Apple juggling
Events: May 2007

Exploring The Small Farm Dream

Wednesday, May 2 9:00PM - Thursday, May 24 12:00AM | East Wareham, MA | directions | website

Are you, or is someone you know, considering starting an agricultural enterprise?

• Do you need to test the feasibility of your idea before you invest?
• Is self employment right for you?
• Is there a market for your proposed product or service?
• What regulations will govern your enterprise and impact its cost?
• How will you manage the new risks associated with agriculture?
• How long can you afford to wait to break even– and how much contribution do you expect from this piece of your livelihood?
• Are there others in your family that share your vision and want to join you in its pursuit?
• What are the threats to your success?
• How will you know that you are on a sustainable track?

The Explorer Program is intended for those who are considering farming as a business. Its purpose is to help pre-venture, aspiring farmers learn what it would take to start and manage their own commercial agricultural businesses, and decide whether this is a path they really want to take.

Explorer makes use of four guided group sessions, an acclaimed workbook, instructors experienced in starting ag businesses, and extensive supporting resources. It was created as a decision-making tool to help you establish the clear vision and goals you will need to guide a new agricultural venture. It will help you identify and assess personal motivations, business and farming skills, and available resources. The goal of Explorer is to help you decide whether starting an agricultural business is right for you and, based on that decision, to help you plan practical next steps.

MDAR is underwriting a portion of the course fee, and will be offering limited additional paid technical assistance to up to four businesses that complete the course and are ready to move to the next step in their plan.

Class size is limited to 14 prospective farms to maximize group time, with the chance for some attendees to bring another person if space allows.

Registration: $125. Includes all materials, guest speakers, access to the in-class library (as well as NESFI's extensive library in Belchertown), and (for the selected 4 members of the class) an extra boost from targeted help on a key next step. You should have email and web access to take this course most effectively!

Hosted by MDAR and NESFI at the UMass Cranberry Station: 1 State Bog Road, East Wareham, MA.

Contact Rick Chandler at (413) 577-0459 or by e-mail for more information.

Rustic Composting Toilets

Saturday, May 5 | 1:00PM - 3:00PM | South Dartmouth, MA | directions | website

Learn how to choose then buy or construct a composting toilet system for field, cottage, home and boat. We'll also touch on graywater systems, urine-diverting toilets, and ecological wastewater systems. You'll leave knowing a design for a simple system you can construct for field, cottage or event use. Carol Steinfeld is the author of The Composting Toilet System Book, Liquid Gold: The Lore & Logic of Using Urine to Grow Plants and the forthcoming Reusing the Resource: Adventures in Ecological Wastewater Recycling. She directs Ecowaters Projects and runs Ecovita, which supplies urine-diverting eco-toilets. These can be seen at the Cape Cod Center for Sustainable Living in Cotuit, Mass.
Visit www.nofamass.org to register online
NOFA Members: $24 Non-members: $28

Hosted by NOFA/Mass at the Eva's Garden: 105 Jordan Rd, South Dartmouth, MA.

Contact Tom Szekely at (781) 894-4358 or by e-mail for more information.

Organic Apples in Bloom with John Bemis

Monday, May 14 | 12:00PM - 4:00PM | Concord, MA | directions | website

John Bemis, with 30 years of apple tree management experience, says, "Blossom can be the time when we are most optimistic. What have we done to think that? What arrows are still in our quiver? Different varieties and their bloom schedules..."
Hutchins Farm's John Bemis will teach you what he has learned about organic apple tree management: see the tools he uses to get a fairly predictable marketable crop, hear what has and has not worked well, tour the orchard when the apples are in bloom. Hutchins Organic Farm has grown apples for over 30 years, first very low spray, the last 11 years organically. They currently manage 1000 trees.
Visit www.nofamass.org to register online
NOFA Members: $36 Non-members: $41

Hosted by NOFA/Mass at the Hutchins Organic Farm: 745 MOnument Street, Concord, MA.

Contact Tom Szekely at (781) 894-4358 or by e-mail for more information.

15th Annual Plant Sale

Saturday, May 19 1:00PM - Sunday, May 20 5:00PM | Providence, RI | directions | website

Come celebrate spring and get fabulous organically grown perennials, annuals, herbs and vegetables while you listen to the groovin' tunes of Providence's own talented musicians!

All proceeds benefit the urban agriculture & environmental education programs of the Southside Community Land Trust!

Saturday, May 19, 2007
9am – 10am SCLT Members Only Preview
10am – 2pm Plant Sale

Sunday, May 20, 2007
10am – 2pm Plant Sale

Hosted by Southside Community Land Trust at the City Farm: Corner of West Clifford and Dudley, Providence, RI.

Contact Taylor Ellowitz at (401) 273-9419 x23 or by e-mail for more information.

Make your own Tofu and Tempeh at the 21st Century Foods

Tuesday, May 22 | 10:00AM - 12:30PM | Jamaica Plain, MA | directions | website

With Rudy Canale. Want to learn how to make your own soy and grain products? Come learn how you can with one of Boston's most innovative small businesses. Trade groups visit from all over the world to see how to start up small-scale operations of tofu and tempeh - Turns out tofu is quick…and tempeh, like good wine, takes time. Did we tell you he also makes wine on site?
Visit www.nofamass.org to register online
NOFA Members: $25 Non-members: $29

Hosted by NOFA/Mass at the 21st Century Foods: 30-A Germania St., Jamaica Plain, MA.

Contact Tom Szekely at (781) 894-4358 or by e-mail for more information.

RI Agricultural Day

Tuesday, May 22 | 2:30PM - 6:00PM | Providence, RI | directions

Please join us as we celebrate the importance and value of agriculture in Rhode Island with elected leaders, farmers, agencies, farm organizations and non-profits.

Hosted by RI DEM, Divison of Agriculture at the RI State House Rotunda: 1 Capital Hill, Providence, RI.

Contact Ron Newman at (401) 222-2781 x4518 or by e-mail for more information.