PRE-CONFERENCE WORKSHOPS

By October 20, 2022VABF News

 

 

Pre-Conference Schedule

Pre-Conference Workshops

(Register for workshops individually or for the full conference + Workshops here)

Janet and Dan Broadfork Farm

Beginner Farmer Crash Course with  Janet Aardema & Dan Gagnon

This pre-conference workshop will balance depth and breadth to address the major components one faces when in the early stages of farm development while providing targeted resources for participants to dive into greater detail.

Outline of Topics: Fertility Irrigation, Season Extension, No till soil preparation, Transplanting Greenhouse, Overview of important crops,Direct seeding, Weed Control, Pest and Disease Management, Harvesting, Post harvest handling, Marketing (Advertising), Market Channels

Register

Beginning Grafting: The Whip & Tongue with Bill Whipple

Beginning grafting opens the door to horticulture freedom of choice and self reliance. With a cheap grafting knife and a roll of masking tape we can literally make the world a better place. When you master the fundamental skills of the grafting knife, you leave behind the finite and expensive world of commercial nurseries and walk into a room of vast choices and varieties of trees to grow, trial, and share. We will discuss perennial propagation and nursery development. This is recommended for the follow up Grafting and Cloning around workshop.

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Heirloom Varieties for Commercial Vegetable Production with Dominic Carpin

In this workshop we will review open-pollinated heirloom varieties for the modern small vegetable farm and discuss their viability (or lack thereof) from the perspective of marketability, pest and disease resistance, yield, flavor and ease of cultivation.  Special attention will be paid to types that tend to flourish under the adverse conditions faced by a dry farmer using low-input, plastic-free sustainable production methods modeling the rules of the certified organic farm.

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Introductory Biodynamics: Holistic Bases of a Self Sufficient Farm with Stewart Lundy

Introductory Biodynamic methods to cultivating fertility with minimal outside inputs for better health, disease and pest resistance, and an improved profit margin. Good ecology is (ultimately) good economics.

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Year Round Hoop House Vegetables with Pam Dawling

Fill your hoophouses (high tunnels, polytunnels) all year round with productive crops. In this course you’ll learn how to decide which crops to grow—with an emphasis on vegetables—how much to plant and how much to harvest by making maps, schedules and crop rotation plans. We’ll discuss which market crops are best at various times of year—cold-hardy, early warm-weather and high summer crops—and consider less common crops, such as seed crops and flowers, and cover crops for soil improvement. Learn how to maximize the use of space by clever seasonal transitions, succession planting and follow-on cropping. The course will also provide strategies for managing challenges such as extreme temperatures, nitrate accumulation in leafy greens, soil-borne diseases, pests and nematodes, salt buildup, and maintaining soil organic matter.

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Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms with Mark Jones

In this introduction for farmers, gardeners, and homesteaders, learn to grow several different types of mushrooms using low-tech, low-cost methods in your garden or woodlot. We will explore the biology and ecology of fungi in agriculture, using mushrooms for personal and planetary health, and methods for cultivating shiitake, oyster, lion’s mane, reishi, and other mushrooms in wood, straw, and compost.

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Advanced Grafting & Cloning Around with Bill Whipple

Grafting and cloning around will familiarize you with a few more versatile grafting techniques which will springboard you into the vast universe of Frankensteining trees in situ. You will be able to transform wild and volunteer early succession trees into food producing powerhouses in a fraction of the time it would take for a planted tree to produce. We will emphasize in detail species compatibility, varieties, aftercare, and pushing the very edges of cloning around. If you don’t have much experience with grafting, we recommend you also take the “Beginning Grafting” session.

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Create Your Path to Homesteading SuccessLeah M. Webb, MPH

Whether trying to grow more of your own food to address concerns over health, environment, or food supply issues, know that building self-sufficiency takes time and patience. Leah will discuss the realities of building a homestead including recommendations on how to set achievable, realistic goals. The path to self-sufficiency is highly rewarding but can lead to burnout or overwhelm if a grower takes on more than they’re able to manage. Leah will pull from her training as a certified health coach to guide participants through a stepwise strategizing session in which they develop a clear roadmap to reaching their homesteading goals. Participants will be given the opportunity dream big and get clear on their vision while considering all the factors that play into improved self-sufficiency. This workshop is the perfect start to an inspiration-packed weekend that may leave you feeling as if you have too many goals and too little time to accomplish them all.

Register

Southeast Seed Growing Workshop with Ira Wallace & Chris Smith

Ira Wallace and Chris Smith will lead a half day workshop focused on growing seed in the southeast. Growing and saving seed, whether for personal use on farm or for sale, has many advantages (as well as some challenges). This workshop will cover both technical seed saving skills, selective seed saving and regional adaptation strategies, Southeastern seed growing challenges and solutions, market farming and seed growing compatibility, and working with seed companies.

Our hope is to leave you with a broad understanding of the seed industry and how you, as a farmer, can play an important and much needed role in regional seed growing.

Note: this workshop will include a mix of presentation, video, demonstration and some hands-on learning.

Register

Southeast Seed Growing Workshop with Ira Wallace & Chris Smith

Ira Wallace and Chris Smith will lead a half day workshop focused on growing seed in the southeast. Growing and saving seed, whether for personal use on farm or for sale, has many advantages (as well as some challenges). This workshop will cover both technical seed saving skills, selective seed saving and regional adaptation strategies, Southeastern seed growing challenges and solutions, market farming and seed growing compatibility, and working with seed companies.

Our hope is to leave you with a broad understanding of the seed industry and how you, as a farmer, can play an important and much needed role in regional seed growing.

Note: this workshop will include a mix of presentation, video, demonstration and some hands-on learning.

Register

FRIDAY EVENING MOVIE SESSION

Join us for an evening of inspiring seed videos and discussion around seeds, seed keeping, and seed growing. A group of panelists will share their own thoughts on seeds and answer audience questions between videos.  With Chris Smith, Ira Wallace, and others! FREE to all workshop and conference attendees!