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Archive for August, 2011

Excellent discussion in yesterday’s New York Times Room for Debate section. It raises serious questions about how we value labor in this country and what paths exist to the middle class for both native-born and foreign-born workers alike. The reality is that Latino labor plays a critical role in the American economy, even at a time of record high unemployment.

In my research on U.S. Agriculture and in conversations with farmers, the role of Latino workers is very prevalent. Latino’s bring certain sector and industry specific skills to areas like agriculture. And Latino’s from rural parts of Latin America may even represent a possible solution to the increasing age of the North American Farmer.

Could U.S. Farms Survive Without Illegal Labor?

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Open till 6pm today. Small market with mainly small scale farmers offering up the heart of the summer. Melons, eggplants, squash, tomatos, corn, onions, potatoes, etc.

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Provides for $90.6 million in grants to counties, towns and non-profit organizations for farmland preservation. NJ Voters approved $400 million for open space preservation in 2009. The money allocated in this bill is less than 23% of the money approved by voters though. While this is a good allocation, I would hope that we will see more concerted efforts by the Christie administration to make farming and the redevelopment of the food industry in New Jersey a priority. We have what other productive agricultural states do not: Location, Location, Location!

Story from the Asbury Park Press is here.

I’d like to see the open space monies from the 2009 referendum allocated along these lines:

40% Farmland Preservation
40% Watershed Protection
20% Parks and Recreation

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Both USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack and Governor Christie have proclaimed the week of August 7th Farmers Market Week.

New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Doug Fisher will be joined by USDA Regional Administrator Patricia Dombroski in celebrating New Jersey Foods and New Jersey Farmers Markets in Seaside Park at 11am.

The Seaside Park Farmers market is at Marina Field at the corner of J and Central Streets.

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Wow! My patio tomatoes are growing strong, but bearing few tomatoes right now. This greenhouse “tree” is pretty cool!

The Nine Foot Tall Rutgers Tomato Tree.

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