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.

 


Heirloom Wheat Planting — Sep 23-24

Plainsong Farm in greater Grand Rapids will host the Rev. Elizabeth DeRuff, an Episcopal priest and agrarian ministry pioneer from California, on September 23 & 24. We are selected to be the second site in the country for a program she developed teaching churches about the connections between faith, health, agriculture and sustainability through heirloom wheat communion bread.

We are open to all of every faith so please know if you are just curious, you are very welcome no matter what your beliefs! We're excited and invite you to share the information below with anyone, anywhere, who might be interested.

All information is available here on our website.


Southwest Michigan Harvest Fest — Sep 24

Autumn isn’t complete without a visit to Tillers International and the annual harvest festival.

The day will be filled with draft animal farming field demos (oxen and draft horses), skill-sharing in the blacksmithing and woodshops, sorghum harvest and pressing (to make molasses), ox-driving, wagon rides, an all-day shoe-making demo by Cliff Pequet from the Center for Traditional Arts in Shipshewana, IN, an herb-walk, a solar power demo by Art Toy, a barrel firing, fiber spinning, wheat threshing, not to mention vendors, live music (including a shape-note singing workshop), and local food trucks. Kids should be prepared to meet the challenge of the Harvest Fest farm-wide scavenger hunt.

Founding father Maynard Kaufman will be on hand to discuss his new book The Organic Movement in Michigan.  And, of course, Collection Curator Jim Slining will be on hand to guide visitors through Tillers’ Museum.

MOFFA has a long relationship with this event, and we are proud to be among the sponsors this year.  We will have a booth at the event with an opportunity to purchase books related to organic and sustainable agriculture (and gardening).  We hope to see you there.


Marketing Food and Farm Products through Direct Online Sales — Sep 25

In a world where people do more and more of their shopping online how can you create a virtual farm stand for your farm? Local farmer and entrepreneur Brian Bates will share his experience of using his farm's web presence to expand market reach and sell directly to customers online.  Monday, September 25, 6:00-8:00 pm.  Cost: $20.  Location: Room 536 at North Central Michigan College, 1515 Howard Street, Petoskey, MI.


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. 


Twilight Tour: Misty Acres — Sep 26

Misty Acres Farm is located on a nature preserve owned and managed by the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy. Join us for a pasture walk and learn about production and marketing of grass finished beef, soil fertility improvement methods, warm season grasses, silvopasture, extending the growing season with animals.  Tuesday, September 26, 6 to 8pm, Traverse City.  More information and RSVP here.


Master Composter Workshop — Sep 27-Nov8

Transform yard debris and kitchen scraps into nutrient-rich, natural soil amendments. Identify your soil profile to create a low-maintenance, low-waste yard. Tour large- and small-scale compost operations. Learn to compost with red worms, compost tea and and other agents. Lessons are suitable for the general public and for Master Gardeners looking to continue their organic gardening education. A Washtenaw County Master Composter certification is available if you pass the take-home exam and volunteer 10 hours in the community. Volunteer hours are offered in the optional Saturday Composting Practicum. This Washtenaw County Michigan Master Composter program is coordinated by Project Grow Community Gardens and Washtenaw County Public Works. 7 weeks.  More information at https://apm.activecommunities.com/aareced/Activity_Search/become-a-master-composter/46583.  Registration is required.


Apple Tasting at the Bellaire Harvest Festival — Sep 30

Stop by and see Crosshatch and our Preservation Station at the 18th Annual Bellaire Harvest Festival downtown Bellaire. We'll have a variety of unique and tasty apples to try, and will be sharing information about our upcoming season of food & farming education. Come by and say hi!  Saturday, September 30, 10am to 4pm, Bellaire.  More information here.


Honey Tasting at the Old Time Harvest Day in the Gardens — Oct 1

Come by and say hi to Crosshatch at the Old Time Harvest Day at the Grand Traverse Botanic Gardens. Members from the Crosshatch Beekeepers Guild will be on-site with beekeeping equipment, information, and a very special honey tasting. Stop by and learn about supporting local pollinators and the importance of beekeeping - and taste some honey while you're at it!  Sunday, October 1, 12pm to 4pm, Traverse City.  More information here.


Urban & Small Farm Soil Health Field Day — Oct 13

The Garden Project & Michigan State University Extension will host an Urban & Small Farm SOIL HEALTH FIELD DAY on Friday, October 13th at two of mid-Michigan’s finest farms.  The morning session will be hosted by Swallowtail Farm, in Mason.  The afternoon session will be held down the road, at the Lansing Roots Farm.

  • Topics include: Principles & Practices of Improving Soil Health, Cover Cropping, Composting, Tools/Implements and more!
  • Farm Tours, hands-on demos, a catered lunch and great take home resources are all included in the $10 event cost.

The SOIL HEALTH FIELD DAY is open to every type of grower, from community and urban gardeners to homesteaders and market gardeners.  Friday, October 13th, 10am - 4:00pm (registration from 9:45 -10), Swallowtail Farm: 1633 S. Hagadorn Road, Mason 48854.  General registration opens on Friday, September 15th and is linked HERE!


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.


Organic Intensives — Jan 6

We invite you to join us on Saturday, January 6th, 2018 for a one-day in-depth learning experience. Organic Intensives are an opportunity to acquire practical, detailed information over the course of a day with fellow Michigan farmers and gardeners. For 2018 we are working with individuals who are recognized experts and educators in one of three topic areas:

  • Diverse Grain Options for Farms and Homesteads
  • Small to Medium Scale Livestock for the Integrated Farm
  • Secure a Successful Season with Succession Starts (transplant production)

See our Organic Intensives page for more information.


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,