February 11, 2004

Board meeting 02/11 at Susan's house

Board meeting tonight at 7..

Posted by angie at 07:19 AM | Comments (0)

February 08, 2004

Supporting Organics

Organic foods are now a $13 billion dollars per year industry and continuing to grow. The organic market segment is the fastest growing segment of the world economy. At this time it is important to remember how organics started and to support that philosophy; locally, organically and sustainably grown. This empowers the local community and most importantly the money stays in the local economy providing jobs and tax revenues. It improves the quality of the local environment, the freshness of the product, and lowers distribution costs. There is an additional benefit of knowing the person/people who are providing your food. This 'knowing your grower' will allow support of those who are practicing organic and sustainable principles who have decided not to participate in the certification program. (With the constant challenges nationally to change the certification requirements -such as the add on to the Omnibus bill to allow non-organic feed for organic beef to accomodate a Georgia constituent which was repealed due to public outrage- it is best to know your grower.)
There are a variety of options; to purchase products from local growers, the farmers market, the local organic cooperative, local markets, and some growers even have local delivery service. The texas organic farmers and gardeners website has more information on growers at www.texasorganicgrowers.org. The organic vegetable coop for DFW is through the Dallas Fort Worth Vegetarian Society. The Dallas Farmers Market has an organic grower. One local rancher that has home delivery in DFW is Burgundy Beef. Ask questions, find out their philosophies and support those who are working to continue the organic and sustainable philisophy.

Posted by susan at 07:11 PM | Comments (1)

Master Composter Class

The City of Arlington has partnered with the Texas Commission for Environmental Quality to offer a Master Composter Training Program, open to anyone. This free program is designed to train and recruit local volunteers who will promote backyard composting and yard waste reduction.

Class will take place at the City Municipal Building, 101 W. Abram St. on Saturday, February 14, 2004, 9 AM to 4 PM and Saturday, February 21, 2004 9 AM to 4 PM (attendance on both days is required to become a Master Composter). Master Composters will receive a total of 12 classrooms hours of formal training on appropriate yard trimmings management options.

Class graduates will receive books and workshop materials, and a compost thermometer.

To complete their training, Master Composters are required to spend 20 volunteer hours on public education regarding composting. These hours may also be spent working at one of the compost demonstration sites, or training other citizens on the how’s and why’s of composting. Upon completion of the volunteer hours, you'll be certified by TCEQ.

To learn more, feel free to contact Lorrie Anderle, City of Arlington Recycling Coordinator at 817-459-6778 or at anderlel@ci.arlington.tx.us.

Posted by angie at 05:27 PM | Comments (0)

TOGFA Focus Group

TOFGA (Texas Organic Farmers & Gardeners Association) is participating in a $22,000 research grant as part of the Sustainable Agricultural Research and Education Program. This is the first step in expanding the public awareness and availability of locally grown sustainable and organic products in Texas.

This grant's purpose is to be the first step in attaining larger grants for public education and awareness. The first step in this process is currently occuring as TOFGA hosts focus groups divided into consumers and growers or those interested in growing for public consumption.

The District 2 focus group took place at the Dallas Farmers Market on January 17th where I attended and participated in the consumer focus group. There were only 5 consumers participating, however many more growers were there. This is good as the public demand for organics is continuing to grow and the supply is fairly limited.

From these focus groups, survey questionnaires will be developed and mailed throughout the state. This process will take several months as there are 3 more focus groups to go. The survey will be mailed out shortly thereafter.
The survey results will be posted on the website for TOFGA, www.texasorganicgrowers.org, in about a year. This will include all sustainable education, including cleaning supplies, clothing etc. Congratulations to TOFGA for their grant and support to our future.

In the meantime, we can continue to help share the benefits of organics with others and pass along information. The website www.organicconsumers.org
is a good starting point for information.

Posted by susan at 05:22 PM | Comments (0)

February Meeting

Our February meeting will be held on Thursday the 26th at 7 pm. Our guest speaker is Malcolm Beck, author, founder of Garden-Ville, and Howard Garrett's mentor. Please join us to hear Malcolm talk about raising fruits & berries organically.

Posted by angie at 05:07 PM