I am a long-time subscriber to Growing For Market, a monthly publication for folks selling produce and other farm products. Although 2001 was my last year to sell produce, I kept my subscription up-to-date because I was teaching market growing at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College. I left that position in May 2010, but still maintain my subscription because I continue to find the information helpful.
Coldframes are great solar powered seed starters that you can use year round. If you’ve built one, used it in the spring, then left it to become overgrown with weeds for the rest of the year, now is the time to rethink that. This can be your go-to place for transplants all season, plus a place to harvest winter salads while waiting for the next round of seeds.
A new program from USDA is coming to Virginia, providing assistance for Rural Growth and Opportunity.
Learn more here, and stay tuned for more information as the program rolls out.
Keeping chickens is a popular thing to do these days and there is a wealth of information for new keepers of the flocks. I have had chickens since 1989 and would like to offer some tips that have proven helpful to me.
If possible, have an area to store feed within the chicken house. That saves trips back and forth from another storage area each day.
Wherever you live, fencing is necessary to keep predators out and children, pets, and livestock in. It is important to consider which of those functions you want to accomplish. If it is to keep predators out, which predators would that be? That’s the general aim of a garden fence. If it is the neighbor’s (or your) dog, livestock panels will do to keep large dogs out.
Registration is now open for VABF’s six-week 2013 Farm School for Beginners.
The purpose of this program is to help beginning farmers and ranchers in Virginia to make informed farm planning decisions as part of a whole farm plan. This six week comprehensive program (Monday evenings from 6:00-9:00pm 2/25/13 – 4/1/13) will introduce students to these curriculum modules:
- Introduction to Whole Farm Planning (2/25)
- Sustainable Farming Practices (3/4, 3/11 & 3/18)
- Marketing (3/25)
- Holistic Business Management (4/1)
REGISTER NOW! Advanced registration closes Feb. 4th!
The 2013 Organic Commodities & Livestock Conference
Feb. 14-15, 2013
Feb. 14 – On-farm Workshops (NEW THIS YEAR!)
Feb. 15 – Conference – Rocky Mount, NC at Nash Community College
If you are interested in the Carolinas’ rapidly growing organic agriculture sector, there is no better place to connect with commercial-scale organic producers and organic commodity and livestock experts than the Annual Organic Commodities & Livestock Conference. It is a not-to-be-missed Conference for Organic, Transitioning-to-Organic and Conventional Farmers and Ranchers, Agriculture Professionals and Commodities Groups interested in learning more about organic commodities and sustainable livestock and vegetable production.
At this workshop, you will learn about:
- Organic grain varieties,
- Organic vegetable production,
- Holistic vet care,
- Soil fertility, and
- Organic disease management
The conference keynote speaker is Thor Oeschner, owner of Oeschner Farms in Newfield, NY. Mr. Oeschner will enlighten, energize and surely make us laugh as he shares his story about running his 600 acre farm, a mill, and a bakery.
This year, for the first time, there will also be two free on-farm workshops. These pre-conference workshops happen Thursday, Feb. 14 at Lindale Dairy a certified organic dairy in Snow Camp, NC and at Hocutt Farms, a certified organic vegetable farm in Sims, NC. On-farm workshops are free, but you must pre-register.
The $35 Conference registration includes lunch, keynote address, multiple workshops, and an evening reception on Feb. 15.
The advanced registration deadline is Feb. 4, 2013. You are welcome to register on-site, but meals may sell out.
Carolina Farm Stewardship Association (CFSA) is a 33-year-old non-profit with over 2,700 members that advocates for fair farm and food policies, builds the systems family farms need to thrive, and educates communities about local, organic farming. To learn more, visitwww.carolinafarmstewards.org.
The Organic Commodities and Livestock Conference is sponsored by: The Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, NCSU, Organic Valley, Countryside Organics, Riverbend Malt House and Carolina Ground.
The 14th Annual Virginia Biological Farming Conference starts in two weeks!
February 8-9 in Richmond, Virginia’s leaders in organic agriculture will gather for informative sessions, delicious local food from Virginia’s sustainable farms, valuable networking, Happy Hour with Virginia wine and beer, Food Films, and more!
Don’t miss out on technical farming information, results from the latest organic research trials, well-known authors and farmers sharing their messages, and being part of the movement in Virginia to make our sustainable farms stronger.
See you soon in Richmond!
Please remember to reserve your hotel room at the Holiday Inn Koger Center for the upcoming conference. The special rate of $83 per night will expire on January 30th.
You may use this link to reserve a room at the hotel with our rate. Rooms in our block may run out at any time. Please reserve now!
* If this link doesn’t display the $83 rate per night (before taxes), please call the hotel at 804-397-3800 to complete your reservation.
Note to those arriving on Thursday, Feb 7th: We highly recommend getting dinner at the Urban Farmhouse Market & Cafe‘s new Midlothian location. Just 4 miles from the hotel, you can catch seasonal, local fare in a comfortable setting without breaking the bank. Check out their delicious winter menu and see for yourself. They are one of our generous sponsors and we encourage you to support them! Find directions here.
We look forward to seeing you at the conference!
The Ag Census is performed once every 5 years, and the current census forms were recently mailed to producers to be returned this month. We here at VABF want to ensure that everyone who participates in farming is represented in the census.
Here’s what you need to know:
- A farm for the purposes of this census is an operation that grossed or could have grossed $1,000 in sales last year.
- If you received a form, please fill it out and mail it back or respond online here: http://www.agcensus.usda.gov/index.php
- If you have not received a form as of today, please request one on this page: https://www.agcounts.usda.gov/cgi-bin/counts/ Saturday, January 5th is the deadline for requesting to participate this year! (You must receive a form in order to respond online, as the form provides you with a unique identifying number that must be used in the response process.)
Please participate and ensure that all of our state’s farms are represented!