Tag Archives: North Coast

2017 North Coast Farmers Convergence

North Coast Opportunities (NCO), the Community Action Agency for Lake and Mendocino Counties, is bringing together food producers from Humboldt, Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Sonoma, and Napa counties, along with food and farming support organizations, for the Fifth-Annual North Coast Farmers Convergence on Tuesday, February 28, 2017.

Food producers, local retailers, local food advocates, and farmer support organizations from across the region will come together at Ridgewood Ranch, just south of Willits, for a lively, educational day of networking, sharing skills and ideas, and celebrating the growth of resilient local food systems.

The Convergence is an opportunity for the widespread farming community to gather to learn and connect while honoring the profession of farming. Farmers, ranchers, dairy producers, seed growers, beekeepers, grain growers, vendors, buyers, retailers, and food producer supporters from organizations like California FarmLink, Community Alliance with Family Farmers, The Farmers Guild, The Farm Bureau, the University of California Cooperative Extension and the Grange Farm School of Adaptive Agriculture will join arms to build a network of support while sharing best practices.

Keynote speaker Michael Foley, a Mendocino County farmer dedicated to helping young farmers find access to land and education and a founder of the Grange Farm School of Adaptive Agriculture near Willits, will facilitate a panel discussion of area farmers talking about why they chose their particular niche and how it is working for them.

There also will be break-out roundtable discussion on a wide range of topics including on-farm composting, the impact of Proposition 64, marketing your farm, seed saving, land access and transitions, and more. While registering for the event, there also is an opportunity to suggest other roundtable topics that you want to see discussed.

Event participants also will enjoy a farm to fork breakfast and lunch featuring local ingredients.  There will be an after-convergence mixer, open only to farmers and wholesale food buyers, where food producers and buyers  can make market connections and establish sales relationships over glasses of locally-sourced beer, wine, and other beverages. Snacks also will be provided at the mixer from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m.

4th Annual Guild Raising

Every February, hundreds of California farmers, ranchers and local food advocates from San Diego to the North Coast converge at Sonoma County’s Shone Farm to share skills, explore hot topics in sustainable agriculture and collectively forge a united voice on behalf of family farms.

This year’s workshops and activities will explore CSA’s in the age of produce box schemes, food safety rules, soil health and much more. As part of this year’s “Intergenerational Exchange” theme, we’re excited to officially announce a merger between Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) and the Farmers Guild. This new partnership unites generations; combines wisdom and enthusiasm; infuses lessons learned with what’s possible for the future of food and ag in California.

And like every year, this event concludes with the always popular Agrarian Lovers Ball. With Valentine’s Day in the air, we open up the doors to our broader community with locally-sourced food and live music to celebrate farmers and all those who love them. The night culminates with our Annual Awards, recognizing contributions to a stronger local economy, food justice and a new generation of agrarians.

Doors open 8:30am
Workshops & Activities 9am-5pm
Lunch (Borolo’s Farm-to-Table Pizza) at Noon
Keynote at 4:00pm

Happy Hour 5 – 6pm
Dinner & Music 6:00pm – 11pm
Awards at 7pm

CFSN Webinar: Taking your Local School Wellness Policy to the Next Level – The What, When, and How of Meeting the New Requirements!

Registration is now open for “Taking your Local School Wellness Policy to the Next Level — The What, When, and How of Meeting the New Requirements” on Feb 8, 2017 9:00 AM PST at:  https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6581386712924754691

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Local School Wellness Policy (LSWP) Final Rule creates new requirements for school districts. The Webinar will begin with an overview of the LSWP basic requirements, emphasizing what’s new such as stronger stakeholder engagement, and assessment and reporting requirements. Additional details regarding marketing and advertising of foods and beverages, Administrative Review issues, model policies, and the timeline for updating your LSWP will also be discussed. We will set aside time to answer participant questions. Target audience for this webinar is school Food Service Directors and Wellness Policy Chairs/Superintendents or Designees – please forward this email to members of your Wellness Policy Committees.


Heather Reed, MA, RD

Mike Danzik, MPH, RD

California Department of Education

Nutrition Services Division

This webinar is being offered at no cost to you as a collaboration between the North Coast Region of the California Farm to School Network and the Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF).  After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

If there are specific items/questions that you want to ensure the presenters address in this webinar, please let them know here: http://bit.ly/2jWkuZM

Bicycle Blended Smoothies + Local Greens = Happy Youth

Written by: Sarah Stowell, FoodCorps Service Member with North Coast Opportunities 
147b9d720928ad26f507879378971b00Using a blender bicycle to make 150-300 smoothies a day with elementary students has become a regular occurrence during my service term. It has been a sure fire way to introduce kale, spinach, or other “super greens” to the pickiest of eaters. I’ve gotten used to students as young as kindergarten or as old as 8th grade coming up to me after trying their smoothie, which consists of at least 50% super greens, and telling me that they didn’t think they liked kale or spinach or turnip greens and that now they are going to make super green smoothies at home with their families.  Continue reading

Spearheading Harvest of the Month in the North Coast

Written by: Chelsea Sarg, FoodCorps Service Member with Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) North Coast 
foodcorps_8463_27055_2015_May_21_11229283_987881474568971_8022309427253702193_n                                                                                                One of the most important lessons I have learned as a Foodcorps service member this past year is the importance of partnerships. The basis of a Foodcorps position is a partnership in itself; I serve as the Foodcorps service member for the non-profit, Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF), which serves their farmer members and local schools. That’s a mouthful for the usually 20 seconds I have to explain to parents or farmers what it is that “I do.” But it’s not all for naught; these partnerships mean I can work across a large spectrum of subjects and with a variety of peopleContinue reading

How one FoodCorps member is making school garden connections coast-to-coast

FoodCorps service member and guest author Liz Puris (Sonoma County)

Today’s guest blogger is another of our fantastic California FoodCorps service members, Liz Puris. Liz serves in the North Coast office of Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF), where she works hard on making strong local sourcing a reality for many schools throughout Sonoma County.

Liz also supports school gardens in a few Sonoma County schools, and found an amazing (and very cute!) way to foster connections and learning in the garden using the FoodCorps network. Read on to see how it’s paid off!

Continue reading