WEST BRANCH, Iowa — Mark Quee, farm manager at Scattergood Friends School Farm, will host a field day – in partnership with Practical Farmers of Iowa and Xerces Society – exploring ways to add pollinator habitat to farmland on Tuesday, Sept. 17, from 4-7 p.m., at the farm located at 258 290th St., about 1.5 miles east of town.
The event – “Establishing Pollinator Habitat at Scattergood Friends School Farm” – is free to attend and will include dinner following the field day in the Scattergood Friends School cafeteria. RSVPs are requested for the meal by Friday, Sept. 13. Sign up online at practicalfarmers.org/field-days, or contact Debra Boekholder at (515) 232-5661 or email@example.com. The field day is sponsored by Beautiful Land Products and Iowa Farmers Union.
Guests will learn from Scattergood staff and students, as well as Xerces Society biologist Sarah Foltz Jordan, about the why, when, where and how of pollinator habitat design and installation.
Mark, who is also an at-large member of PFI’s board of directors, and Sarah will address farm concerns about weed control using organic methods. They will also discuss plugs versus seeds and habitat management. Topics covered throughout the event will include:
· Beneficial insect habitat placement and design
· Weed control and site preparation using organic methods
· Short- and long-term management
· Insectary strip planting from plugs versus seed
· Ecological benefits of habitat
· Native-plant tea gardens
Sarah Nizzi, the NRCS partner biologist and farm bill pollinator conservation planner for Xerces Society, will also join the discussion to offer insights on cost-share opportunities available through farm bill programs.
Directions to the field day are available on Practical Farmers’ website.
About the farm: Scattergood Friends Farm is part of Scattergood Friends School, a small Quaker boarding school about 15 miles east of Iowa City. The farm includes 8 acres of organic gardens and orchards certified organic by Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, and about 30 acres of pasture used to grass-finish beef and lamb. Scattergood also raises a few heritage-breed Guinea hogs, a small flock of turkeys and occasional broiler and laying chicken flocks.
Scattergood primarily grows food for the school, but has in the past produced for farmers markets, New Pioneer Co-op and a small CSA. The school has been an example of an extreme farm-to-school program since 1890, but more recently since 2003, when a decision was made to raise much of the food consumed at Scattergood.
This event is part of Practical Farmers’ main 2019 field day season, which includes 40 events across Iowa, and the region, on topics spanning the agricultural spectrum. The field days are meant to help connect farmers with their peers for networking and farmer-to-farmer learning.
Practical Farmers’ 2019 field days are supported by several sustaining and major sponsors, including: Albert Lea Seed; Bio Till; Center for Rural Affairs; Gandy Cover Crop Seeders; Grain Millers Inc.; H.A. Wallace Chair for Sustainable Agriculture – Iowa State University; Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance; Iowa Beef Center at Iowa State University; Iowa State Department of Agronomy; La Crosse Seed; Man@Machine; MOSA Certified Organic; Niman Ranch; PepsiCo; Pipeline Foods; Premier 1 Supplies; River Valley Cooperative; Scoular; Sunderman Farm Management; Sunrise Foods International; Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education; Trees Forever; Unilever; Welter Seed & Honey Company.
— Practical Farmers of Iowa
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