Ag & Food Conference
A partnership between SEMAP and the Bristol County Conservation District, with generous funding from the MA Department of Agricultural Resources
March 1st, 2015 at Bristol Agricultural High School, Dighton, MA
About the Conference
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 and workshops specific to organic methods.
Registration includes a locally-sourced lunch prepared by M&C Cafe of New Bedford 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.
Contact at email@example.com for more information on SPONSORING the conference or EXHIBITING at the conference.
8:30 am – Registration Begins, Resource Fair Opens
9:00 am – Opening Remarks
9:30 am – 11:00 am – Workshop Session 1
11:15 am – 12:00 pm – Keynote & Announcements
12:00 pm – Lunch
1:00 pm – 2:30 pm – Workshop Session 2
3:00 pm – 4:30 pm – Workshop Session 3
Growing Grains in New England, Noah Kellerman
Grain production is virtually unknown in New England. However, our climate and soils can produce high yields of delicious grains and beans that add diversity to our crop rotations, CSA shares and local diets. We will cover agronomy, soil impacts, disease management, harvesting, processing and marketing of wheat, barley, corn, beans and other crops. This workshop aims to demystify grain production and explore how these valuable crops can be integrated into gardens, homesteads and commercial farms. Technology ranging from sickle and flail to combines will be discussed.
Home Gardening, Andy and Val Tomolonis
Andy and Val Tomolonis, who have operated a small-scale commercial CSA farm from their 1 acre suburban plot, will describe their operation, stressing organic techniques. Topics will include siting a garden, building trellises, using raised beds and low tunnels; starting seeds indoors; successive crops; making compost and preventing insects and diseases naturally. Andy is a SEMAP board member, an online editor, a longtime garden communicator and author of the new book, “Organic Hobby Farming.” Val is office manager for OSM Inc., which markets organic and natural products for the home and garden.
Fermentation, Geoff Lukas
Fermentation is one of the oldest forms of food preservation and appears across all cultures and geographies. Classically, it allowed civilizations in colder climates to make the most of a short growing season; and those in hotter climates to withstand the rigors of the summer. Now there is renewed interest as fermentation is seen as a way to produce interesting flavors and textures as well as being very positively impactful nutritionally. Fermented foods appear in fascinating ways and often with surprising cross-culture parallels, displaying endless ingenuity in the face of scarcity. This presentation will introduce these concepts and use fermentation as a platform for discussing food culture, nutrition, and food preservation.
Tomato Grower Panel
Interested in growing some of the best tomatoes? Learn the dos and don’ts from a panel of “tomato experts,” including Langwater Farm, who brought home 4 trophies at the Massachusetts Tomato Contest last year (1st in heirloom, 1st & 3rd in red slicing, 2nd in cherry). More panelists will be announced soon!
Developing a Business Plan – A Step by Step Guide, Jon Jaffe
Join Jon Jaffe for an informative workshop on business plan development. What is a business plan? Why is a business plan important? Who are they written for? Jon will then discuss the six components of a business plan including: 1) Executive Summary, 2) Business Description, 3) Operations, 4) Marketing Plan, 5) Management and 6) Financials. A sample business plan will be shared and there will be time for Q & A.
Trace Minerals in Your Garden: Basics & Beyond, Derek Christianson
Trace Mineral are essential to producing healthy crops. In this workshop we’ll review the functions of 6 trace minerals (Boron, Copper, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Zinc) in plant metabolism and discuss the best practices to ensure the plants in your garden can access these critical minerals. For gardeners of all scale and experience levels.
Hot Water Seed Treatment, Katie Campbell-Nelson
In order to raise healthy vegetable crops, you must start with healthy seed. One of the major concerns with vegetable seed is carryover of bacterial, fungal or viral diseases. In this hands-on workshop you will learn about seed-borne diseases and how to prevent them using the age-old yet safe and effective method of hot water seed treatment to eradicate seed-borne pathogens. Bring your saved or purchased seed to treat in the hands-on portion of this workshop— small seeds such as pepper, tomato, eggplant, kale, broccoli, and lettuce can be treated, but beans, squash, cucumber, or pumpkin seeds are too large. Chemically treated or pelleted and primed seed can not be treated. Treating seed saved for more than one year or seed from a field heavily infested may inhibit germination. Contact the presentor if you have questions about which seed to bring firstname.lastname@example.org, 413-545-1051. Bringing seed is not a requirement to attend this workshop.
2014 Vegetable Disease Update, Sue Scheufele
Understanding the biology of disease-causing organisms can help you make more informed decisions about how to manage diseases and minimize their impacts on your farm.In this workshop we will review disease management principles focusing on the impact of pathogen biology on disease spread and management, using the 2014 season as a guide. Get information on new diseases like basil downy mildew, dig deeper into perennial diseases like leaf blights in tomato, and discuss major disease outbreaks of 2014 like late blight on tomato/potato. —Q&A to follow.
Brassica Pest Management, Sue Scheufele
Brassica Pest Management: More and more acres are being devoted to brassica production, and year-round production of brassica greens has become commonplace. Managing insect and disease pests in these situations is critical so that populations don’t build up to uncontrollable levels. We will discuss biology and management of common insect and disease pests in these crops, with special attention given to cabbage root maggot and Alternaria leaf spot, and ongoing research in these areas being conducted by UMass Extension. Management recommendations will include both cultural and chemical control practices relevant to organic and conventional growers across scales.
How to Buy Used Equipment, Al Bouchard
More details coming soon.
More Workshops and Event Details will be announced soon. Check back for details!