Siri Erickson-Brown and Sam Bowhay, owner and manager, respectively, of Local Roots, welcomed Ben and a few other local farmers.
In the farm’s processing area, Sam showed Ben the farm’s Food Safety Manual, a response to the forthcoming food safety regulations proposed by the Food and Drug Administration in compliance with the Food Safety Modernization Act
. Adjusting to new food safety regulations is expensive and time consuming – Sam spent over 40 hours this winter learning about food safety regulations and creating the manual – so we are glad to see funding in the latest federal budget for the new Food Safety Outreach Program.
This season-extending greenhouse was funded by a Specialty Crop Block Grant
administered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Ben was impressed to see the impacts of this program, which he worked on farm bill language for, in person.
The full diversity of Local Roots’ crops is on display in the starts greenhouse. We discussed how diversification acts as a form of risk management for farms, talked about the need for more projects like that at Hearty Roots Farm in New York
to make farm bill programs work better for diversified farms, and the pros and cons of Whole Farm Revenue Insurance
The tour wrapped up with some local bounty for refreshments and casual conversation on the farm pad.
Thanks to Local Roots Farm, Sam, and Siri for hosting, to Ben Barasky for lending us your afternoon, and to Congresswoman DelBene for supporting sustainable faming!