Join NOFA/RI at Rhody Ag Day

Jan Martin at NOFA/RI exhibit at the 2014 Rhody Ag Day

Jan Martin at NOFA/RI exhibit

Celebrate Rhode Island farms and farmers at with NOFA/RI at Rhode Island’s Agriculture Day on Tuesday, May 10 starting at 11:30 am at the Rhode Island State House. Stop by the NOFA/RI exhibit and share your support for our state’s organic growers.

Sample great food, see local products and meet the hard working people behind Rhode Island’s food system and green industry.

RI State House

RI State House

Meet representatives from the organizations and agencies that support agriculture and food production across our state.

Government leaders typically hold a press conference in early afternoon. Past announcements have included Local Agriculture and Seafood Act (LASA) grant program awards.

Seed Starting Workshop at Chase Farm

Harry with his vegetable and herb plants by the Blue Begonia Bus

Harry with his vegetable and herb plants by the Blue Begonia Bus

The next Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training (CRAFT) workshop called “Turn Seeds into Profits” will be held Tuesday, March 8, from 5:15 to 6:45 p.m. (weather date, Wednesday, March 9) at Chase Farms, 1681 West Main Road, Portsmouth, RI.

Start with good seed, treat it right and you will end up with strong healthy plants. Hear about successful propagation techniques from experienced vegetable and herb growers Harry and Sam Chase of Chase Farms. Learn which seedlings benefit from heated benches, compost or other soil amendments. Hear the pros and cons of drip and overheard irrigation systems versus hand watering.The CRAFT workshop series shares farmer and grower experiences and best practices between farmers, farm workers and gardeners. NOFA/RI CRAFT workshops are free thanks to a generous Farm Viability grant though the RI Department of Environmental Management’s Division of Agriculture, which seeks to enhance farmers’ ability to grow and market their specialty crops. Everyone is welcome. Registration is not required for CRAFT Workshops.

See one of the first mechanical seeders in commercial production – still going strong. Watch the repotting line in action. Experience creative solutions to tedious chores like moving hundreds of trays and flats with a plant “trolley” and repurposed golf ball racks. The Chases maximize space efficiency with rolling benches and stack trays for delivery in their Blue Begonia Bus – a repurposed soda delivery truck.

Enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour at this wholesale annual and perennial nursery serving garden centers and landscapers. Chase Farms grows in 25 greenhouses and high tunnels making it the “largest grower in the smallest state.” The Chases and their customers practice environmentally conscious cultivation.