Join NOFA-VT & VT Beancrafters for a Dry Bean Evening in Montpelier

If you’re growing,processing, or purchasing dry beans (or would like to be) this workshop is for you!

There’s lots of potential for growing more dry bean crops in VT to meet new demand and popularity of beans, get your foot in the door now!

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Calling All Fiber Fans for this Quality Fleece Management Workshop

Thanks to Battenkill Fibers, Southern Adirondack Fiber Producers Cooperative & Cornell Cooperative Extension for bringing this workshop to neighboring Washington County in New York!

Quality Fleece Management Workshop

April 20, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. – FREE

Please pre-register: 518 692 2700

Morning program at Ensign Brook Farm, 1930 Co. Rte 113, Greenwich, NY 12834.
Afternoon program at Battenkill Fibers, 2532 State Rte 40, Greenwich, NY  12834

Join sponsors Battenkill Fibers, Southern Adirondack Fiber Producers Cooperative, and Cornell Cooperative Extension for an informative 1/2 day program on animal nutrition, pasture management, shearing, fiber care, skirting, and processing options. Based on the positive evaluations we received after holding this session in 2012, we will be offering the same general program again this year. Agenda includes an in-depth, on-farm visit complete with shearing and skirting demos; and also a hands-on fiber mill tour. Please bring your own lunch; and dress for the weather.

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Other upcoming dates of interest:

Open House at Battenkill Fibers
April 27-28, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. both days – FREE
Battenkill Fibers is proud to have been invited back to the Washington County Fiber Tour this year; and we will be offering mill tours, door prizes, and specials in our factory store both days.

3rd Annual Wool Pool, Washington County Fairgrounds June 13-15 The Southern Adirondack Fiber Producers Cooperative will again be accepting clean white wool, white offsorts, and natural colored fleeces for re-sale to a large international wool buyer. More details will follow. Large farms, please plan to bring your wool on Thursday. Farms of all sizes are asked to send a representative to help with the sorting and baling – this event is put on by the member-owned Southern Adirondack Fiber Producers Cooperative; and your help is needed!

There are also plans being made for a 4-H youth event hosted by the local 4-H Sheep and Kids Club to take place in conjunction with the Pool on Sat. June 15. There will be workshops on fitting/showmanship, animal health, skirting and processing options, and meat processing. Please pre-register: 518 692 2700

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Trying to Reach Wholesale Markets?

Cheshire County Conservation District is hosting a full day workshop on postharvest handling and food safety for fruit and vegetable growers!

The workshop will be presented by familyfarmed.org and participants will receive a free copy of Wholesale Success: A Farmer’s Guide to Food Safety, Selling, Postharvest Handling, and Packing Produce (a $70 value).

This workshop is fast approaching, it will be held on January 8th! For more information or to register contact Amanda Costello at amanda@cheshireconservation.org or by calling 603-756-2988 x.116.

Check out the flyer by clicking here: Wholesale_Success_Flyer

NRCS High Tunnel Deadline June 1st

The NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service) EQIP (Environmental Quality Incentives Program) includes a Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative. The sign up cutoff for funding for high tunnels is June 1, 2012. This is also the cutoff date for signing up for financial assistance opportunities for Energy Audits/Practices and implementation of conservation practices for Organic Growers (or transitioning).

See these links for details; contact your local NRCS office to sign up:

www.vt.nrcs.usda.gov/contact/ or call 802-951-6796.

High Tunnel Initiative: www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detailfull/national/programs/?&cid=stelprdb1046250.

Energy Initiative: www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detailfull/national/programs/?&cid=stelprdb1046252.

Organic Initiative: www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detailfull/national/programs/?&cid=nrcs143_008224.

For EQIP info: www.vt.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/EQIP/Index.html.

Holistic Orchard Workshop with Michael Phillips – May 19th

Folks – This workshop is a bit of a trip but definitely worth it. There are still a few spots left but will go fast. RSVP by contacting Jack Mastrianni at jamastrianni@yahoo.com or call 603-835-6488.

HOLISTIC ORCHARD WORKSHOP

NOFA NH is excited to be offering a day with Michael Phillips, the author of “The Apple Grower” and the recently released “The Holistic Orchard”. This will be a full day intensive workshop and hands on practicum. It will take place at Maple Frost Farm, on 277 Holden Hill Road, in Langdon, NH, on Saturday, May 19th from 9 – 4.

Holistic Orchard Intensive
On Saturday, May 19, 9 am – 4 pm
At Maple Frost Farm, 277 Holden Hill Road in Langdon, NH (Southwestern NH)
Presenter: Organic Grower Michael Phillips
Cost: $65 for NOFA members/$75 for non-members. Beginner Organic Farmer scholarships available. Register now! Limited to 40 participants on a first-come, first-served basis.
Register: Email Jack Mastrianni at jamastrianni@yahoo.com or call 603-835-6488

Michael Phillips, widely acclaimed author of The Apple Grower and The Holistic Orchard, will discuss the key role fungal duff management and optimal nutrition plays for fruit trees and woodsy berries. We will meet in a homestead orchard in southwestern New Hampshire during the spring bloom period. This is an excellent time to identify the insect and disease dynamics faced by New England growers. The core paradigm for this hands-on, day-long workshop centers on orchard health and the subtleties of a biodiverse ecosystem that make organic fruit-growing doable. Michael will share varietal and rootstock choices across the fruit spectrum – from apples to pears to peaches to cherries to berries – along with mulch and pruning instruction to manage them properly. A holistic spray schedule that supports system health is so very different from toxic thinking. We’ll find plenty of time to address individual questions and then end with a rambunctious wassail sure to kindle those hopes of offering the “good fruit” to one’s own family and community. This is guaranteed to be an informative day for the diversified CSA grower as well as current, soon-to-be or aspiring home orchardists.

Management of Alluvial Soils Workshop – April 17 (Rutland)

Farmers, landowners, NRCS professionals, and other conservationists – Meet up on April 17th for a workshop in Rutland on Management of Alluvial Soils.  The workshop’s goals are to increase awareness of serious erosion / inundation issues with alluvial soils, explore options to lessen sediment loads and protect floodplain soils with a variety of practices, discuss tolerable soil loss in terms of water quality concerns

The workshop is geared towards farmers and those who work with farmers. Below is the complete agenda for the day:

Management of Alluvial Soils – can we find a dynamic equilibrium?

April 17th, 2012 (Tuesday) – Rutland – US Forest Service Building – Morning Presentations
& Afternoon Farm Visit — 9am to 3pm

Overall goals: To increase awareness of serious erosion / inundation issues with alluvial soils, explore options to lessen sediment loads and protect floodplain soils with a variety of practices, discuss tolerable soil loss in terms of water quality concerns

8:45-9:00am  Coffee / tea – please bring monetary donations –

9:00-9:10am  Introduction –  Staci Pomeroy & Caroline Alves  – Purpose of holding this meeting

9:10 – 9:45am  River Processes  — Staci Pomeroy (VT DEC – River Management Program):

  • Demo of flume
    • Channel migration, Flooding of low-lying areas, Avulsions / Flood Chutes
    • Sediment storage on functioning floodplains
    • Tools & approaches  for improved management

9:45-10:15am Alluvial Soils  — Caroline Alves (USDA – Natural Resources Conservation Service)

  • Dynamic river processes cause extreme variability in texture & other characteristics
    • Mapped soil series often do not reflect the reality on the ground
    • Erosion on stream banks vs. floodplain fields
      • Soil test levels of Phosphorus along selected river corridors
      • Determining which portion is “bio-available P”  – associated with algae blooms
      • Assessing risks for inundation and erosion  using soils data and other GIS layers

10:15-10:30am Break

10:30-11:00am  Case Studies & Management Implications — Ben Gabos (VT Agency of Agriculture)

  • Looking into the history of re-occurring erosion problems
  • Successful examples of practices on alluvial soils that help to lower sediment load
    • Grassed waterways, buffers, cover crops, reduced tillage, conversion to hay crop, wetland restoration (WRP/CREP), etc.
    • Encouraging deposition – avoiding erosion on floodplain farm fields
    • A patchwork of programs – covering all the problems

11:00-12:00 Tools in the Toolbox & Room for Improvement –– current strategies to prevent soil loss on alluvial soils & lack of policies that address erosion problems specific to floodplain soils

 — Panel Discussion:  Kristen Underwood  consultant – South Mountain  (panel leader),   Kim Peck (or others)Farm Service Agency,   Steven Libby – Vermont Rivers Conservancy,   Staci Pomeroy ,   Ben Gabos,   Michelle Smith  – VACD,    other panelists have yet to be confirmed

  • Policy issues – integrating efforts between agencies
    • Do re-occurring erosion problems continue to get re-occurring payments from FSA?
    • Dovetailing State, Federal  and other programs
    • Guiding landowners through multiple options for conservation easements
    • Situations where it is not economic to plant to corn
      • CREP gives guaranteed payments vs. uncertain yields on continually flooding soils
      • How to better promote Easements
      • Are new measures of erosion / inundation susceptibility & new policies needed –  for conservation planning?
        • Managing farm fields for water quality concerns
        • Characterizing sediment P mobilization and export susceptibility – a targeted approach

12:00-12:30 Lunch – BRING YOUR OWN

12:30-12:45 travel to Field Site –  ­ Patrick Medeo  Farm  in Shrewsbury on the Cold River

12:45-2:45 Outdoor session  – building on the morning’s discussions/presentations – see BMPs in the field

2:45-3:00 – Final wrap-up, discussion, questions  – if time is remaining

Please note:

  • this workshop is rain or shine – bring raincoats & boots
  • bring your own lunch
  • please carpool
  • registration is free — sign up early !!!!!! – SPACE IS LIMITED
  • contact Nanci McGuire  at the Rutland Conservation District office by phone or email to sign up
    802- 775-8034 ext. 17
    nanci.mcguire@vt.nacdnet.net