Groundswell News November 2014Please support our work. Click HERE to make a secure online donation. From the Director Five years ago, Groundswell e

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Groundswell News November 2014

Please support our work. Click HERE to make a secure online donation.


From the Director

Remembrance 2012 CRAFT WEB-Marcia Harrington

Photo by Marcia Harrington

Five years ago, Groundswell embarked on a journey to help build a vibrant, sustainable, and equitable food system for our region. At this time of thanksgiving, we'd like to express our appreciation to all of the people who've helped bring us closer to this vision.

Thank You! all our talented and dedicated Mentor Farmers, Steering Committee Members, Advisers, Instructors, Volunteers, Interns, Trainees, Groundswell Members, Staff, Partner Organizations, Individual Donors, and Funders!

And with this issue we're excited to start rolling out our programs for 2015. Read on for information about Farm Business Planning course and a brand new Year-Round High Tunnels course. Look for additional programs in upcoming issues of this newsletter, including:
* On-farm "Work2 Learn" opportunities
* Organic Orchards Peer-to-Peer Network
* Introduction to Farming
* Farming While Brown
* Mentor Training
* Cooperative Farm Business
* And more!
And as always, thank you for your support!

Joanna Green


Got your Farm Business Plan?

Eldred Teaching WEB

Hone your business skills this winter!

Applications are now open for Groundswell's winter Farm Business Planning Course

Ten Thursdays, 6-9 PM

Jan 15 - Mar 19, 2015

Our Farm Business Planning Course is designed for the serious beginning farmer who needs a plan. It's also appropriate for established farmers who want to improve their business planning and management skills.

Ten weekly sessions cover all major aspects of the farm business planning process, including assessing your resources; legal and regulatory issues; production planning; marketing; financial feasibility, budgets and record keeping; and more. Read more.

NOTE: Participation in the Farm Business Planning Course is limited to applicants who:
* Have at least one year of hands-on farming experience;
* Have a clear business concept and expect to get started within one year, or are in already in business; and
* Can fully commit to an intensive ten-week course with substantial outside research and homework.

Apply Online Now!


High Tunnels Year Round!

Plowbreak High Tunnel WEB

Groundswell trainees tour one of the high tunnels at Plowbreak Farm.

Groundswell, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County, and local Mentor Farmers are teaming up to offer a new season-long course on growing, managing and marketing high tunnel crops.

High tunnels are becoming a must have tool for produce farmers looking to extend the season in spring and fall, and to protect crops from weather, pests and disease during the growing season. If you are considering the purchase of a high tunnel or want to become more proficient at using tunnels you have, this series is for you.

An Introduction to High Tunnels workshop will be held on MONDAY, February 9, from 1-4 PM at Good Life Farm in Interlaken. For those looking for more in-depth technical training, a 27-hour Year-Round High Tunnels Course will be offered, with monthly sessions March through November. Read more.

Class size is limited so please register early!


Incubator Farm accepting applications for 2015

Devon   ESL Class 08-12-14 WEB

ESL students from TST-BOCES visit the Incubator Farm.

Groundswell’s Incubator Farm opens its gates to beginning producers!

After two successful growing seasons, and three farmers in production at the Incubator Farm, we are again encouraging eligible beginning farmers to apply to our Incubator Program.

Participants can farm on 1/8 acre or 1/4 acre plots in their 1st year, and are able to apply for additional space, up to ½ acre, in their 2nd year. Participants only pay modest fees to participate in the Program, which allows them to establish their businesses with minimal capital investment and minimal risk. Read more.


Helping new farmers find land


Finger Lakes LandLink connects aspiring farmers with area landowners

Finger Lakes LandLink is a project of Cornell Cooperative Extension Tompkins County and Groundswell Center for Local Food & Farming. LandLink creates linkages between farmers and landowners, increasing the successful establishment and expansion of farming enterprises while keeping land in active farming contributing to the local economy.

The LandLink database stores information about land available for lease, loan or sale for beginning and established farmers in the 14 counties comprising the Finger Lakes region. It likewise has a listing of land seekers. Both land owner and land seeker listings are searchable by pertinent agricultural criteria.

This service is free and confidential. If the land owners or land seekers do not wish to have their contact information listed on the database, Cornell Cooperative Extension staff will serve as the intermediary between landowners and land seekers. Read more.

To list your land or to be listed as a land-seeker, click HERE.


Please support our work.

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Training new farmers is resource-intensive.

We can't do it without the generous support of individual and business donors. Your contribution is an investment in a sustainable and equitable regional food system.

Click HERE to make a secure online donation today.

You can also show your support by becoming a Groundswell Member. Membership provides you with:

Discounts on Groundswell Programs
Free Admission to Groundswell Member Events
Opportunity to join the Groundswell Homesteaders Network
Opportunity to join the Groundswell CRAFT (aspiring commercial farmers only)
Monthly E-Newsletter
Very cool Membership Sticker!

Become a Groundswell Member HERE.

Groundswell is an initiative of Learn@EcoVillage Ithaca, which is a project of the not-for-profit Center for Transformative Action. For more information, call us at (607) 319-5095 or email