Israel Morales Delivers Hope for The Future as OTA’s Farmer of the Year

OTA 09.11.19On September 11th, The Organic Trade Association honored Israel Morales Sr. from JV Farms Organic with the Organic Farmer of the Year Award.

Israel Morales Sr. is JV Farms Organic’s lead grower with over 40 years of farming experience.

Israel has extensive experience not just in knowing what produce matches the type of soil but is also a master of soil health. He has a direct influence on the growing practices on all of the acres in his operation.

Some describe him as living and breathing organic farming. He has both an old-school mentality on how to grow organically with a flair for innovation.

Israel is a successful large-scale organic farmer, known as a steward of the land. He minimizes disturbance and maximizes soil cover, biodiversity, and the presence of living roots.

His focus is soil health, habitat diversity and reducing or eliminating organic pesticide use if he can. Israel has developed an innovative farming system using conservation tillage beds that allows him to use cover crops on 80 to 90 percent of his acreage during the winter fallow. Continue reading

Lynn Coody on Making Her Dreams Come True Growing the Organic Community

OTA 09.11.19

On September 11thfriends and peers gathered at the Organic Trade Association’s awards dinner to celebrate Lynn Coody’s lifelong dream. On that evening, the OTA honored her with the Growing the Organic Community Award. Continue reading

Climate Change Takes Center Stage at Expo East Next Week

The world

As I write this, Dorian, whose winds are the strongest ever recorded so far north in the Atlantic Ocean, is laying waste to the Bahamas. It threatens to wreak havoc along the Eastern States.

The Amazon rainforest continues to burn, threatening the very survival of many species – including ourselves.

July was the hottest month on record for the planet, edging out the previous record-holder in July 2016. The record warmth shrank Arctic and Antarctic sea ice to historic lows.

Next week I travel to Expo East in Baltimore – and yes, I must ride a carbon belching chariot – but my focus will be on ways to reverse this climate emergency through food and agriculture.

If you care about the survival of life as we know it – and – you’ll be attending Natural Products Expo East in Baltimore – it would behoove you to attend and participate in several key events. Continue reading

Why didn’t the UN Climate Report Offer Organic Farming as a Solution?

planet earth close up photo

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

We’ve all felt it; the dog days are expanding their territory, lasting longer and showing their teeth more often.

According to NOAA, eight of the ten warmest years on record have occurred within the past decade. 2016 was the warmest year in the history of instrumental observation, and 2017 was the warmest year without an El Niño influence.

If the current greenhouse gas emissions rates persist, it will result in the continuation of the global temperature increase.

The Paris Climate Agreement’s goal of limiting warming to 1.5°C will require transformational challenges – especially in land use and farming. It is unattainable with our current practices,

On August 8th,the UN Climate released its special report on Climate Change and Land Use.  It held dire warnings; unless we change the way we eat and farm, we are all in for a bit of trouble. Continue reading

Can Organic Agriculture Save the Insects and Our Gardens? A New Study Suggests It Can

animal bee bloom blooming

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I begin with a confession. This summer is the second time I have tended a garden since I was a child alongside my grandfather. For most of my adult life, I was too busy trading organic faire, building businesses—doing what I could to heal the planet through food and agriculture.

I am enjoying this garden with its prolific beans, squash, tomatoes and red Peruvian corn. It’s aswarm with bees, pollinators and insects who work to seed the bounty.

With all I’ve read about the mass extinction of insects, it makes me ponder. What would happen to my garden if they all disappeared? Continue reading