Vegetable Winter School
Tuesdays, January 10th – February 28th, 9:00am – 3:30pm, Brigham Hill Community Farm, North Grafton, MA
Save the dates for this course designed to provide growers with regulatory certainty in a time of many regulatory changes. Leave winter school ready for a Commonwealth Quality Program (CQP) audit and the peace of mind that you are prepared to handle the requirements of: the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), EPA Worker Protection Standards (WPS), Nutrient Management Regulations, and changes in Employment Law. Get up to date on research and IPM practices important to vegetable growers and gain a competitive advantage in a heavily regulated market. Each farm will get detailed support in developing food safety and nutrient management plans, training employees in WPS, developing standard operating procedures compliant with regulations, and preparing an employee handbook and a whole farm IPM plan. This course is designed for farm owners, managers and employees. Learn more and register here.
The Farmer’s Edge – On-Line Business Course + Consulting Collective – Year Long Online Course
2nd Wednesdays, Monthly through 2017, Your computer!
You know how to farm with precision – spacing your rows from maximum yield and efficiency in harvesting, and growing crops best suited for your soils and climate. But are you just as precise on the business side? Do you…Know how to maximize your profits? Know how much does it cost to grow, harvest and sell your products? Earn enough revenue at each farmers market or delivery run? Know what you need to sell to breakeven? Know what infrastructure investments will pay off? The Farmer’s Edge provides the business management skills, from basic to advance, that allow you to answer these questions year after year. Learn more and register here.
Farm Financing: Credit, Capital, and Cash – Oh My!
Tuesday, February 21st, 5:00pm – 8:30pmHolyoke Community College, Room 303, Holyoke, MA
Looking for help exploring financing opportunities for your farm? This session will provide information on the range of loan programs and business assistance that farm lenders and service providers offer, how different lenders work together, and what they each look for in applicants. Participants will be invited to take part in brief “speed-dating” meetings with lenders for personalized assistance. Presenters: Farm Credit East, Farm Service Agency, Equity Trust, The Carrot Project, PVGrows. Learn more.
Farming Smarter with Richard Wiswall (recordkeeping, budgets, and more!)
Wednesday, February 22nd, 8:30am – 4:00pmBrigham Hill Community Farm, North Grafton, MA
Richard’s experience from farming full time for the last 35 years, coupled with his thirst for appropriate farm business strategies, gives a hard-to-find authenticity to his workshops. Richard will lead this full day workshop focused on making a profit, record keeping strategies, building budgets, and improved financial management for your farm. Beginning and seasoned farmers alike will benefit, and share in some eye opening results. Learn more and register here.
Making the Most Out of Pasture and Hayfields
Thursday, February 23rd 9:00am – 3:30pm Massachusetts Fish and Wildlife Headquarters, Grafton, MA
Join experts, educators, and scientists from the University of Massachusetts, University of Vermont, University of New Hampshire, and the University of Maine at an event organized and presented by UMass Extension. The objective of this event is to provide research-based information on the use of hayfield and pasture. Topics include: Managing Alfalfa/Grass Mixtures for High Quality, Extending Grazing Opportunity Through Summer Annuals, Take Your Pasture and Hayfield to the Next Level, Strategies for Implementing Double Cropping of Winter Grains. CEU’s will be available for this event: Nutrient Management 2 CEU, Crop Production 3 CEU. $20 Registration fee; includes lunch. Learn more.
10th Annual SEMAP Ag & Food Conference
Sunday, February 26th, 9:00am-5:30pm, Bristol Aggie, Dighton, MA
Whether you’re a professional farmer, a backyard gardener, or just curious about locally grown food, this is the event for you! Each year, the lineup includes workshops for the general public as well as info-packed sessions for farmers and gardeners of all experience levels. Also offering kids’ workshops! Registration includes a locally-sourced lunch and at the Resource Fair you’ll learn about local organizations and businesses that provide services and products to help you grow, whether you’ve got a hundred acres or a couple of window boxes. Learn more and register.
Season Extension with High Tunnels (BF 220)
Wednesdays, March 1st – April 5th, 6:30pm – 8:00pm, Your Computer
Adding weeks to either end of your growing season can mean attaining a premium for having products available well before (or long after) other local growers.But, the structures that make this possible–(unheated plastic-covered “high tunnels” or “hoop houses”) can cost a lot of money, and they bring special management considerations that need to be understood in order to be profitable additions to your farm. By the end of this course, growers will be able to complete a basic site assessment, confidently make decisions to improve or maintain their soil health and fertility in the tunnel, select an appropriate high tunnel structure for their site, climate, and production needs, and determine if high tunnels make economic, environmental, and social sense on their farm. Join Jud Reid, regional vegetable specialist with the CCE Cornell Vegetable Program, along with Crystal Stewart, regional vegetable specialist with the CCE Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture Program, during this in-depth six-week online course. Fee for this course is $250. Sign up a month or more in advance of the start date and receive $25 off. Sign up for three or more courses and received $50 off your total. Learn more and register here.
Local Specialty Crop & Local Food Trade Shows
Wednesday, March 1st, 8:30am – 2:00pm Northeastern University Curry Student Center, Boston, MA
*TWO TRADE SHOWS, ONE LOCATION, ONE TIME* Local Specialty Crop Trade Show – Exhibitors will include New England based farmers, produce distributors and local specialty crop producers (products made with 50% or more specialty crops also qualify). Please view the USDA definition of specialty crops here. This Trade Show is sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources. Exhibition booths are free for specialty crop farmers and other specialty crop producers. Local Food Trade Show –This trade show is open to all non-specialty crop food producers including meat and dairy farms, fisheries, baked goods and other added value producers. Who should attend? Any wholesale buyers, who are interested in purchasing Massachusetts or New England-produced food items. These buyers can be supermarkets, co-ops, restaurants, hotels, institutions, schools, food processors in search of ingredients, distributors, or anyone else interested in local purchasing options. Learn more.
To Diversify or Not to Diversify? And How?
Wednesday, March 1st, 5:00pm – 8:30pmHolyoke Community College, Room 303, Holyoke, MA
Market fluctuation due to over saturation of farms, unforeseen weather issues, and changes in consumer demands all affect how farmers determine what to grow, where to sell it, and how to price their product. This workshop is for farmers who are interested in market diversification as a path to farm sustainability and profitability. We will use marketing channel assessment tools to project the potential outcomes. Come prepared as this class is interactive; we will look at real farm examples and work on your own farm situations. Presenter: Matt Leroux – Cornell Cooperative Extension. Learn more.
Bristol County Farm Bureau Legislative Breakfast
Friday, March 3rd, 8:00am-10:00am, The Jockey Club, Raynham, MA
Meet with local and state legislators as MA Farm Bureau presents key issues for 2017. Doors open at 8:00am, breakfast at 8:30am. Please consider bringing a shelf stable food item, cash or gift card for donation to the Young Farmer & Rancher Harvest for All program. Proceed will be distributed to a local food bank. RSVP by Feb 24 (508) 822-6635 or email@example.com
5th Annual Massachusetts Urban Farming Conference
Saturday, March 4th, 8:00am – 5:30pm Northeastern University Curry Student Center, Boston, MA
The 5th Annual Massachusetts Urban Farming Conference (UFC) is designed to advance the opportunities and address the barriers involved in cultivating a resilient and thriving Urban Farming sector. The UFC is a multi-sector stakeholder forum designed to share information regarding what is currently happening in Massachusetts. The UFC fosters solutions, sustainable networks and business relationships. Learn more.
Marshfield Agricultural Commission’s 7th Annual Backyard Farm and Garden Lectures
Saturday, March 4th, 9:00am – 12:30pm Marshfield Counil on Aging, Marshfield, MA
The Marshfield Agricultural Commission will sponsor the Seventh Annual lecture event “The Backyard Farm and Garden 2017” on Saturday, March 4, from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm at the Marshfield Senior Center, 230 Webster St. The event is free and open to residents of all towns. Experts in their fields will present lectures on Organic Seed Starting, Xeriscaping, Design Basics for Home Gardens, Sun Gardens for all Seasons, Keeping Alpacas and Using the Fiber, and Goat Keeping. Learn more and sign up!
NOFA/RI Winter Conference
Sunday, March 5th, 8:30am – 4:30pm,Hope & Main, Warren, MA
The Northeast Organic Farming Association of RI (N O F A / R I) Winter Conference is our largest educational and fundraising event of the year. The Conference will feature a full day of workshops with nationally recognized speakers in organic and sustainable agriculture as well as influential speakers from across Rhode Island and southeast New England, networking sessions, our annual meeting and a delicious potluck meal. This year’s Winter Conference has something for everyone, be they a gardener, farmer or fan of organic foods. Learn more.
QuickBooks For Farmers
Saturday, March 11th, 10:00am – 2:00pmSackler Center for Medical Education, Boston, MA
Join New Entry and Julia Shanks for a practical, hands-on Quickbooks workshop for farmers! Learn how to: set up a chart of accounts that suits your business, enter transactions, track enterprise-specific data, and generate and interpret farm financial statements. This workshop will be 4 hours long with plenty of brain breaks and time for one-on-one coaching. All participants will be provided with a computer, QuickBooks software (for workshop use only), and snacks. Learn more and register here.
Save the date! A Grain Gathering
Saturday, March 11th, 1:00pm-3:00pm, Plimoth Grist Mill, Plymouth, MA
Please join us for the first state-wide grain gathering in the 21st Century! Farmers, Millers, Bakers, Chefs, Mallsters, Brewers and Distillers: we are calling on you to support, bolster, enlarge, propagate and otherwise help grow the resurgent local grain economy in Massachusetts. There are already half a dozen producers, processors and value-adding food visionaries out there, from the Cape to the Berkshires, harvesting & offering wheat, rye, spelt, corn & oats. Come hear presentations from them & meet others who want to join in. Tour the historic grist mill, munch on 100% locally-grown bread & other goodies, and help to place a worthy bread basket on the Farm-to-table food movement. This project is a collaboration between Plimoth Plantation and the Plimoth Grist Mill, SEMAP, and Hungry Ghost Bread. Learn more and register here.
Growing and Grafting Grapes Workshop
Saturday, March 11th, 1:00pm – 3:00pm, Marshfield Fairgrounds, Marshfield, MA
Grapes are one of the most universally enjoyed fruits available. Many of the new varieties have excellent taste, are winter hardy, and can make excellent wine. Growing grapes in the backyard can be very rewarding. Grafting permits multiple varieties to be planted in a wide range of soils, assists with pest control, and requires less space. The first part is a classroom presentation covering, varieties, pest and disease control, shoot and cluster thinning, pruning, and grafting. Next participants will have the opportunity to observe pruning of the on-site 3 year old vines and participate in a hands-on grafting demonstration. There will be plenty of opportunity for questions. Learn more and sign up!
Land Tenure: Alternatives to Ownership and Negotiating a Lease
Tuesday, March 14th, 5:00pm – 8:30pm Holyoke Community College, Room 303, Holyoke, MA
This workshop will explore the alternatives to land ownership and the advantages and challenges to these specific arrangements. Learn how to negotiate and craft lease agreements and build good relationships with all stakeholders as business people and land stewards. We will also discuss where to find additional support based on your specific land needs and situations. Presenters: Rachel Murray and Kathy Ruhf – Land For Good Learn more.
Plymouth County Farm Bureau Legislative Breakfast
Friday, March 17th, 7:00am-9:00am
Details to be announced.
Soil, Plant, and Farm Methodology Course
Saturday, March 18th – Sunday, March 19th, 1:00pm – 7:00pm, Bell Street Chapel, Providence, RI
The sixth annual spring course for farmers, gardeners, and others interested in the world of soil and plant health and function. This course covers foundational and current soil science, crop science, and soil maintenance principles with a focus on organic-farming methodology. Learn more.
Grant Essentials: Opportunities & Approaches
Wednesday, March 22nd, 5:00pm – 8:30pm, Holyoke Community College, Room 303, Holyoke, MA
Grants are great for exploring and expanding new markets, building alt-energy structures, and exploring farm viability. Determine if a grant is the right source for you. This presentation will help you understand, develop, and submit successful grant applications. We will discuss a wide range of grants as well as a more detailed presentation of SARE and MDAR programs. The Kitchen Garden will talk about their process in applying for and receiving grant funding for various projects. Learn more.
Pruning Blueberries Workshop
Saturday, March 25th, 10:00am – 12:00pm, Tree-Berry Farm, Scituate, MA
Blueberries are among a popular fruit to grow in the home garden. They are healthful and well suited to grow in our New England conditions. This outdoor hands-on workshop on pruning blueberries will help anybody already growing or ready to plant blueberries. Among the most popular fruits to grow in the home garden, they produce best when pruned properly. The class includes a demonstration to identify diseased wood, beneficial insect signs and a discussion on pruning methodology and approach. Then participants will go hands-on in small groups to prune with an expert and ask questions. Participants will get extensive hands-on pruning time until comfortable and confident with the process. Learn more and sign up!
Norfolk County Farm Bureau Legislative Breakfast
Friday, March 30th, 8:00am-10:00am
Details to be announced.
Food Tank Summit – Boston
Saturday, April 1st, 9:00am – 5:00pm, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Boston, MA
Food Tank, in collaboration with the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, is excited to announce the inaugural Boston Food Tank Summit. This two-day event will feature more than three dozen different speakers from the food and agriculture field. Researchers, farmers, chefs, policy makers, government officials, and students will come together for discussions on diverse topics. The theme for the Summit is Investing in Discovery. Learn more.
Seed Starting to Transplant Workshop
Saturday, April 1st, 10:00am – 12:00pm, Marshfield Fairgrounds, Marshfield, MA
Whether you have a small home plot or a large garden for profit it is rewarding and cost effective to grow your own seedlings. The first half of the workshop will be in the classroom learning about seed selection, materials, tools and basic goals to successful growing. The pros and cons of using soil blocks, various seed trays, starting mixes, seeding tools, germination, pest and disease mitigation, transplant timing will also be covered. During the hands-on portion of the class participants will plant various seeds with these methods and tools. Participants may bring their own seeds if desired. A selection of certified organic High Mowing Seeds will also be available for purchase. Learn more and sign up!
New England Farm to Institution Conference
Wednesday, April 5th – Friday, April 7th,Leominster DoubleTree, Leominster, MA
The 2017 New England Farm to Institution Summit will bring together more than 500 people who are leveraging the power of schools, colleges, hospitals and other institutions to transform our food system. Please join hundreds of other farm to institution advocates – for two exciting days of learning, sharing, exploring and connecting. The event will convene representatives from institutional facilities, along with their food supply chain partners and farm to institution advocates, to maximize collective impact and overcome challenges to buying more local food. The summit will feature programming that focuses on farm to school, farm to campus and farm to health care, as well as cross-sector themes. Learn more.
Raising Hogs Workshop
Saturday, April 22nd, 10:00am – 12:00pm, Marshfield Fairgrounds, Marshfield, MA
This class is designed for anyone wishing to learn about raising their own pigs. Peter Burrows of Vermont based Brown Boar Farm successfully grew from scratch a business raising pastured pork with his family. Their premium pork products have won awards and are sold direct to consumers and fine restaurants. Peter will talk about raising pigs with respect. Class will cover some breeds, methodology and care of the sow & piglets through market weight including, shelter, pens/space considerations, handling, health, feeding, processing and product options. There will be plenty of opportunity for questions too. Learn more and sign up!
New England Meat Conference
Friday, April 28th – Saturday, April 29th, Manchester, NH
The New England Meat Conference’s mission is to foster and support the production, processing, product development and marketing of sustainable, nutritious, humanely-raised, and delicious animal products from New England by providing educational and networking opportunities for those who are involved in New England’s meat industries. Learn more.
Mushroom Gardening Workshop
Saturday, May 6th, 12:30pm – 2:30pm, Marshfield Fairgrounds, Marshfield, MA
This 2 hour course begins with a classroom session followed by outdoor hands-on workshop.
This course teaches the techniques necessary to grow edible mushrooms in your landscape, whether it be a vegetable garden, perennial orchard or forest. We will discuss and demonstrate a number of low-tech growing methods including Lions Mane totem stacks which fruit in just 3 months, Shiitake log cultivation, and wine cap companion planting. By learning these simple techniques participants will be able to cultivate a wide variety of gourmet and medicinal species. There may be logs/totems or other materials available for purchase at the event. Learn more and sign up!
NOFA Summer Conference
Friday, August 11th – Sunday, August 13th, Hampshire College, Amherst, MA
At the NOFA summer conference, you may learn as much across a lunch table as you will at workshops; solve your most pressing challenge in a chance discussion with a stranger; or create the spark that is going to be your next big idea. Children and Teens also have their own conference experience with a parade, workshops and activities that build their organic vision for the future. Learn more.
Community Food Systems
Tuesday, December 5th – Thursday, December 7th, Boston Park Plaza Hotel, Boston, MA
New Entry Sustainable Farming Project’s Community Food Systems Conference will address common underlying themes between food security, social justice and sustainable agriculture including obstacles in urban and rural environments and fostering community empowerment to create and sustain resilient local food systems. We will provide space for conversations around promoting, facilitating, and supporting self-reliance; breaking down barriers to racial justice; connecting communities to their food sources; and impacting communities at the local and regional level through sustainable food production. The conference will bring together leaders in, and advocates of, food security, sustainable agriculture and social justice movements to discuss their range of perspectives, how these areas overlap, and how to support one another work. Learn more.
New England Vegetable & Fruit Conference
Tuesday, December 12th – Thursday, December 14th
This conference will include more than 25 educational sessions over 3 days, covering major vegetable, berry and tree fruit crops as well as various special topics. A Farmer to Farmer meeting after each morning and afternoon session will bring speakers and farmers together for informal, in-depth discussion on certain issues. There is also an extensive Trade Show with over 100 exhibitors. We hope that you will enjoy your time here, and meet with fellow growers, advisors, researchers, and industry representatives. We want you to leave with new ideas and new information that will have a positive impact on your farm. Learn more.