Workshops

NOFA-NY’s 2022 Virtual Winter Conference will offer 80+ virtual workshops, discussion groups, and networking opportunities. NOFA-NY is fortunate to be able to source the most knowledgeable farmers and educators around – pulling from the 1,000+ farms we certify in addition to many other organizations.

  • Our 75-minute workshops sessions will occur at 10:00 am, 2:00 pm, 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm EST daily.
  • Workshop recordings will become available as soon as possible after the end of a workshop and will remain on the conference website and mobile app until March 1, 2022.

Please note that the 2022 program is still being developed. We will continue to add workshop details to this page and the schedule will be available later this fall.


Workshop Descriptions by Track

The Meat Rabbit Miracle

Presenter: Natalia Rathbun
This class will explore the benefits of keeping meat rabbits at your home. We will walk through the process of butchering a mature rabbit together, and follow this with a discussion of the ethics of raising and eating meat, the advantages to raising rabbits over other animals, and the roles of rabbits on the homestead.

Urban Herbalism: Weaving a Resilient Community 

Presenter: Antonia Estela Pérez, clinical herbalist, gardener, artist and co-founder of collectives Brujas and Herban Cura
In this workshop we will discuss how to build resilience within the urban dynamic, through community garden herbal cultivation, strengthening networks to local farmers, and learning skills necessary for urban survival. Antonia will share her experience of the last decade teaching culturally relevant herbalism and urban gardening workshops in NYC. This workshop may be of particular interest to urban dwellers wishing to create land and collective based healing projects.


What is a BIPOC track?
Like all of the incredible tracks at this year’s conference, the BIPOC track offers an immersive learning environment for NOFA’s diverse BIPOC community. Knowledge shares will be offered by BIPOC educators for BIPOC participants.

Why is there a BIPOC track?
For over 40 years NOFA-NY’s Winter Conference has provided organic farmers a vibrant container to connect, learn, and grow as a community. While the work being done by NOFA-NY is vital, there has simultaneously been a lack of diversity of the communities represented within the greater network. 

In recent years, there has been a desire within the NOFA-NY community to broaden the reach of the conference in an effort to create a more diverse and healthy learning environment for all participants. The BIPOC track is a way to welcome BIPOC educators and participants into the NOFA-NY community, by providing a safe entry point and intentional container throughout the conference.

Who is this space for?
This track is open to all BIPOC (black, indigenous, people of color) participants in the conference. 

What if I am BIPOC and white passing?
The BIPOC track is a place for all folks of color, which definitely includes and celebrates all of our community, whether you’re white passing or not. 

Who is this space not for?
This track is a container for BIPOC conference participants only. We ask that this boundary be respected by non-BIPOC conference goers.

To connect with the BIPOC track organizers, Amanda David and Mandana Boushee, please contact them at inlivingcolorspace@gmail.com.

Business Basics for Organic Farmers

Presenter: Chris Laughton of Farm Credit East
This workshop will cover financial management and access to capital for both beginning and established farmers. Topics include record keeping, reading and understanding financial statements, cash flow budgeting, financing and credit options, and how lenders make financing decisions.

CSA is a SNAP

Presenters: Michelle Hughes of Glynwood and Hannah Williams of Rock Steady Farm
Farmers know that CSA and SNAP benefits don’t always match. In this session you’ll learn how to make your CSA more accessible to SNAP customers. Drawing on lessons learned from a pilot establishing a rotating fund to make CSA more accessible to SNAP users in the Hudson Valley, we’ll cover the nuts and bolts of how to apply to accept SNAP benefits, state and federal programs available to cover licensing fees and equipment for farmers, as well as on the ground logistics. We’ll also touch on upcoming NYS legislation that could make accepting EBT cards even easier for CSAs and expand SNAP incentives for local food in general in the state.

How we are Bringing Food to Underserved Communities
Two Sessions

Presenters: Elizabeth Viviana Karabinakis of Healthy Food For All, Amy Klein of Capital Roots, andKate Miller-Corcoran of VINES
This workshop will cover the technical aspects of how three non-profit organizations work with local farmers and stakeholders to bring produce to communities most affected by food insecurity. 

Capital Roots is a nonprofit organization in NY’s Capital Region that works to cultivate and nourish communities by creating equitable access to fresh food and green spaces in support of a robust regional food system. They will talk about their retail access work through their Healthy Stores Program. This effort works directly with small markets to provide the infrastructure, marketing materials, food delivery, and pricing to make selling fresh produce in corner markets a win-win for small businesses and their customers.

Healthy Food For All is a collective of a dozen CSA farms in and around Ithaca NY in partnership with Cooperative Extension with the mission of providing access to locally grown fruits and vegetables to low-income households, and promote farm viability through fair and reliable compensation for hunger relief. Since 2006, HFFA has offered subsidized CSA shares coupled with nutrition education, and recently initiated Farm-to-Pantry and Farm-to-Plate programs to further meet community needs. They will share insight gained from 15 years of developing effective strategies to address a multitude of barriers faced by highly vulnerable food insecure populations in both urban and rural areas.

VINES is a non-profit from Binghamton, NY that empowers people to improve their lives and communities through urban gardening and by connecting urban consumers to rural farmers. VINES will focus on their flexible CSA model, Farm Share. To encourage participation from low-income community members Farm Share offers up to a 75% discount on shares, neighborhood delivery, flexible payment options, and weekly member education.

Investing in Abundance

Presenter: Shannon Hayes of Sap Bush Hollow Farm
There are many ways to spend time and money farming. Instead, let’s talk about how to invest in community to generate more wealth, more time, more joy, and a brighter future.

Shannon Hayes of Sap Bush Hollow Farm will talk about the concept of abundance economics from her newest book, Redefining Rich, and how she uses it for on-farm decision-making to build wealth and prosperity on their diversified grass-based livestock farm and family cafe.

Making a Multi-Farm CSA Work for the Long Term

Presenters: Chaw Chang and Lucy Garrison of Stick and Stone Farm, and Nathaniel Thompson of Remembrance Farm
The Full Plate Farm Collective is a multi-farm CSA founded in 2005 in Ithaca NY, serving 650 summer and 400 winter shares. After more than 15 years, farmers Lucy Garrison and Chaw Chang, and Nathaniel Thompson reflect on their history of working together, what still works and what didn’t work in this CSA model, and share insights on juggling business and personal relationships through life’s transitions. We’ll discuss the pros and cons of the CSA in relation to other marketing models (both farms have additional outlets for produce), developing a collaborative means of reaching low-income and underserved populations, incubating new farmers by purchasing items we don’t grow, and integrating fruit, dairy, and other “side dish” shares. 

Networking for the Future: Catastrophe Can Lead to Opportunity

Presenters: Mark Pawliw of Farm to Fork 101
The pandemic has caused a lot of people to pivot their businesses or put some of their plans on hold. By treating farmers, chefs, and community members as one unit, some farms and food businesses were able to navigate the shutdown and come out on the other side stronger and better equipped to handle anything that is thrown at them.

In this workshop, we will look at the importance of building and maintaining relationships, why community over competition is always the answer, and how to better build the food system through growing relationships, food, and community.

No-Till Market Gardening

Presenter: Jesse Frost, host of the No-Till Market Garden Podcast, author of The Living Soil Handbook, and farmer at Rough Draft Farmstead
Few things can reduce erosion, reduce weed pressure, and increase profitability quite like eliminating tillage. But how to do that on a production scale can often be a confounding idea. In this session, Farmer Jesse will try to provide some clarity. He will dive into what it takes to make no-till possible based on your context, available materials and goals. Jesse will also break down the basics of bed preparation, crop turnover, using cover crops on a small scale, and the principles that will help you build the best no-till system for you.

Taking Our Labor Policies from Legal to Fair

Presenters: Jody Bolluyt of Roxbury Farm and Elizabeth Henderson of Peacework CSA
With a google search, you can find an employee handbook that lays out your legal responsibilities as an employer grounded in “at-will” law guaranteeing your power as employer. But if you want to create a resilient, stable team for your farm, and contribute to transforming farmwork into a respected career with livable compensation, you have to go beyond legal to policies and practices grounded in fairness. This workshop will help you think this through and provide attendees with a handbook modeled on the standards of the Agricultural Justice Project that meet the Good Food Purchasing Center requirements for ensuring “valued workforce.”

The Regenerative Hemp Entrepreneur

Presenter: Doug Fine, author of American Hemp Farmer, Comedic Investigative Journalist, Solar-Powered Goat Herder
The return of hemp to worldwide farmers’ arsenals is here, with the industry expected to cross the billion dollar annual revenue mark in 2020. For the farm-to-table “vertical” farmer/entrepreneur, the goal is to make a strong living while building soil (and therefore sequestering carbon and fighting climate change). The win-win is that regenerative techniques result in the highest-quality craft harvests. This talk sets up farmers for the best results. And after harvest, there’s little to no off-season for the value-added hemp farm/entrepreneur. Learn about marketing hemp in areas far beyond the current CBD gold rush, such as superfood (seed) applications and fiber applications.

Intro to Organic Certification

Presenter: Jess Terry of NOFA-NY Certified Organic, LLC
Using organic practices? You might be certifiable! Join NOFA-NY Certified Organic, LLC staff for a fast-paced, intensive overview of the organic certification process and requirements for crop, livestock, and on-farm processing production. Bring your questions! We’ll discuss how the National Organic Program regulations fit with your operation or future planning.

Handling / Processing / Distributor Certification

Presenters: Rebecca Heller-Steinberg and Ashleigh Knecht of NOFA-NY Certified Organic, LLC
Join NOFA-NY Certified Organic staff for a discussion of certification requirements and the USDA National Organic Program regulations as they relate to processors, handlers, and distributors. Topics covered will include integrity within supply chains, who has to be certified under the upcoming Strengthening Organic Enforcement Rule, processing, the “National List,” co-packing and private labeling, labels, international equivalencies, and more.

Organic Hemp Certification and Policy Update

Presenters: Kristen Barker and Lauren Tonti of NOFA-NY Certified Organic, LLC
Learn from experienced NOFA-NY staff how to certify your hemp crop and processed products to the National Organic Program (NOP) regulations. We’ll cover current NYS policy, recordkeeping requirements, growing practices, seed & planting stock, allowed inputs, labeling, and more.

Organic Transition Panel

Presenters: Anna Kougentakis of Demetra’s Bio-Farm, Ryan Lertora of Jamesport Farmstead, and Jonathan Skaroof Youngs Farm
A farmer-to-farmer discussion about the barriers to farming organically and the importance of knowledge sharing and community support, presented by NOFA-NY’s Long Island Organic Transition Program.

Considerations for Starting a Small-Scale Dairy or Creamery

Presenter: Gianaclis Caldwell, author of Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking, The Small-Scale Cheese Business, The Small-Scale Dairy, and more
Small-scale farmers have many advantages, but an equal number of challenges! Before you break ground on your dream dairy or cheesemaking business, learn some of the key factors that will help you make it a success. This session will cover topics such as infra-structure considerations, licensing and insurance, how to survive a visit from the FDA, sustainability, and secession considerations. Bring your questions!

Feeding Seaweed to Organic Dairy Cows: Opportunities and Challenges

Presenter: Andre Brito of University of New Hampshire
This workshop will focus on the effects of brown and red seaweeds as dietary strategies to mitigate methane emissions in organic dairy cows, and how algal bioactive compounds including iodine can affect human and cow health. Opportunities and limitations of feeding common (e.g., kelp meal) and novel seaweeds species will be extensively discussed.

Impending Resilience: Why Biodynamics is the Next Logical Step for Organic Orcharding

Presenter: Mike Biltonen of Know Your Roots
Organic farming has reached a point where we need to build on and up from nearly 30 years of focused certified organic agriculture. We’ll expand on organic farming in a way that focuses on the farm as organism, the farmer as guide, and certain esoteric concepts that move how we treat the orchard and grow apples and tree fruit beyond the mechanistic constraints that confound much of modern organic farming. We’ll discuss the foundations of biodynamic agriculture, the preparations, using the biodynamic calendars, and specific applications such as sequential spraying in a way that brings everything into focus for anyone wishing to move into a new pomological realm. We will focus on apple production primarily, but also lean into other perennial fruit crops such as grapes, stone fruit, and nuts.

Diversity is Resilience: Designing Biodiverse Landscapes to Support Wild Pollinators

Presenter: Evan Abramson of Landscape Interactions
Farmers, gardeners, landowners, and designers have a vital role to play in strengthening, expanding, and enhancing regional biodiversity, ecological health, and climate change resilience. On working lands, conservation properties, front lawns, and backyard gardens, functionally diverse native pollinator habitats can serve as a building block for linking intact natural areas across a fragmented landscape. But what to plant, when to mow, where to focus on first and how to measure the results? Evan Abramson of Landscape Interactions will present a series of case studies from project sites across the region, all created specifically to support at-risk species. An interactive discussion with audience members will follow.

Keeping Your Flock Healthy

Presenter: Kristin White of Chicken Librarian
Every chicken keeper, whether on a small or large scale, will run into emergencies. But there’s no need to panic! Join Kristin White, aka the Chicken Librarian, for this informative session on keeping your chickens healthy. She’ll cover what you need to create a well-stocked first aid kit and natural remedies for your backyard flock.

Steps to Creating a Self-Sustaining Apiary

Presenter: Bill Day of The Pfeiffer Center
Whether you have a couple of backyard hives or a full-on sideline operation, healthy hives are key to your success. Overwintered hives liberate you from the package treadmill and provide strong stock for honey production and making splits. In this workshop, Bill Day will review the techniques and practices that create the conditions for successful overwintering, with ample time for questions and discussion.

A Tick-ing Time Bomb: How do we Manage for Tick Borne Disease?

Presenter: Joshua Ginsberg of Cary Institute
Tick borne disease is epidemic, with over 400,000 cases of Lyme disease in the USA each year. Diagnosis and treatment remain inadequate. Over the last five years, Cary Institute has executed The Tick Project, a double-blind, controlled study that asks: Can we kill enough ticks to reduce the incidence of lyme and other tick borne disease?

Finding a Niche Market for your Meat

Presenter: Samer Saleh of Halal Pastures
Learn how to add value to your meat through on-farm processing and niche marketing.

Logistics of Large- and Small-Scale Processing from On-Farm to USDA Certification

Presenters: Nate Henderson of Reber Rock Farm and Jim Ecklund of Eklund’s Processing
Raising livestock is essential to many farm operations, but there are bottlenecks and roadblocks when it comes to organic or local butchering. Learn what it takes to start a USDA processing facility and a smaller, on-farm processing facility from some experienced farmers and processors.

Raising Certified Organic Poultry Profitably

Presenter: Karma Glos of Kingbird Farm
Raising poultry is a great way to build soil, establish a customer base, and find your feet as a new or beginning farmer. Learn from some seasoned farmers how to be successful raising chickens, ducks, and turkeys organically.

From Disparity to Parity: An Emergency Mobilization to Address Economic Inequities and Reverse our March Toward Catastrophic Climate Change

Presenters: Ben Burkett and Jim Goodman of Disparity to Parity
Continual farm crises affect all but the largest farms and direct marketers, keeping earnings and farmworker wages low. Parity in supply management as proposed by the Disparity to Parity Project aims to achieve fair pricing, and build a racially just, economically empowered, and climate-resilient food system. In this workshop, project leaders Ben Burkett and Jim Goodman will discuss why parity is needed and why now is the time to act. This workshop will be moderated by Elizabeth Henderson.

  • Ben Burkett is a farmer and Mississippi State Coordinator for the Federation of Southern Cooperatives
  • Jim Goodman is an organic dairy farmer, board member of Family Farm Defenders, and board president of National Family Farm Coalition
  • Elizabeth Henderson (moderator) is a farmer, activist, and writer. She serves on the NOFA’s Interstate Committee and is a board member for the Agricultural Justice Project

How Should Organic Grow?

Presenters: Liana Hoodes of NOFA-NY and Patty Lovera of Organic Farmers Association
The idea of government support to get more farms to go through the organic transition process is getting a lot of attention in Washington, DC. Join the Organic Farmers Association for a discussion of the best ways for federal policy to support the transition of new farms into organic, including increasing the diversity of the organic sector and how to make sure existing organic farms can thrive as the organic sector grows. What can New York State (or the Northeast region) do to encourage organic transition without causing over-supply? Bring your ideas for policies to support organic and learn how to make your voice heard in the Farm Bill process.

Organic as a Solution to Climate Change in NYS Policy

Presenter: Wes Gillingham of Catskill Mountainkeeper
The organic farming community has long been a leader in developing climate-friendly practices that build soil health and resiliency. With climate change mitigation and adaption at the top of both federal and state policy agendas, we have a great opportunity to make organic agriculture a central solution to the climate crisis. In NYS, the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act and the Soil Health and Climate Resilience Act both identify agriculture as a key component of climate policy but there is much work ahead to ensure these policies are environmentally sound and socially just! Join Wes Gillingham, Associate Director of Catskill Mountainkeeper, for a discussion about how state climate policies can accelerate the adoption of organic practices.

Raising Up and Inspiring the Next Generation of Farmers

Presenters: Christine Hutchinson of Our Core and Christa Núñez of The Learning Farm
Hear from students and program leaders in the cities of Buffalo and Newburgh as to how they are inspiring the next generation to both feed their communities and find meaningful work as farmers and part of the food and agriculture system. While doing this, they are also learning to be the next leaders, entrepreneurs, and community educators – students inspiring students.

Regional Collaboration for Regenerative Organic Agriculture

Presenters: Marty Dagoberto of NOFA/Mass and Maddie Kempner of NOFA Vermont
NOFA-NY is part of a seven-state NOFA Interstate Policy Council that adds value to the policy work of each of the individual member states (NY, VT, NH, MA, CT, RI, NJ). During this workshop, we’ll hear from Vermont and Massachusetts NOFAs about what they are doing to advance regenerative organic agriculture policies in their states, how the Interstate Policy Council works together to advance state, regional, and federal policy, and how you can help inform this work. Facilitated by NOFA-NY’s Policy Coordinator Katie Baildon, this workshop will cover some of the most timely policy priorities including organic dairy policy, climate change policy, and the upcoming Farm Bill.

The Ecological Gardener: How to Create Beauty and Biodiversity from the Soil Up

Presenter: Matt Rees-Warren, author of The Ecological Gardener
This workshop will give you the tools to create an abundant, healthy garden from the soil up – a garden that welcomes birds and bees and allows native planting and wild flowers to flourish, with minimal carbon impact or need for fresh water.

Establishing Ecosystem Service Payments to Farmers

Presenters: Phoebe Schreiner and Ken Jaffe of CADE, Jeff Potent of Columbia University, Wes Gillingham of Catskill Mountainkeeper, and Carlos Valery Jr. of Orinoco Cattle Products and Farms
This workshop will invite audiences to learn about and join efforts of a coalition of groups seeking to develop a “Payments for Ecosystem Services” (PES) system in which public and private partners support farmers for practices that combine carbon farming, soil health, and water quality, aligning the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) with Soil Health legislation. Discussions will explore opportunities and challenges – from evolving public debates, to logistics, verifications, eligibility, measurement, funding sources, costs, and more.

Tree Fodder for Livestock Health and Carbon Sequestration

Presenter: Steve Gabriel of Cornell Small Farms Program
The cultivation of trees such as willow, poplar, black locust, and mulberry has long been a source of fodder for livestock and can be integrated into many underutilized spots on the farm to also benefit the ecology of the land. In this session, learn about the potential for these and other species prominent in our landscapes from a nutritional standpoint, as well as the potential carbon value of planting “fodder blocks” on the farm. Wellspring Forest Farm undertook several years of fodder research, sampling leaf material on their farm and collecting data and will share lessons learned on management of trees for fodder.

Agricultural Education for the Deaf New American Community

Presenters: Jacob Gigler-Caro and Jay Regmi of Salt City Harvest Farm
Deaf New American farmers face the challenges of adapting to a new climate from their homelands and a new agricultural market. Growing and selling food in general can be challenging, but being deaf while farming can present its own challenges. Written materials can be fundamental learning tools for many, but are often inaccessible to those with limited written and spoken language literacy. To address these challenges, Salt City Harvest Farm has been working to create a visual guide of photos and videos that explain production basics, post-harvest handling and marketing specifically for the Deaf community.

Bringing Urban Soils Back to Life

Presenters:Mayda Pozantides of Groundwork Market Garden
Due to issues such as contamination and site history, it’s not always possible to utilize native soils in urban settings – strategies like geotextile, imported soil, and raised beds may be necessary. But even if your native soil is safe enough to plant into, turning empty city lots into healthy, productive growing spaces can present challenges. Mayda Pozantides of Groundwork Market Garden started farming in Buffalo, NY in 2015. Growing on two acres, she’s found success with practices like no-till, yearly soil testing and nutrient management, and building organic matter through mulching and cover crops. This workshop will cover best practices and considerations for safely working with and improving urban soils.

Farming in the City: Laying the Groundwork

Presenter: Caitlin Tucker of CCE Cornell Vegetable Program
In backyards and high-rise buildings, on rooftops and in pockets of vacant land, more and more urban spaces are being transformed into bountiful, food-filled oases. Whether you seek to start a community garden, urban farm, food forest, or simply homestead in The City, finding appropriate land to grow your dreams is vital. Do you know what to look for in a property? In this workshop we’ll cover key considerations, including zoning, site assessment, soil health, infrastructure, and cultivating community.

Urban Farms: Growing More Than Vegetables

Presenters: Matt Kauffman and Sarah Mast of 5 Loaves Farm and Bethany Ortquist and Katie Pfohl of Massachusetts Avenue Project
The diverse cultural influences, creative collaborations, and countless marketing opportunities afforded by being located within a city, often take urban growers beyond traditional vegetable production. Learn from a panel of staff members from the Massachusetts Avenue Project and 5 Loaves Farm (both in Buffalo, NY) about urban production of maple syrup, honey, berries, fruit trees, and value-added products, as well as event space and commercial kitchen management that benefits farmers as well as the community.

Bioregional Textile Development and the Carbon Farm Network

Presenters: Gibson Durnford of Watershed Agricultural Council and Laura Sansone of New York Textile Lab
New York Textile Lab will present their Carbon Farm Network, an economic and environmental initiative they are growing here in NYS. The Carbon Farm Network is an interconnected group of fiber producers who use climate beneficial practices on their farms and climate conscious textile and clothing designers who develop yarns and textile products from carbon farmed fibers. New York Textile Lab’s Agricultural Planner, Gibson Durnford, works directly with farms in our region to implement Carbon Farming practices. Laura Sansone, Founder and Designer at New York Textile Lab helps to make connections between the designers, who want to use climate beneficial fibers, and the farms who want to pursue Carbon Farm Plans (CFP’s) on their land. Join this session to learn the various ways your farm can participate in Carbon Farming practices and earn Climate Beneficial verification through our affiliate organization, Fibershed. The session will include a digital presentation, access to NY Textile Lab’s Carbon Farm Application process, and examples of machine grade yarns and textile products that designers from our network are producing from regionally sourced fibers.

Food Product Development, Safety, and Regulatory Compliance
Two Sessions

Presenters: Cynthia James and Shannon Prozeller of Cornell Food Venture Center
Join us for this intensive workshop to dive into food microbiology and safety basics in order to create a viable food product. Participants will be introduced to the main principles of food safety, processing and the applicable regulatory requirements for compliance of different product classifications.

  • Introduction to Food Product Development and Food Safety
  • Product assessment: pH / water activity
  • Product classification
  • Processing controls and storage
  • Regulatory Compliance

How to Create and Operate a Successful On-Farm Airbnb

Presenters: Matt Baumgarther of June Farms andRob Maddox of Sun One Organic Farm
During these uncertain times, there’s nothing more real, authentic, and genuine than a farm. On-farm Airbnb offer guests the opportunity to experience nature and provide the farm owner with a new source of income.

Rob Maddox, operator of the most wished for Airbnb in Connecticut, a Geodesic Dome at his farm in Bethlehem, CT and Matt Baumgarther, who has nine Airbnb properties and has been featured internationally will share their stories and insights to setting up and operating successful Airbnb rentals on their farms.

Done property, the addition of an Airbnb rental can become a significant source of income, as well as help promote the farm and raise people’s understanding of agriculture. During the presentation we will also preview Sun One Organic Farms new “Silo” Airbnb and June Farms plans for additional on-farm properties.

Intro to Natural Dye Plants

Presenter: Sarah Gotowka of Luna Fiber Studio
During this workshop Sarah will lead a short lecture on cultivating pigment bearing plants, and will also give a live, hands-on demonstration on dyeing with homegrown plants. Sarah owns Luna Fiber Studio, a textile studio based in Trumansburg, NY specializing in natural dyes and weaving, rooted in sustainability and social justice. Sarah has been growing dye plants including indigo for over 11 years.

Beginning Vegetable Farmer Intensive, Session 1: Managing Fertility and Water on an Organic Farm

Presenters: Steve Reiners of Cornell and Zoe Stapp of Brookdale Fruit Farm
Learning how to optimize nutrient and water availability to vegetable plants is key to success, but is also challenging in practice. Dr. Steve Reiners will walk growers through how to assess baseline fertility levels, how to select the best organic amendments to meet short and long term fertility goals, and whether in-season, foliar and liquid fertilizers are worth the money. Zoe Stapp will follow up with an overview of how to design a basic irrigation system including pump, line, and filter selection.There will be time for Q&A, so bring your questions!

Beginning Vegetable Farmer Intensive, Session 2: Keys to Success in Disease Management and a Farm Start-Up Case Study

Presenters: Laura Colligan of Dirt Rich Farm and Meg McGrath of Cornell
Disease management starts with prevention, not control! Dr. Meg McGrath will introduce growers to the best strategies to prevent diseases from coming to your farm, and the best strategies to keep plants as healthy as possible for as long as possible.

The Beginning Farmer Intensive will wrap up with a case study in starting an organic vegetable farm. Laura Colligan started farming in her parents’ side yard seven years ago. She’s since bought five acres of vacant farmland and has transformed it into a Certified Organic vegetable farm. The presentation will focus on the financial realities of starting your own farm.There will be time for Q&A, so bring your questions!

Considering On-farm Wildness: Service Provider or Spiritual Underpinning

Presenters: Anne Bloomfield of Hudson Valley Farm Hub, Claudia Knab-Vispo and Conrad Vispo of Hawthorne Valley Farmscape Ecology Program
The habitats we intentionally and unintentionally create on farms attract a variety of wild plants and animals. How do we think about these organisms? From an agronomic perspective, some of those are deemed pests/weeds and some beneficials, many are apparently neutral spectators. In the spirit of biodiversity conservation, some rare species find important habitat on farms while others are more common and ubiquitous.

Through data and discussion, this workshop hopes to explore this question. It will be split into two sections. First, to get the juices flowing, we will share some of what have learnt about this theme through our work in the Hudson Valley. We will then ask you to reflect on this and on your own experience and provide feedback regarding what sort of research would be most interesting or inspiring for you.

No-Till Vegetables On Two Scales

Presenters: Matt Herbruck of Birdsong Farm and Daniel Mays of Frith Farm
Matt Herbruck of Birdsong Farm in Ohio has been an organic farmer for two decades. Since going no-till in his vegetable production five years ago, he’s decreased his acreage in vegetable production from ten acres to five acres, reduced his hired labor, and increased his income. Daniel Mays runs Frith Farm in southern Maine, where he has been growing vegetables commercially using human-scale no-till methods since 2011. Daniel holds a master’s degree in environmental engineering, and is author of The No-Till Organic Vegetable Farm. Hear from these two experienced farmers about the similarities and differences in their no-till systems.

Success With Long-Season Brassicas

Presenters: Dan Kent of Kent Family Farms and Fred Lee of Sang Lee Farms
Consistently growing long-season brassicas, like broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, and cabbage, that are sizeable and of good quality can present some challenges! Join us to learn about strategies for success including pest and disease control, fertilization, variety selection, and planting dates.

Winter Production and Season Extension

Presenters: Erin Enouen of Long Season Farm and Aaron Munzer of Plowbreak Farm
Are you ready to make the jump from seasonal farmer to year-round production? With a good balance of storage crops and winter high tunnel production of fresh greens, you can start a winter CSA, start attending those winter markets you’ve been thinking about, and keep your wholesale customers happy. Join us to learn about the skills, infrastructure, and planning needed to take your farm to the next level.

Witness to Injustice

Presenters:Residents of the Onondaga Nation and members of Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation (NOON)
This unique interactive group teaching is used to foster truth, understanding, and respect between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples and is led by both residents of the Onondaga Nation and members of NOON. The exercise helps individuals to learn the true, untold history of the indigenous people of North America including colonization and the injustices Indigenous peoples experience then and still today.

Community Seed Sessions

Organizer: Heron Breen
Join us to share your experiences from 2021 and plan for the 2023 Seed Conference! Check back soon for more information and registration.