UNITY, Maine — This is a two-day immersion course designed for MOFGA apprentices but open to any participants interested in learning the fundamental principles and practices of organic farming.
Join specialists from MOFGA’s Agricultural Services Department and a panel of organic farmers for a two-day introductory course in organic farming. Register for either or both days. Lunch will be provided.
Day one will focus on the fundamentals of organic vegetable farming. MOFGA’s organic crops specialist, Eric Sideman, and agricultural services director, Dave Colson, will cover theory and best practices for organic management of soils and crops. After lunch we will tour Sandy Meadow Farm in Thorndike, a certified organic, mixed crop, horse-powered farm.
Day two will address the fundamentals of organic livestock husbandry, production systems and pasture management taught by MOFGA’s organic livestock specialist, Diane Schivera, and a panel of organic farmers.
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
9 am to 4 pm
I. Crops and their Management (9:00)
Plant families, crop rotation and organic management practices.
II. Soil Husbandry and Soil Fertility (10:00)
Managing organic matter (compost, green manures, cultural practices)
Building reservoirs of plant nutrients
III. Properties of Soil (11:00)
What is soil?
Soil texture and structure
Organic matter, nutrient holding capacity, pH
Taking soil samples and reading the results
IV. Farm Tour and Discussion (1:00)
We will tour Sandy Meadow Farm in Thorndike.
Thursday, May 18
I. Raising Organic Livestock (10:00)
Management Basics: housing, space requirements, fencing
Health Care: modalities, supplements, herbs, homeopathy, parasites
II. Nutrition Basics (11:00)
Water, feed stuffs, pasture management, paddock design
III. Pasture Evaluation (1:00)
Pasture walk and evaluation
IV. Farmer Panel (2:00)
Species-specific management techniques
Registration fees are $100 per day or $150 for both days. Discounts for MOFGA members are available. Free for MOFGA apprentices (but they still must register!)
—Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
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