Meeting House Farm in Scarborough wins appeal to sell farm produce

Emily Springer, owner of Meeting House Farm at 35 Hunnewell Road. Catherine Bart photo

SCARBOROUGH – Meeting House Farm, located at 35 Hunnewell Road, has received approval from the Scarborough Zoning Appeal Board to conduct online business on the property with several conditions.

Located on a historic property dating back to the 1700s, the farm is owned by Emily and Scott Springer, who started Meeting House Farm in 2017, its website said. Over 80 different medicinal herbs are cultivated on 2.5 hectares as well as a vegetable garden.

The property is located in the residential R-2 district of Scarborough. The city’s zoning ordinance states that commercial agriculture is only allowed in an R-2 zone if a landowner requests exceptional use.

Meeting House Farm owners Emily and Scott Springer filed a Special Exception Appeal Request earlier this year with the request to continue the farm’s online activities, host small classrooms on the property and to set up a farm stand. After the zoning appeal board rejected that request, the Springers returned to the board on August 11 with an amended proposal.

“I have a very, very small business,” said Emily Springer. “We base this business on what we grow, then sell the extras, sell the extra vegetables, sell the extra flowers, and what we grow for our family is paramount, and what we sell is extra. We consume over 50 percent of what we grow today.

A number of neighbors on the farm have expressed support for the Springer and their farm.

Heidi Seely, who said she lives near the property, said she thinks Meeting House Farm is a beneficial addition to the neighborhood.

“I think it’s important as members of this community that we want to encourage small businesses,” she said. “I think it’s great that she’s doing what she’s doing, and it’s disappointing that some of my neighbors are so opposed to it.”

Jennifer Cleary, a neighbor, said she was concerned about traffic and the city’s ability to enforce Meeting House Farm compliance, especially after owners scaled back their initial plans for public events and a farm stand.

“Hunnewell Hill is one of the few in the whole neighborhood that doesn’t have a sidewalk,” she said.

The conditions that the board has listed for Springers to follow as part of the special exception use include the limit of no more than five vehicles in the aisle, none on the street, and only between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday to Friday. Sales must be made online and a physical exchange must take place off-site, and no classes or public events are permitted.

Meeting House Farm is well known and neighbors will most likely notify the town if the rules are broken, said James Hebert, chairman of the board.

“There is enough attention on this property that should, if they try to scale it up or go beyond any kind of restrictions the council would place on this property, someone would let it know. the city and the application would take place, ”he said.

Hebert said the Springers should work with their neighbors.

“Given the level of concern that some members have raised about your company, if the board approves this request, I think it would be very important to try and work with them as best you can, knowing that this is a really hot item for a lot of people who are here right now, whether the board votes yes or no on this app, ”he said.

The board voted 4-1 to approve the appeal.

On the Meeting House Farm public Facebook page, Emily Springer shared a message of gratitude for those who supported the call.

“It was so empowering to see that people care and want small farms in their neighborhood,” she said. “We got the right to cultivate our land. We wouldn’t have won without so much support. I am filled with gratitude.

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Attleboro Willow Tree Poultry Farm Products Recalled | Local News

ATTLEBORO – Willow Tree Poultry Farm, the town’s well-known company, is recalling about 52,000 pounds of chicken salad and dipping products that could be contaminated with plastic, the Food Safety and Inspection Department said Tuesday. foods from the United States Department of Agriculture.

The items were produced Aug. 10-13 and may contain hard, white plastic, FSIS said.

The following products are subject to a recall:

  • Five-pound container of Willow Tree Premium White Meat Chicken Caesar Dip with best before dates 3/9/2021 and 6/9/2021.
  • Five-pound, 12-ounce containers of Willow Tree Premium White Meat Buffalo Chicken Dip with sale dates before 3/9/2021 and 5/9/2021.
  • Five-pound container of Willow Tree Premium White Meat Buffalo Chicken Salad with a best before date of 7/9/2021.
  • 15 oz container of Willow Tree Premium White Meat Buffalo Chicken Salad with sale dates before 07/09/2021 and 09/09/2021.
  • 15 oz container of Willow Tree Premium Nut Cranberry Chicken Salad with a best before date of 08/09/2021.
  • 15 oz container of Willow Tree Premium White Meat Classic Chicken Salad with best before dates 07/09/2021, 08/09/2021, 09/09/2021 and 10/09/2021.
  • Seven and a half ounce container of Willow Tree Premium White Meat Classic Chicken Salad with sale dates before 07/09/2021 and 09/09/2021.
  • Ten-pound container of Willow Tree Premium White Meat Classic Chicken Salad with a best before date of 08/09/2021.

The recalled products bear the establishment number “EST. P-8827 “inside USDA inspection mark.

Items have been shipped to wholesale and retail locations in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.

The problem was discovered after the company received a consumer complaint and notified FSIS.

“There have been no confirmed reports of adverse effects from the consumption of these products,” FSIS officials said. “Anyone concerned about an injury or illness should contact a health care provider. “

FSIS is concerned that some products may be frozen and in consumer freezers.

Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them.

They must be discarded or returned to the place of purchase, agency authorities said.

Last September, Willow Tree, as part of FSIS, recalled about 6,890 pounds of chicken salad due to poor branding and an undeclared allergen.

Willow Tree is one of the best-known businesses in the Attleboro area, and its South Main Street (Route 152) head office and store near Seekonk is a popular stop for area residents.

Consumers with questions about the latest recall can contact Alex Cekala, General Manager of Willow Tree Poultry Farm, at [email protected] or 508-951-8351.

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Export clusters of agricultural products to be promoted in Karnataka

Union State Minister for Agriculture and Farmer Welfare Shobha Karandlaje said the Center will prioritize promoting agricultural export clusters in Karnataka.

Speaking to the media in Udupi, she said that at present, Karnataka has export hubs for coffee, pepper and pink onion. It is possible to create export clusters for turmeric, fruits, jaggery, millets and other agricultural products.

The minister said that the state can promote the cultivation of millet. At present, Uttarakhand is a leader in the export of millets to India. The climate of southern India is suitable for the cultivation of millet. The United Nations, at the request of India, declared 2023 the International Year of Millet.

Farm workers pound the ragi, or finger millet, on the outskirts of Bangalore.

Farm workers pound the ragi, or finger millet, on the outskirts of Bangalore. | Photo credit: K. MURALI KUMAR

Udupi-Chikkamagaluru Constituency MP Karandlaje said many states in the northeast have traditionally grown crops using organic methods. These crops and their by-products are in high demand by agricultural enterprises for the export market.

The minister said that the Union government, through the Agricultural Infrastructure Fund, insists on the creation of more agricultural producer organizations (OPAs), in particular by organizing small and medium farmers.

Oil seeds, cereals, legumes

Ms Karandlaje said the country has not yet become self-sufficient in the production of oilseeds, grains and pulses. About 70% of edible oil is imported. Therefore, the government has started providing free mini oilseed kits to farmers to encourage production. It is also investing in research and development to make oilseed cultivation profitable in the dryland belt and in the development of advanced processing technologies.

Coconut export

Ms Karandlaje said that the Union’s Cabinet recently decided to lift the ban on the export of coconut and its products. This will help many farmers, and coconut prices will stabilize after a year. The government has also decided to appoint a coconut farmer to chair the Coconut Development Board instead of appointing an IAS official to that post.

A vendor selling coconuts at Yelahanka in Bangalore.

A vendor selling coconuts at Yelahanka in Bangalore. | Photo credit: SUDHAKARA JAIN

The Union Minister said that after the COVID-19 pandemic, some young people are returning from cities to engage in agriculture, which appears to have contributed to the increase in production in the country.

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Green groups sue USDA over new rules for biotech agricultural products

A worker sprays a hill of newly planted tomatoes in Bonsall, California, United States, May 21, 2018. REUTERS / Mike Blake

  • Farmers, conservation groups say Trump-era rule violates endangered species law
  • The complainants also invoke the doctrine of the separation of powers


The Center for Food Safety and others accuse the USDA of violating the Endangered Species Act with the 2020 rule, alleging that because it broadly exempts genetically modified plants from surveillance so to harm endangered species, its architects should have consulted the relevant federal agencies about this potential damage.

The USDA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“The rules illegally gut and abandon the USDA’s responsibility to protect farmers and the environment,” George Kimbrell, legal director of the Center for Food Safety, said in a statement.

The latest rule adopted by the USDA last May is titled “Movement of Certain Genetically Modified Organisms”. It exempts the USDA from regulating genetically modified plants that fall into broad categories, including plants that could also have been grown through traditional breeding, the complaint says.

Previously, almost all genetically modified plants had to go through formal USDA approval before being tested outdoors or before being sold to farmers, according to the plaintiffs.

The overhaul of the rules has alarmed consumer groups fearing to open the doors to products destined for commercial markets without any USDA review. The Trump administration said the change would reduce the regulatory burden on developers.

The plaintiffs also argue that the rule violates the United States Constitution because it gives biotech developers the ability to determine for themselves whether their modified plants fall under a regulatory exemption.

This violates the doctrine of the separation of powers, which prohibits federal agencies from delegating their decision-making power to third parties, the plaintiffs allege.

The case is National Family Farm Coalition v. Vilsack, United States District Court for the Northern District of California, No. 3: 21-cv-05695.

For the National Family Farm Coalition et al: Meredith Stevenson of the Center for Food Safety.

Read more:

USDA limits review requirements for certain biotech agricultural products

Sebastien malo

Sébastien Malo reporters on environmental, climate and energy litigation. Contact him at [email protected]

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Share of Australian agricultural products in China drops amid frosty bilateral ties

Photo: VCG

The harvest of Australian cotton production, which was once worth A $ 800 million ($ 614 million) per year, is now in jeopardy due to the loss of the Chinese market amid frosty bilateral ties.

They are eager to seek new markets, but have found that cotton, just like other agricultural products such as wine and barley, appears to be squeezed out even further from the Chinese market – also the most important one – as strains enter. both show no sign of abating.

The China Cotton Association said on Thursday that in April, China imported 78,800 tonnes of Indian cotton, an increase of 66% from the previous month and an increase of 367% from the previous year.

Australian cotton, which was China’s second largest importer, is now only around 5%, down from 20% in November 2019. India is now China’s largest cotton exporter in April.

The drop in sales is also worrying the Australian industry, and ABC News reported on Thursday that the industry’s resurgence has been overshadowed by the loss of its largest market, China.

They are looking at places like Vietnam, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Thailand and South Korea, and working hard to get into them, trying to replace cotton purchases from competitors like the United States and Brazil, according to the report.

An anonymous cotton industry insider told the Global Times on Friday that the decline from Australia was in part due to sufficient cotton reserves and changing demand, but Chinese spinners are taking a cautious stance to Australian cotton, given political disputes, and future purchases depend on its relationship with China.

Australian agricultural products, especially wine and barley, have suffered from the deterioration of relations between the two countries.

Australian winemakers shipped just A $ 12 million worth of wine to China from December to March, up from A $ 325 million a year earlier, Reuters reported, citing industry figures, after the anti-dumping investigation from China on Australian wine imports last year.

Chen Wei, an Australian wine merchant, said the company ditched wine from Australia from August last year and turned to Chilean wine and was also considering wine from Italy and France. .

ABC News reported on Friday that the Australian wine industry is preparing to appeal to the World Trade Organization (WTO) over Chinese tariffs, as winegrowers and winegrowers argue Beijing must be brought into the WTO after imposing crippling tariffs on Australian wine last year.

Australia is also said to have advanced in a WTO case against China’s tariffs on barley imports on Friday, as Trade Minister Dan Tehan said Canberra will ask the WTO to establish a settlement panel. dispute to consider the case, the next step in an attempt to get the tariffs declared illegal.

Australia’s barley exports to China were about A $ 1 billion per year, mostly used in brewing.

The Australian economy is heavily dependent on China. For the past 12 years, China has been Australia’s largest trading partner and China is Australia’s main export destination, but in the past two years the Morrison administration has attempted to reduce its dependence on China. AFP reported that even many in Canberra believe the sanctions are punishment for Australia for pushing back Beijing’s influence operations in the country.

However, “every tariff perception has its reasons, but Australia has always linked it to political disputes, playing the image of a victim of sympathy”, Yu Lei, chief researcher at the research center for countries Pacific Islanders from Liaocheng University in eastern China. Shandong province, the Global Times said on Friday.

“They disgust China,” Yu said.

Earlier in May, China’s leading economic planner announced that he was indefinitely suspending all activities under the China-Australia strategic economic dialogue, marking the first time that a diplomatic mechanism between the two countries has been frozen as a result of the deterioration of bilateral relations.

The move came after the Australian federal government, in what was seen as a provocative move against China, used so-called laws to revoke the agreements signed between the state of Victoria and China on the Belt Initiative. and Road (BRI).

Although agricultural trade accounts for only a limited part of Australia’s exports, the government is politicizing trade issues with China, and this undermines the public perception of Australia that was formed during decades, Yu warned.

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Slow mechanization hampers marketing of agricultural products in Nepal: Experts – myRepublica

KATMANDU, May 17: Despite the various efforts made by the government to bring Nepalese agriculture to commercialization, farmers’ access to the necessary tools and equipment remains very limited.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, only 20 to 25 percent of farmers now have access to mechanization, which is considered one of the main elements for ensuring the commercialization of agriculture. “The ratio is very low for agrarian countries like Nepal,” Agriculture Minister Padma Aryal said on Monday during a program organized by the Nepalese Agricultural Journalists Association.

According to the Agricultural Research Council of Nepal (NARC), there are around 150,000 tractors in service of which only a third are used in agriculture. Of the 700 imported combines, most are used in Tarai. “Although using this harvester which does integrated work including harvesting, threshing, collecting and winnowing helps cut costs by almost half, only a few farmers have used the equipment,” the chief said. from NARC, Shreemat Shrestha.

Nepalese farmers are gradually switching to the use of rice transplanters, combines and agricultural products processing machines. Experts say the pace, however, is very slow. Farmers continue to rely entirely on traditional weed control methods.

Shrestha said mechanization is also poor in the irrigation process, resulting in a low proportion of farmland for water access. While about 65 percent of arable land benefits from irrigation facilities, only 25 percent benefits from year-round water supply facilities.

Experts stressed the need for subsidized electricity supply, contract farming and appropriate land use policy to boost mechanization of Nepalese agriculture. Agricultural expert Khoj Raj Katuwal said the government should focus on rewarding agricultural programs rather than introducing distribution programs.

Meanwhile, the government, through the Prime Minister’s Agriculture Modernization Project, aims to boost the mechanization of Nepalese agriculture, according to Minister Aryal. She said the government is striving to increase agricultural productivity by fixing the projected growth by maintaining an annual schedule.

Aryal said Nepal, in partnership with the Israeli government, is implementing at least one pilot project in each of the seven provinces to use advanced technology in local farming practices.

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Michigan authorities seize raw milk butter, warn public about Shetler farm products

State officials are warning the public not to eat or drink raw milk products from a Michigan farm, as they are unauthorized and violate state laws.

Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) inspectors performing a routine check at a convenience store in Clare, MI, discovered that raw milk butter was being sold. They seized about 75 pounds of butter, which the retailer then voluntarily parted with, according to a public warning released by the department today.

The farm involved is operated by John Shetler in Morley, MI. It is breaking the state’s milk manufacturing law because its facility is unauthorized and has not been inspected, according to the department.

It is not yet known whether Shetler distributes other raw milk products. Retail stores selling products from the Shetler Farm, an unauthorized and unapproved source, are subject to regulatory action under the Michigan Food Act.

The butter in question was packaged in clear plastic one-pound containers and labeled “NON-GMO SWEET CREAM BUTTER with Himalayan Salt”.

“Our food and dairy inspectors are committed to ensuring that the foods we give to our families are produced safely and free from foodborne pathogens, but that requires a partnership with those we let’s regulate to make it happen, ”said MDARD Director Gary McDowell. .

“Under the Michigan Food Act, MDARD is responsible for licensing and inspecting food manufacturing facilities and food retail establishments to protect public health and ensure a safe food supply. and healthy. Food offered for sale must be made in licensed and inspected facilities, which this farm was not. “

All retailers who have raw milk products from Shetler’s operation should immediately remove the products from sale, keep them in a safe place away from any sales area, and contact their MDARD food inspector, according to the alert from the State Department.

Raw milk is milk that has not been pasteurized to kill harmful bacteria. This and products made with it may contain dangerous pathogens, such as Brucella, Campylobacter, Cryptosporidium, E. coli, Listeria, and Salmonella, which can pose serious health risks.

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3 days of organic farm products mela kick start in subedari

Hanamkonda: The Annadata Organic Farmers Cooperative Society, backed by Bala Vikasa, a leading NGO promoting sustainable agriculture through organic farming, held a three-day organic Mela on Sunday at the auditorium of the University College of the Arts and sciences from Subedari to Hanamkonda.

Chief Whip D Vinay Bhaskar, who inaugurated the mela, said: “Bala Vikasa has implemented many programs and activities to help farmers practice organic farming. I pledge my support and cooperation for the creation of similar stands and for the development and promotion of a digital platform for Warangal organic farmers on the lines of ”

“Organic mela is our attempt to improve farmer-consumer relations and provide farmers with better market offers. said Shoury Reddy Singareddy, executive director of Bala Vikasa. Farm-fresh, hand-picked, naturally grown, chemical-free and certified organic produce were on display in the mela. Hanamkonda ACP Jithender Reddy was among others present.

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“Nightmare” experience moving agricultural products through California ports right now


I’m Clinton Griffiths with today’s AgDay Minute.

A “nightmare” is what agricultural exporters say they are currently experiencing while trying to move agricultural products through California ports. An increase in freight volumes, reduced port labor and other issues have contributed to a shortage of sea containers. Shippers trying to export California crops and commodities say they have suffered canceled reservations, increased costs and concerns over lost business. They fear that the problems will subside for weeks or even months.

And shipping issues aren’t good news if you’re enjoying that morning cup of coffee. It is reported that the coffee supply in the United States is decreasing and wholesale prices are increasing due to the global shortage of shipping containers. Coffee stocks have fallen to their lowest level in six years in the United States, even though Brazil has a record harvest. Experts say shipping costs have more than doubled from Latin America.

One thing Americans have stocked up on is meat. New data shows grocery store sales of meat climbed 20% between 20-19-2020. The North American Meat Institute, also claiming that three in four Americans agree that meat is part of a healthy, balanced diet. This is almost 20% more than last year. And almost all American households, over 98%, bought meat in the last year.

For more information on farming, watch AgDay, weekdays on this station. Or at any time… on Plus, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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Laboratory test to boost the export of farm products

| Update:
March 20, 2021 10:05:27 PM

The proposed action plan to boost the export of agricultural products appears to be just a routine exercise as it tends to view high yield as the main factor in increasing exports. What is in fact equally, if not more, important besides the productivity and diversification of agricultural products is the crucial need to bring them into conformity with the various requirements of sanitary, phytosanitary and other technical standards of importing countries. . For a long time, meeting the compliance needs of target markets has been a problem for exporting Bangladesh’s agricultural products – mainly vegetables – to their potential. However, as the volume of exports was low, exporting was not considered too strong a deterrent. But in recent years, the compliance protocol has become of real concern, making exports nearly impossible unless shipments absolutely comply with quality and various other compliance standards which vary from country to country. So, when it comes to increasing the exports of agricultural products, one of the most important aspects is to make sure that the items meet the standards and compliance standards specific to each country.

It is relevant to note that compliance does not only mean quality, but the processes involved in production and pre-shipment testing protocols which must comply with the mandatory requirements of the importing country. This is where laboratory testing plays a key role in conformity assessment. At present, there are testing laboratories in the country, but the lack of coordination and poor or deficient adherence to the quality and technical standards set by the importing countries has led to a feeling of uncertainty about the acceptance of their certification in foreign markets. Equipping laboratories with modern technology and skilled labor is therefore essential to significantly increase exports of agricultural products. The number of laboratories capable of doing the job with appropriate international accreditation are only a few and, therefore, they are not able to meet the requirements of a representative sample of products. In this context, obtaining accreditation for an increased number of local laboratories should be a priority for the authorities. Accreditation will also facilitate testing of exportable food products – both primary and processed – before shipment.

Accreditation is an international practice in which certification of competence, authority or credibility is presented. Organizations that issue credentials or certify third parties are themselves formally accredited by accreditation bodies. The testing laboratories accredited to perform the work are thus responsible for ensuring compliance with established technical requirements involving physical, chemical, forensic, quality and safety standards.

Now that the relevant authorities are reportedly working on the action plan to boost the export of agricultural products, they must also consider adequate laboratory testing facilities as a prerequisite. In fact, in the opinion of industry insiders, had there been proper testing facilities in the country, the export of agricultural products and products, especially vegetables, would have already marked a significant increase not only in traditional markets but also in new markets.

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