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GVOCSA Article Archive: Previously Published Material

Elizabeth Thanks All for the August Party

Thank you for the lovely party yesterday at Mary and Tom's! It was both an honor and a great pleasure to be the recipient of so much loving attention. I am still blushing with delight and embarrassment. . . .

Farms Without Toads: The Canary Banished from the Mine

Regulators and agro-industrialists have decreed that the toads and frogs, snakes and lizards, small mammals and other newly-designated interlopers are unacceptable vectors of disease and must be kept out of the vegetable patch by any means necessary. . . .

Organic Agriculture, World Hunger and Global Warming (report from the IFOAM Organic World Congress and General Assembly)

From June 17 through 24, 2008, I had the honor and pleasure of representing NOFA at "Cultivate the Future," the 16th Organic World Congress and General Assembly of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) in Modena and Vignola, Italy. The organizers of the conference did not shy away from the big issues. . . .

Keynote Address: Northeast Organic Farming Association, Massachusetts Chapter, January 2008

I am very excited to be here today to celebrate the 25th anniversary of NOFA-MA. The year 2008 is a year of many celebrations ? the 20th anniversary of GVOCSA, the 10th anniversary of Peacework Farm, and my 65th birthday. . . .

Teikei and the Japanese Organic Agriculture Association

Much to my surprise, one late August afternoon at the IFOAM conference, in Victoria, I found myself surrounded by a group from the Japanese Organic Agriculture Association. . . .

"Spirit of Organic" Award to Elizabeth Henderson

This year, for the annual organic dinner at the Natural Foods Expo sponsored by New Hope Natural Media and the Organic Trade Association, the theme was "Spirit of Organic: Honoring Women in Organics. . . ."
Keynote Address: Michigan CSA Conference, October 2004
Elizabeth Henderson's Presentation to the Michigan CSA Conference.
Keynote Address: Upper Midwest Organic Farming Conference, February 2004
Elizabeth Henderson's Presentation to the Upper Midwest Organic Farming Conference with the following reply to Samuel Fromartz:


In his recent book, Organic, Inc.: Natural Foods and How They Grew, Samuel Fromartz uses passages of my 2004 keynote at the Upper Midwest Organic Farming Conference to characterize the "backlash" against industrial organic. Although he took the time to interview many of the people in organic agriculture whose stories he tells in this book, he did not check in with me. I would have pointed out that he misnamed my keynote as "Who SHOULD own Organic?" when I called it "Growing Our Roots." While I am happy to be associated with Wendell Berry, Fromartz refers to me as an "agrarian," who would prefer that organic remain a "kind of agrarian niche in the food system. . . ."

I have never upheld the notion of organic as "niche" food. I believe that in a sustainable system, smaller, family-scale farms will once again replace industrialized agriculture. Food staples will come from local and regional networks of small and middle-sized farms, farming cooperatives and urban gardens, and only treats, such as coffee and chocolate, will come from more distant regions. For this to occur, we will have to dismantle the mega-multinational corporations and return power to ordinary working people, organized, as Wendell Berry suggests, in the party of the local economy. We will have to redistribute farm land and decentralize political control. -- Elizabeth Henderson

The Robyn Van En Center

The GVOCSA Core has made a contribution of $300 from membership fees to support the work of the Robyn Van En Center for Community Supported Agriculture Resources. . . ."

Elizabeth Henderson's Cornell Speech (2002)

Ever since I returned to New York in 1988, NOFA has been asking Cornell to allocate some of its farmland to research in organic agriculture that would benefit organic farmers and other farmers as well. . . ."

A Well Oiled Machine (interview with Elizabeth Henderson)

If current trends hold for the next few decades, community-supported agriculture will make steady inroads against the domination of corporation-supported monoculture. . . ."

Social Stewardship Standards

The movement for organic and sustainable agriculture has done a tremendous amount of work over the past two decades creating production standards for organic farming and processing. . . ."


Socially conscious gardeners these days consider using hybrid seed politically questionable. For a home garden, the open pollinated varieties are, for the most part, satisfactory. On the scale at which we are producing some vegetables at Peacework, however, we need some hybrids. Why?"

The Safety of Organic Food

If we limit the concept of food safety to freedom from contamination by pathogenic microbes, the three main potential sources of contamination of fresh produce are water, manure, animal or human, and worker hygiene. . . .

Food and Agriculture in the United States by Elizabeth Henderson

"You Are What You Eat" and "Know Your Farmer" are the slogans of the New York Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (NYSAWG), a coalition of farming, environmental, farmworker, and faith groups of which I chair the board.. . .

"Too deeply flawed to fix" by Jon Greenbaum

The Consensus within the Organics industry appears to be that we should reject the proposed USDA standards which allow sewage sludge, food irradiation, genetic engineering, factory farming (the use of intensive confinement feedlots and factory production methods practiced on farm animals), and animal cannibalism (the practice of including diseased rendered cows in cow feed). . . .

Update on Sewer Sludge by Suzanne Wheatcraft

On Sunday, Feb. 15th, at 2 PM at the Monroe Ave. Genesee Coop, Jack Ossont, Vice Chair of the Yates Co. Soil and Water District Board, gave a free talk and presentation on "Irradiated Sewer Sludge is Good for You". . . .

Vermicomposting at home by Colleen Fogarty

When I moved last August, I wondered what I was going to do with my organic waste now that I no longer had a suitable place for a compost pile. As I was lamenting the possibility of landfilling all the wonderful fruit and vegetable scraps, my partner Jeff suggested the idea of setting up a worm bin. . . .

Keynote Address: Upper Midwest Organic Farming Conference, 1999

Elizabeth Henderson's Presentation to the Upper Midwest Organic Farming Conference, 1999.

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