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2017 Winter Conference
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CRAFT On-Farm Workshop:  Season Extension With Caterpillar Tunnels

  • Date / Time: Saturday, April 22, 9:30 AM – Noon.

    Potluck Lunch to follow
    Host: Little River Farm, Camille Abdel-Nabi And Bob Payne
    Little River Farm, 125 William Reynolds Rd, Exeter, RI 02822. Directions here.

Free.  Register to save your spot.

This CRAFT on-farm workshop will focus on extending the vegetable growing season with caterpillar tunnels. There will be three segments: first a brief discussion of how Bob makes / uses caterpillar tunnels, and then a lengthy practical segment during which we move a tunnel(s), and finally a lunch potluck to discuss and socialize. We’ll be participating in the spring brassica planting.

Little River Farm is a 3- acre Certified Organic vegetable farm located in Exeter, RI, founded in 2013 and owned and managed by Bob Payne and Camille Abdel-Nabi. We are young farmers who use organic and sustainable practices to grow a wide variety of vegetables and herbs, including arugula, mesclun salad mix, bunched greens, root vegetables, heirloom tomatoes, peppers, and many others. We believe in providing high quality and delicious vegetables to our customers. We sell our produce through our CSA, at farmers markets, and wholesale to restaurants and food cooperatives. We use high tunnels and other season extension practices that allow us to harvest and sell vegetables throughout the winter. We believe in mentoring other young people who are interested in farming.

This CRAFT on-farm workshop is 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 NOT required, but encouraged as a courtesy for our host farmers.


CRAFT On-Farm Workshop: Propagation and Starting the Season in a Heated Greenhouse

Saturday, April 29, 2017 1-3pm

Farm Host Casey Farm
Casey Farm 2325 Boston Neck Road, North Kingstown, RI 02874
Directions

Free Registration Here.  Casey Farm farm manager Lindie Markovich and assistant manager Emily Cotter invite you into the sites greenhouses to see how our growing season begins. We use greenhouses to seed, nurture and protect delicate seedlings, to give them the healthiest, strongest start possible. We’ll also discuss our planning strategies for the growing season including our greenhouse seeding schedule, hardening off, transplanting dates, and answer that nagging questions asked of all farmers “what do you do all winter?”

Casey Farm is a 300acre property owned by the non-profit organization Historic New England. The property has been continually farmed, using organic practices, for hundreds of years. The farm currently runs a 150 member CSA program, hosts a summertime farmers market, a Spring Seedling Sale on Mother’s Day weekend, and reaches thousands of local school children in classrooms and on the farm where they learn about the importance of local and organic agriculture.


CRAFT On-Farm Workshop: Growing Sustainable Sod:
Soil Fertility through Cover Cropping and Plant Diversity.

Wednesday, May 17th,  5:30 -7  PM

Location: SODCO 264 Exeter Rd. Slocum, RI
Potluck barbecue to follow.  Directions

Workshop is FREE, but please  Resister Here to reserve a spot.

At this CRAFT On-Farm workshop, attendees will tour Sodco’s acreage of Microclover Black Beauty and learn about methods in sustainable sod farming. We use eco-friendly soil fertility methods such as cover cropping and plant diversity to help our fields thrive. Learn how these methods can be applied on your farms and landscapes.

Sodco comprises 526 acres of Green Certified farm land, including 35+ acres of Microclover Black Beauty, our drought-tolerant sustainable sod.Sodco works to reduce our environmental impact every year while still maintaining a high standard of turfgrass.

This workshop is co-sponsored by the Rhode Island Nursery and Landscape Association and NOFA/RI via a USDA grant from the RI DEM.  It is free and open to the public.  As with all our on-farm workshops, dress for the weather.  Registration NOT required, but encouraged.


CRAFT On-Farm Workshop: High Tunnel Tomato Production

Wednesday, June 7, 5:30 -7 PM

Host: Brandon Family
Brandon Family Farm, 592 Fairgrounds Rd, West Kingstown, RI
Directions

Workshop is FREE.  Registration is not required, but we do encourage it as a courtesy to our host farmers.  Please take a moment to Register here.

High Tunnel tomato production is one of most profitable and important crops for small diversified farming operations. High tunnels extend the growing season and increase marketable yields. This workshop is open to all but is geared to commercial production, it will briefly cover the basics and focus more on advanced management. Experienced growers are welcome to share information so we can all improve our production systems.

Topics will include:
*High Tunnel Design considerations for Tomato production.
*Trellis and pruning Systems
*Variety Selection and grafting
*Irrigation and Fertilization strategies, monitoring nutrition.
*Organic Pest and Disease Management

Brandon Family Farm is a certified organic produce farm started in 2015. In 2017 we will be growing about 4 acres of vegetables and strawberries and have ¼ acre in high tunnel production. Produce is marketed through farmer’s markets, restaurants and local supermarkets.


Livestock On-Farm Workshop: Watson Farm Grasslands Management
Forage Production for Grass Based Livestock

Tuesday, July 11, 6:00 -8 PM.  Free.  Register Here.

Host: Watson Farm
455 North Rd, Jamestown, RI 02835
Directions
This twilight Pasture Walk at Historic New England’s Watson Farm in Jamestown will be led by Don Minto and Chris Dvorak, Farm Managers, who have been managing Red Devon Cattle and sheep on these Historic grasslands for well over 35 years.
This discussion and tour will feature forage management practices that have
evolved and been implemented on Watson Farm’s extensive grasslands.  Some
topics that will likely be discussed are:

· The History of the “Grasses of Conanicut”
· Portable and Permanent Fences for Rotational Grazing
· The Graziers Eye: Farmers Footsteps
· Production of summer annuals for grazing, field renovation, &drought
· Stock Piling pastures for extending the grazing seasons
· Cattle selection and management for 100% Grass Fed & Finished Beef
· Pasture Fertility Management with Foliar Fish Spray
· The problem of forage degrading invasive plant species
· Developing forage streams for the grazing season
· Frost Seeding Legumes: Nitrogen fixation and improved palatable forage
· Wintering the cow/calf herd


CRAFT On-Farm Workshop: Earth Care Farm Compost Tour: Soil Fertility and Garlic Harvesting/Curing

Thursday, July 20th, 5:30pm

Location: Earth Care Farm 89 A Country Drive Charlestown, RI 02813
Directions

This on-farm workshop will focus on soil fertility and garlic harvesting and curing at Earth Care Farm. We’ll see the farm itself and learn about Earth Care’s 17 years of garlic seed saving, as well as their composting operation.

For more 40 years Earth Care Farm has been producing high quality farm-made compost that gardeners and landscapers, big & small have come to rely upon to enrich their soil naturally. The mission of Earth Care Farm is to joyfully help bring out the best & highest from within the earth by consciously returning the best to the earth.

This on-farm workshop made possible thanks to a generous Farm Viability grant though the RI Department of Environmental Management’s Division of Agriculture.

Everyone is welcome.  Registration is not required, but encouraged.  Please, Register FREE Here.

CRAFT On-Farm Workshop:  Evolving Greens Wash StationTuesday, June 19th at 5pm

Location: Wishing Stone Farm, 25 Shaw Rd, Little Compton, RI 02837

Description:

With FSMA (Food Safety Modernization Act) and CAPS (community Accreditation for Produce Safety) compliance at our door step, we will analyze our wash room’s pros and cons and discuss food safety issues.

Wishing Stone Farm’s growing methods are committed to sustainable agriculture and the protection of open space, while providing food for local communities. We started our farm in 1983 as early adopters of the organic movement. Our farm is located in Little Compton along the southeastern coast of Rhode Island. All totaled we farm about 40 acres around town, with over 15 greenhouse structures, a packing barn, a commercial kitchen and a retail market space.  Registration encouraged but not required.  Register here.


Related Training, Webinars, Conferences & Special Events

NOFA Summer Conference, Aug. 11 – 13, 2017, New Site: Hampshire College, Amherst, MA nofasummerconference.org.

 

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