically grown peppers and potatoes.
Field day topics include varietal selection, soil fertility management, bed preparation, irrigation strategies, and pest and disease control techniques. Learn about planting to moisture to minimize weed pressure, as well as harvest and storage practices. The field day will also address value-added options for peppers.
This event is funded through a California Department of Food and Agriculture Specialty Crop Grant and is geared towards beginning farmers. All production growers are welcome, whether you are already growing these specialty crops or planning to add them to your crop mix.
RSVP to Melissa Betrone, mbetrone@ucsc.edu(831) 459-3770 for additional details and parking information (please include contact phone and email). 

29 August 2016

Register now for Strategies for Farm Business Success on 9/22!!

Strategies for Farm Business Success
September 22, 2016
 Conference: 2pm-6pm
Reception: 6pm-8pm

Join California FarmLink, Farm Service Agency, and other regional partners for this free half-day summit and networking reception
  • Learn innovative strategies and solutions for farm business stability and development that leverage FSA lending and risk management programs
  • Connect with diverse market outlets
  • Meet, explore, and develop business relationships with other farmers, retailers, wholesalers, chefs, and value-added producers
  • Share and collaborate on new ideas to advance our regional food systems

Keynote Speaker: USDA Farm Service Agency Administrator Val Dolcini

For more information or for tabling opportunities for your organization / business, please contact Mika Maekawa (mika@cafarmlink.org) or call 831.425.0303 x7022.

11 August 2016

Job Announcement for Dr. Ingham's Celebration Research Farm in Northern CA

Seeking a full time employee that will be involved in every aspect of field operations. Farm experience desired, greenhouse, machinery, mechanical, and culinary interests appreciated. Great attitude, self-motivation, collaborative problem solving, and teamwork are necessities. We operate with a small team, which ensures engagement with most areas of operation, and many learning opportunities in breaking ground and growing a new farm. This is an entry level position starting at $15 an hour based on experience. Advancement based on performance and integration with the team is expected.

Job Description: Farm Worker
Crop Planning
Keep crop plans up to date and current
Prepare new season plans (Winter and Spring and Fall plans)
Prepare and keep wall maps of farm gardens current
Prepare Food Forest crop plan and map

Preparing Beds
When new areas are needed plan out and design new beds and coordinate prep
Before spring arrives each year existing beds must be prepared for the Spring planting

Planting Beds
Using compost, extract, cover plants and mulch.

Maintaining Beds
Keep troughs flowing and free of unnecessary weeds that restrict flow
Maintain cover plants on beds and reseed when necessary
Plan and schedule extract and compost (if necessary) to be added to beds that have those in their experimental design
Take videos and photos of all beds pointing out different experimental designs of each bed (compost and extract, compost, extract, and controls)
Plan watering schedule (troughs, hand-watering and drip irrigation in 2016 Meadow)
Assign employees to maintain certain beds or certain tasks
Coordinate employee schedules, so watering is always done by someone when needed
Evaluate crops and schedule when to harvest.
As crops are harvested, weigh and date produce and put on harvest record
Evaluate harvest records for next season’s crop plan
Determine distribution of harvest (employee consumption, farmer’s markets, grocery 
stores, door-to-door selling downtown, etc.)

Maintenance of list of things that need to be done on the farm in priority order (ongoing)
Each week scheduling employees to do jobs that need to be done
Daily schedule of times to do each job for each employee
Confirm when jobs are complete, check employee’s work for quality and time
Readjust schedule during the week if needed

Maintenance of Farm equipment, buildings, outdoor and indoor spaces used
Compost making areas (large and small scale areas)
Compost materials areas
Kitchen area in garage
Bathroom area in guesthouse
Garden areas
Keep equipment in set places (hoses, attachments, hoes, trowels, buckets, etc.
Coordinate equipment cleaning and repairs

Maintenance of greenhouse seedlings (watering and planting)
Maintenance of greenhouse area
Keeping area clean
Opening and closing of greenhouse flaps
Air circulation when needed
Schedule planting in beds (on the farm) or 6 packs (for selling) when seedlings ready

This is an entry level position starting at $15 an hour based on experience. Advancement based on performance and integration with the team is expected.Please send your resume and 3 references with qualifications to info@environmentcelebration.com. If you have any further questions, please call 530-589-9947. There will be an invitation sent for a preliminary interview via skype with qualified candidates.

06 July 2016

Funding Opportunity for Improving Farm Water & Energy Use Efficiency!

Up to $200K per farm available for improving farm water and energy use efficiency!

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is accepting applications for its 2016 State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP) Round II. SWEEP is a competitive grants program supporting growers and agricultural operations in California to reduce their Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions and save water by investing in water irrigation system efficiency. Projects must reduce GHG emissions and save water. Applicants must provide supporting documentation directly related to actual, on-farm energy consumption and GHG emissions during the prior growing season to be eligible for funding. Grant submission deadline is August 5, 2016, and grant-funded work must be completed by November 2017.


July 14, 2016
8am – 12pm
UC Cooperative Extension
1432 Abbott Street
Salinas, CA
July 15, 2016
9am – 12pm
UC Cooperative Extension Santa Cruz
1430 Freedom Blvd, Suite E
Watsonville, CA
July 20, 2016
9am – 12pm
Morgan Hill Community Center
17000 Monterey Rd
Morgan Hill, CA
These workshops will give you an overview of the program, and provide hands-on assistance with project requirements, application process and materials. 
For more details visit the program’s website at https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/oefi/sweep/or contact:
Representatives from various companies that sell the types of irrigation supplies and equipment you can acquire with your SWEEP grant are also available to help you prepare your proposal. 
Be ready! Please bring information about your irrigation system and pump characteristics to assess your farm water consumption and GHG emissions.

01 July 2016

Apply NOW for Organic Certification Assistance through the State Organic Program

The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has announced the availability of $2,180,870 for organic certification assistance to organic operations in California. Funds from the National Organic Certification Cost Share Program (NOCCSP) are available through CDFA’s State Organic Program (SOP) to help more organic operations succeed and take advantage of economic opportunities in this growing market.
Cost Share helps farmers and processors afford the expense of organic certification by refunding up to 75% or $750 of their certification fees. Cost Share funds are available to any eligible organic operation in California that has received or renewed organic certification between October 1, 2015 and September 30, 2016.
The SOP administers the Cost Share program in California, and is responsible for reviewing and approving cost share applications. The SOP then works with the State Controller’s Office to process funds for the issuance of reimbursement checks to the organic operations. In addition, the SOP collaborates with accredited certifying agents to ensure that cost share resources are available to their clients and information is posted on their respective certifier websites.
The deadline for submitting Cost Share applications to CDFA is October 31, 2016. Applications must be postmarked by this date.
The following are needed to complete a Cost Share application:
• A copy of an organic certification document.
• Copies of all associated organic certification and inspection expense receipts.
• Please contact a certifier if you do not have the above documents.
• Completed and signed CDFA Cost Share Application. The applications can be mailed, emailed, or faxed to CDFA.
• Completed Payee Data Record (STD. 204) form. (Name on this form must match the name on the Cost Share application).
To apply, go to the CDFA website and download the Cost Share application packet/documents. Send the completed, signed application to CDFA with all supporting documentation listed above.
Applications are approved on a “first received, first approved” basis. So get it done quick! Incomplete applications will be returned and the application process will need to be started again.
Applications must be sent to CDFA. Do not send the application to your certifier. Mail applications to:
California Department of Food and Agriculture
State Organic Program
Cost Share Reimbursement
ATTN: Sharon Parsons
1220 N Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
Please allow 6-8 weeks for the completion of the Cost Share process. For additional information or assistance, please contact Sharon Parsons at (916) 900-5202 or by email at sparsons@cdfa.ca.gov

21 June 2016

Apply now for SWEEP: Water Efficiency Grants for Farmers & Ranchers


The CDFA just opened an $18 million funding round for on-farm projects that provide water savings and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP) provides grants for activities such as:
  • upgrades to more efficient pumps
  • conversion to drip
  • installation of solar panels to produce renewable energy
  • improved water storage and/or recycling
  • soil moisture monitoring and scheduling 
Grant amounts: Up to $200,000
Due: August 5, 2016
For more information: https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/oefi/sweep/
Up to $200,000 per agricultural operation is available, and a 50% match is recommended but not required. Applications are due August 5, 2016. View the program’s webpage and application materials by clicking here.
Free Technical Assistance is being offered to SWEEP applicants. We encourage you to attend one of the 23 in-depth technical assistance workshops throughout California. View the list of workshops by clicking here.
CDFA is also offering four grant application workshops in Yolo, Imperial, San Luis Obispo, and Fresno Counties. View the list of info sessions by clicking here.

For a helpful overview of the application resources available on the SWEEP webpage, watch this short video.