Community Calendar

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Events and field days to help you grow successfully.

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All times are listed as Central Time.

 

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May 2021

 

Minnesota Elderberry Growers Farm Tour
May 15 |  8:30 a.m. | Montrose, Minn.

Learn more about what is happening in Minnesota elderberry production at this upcoming (in-person) event hosted by the Midwest Elderberry Co-op. They will tour both VFI and nearby Fountain Ark Farms. President Chris Patton will give a short presentation on the progress towards a regional hub in the Montrose area for elderberry harvest aggregation and ingredient production followed by a Q&A session and general discussion before touring the farms. This tour is open to all interested. Learn more.

Live Event with Local Food Heroes
May 17 |  6 p.m. | Online

Celebrate the launch of renowned chef Beth Dooley’s new cookbook The Perennial Kitchen: Simple Recipes for a Healthy Future and hear her conversation with Prabin Bajgain, Sandy Boss Febbo, Kieran Folliard, Tre Hardy, Luke Peterson, and Tracy Singleton – five local food heroes whose work helped shape the book. The event is sponsored by the Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture, the Forever Green Initiative, Lakewinds Food Co-op, Excelsior Bay Books, and the University of Minnesota Press. Register.

Nathan Vergin Pasture Walk
May 18 |  11 a.m. – 2 p.m. | St. Charles, Minn.

Join Angie Walter and the Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship, in partnership with SFA, for a pasture walk. Jared Luhman will be talking about recent soil testing and how that relates to farming/grazing cattle. Cover crops and weed control will also be discussed. Lunch will be served. Learn more.

Direct Farm Marketing Online Workshop Series
May 19 |  6 – 7:30 p.m. | Wholesale Markets (food hubs and farm to school)
May 26 |  6 – 7:30 p.m. | Value-Added Processing

Purdue Extension specialists and educators, along with guest speakers, will discuss how to enhance the sales of produce, animal products and value-added processing through marketing education. Participants will learn direct marketing basics and specific market types and strategies. Register.

Virtual Soil Health Series: Soil Health for Fruit and Vegetable Producers
May 20 |  10 a.m. | Online

Join Zachary Paige from the White Earth Food Sovereignty Initiative and Dustin Jasken from USDA NRCS for a Soil Health Workshop outlining regenerative models of soil health based on five principles. They will discuss practical methods of implementation and strategies of how these soil health principles adapt to diverse scenarios for small producers (high tunnel, mulching, raised beds, no-till, and perennial plots) through pictures and quotes from sustainable farmers in Minnesota. Co-sponsored by SFA. Register.

Roots of Resilience in An Age of Crisis Series
May 21 |  Noon  | Seed-Saving: Preserving Culture and Building Resilience
June 18 |  Noon  | Thirsty California: Water, Agribusiness, and the Future of Food

This virtual series, hosted by The School of Commonweal and Real Food Media, focuses on the roots of resilience in an age of crisis: land, seeds, and water – and features leading thinkers and doers for deep conversations about the interconnectedness of these crises and how we find our way out. Learn more.

2021 National Pesticide Forum:  Cultivating Healthy Communities
May 24 & 25, June 1, 8, & 15 |  $  | Online

Hosted by Beyond Pesticides, The Forum brings together scientists, policymakers, practitioners, and advocates to elevate with greater clarity the threats associated with environmental decline and collapse and the urgency with which we need to adopt solutions that are within our grasp. Learn more.

Spotlight on Organics: Capital and Collaboration – Putting Farmers First in the Transition to Organic Agriculture
May 25 | Noon – 1 p.m. |  $20  | Online

The Iowa Organic Association hosts this interview with Robyn O’Brien whose background in finance and work in the food industry over the last twenty years have afforded her unique insight into the changing landscape of our food system, how it is impacting farmers. Check out her well received TEDtalk on the subject ahead of the interview. Learn more

Harvesting & Packing for Food Safety & Quality Control
May 25 | 5 – 6:30 p.m. |  Free  | Online

This evening workshop from Pasa Sustainable Agriculture visits Braddock Farms to learn about the principles and practices that contribute to efficient harvest while maintaining food safety and storability. Learn more.

Formation of USDA FSA Urban Ag County Committee
May 26 | 1:30 – 3 p.m. |  Free  | Online

The Twin Cities Metro Growers Network is hosting a webinar with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) in Minnesota that will discusse an overview of USDA programs that align with urban and suburban agriculture and the formation of the FSA County Committee for Urban Agriculture. Attendees will gain a better understanding of the pilot Suburban/Urban Ag County Committee (COC) in Minneapolis-St. Paul, including how to participate through nominating COC candidates and voting in the election. Learn more and register.

Virtual Soil Health Series: Cover Crops in Minnesota
May 27 |  10 a.m. | Online

We will take a deep dive into the benefits of cover crops and diverse pollinators with researchers Adria Fernandez, Gabriela Hidrobo, Naomy Candelaria and Madison Moses form the UMN Grossman lab as well as the sorghum project with WETCC extension education dept. We will discuss the details of our collaborative project in Mahnomen this summer and how you can be involved. The researchers will be also speak about counting pollinators, advanced nitrate testing. Co-sponsored by SFA. Register.

Summer Camp Conservation Lunch Series – Online
May 27 | Noon | Adding pollinator habitat
June 24 | Noon | Restore healthy soil: Creative and cost effective ideas
July 29 | Noon | Care for natives while safely battling invasives
August 26 | Noon | Explore regenerative agriculture

Are you a Wisconsin women landowner ready to discover new ideas and resources to care for your land? Join women landowners from across the state who share your passion for stewarding the land on a virtual “summer camp” series bringing together expert advice and opportunity to connect and network. Whatever your background, all women landowners are welcome. Feel free to bring your lunch. S’mores optional. Learn more.

Sustainable Beekeeping for Your Small Apiary
May 27 |  4 – 5:30 p.m.  | Online

Hosted by MOFGA. This class will be focused on producing, growing, and wintering nucleus hives to replace winter losses in your apiary. Topics will include splitting hives, wintering over nucleus colonies, identifying signs of swarming and acting to prevent it, as well as tips for raising healthy winter bees and a brief discussion on small-scale queen production. This class is aimed at intermediate level beekeepers—those with several seasons under their belt and a familiarity with the tasks of a beekeeper. Register.

Introduction to Growing Hemp
May 29 |  2 – 3:30 p.m. | $30  | Online

Come to this workshop to gain the knowledge you need to get started growing hemp, hosted by Michael Fields Agricultural Institute. At MFAI, presenter Esther Shekinah, PhD, has been spearheading the research in CBD and Grain hemp and has worked with UW Madison, Michigan State and Illinois University screening varieties suitable for high CBD and grain yield for the Midwest. She will also be presenting the research results of 2020. Register.

 

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June 2021

 

Sharing Stories: Growing Relationships with the Land Webinar Series
June 1  |  Noon | Online

This event is part of a six-part series designed to amplify the stories of people who are using conservation practices that have important regenerative potential while reducing the impacts on climate change. This is a project partnership involving the Office of Sustainability – University of Minnesota Morris, Stevens County Soil & Water Conservation District, and CURE (Clean Up the River Environment), in cooperation with the Land Stewardship Project. Learn more.

Mhonpaj’s Garden
June 2  |2 p.m. |  Free | Online

Learn more about season extension for vegetables with MOSES Organic Specialist Mhonpaj Lee. This field day will be inside of a high tunnel so, as a precaution, we will be hosting this as a virtual event. Learn more.

Guiding Resilience: A Legal Workshop for Ag Service Providers
June 3  | $  |  1-3 pm | Online
June 10 |  1-3 pm | Online
June 17 |  1-3 pm | Online
June 24 |  1-3 pm | Online
July 1 |  1-3 pm | Online

Hosted by Farm Commons. This workshop empowers you to guide farmers and ranchers towards resolutions for their legal vulnerabilities. You will walk away from this five-session, highly interactive, and in-depth workshop ready to help farmers move forward from legal questions with confidence. Plus, you’ll have a new network of agriculture professionals to connect with on legal and other important topics. More details.

Farm Dreams Online Series
June 8  | $30 (for full series) |  6 – 8 p.m. | Assessing Readiness
June 15 | 6 – 8 p.m. | Building a Dream
June 22 | 6 – 8 p.m. | Creating a Plan

This workshop series is for aspiring farmers, helping them discover what it would really take to start a farm business. Each session includes exercises to help assess skills and resources, and provide direction for next steps in building a farm business. Hosted by the Land Connection. More details.

Practicalities and Realities in Land Law: A Workshop for Ag Service Provide
June 15  | 11:00 a.m. |   $45 (for both sessions)| Online
June 17  | 11:00 a.m. | Online

Join Farm Commons for a two-session workshop designed to help agricultural service providers understand and deploy legal risk management strategies around land issues for the agricultural communities you serve. More details.

The “Practical Farrowing Box” DIY Sow Nesting Boxes
June 15  | 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.|  Free | Online

This webinar is part of a weekly YouTube Live series called “Live from the Farm” hosted by Practical Farmers of Iowa. It features MOSES 2009 Farmer of the Year Tom Frantzen sharing his expertise on pigs and farrowing tips. More details.

Organic Strategies for Weed Management in Vegetable Crops
June 15  | 2 – 4:30 p.m.|  $10 | Kutztown, Pa.
June 15  | 5  – 6 p.m.|  $10 | Pittsburgh, Pa.

These workshops are hosted by Pasa and the Rodale Institute, and will provide chemical-free strategies for weed management on organic vegetable farms. More details.

Ownership Pathways in Agroforestry
June 17  | 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.|  Free | Online

This webinar will explore long-term partnerships between tree crop farmers and alley crop farmers, with special focus on rent dynamics and the long-term planning required when integrating trees into agricultural settings. Alley cropping systems explored will include chestnuts, small fruits, and timber. Hosted by the Savanna Institute. More details.

Converting to Organic and Regenerative Fruit Production
June 19  | 1 p.m.|  Antigo, Wis.

Join Lisa Reittinger to learn more about converting from conventional fruit production to organic/regenerative.  Grandview Orchard and Nursery is a U-pick and farmstore featuring 30 varieties of apples near Antigo, WI.  Lisa will share her expertise and experiences with understory management, sap analysis and disease management as well as marketing logistics for on-farm sales. More details.

Herbal Health Virtual Conference
June 24 & 25  | $ | Online

Hosted by Mother Earth News in partnership with Mountain Rose herbs. Each day will feature special one-hour demonstrations from instructors in the morning followed by optional small group sessions. All participants will also receive access to recipes for the products demonstrated during the conference. Learn more and register.

North American Agroforestry Conference
June 28 – July 2  |  $  | Online

The Savanna Institute will be hosting the biennial North American Agroforestry Conference. This virtual conference will bring together researchers, farmers, investors, and policy-makers to focus attention on overcoming barriers to scaling up agroforestry for carbon drawdown. Learn more.

Vegetable Farming 101: Irrigation
June 30  |  $10  | Germansville, Pa.

This workshop is hosted by Pasa. See an irrigation system in action while you learn about the water needs of different crops, soils, terrains, and scales. Learn more.

 

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July 2021

 

North American Agroforestry Conference
June 28 – July 2  |  $  | Online

The Savanna Institute will be hosting the biennial North American Agroforestry Conference. This virtual conference will bring together researchers, farmers, investors, and policy-makers to focus attention on overcoming barriers to scaling up agroforestry for carbon drawdown. Learn more.

Guiding Resilience: A Legal Workshop for Ag Service Providers
July 7  | $  | 2 – 4 pm | Online
July 14 | 2 – 4 pm | Online
July 21 |  2 – 4 pm | Online
July 28 |  2 – 4 pm | Online
August 4 |  2 – 4 pm | Online

Hosted by Farm Commons. This workshop empowers you to guide farmers and ranchers towards resolutions for their legal vulnerabilities. You will walk away from this five-session, highly interactive, and in-depth workshop ready to help farmers move forward from legal questions with confidence. Plus, you’ll have a new network of agriculture professionals to connect with on legal and other important topics. More details.

ACRES On-Farm Intensive with Zimmer Ag
July 19 & 20  |  $  | Lone Rock, Wis.

Organized by ACRES, attend this exclusive, small-group event in-person with Gary Zimmer, Leilani Zimmer-Durand and The Savannah Institute near Lone Rock, Wisconsin. This two-day, intensive workshop is open for registration. Limited capacity. Learn more.

Organic Row Crops and Native Prairie Restoration in South Dakota
July 22  |  8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.  | Madison, S.D.

Join the Johnson family for their annual farm tour to see this great example for large-acreage row crop farmers looking to transition to organic or improve their organic farming and business practices. In addition, your will hear about their second year of organic oat trials and also from fellow South Dakota farmer Tracy Rosenberg about her work to help restore South Dakota grassland to it’s native prairie state. Learn more.

Creative Land Access Model and No-Till Vegetable Research
July 31  |  2 p.m.  | Decorah, Iowa

Hannah Breckbill and Emily Fagan of Humble Hands Harvest, a diversified organic vegetable, pastured pork, grass-fed sheep, and tree crop farm, will share their community-centered land access story and cooperative business model. The farm tour will highlight their development of a no-till organic vegetable system as well as their plans for perennializing their 22 acres. Learn more.

 

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August 2021

 

Medicinal Herb Production
August 2  |  12 – 4 p.m.  | North Freedom, Wis.

Did you enjoy last year’s virtual field day with 2020’s MOSES Farmers of the Year David and Jane Stevens? Well, you now have an opportunity to come and visit their beautiful farm. You will learn all about medicinal herb production, topics including herb identification and wellness uses, planting, harvesting, drying, and cover crops. Learn more.

Systems Approach to Organic Farming
August 18  |  11 a.m.  | Turtle Lake, Wis.

Join MOSES Organic Specialist Rodrigo Cala as he shares the systems approach he uses on his organic farm – everything from his sheep production system incorporating rotational grazing to a perennial system used to raise chickens, and much more. Learn more.

Silvopasture for Pollinators and Livestock
August 21  |  9 a.m. –  Noon | Menomonie, Wis.

Evaluate recently-planted silviculture strips and learn about species selection, installation, and weed management on MOSES Organic Specialist Rachel Henderson’s farm. Habitat value will be discussed both in terms of forage/shade for livestock and food/nesting for pollinators, especially specialist bees, butterflies, and moths that require certain tree & shrub species to survive. Co-hosted with The Xerces Society. Learn more.

Lily Springs Field Day
August 21  |  10 a.m. –  1 p.m. | Osceola, Wis.

Savanna Institute visits Lily Springs Farm to learn more about the varieties of elderberries they are trialing, and how they manage pest and diseases for this up and coming crop. Learn more and register.

 

 

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