"Now I see the secret of the making of the best persons. It is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth."
- Walt Whitman
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Organic Farming:
Principles and Practices

May 17-18, 2017
MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center, Unity

$100 per day or $150 for both days
Discounts for MOFGA members.

This is a two-day immersion course for MOFGA apprentices but is open to any participants interested in learning the fundamental principles and practices of organic farming.

Join specialists from MOFGA's Agricultural Services Department and a panel of organic farmers for a two-day introductory course in organic farming. Register for either or both days. Lunch will be provided.

Day one will focus on the fundamentals of organic vegetable farming. MOFGA’s Eric Sideman, Organic Crops Specialist, and Dave Colson, Agricultural Services Director, will cover theory and best practices for organic management of soils, and cover plant families. After lunch we will tour a neighboring farm.

Day two will address the fundamentals of organic livestock husbandry, production systems and pasture management taught by MOFGA's Organic Livestock Specialist Diane Schivera and a panel of organic farmers.


Course Outline

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

I. Plant Families (9:00)
Guess that plant family
How plant families can be used for crop rotations and field planning

II. Soil Husbandry and soil fertility (10:00)
Managing organic matter (compost, green manures, cultural practices)
Building reservoirs plant nutrients

III. Properties of Soil (11:00)
What is soil?
Soil texture and structure
Organic matter, nutrient holding capacity, pH
Taking soil samples, and reading the results

LUNCH (12:00)

IV. Farm Tour (1:00)
We will tour a vegetable farm to be announced near the MOFGA campus

Thursday, May 18
Registration (9:30)

I. Raising Organic Livestock (10:00)
Management Basics: housing, space requirements, fencing
Health Care: modalities, supplements, herbs, homeopathy, parasites

II. Nutrition Basics (11:00)
Water, feed stuffs, pasture management, paddock design

LUNCH (12:00)

III. Pasture Evaluation (1:00)
Pasture walk and evaluation

IV. Farmer Panel (2:00)
Species-specific management techniques
Small Ruminates

Wrap up/ adjourn


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