Farmer Short Course Topics, Winter 2017-18


“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!


Part 2: Sharpening Tools

Sunday, February 25th, 2pm (postponed from Feb 18th)
Hurricane Hill Farm, Cranston RI

This class will provide a hands-on opportunity to learn how to sharpen your tools and keep them in good shape. Feel free to bring a tool you wish to work with (extra tools will be available if you forget). Although sharpening with files will be the focus of this class, other methods may be discussed and demonstrated depending on attendee interest.

About our instructor: Wright Deter built his first chair when he was 17 and he hasn’t stopped making things since. In addition to being a furniture maker, he is a sculptor, painter, musician, gardener and (most recently) shepherd. Wright makes his living through design/build projects and a range of custom metal fabrication. His business recently relocated to Hurricane Hill, the historic farm property he and his wife, Drake Patten of cluck!, are working to bring back into use along with the Hill’s resident farmers from Moonrose Farm, Radia Herbs and Lucayda Farm.

Location: Hurricane Hill is located at 684 Natick Avenue Cranston RI 02921. To find Wright’s shop, pass the farmhouse entrance (with the mailbox) and turn into the second (farm) entrance. Parking will be indicated with cones and/or stakes. Wright’s shop is at the far (southern) end of the big (new) black barn with the copper cupolas.

Bring your tools, leave with sharp edges and new skills.
Use the form below to register.

Name *


Part 3: Welding For Farmers - sold out!

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!

The registration cost is $245. YFN can offer financial assistance to help with the cost of registration - send us an email to make arrangements.


Flowering Together: the ins and outs of growing and designing local flowers - sold out!

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.

About Farmer Short Courses

Many current and aspiring growers in our network do not have formal agricultural training. For growers whose training took the form of mostly hands-on apprenticeships, there are knowledge gaps which need to be addressed. These skills require more attention than the traditional 60-90 minute time block allotted for example in an ag conference context. YFN has created the Farmer Short Course model to try to address this need.

Course topics are chosen based on the input we receive all season from the network, so please, let us know if there is something you'd like to learn!

Short Courses typically run during the winter months, when most growers have more flexible time. Courses run for a series of weeks and are taught in collaboration with organizations such as URI extension, SCLT, The Carrot Project, NOFA/RI, NOFA/MA, Ground Work, and others. Some Short Courses are run as full day or two-day hands on workshops.


Past, Winter 2016-2017

  • Soil Science and Fertility Management
  • Including Cut Flowers in Your Farm Business
  • Moving Onto Your New Land
    • Assessing and Preparing Land for Farming
    • Composting to Build Fertility on Your Scale
    • Infrastructure Development

Past, Winter 2015-2016

  • Full Day Farm Finance Course
  • Vegetable Pest Identification and Management
  • Small Engine Mechanics with Carl Sawyer of URI
  • Tractor Basics with Chuck Currie of Freedom Food Farm
  • Irrigation and Water Systems


Past, Winter 2014

  • Small engine maintenance and repair
  • Business planning
  • Soil science