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Seminar Announcement -- Free and Open to the Public!

Please join us tomorrow, Nov 13, for a special UVM Plant and Soil 
Science Seminar.

Vermont farmers Takeshi and Linda Akaogi will give a presentation on the 
Introduction of Commercial Rice Production in the Northeast.

The Akaogi family has been farming for 29 years -- 24 years at their 
current 10-acre farm (a part of the Earthbridge Community Land Trust) in 
Westminster West, Vermont. Currently both Linda and Takeshi are both 
full-time farmers and do not have any hired help.

> From the beginning, the Akaogis have farmed organically, selling their
vegetables, fruit, honey and eggs only to local markets (Community 
Supported Agriculture, Brattleboro Area Farmers’ Market, local coops and 
restaurants).
Since 2002, Vermont Organic Farmers (VOF) has certified them as organic.

Linda and Takeshi have designed their farm landscape ecologically by 
putting a buffer zone on the North and West borders and planting various 
trees for windbreaks and wildlife. Next to the buffer zone, they located 
fruit trees (apple, peach, plums, pears, grapes, and quinces). Then, in 
the Southeast section, they have 3 greenhouses and the vegetable fields. 
They also have 100 laying hens and 6 beehives.

The impetus for their “Northern Rice Project”-- funded with a Northeast 
SARE Farmer grant -- stemmed from marginal land on their farm that they 
could not use for production of traditional fruits and vegetables.
Across the middle of their farm is a wetland and adjoining marginal 
land. They came up with the idea to try to grow rice in the marginal 
land, as rice is well suited to grow in waterlogged soil. Their 
intention is to have no impacts on identified/protected wetlands and to 
enhance marginal lands as wetlands for wildlife and other values. In 
2006, the Akaogis built a small rice paddy, and in 2007, they built two 
larger paddies. Last year (2008), they produced 467 lbs. of rough 
(unhulled) rice. Their presentation will cover the challenge of 
introducing rice as a new crop as well as discuss the integration of 
agriculture and conservation, including their approach to wetland and 
wildlife issues.

The seminar will be held on Friday, November 13 from 2:30 to 3:50 pm at 
017 Hills Building, University of Vermont campus.

It is free and open to the public. For more information, visit us on the 
web at: http://www.uvm.edu/~pss/?Page=pssdeptweb/seminar.htm

***
Deb Heleba
Vermont SARE Coordinator
University of Vermont Extension
[log in to unmask]

Information on NE SARE and our mini-grants programs (proposals due 
soon!) can be found at: http://nesare.org/

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