Sustainable Farming For Women, By Women

Coming up in August, MOSES, The MidWest Organic and Sustainable Education Service, will be hosting a series of workshops for women. In Her Boots: Sustainable Farming for Women, by Women includes on-farm workshops that provide attendees with skill-building and networking experiences and inspiration to support them in launching a food or farm business. Workshops will be taught by seasoned and beginning female farmers and topics include everything from how to run farm and food-based enterprises and value-added businesses, to land stewardship, risk management through income diversification, and integrating children and family.

Space is very limited, so sign up for workshops as soon as possible—and take advantage of the early bird discount! Click here for more information, or to reserve your spot.

August Workshops include:

Canoe Creek Produce
Sunday, August 4, 2013 | 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  | Decorah, Iowa  | $35; $50 after 7-31-13
Discuss farm diversification, beginning farmer challenges and resources, and farmstay start-ups with a panel of experienced farmers plus representatives of FoodCorps and MOSES.

Dancing Winds Farms
Thursday, August 8, 2013  | 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  |  Kenyon, Minnesota | $35; $50 after 7-31-13
A panel of farmers discusses diversification through farmstays, farming as a single woman, starting farms mid-life, beginning farmer land access & financing, cheesemaking, raising goats, and more!

Scotch Hill Farm
Sunday, August 18, 2013  | 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  |  Brodhead, Wisconsin | $35; $50 after 8-9-13
Learn from women who run successful CSA operations through the Fair Share Coalition. Topics include starting

Beginning Farmer Resources

As a beginning farmer you may face a number of obstacles: from access to land, to developing your skills, to planning out your finances, and even to figuring out what to grow and how to sell it. Plus, you may run into plenty of questions while trying to start up your business. The guides below will be particularly helpful resources during this time. Check them out, and don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have unanswered questions: email or call 1-800-FARM-AID.

The Greenhorns’ Guidebook for Beginning Farmers  is written for young farmers by young farmers. It is meant to be a helpful resource and guide into the field of sustainable agriculture.

The Land Stewardship Project and the Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture worked together to publish Resources for Beginning Farmers: Building a Sustainable Future. This guide provides a listing of resources for beginning farmers who are entertaining the idea of earning a living by sustainably producing food and fiber. These resources are updated annually on the MISA website.

BeginningFarmers.org has an extensive array of resources, publications, events, forums and other tools for beginning farmers. And similarly, Start2Farm.gov lets you explore what it takes to start a farm and to find resources.

Local farming listservs are great resource for finding jobs, bouncing around ideas, and connecting with other farmers in the area. See if there is one near you by tapping into a local CRAFT group.

For more information, head to the Farmer Resource Network’s beginning farmer page.

Pasture-Raised Pigs on a Diversified Organic Farm Workshop

Learn about organic pasture-raised pigs at an upcoming workshop with CT NOFA board member, Greg Hazleton. Greg is the owner/farmer at Copper Hill Farm in West Suffield. This workshop will cover all of the how-to’s involved in raising organic pastured pigs. Also to be covered: managing a diversified organic farm and producing heirloom vegetables as well as livestock.

The workshop will be held on 
July 21, 2013, from 3:00 – 5:00 pm at 
Copper Hill Farm. Registration is $20 for NOFA members and $30 for non-members. Additional informational and online registration here.

Twilight Meetings

Twilight meetings are informal evening meetings for farmers—a designated time to learn about another farm’s operation and socialize with growers in the community. Here’s a few twilight meetings happening during the rest of this growing season. Contact your local extension agency to learn about additional twilight meetings.

NOFA-NJ hosts a series of twilight meetings for farms of all sizes. These meetings highlight unique and innovative production and marketing methods happening in New Jersey. July’s twilight meeting will be held at Ralston Farm, in Mendham. The farm tour will showcase this farm’s open-pollinated, heirloom veggies, as well as hogs, chickens and bamboo! The event is Tuesday, July 23 from 6:00PM – 8:00PM at Ralston Farms (327 Route 24 West/Main Street, Mendham, NJ 07945). Like most twilight meetings, the evening would not be complete without food to share. So bring a dish for the potluck dinner. Click here for more information and to RSVP.

UMass Extension, the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, and the Massachusetts Association of Roadside Stands sponsors twilight meetings throughout the growing season. Each meeting includes a farm tour, a discussion about the farm’s production practices, and highlights how the farm is marketing their products. All sorts of farms will be included from those with vegetables, berries, cut flowers, and greenhouses, to farms with livestock, and those creating value-added products. Refreshments are offered at each meeting. Click here to learn more.

The Wisconsin Counties Association, Wisconsin Towns Association and the Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin are partnering to sponsor on-farm Agriculture Community Engagement Twilight Meetings around Wisconsin. Upcoming meetings will be held August 20, 21, 22 and 23. The meetings are open to all and are specifically for community leaders, elected officials, conservation officials, and dairy and livestock producers. The meeting will start with an hour tour of the host dairy, followed by a relaxed discussion. During the discussion ice cream will be served! Farm tours begin at 6:00 p.m. and the discussion goes from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. Click here for specific details about each upcoming farm tour and meeting.

The NH Fruit Grower’s Association holds twilight meetings throughout the summer in collaboration with UNH Cooperative Extension. During the meetings growers can collaborate, learn about pests, and ask questions of extension agents. These meetings also provide an opportunity to earn continuing education credits so that growers can keep their pesticide licenses current. Upcoming twilight meetings include a tree fruit meeting on Wednesday July 10th from 5:30-7:30pm at Apple Hill Farm in Concord; and a vegetable and berry twilight meeting on an organic farm. This meeting will be held on Wednesday July 17th from 5-7pm at Blue Ox Farm in Enfield. For more information about these meetings call Suzanne or Pat at 603-862-3200 or click here.

The University of Maryland Extension hosts Carroll County twilight meetings. The meetings are held monthly each third Monday. July’s meeting will be about pollinators and herbs; August’s will focus on cover crops; and the September meeting will focus on putting the garden to bed and productive garden maintenance. Click here for more information.

Farming for Beneficial Insects Webinar

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service holds a series of webinars through its Science and Technology Training Library. On July 11, 2013 
2:00 – 3:00 p.m. EST, they will hold a webinar about farming for beneficial insects led by Nancy Lee Adamson, Ph.D., a 
pollinator conservation specialist. The webinar will cover how pollinators and other beneficial insects can help to ensure a healthy harvest and how farmers can support pollinators and natural enemies of crop pests (predators and parasitoids) by providing diverse habitat. New research will also be covered about how habitat adjacent to cropland supports improved pollination and reduces pest pressure. For more information, or to sign up, click here.