EAST LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Organic Food and Farming Association will be holding its annual Organic Intensives on Saturday, January 6, 2018. These six-hour workshops provide the opportunity to learn from experts in organic production so growers can improve and diversify their operations. Sessions will include:
Diverse Grain Options for Farms and Homesteads
Local and organic grains, particularly from heritage seed sources, are gaining in popularity. Reasons include: diversifying crop rotations and farm income, improving local diets and food security, developing local seed sources of non-gmo seeds and supporting Michigan’s craft beer industry. Crops include oats, barley, wheat, spelt, sorghum and even rice. We are bringing together small grain seed provider John Sherck, along with Michigan farmers and researchers with the intention of growing this important movement. Information will be provided for both small plot homestead production for family use and farm scale production for local marketing. For more information take a look at the flyer.
Organic Transplant Production: Secure a Stellar Season with Successful Starts
To get the desired vegetable, flower and herb varieties at the times needed and raised with organic methods, most farmers and gardeners need to start their own transplants. This workshop will include information on making important decisions about ordering seeds, making or selecting root media and growing containers, water and fertility management, using indoor lighting systems and greenhouses, selecting temperatures and managing pests and diseases. Growing microgreens and how to market both microgreens and transplants throughout the year as an additional income stream will also be covered. MSU Professor and MOFFA Chair John Biernbaum will be joined by Collin Thompson, manager of the North Farm at the Upper Peninsula Research and Extension Center. Participants will have access to online course materials and presentations after the OI session. See the flyer for more information.
Small to Medium Scale Livestock for the Integrated Farm
Integrating crops and livestock is a key opportunity for developing soil and farm health, as well as being another component of a diversified financially successful farm. However, where do you start and how do you develop strategies that incorporate respect for animal health and welfare? Also, how do you develop animal husbandry systems that truly help both the farm ecology and economics, and the quality of life of the farmers? Topics to be covered include animal nutrition/diets, humane care and thoughtful integration into your existing farm operation, with recommendations from Jeff Mattocks, a nationally recognized livestock expert, along with three experienced Michigan livestock farmers. For more information, take a look at the flyer.
This event will be held at the Plant and Soil Sciences building on the MSU Campus in East Lansing MI. More information about Organic Intensives 2018 is available on the brochure, but feel free to email email@example.com with any questions.
Registration is $80 for MOFFA members and $95 for non-members until December 15 ($90/$105 after) and covers six hours of learning, lunch, two breaks, all printed materials and a great chance to network with fellow farmers and gardeners from across Michigan. Parking is free at the Plant and Soil Sciences Building. Interested individuals can register here.
— Collin Thompson, Michigan State University Extension
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