The Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Jersey is marking it 27th of operation, promoting the benefits of organically, locally grown foods.

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In fact, NOFA-NJ were the original certifiers of organic produce in the Garden State, but that job now belongs to the Department of Agriculture, which took over 2006. However, the non-profit still remains very involved in the process.

Executive Director Camille Miller says NOFA-NJ tries to raise awareness that will lead to healthy food, healthy farms, and healthy families.

"It's nice to see your own state with local because the more local the food is, the better and nutritious it is for the people eating it," she explained.

The membership based non-profit has many education programs that aim to teach everybody from farmers down to the consumers about the pluses of organic products. Adding to the urgency of their cause is the current situation New Jersey finds itself in.

"Currently, the state of New Jersey can't feed itself, either organic or conventional," Miller cautioned, "We don't produce enough food just to feed our own people, which kind of a scary thought."

One particular initiative that NOFA-NJ is excited about is the upcoming Incubator Farmer Program, in which young farmers will grow an organic crop of need for 3 years before graduating.

"We are bringing beginner farmers back into the state of New Jersey because since 1950, we've lost about 10,000 farms."

A USDA grant will help fund this program, which is intended to keep these farmers in the state to eventual run their own operation on leased land. Miller estimates that 5 or 6 of these incubator farms should launch by the fall.

As for NOFA-NJ's ultimate goal?

Miller says, "To let people know how important it is, and the difference between organic food and local food compared to conventionally grown."

Learn more by visiting their website and Facebook page.


21st Annual Tour De Cure - American Diabetes Association

Across the county this year, bike riders will be participating in the American Diabetes Association's 21st annual Tour De Cure cycling event. The event helps raise funds to combat diabetes. More than 60,000 cyclists are expected to participate. In New Jersey, three events are scheduled. Basking Ridge will hold a cycling event at the Verizon Campus on June 3. On June 24, there will be a cycling event in Princeton at the Educational Testing Service campus. In September, Asbury Park will hold an event on the 15th at Bradley Park. To learn more, click here.

Volunteers In Medicine - Cape May County

For 10 years, Volunteers In Medicine of Cape May County has been providing medical care to uninsured Cape May County residents who have no access to health care. The clinic is operated by a small part-time staff and over 100 volunteers who include physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, RN's, LPN's and administrative and support volunteers. The clinic has served nearly 4,000 patients.