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As an education and charitable 501(c)(3), LESSON's mission is to support a safe, just, sustainable and local food system for the Delmarva Peninsula. Our programs and projects seek to create socially responsible, durable relationships and practices that protect our environment as they ensure economic viability of local farms and farmers. Join us; work with us to achieve social equity and justice for those who live, work, and eat on the Delmarva Peninsula.       Welcome to our home

NRCS to Expand Targeted Conservation Effort for Wildlife on Agricultural Lands

WASHINGTON, March 23, 2018 – From the Hawaiian nene to salamanders and turtles, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adding several new target species to its premier wildlife conservation effort that helps agricultural producers make voluntary wildlife-friendly improvements on working lands. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is adding five new projects to Working Lands for Wildlife (WLFW), the agency’s targeted, science-based effort to help producers restore and protect habitat for declining species on farms, ranches and working forests.

“Agriculture and wildlife both thrive together through landscape conservation,” said NRCS Acting Chief Leonard Jordan, “Through a locally led process, Working Lands for Wildlife has delivered many unprecedented successes over the years and we’re proud of our collective past achievements and look forward to continuing our work with America’s producers.”
for more: https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/national/newsroom/relea...

Funding Still Available for Conservation Partnership Projects Across Maryland

Annapolis, Md., February 15, 2018 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is encouraging farmers and forest landowners to submit applications for conservation programs associated with the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP).

Farmers and forestland owners may apply for conservation funding at any time throughout the year, but funding selections are made at specific times and the second 2018 sign-up deadline for RCPP projects is March 16, 2018.

Maryland currently offers RCPP in selected areas across the state through eight projects that range in focus, from animal waste management practices, to stream-side buffers, to wildlife habitat restoration.

more at: https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/md/newsroom/releases/?c...

USDA Announces More than $22 Million in Conservation Innovation

June 8, 2017 - The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) today announced that the agency will award more than $22.6 million to drive public and private sector innovation in resource conservation. The agency is investing in 33 projects nationwide through its competitive Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) program, which helps develop the tools, technologies, and strategies to support next-generation conservation efforts on working lands and develop market-based solutions to resource challenges. Public and private grantees - including non-governmental organizations, American Indian tribes, academic institutions and local government entities - will leverage the federal investment by at least matching it. Read more @: https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/national/newsroom/relea...

Fridaysonthefarm - Conservation Partnership Benefits Chesapeake Bay and Producers - NRCS

In this #Fridaysonthefarm feature, NRCS explores the beautiful Chesapeake Bay and meets producers and partners in Delaware, Maryland and Virginia who are implementing voluntary on-farm conservation practices that improve water quality, enhance wildlife habitat and strengthen the economic bottom lines for working lands. Read more @: https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/national/newsroom/featu...

"Workshop with Peter Donovan at ECOCity Farms" exploring relationships between carbon and water in the soil and atmosphere.

A one-day workshop will take place on April 17th at the Bladensburg Farm (6100 Emerson Street, Bladensburg, MD 20710

Participants will walk away with a deep understanding of carbon and water cycling on farmland, how to measure and monitor water-holding carbon in your soil, track changes in soil productivity and soil health.
For questions and RSVP contact: Gabrielle grovegno@ecocityfarms.org.

Healthy Farms, Healthy Communities

a field day exploring opportunities for expanding institutional sourcing from local, sustainable farms. This is an on-farm field day at Holterholm Farms in Jefferson, MD, a certified organic, pasture-based dairy farm that participates in the Organic Valley Co-op.
May 21st, 10 AM-1 PM   This field day is brought to you by Maryland Hospitals for a Healthy Environment’s Chesapeake Food Leadership Council and Future Harvest. The CFLC supports strategic goals focused on collaboration and alignment of activities to promote healthy communities, healthy people and building a robust, sustainable Chesapeake foodshed.

American Ginseng prized root-crop at Lunar New Year

Hong Kong residents seek out American Ginseng for its high levels of active ingredient and strong flavor, according to the Los Angeles Times. Fewer than 200 growers produce 700,000 lbs. of the root annually.
Is every Lunar New Year an 'organic' opportunity for Eastern Shore growers?
http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-adv-ginseng-american-20150...

Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Development Program (BFRDP)

The Agriculture Act of 2014 provided an additional $20 million per year for 2014 through 2018. The reasons for the renewed interest in beginning farmer and rancher programs are: the rising average age of U.S. farmers, the 8% projected decrease in the number of farmers and ranchers between 2008 and 2018, and the growing recognition that new programs are needed to address the needs of the next generation of beginning farmers and ranchers.
Due Date for applications is March 13, 2015
USDA NIFA grant info: http://www.nifa.usda.gov/fo/beginningfarmersandranchers.cfm

2014 Field Days and Events - Future Harvest

September 30, 2014!
Hops Production, Distribution, and Marketing

Tuesday, September 30, 6:00-9:00 pm
Corcoran Brewing Company, 205 E. Hirst Rd. Purcellville, VA 20132
$20 for FHCASA members; $40 for non-members.

Farmers, brewers, and anyone interested in craft beer is invited to join Future Harvest at Corcoran Brewing Company to learn the basics of hops production as well as distribution and marketing techniques to sell hops locally and regionally.

Urban Farming Tours at Big City Farms, Whitelock Community Farm, and Spike Gjerde's Parts & Labor Restaurant

Wednesday, May 7, 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
 Big City Farms - Strength to Love - 1828 Lorman St, Baltimore, MD 21217 (4:00 pm)
 Whitelock Community Farm - 930 Whitelock St, Baltimore, MD 21217 (5:15 pm)
 Parts & Labor Restaurant - 2600 N Howard St Baltimore, MD 21218 (6:30 pm)

Click here to view the flyer for this event!

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by Dr. Radut