“The soil is the great connector of lives, the source and destination of all. It is the healer and restorer and resurrector, by which disease passes into health, age into youth, death into life. Without proper care for it we can have no community, because without proper care for it we can have no life.” -Wendell Berry, The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture
This year's Building Healthy Soils workshop will be online! Soil is both the literal and figurative foundation of your farm.
This year's textbook is SARE's Building Soils for Better Crops. SARE has a whole database on soil related resources like videos, fact sheets, decision making tools and more- check it out here. Reasons why we love this book are:
It defines what soil and organic matter is and why it is important
It provides step-by-step information on soil-improving practices
There are case studies of real farmers who use sustainable practices to improve their farm production
You should also be receiving some extra goodies with this package and we hope you enjoy this awesome textbook!
During these times of social distancing, online resources are more important than ever. There are many different websites that list both pre-recorded and new, upcoming workshops on a variety of topics. Here are just a few of some of the great resources out there:
We strongly encourage apprentices to register and watch the upcoming webinar, Take Your Local Food Online on Wednesday, April 15th at 6pm. Registration is free and available on Eventbrite. This webinar is brought you by the Food Systems Program at West Central Missouri Community Action Agency. There are several local KC farmers who are presenting in this webinar and they are great mentors to learn from in our food community!
Here is a description from their webpage: Online grocery shopping has skyrocketed during the Covid-19 Crisis. So has the opportunity for area farms to supply that demand by ramping up their online sales capacity. Farms already set up for online sales are experiencing rapid growth in orders.
Our next core workshop- Introduction to Food Safety & Post-Harvest Handling- is coming up on Monday, April 20th. As apprentices, we strongly encourage you to become familiar with post-harvest handling practices and equipment if you are not already. The video below is a good tour of some post-harvest infrastructure on a market garden.
You will be receiving Cornell's Produce Safety Alliance textbook in the mail but in the meantime, we recommend that you take a look at the Wholesale Success Manual which has several chapters on both post-harvest handling and food safety!
Quick Reminder- don't forget to register for the next workshop on Eventbrite!
Our next workshop is coming up called Small Farm Equipment & Irrigation! If you aren't familiar with the various tools of small scale specialty crop growers yet, here are some videos that can help get you familiar with these important items. Some favorites among our KC community include the broadfork, the BCS tractor, tilther, greens harvester, backpack sprayer, stirrup hoes and more!
There have been a multitude of free webinars to learn from through a variety of organizations. Here are just a few that may be of interest whether they apply now or could be useful for your future farm:
The North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Chatham County Center will offer a webinar on How to Create a Free Online Store for Your Farm.
Agriculture Extension Agent Debbie Roos will walk participants step-by-step through the process of setting up a basic, free online store through Square that will allow folks to accept pre-orders and payments for items to be picked up at the farm, farmers’ market, or other location.
We are excited to announce that we will be streaming the Small Farm Equipment & Irrigation workshop online and it is going to be open to the public!
This workshop will be hosted by extension specialists Zac Hoppenstedt and Cary Rivard, Jim Leek from Pat & Rachel's Garden in Olathe, KS and Neil Rudisill from Woodland City Micro Farm in Kansas City, MO.
We are going to cover a variety of farming equipment options for small and medium-sized farms including tools for field preparation, planting, cultivation, harvesting, overhead and drip irrigation systems. We'll also help you put together a wish list of must-have tools and provide a general overview of equipment maintenance, design and modifications.
This workshop will also highlight the new community tool share program being offered by Ivanhoe Neighborhood Council and the Kansas City Young Farmers Coalition.
This workshop will be referencing material from your textbook, The Lean Farm by Ben Hartman so please look through this book ahead of time!
Mark mentioned in the Plant Propagation and Production Planning Workshop that Johnny's Seeds has a page with some planning tools and calculators free to use. Below are some screenshots of the tools you can use!
We will be using the online platform Zoom to conduct our core workshops. This will allow us to join in a "meeting room" to listen to speakers and watch their presentations. If you have never used the free app before, please download it on this webpage: https://zoom.us/download We look forward to using this new platform with our apprentices! Here is a helpful Youtube video on how to join:
Due to recent circumstances surrounding COVID-19, we have decided to cancel the upcoming 3/21 and 3/28 Growing Growers workshops to the public.
We will be hosting a webinar format for our apprentices so that you can still learn from our speakers and farmers on these core topics! You will also still be receiving the class textbooks and materials for these workshops.
This blog is for our 2020 apprentices so that they can stay up to date on program news and events. Our goal is to make the apprenticeship program better every year and provide our apprentices with the resources they need to become great farmers.