RAFFL’s Summer Workshop Series (2012)
Questions about how to grow sweet corn organically? Wondering if those tools you see for small farms really work? RAFFL’s Summer Workshop Series is here to help!
This summer, RAFFL is partnering with the Northeast Organic Farming Association of VT (NOFA-VT) and Rural Vermont to bring summer workshops to our region. Even more exciting, each workshop is followed by a potluck social!
We hope that these events provide farmers and community members with new skills and knowledge, and provide opportunities to celebrate local farms and delicious, real food.
Questions? Contact Lindsay at email@example.com or (802) 417-7096.
Diversified CSA Management and Marketing
Monday, July 16, 3-5pm, followed by potluck
Groundworks Farm of Pittsford,VT MAP
Margaret Evans and Kevin Brown own and operate Groundworks Farm CSA in Pittsford. They produce about 10 acres of diversified organically grown vegetables; raise pastured pigs, pasture-raised chicken and pasture-raised eggs. They market all of their products almost exclusively through summer and winter CSAs. The workshop will include a general tour of the farm and Margaret and Kevin will talk about marketing for CSA and setting up efficient systems in order to manage a diversity of enterprises with minimal infrastructure or labor. The farm will host a potluck after the workshop, open to the community. Come and share the harvest!
Small Equipment & Tools for Vegetable Growers
Wednesday, August 1, 4-6 pm, followed by potluck
Alchemy Gardens of West Rutland, VT MAP
Join Johnny’s Selected Seeds tools manager and reps for a tool demonstration for
home gardeners and commercial growers. See weeding, seeding, transplanting, cultivating and harvesting tools in action, try the tools yourself, troubleshoot with tool experts, and learn how to set up a small high tunnel! Hosted at Alchemy Gardens, where Scott Courcelle & Lindsay Arbuckle are in their third year of growing mixed vegetables and herbs for sale year-round at the Rutland Farmers’ Market, local co-ops and restaurants. After the workshop, RAFFL will host a potluck mixer, so bring a dish if you’d like to stay and celebrate the season. Held in collaboration with NOFA-VT.
Greenhouse Tomato Production
Monday, August 6, 3-6pm, VOF social to follow
Woods Market Garden of Brandon, VT MAP
Join Jon Satz as he explains his strategies for managing roughly 8,000 sq. ft. of greenhouse space dedicated to the production of organic tomatoes. Jon will discuss grafting techniques, varietal selection, pruning, and disease and pest management-including unique environmental controls. The greenhouses, which are peak ventilated and heated primarily by biomass, will also be discussed. Jon has been farming at Wood’s Market Garden since 2000, and had started growing a decade before. The farm raises about 50 acres of organic crops, with a mix of vegetables and oilseeds. There are also several greenhouses for the production of bedding plants. The Vermont Organic Farmers social to follow will feature products from Woods Market Garden. Participate in tasting of certified organic products and provide input on VOF’s marketing campaign. Held in collaboration with NOFA-VT.
Organic Sweet Corn Production
Wednesday, August 8, 4-6:30 pm, followed by NOFAvore Social
Clear Brook Farm of Shaftsbury, VT MAP
Andrew Knafel, owner of Clear Brook Farm, has been growing organic sweet corn for 18 years, presently planting 6-8 acres annually. In this workshop, Andrew will focus on seeding techniques, discuss his homemade plate seeder, and explain why he uses transplants to get his corn started and the best ways to manage that process. Other topics will include organic pest control, weed control, and fertility management. Clear Brook Farm grows 25+ acres of certified organic produce and has approximately one half acre of greenhouses used in the production of bedding plants, organic tomatoes, raspberries, and field starts for the farm. The NOFAvore social to follow will feature products from Clear Brook Farm. Come and share a feast and provide input on NOFA-VT’s strategic plan. Organized by NOFA-VT. Registration requested for the social by calling (802) 434-4122.
Getting to Know Farm Fresh Meats
Sunday, August 26, 1-4 pm, potluck 6-8 pm
Pine Hollow Poultry of North Clarendon, VT MAP
RAFFL is partnering with Rural Vermont on this exciting event. Pine Hollow Poultry owner Scott Gordon teaches “How to Cut, Cook, and Extend Poultry” where a small group will learn to break down, brine, marinate, and cook chicken using a variety of methods, as well as making stock, soup, and arroz con pollo with the leftovers. The class will be followed by a “Meat & Greet Picnic Potluck” from 6 – 8 pm that will feature the chicken cooked at the workshop. Bring the family and a dish to share. Rain or Shine! The cooking class is $20-$40 sliding scale with advance registration required. The potluck is free. Come to one event, or come to both! To sign up for the class or RSVP for the potluck, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (802) 223-7222. More info at www.ruralvermont.org
Collaborative Marketing Workshop Series (2010) In partnership with the Intervale Center, farmers have an opportunity to learn creative ways to reach new markets by working with each other.
Workshop 1: Multifarm CSA models
Held November 16th at Champlain Orchards, this workshop introduced the concept of Multi-farm CSA’s. Here are the presentations given by Jill Perry Balzano, SARE researcher and Sona Desai, Intervale Food Hub Manager:
Workshop 2: In-depth Look at the Intervale Food Hub
At this workshop, we learned the details of the Food Hub, a farmer collaborative managed by the Intervale Center that aggregates, markets and distributes local vegetables, fruits, cheeses, eggs, meats and specialty products while returning a fair price to the farmers. The Food Hub model opens up new markets to farmers and provides security through early crop planning, while maintaining farm identity to the end customers and allowing farmers to participate in setting the price for their product.
Here is the presentation, given by Sona Desai of the Intervale Center:
One the same day, we also met with a group of growers and consumers in Charlotte VT about an online ordering system they have set up to facilitate local purchasing. The website is www.farmstandcoop.com.
BEGINNING FARMER SUMMER 2010 WORKSHOP SERIES
We just wrapped up this very successful series of six training workshops for new farmers. The workshop series was a collaboration between the Rutland Area Farm and Food Link and the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont.
Below, find a video of each workshop, and a link to the post where we’ve provided links to any handouts, worksheets and other resources discussed during each workshop.
Organic Pest and Disease Management
Greg Cox, owner, Boardman Hill Farm, West Rutland
Crop Planning – Succession Planting & Diversification Choices
Kenneth Mulder, Farm Manager, Cerridwen Farm at Green Mountain College
Small Farm Equipment: Safety and Maintenance
Richard Larson, Larson Farm, Wells VT
Business Strategies and Cheese
Hannah Sessions and Greg Bernhardt, Blue Ledge Cheese, Salisbury VT
Building Soils: Soil Testing, Composting, Amendments
Stephen Chamberlain, Dutchess Farm • Poultney
Marketing Strategies for the Small Farm
Michael and Philip Kilpatrick, Kilpatrick Family Farm, Granville NY