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Speaking Events, Good Reading, Sustainable Agriculture Courses
I’ve got my Events Page organized now, so you can check there whenever you’re wondering where I might show up next, addressing a conference or a classroom.
In January, I will be speaking at two conferences: VABF and SSAWG.
January 10-11 (Tuesday and Wednesday) 2017, Virginia Biological Farming Conference http://vabf.org/conference/ Location: Omni Homestead Resort, 7696 Sam Snead Highway, Hot Springs, VA. 800 838 1766. Registration: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2017-virginia-biological-farming-conference-tickets-28261472826.
Two 90 minute workshops: Cover Crops for Vegetable Growers and Spring and Summer Hoophouses. Book signing and sales.
Jan 25-28, 2017 Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group Practical Tools and Solutions for Sustaining Family Farms Conference http://www.ssawg.org/january-2017-conference/ Location: Hyatt Regency Hotel and Convention Center, 401 West High St, Lexington, KY 40507. 888 421 1442, 800 233 1234. Registration: http://www.ssawg.org/registration
Two 90 minute workshops: Diversify your Vegetable Crops (Friday 2-3.30pm) and Storage Vegetables for Off-Season Sales (Saturday 8.15-9.45 am). Workshops will be recorded. Book signing (Thursday 5pm) and sales.
I recently discovered an interesting website and blog: Family Food Garden by Isis Loran. I found it because Isis recommends my book Sustainable Market Farming in her article on designing for large-scale family food production. She lives in zone 5 in the mountains of British Columbia, Canada.
Isis Loran is collecting and sharing a lot of good information, and she has written a book Planning and Designing the Family Food Garden (which I haven’t seen yet). The E-book is $12.99 online, and you can preview 12 pages before buying.
She also sells a 23 page garden planner via Etsy, the craft retail site, for $11.05 Canadian.
For growers more at the farmer end of the scale than the family garden end, the November/December issue of the Organic Broadcaster from MOSES is out.
There’s an article Farmers use creative mix of new technology, adapted equipment to grow row crops. Carolyn Olsen writes about a 36 burner flame-weeder they made from a sprayer!
In Expanding market offers opportunities for herb growers to create value-added products, Jane Hawley Stevens, of Four Elements Organic Herbals, writes about growing more than 150 varieties of herbs on their 130-acre certified organic farm near Madison, Wisconsin. In SILT offers permanent solution to affordable land access in Iowa, Denise O’Brien describes the Sustainable Iowa Land Trust (SILT), a new model that reduces land costs for sustainable food farmers for generations to come. SILT permanently protects land from development, for truly sustainable production of food. Retiring farmers are donating land to this worthy cause.
There are more articles, some about livestock, one about the questionable organic certification on some imported grain crops, one about farm finances, and many more.
Lastly, I’d like to hear from you if you know of a college using my book for a text for sustainable agriculture courses. I know of a few in Virginia, but I’d like to hear more. At the Carolina farm Stewardship Conference at the beginning of November, I met a student at the Central Carolina Community College. The “green-collar” workforce in the “Green Central” program learns about Sustainable Ag and according to the student I spoke with, they chose my book because it is more regionally appropriate for the Carolinas.
I’d like to make more contacts with teachers of sustainable ag courses, and look into marketing my book as a text.
Speaking at Virginia events, Organic Broadcaster
I already mentioned some upcoming events I’ll be presenting workshops at. In the next few months, a lot of them are in Virginia, so here’s a heads-up to fellow Virginians. I’ve added one more, very local event. here they are in date order.
Culpeper County Library, VA Date: Sun, Feb 28, 2016 2-4 pm.
Location: Culpeper County Library, 271 Southgate Shopping Center, Culpeper, VA 22701
Workshop topic: talk about my book, research, importance, etc. for 30 – 45 minutes, then 15 – 30 minutes Q&A. CSA Farmers at an info table. (It’s National CSA sign up day). Signing and selling books.
For the Love of the Local, 402 West Main Street. Louisa, Virginia. (540) 603-2068
Parks and Rec Class of 6-12 people – Designing and Planning Your Vegetable Garden.
Date: Thursday, March 10, 6:00pm-7:00pm
A close look at how to make the most of the area you are going to be using for your vegetable garden, including spacing needs of plants, what plants grow well in Louisa, what plants grow well together, and more. Handouts. Book-signing.
Attendees receive a goodie bag from For the Love of the Local after the class.
New Country Organics, Waynesboro, VA
Small class, about 15 people
Date: Saturday March 26, 10am-noon.
Workshop topic: Succession Planting
Location: New Country Organics 801 2nd Street Waynesboro, VA 22980
My contact: Jillian Lowery firstname.lastname@example.org
www.newcountryorganics.com 540-184-1956 844-933-3337
Handouts, Selling and signing books
Louisa Master Gardener class tour of TO gardens
Date: Thursday, April 21
Location: Twin Oaks Community
The January/February issue of the Organic Broadcaster is out. this publication comes from MOSES, the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service.
This issue includes articles about the state of Organics in 2016, food safety rules and the relatively new USDA Whole Farm Revenue Protection (crop insurance for the rest of us). Previously crop insurance did not cover unusual crops (which we might not consider that unusual – vegetable seed crops, medicinal herbs. . . ) Other articles cover organic cropland in Illinois, a book review of Marketing Organic Grain by John Bobbe, research on labor efficiencies on organic diversified vegetable farms, preparing livestock for a healthy birthing season, supplying methionine in organic poultry rations, setting goals for successfully transferring your farm to new farmers and a new publication on keeping children safe on farms .
Meanwhile, here at Twin Oaks, I’m bracing for really cold weather for a couple of days and the possibility of large amounts of snow on Friday and Saturday. And I’m getting ready for my trip to Lexington, Kentucky for my presentation on Intensive Vegetable Production on a Small Scale at the SSAWG Conference.
Review of the Organic Broadcaster, and Bug Tracks
Maybe you are not getting a chance for any agricultural summer reading, but I’ve been lucky enough to have some time off, while the crew took care of everything. I recently discovered the Organic Broadcaster, newspaper of MOSES, the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service. This magazine is a free digital or print bi-monthly. You can subscribe here. You can also make a donation or post an ad, which will help the paper stay afloat.
Although I don’t live in the Midwest, I really appreciate this publication. It’s an 11 x 17″ 24-page newspaper, with a board of directors drawn from Minnesota, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin. Unlike many East Coast organic publications, this one includes information from farmers growing grains and raising livestock.
The articles are in-depth and substantial, and there are also news briefs, classified ads and an events calendar. The display ads are from businesses relevant to sustainable farming.
The July/August issue is packed with at least 12 articles. It includes (what I think are) regular pages: Ask a MOSES Expert (this time: setting a reasonable rent for grazing land); Book Review (this time The Small Scale Dairy by Gianaclis Caldwell); news from the Rural Women’s Project.
In the summer issue, the other articles included: Non-GMO farmers caught in the crossfire on herbicide-resistant weeds; Financial analysis showing the demand for grass-fed beef is growing; Discussion on the Organic status of hydroponically-grown crops; Using heat generated by a composting process to heat tanks of water and using that stored heat for hoophouse (high tunnel) beds through a cold snap; Seven lessons in farm diversification; Research exploring the benefits of using cover crop mixes; Marketing your farm brand; Collaborative Farming (new farmers helping each other at Sandbox Co-operative, a 50 acre incubator farm – see them on You Tube); Prevention and sustainable controls for external parasites of livestock; Keeping useful farm records; and a study comparing soil health under organic and non-organic systems.
The News Briefs section contains info on field days, MOSES book sales, and sales of audio recordings from the previous MOSES conference, links to useful organizations, legal guides, funding and resources. Altogether a very valuable resource.
Another discovery while I indulged in summer gardening reading was the blog Bug Tracks. It has the subtitle Bringing glory to Earth’s small and neglected creatures. Charley Eiseman writes this blog and takes the splendid photos. He is a freelance naturalist based in western Massachusetts.If you have a mystery insect, you can send him a photo to see if he can identify it. Or you can look at pictures of bugs that have mystified him, and see if you can identify those, if you’re very good! He has a Monthly Mystery series.
We’ve just had National Moth Week, and Charley’s current post has pictures of moths.
Charley Eiseman has also written a book, Tracks & Signs of Insects. “The first-ever reference to the sign left by insects and other North American invertebrates includes descriptions and almost 1,000 color photos of tracks, egg cases, nests, feeding signs, galls, webs, burrows, and signs of predation.”
He’s now working on another book, this one on North American leaf-mining insects.
And I’m back at work, hoeing lettuce and setting up irrigation.