NOFA-NY Field Notes


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From Field to Film to You!

From Field to Film to You!

In our effort to provide up-to-date, practical assistance to farmers and gardeners without demanding too much of their valuable time, NOFA-NY is once again adding to its offerings of online technical assistance, field days, workshops and conferences.

Thanks to Patricia Gately, our event coordinator, who wrote this blog about our three new two-minute videos created to be shared on our Technical Assistance page. These videos—developed with the support of the USDA’s Risk Management Agency—will offer practice tips and information on topics of common interest and emphasize best practices to secure successful outcomes.

The topics for these videos, similar in format to last year’s “Healthy Beekeeping Tips” video by Pat Bono of NY Bee Wellness, are:

  • “Benefits of Trellising” for farmers and gardeners raising or considering raising trellised greenhouse tomatoes for greater yield
  • “High Tunnel Soil Health” for farmers using high tunnels to extend their season, and
  • “Seed Quality Standards for Success” for farmers and consumers concerned about seed quality

So, one might ask, how are these videos made? Can’t anyone with a smartphone and a chatty expert record two minutes of gab? Is that sufficient these days? And two minutes is nothing; after all, YouTube is full of examples! But we wanted these to stand the test of time and deliver solid content, so we enlisted Mason Digital, LLC of Penfield, NY.  Mason’s Jim Dennis provided invaluable direction on how to identify focused content for scripts and B-roll film and coached us through the nerve-wracking on-film interviews. With his many years of experience behind the camera, videographer Chris Colley knew how to capture images that are both informative and compositionally interesting. We’re proud of all three of these nicely-paced, focused and concise short films, and believe you'll get a lot out of them as well. 

high tunnel tomatoes

When the day came for the tomato shoot, Jim and Chris were great sports. On-site in late July at Growing Family Farms in Spencerport, the day was sunny and clear, with the bluest skies overlooking beautiful rows of well-irrigated, idyllic fields and rows of vegetables. It was also in the mid to upper 90s with little breeze, and a whole lot hotter in the greenhouse, where much of the B-roll filming took place. Stepping out of the greenhouse was a relief (“Hey, it’s not so bad out here!”), but not for long. So, with bottled water in hand, the crew and host, Paul Loomis were finally situated for the interview, using an open-ended hoop house for the backdrop. Prompted by Jim, Paul talked about what he knows and loves - again and again ("Say the same thing another way, it’s ok"), about trellising tomatoes but also about why he farms in the first place. After editing and splicing, adding voiceover and background music, the finished product, we think, is a fine little piece of film – and with no hint of the heat!

All three videos will be posted on our Technical Assistance page by September 29. Be sure to check them out next month! Many thanks to Paul Loomis, Judson Reid, Luke Gianforte, and Michael Loos for their contribution of time and expertise!

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