2017 Sunday Workshops Sessions

Click times for additional workshops. Jump to Intensives – Friday WorkshopsSaturday Workshops
Click here to download the workshop schedule. (pdf)

*Sunday’s Intensive with Dorn Cox is included in Sunday registration fees but requires an RSVP during the registration process. Please check the appropriate box when registering.

8:00-9:30am
10:00-11:30am
1:00-2:30pm
Sunday Intensives

Growing & Marketing Cut Flowers

Learn techniques of creating a successful cut-flower production within a diversified farm operation. Seed to harvest, variety selection, planting schedules, garden maintenance and winter storage practices and creative ways of designing and marketing cut flowers. This is a perfect workshop for those who want to start up or develop flowers as a highlighted crop commodity. Shannon Algiere: Farmer Educator at Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture.

Urban Agriculture & Youth Engagement

Seedfolk City Farm believes that empowering young people to work directly in their local food system is one of the most effective ways to create change in our communities. Join us to learn how community-focused urban agriculture on formerly vacant lots allows youth to regain autonomy in their lives and develop tools for civic engagement. Lisa Barker : Co-founder and director of Seedfolk City Farm in Rochester, NY.

Caveat Comedentis: Eater Beware — New Engineered Foods

The food industry is engineering food to “improve every aspect of the food-value chain.” We will take an in-depth look at two techniques: nanofoods – altering the DNA of food with nanoparticles, and CRISPR/Cas9 – selective gene editing. Benefits, unintended consequences, and social, environmental, and economic impacts will be scrutinized. Darryl Benjamin: Author of “Farm to Table”, a guide to sustainable food systems.

Urban Farming: Soil Fertility Going Beyond Compost

Urban farms on small in-ground plots and raised planters offer significant challenges for long-term soil fertility and plant health that can not be cured by compost alone. This panel discussion will review the basics of soil testing and compare various methods for managing urban soils for long-term success. Jess Bloomer: Groundwork Somerville, Program Director and Farm Manager, South St Farm. Michelle de Lima: Trustees of Reservations, Engagement Manager, Boston Community Gardens. Clay Larsen:

Mycoremediation: Using Fungi to Remediate Toxic Waste

Filter bacteria, degrade chemicals and hyper accumulate heavy metals: learn how to use fungi to remediate anthropogenic xeno-toxins in our environment. Whether it’s remediating soil and water for your farm or remediating a toxic waste spill, let’s use mushrooms to clean up the world for 7 generations ahead. Alex Dorr: Mycologist and fun guy; has taught fungi workshops across the world.

Bioregional Economies

The solutions to our economic and environmental problems aren’t complex or out of reach. Our food, fuel and material needs can be met in ways that strengthen communities while reconnecting people to their beautiful biology. Learn to create healthy economies and landscapes that benefit and enrich for generations to come! Andrew Faust: A premier Permaculture designer with over two decades of experience.

Garden of Wonder: Using the Garden to Nurture Spiritual Growth

Gardens and farms are places where we can nurture and grow our spiritual lives, along with our crops. We will explore different ways that we as educators can use the garden to help our students develop awareness skills, feel and express gratitude and abundance, and generally strengthen their sense of connection with all of creation. Jacob Fine: Director, Abundance Farm: Jewish Food Justice Farm and outdoor classroom. Leora Mallach: Director, Beantown Jewish Gardens: building community through food-system education.

Faba Bean: a New Multi-Purpose Crop for New England

Faba bean, or fava bean, can be grown as a cool season cash crop, cover crop, or medicinal crop. This workshop will present findings on growing faba beans, using actual samples of plants, pods, seeds, and bacteria. Masoud Hashemi: Extension professor focusing research on sustainable farming and cover crops.

How Can We Achieve Food Sovereignty If Small Farms Can’t Survive?

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room: why aren’t more small farms thriving without off-farm income? If US workers don’t want to work on farms and the flow from abroad is slowing, who will do farm work? How can we balance the needs of farmers, farmworkers and low-income eaters? Elizabeth Henderson: Organic farmer, on boards of NOFA-NY and Agricultural Justice Project. Jessica Culley: CATA General Coordinator, 17 years organizing for farm workers.

Why Pastured Animal Foods are Essential to Health

Learn about the importance of fat-soluble vitamins for health and preventing chronic disease- like diabetes, cancer and heart disease. We’ll discuss why fat-soluble vitamins can only be obtained in sufficient amounts from pastured animal foods, and why grass-fed/pastured meat and dairy is far more nutrient-dense than grain-fed. Brigitta Jansen: MS in Nutrition, Nutrition and functional medicine consultant, homesteader, mother.

Grow, Harvest, & ENJOY Culinary Herbs Creatively!

Learn to grow and harvest culinary herbs for maximum production. Hands on pruning/harvesting will help you take these skills home to your own kitchen garden. Learn how to handle both annual and perennial herbs. We’ll explore processing and storage techniques, and the handout will include some wonderful recipes! Amy LeBlanc: Organic farmer, culinary herb enthusiast, cook, and market gardener.

Food Soverignty 101

Food Sovereignty 101 provides a background to the concept of Food Sovereignty – how it evolved and where it is today. The primary principles will be presented, then framed against the questions: What Are We Fighting For? and What We Are Fighting Against? Examples illustrate how it is actualized around the world. Andrianna Natsoulas: Background in agricultural and fisheries programs. Executive Director of NOFA-NY. Saulo Araujo: Advances food sovereignty and agroecology initiatives. Global Movements Director, WhyHunger.

Supporting Indigenous Micro-Organisms on Your Farm

Discover the techniques utilized in the production and use of indigenous microorganisms (IMO). An IMO is a microbe culture, taken from local forest soils, and then multiplied through various culture steps to produce a highly activated inoculate. Bryan will present his experience using this material on their farm in vegetable production and other applications. Bryan O’Hara: Has grown vegetables at Tobacco Road Farm in Lebanon, CT for 25 years.

Managing Weeds, Pest & Disease Starts With the Soil

The culture you build in the soil can affect the health of your plants as well as pest and weed pressure. This program will look at practices that can minimize weed pressure while reducing pests and disease by balancing nutrients for optimal crop health. You will also learn how to set your cultivator. Joseph Scrimger: Organic farmer of 40 years. Owner, Bio-Systems: a soil testing/consulting business.

Fixing the Carbon & Water Cycle with Cattle

Proper grazing practices rapidly store carbon below the soil surface. Intensive rotational grazing creates soil permeability, allowing water to then be captured by said carbon. Cattle, when managed correctly, are the tools to enhance this system rapidly: think years rather than eons! Ridge Shinn: Northeast pioneer in grass-fed beef production on a forage-only diet.

How to Raise Broiler Chickens On Pasture

Walk through step-by-step what it will take start raising your own chickens for meat on grass. John Suscovich: Farm manager of 52 acre diversified farm in western CT.

Pastured Rabbit for Profit

Our livestock manager will tell you what we discovered with a “glass walls” look into our entire pastured rabbit operation. We’ll start with the basics of our system, with an overview of what’s involved in starting up a pastured rabbit operation, followed by an in-depth look into the economics of best practices for rabbit production. Nichki Carangelo: Manages livestock and direct marketing for Letterbox Farm Collective.

The Importance of Gut Health For Immunity

This workshop will detail how detoxification, proper nutrition, less refined sugar, and more plant-based, organic foods can help to heal the gut, and consequently the immune system, as well as many auto-immune disorders. Michelle is a living example of someone who has accomplished this. Michelle Caron: Holistic health professional.

Tour: Small Scale Medicinal & Herb Production

Full Kettle Farm is an one-acre operation focusing primarily on growing herbs for tea blends and value-added products. Participants will learn the theory of field planning for growing herbs on a small scale, specific cultural practices for various herbs, drying and processing, and possibilities for various herbal products. Greg Disterhoft: Owner of Full Kettle Farm in Sunderland, MA.

Beekeeping Programs at Small Farms: Drumlin Farm Case Study

This workshop presents a case study on starting a Beekeeping Program at Drumlin Farm and impact it has had on farm productivity. Mel Gadd: Beekeeper, runs Beekeeping program at Mass Audubon’s Drumlin Farm.

Ecosystem Services of Integrating Biomass Crops in Whole Farm Planning

A discussion of the valuable ecosystem services biomass energy crops provide both above and below ground. We will also look at how these can be incorporated into most farm operations and options for using or marketing the crops and how the crops can be used in a stacked enterprise system. Karl Hallen: Farm and forestry consultant with agroforestry focus; researcher, SUNY ESF.

The World of Compost

Learn all about compost! This workshop will cover what goes into making compost, the various types of compost available, and other aspects of compost and the compost process. Adam Jankauskas: Founder of City Compost.

What is the True Cost of Food?

The apparent cost (also known as market price) of food does not often reflect all of the social and ecological costs associated with production. We will examine and compare apparent costs of various foods to their true price. Jack Kittredge: Certified organic farmer, editor of The Natural Farmer.

Farmer In The Classroom

Learn how to bring the Farmer in the Classroom program to your school! Farmer in the Classroom is a 30-60 minute lesson about a single vegetable. Students learn history, geography, cultural facts and trivia about a certain veggie. They experience it hands-on and taste it a few ways. It helps kids love veggies. Carolyn Llewellyn: Elementary school “garbrarian”: runs K-5 school garden and library program.

Going Solar: What You Need to Know

Based on my 20 years’ experience in renewable energy, this workshop will help folks navigate the current solar market. I will share insider insights on effectively going solar and how to avoid pitfalls of current offerings. We will also look at the most cost effective way to receive all the value of a solar system. Robert Maddox: Owner, Sun One Organic Farm; renewable energy/green building champion.

Starting an Organic, Low Maintenance Apple Orchard

Every one of you needs to have at least a few apple trees, but you don’t need to spend all day in the orchard. This workshop details starting and nurturing a small homestead apple orchard- including site selection, preparation and the ten best varieties for the northeast- with an organic, holistic, and low maintenance approach. Jack Mastrianni: Member, Apple Addicts Anonymous. Low maintenance, heirlooms and disease resistance.

Winter Greens & Season Extension

Using greenhouses and high tunnels for season extension. What, when, and how we plant will be discussed in the first part. The discussion will then move toward harvesting, marketing, and transitioning the space back to being ready for the high season. Dan Morris: Assistant Vegetable Grower at Natick Community Organic Farm.

Soil & Trees: Nature’s Magicians

We will have an in-depth discussion about the fact that trees (and other plants) communicate directly with soil organisms, and vice-versa. How do they do it? Why do they do it? Find out how this new and stunning information helps us understand the mystical connection between plants, soils, and ourselves. Mike Nadeau: Tree hugging soil worshiper; founding member, NOFA Organic Land Care Program.

Food Soverignty In Action!

Representatives from La Via Campesina and WhyHunger will lead a dialogue on food sovereignty, agro-ecology and the global peasants movement. La Via Campesina is the international movement of peasants, farmers, landless people, indigenous people and migrant workers. WhyHunger is a leader in building the movement to end hunger and poverty by connecting people to nutritious, affordable food and grassroots solutions. Andrianna Natsoulas: Background in agricultural and fisheries programs. Executive Director of NOFA-NY.

No-Till Intensive Vegetable Production Part 1

In this two part series, learn methods for intensively growing vegetable crops without disturbing the soil through tillage or cultivation. Bryan will present the techniques he uses: multi-cropping, mowing, solarizing, weed-free composting, mulching, broadcast seeding, and weed control. This system has been commercially utilized at his Tobacco Road Farm for more than 5 years. Bryan O’Hara: Has grown vegetables at Tobacco Road Farm in Lebanon, CT for 25 years.

Starting an Urban Community Garden: Access, Soil & Growing

As a community affected by Food Injustice by way of Structural Racism, we desired to holistically heal our community both internally and externally, leading us to establish Springfield First Herbal Atonement Farm. We will discuss how we created our community garden on once vacant lots, organizing tactics for land acquisition, community involvement and next steps. Toussaint Paskins: Food Justice and Community Outreach Manager for GTC. Awilda Sanchez: Vice Chair of the Old Hill Neighborhood Council.

Tour: No-Till Crop Production Using Compost/Biochar Blends

Visit for a farm tour of a certified organic, mixed vegetable operation. See the results of three seasons using compost/biochar blends and witness efforts to build long-term fertility and a healthy soil food web by using no-till methods. Tools on display: cover crop roller/crimper; compost/biochar drop spreader; bed lifter. Dan Pratt: 45 years of messing with soil have lead to some new (old) ideas. Annalise Clausen: dedicated to learning from wisdom, observing change and building soil sustainably.

Hunting Wild Mushrooms

Join Ari Rockland-Miller and Jenna Antonino DiMare, co-founders of The Mushroom Forager and authors of a forthcoming book on hunting gourmet wild mushrooms, for a colorful presentation introducing foraging safety, strategy and ethics. Ari Rockland-Miller: Co-founder of The Mushroom Forager, writer, instructor & lecturer. Jenna Antonino DiMare: Co-founder of The Mushroom Forager, frequently joins Ari in teaching.

Promoting the Production of Fresh Unprocessed Whole Milk

The Farm to Consumer Foundation brought together subject-matter experts from across the US and Europe to prepare two comprehensive step-by-step books on producing fresh milk for dairy cattle and goats. Learn how producing fresh milk is a different process and identify the opportunities that exist for your farm. Joseph Scrimger: Organic farmer since 1975, interim president of Farm to Consumer Foundation.

Intro to Agroforestry

I will give a brief history followed by an overview of what agroforestry is. We will discuss why and how agroforestry is becoming more and more relevant to farmers and look at simple strategies for integrating agroforestry practices into a farm or landscape. Lindsay Allen: Farmer and food justice activist currently getting her masters in agroforestry.

Portable Fencing Hacks

Twenty years of grazing cattle, horses and poultry on the cheap has lead to a few techniques and tricks that can save the beginning grazer start up costs and keep animals in and four-legged garden pests out. Alan Baker: Picked stones, thrown haybales, milked cows, AAS Agronomy, BS Agriculture

Cover Crop Mixtures for Soil Health

Cover cropping is a best practice for soil health. Does scientific research prove the benefits of multi-species cover crop mixtures? What kind of challenges do they present? How can we design cover crop mixtures tailored to our specific production system? Local research on mixtures of winter-killed cover crops, including forage radish, will be presented. Julie Fine: Graduate Student, UMass Amherst Stockbridge School of Agriculture.

Our Journey on the Homesteading Path

We’ll share our perspective on our 35-year homesteading journey: the ins and outs, the ups and downs, and the joys and sorrows. How we got started and where we are now, plus many of the successes and failures along the way. We’ll have an open discussion that might help you plan for your own journey. Sharon Gensler: Educator, sustainability coach/mentor, homesteader for over 35 years. Pru Smith: 35+ year homesteader. Yoga instructor, life/sustainability coach.

Food Beliefs & Sustainable Eating

Food beliefs are the hardest ones to change. We will look at some of these beliefs, including gluten issues, sugar toxicity, meat, and disease, in the light of both science and tradition to see which hold up and what kinds of eating can really sustain our health throughout our lives. John Kozinski: Forty year career teaching health and self-healing techniques.

Gardens Of Thought: Food, Beauty and Fun!

On an old restored farm we create beautiful horticulture while fostering a deep relationship with this land, creating gardens that feed the soul and the palette. Learn how to use permaculture and other techniques to create edible landscapes that not only support humans but pollinators and other farm-friendly critters as well. Mike Nadeau: Tree hugging soil worshiper; founding member, NOFA Organic Land Care Program.

No-Till Intensive Vegetable Production Part 2

In this two part series, learn methods for intensively growing vegetable crops without disturbing the soil through tillage or cultivation. Bryan will present the techniques he uses: multi-cropping, mowing, solarizing, weed-free composting, mulching, broadcast seeding, and weed control. This system has been commercially utilized at his Tobacco Road Farm for more than 5 years. Bryan O’Hara: Has grown vegetables at Tobacco Road Farm in Lebanon, CT for 25 years.

Community Discussion: What to Do With Surplus Crops?

Salvation Farms will present results from its two recent studies of on-farm food loss and fresh produce needs by charitable and institutional food sites in Vermont. Attendees will discuss benefits of current endeavors in Vermont, such as gleaning and processing, and explore future models, such as a statewide crop surplus management plan. Theresa Snow: Founder, Salvation Farms. Advocate for responsible stewardship of natural resources.

Backyard Organic Farming

Learn to turn your backyard garden into a small-scale agri-business. Or just learn how to increase productivity and feed your family fresh organic foods all year long. Andy Tomolonis: Backyard organic farmer, author of Organic Hobby Farming. Val Tomolonis: Beekeeper, makes value-added products: lip balm, soaps, body creams.

Lessons From the Vermont Fresh Network

This workshop is for farmers who wish to improve their sales to local restaurants, schools and institutions. As the Farm to Table movement has grown, the challenge for both producers and chefs has been how to connect and develop mutually beneficial relationships. We will review challenges, opportunities and available resources. Lyndon Virkler: Dean of Faculty, NECI; co-author of Farm to Table, The Essential Guide to Sustainable Food Systems.

Transitioning To No-Till

Thinking about taking the leap? Lets discuss what its like to go from a tractor based operation to a permanent raised bed system. We will go over the trials and tribulations of transitioning during that initial season. Topics will include field and bed preparation, weed management, tools, and observations during years 1 and 2. Doug Wolcik: Farm Manager at Gaining Ground Farm in Concord, MA.

Global Knowledge/Local Production – Innovating Open Source Technology for Improved Soil Health!

Session 1: Overview of soil health principles, followed by an introduction to local, regional, and global tools for use on your farm. In a world where collaboration is increasingly accessible, we will also discuss the different mechanisms (such as the farmOS and Farm Hack platforms) for collaboration and how to approach building on the efforts of others while also monitoring, improving, and sharing your own agricultural knowledge. Session 2: Let’s take a look at what’s happening in the on-farm research world for improving mechanized soil health, including data from farmer-to-farmer participation. Session 3: Bring your laptop! We will spend some time working directly with representatives from farmOS and Farm Hack to get attendees set up on both online platforms, as well as demonstrate how to share and document your own innovations. Time will also be spent looking at live Farm Hack innovations and tools. You are encouraged to bring one of your own innovations to share!
Dorn Cox