Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Essex Happenings 1.10.12

The Following material is a reprint of the Northeast Harvest Newsletter for January, 2012, that helps point out the value of the Agricultural fraternity that is so important to the preservation of the Natural Resources of this Region. Their work is a most important component of the Essex Heritage mission and valued by all of us.

Glenn Cook Receives Massachusetts Farm Bureau Ogonowski Award

Once again, we honor one of our own! – at this time we honor Glenn Cook of Amesbury. Glenn was awarded the John Ogonowski Award for Distinguished Service to Agriculture at the December Annual Meeting of the MA Farm Bureau Federation. This award was established in 2001 as a memorial to Ogonowski, longtime Farm Bureau board member, county leader and victim of the September 11th terrorist attack.
Glenn has had a lifelong love of farming. He began his career in agriculture while still in high school, co-managing a farm in Hamilton. He went on to receive a degree in horticulture, specializing in the cultivation of fruit. Over the years, he worked at a number of nurseries and orchards, and taught at the Essex Agricultural and Technical Institute. Glenn and his wife Karen purchased farm property in Amesbury and later merged their business with his parents' property, forming Cider Hill Farm. Some 30 years later, the farm produces over 70 varieties of apples, along with an assortment of peaches, pears, plums, small fruit, vegetables and chickens. This year he reached his goal of achieving 100% of the energy needs for the farm through renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power. Following in Ogonowski's footsteps, Glenn has shared his passion for agriculture by mentoring over 85 international agricultural exchange students from 20 different countries. By sharing his knowledge and expertise of sustainable farming, this agricultural ambassador has an ever-widening impact.
Northeast Harvest Advisory Board Meeting

The Northeast Harvest Advisory Board will host a meeting on Wednesday, January 18th at 9 am in Coolidge Hall at the Topsfield Fairgrounds in Topsfield. At this time we will discuss our goals for the 2012 year. We are planning a Northeast Agricultural Conference this winter and all ideas are welcome. If you would like to attend the meeting, please rsvp to Joy at 978-887-5000 or email joy@topsfieldfair.org. If you cannot attend but would like to share your thoughts, please let us know. Northeast Harvest connects the farmers with the consumers and supports all agricultural aspects of Middlesex and Essex counties.

Teaching Land Care Professionals
to "Go Organic"

The Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) is offering a 5-day intensive course for professionals and master gardeners with the education needed to create thriving landscapes. The course will be held January 9th-13th at Worcester State University. The course teaches a way of landscaping that is much healthier for people by not using toxic chemicals that get into the skin, lungs, and water. The same methods also promote and respect biodiversity, creating a better environment for everyone. Click here for registration and more information or contact Program Coordinator Caro Roszell at 508-360-0874 or email Caro at caro@nofamass.org.

Farm Business Planning Courses Offered

The New Entry Sustainable Farming Project will be offering 2 versions of its flagship Farm Business Planning Course this winter. Learn to develop and plan for your farm business in either a classroom or a web-based learning environment. The course will cover all aspects of planning for the long-term financial success of your farm business. The classroom-based course runs from January 10th to February 21st on Tuesday evenings from 6-9 pm at Middlesex Community College in Lowell. The online option runs from January 8th to March 4th with 2 mandatory classroom sessions on the first and last days of the course in downtown Boston. The classroom session is $400 and the online session is $500. Click here for registration and more information or contact Maura Beaufait at 978-654-6745 or email Maura at maura.beaufait@tufts.edu.

Winter Saturday Pancake Breakfast at Verrill Farm

Come to Verrill Farm in Concord on Saturday, January 7th from 9 am to 12 noon to feast on pancakes in a greenhouse setting (There will also be a pancake breakfast on February 4th) You can enjoy hearty pancakes with Massachusetts maple syrup, along with bacon or sausage and beverages. No reservations are necessary. The cost is $7.50 for adults and $4.50 for children under 10. Click here for more information

The Carrot Project Deadline

The Carrot Project is once again offering loans of $35,000 or less to Massachusetts farmers. The winter deadline is January 6, 2012 with an additional deadline on March 2, 2012. For further information, contact Benneth Phelps, Program Coordinator of The Carrot Project at 413-650-6151 or email bphelps@thecarrotproject.org.

We Want to Hear From YOU!

CONSUMERS - Tell us your interests.
FARMERS - Let us know what's happening at your farm. We will try to publish your events in our newsletters.
Please add www.northeastharvest.com as a reciprocal link on your farm website. THANK YOU!
Click here to contact us.
This newsletter is presented in partnership by:

Town of Hamilton Establishes a Task Force to Consider gift of Patton Homestead

The Town of Hamilton is working towards the creation of a task force to study future uses for the property that the Patton family wishes to donate to the town. A vote on this matter will be put to residents at the Town Meetings in May. Any local residents interested in participating on the task force can volunteer by calling 978 468-5599.

Danvers Selectmen meet to Consider Plans for Transportation Reimbursement

The town of Danvers Board of Selectmen continue to wrestle with ongoing costs connected with the school transportation issue of the over 100 homeless families currently housed in motels in that community. The Selectmen have scheduled an informational meeting with State Representative Speliotis to discuss potential options. That meeting was held earlier this week and in a future report in this BLOG, we will continue to report on progress or proposed options if any are developed, as this matter is of great importance to the Town of Danvers

Town of Ipswich Names Interim Manager

A couple of weeks ago, the Selectmen in the Town of Ipswich announced that long time Town Manager Robert Merkle had decided after serving in that post since 2005 to leave Ipswich for a similar position in Kittery. Maine. At a recent meeting, the Ipswich Board of selectmen conducted interviews with three candidates to serve as an interim manager. They have selected Thomas Younger, who in the past served in a similar position in Belmont. MA. Mr. Younger will serve in an interim role for a three to five month period while the selectmen with the help of a consultant will conduct a complete search to find a permanent replacement for this important community near the geographic center of this region. Essex Heritage has long had a wonderful working relationship with this community. We have a large number of non-profit organizations that we partner with on many initiatives and work closely with a volunteer group that maintains a visitor center with a close affiliation with Essex Heritage. We will keep track of this process and when a new final Manager is selected we will offer our continuing support to that individual and this community.

Danvers Considering Starting Farmers Market

The Danvers Appeals Board has continued a hearing requested by a local resident who wants to operate a small Farmers Market on property on Pine Street. The proposal was questioned by two local well known Danvers farmers who indicated in their comments that while they are not opposed, they hope that if it is opened it is done in compliance with regulations that control farmers markets. Both farmers who appeared at the hearing noted that the Agricultural Commission that they both serve on have begun some preliminary discussion with non profit groups that might want to operate a community market downtown in Danvers to assist local businesses. There are a number of markets in communities around this region and some of those operations are most successful while others struggle for both vendors and consumers.

A Valuable Announcement Follows from the Enterprise Center at Salem State University



Accepting applications now through Friday January 27, 2012

Not just for start-ups! Now open to established companies with a new product, service, or growth strategy!

The North of Boston Business Plan Competition is an excellent way to channel time and energy into your roadmap for future success. Get valuable feedback from expert judges, investors and bankers, people you normally would not have access to.

Learn more about the North of Boston Business Plan Competition? Join us for an information session with past winners. Hear why they entered the competition, the benefits they received for entering the competition, and how the competition helped their company become successful. 

Wednesday January 11th 8:00 - 9:00am at Enterprise Center, 121 Loring Ave, Salem, MA 01970 Click Here To Register for the information session.

Go to www.EnterpriseCtr.org/bpc for more competition details!

Updated news from the Bike path Advocates in Danvers
Latest News
Saturday, January 7 - A Busy Day on the Trail -
Weather caused a cancellation of the New Year’s Leave’s Party. It has been rescheduled for Saturday, January 7 - 8:30 a.m - Meet at Hobart Street parking lot for coffee.
Leaf crew: meet at the Hobart Street parking lot at 8:30 with rakes and blowers. We’ll break into groups once everyone is assembled. Bring your leaf blowers, rakes, whatever you have to move leaves to the parking lot to be assigned an area to clean the trail edges of leaves and debris. Or if you live adjacent to or near the trail, just get out there in your area. Or organize a neighborhood cleaning crew. A clean trail edge will slow the encroachment of vegetation next spring.

Bike rack installation will also take place on Saturday, beginning at 8:30: A smaller team is needed for this. The Easy Auger hole digger is lined up for the day; the crew will mix and pour cement for the installation of 4 bike racks along the trail.

11:00 a.m. Re-assemble/take a break at the Hobart Street parking lot – photo op/story op to thank current supporters of the mileage marker sponsorship program and to launch program’s official kick-off! Selectmen Chair Dan Bennett will be on hand to host, with representatives from Kiwanis and Mead Web Design featured as principal sponsors. Thirteen other supporters (families, individuals and businesses) have also stepped forward to sponsor 1/10 mile markers and are invited to celebrate their generous support for the trail. There are 70 more opportunities for marker sponsorship available, with many choice locations available. For more information, visit: http://www.danversrailtrail.org/sponsoring.htm
For more information on the days events, contact Kate Day, 978-777-0001 ext. 3029 or kday@mail.danvers-ma.org

Monday, January 9, 2012, 7:00 p.m- Danvers Bi-Peds regular monthly meeting - will be held in the Carriage House at Endicott Park, 57 Forest St., Danvers. Bring new ideas and expertise to start the new year. Be a part of planning monthly walks, activities and efforts to make Danvers a safer place to bike and walk for all ages. All are welcome. Hope to see you there.

Saturday, January 14, 2012 - 1:30 p.m - 3rd Annual Bi-Peds Chocolate Stroll - ski or walk depending on the snow cover the northern portion of the Danvers Rail Trail. Meet at the Putnuamville School on Locust St. Finish up with all things chocolate needed to refuel after snowshoeing, skiing, or walking and a raffle. All, including dogs on leash, are welcome.
For more information, call (978) 777-4661 or go to danversbipeds.org.

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