Upcoming Educational Opportunities:

  • Anytime:
    • ATTRA Tutorials – self-guided and comprehensive multi-lesson tutorials in Scaling Up for Regional Markets, Pest Management, Farm Business Planning & Marketing for Beginnners, and Getting Started in Farming.
    • USDA Science & Technology Training Library – contains hundreds of archived webinars on Bioenergy, Conservation, Forestry, and Sustainable Forests.  Lists of upcoming webinars are also available on the site.
    • Farmer-to-Farmer Podcast with Chris Blanchard.  "Chris is a veteran farmer and educator who draws on over 25 years of experience to get at the big ideas and practical details that go into making a farm work.  Whether his guests are discussing employment philosophy or the best techniques for cultivating carrots, his down-to-earth conversations with experienced farmers - and the occasional non-farmer - will be time well spent."
    • Summaries of presentations at the 2016 Organic Agriculture Research Symposium are now available online at http://eorganic.info/node/16778. Many of the workshops and keynote presentations were recorded live and may be viewed via the eOrganic YouTube channel.

 


High Tunnel Fall and Winter Crop Planning — Jul 25

Crop selection and timing for Fall and Winter high tunnel production is important to ensure high quality plants and long winter harvests. Join us as we fine tune your planting dates for the fall and discuss how early in the spring you can plant for the earliest harvests. Tuesday, July 25, 2017 6p-8p, Lake Orion Public Library, 825 Joslyn Rd, Lake Orion MI.  An offering of the Southeast Michigan Seasonal High Tunnel Education Initiative.  To register, or if you have questions, email SRA.SEMichiganHighTunnel@gmail.com.


9th Annual Edible Flint Food Garden Tour — Jul 26

Come celebrate Flint's food gardens, hoophouses, and farms at the 9th Annual Food Garden Tour.  Annually in July the Food Garden Tour celebrates the hard work and success of food gardeners all over the City of Flint.  Tour participants are invited to visit local garden projects by bus or bike.  The tour concludes in a celebration with food, music, and conversation.  The edible flint Food Garden Tour is supported by local area businesses and individual donors. Registration opens July 1, 2017, a $10 donation is required and the event is open to the public. Click the here to register.


Unique Specialty Fruits — Jul 27

Thursday, July 27 6:00-8:00 p.m.  Presented by Trevor Newman.  Trevor will begin to share details and stories about uncommon fruits adapted to Michigan. Learn about obscure old world garden crops like currants and gooseberries, as well as emerging commercial fruits like saskatoon, honeyberry, hardy kiwi, and much more.  Cost: $20.  North Central Michigan College, 1515 Howard Street, Petoskey, Student & Community Resource Center - Room 536.  To register send an email to ccefaq@ncmich.edu or call 231-348-6613.


Biochar Intensive Workshop — Jul 29

Michigan Ecovillage invites you to attend a Biochar Intensive Workshop in Oxford with our partner, the Strawbale Studio, on July 29, 2017 from 1 PM to 5 PM.  Biochar is clean charcoal made for soil application, where it sequesters carbon from the atmosphere for tens of thousands of years, acting to reduce climate change. Binding with lead in toxic soils, biochar remediates soils, reducing plants’ uptake of toxic substances. When made, the heat of the fire transforms the chemical structure of carbon, which then acts as a permanent humus in soil improving soil health for nutrient dense vegetables. Deep fertile prairie and man-made Terra Preta soils came from biochar.

Michigan Ecovillage 501c3 is sponsoring a biochar demonstration utilizing the low-tech Neolithic pit pyrolysis kiln, which anyone can replicate.  Also, Paul McCullough from the Sierra Club Regenerative Food and Agriculture Committee will demonstrate Top-Lit UpDraft (TLUD) pyrolysis, with biochar cook stove technology. Participants will feed the fire, learn all about the process and benefits of biochar, how to prepare and utilize it for soil fertility, and take home a sample of biochar for experimentation in your own garden. Recommended donation is $5-25 which will be shared between the nonprofits. All are encouraged to attend regardless of donation. Let’s use this technology to heal Michigan.  For more information contact Deanne Bednar at the Strawbale Studio, 2691 Noble Rd., Oxford, MI 48370, 248-628-1887, 248-236-5432, ecoartdb@gmail.com. Please go to the Michigan Ecovillage Facebook page to sign up here.  Link to Donate: https://www.crowdrise.com/BiocharEvent2.  Click Here to Join our mailing list: http://eepurl.com/cQDwgz.


20th Annual Detroit Tour of Urban Gardens and Farms — Aug 2

On Wednesday, August 2nd guests will travel by bus and bike to see the places where residents are digging into Detroit soil to cultivate a healthy relationship to food, learn healthy habits from family and neighbors, and nurture an economically viable city where Detroiters thrive.  Tours will begin at Eastern Market in Shed 3 at 6:00pm and last approximately 2 hours. After the tour, a reception featuring Detroit-grown produce prepared by local chefs will provide guests with a taste of Detroit’s delicious food system. The reception will also feature a Good Food Bazaar where guests can learn about opportunities to plug into Detroit’s food community from starting a community garden, to launching a new food business, to purchasing handcrafted offerings from local food entrepreneurs.   

Registration is now open and early registration is strongly recommended. To register, please visit keepgrowingdetroit.org or call 313-757-2635. When registering, be prepared to provide contact information for all attendees and to choose which bike or bus tour you would like to attend. Descriptions of the bus and bike routes are on the registration page. Tickets for the tour range from $15-$100, general admission is $30.


Growing and Marketing Mushrooms — Aug 8

Tuesday, August 8, 6:00-8:00 p.m.  Presented by Bernie Ware.  This workshop will include a discussion of fungi biology along with proven production techniques of different mushroom species including Shiitake, Oyster, Wine Cap, and Lions Mane.  Bernie will also share marketing ideas employed at Ware Farm through the years.  Participants will also put together and take home an "Oyster Totem" to start their fungi garden. Bernie Ware, owner of Ware Farm in Bear Lake, Michigan is one of the early growers of mushrooms in Northern Michigan.  Cost: $20.  North Central Michigan College, 1515 Howard Street, Petoskey, Student & Community Resource Center - Room 536.  To register send an email to ccefaq@ncmich.edu or call 231-348-6613.


SNAP Farmers Market Tours — Aug 8 and 9

The Michigan Farmers Market Association (MIFMA) will be hosting two Facebook Live SNAP farmers market tours in August. Interested individuals can learn how SNAP is used at farmers markets from the comfort of their own home or office!  The tours are an opportunity to observe and learn firsthand how accepting SNAP benefits in a farmers market setting can increase revenue for vendors, contribute to vendor recruitment and retention for the market and increase access to fresh, healthy food for your community.

Tuesday, August 8 from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.  City Market – Bay City, MI (watch via Facebook Live)
Wednesday, August 9 from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.  Grand Haven Farmers Market – Grand Haven, MI (watch via Facebook Live)

Both tours will be streamed via Facebook Live on the Michigan Farmers Market Association’s Facebook PageRegister to receive a reminder and details on how and when to tune in and watch!


Soil Health Field Day — Aug 10

Learn how soil health can protect your farm against weather extremes, the role of mycorrhizal fungi in healthy soils, and current issues in grazing.  Jim Birgy Farm, 11500 Puffer Rd SW, Fife Lake, MI.  $10 includes a local-food lunch with grass-fed beef.  For more information and to register: www.kalkaskaconservation.org/dev/?event=soil-health-field-day-iii or 231-258-3307.


Soil Health Field Day — Aug 11

Learn how soil health can protect your farm against weather extremes, the role of mycorrhizal fungi in healthy soils, and current issues in grazing.  Shooks Farm, 5833 Shooks Rd., Central Lake, MI.  $10 includes a local-food lunch with grass-fed beef.  For more information: www.antrimcd.com/soil-health-day.html , to register (highly recommended): www.antrimcd.com/store/p50/Soil_Health_Day_Registration.html, or call 231-533-8363.


Insects on the Farm — Aug 13 

Insects are important players on the farm – though often thought of as pests and parasites, insects are active in soil health, as pollinators, and even as pest control. Understanding insects in the context of your whole farm ecosystem will help you make informed decisions. Learn best practices from MSU educators on integrated pest management (IPM), native pollinators, and bees.One of the 'Short Course' series of four afternoon-long seminars at MSU's North Farm at Chatham.   $30 for one course or $100 for all four.  More information at  www.msunorthfarm.org/short-courses.html.


Processing and Preserving Mushrooms — Aug 15

Tuesday, August 15, 6:00-8:00 p.m.  Presented by Bernie Ware.  This class will cover processing, cooking, and preservation of cultivated mushrooms.  Proven techniques and recipes that have been utilized through many years of experimentation at Ware Farm will be shared. Bernie Ware, owner of Ware Farm in Bear Lake, Michigan is one of the early growers of mushrooms in Northern Michigan.  Cost: $20.  North Central Michigan College, 1515 Howard Street, Petoskey, Student & Community Resource Center - Room 536.  To register send an email to ccefaq@ncmich.edu or call 231-348-6613.
 


Hoop Full Harvest — Aug 21

Late summer is the time to plan and plant fall and winter season crops (both in hoop houses and outdoors). In this class we will discuss ideal crops for this time of year, the best varieties and the range of dates you could be harvesting.Monday, August 21, 2017 6p-8p, Plum St. Market Garden, 2202 3rd St, Detroit MI 48226. An offering of the Southeast Michigan Seasonal High Tunnel Education Initiative.  To register, or if you have questions, email SRA.SEMichiganHighTunnel@gmail.com.


How-to Farmer Training on Organic Vegetable Seed Production — Aug 22

Join nationally renowned experts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Organic Seed Alliance, and Purdue University this August for a one-day classroom and field-based workshop on organic seed production and variety development.  Learn the fundamentals needed to grow organic vegetable seed, including seed biology, harvesting, storage, and how to conduct variety trials. In addition to a classroom intensive, we’ll tour The Student Farm and taste carrot and tomato varieties from current trials with a local chef.  Purdue Extension is hosting the training on August 22, 2017, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Daniel Turf Center and The Student Farm in West Lafayette, Indiana. Registration is $15 and includes the daylong training and catered lunch.  Learn more and register here.


Growing Chestnuts and Other Michigan Nut Crops — Aug 26

Are you interested in growing nuts? Join us for a morning class with Bill Nash of Nash Nurseries and Dr. Dennis Fulbright to talk nut crops. This course will feature a good mixture of lecture, hands on work, and sampling interesting nut varieties. We'll begin with the history of nut crops in Northern Michigan and go through different types of walnuts, hazelnuts, heart-nuts, butternuts, pecans, hickory nuts and chestnuts*. From specific soil PH and fertilization, insect control and various diseases, rootstock and cultivars, to grafting and propagation, this workshop offers something for everyone!

*Did you know that Michigan is the number one producer of chestnuts in the United States? There’s good reason why: Chestnuts are a perennial crop, more shelf-stable than most fruits and quicker to produce than most nuts, plus they taste amazing. Interested in learning more about growing nut crops and chestnut trees? Join us!  9:00am 12:00pm at Northwest Michigan Horticultural Research Center, 6686 South Center Highway, Traverse City.  Questions? Contact Jen.  Cost: $30 // Tickets here.


Learn to Farm — Aug 30-Dec 15; Jan 8-May 4, 2018

Are you interested in learning how to farm?  The Novice Farmer Program might be what you are looking for.  The Novice Farmer Program is a pilot program combining nine on-line courses (18 credits) and a four-month (6 credits) on-farm experience to train participants in year-round organic farming. The program focuses on diversified nutrient dense crop production for local markets.  Participants gain a foundation of knowledge through the on-line courses and then develop competencies in farm skills and business planning through experiential learning opportunities that revolve around the daily operation of MSU’s North Farm located in Michigan’s upper peninsula.  The program is designed to give participants a strong foundation in production skills and prepare them for additional experiences or education.  For more and information, a list of specific courses, and links to the application visit www.msunorthfarm.org.


Identifying and Harvesting Northern Michigan Fungi — Sep 5, 12, 19

Tuesdays, September 5, 12 and 19, 2017, and weekend field trips.  Presented by Marilynn Smith.  Learn from expert mycologist Marilynn Smith to identify local edible and poisonous mushrooms and gain new respect for fungi. Participants meet in the classroom one night a week, then visit local wooded areas to collect fungi samples on the weekend. Instructor Marilynn Smith is a mycologist with a M.S. in Mycology from the University of Iowa.  Cost: $50 for the series of three classes and weekend field trips.  North Central Michigan College, 1515 Howard Street, Petoskey, Student & Community Resource Center - Room 536.  To register send an email to ccefaq@ncmich.edu or call 231-348-6613.
 


Detroit High Tunnel Tour — Sep 10

Please join us on Sunday, September 10, 2017, for a tour of high tunnels (hoophouses) in Detroit. We will tour urban farms with hoophouses and have a chance to talk with farmers about what they have growing, trials and techniques.Sunday, September 10, 2017 10a-2p, Plum St. Market Garden, 2202 3rd St, Detroit MI 48226. An offering of the Southeast Michigan Seasonal High Tunnel Education Initiative.  To register, or if you have questions, email SRA.SEMichiganHighTunnel@gmail.com.


Winter Marketing, Pricing, and Economics — Sep 12

As we continue to farm later into the calendar winter marketing can be a challenge. Topics will focus on winter markets as well as pricing and economics to ensure that your farm is economically successful.Tuesday, September 12, 2017 6p-8p, UofM Campus Farm @ Matthaei Botanical Gardens, 1800 N. Dixboro Rd, Ann Arbor 48105. An offering of the Southeast Michigan Seasonal High Tunnel Education Initiative.  To register, or if you have questions, email SRA.SEMichiganHighTunnel@gmail.com.


Midwest Mechanical Weed Control Field Day— Sep 26

From finger weeders to flex-tine harrows, come learn the principles and tools for precise mechanical weed control from farmers and researchers. New weeding machines are recently available from Europe and many types and models of mechanical weeders will be on display and demonstrated - old and new, American and European. You will hear from farmers using these tools, learn about cultivation techniques in Europe, see the tools demonstrated in vegetables, and enjoy lunch and community with all the growers in attendance. Weeding machinery manufacturers will be displaying their wares as well.

Cultivating tractors include – JD 900HC, Case 265, all manner of Allis G’s, Tilmor (modern American cultivating tractor), Cultitrack (modern European cultivating tractor).  Weeding Tools include – Finger weeders, Torsion weeders, Reigi/Eco-weeder, rear-mounted steerable toolbars, Lilliston, Flamer, Flex-tine weeders, basket weeder, walk-behind tractor cultivator . . . And more

Tuesday September 26th 10-5, Michigan State University Horticulture Farm, 3291 N College Rd., Holt, MI (right outside of Lansing).  For more information see https://events.anr.msu.edu/event.cfm?eventID=8417F4BE0CEFB513. Car pools from various regions are available. 


Acres USA 2017 Eco-Ag Conference — Dec 5-8

Exploring strategies for modern Eco-Agriculture from the soil up:  The Acres U.S.A. Eco-Ag Conference & Trade Show is a one-of-a-kind event for commercial-scale sustainable and organic agriculture. Well over a thousand people from around the world gather together to tap the knowledge of some of agriculture’s brightest minds. Join us for the most useful event you’ll attend all year! December 5-8 in Columbus, Ohio.  For more information, www.acresusa.com/events.


Northern Michigan Small Farm Conference — Jan 26-27

So far, only the dates have been announced, but keep an eye on www.smallfarmconference.com/ for further information about this major event for small farmers in Michigan. 


Michigan Family Farms Conference — Feb 3, 2018

Hosted by Michigan Food and Farming Systems (MIFFS), MFFC is a forum for beginning, small-scale and culturally diverse farmers to network, learn and build sustainable family farms. Celebrating its 15th year in 2018, the conference has become a resource for connecting farmers from across the state. The 2018 conference will be held at Kalamazoo Valley Community College.  Keep an eye on www.miffs.org/events/MFFC for more information as it becomes available.


MOSES — Feb 22-24, 2018

The Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Services Conference will be Feb 22-24, 2018.  Meanwhile, selected events from the 2017 conference are available on YouTube.  Keynote speakers Mas Masumoto and Liz Carlisle, both authors, encouraged farmers to share their indi­vidual stories and the movement's collective story to spread the environmental values of organic and sustainable farming beyond farm borders. Their inspiring keynotes are online here. You can also watch the one-woman performance of "Turn Here Sweet Corn," from Atina Diffley's memoir, and learn about the 2017 MOSES Organic Farmers of the Year. Audio recordings of conference workshops are available online as CDs (two per work­shop) for $8, which includes shipping. MP3 downloads are $5. The complete set of workshop recordings is $75, and comes on a USB flash drive.


Our Farms, Our Future — Apr 3-5, 2018

Our Farms, Our Future conference, hosted by SARE and NCAT/ATTRA. This national event will bring together our diverse agricultural community: farmers and ranchers, agricultural professionals, agribusiness, students, researchers, scientists, agency representatives, and nonprofit leaders. Every decade, SARE hosts a conference to look at the progress of sustainability in agriculture, and to understand our trajectory for the future.  Watch www.sare.org/our-farms-our-future for more details,