Actions for Sustainability
The word “sustainable” means more than just environmentally friendly, and many people define it differently, depending on how they relate to the term. There’s no strict definition and words like “environmentally friendly”, “natural”, “organic,” “green”, “recycle” and “renewable” are often used to describe “sustainability”. At its core, sustainability is defined as “able to be maintained at a certain rate or level”, and it can be used to describe many different methods and approaches that have the power to improve our way of life.
What can individuals can do to achieve sustainability? Engage personally. Own less. Reduce waste. Go solar. Grow your own food. Use your consumer dollars to voice your opinion and support sustainable, organic and biodynamic businesses.
What can businesses can do to achieve sustainability? Integrate sustainability into core business culture. Provide accurate product labeling. Lead with innovative design to reduce GHG emissions and create zero carbon landscapes. Design for climate change to reduce disaster risks.
In 2015, the Napa Local Food Advisory Council hopes to promote local food production by encouraging landowners to consider converting a piece of their property into food farming. In our county, there is an increasingly high demand for locally grown produce, as well as many outlets and opportunities to market and sell these goods. Read more here
Organic Certifications Interested in becoming an organic farmer? Organic food continues to grow in popularity. The California Organic Foods Act of 1990 requires organic farmers in Napa County to register every year with the Napa County Agricultural Commissioners’ office. If you’re interested in learning more about organic certification and organic production, these resources will help you find the information on certification and production in Napa County.
Resources for New or Existing Producers Anyone who wishes to sell at a farmers market must first obtain a Certified Producers Certificate from the Agricultural Commissioner in the county where the produce was grown. Explore the Online database for a New or Existing Producer’s Certificate here.
The California Department of Food & Agriculture also has resources to help interested parties learn more about regulations and register here.
California FarmLink – the mission of California FarmLink is to link independent farmers and ranchers to the land and financing they need for a sustainable future.
The National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service supplies information about organic certification and organic production options. These resources offer guidance in preparing for certification and in production methods for a range of organic crops and livestock.
California Agricultural Education supports the Future Farmers of America (FFA) program and teaches students how to succeed in agriculture and farming by making informed choices about their lives and careers. Learn more about their programs here and like the Napa Chapter of Future Farmers of America’s (FFA) on Facebook for the latest updates. St Helena also has an Agricultural Education Program & FFA Chapter that you can learn more about here.
Camp Napa Culinary: limited to just 14 attendees, the camp is run by Hugh Carpenter. Hugh teaches three of the participation cooking classes and hosts every event throughout the week-long program. The programs are created for travelers who want to combine a learning vacation with free time to pursue their own interests while in Napa Valley. Learn more.
Cooking with Julie: Wine country cooking classes given at Churchill Manor in Napa. Learn more.
Culinary Institute of America (CIA) offers World Class culinary training for future Wine County Chefs! To learn more or signup, visit their website.
Davis Farm to School Founded in 2000, Davis Farm to School supports the Davis Joint Unified School District in their goals to provide farm and garden-based education, increase farm fresh foods in school meals, and reduce solid waste through recycling and composting programs. Their is to create an educational and cultural environment in our schools that connects food choices with personal health, community, farms, and the land. Learn more.
Napa Chapter of Future Farmers of America (FFA) FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through Agricultural Education. Learn more about the Napa Chapter on their Facebook page.
Napa County Farm Bureau Ag in the Classroom is a popular program that offers lots of great educational activities for kids in Napa County. To learn more about these programs and what resources are available to Napa County teachers through the program, click here.
Napa County/UCCE 4H Club The 4-H Youth Development Program is a non-formal educational youth program conducted by the University of California Cooperative Extension. The purpose of 4-H Youth Development is to help diverse young people discover and develop their potential and grow into competent, contributing, and caring citizens. Learn more.
Napa Valley College Cooking School is located at the upvalley branch of Napa Valley College. This excellent school offers two-semester courses and graduates currently enjoy a 100% full employment rate. Learn more here.
Napa Whole Food Market Cooking Classes The Napa Whole Foods offers a variety of classes every week, see what’s happening next.
Vintage High Culinary Program & Farm St. Helena are local school programs are Regional Occupation Programs (ROP’s) providing high-quality career preparation classes and services to prepare youth (16 years of age and older) and adults for successful careers in the local culinary and agricultural fields. Learn more.
Policies provide structure, to guide the design and effective management of resources and ensure safety and uniformity. This concept can be applied to food or to the land, air, water or other resources needed to grow food, and even to the methods used for growing and producing that food. We’ve provided a few links to information on a variety of local and state policies that will help you begin your quest to grow, make, sell or market your own food products.
Culinary Garden Approved Source Are you looking for local producers to source local produce from? Visit the Napa County Culinary Garden List of Approved Sources.
Do you want to grow food to sell to local restaurants? If so, you need to become an approved source. Visit the Napa County Culinary Garden Approved Source Application provided by County of Napa Environmental Health to those interested in becoming an Approved Source.
Cottage Food Regulations Want to prepare and package your own foods for sale? As of Jan. 1, 2013, state law allows private homes to be used for preparation and packaging of some food products for sale to consumers under certain conditions. Find more information about the requirements for Cottage Foods here.
Napa County Beekeeping Ordinance Honey bees are vital to our local environment, both as pollinators and for the sweet honey they create as a by-product of their foraging. The Napa County – Beekeeping ordinance serves as a guideline for standard honeybee management in Napa County Ensuring the best beekeeping practices are used by our local beekeepers, strengthens and protects these important members of our local agricultural community. Reflecting today’s industry standards for safe and proper beekeeping, Best Management Practices were approved by the Napa County Beekeepers Association and encompass important factors like hive placement, flight path screening, hive management, and disease control.
Napa County Best Management Practices for a Garden to Become and “Approved Source” Locally grown, fresh fruit and vegetables benefit the consumer, the environment and the community as a whole. Contamination of fruits and vegetables can occur any time from planting through food preparation, so the best approach to maintaining the wholesome nature of your culinary garden’s harvest is to be aware of potential risks and to establish and implement commonsense practices that will minimize contamination. To learn more about certification for “Approved Source” gardens in Napa County visit the Napa County Environmental Health Department’s website.
Napa County Local Food Policies FAQs To learn more about local food policies in Napa County, read the downloadable version of the draft Food Council FAQs here. The Local Food FAQ is a resource for members of the community who will benefit from a compendium of local food policies about growing/raising and using/selling local food products. Local Food FAQ is a work in progress and should not be considered a final draft.