Event Schedule

Farmer Short Courses upcoming in winter 2017-18

Seed Sovereignty Field Day

In collaboration with NOFA-Mass
January 27, 2018, 10am- 4pm
at Round the Bend Farm, 92 Allen Neck Rd, Dartmouth MA

Those who control the seed system, control the food system. And yet, over the past 50 years, as we’ve lost the majority of our plant breeds and seed companies, we’ve also divorced plants from their place. Cultivars are no longer bred to thrive in a certain bioregion or soil type. Rarely are they developed for drought or flood tolerance. Nor are most seeds bred under organic systems, which means that most organic growers are planting seeds that thrive on soluble synthetic fertility. Most breeds are also far less nutrient-dense now as breeders have focused on yield and appearance while forgetting about nutrition.
There is now a growing movement to reclaim seeds and breeds, to re-localize them to particular bioregions, and to return to growers the power to participate in the process. Participatory Plant Breeding (PPB), as this movement is called, suggests that through partnerships between professional breeders and growers, we can develop better genetics and provide growers with new streams of income. This field day brings together growers, veteran breeders, and seed experts to discuss how we can reclaim our seed systems while also diversifying our enterprises.

Here’s a rundown of the day’s events:
Session 1: The state of organic seed and keeping seed in the public commons
Session 2: Incorporating seed work on your farm or garden
Potluck Lunch (use your odd varieties, forgotten breeds, and mutant vegetables!) + Bicycle-Powered Seed Processing Demo
Session 3: Participatory Plant Breeding- what it means, how to get involved, and where do we go from here?
Session 4: Plenary Q & A

Young Farmer Network is offering financial assistance for farmers who are interested in attending.
Use the discount code "YFN"
Registration link is here: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3077844


“Beyond the Field: Skills for Farmers”

Part 1: Sewing to Repair Your Battered Workwear
Sunday, January 28th, 10am - 4pm
98 Reed Rd, Westport MA
Led by Lu Yoder and Katy Riley.

Both handwork and machine work will be covered… bring your repair-ables! Register here


Part 2: Sharpening Tools
Sunday, February 18th, 2pm
Hurricane Hill Farm, Cranston RI

Bring your tools, leave with sharp edges and new skills. Register here


Part 3: Welding For Farmers
Saturday and Sunday, March 24-25, 10-4:30pm
The Steel Yard, Providence RI

This two-day course has been designed and organized by the great people at The Steel Yard. You’ll have to register through their website, and SPACE IS LIMITED to less than 10 participants! If you’re interested, do not delay!! Welding is a super valuable skill for all farmers and will save you time and money in the future!

YFN can offer financial assistance to help with the cost of registration (set at $245) - send us an email to make arrangements. Register and read full details here: http://www.thesteelyard.org/takeacourse/courses/W-WWS2-SP18


Flowering Together: the ins and outs of growing and designing local flowers

Saturday, February 24th, 9:30-4:30
Hope & Main, Warren RI

A full day workshop featuring the innovative partnership between Anna Jane Kocon (grower, Little State Flower Company) and Jill Rizzo (designer, Studio Choo East).
We'll learn from Anna Jane the nitty gritty of flower farming in the morning session, break for lunch together, and then hear from Jill and Anna how they have set up their successful collaboration! Jill will talk to us about designing for a client with exclusively local flowers, and will treat us to a demonstration.

Admission is sliding scale $20-60, and includes lunch provided by one of Hope&Main's in house purveyors! Register through Eventbrite
This workshop is co-sponsored by the Young Farmer Network and Southside Community Land Trust, thanks to a generous USDA BFRDP and NRCS grant.