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.

 


Designing Garden Beds — May 27

Saturday, May 27, 12:30-2pm, at Hunter Park GardenHouse, $12 registration.  Learn how to design beautiful garden beds at home. Workshop led by recent MSU horticulture graduate, Ryan Betzer. To RSVP click the following link Eventbrite. For more info, contact Leah Kate McKenney at gardeningeducator@allenneighborhoodcenter.org or 517-999-3913.


Woodland Restoration Using Livestock and Silvopasture Principals — Jun 2

Friday, June 2nd 1:30-2:30pm E.T.  with Brett Chedzoy, MF, Cornell Cooperative Extension.  Studies by The Nature Conservancy, Cornell University and the NY State College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) show deteriorating conditions in the majority of NY’s nearly 19 million acres of forest – a situation that is not unique to New York and the Northeast.  Silvopasturing and intensively-managed livestock impacts are an innovative approach to address many of the modern challenges facing woodland owners and managers.  This presentation will cover specific examples of how silvopasturing has been successfully used to rehabilitate degraded woodlands into profitable and productive forested landscapes that can sustained over time.  For more information see http://www.nemaagroforestry.org/webinar-9/.


Group Tour & Information Session — Jun 3

This is an important opportunity that introduces the inner-workings of the Can-Do Kitchen. Here, we provide an overview of the requirements of becoming a food business owner, including food safety, licensing, and insurance. Attendees receive Can-Do Kitchen applications at this Tour, and are invited to return them to us if they wish to further explore being a member and attending Can-Do camp. The application is a business planning tool that many aspiring entrepreneurs find very helpful.

Saturday, June 3rd, 12:00-1:00pm.  Please RSVP by emailing startup@candokitchen.org or calling 269-492-0261 so we know how many people to expect.  (Note: Please let us know if you are in need of interpretation and we'll do our best to arrange it.)


Perennial Fruit Crops — Jun 4

From familiar raspberries to “novel” types like goji berries, perennial fruits are gaining popularity with market gardeners and farmers alike. Find out about variety selection, establishment, and cultural practices – including growing in high tunnels – for growing berries in a northern climate with MSU educators on perennial fruit crops. 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


All About Food: From Farm to Fork Conference — Jun 6

The conference will feature an exciting line-up of keynote and breakout speakers, with topics for everyone engaged in the food system.  The event will be held at Macomb Community College University Center on Tuesday, June 6th from 8am – 4pm. 

$25 Early bird registration through April 30, $30 Regular registration through May 30, $25 Student registration rate through May 30, $35 Limited number of walk-ins on June 6.  To register or for more information: www.macombfood.org/all-about-food-conference.html.   Scholarships are available. Contact info@macombfood.org for more information or to request an application.


Using Culinary and Nutritive Herbs for Better Health and Nutrition — Jun 7

Wednesday June 7th, 6:00 -8:00 p.m.  Presented by Gretchen VanLoozen.  Many familiar cooking herbs enhance digestion, have health supporting properties and add micro-nutrients to our diets.  Learn about nutrient-rich herbs you can grow, gather and prepare. We will also learn how to preserve herbs in vinegar as a tincture or dried for later use as a tea or infusion. If you are curious about an herb in your yard, bring a sample to identify. Gretchen VanLoozen, UM Environmental Science, is an organic and biodynamic farmer and energy medicine practitioner.  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.


Organic Pest Management — Jun 10

 Saturday, June 10, 12:30-2pm, at Hunter Park GardenHouse, $12 registration.  Learn how to identify, prevent, and treat vegetable plant damage by common pests. Workshop led by Adam Ingrao of Bee Wise Farm. To RSVP click the following link at Eventbrite. For more info, contact Leah Kate McKenney at gardeningeducator@allenneighborhoodcenter.org or 517-999-3913.


Improving Soil Health on Urban Farms— Jun 13

This webinar will illustrate how the principles of a Soil Health Management System are implemented on a 3.5 acre urban farm growing mixed vegetables, and it will emphasize practices that enhance the microbial life in the soil.Particular emphasis will be placed on how to use biological practices such as compost, compost tea, biological inoculants, and biologically based pesticides. The evolution of certain practices from installation to production will be discussed. A list of NRCS practices that may qualify for cost-sharing is also included in the presentation.  This webinar is presented by the USDA NRCS Soil Health Division. For more information see http://www.conservationwebinars.net/webinars/improving-soil-health-on-urban-farms or contact Holli Kuykendall, Ph.D., National Technology Specialist, for more information about this webinar.


High Tunnel Pest and Disease Management — Jun 20

Minimizing pests and diseases in high tunnels is a combination of both field and greenhouse management techniques. Join us as we discuss cultural, biological, and organic chemical controls to keep your high tunnel plants healthy.  Tuesday, June 20, 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.


High Density Fruit Growing: Utilizing Small Spaces to Grow Fruit — Jun 26

Monday, June 26, 2017, 6:00-8:00 p.m.  Trevor Newman, Co-Founder of Roots to Fruits, LLC, will guide us in exploring ways to fit fruit trees and berry bushes into the landscape when space is a constraint. We'll explore vertical gardening techniques and ways to train fruiting plants like cordon and espalier. Great for the urban gardener and homesteader alike!  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.


Multi-Use Trees and Shrubs for the Functional Landscape — Jun 27

Tuesday, June 27, 6:00-8:00 p.m.  Presented by Trevor Newman.  Form follows function is an old expression in the landscaping world. Join us for an evening of exploration while we take a look at the functional use of productive trees for windbreaks & hedgerows, privacy screens, microclimate, and much more. This class will look at landscape trees from a permaculture perspective!
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.


Junior Master Gardeners Program — Jun 29 - Aug 31

This summer, Gleaners Community Food Bank and the Michigan State University Extension are partnering together for an 8 week Master Gardening experience just for kids! Gleaners is recruiting youth groups, classes, clubs and camps to bring their summer program to the Detroit Food Zoo for this exciting serving-learning course. Lessons are hands-on and follow 4-H objectives by teaching life skills, confidence and compassion.  Each week we will cover garden topics such as:

  •     Planning, Growing and Harvesting a Garden
  •     Landscape and Garden Design
  •     Plant Classification and Plant Parts
  •     Cooking and Nutrition in the Garden
  •     Soil Quality and Water Cycle
  •     Animals and Insects

The Junior Master Gardeners meet in Gleaners’ Detroit Food Zoo (2131 Beaufait, Detroit MI 48207), where we learn and serve together. Kids will become certified Junior Master Gardeners through the MSU Extension 4-H program and leave with a deeper understanding of the world around them! This opportunity is great for groups of 10-25 kids, between 8 and 15 years old. There is a one-time program fee of $5 per child.

The Junior Master Gardener program will run Thursdays from June 29th to August 31st, 3:00pm to 5:00pm! Please pass this opportunity to interested groups in the Metro-Detroit area!!  For more information or to reserve your spot, please contact:

Milaina Macklin, 4-H Program Coordinator, MSU Extension at (734) 720-7689 x 112 or macklin3@anr.msu.edu
Ana Cristina Cujar, Kids Helping Kids Coordinator, Gleaners Community Food Bank at acujar@gcfb.org


Flower Arranging — Jul 8

Saturday, July 8, 12:30-2pm, at Hunter Park GardenHouse,$12 registration.  Learn how to create a beautiful, cut-flower garden, and which flower varieties work best for bouquets. Make and take home your own bouquet. Workshop led by MSU perennial garden manager, Bethany Troy. To RSVP click the following link at Eventbrite. For more info, contact Leah Kate McKenney at gardeningeducator@allenneighborhoodcenter.org or 517-999-3913.


Organic Small Grains — Jul 9

The North Farm is conducting research trials in organic small grain production to identify challenges and opportunities in the Upper Peninsula. Come see the research plots, talk with researchers and growers, and discuss some of the realities of growing organic grains in northern climates. Topics will include plot establishment, weed management, pest and disease challenges, and variety selection.  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.


Hands-On Hoophouse Build — Jul 10-11

Get your hands dirty and join us for all or part of a two to three day high tunnel build. You will have the opportunity to participate in every part of building a high tunnel from pounding ground posts to pulling plastic. There will be plenty of opportunities to ask questions about construction, cropping, and marketing and time to make new farming friends. Bring work gloves, sturdy shoes, sun protection, water, and a sack lunch. Monday, Tuesday and MAYBE Wednesday, July 10, 11, 12, Black Earth Farms, 818 Miller Rd, Riley 48041.  An offering of the Southeast Michigan Seasonal High Tunnel Education Initiative.  To register, or if you have questions, email SRA.SEMichiganHighTunnel@gmail.com.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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

Tuesday, September 26, 10:00-5:00 Rain or Shine at MSU Horticulture Farm, 3291 N. College Road, Holt, MI.   From wheel hoes to walk-behind tractors to Allis G’s and beyond, come learn the principles and tolls for precise mechanical weed control from farmers and researchers.  See in row cultivation tools demonstrated in vegetables,Learn about cultivation in Europe,Hear from farmers who are using in-row tools, Meet with and learn from other growers and company reps.

Equipment on display and in demonstration: Cultivating tractors – JD 900HC, Case 265, all manner of Allis G’s; Tools – Finger weeders, Torsion weeders, Reigi/Eco-weeder, steerable toolbar, Lilliston, Flamer, Flex tine weeders, Walk-behind tractor cultivation ... and more.  A flyer is available.  $20 cash or check payable at field day (lunch included).  Please register as it helps us plan.  For questions, to assist, or to register, contact Sam Hitchcock, MSU Department of Horticulture, 414-213-5337 or hitchc32@msu.edu.


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.


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,