2013 Workshop list
Saving Quality Vegetable Seeds: Practical Skills, Special Techniques, and Understanding Seed Borne Diseases
To demystify basic seed saving and go beyond to talk about advanced techniques, isolation requirements for various crops, seed treatments and storage. We'll also talk about the common plant diseases that can be seed borne and ways to limit and potentially eliminate the impact on subsequent crops.
Accessing Wholesale Supply Chains: Best Practices for Small-Scale Farmers
Kyle Foley and Lesley Sykes
Based on interviews conducted with aggregators and distributors throughout New England, this session will present practical tools for small-scale fruit and vegetable growers to access wholesale supply chains. We will discuss: packaging; labeling; food safety concerns; storage; distribution; farm labor management and capacity; product availability; communication and professionalism; technological tools; and demand factors.
Renewable Heating – Sustainable Energy Resources and Funding for Farms’ Space & Water Heating Needs
Looking for ways to heat your farm buildings or water with renewable energy (solar, wood or geothermal)? We will review renewable heating opportunities with the Massachusetts Farm Energy Program and Massachusetts Clean Energy Center. Participants will review typical applications for biomass heat, solar hot water, and geothermal heat pumps on Massachusetts farms, including equipment options, energy savings, and funding opportunities.
http:/http://berkshirepioneerrcd.org/mfep/index.php; http://berkshirepioneerrcd.org/mfep/technical-resources.php; http://www.masscec.com/index.cfm/page/Commonwealth-Solar-Hot-Water/cdid/... www.masscec.com/renewable-thermal
Precious resource; Using and Conserving Water on the Land
This workshop will highlight our work with water on the landscape, including rainwater collection systems of tanks, cisterns, as well as landform collection using ponds and swales and basins. We'll look at irrigation systems, calculate rainwater harvest off roofs, and dip into waterless toilet use also.
Imagining Food Justice Beyond the Monsanto Battle
This workshop focuses less on the contemporary issues (such as battles over genetic modification) and drives us back to some fundamental ethical questions: what does food justice mean and can we envision a just system? As a community in resistance to environmental degradation and corporate food monopoly – what examples are we setting through our actions – and what proverbial and literal ground are we standing on? Where can we draw commonality, when have we diverged from justice, and where are the moral holes we need to explore? Working through the framework of Food Democracy this presentation argues that it is not enough to be active participants in the field of food justice and political resistance, we must also be in conversation about what this activity means and why we believe our actions are important. Further, we will discuss the importance of communicating our ideals within our perceived community and beyond it. Ultimately this continuous conversation will allow us to be more astute listeners and effective activists. Please come prepared to engage in a 20 minute guided conversation.
Swarming Behavior in Honeybees
Honeybees reproduce new colonies by splitting their populations as "swarms". A natural process that directly relates to the beekeepers ability to produce a surplus honey crop. This workshop will discuss best methods to prevent, control, and capture honeybee swarms. Handouts will be provided to participants. In depth discussion appropriate for all levels of beekeeping experience.
How to taste and make farmstead cheeses
Suzy Konecky, of Cricket Creek Farm will walk participants through the process of making Ricotta and how to properly taste and describe unique Massachusetts farmstead cheeses. We will use all our senses to discover the variations in taste and texture of the cheese. There will be some basic biochemistry involved, as well as smelling, touching and tasting!
Access to Land
The Basics: Access to land is one of the biggest challenges for beginning and other farmers. This workshop will address the basics: what are your options for acquiring land to farm? What are the advantages of owning or renting? How do you find farms and negotiate good agreements? Learn from Land For Good, an organization that specializes in land access, and from others who are addressing similar challenges.
Techniques and Strategies to Extend Grazing Seasons
Learn labor and cost savings due to extended grazing, health benefits to animals due to extended grazing, and use of electric fence products to assist with grazing systems.
Growing Grains for Malting
We will explore the specific needs of growing grains for brewing and distilling. From variety selection to seeding dates, rates, harvesting and post-harvest storage. We will also cover briefly the process of malting.
WPI's Center for Sustainable Food Systems
We hope to showcase the value in university-community organization partnerships as it relates to developing a sustainable food system. Those who step up to take on the world’s greatest challenges must be armed with practical experience and know-how. That’s why WPI pioneered a project-based approach whereby students apply theory to practice in every aspect of their education. By tackling real-world problems in conjunction with community leaders and activists who are working for change, WPI's student teams can provide research services and creativity to supplement the work of community groups that may have limited time and resources. In addition, the students benefit from the challenge of tackling open-ended problems and seeing first-hand the value of their work as it gets implemented.
Stewardship for the Cultivated Landscape
Learn strategies for assessing and caring for designed landscapes over time. Walk through the stages of land development to ensure both a successful sale as well as a completely satisfied client. All while holding the environment and long-term success of the landscape as a priority. Gain tools for working with existing conditions through project phasing, conscious planning, and stewardship practices.
Creating Farm-Based Education Programs
The Farm Education Collaborative designs, coordinates, and delivers farm-based education programs for all ages for farms in the Pioneer Valley and beyond. Come learn about our successful camp programs, after school, homeschool, preschool, and family programs and our year round Farm Hands preschool. We'll share some of our challenges and successes and lead participants in a few activities we do with children participating in our programs.
Keeping Your Working Body Strong All Winter Long
Winter is a natural time of rest for us farmers. Often when spring comes our bodies are not as ready as they could be for the work ahead. This leaves us more vulnerable to pain and injuries. In this workshop you will learn how to keep your body strong through the winter and how to stay prepared as the work picks up its pace. Lots of time for Q&A, handouts provided.
Sugar Blues - Healing your relationship to sweets
This class will permanently change your relationship with sugar. You will learn how sugar is part of the solution - not the problem - and understand how your lifestyle is affecting your cravings. You will leave this class understanding the causes of your sugar cravings and receive practical tools for dealing with them. It's not about deprivation, it's about freedom. If you are ready to have more energy and take control of your life and health, then you don't want to miss this one-time-only event.
Growing and Integrating Mushrooms into your Farm and Garden
I will teach every step of growing mushrooms, from the lab to the growroom or garden. I will explain the benefits of integrating mushrooms into your garden and farm, such as increased availability of minerals, expanded root zones, filtration of pathogens in barn run-off, and remediation of toxic chemicals in the soil. I will go over construction questions regarding mushroom infrastructure.
Gardening in Small Spaces
Living densely has many benefits, but may come at the price of growing our own food or relaxing outdoors. Yet, we can nourish bodies and souls using space afforded by a roof deck, patio, or small yard. Learn about small space design, edibles for containers, and vertical gardening, plus small-scale bioshelters, composting, and rainwater harvesting.
Growing the Co-operative Food System
Join us as we explore the impact and potential of co-operative enterprise in our regional food system, from the producer to the consumer. Our workshop will explore various structures including producer, consumer, worker and multistakeholder models and provide guidance for people exploring a co-operative business start-up or conversion in their community.
Growing Health with Restoration Agriculture
Have you heard of permaculture, restoration ecology, perennial polycultures, agroforestry, or keyline design? This workshop will explain how all of these systems, practices, and disciplines can synergize to create highly-productive and resource-efficient farm ecosystems that actually build soil, sequester atmospheric carbon, recharge groundwater reserves, and foster biodiversity.
Trial by Cider: Identifying promising regional apples and making your own hard cider
Americans are enjoying a cider renaissance, yet most growers are just beginning to explore the potential of historic American fruit. Commercial producers lean heavily toward European varieties, while home cider makers typically blend commonly available dessert fruits. This workshop explores the potential in regional heritage varieties, and offers pointers on collecting, growing, and producing small batches of hard cider.
Next Year’s Farm Budget
The goal of this workshop is to help prospective market gardeners start their own ventures. Farmers who have already started up but want help writing an annual budget would also benefit. Participants will help each other use a worksheet to develop a budget for an existing or planned market garden. Bring pen, calculator, and any data relevant to your farm (past sales, expenses etc.).
Advanced Chicken Workshop
Workshop description to come.
Farm and Garden Irrigation
Workshop description to come.
Antique and Cultivating Tractors for your Small Farm
Workshop description to come.
1:30 – 4:30 INTENSIVE
Foraging for Wild Mushrooms
Edible and Medicinal: Wild mushrooms are a source of richly flavored and highly nutritious food available for sustainable harvest in our backyard or nearby forest. Only lack of knowledge and confidence hold us back. Learn how to safely forage the best and most common of our edible and medicinal mushrooms with a seasoned and expert guide.
Accelerated Lambing, Selective Breeding, and the Profitable Sheep Enterprise
Many sheep farmers have a single spring lambing season, but profitability can often be greatly improved by shifting to two, three, or even five lambing seasons per year. We will look at the challenges and rewards of several accelerated lambing systems and explore how they work. We will also discuss the principles and importance of selective breeding, both within accelerated lambing systems and, more broadly, as a cornerstone of profitability for any breeding flock.
Small-Scale Intensive Farming: Lowering Risks and Increasing Profits
This workshop will focus on steps for starting and managing a small-scale and urban farm business. It will showcase techniques for producing high crop yields and efficiency measures that can increase profits, while maintaining soil and crop quality. Learn how to structure a business plan, marketing campaign, and production strategies for commercial success by keeping investments and overhead costs low.
Waiting for confirmation of intensive.
Beyond Nitrates… Understanding Anions in Soil Fertility in the Northeast
Anions play critical roles in plant metabolism, protein production, and nitrogen utilization. From Phosphorous and Sulfur to Boron, Molybenum, and Selenium, we'll discuss how to address common deficiencies in our with fertility management.
Power From the People
This presentation describes the big picture view of local energy sustainability from a 21st century viewpoint. It offers suggestions and examples of what individuals, institutions, non-profits, and communities can do to make themselves more energy resilient. The strategies and models included are based on current, available technology (rather than wishful thinking) with a strong emphasis on collaborative community initiatives based on local ownership.
Homebrewing Meads and Fruit Wines
Learn the basics of homebrewing from equipment, recipes, sterilization, fermentation, bottling, and aging. Oftentimes we think of the sugars used for brewing to be from grapes (wine) or grains (beer), but this course will focus on other sugars sources including honey, maple syrup, table sugar, apples, agave, or other creative brews.
Raw Milk Production
Winton Pitcoff, Lucy McKain, and Terri Lawton
This session will be based on the recently published "Massachusetts Raw Milk Producers' Handbook," and will take participants step-by-step through the processes and regulations involved in producing, handling and selling raw milk to consumers in Massachusetts.
Health Risks of GMO Foods
We are all (including our children and grandchildren) part of the largest
feeding experiment ever conducted. GMO foods have not been adequately
tested, are not labeled and are not regulated to any meaningful degree.
Workshop participants will be introduced to the documented human health
dangers of GE food.
Sustainable Land Care at New View Cohousing: 15 Years of Experience
New View has 24 homes on a beautiful 19-acre site with 60% open space including lawns, meadows, and gardens-- planted with varied native shrubs, trees, and meadows supporting many birds and insects. Learn from our experience with sustainable, organic land and lawn care methods; view water management systems including rain gardens. Discuss issues of forming and sustaining eco-community.
Keep honeybees if you love honey, to improve your health or pollinate your crops. Experienced beekeeper, Sanne Kure Jensen will discuss essential equipment (woodenware, bee-suits, smokers, etc.), collecting swarms, pests and diseases and harvesting honey. You’ll learn about value-added products like candles, salves and cosmetics made with beeswax, honey or propolis and where to get more information.
Improved Production for Large to Medium-Sized Gardens
Most gardeners limit themselves to Memorial Day starts and Labor Day finishes. Learn how inexpensive, high-tech row coverings, raised beds, fertility treatments plus strategically timed seeding schedules and carefully planned crop sequences can make your garden productive nearly year-round.
Winter Gardening in the Kitchen. No Soil. No Green Thumb Required
Food is being delivered from farther away. The global food distribution network charges us more with every increase in the price of oil. But what if you could grow the “World's Healthiest Vegetables" in your apartment?
Join Steve Meyerowitz, "Sproutman®" as he demonstrates how to grow your own fresh organic foods and become more independent. It’s "One week from seed to salad®."
Tonic Herbs: Building Health and Vitality: Explore the deep green nutrition available from a range of common plants
Vitamins and minerals abound as well as that "certain something", the ability of some plants to enliven and vitalise ever cell in our bodies. Learn which plants can tonify each body system. Taste herbal preparations. Handouts for further study provided.
Combing and Carding Fiber in Preparation for Spinning
This will be a hands on session using tools to comb and card fiber which range from simple dog brushes to fearsome looking wool combs, hackles and a picker. Fibers will be processed from sweet little Bluefaced Leicester locks to 12 inch coarse karakul, and many in-between. Time for some spinning will be left at the end. Bring your own tools or use ours. We'd love to see any unusual ones!!
Planning and Designing Farm Infrastructure
Successful Farming requires well designed and built structures that consider budgets, timelines, current and future growth predictions, energy use, return on investment, and can be very specific in use or very general. In this workshop we will explore the various types of farm infrastructure and some simple design and planning systems and time savers that will help make informed decisions about how to start to make your farm work the way you want it to.
Traditional Vegetable Pickling
Learn to preserve vegetables with “lactic acid fermentation.” This ancient, no-energy- input, ultra-resilient method uses salt to create the correct environment for friendly bacteria to grow that keeps vegetables from spoiling and increases their nutritional value. Traditional pickles have nearly disappeared since the advent of industrial food. We'll make both shredded sauerkraut/kim chi and a brined pickle.
BFN/Mass: Sharing our Resources, Cultivating Successful Farmers
The Beginning Farmer Network of Massachusetts (BFN/Mass) is a group of farmers and farm service providers dedicated to farmer success in MA. At this workshop we will go over the landscape of beginning farmer programs in MA by show casing the new web tool. If you're looking to figure out what type of program or resource can help you- this new coordinated website can help.
As New England’s landscape becomes increasingly developed, backyards are becoming a “final frontier” in providing essential habitat for at-risk pollinator species that play an integral role in the health of our environment. Garden coach Ellen Sousa will explain how to help sustain and restore pollinator populations in your yard or farm. Learn about the best plants that support pollinators, and some best practices for encouraging biodiversity in your backyard.
Website: THBFarm.com, New England Habitat Gardening blog: blog.THBFarm.com
Farming Sustainably – How do we sustain ourselves while farming for the long haul?
If you want to farm, and enjoy it too, what is your plan for personal sustainability? Does your farm plan consider your life apart from farming? We will explore challenges we have experienced during 17 years of farming and strategies for sustaining ourselves. We will share how we have shaped our farming around our family’s needs. Active participation encouraged.
Planning and Sustaining a School Garden
In this workshop participants will be provided with a simple model of the planning process for starting a school garden. Ideas will be presented to help educators and parents surmount some of the hurdles to starting, effectively utilizing and sustaining school gardens. Participants will then be guided through some of the initial steps in planning their own school garden programs.
Basic Composting and Beyond
This workshop is intended to get beginners off to a smooth start composting, and alternately to troubleshoot problem compost piles. Compost is complex, but it shouldn't be complicated. I'll explain how to make easy work of composting, and also delve into some more difficult materials to compost. Essentially, we'll discuss the highest and best uses of organic materials as they cycle through the homescape.
A Food Systems Approach to Hunger: Making the Connection for Communities & Foundations
Liz Sheehan Castro
Come learn about Worcester's collaborative work to end hunger through the Hunger-Free & Healthy Project. In this workshop we'll describe the process, programs, results of the 6-year coalition-led project. We'll also talk about grant writing and how to make the case to foundations to support this work. This workshop is great for anyone involved in or interested in bringing people, groups, organizations, and businesses together to address a community need, especially a food system need.
Food For Thought: Introduction
Food for Thought is an introductory workshop focusing on food systems, food justice, and healthy eating. Participants use their favorite meal as an entry to address the causes and impacts of food access inequity. Run by youth interns from The Food Project (Boston) which engages 1,500+ community members each year, this session will be useful for beginners and those looking for replicable food system activities to engage their own community members.
Greens – title to come
Workshop description to come.
Small Engines: Workings and Maintenance
Small engines are a major part of life on the farm and a common source of headache and hand-wringing. We'll discuss the different components of the typical small gas engine, with an emphasis on maintenance and troubleshooting.
Diving into Leases and Leasing
This workshop will go through the what is in a farm lease and how to negotiate a good one. Whether you are contemplating a lease agreement or hope to improve an existing arrangement, this workshop will inform and empower you with tools and information. we'll look at various types of leases, go over lease language and leave plenty of time for discussion.
Building a Foundation for Markets through Value Chains
A secure, safe and sustainable food system requires a network of small and mid-sized producers, processors, distributors, wholesalers and retailers engaged in transparent and strategic long-term partnerships. This system can deliver farm products to consumers through value chains, ensuring each partner carries their fair share of risk and has a strong potential for profitability.
Let’s make some Food that is Good for the Gut
Gut health is what it is all about. We will make sauerkraut, kefir, gingerale, beet Kvass, vegetable juice, step through sourdough bread and whey making, chicken, pork and beef stock, soaked and dried nuts, and then we will eat! I will share what I know about nutrition and we will discuss resources, but mostly we will make stuff so you can go home and do it yourself.
Attracting native pollinators and bees to your crops and gardens
Attract native insects and bees to your crops and gardens and improve local food security. Up to 70% of foods require insect or animal pollination. Sanne will discuss food crops that rely on native pollinators like honeybees, bumblebees, flies, butterflies, moths, beetles, birds and bats. You will learn about pollinators’ food, water and habitat needs and places to learn more.
Grow Your Farm, Years 1-5
Grow Your Farm will provide participants with a framework and understanding for what it takes to turn a small plot of land into a profitable business. Using the history of Second Nature Farm as a reference, participants will review start-up essentials as well as low-cost alternatives to expensive farm infrastructure.
Sheep to Shawl
Choosing sheep for wool production. Management of wool breeds of sheep for quality wool products. Management including ration, housing and harvesting techniques for the sustainable homestead and small scale producer.
Understanding Labor Laws for Beginning and Mentor Farms
Christy Asbee, Esq. of Law for Food, LLC and Kenneth Miller, Esq. of Law for Food, LLC
This workshop will break through the complex web of labor regulations that
pertain to all farm workers, including apprentices and interns. Farm
employers and farm workers, alike, will benefit from understanding what
laws apply and how they can change behaviors to meet labor law compliance. This workshop will allow farms to feel more confident when hosting farm workers, and help farm workers fully understand their role on the farm.
Basic Organic Gardening
This workshop is designed for the novice and the beginner. I will draw on my many years as a farmer, farm manager, and backyard grower. We wiil cover from seeding to harvest and beyond. Whether you are growing in containers or on a half acre you should come away a bit better prepared.
Fish, Seaweed and Crab Shell Fertilizers derived from the North Atlantic Ocean
The whole world was under Ocean Water at one time, and ever since then it's been demineralizing. We will discuss how adding these minerals and nutrients back, helps create an extremely healthy environment for the biological life in the soil. You will learn how to best use products from the Ocean, including application rates, timing, mixing and much more.
A Garden for all Ages: an urban intergenerational teaching garden
We want to share our experiences with others who are interested in creating community and a place of thriving in an urban setting with little resources available. This workshop is for those who have their eyes on urban eyesores in the neighborhood and dream of transforming them into vibrant green spaces for the benefit of the community.
Plan y Mercadeo de Negocios de Fincas
Nuestras Raíces, Inc estará presentando el taller de plan y mercadeo de fincas el cual ayudara aprender, diferenciar e implementar un plan de negocios para su finca y diferentes tipos de mercadeo para desarrollar mas su negocio de finca. Este taller será en Español. Habrá recursos y materiales para los participantes del taller.
Nuestras Raíces, Inc will be presenting Farm Planning and Marketing which will help you learn, differentiate and implement a farm business plan and different types of farm marketing. This workshop will be in Spanish. There will be resources and materials for participants.
Mobile Farmers Markets and Working Towards a Food Hub in Worcester
The Regional Environmental Council a small private environmental justice non-profit in Worcester, MA has been working over the past 5 years to include market based initiatives as part of their food justice program. The organization has developed a low income neighborhood farmers market in the Main South Neighborhood in Worcester and expanded in 2012 to include a mobile market with 10 weekly stops. Support, enthusiasm and sales for the market initiatives has been strong amongst organizational partners, neighborhood residents and farmers and there is potential to expand the project to include wholesale connections, off season sales and educational demonstrations in school gardens and other organizations. Staff will discuss the process for development, rationale and challenges.
Conducting a Food System Assessment in Your Town: Lessons from Concord, Massachusetts
In 2011, a committee of active Concord, Massachusetts residents commissioned two graduate students from the Conway School of Landscape Design to conduct a town-wide food system assessment. The resulting report, Building Local Food Connections, is helping the town to revive its local food network to increase social, ecological, and economic resilience. Come learn about the birth of Concord’s Food Council, the methodology used in conducting the assessment, and tips about how to kick-start a local food movement in your town.
Join the Conversation, Join the Movement
The federal farm bill is increasingly important to our region. Investments in a strong local and regional food system, new opportunities for beginning farmers, a safety net for our small and mid-sized dairy farmers, farmland conservation, and support for organic agriculture, are all authorized, funded and fundamentally shaped by this all encompassing piece of federal legislation.
If farm bill has passed: Come learn about what’s in the 2012/2013 farm bill that will strengthen our local and regional food system and other farm bill issues important to our region.
If the farm bill has not passed: Come learn what’s at stake as Congress considers a new five year farm bill.
Fourfold Path to Healing
"The Fourfold Path to Healing" by Tom Cowan, Sally Fallon and Jaimen McMillan is a companion book to Fallon's bestseller, "Nourishing Traditions".
I will discuss this integration of nutrition, therapeutics and movement as a path for whole health. There will be some movement exercises practiced.
What Does Sustainability Mean to Your Community?
The "What Sustainability Means to Your Community" workshop will look beyond the labels of sustainability and examine what sustainability means when put into practice. It will examine such questions as how to implement sustainability projects, how to measure impacts, whether or not sustainability is best for your community, and how to reconcile sustainability and development.
Galic, Onions, and Shallots!
Workshop description to come.
Workshop description to come. (for succession planting, including undersowing fall brassicas with legumes, no-till tomatoes, and open field season extension)
A Holistic Management Approach for a Diversified Small-Scale Goat Dairy
Workshop description to come.
Pasture and Hayfield Maintenance
Workshop description to come.