Community Calendar

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

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Apple Workshop: Winter Injury and Variety Tasting
Oct. 4  |  2 p.m.  |  $10  |  Staples, Minn.

This workshop will be looking at which varieties and rootstocks survived the cold winter, which thrived and which died. Central Lakes College has started a research project comparing apples grown on dwarf rootstocks with standard rootstocks to see if dwarf trees are suitable for Zone 3 and they will share their results. Learn more and register by contacting Kent Scheer.

Cover Crop and Soil Health Field Day
Oct. 1  |  8:30 a.m.  |  Ortonville, Minn.

Organized by NRCS, this field day includes a presentation by Gabe Brown. Other topics include: Weeds to Watch, Cover Crops 101, Soil Formation & Soil Health, Designing a Profitable Cover Crop, Drone Technology, and onsite inspection of a corn field and wheat field planted to cover crops. Register by calling 320-839-6149, ext. 3 by Sept. 29. Learn more.

Introduction to Permaculture
Oct. 4  |  9 a.m.-1 p.m.  |  Welch, Minn.

Hosted by the Permaculture Research Institute, this course will introduce the basics of permaculture through an examination of Homestead Gardens of Welch, a permaculture designed site with 11 growing seasons of progress to explore. See the emerging living system including zoning, water management, food production, forest gardening, animal integration and more, in action. Come prepared for the weather. Learn more and register.

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.

Cover Crop Field Day
Oct. 6  |  10 a.m.-12 p.m.  |  Western Township, Minn.

Organized by NRCS, topics to be covered: Review different cover crop seed mixes; Plant ID; Annual cover crop uses for cropland and livestock management; soil pit to show soil health/cover crop benefits; seeding methods; biopass production and cost-share opportunities.  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 a month prior to each date. This free webinar is available to the public. Learn more.

Cover Crop Demo Plot
Oct. 10  |  8 a.m.-2:30 p.m.  |  Milaca, Minn.

Organized by NRCS, come join the Mille Lacs Soil and Water Conservation District at the 2014 Cover Crop Demonstration Plot. Tour the demo field, talk with landowners and other local farmers. See first hand how cover crops can be implement into your ag production. Contact Todd Kulaf with questions at 320-983-2160.

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.

Success with Sheep
Oct. 11  |  10 a.m.-1 p.m.  |  Medina, Minn.

Organized by MN Extenstion, this pasture walk will be all about raising sheep – the facilities to house and feed your flock, handling your animals, and managing pastures. 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.

Webinar: Using Cover Crop Mixtures
Oct. 14  |  1 p.m. Central  |  Free

Join eOrganic for this webinar where a team of researchers at Penn State University will discuss the use of cover crop “cocktails” or mixtures to achieve weed suppression, nitrogen scavenging, nitrogen provisioning, and attracting beneficial insects and pollinators. Results from a study of winter cover crops in a grain and forage research project will be shown. Learn more and register.

JFAN Annual Meeting
Oct. 15  |  7:30 p.m.

The Jefferson County Farmers & Neighbors, Inc. (JFAN) Annual Meeting will be welcoming Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of Food & Water Watch who will address the failure of our political and regulatory system to protect communities and the environment and what’s necessary to change this situation.  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.

Webinar: Basics of poultry processing
Oct. 21  |  6 p.m. Central  |  Free

Organized by eXtension, Alina Corey from Penn State University will give an overview of poultry processing basics – from the chicken house to your dinner table.  Learn more.

Webinar: Getting started with vegetable plasticulture
Oct. 22  |  6 p.m. Central  |  $10

Hosted by eXtension, MSU Extension educator Ron Goldy will present information on using plasticulture for vegetable production. Plasticulture involves the use of plastic mulch and drip irrigation for producing vegetables. This technique helps control weeds, is a more efficient use of water and nutrients and will bring crops into production earlier. 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.

Food Day
Oct. 24  |  Nationwide

Food Day is an annual nationwide day focused on healthy, affordable, and sustainable food. To find related events happening around the country, see the Food Day website.

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.

Mother Earth News Fair
Oct. 25-26  |  Topeka, Kan.

Speakers and exhibits about renewable energy, organic gardening, sustainable agriculture, green home building, and more.  Learn more.

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

Join Greg Judy and 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 income based, from $400-550 scale for the weekend, including 7 locally grown meals. Please click here to learn more and register – only 40 spots available.



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.

Minnesota Food Licensing
Nov. 6  |  12:30-4 p.m.

Hosted by the Minnesota Farmers’ Market Association, come and get your food licensing questions answered directly from Health and Agriculture staff. In addition to learning about the various food licenses that are needed, participants will enjoy a fun hands-on safe food sampling lesson, presented by the University of Minnesota Extension. Using a statewide video conference system, you can attend from any of these locations: Bemidji, Duluth, Fergus Falls, Mankato, Marshall, Rochester, St. Cloud and St. Paul. Contact for more details.

Webinar: Starting a small-scale commercial poultry operation
Nov. 6  |  6 p.m. Central

Hosted by eXtension, join Andy Larson, University of Illinois extension educator in local food systems and small farms, will be discussing the things you should consider.  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. All women are welcome. Cost: $120 before Nov. 1, $135 after and walk-ins. Fee includes lodging and some meals. Learn more.

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

The event features food entrepreneurs who are leading the way rebuilding local food systems, along with many renowned thought leaders in agriculture, investing, and philanthropy. Speakers include 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.

Women in Sustainable Agriculture Annual Conference
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.

Farmer Veteran Stakeholders Conference
Nov. 14-15  |  Des Moines, Iowa

The Farmer Veteran Coalition and the Drake University Agricultural Law Center are convening the first national forum on programs and services for veterans pursuing careers related to food and agriculture. All stakeholders from the agricultural and veteran communities are invited: non-profits, businesses, philanthropists, government agencies, trade associations, and educators. Learn more and register.

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.



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 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.



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.

2015 GrassWorks Grazing Conference
Jan. 15-17  |  Chula Vista Resort  |  Wisconsin Dells, Wis.

This conference includes session topics such as silvopasturing, thinking regeneratively, cash flowing the grazing farm, grazing cover crops, using animals to change the landscape and much more. Keynote and general session speakers include Joshua Dukart, Inga Witscher, Mark Shepard and Joel Kuehnfeld.  Learn more and register.

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.

Deep Winter Production of Greens and Livestock Fodder Utilizing Passive Solar Energy
Jan. 31  |  10:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.  |  Ashby, Minn.

Hosted by the Sustainable Farming Association, farm owners Sue Wika and Tom Prieve will provide a detailed overview of the construction and operation of their deep-winter greenhouse, which utilizes passive solar energy with underground heat storage. The greenhouse provides greens for local consumers. In addition, the structure is utilized to produce fodder for the farm livestock. Learn more.



Webinar: Housing for small poultry flocks
Feb. 9  |  2 p.m. Central

Organized by eXtension, Phil Clauer from Penn State University will be discussing various issues related to housing for small poultry flocks.  Learn more.

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

Voting is going on through Oct. 30, 2014 to decide topics for networking discussions at this conference, organized by the Sustainable Farming Association. Early bird rates of $35/members and $45/non-members holds through Sept. 30. The annual conference provides a forum for farmer-led networking discussions and exhibits by vendors with products or services related to sustainable farming.  Learn more.

Midwest Soil Health Summit
Feb. 18-19  |  Alexandria, Minn.

Organized by the Sustainable Farming Association, this conference includes workshops and a presentation from soil health pioneer, Gabe Brown.  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.