Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Tickets on sale for Farm to Fork Picnic, June 9 in Hillsborough

Tickets are on sale for the 2013 Farm to Fork Picnic being held June 9, 4-7 p.m. at the W.C. Breeze Family Farm near Hurdle Mills. The popular event, which pairs local farmers with Triangle area chefs, has been called “the country’s best all you can eat feast” by Bon Appetit magazine. For the list of this year’s pairings, for sponsorship opportunities, and to purchase tickets, visit the website: www.farmtoforknc.com.

The event is a fundraiser to support new farmer training programs at the Center for Environmental Farming Systems and the Breeze Farm. The most recent agriculture census reported that North Carolina was tied for first in the nation in loss of farmland, and the average age of farmers is now 59.

CEFS, a partnership of N.C. State University, N.C. A&T State University and the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, helps develop and train new farmers through a variety of programs. Through the farm apprentice program, participants learn to manage a small-scale diversified integrated certified organic farm at the CEFS Small Farm Unit in Goldsboro.  They also engage with hands-on experience with a variety of other crop and animal systems at CEFS, including a pasture based beef and dairy operation.   

The Breeze Farm is an enterprise incubator, where new farmers can lease land to gain farming experience. The farm also offers an educational program to teach basic skills to new farmers. The PLANT Farm Enterprise Incubator seeks to revitalize agricultural activity in the Piedmont Region through training on small scale sustainable farming techniques.  The program also incorporates evening workshops in the winter months covering a range of topics important to the success of new farmers.   Following the workshop and completion of a business plan and crop plan, farm apprentices can lease land and utilize equipment provided by the PLANT @ Breeze Program.


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