Our Events

CRAFT Workshops
Advanced Growers Seminar
Other Training, Webinars & Conferences

CRAFT Workshops

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.

Garman Organic Farm

Garman Organic Farm

Celeriac, Tat Soi and the Gilfeather Turnip: Growing Specialty Crops for Fall and Winter Markets
Garman Organic Farm
Elizabeth Lane, Middletown, RI
Tuesday, Sept. 15, 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.
Rain date: Thursday, Sept. 17, 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.
Free CRAFT Workshop
Directions here.

Learn the benefits of fall production using low tunnels for 15 varieties of specialty greens and snow peas that thrive through Thanksgiving. Jim and Michelle Garman will also discuss numerous root crops including golden ball turnips, daikon and watermelon radishes, celeriac and gilfeather turnips. Some chefs and consumers need a reminder that local farms can supply great greens and produce through the fall using season extension techniques. Jim and Michelle will share their marketing tips for success as well as their planting calendar.

The Garmans farm because food is their passion. They select and grow crop varieties for their delicious taste. Many cultivars are listed on Slow Food, USA’s “Ark of Taste.” Jim and Michelle are increasingly frustrated with our deceptive food system that refuses to require labeling of genetically-modified organisms (GMOs).

View inside low tunnels at Garman Organic Farm

Inside low tunnels at Garman Organic Farm

Garman Organic Farm is family-owned and operated, specializing in heirloom vegetables and small fruits on 3.5 acres in Middletown, RI. Jim and Michelle raise food for a 60-member CSA, The Green Grocer, A Market Natural Foods, Malt Broadway and Fluke.

The Garmans grow on farmland leased from Sustainable Aquidneck and the Aquidneck Land Trust and is nearing the end of its “Transitional Organic” period. The farm expects to be Certified Organic in May this year. Jim and Michelle use organic production techniques including building organic matter with amendments of compost, seaweed and manure, rotate crops, keep soils covered with mulches and winter cover crop blends and plant diverse crops. Learn more here.

This workshop is co-hosted by the Aquidneck Land Trust‘s and a part of their 25th anniversary Walk and Talk Series.

Advanced Growers Seminar

Jean Martin Fortier - The Market Gardener

Jean Martin Fortier – The Market Gardener

Six Figure Farming for Small Plots
Jean Martin Fortier, farmer and author of The Market Gardener
Saturday, Nov. 21, 9:00 am – 4:30 pm
Hope & Main
691 Main St. Warren, RI 02885

Learn how to farm big on small acreage using low-tech, low-fossil fuel methods of production from one of Canada’s most innovative ecological farmers.

Advanced registration recommended. Fee includes lunch. Beginning Farmer Workshares available. Sponsors include Hope & Main.

9:00-9:30         Registration
9:30-10:30       Farm set up and design for biologically intensive cropping systems
10:45-12:00     Alternative machinery, minimum tillage techniques and use of the best hand tools for the market garden
1:00-2:00         Morning session continues
2:15-3:00         Best practices for weed and pest management
3:00-4:30         Develop a systematic approach to crop planning and season extension

Registration (includes lunch) Early Bird (by Oct. 24) Regular (by Nov 17) Walk-In (after Nov. 17)
Adult $60 $70 $80
Workshare Volunteer $45 $55 n/a
Student/Senior $45 $55 $65

Register Here (includes lunch)

The Market Gardener - 1.5 acres of perennial crops

The Market Gardener – 1.5 acres of perennial crops

Other Training, Webinars & Conferences

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 clasroom 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.

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

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.

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. 

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