Our Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training (CRAFT) workshop series shares farmer experiences and best practices between farmers, farm workers, apprentices and gardeners.
NOFA/RI CRAFT workshops are free thanks to a generous Farm Viability grant from the RI Department of Environmental Management’s Division of Agriculture which seeks to enhance farmers’ ability to grow and market their crops. Everyone is welcome. Registration is not required for CRAFT Workshops.
Raise better vegetables with chickens in crop rotations
June 23, 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Rain date: June 30, 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Big Train Farm
35 Pippin Orchard Rd, Cranston, RI 02921
John Kenny will explain how rotating 125 organic chickens around his 2-acre certified organic farm has improved produce yields at Big Train Farm. Beginning and experienced growers will learn how to improve soil biology, fertility and specialty crop yields by including a chicken tractor in their crop rotation plans.
This 2-acre farm is one of seven incubator farms at Urban Edge Farm, owned by Southside Community Land Trust. Established in 2008, Big Train Farm sells produce and eggs through a 25-week mix-and-match CSA and wholesale accounts. CSA customers may also purchase weekly shares of fruits, flowers, meats and breads from other growers, producers and restaurants.
John is a NOFA/RI Organic Farm Advisor specializing in tractor operations, soil test interpretation and field planning. Each year John offers a 3-part workshop on Soil Health and Plant Science for farmers and gardeners. His courses include basic soil science, crop science and soil maintenance principles focused on organic growing techniques. He also hosts workshops on agriculture, natural science and field botany.
Other Training, Webinars & Conferences
- ServSafe Food Safety Manager Class, Apr. 3 – 4, Hope & Main, Warren, RI makefoodyourbusiness.org/events/workshops-training
- Soil & Plant Science Workshops, Apr. 4, Providence, RI bigtrainfarm.com/2015/02/16/soil-and-plant-science-three-course-series
- Harvesting Rhode Island – Local Growers Share Stories of Toil and Soil, Apr. 5, (RI PBS TV series) http://bit.ly/HarvestingRI
- RI Raised Livestock 2015 Annual Meeting, Apr. 6, West Greenwich, RI rirla.org/annual-meeting.htm
- Legal Basics for Food Startups, Apr. 6, Hope & Main, Warren, RI makefoodyourbusiness.org/events/workshops-training
- Farm to Institution Summit 2015, Apr. 7 – 9, UMASS/Amherst farmtoinstitution.org/summit
- New York Nut Growers Association meeting, Apr. 18, Liberty, NY nynga.org
- Processing Food for Sale from Your RI On-farm Residential Kitchen, Apr. 21 – 22, URI East Farm, Peacedale, RI, Register with email@example.com
- The Future of Water in Southeastern Massachusetts, Apr. 24, Plymouth, MA watershedaction.org
- HACCP Certification Class, Apr. 24 – 25, Hope & Main, Warren, RI makefoodyourbusiness.org/events/workshops-training
- Draft Animal Plowing, Apr. 25, Abington, CT ctnofa.org/Local_Event_Listings.htm
- Wellscroft Fence Building Clinic, May 2 or 3, Chesham, NH wellscroft.com/fence
- Hands-On Hog Slaughtering and Processing, May 3, Ware, MA nofamass.org/events
- Edible Wild Plant Walk with Hannah Jacobson-Hardy, May 17, Greenfield, MA nofamass.org/events
- RI Agriculture Day, May 28, Providence, RI
- CT Climate March - sponsored by 350CT.org. May 31, Hartford, CT ctnofa.org/Local_Event_Listings.htm
- Swiss Village Visitors Day, June 13, Newport, RI svffoundation.org
- Growing Vegetables For Health, Quality & Profit, June 14 & Sep. 13, Dartmouth, MA nofamass.org/events
- Biological Control Conference, June 18, UConn, Storrs, CT
- Seed Savers Exchange Conference & Campout, July 17 – 19, Decorah, IA seedsavers.org/conference-2015
- NOFA Summer Conference, Aug. 14 – 16, UMass/Amherst, MA nofasummerconference.org/callworkshops
- Wachusett Farm Fresh Festival, Aug. 29 & 30, Wachusett Mountain, MA wachusett.com/Events
- Growing Vegetables For Health, Quality & Profit, Sep. 13, Dartmouth, MA nofamass.org/events
- International Master Gardener Conference, Sept. 22 – 25, Council Bluffs, IA mastergardener.unl.edu/imgc2015
- New England Vegetable & Fruit Conference, Dec, 15 – 17, Manchester, NH NewEnglandVFC.org
On-line Organic Lawn Care Certificate Course
Consumer demand is increasing for organic lawn care. Boost your skills and reduce toxins in the environment. This 9-unit, non-college credit course is a complete introduction to managing grass and lawns organically and will cover how pesticide and fertilizer runoff harms water quality, provide technical training on organic lawn care practices, and discuss successful business and marketing strategies. Learn more at here or call 203-308-2584. Register here.
Farm Commons – Farm Business Law Webinars
Plan for a stable, resilient farm business with 13 free Farm Law Webinars in 2015. There will be 8 Farm Law Basics webinars and then 5 new Advanced Farm Law webinars. Learn, create and converse with farmers from across the country while applying the law to your specific situation. Learn more and register at Farm Commons.
NOFA/RI Organic Farm Advisor
Organic Farm Advisors assist beginning or transitioning farmers with sustainable and organic growing, harvesting, processing and sales techniques, business planning or organic certification. Learn more about this free service here.
Young Farmer Nights (YFN) Schedule
YFN connects farmers, aspiring farmers and farm allies from all backgrounds. This regional network and open to young and old. On-farm events often include a potluck supper and bonfire. Learn more and view the season’s schedule here.
Organic and Sustainable Agriculture Webinar Series
Oregon Tilth adn NRCS offer webinars on the first Tuesday of every month at 3 p.m Eastern Time. Learn more here.
See a variety of resource conservation webinars for free, Topics include Soil Health, Cropping Systems, Bioenergy, Energy, Biomass, Energy Policy, FOTG & Planning, Fish & Wildlife, Forestry, Forest Management and Wildlife. Learn more here.
URI Master Gardeners
Learn more here.
Learn about other related training events, farmers markets and more at our web calendar here.