Community Calendar

October | November  |  December  |  January  |  February

Look here for events and field days to help you grow organic successfully.

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September

Farm Aid 2014
Sept. 13  |  Walnut Creek Amphitheater  |  Raleigh, N.C.

Farm Aid 2014 will feature Willie Nelson & Family, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds, Jack White and many more artists. It will be a full day of amazing music, homegrown food, hand-on activities and of course, family farmers.  Learn more.

Compost Heat Energy Field Day
Sept. 13  |  1-3:30 p.m.  |  Nevada, Iowa

Organized by Practical Farmers of Iowa, learn how one farm is using waste heat from composting to protect delicate crops inside high tunnels during spring and fall cold spikes.  Learn more and register.

Field Day
Sept. 13  |  10 a.m.-5 p.m.  |  $20  |  Minnetrista, Minn.

The Natural Fiber Alliance and Fiber Farm Tour offer a networking event and field day at Gale Woods Farm. Tour the farm and hear from speakers Bob Padula and Judy Lewman.  Learn more and register.

Stone’s Throw Urban Farm Field Day
Sept. 13  |  2-5 p.m.  |  Minneapolis, Minn.

Stone’s Throw Urban Farm will host a field day highlighting their MDA Demonstration Grant experiment. The experiment compares the production and profitability of two season extension systems: high tunnels and low hoops.  Day includes tours, presentation and snacks. Location and address.

Grow More Hops
Sept. 13  |  St. Paul, Minn.

Eau Claire-based Grow More Hops, LLC offers this seminar for Midwest growers who want to meet craft brewers’ increasing demand for locally grown hops.  Learn more.

Third Crop Walk-N-Talk – Pollinator Habitat
Sept. 15  |  Free |  St. Peter, Minn.

Angela and Bryan Buffington will be hosting this field day to visit their established 1.75 acres of pollinator habitat on land they own that was previously in corn and soybeans. Attendees will be able to visit the site and learn about pollinator habitat establishment and the path to a successful establishment.  Learn more.

Webinar: Evaluating Investments and Operational Changes
Sept. 16  |  7 p.m.  |  Free

Chris Blanchard from Flying Rutabaga Works explains which finance tools to use to make decisions about equipment purchases, farm expansion, and more. Learn more and register.

Pasture Walk & Facilitated Discussion Group
Sept. 16  |  1 p.m.  |  Platteville, Wis.

Hosted by Great River Graziers, this field day covers portable windbreak strategies and grazing Sudan grass. Learn more.

Third Crop Walk-N-Talk – Pollinator Habitat
Sept. 16  |  1-4 p.m.  |  Free |  Waseca, Minn.

Participants will learn about several research projects related to renewable energy, hazelnuts and wind protection at this field day at the SROC in Waseca. Specifically, researchers will discuss alley cropping for bioenergy; willow, grasses and poplar for bioenergy, living snowfence and hazelnut research plots. This unique field day will provide an opportunity to learn and ask questions about a diverse set of topics around agroforestry. Learn more.

CROPP Cooperative’s 2014 Organic Veterinary Workshop
Sept. 17-19   |  Viroqua, Wis.

Join CROPP Cooperative to learn from world-class veterinarians who specialize in organic management. Don’t miss your opportunity to gain  knowledge about organic herd health techniques and related topics such as homeopathy, acupuncture, fly control, agronomy and more. Workshop includes both classroom and hands-on sessions not offered anywhere else. Register and learn more.

Aquaponics Master Class
Sept. 18-20  |  8:00 a.m.  |  Montello, Wis.

A comprehensive course covering all aspects of aquaponics and controlled environment agriculture. The topics covered include aquaponic methods and applications, crop choices and recommendations, water quality, daily operation and growing techniques, greenhouses and environmental control, fish biology and feeds, plant care and health, system start up and business considerations. Register and learn more.

Mead Making Workshop
Sept. 18  |  Wellspring Education Center and Organic Farm  |  West Bend, Wis.

Mead, the oldest beverage known to the world, is a fermented blend of pure honey, water and yeast. Often fruits, flowers and spices are added producing a dry, semi-sweet, sweet or even sparkling mead. Mead is something that is quite easy to make and you can join John Holzwart as he shares his experiences with this enjoyable past time.  Participants will make one batch of mead with the class and take home a small bottle for themselves.  Learn more.

Organic Bean Field Day
Sept. 19  |  Madison, Minn.

Join the University of Minnesota research partners at the Fernholz farm to learn about multiple varieties of both general purpose and food-type organic soybeans. Researchers are paying particular attention to those soybean varieties that are competitive with weeds, are high yielding, and have improved root systems and nitrogen fixation potential all while maintaining adequate levels of protein and oil. All those interested in organic bean production are welcome to attend. For more information contact Jill Sackett, University of Minnesota Extension at 507-389-5541.

Biodynamic Intensive in the Twin Cities
Sept. 19-20  |  $80  |  Roseville, Minn.

This workshop will cover an overview of biodynamic gardening with an emphasis on a study of plant families, crop rotations and companion planting, and biodynamic preparations. Gardeners of all levels are welcome; special emphasis will be given to urban gardening.  Learn more.

Grow Local! Workshop for Local Food Growers & Producers
Sept. 20  |  Council Bluffs, Iowa

Golden Hills RC&D—Southwest Iowa Food & Farm Initiative presents this workshop. Hear stories and get advice from successful local growers and specialty crop producers, learn how to market your agri-business, find funds to launch your specialty crop, and leave with resources and information to help your business grow.  Learn more.

Organic Valley Farm Discovery
Sept. 20  |  11 a.m.-2 p.m.  |  Multiple locations

Public farm tours at various family farms in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Learn more.

Hoedown
Sept. 20  |  3-9 p.m.  |  Hutchinson, Minn.

Celebrate the end of the season at York Farm. Potluck dinner, live music with square dance calling by Shake These Bones + Guests, bonfire, and friendship. If it is warm, they have a farm pond where people can swim. They hope to make this a no-waste event, so please bring your own eating utensils.  Learn more.

Grow More Hops
Sept. 20  |  Wisconsin Dells, Wis.

Eau Claire-based Grow More Hops, LLC offers this seminar for Midwest growers who want to meet craft brewers’ increasing demand for locally grown hops.  Learn more.

Food Preservation Weekend
Sept. 20-21  |  Wellspring Education Center and Organic Farm  |  West Bend, Wis.

Immerse yourself in a weekend workshop all about food preservation! Lead by Master Preserver Christina Ward, students will go home with the knowledge to start or expand upon their own food processing for long term storage. In this hands on workshop, students will work together, learning and creating several types of preserved foods to take home. Learn more.

Farm Finances Workshop
Sept. 22  |  $50  |  9:30 a.m.-1 p.m.  |  Rogers, Minn.

Sponsored by MFVGA and USDA RMA, this workshop will show how specific financial tools can be used by new farms, small farms and large diversified farms. Craig Chase is a former Farm Management Field Specialist for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. This workshop uses material from the book “Fearless Farm Finances.” Learn more and register.

Scaling Up Your Business and Packaging & Grading Produce
Sept. 22  |  $30  |  9 a.m.-2 p.m.  |  Lawrence, Kan.

This workshop is part of the Growing Growers series, which offers public workshops throughout the year on skills required to run a local farm. Contact Marlin to learn more or register: batesm@k-state.edu.

Stewardship at Seven W Farm
Sept. 26  |  10 a.m.-3 p.m.  |  Paullina, Iowa

Hosted by Practical Farmers of Iowa. The day will begin with a farm tour and discussion of Biological Monitoring, an aspect of Holistic Management that helps farmers evaluate their land and determine whether different management is necessary. Following lunch, discussion will center around the farm’s small grain production and how this alternative to corn and soybeans fits into the farm model. The last part of the day will be a discussion about forage chains and cover crops, and how the Wilsons use both in grass-based livestock systems and organic row-crop systems. Learn more.

Fruit Tree Planting Workshop
Sept. 27  |  9 a.m.-12 p.m.  |  Free  |  New Hope, Minn.

The Minnesota Project is planting fruit trees at our Micro-Farm located in the front yard of the Emergency Foodshelf Network in New Hope.  Volunteers are needed to help plant!  This workshop will include a brief indoor lecture on fruit tree care and planting followed by a guided hands-on opportunity to plant fruit trees. Register and learn more.

Help Construct a Hoop House
Sept. 27  |  9 a.m.-1 p.m.  |  Free  |  New Hope, Minn.

The Minnesota Project will erect a hoop house at their Micro-Farm. Volunteers are needed to assist with preparing the rows, constructing a 25′ X 50′ hoop house and with planting.  Register and learn more.

5th Annual WEI / Growing Power Regional Training Weekend
Sept. 27-28  |    Women’s Environmental Institute  |  North Branch, Minn.

This weekend offers urban and rural-based participants the opportunity to learn, plan, develop, operate, and sustain community food and farming projects. Project participants will acquire improved skills and knowledge they can take back to their communities and pass on to others. Workshops include: Build a Hoop House, Build soil with works amd compost, grow microgreens for health and income, grow mushrooms indoors, raise fish and greens together (aquaponics) and a bonfire chat with Will Allen. Learn more.

Food Security Performance
Sept. 28 | 4 p.m. | Minneapolis, Minn.

The Theater of Public Policy presents an improv performance on food security and public policy. Performers include professor Bill Moseley of Macalester College and Reginaldo Haslett-Maroquin, CEO of Main Street Project. See flyer for details.

Michael Fields Agricultural Institute 30th Anniversary Celebration
Sept. 30  |  3-4:30 p.m.  |  Free  |  East Troy, Wis.

Agriculture the Last 30 Years and the Next 30 presenter Fred Kirschenmann, longtime national and international leader in sustainable agriculture and former Michael Fields Agricultural Institute board member will speak about the last 30 years in agriculture and the next 30. Register by Sept. 26 or call 262-642-3303 x124.  Learn more.

2014 America’s Watershed Initiative Summit
Sept. 30-Oct. 2  |  Galt House Hotel  |  Louisville, Ky.

The summit will bring together key private, public, and non-profit sector stakeholders to improve governance of the Mississippi Watershed. AWI is a collaboration that seeks solutions for meeting the multiple demands placed on the vast and complex Mississippi watershed system by integrating issues, partners and ideas at the full watershed scale. Register and learn more.

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October

Farmer Grant Writing Workshop
Oct. 1  |  6-9 p.m.  |  Springfield, Ill.

Existing and prospective farmers are invited to participate in a grant writing workshop to learn about the basics of grant writing as well as specifics on grants available through the North Central Region SARE Farmer Rancher Grant Program and the Ill. Dept of Agriculture. Learn more and register.

Webinar: Organic Livestock Inputs
Oct. 1  |  12 p.m.  |  Free

Organized by OEFFA, this webinar will cover commonly used organic inputs, what organic inspectors look for, and how livestock inputs are evaluated. It includes a pre-course self-study; in-class discussion and questions, examples and exercises; and a post-course evaluation. Participants who meet minimum requirements will receive a Certificate of Completion. Limited space is available.  Learn more.

Third Crop Walk-N-Talk
Oct. 1  |  Free  |  Granada, Minn.

This Walk-N-Talk will discuss the Tile Outlet Treatment Train demonstration and the MN Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program. Conservation practices are targeted to the upland, near the tile outlet and in the stream. We will be discussing the Certification Program, water quality practices being implemented on the Roberts farm and funding opportunities for landowners in the Elm Creek Watershed who want to install conservation practices on their farm.  Learn more.

Biodynamic Intensive in the Twin Cities
Oct. 4-5  |  $80  |  Roseville, Minn.

This workshop will cover an overview of biodynamic gardening with an emphasis on cosmic rhythms, using a biodynamic calendar and making biodynamic compost. Gardeners of all levels are welcome; special emphasis will be given to urban gardening.  Learn more.

Third Crop Walk-N-Talk
Oct. 5  |  1-5 p.m  |  Hazelnut Valley Farm  |  Lake City, Minn.

Norm Erickson will be hosting tours of the farm in conjunction with the Johnny Appleseed Festival in Lake City. Norm is a long time hazelnut grower and has developed hazelnut processing equipment, uses hazelnut co-products for renewable energy, sells hazelnuts and hazelnut oil in addition to managing his 12 acres of hazelnuts. Attendees should check the Lake City Chamber of Commerce website for details on how to participate in the farm tours.  Learn more.

Webinar: Organic Farming and Soil Health
Oct. 7  |  4 p.m.

Oregon Tilth and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service present this webinar about organic farming and soil health.  The information needed to participate can be found at ConservationWebinars.net a month prior to each date. This free webinar is available to the public. Learn more.

2014 Fiber Farm Tour
Oct. 11-12  |  9 a.m.-5 p.m.  |  Minnesota

A self-guided tour of 5 fiber farms where you can see the fiber farming operations, fiber produced and a chance to talk with the farmers. Animals include sheep, alpacas, llamas, angora, yaks and other fiber animals. International Fiber Artist Janice Arnold will provide a workshop, presentation and reception of her work with the natural fiber felt. Learn more.

The “Dairy” Beginning: Basics of Goat Dairy Management
Oct. 13  |  12-2 p.m.  |  Knoxville, Iowa

Hosted by Practical Farmers of Iowa, tour an active goat dairy and learn the foundations of starting a healthy, productive herd. Lois Reichert will cover the basics of animal care and management – nutrition, housing, fencing and health – as well as the fundamentals of goat dairying: milk prep, sanitation and proper handling. She will briefly discuss the process of starting a licensed dairy and what might be expected, and share some tidbits of cheese-making knowledge. Learn more.

18th IFOAM Organic World Congress
Oct. 13-15  |  Istanbul, Turkey

This congress takes place every three years. The aim of the congress and surrounding activities is to share experiences, innovations, knowledge about the organic world with a special attention on the organizing country. This year’s keynotes include Anna Lappe, who presented at the 2014 MOSES Conference, and Will Allen of Growing Power. Learn more.

Hops Fertilization, Irrigation and Pest Management
Oct. 18  |  St. Paul, Minn.

Eau Claire-based Grow More Hops, LLC offers this seminar for Midwest growers who want to meet craft brewers’ increasing demand for locally grown hops.  Learn more.

Introduction to Seed Saving
Oct. 23  |  $10  |  6 p.m.  |  Amery, Wis.

Join Hungry Turtle Farm for this introduction to seed saving that will provide a basic foundation to save your own seeds. Highlights include the basic steps to plant, grow, harvest, clean, store and exchange seeds. While this class lecture-based, it will establish the necessary vocabulary and background needed for any beginning grower and seed saver. Learn more and register.

Hops Fertilization, Irrigation and Pest Management
Oct. 25  |  Wisconsin Dells, Wis.

Eau Claire-based Grow More Hops, LLC offers this seminar for Midwest growers who want to meet craft brewers’ increasing demand for locally grown hops.  Learn more.

Restoration Agriculture and Mob Grazing Workshop
Oct. 31-Nov. 1  |  8 a.m.-6 p.m.  |  Clark, Mo.

Join Green Pastures Farm as they install a permaculture swale system with Mark Shepard. This 3-day, hands-on educational workshop will cover how to design, install, and incorporate a swale system into any grazing system. Cost is $550 per person/ $1000 per couple. Learn more and register by Oct. 1 – only 40 spots available.

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November

Feast! Festival & Tradeshow
Nov. 2-3  |  Rochester, Minn.

The FEAST Local Food Network is a partnership of many organizations, businesses, and individuals committed to growing a sustainable, local and regional food system which encourages innovation. Sunday will be open for the public and Monday will be an industry-only conference and tradeshow exclusively for food growers, makers and buyers. Learn more.

Grow and Market Specialty Grains
Nov. 3-5  |  Champaign, Ill.

The Land Connection brings you a 3-day specialty and organic grains training intensive. Topics include how to access your land and operation for grain growing capability; identify ideal grain crop choices for your farm and markets; plan for soil fertility and pest management; and identify, promote to, and sell both to wholesale markets and directly to consumers.  Learn more.

Growing Power National-International Urban and Small Farm Conference
Nov. 6-9  |  Potawatomi Bingo Casino  |  Milwaukee, Wis.

Get ready for an intensive conference that covers urban farming from top to bottom: aquaculture, composting and vermicomposting, planning strategies, education, youth programming, fund raising, food policy, food justice and much more! Check out the Growing Power website as more details become available.

Fall Harvest Gathering for Women
Nov. 7-9  |  Cedar Valley Resort  |  Whalan, Minn.

Get to know other women who care passionately about farming and the earth. Some attendees farm and some want to farm, but all enjoy sharing and learning from each other at the annual Fall Harvest Gathering. Costs are reasonable and scholarships are available. All women are welcome. Learn more.

Slow Money Gathering
Nov. 10-12  |  Louisville, KY

Help change the way we view, and invest, in our food system! Featuring world-renowned thought leaders, including farmer and author Joel Salatin, environmental activist Vandana Shiva and Mary Berry, daughter of Wendell Berry and executive director of The Berry Center.  Learn more.

Food for Tomorrow Conference
Nov. 11-12  |  Pocantico Hills, N.Y.

Hosted by New York Times food writer Mark Bittman, the conference will bring together executives, nonprofit leaders, food researchers, chefs, policymakers, corporations, and activists from around the world to discuss and develop innovative solutions to alleviating hunger, obesity, and poverty.  Learn more.

Biodynamic Conference: Farming for Health
Nov. 13-16  |  Hyatt Regency  |  Louisville, Ky.

The biennial Biodynamic Conference, hosted by the Biodynamic Association, is the foremost opportunity in North America to learn about biodynamics, along with innovations from organic, permaculture, and ecological agriculture. Events include over 60 workshops, on-farm field days, pre-conference workshops and more.  Learn more and register.

Aquaponics Master Class
Nov. 13-15  |  8:00 a.m.  |  Montello, Wis.

A comprehensive course covering all aspects of aquaponics and controlled environment agriculture. The topics covered include aquaponic methods and applications, crop choices and recommendations, water quality, daily operation and growing techniques, greenhouses and environmental control, fish biology and feeds, plant care and health, system start up and business considerations.  Learn more and register.

5th National Conference for Women in Sustainable Agriculture
Nov. 14-15  |  Fairfield, Iowa

The conference will be at the Fairfield Arts and Convention Center. The conference is sponsored by the Women Food & Ag Network (WFAN).  Learn more.

Milling Small Grains and Aquaponics Production
Nov. 15  |  1-4 p.m.  |  Panora, Iowa

Hosted by Practical Farmers of Iowa, father-son team Earl and Jeff Hafner will show attendees their certified organic stone mill where they mill rye, buckwheat, wheat and corn. They will also lead a tour of their aquaponics production area, and request that attendees bring their high tunnel gardening expertise to share! Learn more.

14th Annual Iowa Organic Conference
Nov. 16-17  |  Memorial Union  |  Iowa City, Iowa

The 2014 conference will feature the organic tradeshow and organic luncheon as well as new speakers including keynote speaker Mary Berry, Executive Director of the Wendell Berry Center. Network with agribusiness professionals, other organizations, and producers.  Learn more.

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December

Webinar: Nutrient Budgeting
Dec. 2  |  4 p.m.

Oregon Tilth and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service present this webinar about nutrient budgeting and organic considerations for implementing conservation practice standard 590.  The information needed to participate can be found at ConservationWebinars.net a month prior to each date. This free webinar is available to the public.  Learn more.

National Young Farmers Conference
Dec. 3-5  |  Pocantico Hills, N.Y.

Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture hosts the 7th annual National Young Farmers Conference with speakers and workshops that address soil science, technical skills, agricultural policy, farm business management, conservation and more.  Learn more.

2014 Acres U.S.A. Conference and Trade Show
Dec. 4-6  |  Columbus, Ohio

The annual Acres U.S.A. conference is where you find farmers and consultants from every side of eco-farming who come together to share their experience and expertise. Attend the non-stop event, learn the latest in cutting-edge technology and methods, and return home ready to make your farming operation the best it can be.  Learn more.

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January

Minnesota Organic Conference
Jan. 9-10  |  St. Cloud, Minn.

Organized by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, this conference will include keynote talks, tradeshow and breakout sessions on organic production, certification, marketing and more.  Learn more.

Growing a Hops Business
Jan. 17  |  St. Paul, Minn.

Eau Claire-based Grow More Hops, LLC offers this seminar for Midwest growers who want to meet craft brewers’ increasing demand for locally grown hops.  Learn more.

Growing a Hops Business
Jan. 25  |  Wisconsin Dells, Wis.

Eau Claire-based Grow More Hops, LLC offers this seminar for Midwest growers who want to meet craft brewers’ increasing demand for locally grown hops.  Learn more.

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February

SFA Annual Conference – “25 Years of Loving the Land”
Feb. 14  |  St. Joseph, Minn.

Organized by the Sustainable Farming Association, this conference includes workshops, exhibitors and networking.  Learn more.

Hopyard Establishment, Harvest and Processing
Feb. 21  |  Wisconsin Dells, Wis.

Eau Claire-based Grow More Hops, LLC offers this seminar for Midwest growers who want to meet craft brewers’ increasing demand for locally grown hops.  Learn more.

26th Annual MOSES Organic Farming Conference
Feb. 26-28  |  La Crosse, Wis.

The MOSES Conference is the largest event in the U.S. about organic and sustainable farming. This event includes 65+ workshops, inspiring keynote speakers, and a two-floor Exhibit Hall with more than 170 exhibitors open exclusively to conference attendees. This farmer-focused conference is celebrated as the foremost educational and networking event in the organic farming community.  Learn more.

Hopyard Establishment, Harvest and Processing
Feb. 28  |  St. Paul, Minn.

Eau Claire-based Grow More Hops, LLC offers this seminar for Midwest growers who want to meet craft brewers’ increasing demand for locally grown hops.  Learn more.