Apple juggling
Events: July 2006

Workshop: Growing and Using Culinary Herbs

Saturday, July 15 | 2:00PM - 3:00PM | East Greenwich, RI | directions | website

Trish Garland will lead a workshop entitled Growing and Using Culinary Herbs. She will teach interested participant how to grow their own culinary herbs and use them to spice up their cooking. Participants will tour the farm’s herb garden; learn how to start, grow, and dry herbs; and learn how to prepare herb pestos, vinegars, teas, dips, and more. Participants will sample foods mentioned above and will take home a potted herb plant.

Wonderful for home gardeners, amateur herbalists, and children alike. Members of the public are invited to attend. There is a fee of $10 per person. Pre-registration is required.

Hosted by Ledge Ends Produce at the Briggs-Boesch Farm: 830 South Rd., East Greenwich, RI.

Contact Trish Garland at (401) 884-5118 or by e-mail for more information.

Workshop: Herbal Salves and Teas

Sunday, July 16 | 2:00PM - 4:00PM | East Greenwich, RI | directions | website

Trish Garland will lead a second workshop entitled Herbal Salves and Teas. In this workshop, participants will learn more about the medicinal properties of herbs. Participants will tour the herb garden; learn how start, grow, and dry herbs; and learn how to prepare herbal salves, lip balms, and teas. They will take home samples of the products that are created and information that will help them to continue creating at home.

Wonderful for home gardeners, amateur herbalists, and children alike. Members of the public are invited to attend. There is a fee of $10 per person. Pre-registration is required.

Hosted by Ledge Ends Produce at the Briggs-Boesch Farm: 830 South Rd., East Greenwich, RI.

Contact Trish Garland at (401) 884-5118 or by e-mail for more information.

MA & RI Meat Producers Slaughterhouse/Processing Meeting

Wednesday, July 26 | 10:00PM - 11:30PM | Westport, MA | directions

In response to the recent closure of Abreu's Slaughterhouse in Dartmouth and the continuing lack of USDA-certified processing facilities in our region, MA and RI livestock producers are convening a meeting to discuss specific industry needs, identify possible short- and long-term solutions, and develop collaborative efforts to address meat processing needs. All regional livestock producers (beef, sheep, goat, hog) and dairy producers are invited to attend, as well as any other interested users of regional meat processing facilities.

PROPOSED AGENDA
- Introductions (Irene Winkler, Coordinator Pilgrim RC&D --Facilitator)
- Why We are Here (Paul Schmid, River Rock Farm, Westport)
- Current Situation (MA & RI)
- Impact on Producers
- Potential Solutions?
--Short Term
--Long Term
- Next Steps & Roles

Hosted by SEMAP at the Macomber Community House: 930 Main Road, Westport, MA.

Contact Sarah Kelley at (508) 205-2212 x50 or by e-mail for more information.

Pasture Walk and Talk at Watson Farm

Saturday, July 29 | 1:00PM - 7:00PM | Jamestown, RI | directions

Historic New England’s Watson Farm is hosting a series of Pasture Walks and Talks for Farmers which will focus on raising livestock in an intensively managed pasture based system.

The Walk will include discussions on rotational grazing, fencing systems, watering systems, nutrition on a forage based system, pastured poultry, stocking rates, invasive plant management, marketing strategies, value added products, labeling and permitting, and developing a
customer base.

Later in the afternoon discussions will be held regarding the Rhode Island Raised Meat Cooperative
and efforts to organize farmers to address the lack of processing facilities in Rhode Island and plans to organize group trucking of livestock to slaughterhouses beginning in August.

Speakers in July will include:
- Heather Faubert, URI, Invasive Plants and their control
- Joyce Meader, Connecticut Coop Extension Dairy/Livestock
- Ridge Shinn, “Bakewell Reproductive Center”
- Michael Gourlay, “Hardwick Beef”
- Patt McNiff, “Patrick’s Pastured Poultry”
- Heather Minto, Watson Farm, “Conanicut Island Grass-Fed”
- Don Minto, Watson Farm, “Conanicut Island Grass-Fed”
- More may be added and attending Farmer participants will add their expertise to the discussion.

A lunch will be provided featuring “local grass-fed products”. Pre registration required to be included for lunch (if you can’t come for the whole day come for part). This program will cost $10 to include lunch, refreshments, and handouts.

Hosted by Historic New England at the Watson Farm: 455 North Road, Jamestown, RI.

Contact Don Minto at (401) 423-0005 or by e-mail for more information.

Slow Food Potluck Picnic

Sunday, July 30 | 6:00PM - 9:00PM | Portsmouth, RI | directions

RI may be the smallest state in the Union but it is very rich in coastline, history and culture; all of which have greatly contributed to Little Rhody's terrific food heritage. Recognizing that the enjoyment of wholesome food is essential to the pursuit of happiness, Slow Food USA is an educational organization dedicated to stewardship of the land and ecologically sound food production; to the revival of the kitchen and the table as centers of pleasure, culture, and community; to the invigoration and proliferation of regional, seasonal culinary traditions; to the creation of a collaborative, ecologically-oriented, and virtuous globalization; and to living a slower and more harmonious rhythm of life.

Come get involved with Slow Food and learn more about Terra Madre 2006. $10/person.

Hosted by Slow Food RI at the Escobar's Highland Farm: 133 Middle Road, Portsmouth, RI.

Contact Marisa at (401) 742-9663 or by e-mail for more information.

Agricultural Practices (GAP) Certification Workshop

Monday, July 31 | 12:00PM - 4:00PM | Warwick, RI | directions | website

Chartwells, a division of Compass Foods, currently runs twelve school foodservice operations throughout Rhode Island. As part of a pilot program, RI is one of four states in which Chartwells has made a commitment to purchase locally grown produce for their operations. One of the requirements for their fresh produce suppliers is participation in a food safety assurance program. The current Good Agricultural Practices Certification Program RI (GAP) is such a program.

During this workshop, you will have an opportunity to learn about the requirements of the RIGAP program. A representative from Chartwells will also present information on their requirements as well as the type of fresh produce they would like to purchase locally. A representative from the Farm Family Insurance Agency will also be present to address any insurance questions you may have.

How Do I become a GAP Certified Grower?
- Participation in this workshop. Topics covered include the GAP principles related to: personal hygiene practices of workers including illness and handwashing, sanitation in the field and packinghouse, and water quality. A light lunch will be served.
- A farm visit by Karen Menezes to discuss how you will or have implemented GAP principles.
- Successful completion of an on-farm audit conducted by Peter Susi from the Division of Agriculture. Information on the Audit is will be presented at the July 31st meeting.

The focus of this ongoing project in Rhode Island is a voluntary certification program for growers. Since 2002, fifteen (15) Rhode Island growers have participated in the program and are now GAP certified growers.

After successful completion of the audit, you will be certified by the Division of Agriculture as a GAP farm. Also, you will receive promotional materials including: a plaque, consumer brochures and stickers to use wherever you sell your produce. These promotional materials are intended to help promote and maintain the viability of Rhode Island agriculture.

Recertification is required to continue participation in the program. This consists of a farm visit by Karen Menezes and an audit by the Division of Agriculture.

Please register by July 24, 2006.

Hosted by RI Division of Agriculture and URI at the USDA Office: 60 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI.

Contact Martha Patnoad at (401) 874-2960 or by e-mail for more information.