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CRAFT Workshops

NOFA/RI’s Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training (CRAFT) workshop series shares farmer experiences and best practices between farmers, farm workers, apprentices and gardeners.

These CRAFT workshops are possible 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 crops. Everyone is welcome. Registration is not required for CRAFT Workshops.

Little State FlowersLittle State Flowers Means Business in the Ocean State
Monday, June 13, 5:30 pm
Little State Flower Company
38 Heaton Orchard Road
West Kingston RI 02892
Co-Hosted by Young Farmer Nights
Directions here.

Anna Jane Kocon will discuss her experience starting a farm business in Rhode Island. Hear about her search for land and arranging a lease. Learn how Anna markets her flowers Saturdays at the Aquidneck Growers Market in Middletown and how she retains her existing customer base and finds new customers.

Young Farmer Nights potluck supper will follow the workshop. Please bring food or beverages to share, as well as your dish, cup and flatware.

Little State Flower displayBased in Portsmouth, RI, Little State Flower Company specializes in seasonal, local cut flowers and plants. Anna Jane uses sustainable and organic growing practices to offer premium, specialty cut flowers to the floral design and event industry in Rhode Island and South Eastern Massachusetts as well as local retail consumers. Anna Jane started Little State Flower Company in 2014 with 8 years experience growing flowers for other farmers. Anna Jane lives with her husband Bradley, two dogs, one cat and six chickens in West Kingston, RI

Ben Torpey at Scratch Farm

Ben Torpey at Scratch Farm

Building Soil Fertility on 2 acres with Reduced Tillage, Cover Crops and Mulches
Wednesday, June 29, 5:30 pm
Scratch Farm and Small State Seeds
35 Pippin Orchard Road, Cranston, RI
Co-Hosted by Young Farmer Nights
Directions here.

Ben Torpey of Scratch Farm will discuss strategies for building organic matter and reducing weed pressure through undersowing cover crops, mulching with leaves and reducing primary tillage. He will also touch on Scratch’s crop rotation and integrating small-scale seed production into a highly diversified vegetable farm.allia panorama

Young Farmer Nights potluck supper will follow the workshop. Please bring food or beverages to share, as well as your dish, cup and flatware. Enjoy your dinner around a bonfire.

Scratch Farm is a two-acre farm near Providence, RI. One of seven independent farms on a 35-acre state-owned property managed with the Southside Community Land Trust, Scratch Farm grows a wide variety of sustainably-grown vegetables and fruits each year. Produce is available through CSA shares and to Providence restaurants through Little City Growers.

Compost & Raspberries at Earth Care Farm

Compost & Raspberries

Rhubarb, Raspberries and Garlic – Oh, What a Difference Compost Makes!
July 27, 5:30
Earth Care Farm
89 Country Drive, Charlestown, RI 02813
Co-Hosted by Young Farmer Nights
Directions here.

Drying garlic

Drying garlic

Sam Fox of Earth Care Farm will demonstrate how Earth Care Farm’s slow compost benefits their annual and perennial crops like raspberries, rhubarb, orchards and garlic. Compost helps build organic matter and reduce weed pressure when used as mulch. Learn about income opportunities and relevant regulations for small and medium farm-scale composting. The farm tour will include a walk through Earth Care Farm’s compost operation and the polyculture orchard, a playground for farm family and staff. The farm’s Black Angus herdsman, Wild Bill and the farm manager, John Barth will demonstrate how compost builds pasture and forage quality for their livestock.

Young Farmer Nights potluck supper will follow the workshop. Please bring food or beverages to share, as well as your dish, cup and flatware. Enjoy your dinner around a bonfire.

Earth Care Farm

Earth Care Farm

Earth Care Farm is a diversified, holistically managed farm offering Pick Your Own strawberries, peas, carrots, raspberries and rhubarb. The farm has been saving and selling garlic seed and produces screened compost, raised bed mix and custom-blended potting soil. Bagged products are available in many locations around the state. Learn more at www.earthcarefarm.com.

Related Training, Webinars, Conferences & Special Events

See an international list of horticultural conferences at hortcalendar.com and local events at semaponline.org/events.

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 are 8 Farm Law Basics webinars and 5 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.

Small Business Training
The Center for Women in Enterprise and the Small Business Administration offer classroom and on-line training. Learn more here.

NOFA/RI logoNOFA/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 NetworkYoung 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.

NOFA/Mass Growing Webinars
View free webinars offered by NOFA/Mass on the final Tuesday of each month from 7 – 8 p.m. See future webinar topics and view past webinars here.

Plant and Gardening Fairs and Events
See the All Things Plants events calendar.

Organic and Sustainable Agriculture Webinar Series 
Oregon Tilth and NRCS offer webinars on the first Tuesday of every month at 3 p.m Eastern Time. Learn more here.

Conservation Webinars
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.

URI Master Composters
Learn more here.

Learn about other related training events, farmers markets and more at our web calendar here