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2002 - 2003 Winter Events and Conferences
Jan. 11, 10am-1pm Winter Family Nature Day--Outdoor winter games, stories, tracking and activities for the whole family -- led by Mike Douglas, naturalist and wilderness educator. At Avena Institute, 219 Mill St., Rockport. Ages 4 and up. Hot chocolate will be provided. Non-members $20/family, Members $15/family, call 594-2403.
Jan. 25, 10am-4pm Natural Treatment for Animals--Homeopathic Veterinarian, Dr. Judith Herman will speak about basic principles in homeopathy and how they apply to animals. Class will be held in the Augusta area. Bring a bag lunch. Non-members $65, Members $60, call Avena Institute at 594-2403.
Jan. 29, 6:30-8:30pm Music for Healing and Transition--Explore the power of music--sound and vibration--in relaxation, restoration and healing with harpist Carol Rohl and learn how to bring the principles of this practice into your daily life. Class will be held at Camden Hills Regional High School, sponsored by Avena Institute. Non-members $20, Members $15, call 236-7800, ext 274.
Feb. 1, 11am-4:30 pm Nourishing Our Spiritual Lives: A Retreat Day for Women--Spend a nourishing, restorative winter day with Anne Dellenbaugh at the Yoga Barn in Camden. Guided meditation, teachings and movement. Sponsored by Avena Institute. Bring a bag lunch. Non-members $65 Members $60, call 594-2403.
Feb. 5, 6:30-8:30pm Weathering Winter Illness--Homeopath Dee Webster will share how to treat winter illnesses using homeopathy, herbs and other forms of healing at Camden Hills Regional High School. Sponsored by Avena Institute. Non-members $20, Members $15, call 236-7800, ext 274.
Feb. 8, 9am-1pm Herbs for Women--Herbalist Deb Soule discusses herbs that nourish and enhance overall vitality and sense of wellbeing. Learn how to make tinctures and oils, and taste various herbal preparations. Class will be held in Portland. Sponsored by Avena Institute. Bring a bag lunch. Non-members $50, Members $45, call 594-2403
The Regional Farm & Food Project (RFFP) series of practical, intensive, three-day programs provides professional training for commercial farmers of all scales and farmers in training. Farmers from a dozen nearby states and Canadian provinces will flock to Ballston Spa (Saratoga County, N.Y.) to attend these stimulating workshops to sharpen their skills, knowledge, and management capacity and to meet other like-minded farmers. The RFFP is a membership organization of farmers and consumers promoting sustainable opportunities for family-scale agriculture.
Farmer instructors will discuss what has or has not worked for them on their own farms. The workshop format allows participants ample opportunity to get acquainted with both the presenters and other growers.
As enrollment is limited to 60, early sign-up is encouraged. The fee for each workshop is $150, with discounts for full RFFP members, and includes delicious catered natural food meals and workshop materials. Some partial, need-based scholarships are available for the cut flower workshop, thanks to support from Cornell University, with preference given to N.Y. farmers. Inexpensive lodging is available in Saratoga Springs.
Ecological Cut Flower Growing and Marketing, which takes place from Fri., Jan. 10, to Sun., Jan. 12, 2003, is presented by the RFFP in collaboration with Cornell Cooperative Extension's Capital District Vegetable Program, with support from Cornell University's Small Farms Program. This workshop will be relevant to vegetable growers who want to diversify their crop mix with cut flowers as well as to farmers whose primary focus is flower production.
Top-notch flower growers will address subjects essential for the success of the cut flower grower. Topics will range from plant starts and crop scheduling to cultural practices, and from greenhouse production and season extension to harvesting, post-harvest handling, marketing, and flower distribution. Sessions on scaling up production and finding your niche in the global floral market will orient newer growers to strategies for navigating the complex world of flower farming.
As masterful marketers and growers, Mimo Davis and Kelly Anderson of Wild Thang Farm, Ashland, Missouri, are popular presenters. Mimo is the farm's horticulturist, with nine years of experience at Lincoln University Extension research greenhouses as well as a stint at Missouri Wildflowers Nursery. Wild Thang has made its mark with natives and high-dollar hoop house crops. They sell to florists and through several farmers' markets. Mimo was recently elected Regional Director for the Midwest region of the Association of Specialty Cut Flowers.
Flower grower Bob Wollam of Wollam Gardens, Jeffersonton,Virginia, has succeeded in the competitive Washington, D.C., market with a simple formula: Grow everything imaginable, grow lots of it and grow it well. His 4 acres of cut flowers include more than 100 varieties of bulbs, woodies, annuals and perennials, with season extension strategies allowing him to sell from the first week of April until the end of October. Selling to florists and at farmers’ markets, where he also sells potted plants and bouquets, he grosses over $35,000 an acre. Bob serves as President of the Association of Specialty Cut Flowers.
MaryLee Johnson of Windswept Acres, Cecil, Wisconsin, trained at North Dakota State University. For 10 years, she worked for Johnny's Selected Seeds in Maine, developing Johnny's well-known, 2 1/2-acre cut flower program. MaryLee and husband, Reed, started Windswept Acres in 2000, producing everything than can be grown in Zone 4. In addition, she is in charge of Germania Seed Company's cut flower program.
Organic Vegetable Systems from Seed to Market, from Fri., Jan. 31, to Sun., Feb. 2, will bring together as instructors three accomplished organic vegetable growers from the Northeast representing a variety of management styles, working acreage, and marketing approaches.
This workshop will benefit newer farmers developing their whole farm practices and more experienced practitioners seeking to refine and improve their operations. Three excellent, full-time farmers will present overviews of their farms and address issues in family-scale market vegetable farming. Topics will include soil, weed and pest management, starting seedlings and transplanting, cover cropping, harvest systems, post-harvest handling, marketing and finances.
Dave Colson of New Leaf Farm in Durham, Maine, has 20 years experience as an organic vegetable farmer. New Leaf Farm, which he manages with his wife, Christine, consists of 9 acres, three in rotation for vegetable production each year. Markets include local natural food stores, restaurants, and a variant of the traditional CSA model. A broad spectrum of vegetables is cultivated, with special emphasis on tomatoes and salad mixes. Colson is a board member of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association. He has presented at conferences on many topics, from whole farm management to rotation sequences and financial planning. David Hambleton of Sisters Hill Farm in Stanfordville, New York, produced 45,000 pounds of produce on 4 acres last year. The farm consists of 140 beds growing 250 varieties of vegetables and herbs. Owned by the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul of New York, the farm's main outlet is a 160-member CSA. A substantial portion of each season's harvest is donated to local food pantries and to families in need. Dave, with a degree in environmental studies, has been farm manager since 1999 and has devoted considerable attention, with much success, to the design of efficient small farm production systems.
David Marchant of River Berry Farm in Fairfax, Vermont, has a 10-year-old operation with 30 to 40 acres in certified organic vegetables. He also produces IPM (Integrated Pest Management) strawberries. Major crops are carrots, winter squash, kale and collards. Produce is marketed through the Deep Root Organic Truck Farmers Cooperative to such high-end wholesale buyers as Fresh Fields and Bread & Circus, as well as to local retail outlets. Before committing to becoming a full time farmer, David was an instructor and researcher at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He is Vice President of the Vermont Vegetable and Berry Growers Association.
For more information, including workshop brochures, please contact Tracy Frisch, Executive Director, Regional Farm & Food Project, 148 Central Avenue, Albany, NY 12206; ph: 518/427-6537, fax: 518/689-2337; http://www.capital.net/~farmfood/; firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 4th Annual Future of our Food and Farms Summit and NESAWG (Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group) 10th Anniversary Resource Harvest will be held December 5 and 6 in Wilmington, Delaware. This year’s Summit, "Our Future Grows Here," features keynote speakers Marion Nestle, author of the nationally acclaimed ***Food Politics: Industry Influences on Nutrition and Health,*** and agricultural economist Desmond Jolly, Small Farm Program Director at the University of California-Davis.
Workshops topics include how to promote your non-profit or special project; how to launch new food and farm businesses; new ventures for African American farmers; successfully marketing farmers’ markets; making the most of direct market opportunities; food in schools; beginning farmers; food safety; food access in low-income neighborhoods; locally-grown campaigns; successful cooperatives; agriculture, nutrition and public health policy; farmland protection; small vs. large farms; youth innovators in education; the Farm Bill's influence on farming and anti-hunger programs– and many more!
For more information, contact Meredith Stone at The Food Trust, (215) 568-0830 x10. Registration is $125 per person. A special one-day rate of $75 is also available.
"The Urban-Ag Interface and the Future of Agriculture" is the theme of the 2003 annual conference of the Association of Applied IPM Ecologists (AAIE). It will be held from Feb. 2-4, 2003, at Embassy Suites Hotel, San Luis Obispo, California. The cost ranges from $100-$165. For Registration/Info, contact Jill Klein at (707) 265-9349, or visit www.aaie.net. Leading university researchers, pest control professionals, and representatives of new pest management products will discuss cutting edge methods of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) on agricultural lands, golf courses, zoos, schools and other institutions.
The program features a keynote speech on The Future of Agriculture in California and over 15 breakouts, round tables, panel discussions, and tours. Highlighted topics include: using IPM to reduce pesticide use in schools and landscaping; applying IPM in zoos; managing ants in agriculture with IPM; understanding soil processes to enhance crop production; and the latest information on the cutting edge tool of systemic acquired resistance. A trade show will feature agricultural and urban exhibitors.
The theme of Eco-Farming '02 -- AcresUSA Annual Conference for Commercial-Scale Organic/Sustainable Agriculture -- is "Retooling your Eco-Farm." The conference will take place from Dec. 12-14, 2002, at Adam's Mark Hotel, Indianapolis-Airport, Indianapolis, Indiana. The cost ranges from $95 to185. For registration and information, phone 800-355-5313 or visit www.acresusa.com. This conference regularly draws 1000+ attendees.
The Eco-Farming '02 will convene leading farmers, consultants and scientists to present practical, hands-on information for farmers seeking to convert to a more ecological, economic form of farming, be it full conversion to certified organic or merely becoming more sustainable. This is the nation's premier conference on commercial-scale ecological agriculture -- a system that blends modern knowledge with traditional methods to achieve competitive results.
Program features include keynote speeches by Joel Salatin, innovative family farmer and author of four books on profitable small-scale farming, on the advantages family farms have over big, industrial operations; Percy Schmeiser, a Manitoba canola grower who is fighting Monsanto in the high courts of Canada, on what farmers really need to know about genetically engineered crops; Dr. Michael Fox, bioethicist and the world's most famous veterinarian, on our relationship with farming, animals and nature.
In addition, over 30 lectures and workshops will be given by practicing eco-consultants, organic farmers, and researchers; an exhibit hall will feature more than 70 suppliers of non-toxic agricultural inputs; a consulting hall will offer day-long access to leading crop, soil fertility, and veterinary consultants; and a video theater will feature day-long screenings of sustainable agriculture instructional videos from around the world. Pre-conference intensive study is available through multi-day workshops, as Virginia farmer Joel Salatin details how to retool a family farm into a highly profitable venture capable of supporting several full-time salaries; scientist Elaine Ingham teaches how to utilize state-of-the-art knowledge of soil microorganisms to design composting, compost tea and foliar feeding programs for optimum crop growth; and soil fertility consultant Neal Kinsey instructs growers on balancing soil fertility elements.
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