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OFRF Funded Research Produces GMO-Resistant Corn

Corn is an incredibly productive crop that works well in organic crop rotations in many parts of North America. An influx of transgenic (GMO) corn varieties since the mid-1990s, like RoundUp Ready corn, have made it increasingly difficult to grow uncontaminated organic corn—or find corn seed that is free of transgene contamination.

Message from New Board Chair Don Lareau

I am honored to be serving as the new Chair of the Board for OFRF. As an organic family farmer in Western Colorado, I work daily to ensure our farm’s success and know the importance of the work OFRF does in research, education, and advocacy. This spring, I invite you to consider OFRF as a partner in the work of supporting organic agriculture.

Sowing the Seeds for an Organic Future

I am honored to be serving as the new Chair of the Board for OFRF. As an organic family farmer in Western Colorado, I work daily to ensure our farm’s success and know the importance of the work OFRF does in research, education, and advocacy.

OFRF Gives Comments at NOSB Spring Meeting

OFRF’s Policy Associate, Jane Shey, attended and gave comments to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) spring meeting in Washington, D.C. on April 25th. The NOSB typically meets twice per year. During meetings, the NOSB listens to public comments, discusses its agenda items, and then votes in a public forum.

New Corn Varieties Bred for Resistance to GMOs

Although certified organic farms are prohibited from using Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), organic growers have no control over the varieties grown by neighboring farmers, who may choose a GMO corn variety (approximately 80% of commercial field corn seed sold in the U.S. each year).

Organic Quinoa Thriving in Cool Coastal Climates

Prized for its versatility and nutritional value, quinoa is growing in popularity with home cooks and professional chefs alike. Closely related to beets and spinach, quinoa is prized for being an excellent source of protein with high levels of amino acids, vitamins, and fatty acids. Although quinoa is relatively new in North America, the crop has been grown in South America for centuries.

Growing Kosher Spelt Teaches Mindfulness

A recent article in the New York Times tells the story of a bakery in Brooklyn, New York that specializes in producing a special kind of matzo called shmurah, which means guided or watched. The matzo is used for the first night of Passover. The watching begins while the grain is still growing in the field and continues through the harvest and preparation to ensure the grain meets kosher restrictions—mainly that it hasn’t been allowed to ferment.

Deploying Microbes as a Seed Treatment to Protect Against Soil-borne Plant Pathogens

Plant diseases, especially those caused by soil-borne seed infecting pathogens, pose a serious threat to organic greenhouse and field production. There is a critical need for new techniques and technologies to combat seed and seedling diseases, and organic farmers have identified this as a top research priority.

Both solid and liquid forms of organic amendments such as compost and vermicompost have proven successful in controlling plant pathogens. The working hypothesis is that microbes are closely associated with disease suppression. OFRF provided a research grant in 2014 to Rick Carr at the Rodale Institute (pictured in photo) to establish a proof-of-concept that compost microbes can be deployed on the surface of seeds before sowing to protect against soil-borne plant pathogens. He recently submitted his final project report.

Drought Management Workshop Audio Now Available

The majority of California is in extreme drought. Even with the winter rain, it will take years of wet winters in order to recover.  The drought situation has implications for food production throughout the state and for consumers nationwide. It is estimated that the average person in the US consumes around 300 gallons of California water each week by eating food grown in California (Buchanan et al., 2016). 

Four Season Gardening in Maine

In a recent article in Wicked Local Brewster, organic farmer Eliot Coleman explains how he grows fresh produce twelve months a year on his Maine farm. With just an acre and a half of land, Coleman grosses over $150,000 without charging outrageous prices.

The author of “The Four Season Harvest,” and several other books, Coleman says his success is the result of a lot of hard work, paying attention over the years, and using all the information that is freely available in books and on the web. 

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