Apple juggling
Events: February 2008

Ground Hog Day Farmers' Market

Saturday, February 2 | 1:00PM - 5:00PM | Greenfield, MA | directions | website

A Week of Winter Fare Events begins with the 1 day Groundhog Day Winter Farmers Market on Saturday, Feb.2 and continues through the week to Feb. 9 with community events.

Hosted by Winter Fare Committee at the Second Congregational Church: 16 Court Square, Greenfield, MA.

Contact Juanita at (413) 773-5188 for more information.

RI Local Food Forum

Tuesday, February 5 | 11:30AM - 6:00PM | Providence, RI | directions | website

A networking opportunity for farmers, restaurants and food service buyers.

This year's theme is "Local 365: Eating from RI in Every Season".

Registration online. Free.

Hosted by Farm Fresh RI and Brown Dining Services at the Andrews Dining Hall, Brown University: Cushing St. & Brown St., Providence, RI.

Contact Noah Fulmer at (401) 863-6509 or by e-mail for more information.

USDA Renewable Energy Meeting

Wednesday, February 6 | 1:00PM - 3:00PM | East Wareham, MA | directions

Please join us for an informational meeting to discuss USDA’s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Program.

This will be the first 2008 session offered to farm producers and rural business owners about the
USDA Rural Development assistance that is available. Signups for application workshops are to follow.

A general overview of the program will be conducted. Eligibility requirements, site requirements,
and program guidelines will be discussed. Application procedures and contents will be reviewed and
a sample template will be provided.

Registration can be completed by phone by calling USDA Rural Development at 508-295-5151ext 203 or
by email at Let us know your name, where you are from, and how many
seats you will need.

Hosted by United Stated Department of Agriculture (USDA) at the UMass Cranberry Station Library: 1 State Bog Rd., East Wareham, MA.

Contact Tom McGarr at (508) 295-5151 x203 or by e-mail for more information.

MA Agriculture in the Classroom Conference

Saturday, February 9 | 11:30AM - 6:30PM | Ludlow, MA | directions | website

The 7th Annual Growing Minds through Massachusetts Agriculture Conference offers educational and networking resources that can facilitate and enhance pre-K through 12th grade classroom teachers alike. This year’s conference will feature a choice of four-to-five concurrent workshops during each of four workshop sessions. Workshops will explore the many diverse commodity sectors of Massachusetts Agriculture while providing hands-on learning opportunities that bring agriculture alive in the classroom. Speakers, panels and activities will emphasize agriculture and hands-on activities for the classroom. Don’t miss this day of discussion, interaction and opportunities for exploring new ideas for your Massachusetts classroom. The $45 fee includes lunch and all materials. ($50 on the day of the conference) Ten Professional Development Points are provided for those who attend the full day conference, carry out a related classroom activity, and send in a brief report of their experience.

The day will begin with registration from 8:00 to 8:30 a.m., followed by a Welcome and Introductions. At 9:00 a.m. the first of four concurrent workshop sessions will begin. Choose from four-to-five workshops during each concurrent sessions from 9:00 to 10:10 a.m.; 10:20 to 11:30 a.m.; 12:50 to 2:00 p.m. and 2:10 to 3:20 p.m.

The mission of Massachusetts Agriculture in the Classroom is to foster an awareness and learning in all areas related to the food and agriculture industries and the economic and social importance of agriculture to the state, nation and the world. In addition to the workshops on the farm for teachers, Massachusetts Agriculture in the Classroom offers a seasonal newsletter; a Teacher's Resource Directory of agricultural materials and providers; mini-grants for teachers and educators; and educational resources including a curriculum for grades K-8; a video of Massachusetts agriculture with accompanying lessons; a farm field trip manual; a manual with eight lessons and activities about agriculture and the environment interactive and our new school gardening partnership manual.

Hosted by MA Ag in the Classroom at the Baird Middle School: 1 Rooney Road, Ludlow, MA.

Contact Debi Hogan at (508) 336-4426 or by e-mail for more information.

Community Farming Conference

Saturday, February 9 | 11:30AM - 6:30PM | New Haven, CT | directions | website

The Community Farming Conference will connect three groups of people ­ the towns and land trusts with land, the community groups that want a local farm, and the farmers who need land and local markets. This conference features two keynote speakers: Bryan O¹Hara of Tobacco Road Farm in Lebanon, CT and Brianne Casadei of Terra Firma Farm in Stonington

Hosted by The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station: 123 Huntington Street, New Haven, CT.

Contact Kim Stoner at (203) 974-8480 or by e-mail for more information.

Island Grown Initiative Winter Local Food Dinner

Monday, February 11 9:00PM - Tuesday, February 12 12:00AM | Oak Bluffs, MA | directions | website

The Island Grown Initiative, together with Chef Dan Sauer from the Outermost Inn, is working with Martha's Vineyard Regional High School's Culinary Arts Department program director Jack O'Malley and his students to host a Winter Local Foods Dinner. School's Culinary Arts Department to host a Winter Local Foods Dinner. The dinner is open to the community, and will be held on Monday, February 11th at 6pm at the Culinary Arts dining room at the High School.

IGI, a community non-profit dedicated to supporting local food and farmers on the island, connected with Mr. O'Malley as part of its Farm To School outreach program. The program is active in all seven island schools and promotes agriculture-based learning while working with food service programs to bring fresh, local ingredients into the schools.

"Since Farm to School has both a curriculum and a food component," says Noli Hoye of IGI, "the Culinary Arts program seemed the perfect place to start. Not only are students learning about the importance of supporting community agriculture in a classroom setting, but they're also getting the hands-on experience of cooking with local ingredients themselves. "

IGI reached out to Chef Sauer, aware of his commitment to using local ingredients at the Outermost Inn, the restaurant in Aquinnah where he has been head chef for the past three seasons.

"I've always worked with chefs interested in using local foods as much as possible," Sauer says, "and at the Outermost we go to every farmer's market in the summer, as well as grow a lot of our own produce on site."

Sauer is looking forward to leading a workshop with students about local foods before planning and preparing a menu for the dinner together.

"It's good for kids to have a basic understanding of why it's important to source local foods and develop relationships with local farmers," Sauer continues. "And the dinner will be a great way to introduce the community to local foods and the Culinary Arts program at the same time."

The Culinary Arts Program has played a major role in educating and training aspiring island chefs since 1974. Jack O'Malley, the program's director, has been interested in adding a local food component to the curriculum for years.

"In addition to all of the moral and nutritional benefits associated with buying locally, it's important for students to learn the commercial component as well," O'Malley says. "It's always good to have local ingredients on the menu at your restaurant, and it will be great for the kids to learn how to evaluate when it makes sense to look for local products and when it doesn't."

Tickets for the Winter Local Food Dinner, on sale in Vineyard Haven at Cronig's Market and SBS, are $25 and go to support the MVRHS Culinary Arts Department.

Hosted by The Island Grown Initiative, together with Chef Dan Sauer from the Outermost Inn, is working with Martha's Vineyard Regional Hi at the Martha's Vineyard Regional High School: Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Rd., Oak Bluffs, MA.

Contact Ali Berlow at (508) 680-6360 or by e-mail for more information.

Fishes and Loaves: Panel and Films

Wednesday, February 13 10:00PM - Thursday, February 14 12:00AM | Providence, RI | directions

Come see provocative film clips about the politics, ethics, and science of food production and hear some of Brown's leading experts talk about them!

Hosted by Brown University at the Brown University, Smith-Buonanno Hall, Room 106: Brown St. & Cushing St., Providence, RI.

Contact Michele Duff at (401) 863-6070 or by e-mail for more information.

Island Grown Initiative Poultry Workshop

Saturday, February 16 | 12:00PM - 8:00PM | West Tisbury, MA | directions | website

On February 16th, Island Grown Initiative will be hosting a Poultry Workshop at the New Agricultural Hall in West Tisbury, MA. One of IGI's major projects over the past year and a half has been looking into ways to increase on-island poultry processing, and to support local farmers and backyard growers as they look to
expand their meat bird growing, processing and marketing.

We've put together a schedule of really exciting workshops, including:

Cycles of life and feed ( Oscar Thompson of Oscar's Eggs, VH, Richard Andre of Cleveland Farm, WT, maybe Sam Hopkins of Christiantown Farm, WT 9-10:30

Poultry housing and predation (coops, tractors): Doug Brush, Flat Point Farm, WT and Patrick McNiff, Casey Farm, RI: 10:30-11:30

Meat birds: Patrick McNiff 11:30-12:30

Heritage turkeys: Julia Cronin, Cedar Meadow Farm, CT 12:30-1:30

Processing and marketing: Ali, Berlow, IGI; Jim McLaughlin, Cornerstone Farm, NY and Rose Willet, Fiddlehead Farmstand WT: 1:30-3
ooking demo: 3-5pm, Laura Silber + Jan Buhrman
(Please note that this schedule is subject to change.)

For information, please contact Ali Berlow, Executive Director of IGI at 508.680.6360 or, or visit our website at

Hosted by Island Grown Initiative at the New Agricultural Hall: State Rd., West Tisbury, MA.

Contact Ali Berlow at (508) 680-6360 or by e-mail for more information.

The Winter Farm

Monday, February 18 11:30AM - Friday, February 22 7:30PM | Leverett, MA | directions | website

Farm animals and wild animals, carpentry, spinning and cooking…and a lot of time outside (we hope with lots and lots of snow!) Kids will feed and groom, create and day-dream. Chores everyday, stories everyday, and each day time for a special project. For 2nd graders and older, who bring a lunch each day. From 8:30 until 4:30 each day. Limited to 8 kids. $240 per child.
Call or email to register.

Hosted by Winterberry Farm at the Winterberry Farm: 21 Teawaddle Hill Rd., Leverett, MA.

Contact Jill at (413) 548-3940 or by e-mail for more information.

Strengthening Your Farm Business & Income While Minimizing Loss - An Application of Business Planning Principles

Tuesday, February 19 | 11:00AM - 3:00PM | Providence, RI | directions | website

RICAPE Winter Training Series – Expanded Program

I Business Options and Learning Opportunities
With John Cronin, Director, Rhode Island Small Business Development Center at Johnson & Wales University. John will provide an introduction to the RISBDC and how the Center can assist you to develop and expand your business skills, contacts and performance.

II Special Business Grant & Loan Programs
Information and updates will be provided about available loans to upgrade your activities and amenities on site for agritourism developmnent; micro-enterprise loans for business and value-added product development; and environmental and conservation grants to help you enhance and maintain your land, waterways, wildlife habitats and aesthetics.

III Feature Presentation
A Two-Part Business Planning Program

Part I Tuesday, February 19th
At the end of the first session, participants will be given homework assignments to be reviewed at the second session two weeks hence.

Part II Tuesday, March 4th
At the second session, participants will discuss their homework and receive further training. Both sessions of this workshop will be highly interactive, and include instruction, discussion, and small group activities.

These workshops are for farm operators beyond those who may be interested in traditional farm management training.

Participants will receive in-depth training on learning the business planning process and using business planning to manage their risks.

These principles can be applied to all types of operations, including livestock, forestry, existing and beginning farm operations. Working with RICAPE, focus will also be on examples directed specifically at agritourism, non-traditional marketing channels, and niche product or specialty marketing enterprises.

"Business planning" will be presented as a way to organize the decision making process one should follow in making successful business decisions. When one understands their business operation as explained in this process, it becomes relatively easy then to prepare a written "business plan" to communicate the information needed to get a loan, secure a lease, etc. And this written plan can then be tailored to the individual need.

Critical Steps in Farm Business Planning
Developing a farm business plan is a multi-step process to answer several key questions. The process can be summarized as follows.

Assessing Your Current Situation
* What is the current status of my farm business?
* What are my interests and skills?
* What are my expectations about the future?

Determine Where You Want to Be
* What do I want to accomplish (or, what are my goals)?

Identify, Select, and Test Alternatives
* Will the current farm operation be viable/feasible in the future?
* What alternative enterprises, products, services might be viable/feasible for the future?
* What steps are needed to implement those alternatives?
* What might prevent me from implementing my plan?

Monitor Implementation
* How do I monitor progress over time?
* How should I prepare to document, share, and revise my plan?

Who should attend: Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts operators of existing and beginning farm operations including: field, nursery and greenhouse, livestock, forestry, agritourism, non-traditional marketing channels, and niche product or specialty marketing enterprises.

Workshop Fees:
There is no charge for RI farmer/enterprise operators.
CT and MA Farmer operators - $35 for both sessions

Simply Contact Us on the RI FarmWays website. Provide your contact information and the number of people that will be attending. Workshop fees for CT and MA participants will be collected on site.Or call us (401-592-0209), or e-mail us at

Dr. Laurence Crane is Vice President of Education and Communication for National Crop Insurance Services, a national not-for-profit industry trade association. He has conducted numerous risk management and business planning workshops in all regions of the country. Dr. Crane has extensive experience delivering educational programs to a wide array of audiences including non-traditional, small, and limited resource farmers. Dr. Crane has produced several applied publications on business planning, crop insurance, and risk management topics including the "Rhode Island Guide to Crop Insurance and Risk Management."

Dr. Cole Gustafson, North Dakota State University, has co-authored several applied publications on all aspects of farm business planning and risk management. Dr. Gustafson has extensive experience in the Upper Midwest and Northern Plains on a wide array of farm and risk management issues including business planning, economic development, energy economics, and introduction of new agricultural products for the region. He is a gifted workshop presenter and has received numerous awards for outstanding teaching.

Hosted by Rhode Island Center for Agriculture Promotion & Education (RICAPE) at the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation: 315 Iron Horse Way, Providence, RI.

Contact Stu Nunnery at (401) 592-0209 or by e-mail for more information.

Michael Pollan talk

Thursday, February 21 | 9:00PM - 11:00PM | Providence, RI | directions | website

Michael Pollan, award-winning author of “In Defense of Food” and “The Omnivore’s Dilemma”

What should we eat? is a question most people for most of history have had little trouble answering. You ate what tradition (aka your mother) and nature dictated. Now, we have something called "nutritionism," an ideology promoted by science, the food industry, government and the media that has hopelessly confused the issue and done nothing for our health, except to make it worse. Pollan traces the rise and triumph of nutritionism and the Western Diet, before proposing an alternative approach to eating that promises to improve both our health and the health of the environment. A book signing will follow.

Hosted by Brown University at the Salomon Center: Brown St. & Waterman St., Providence, RI.

Contact Michele Duff at (401) 863-1000 or by e-mail for more information.

Spring 2008 Food Series

Friday, February 22 9:00PM - Monday, June 30 10:00PM | Providence, RI | directions

We have organized a Spring Food Series beginning with Dinner with the Author, Barbara Damrosch - author, organic gardener, and Washington Post columnist - Friday, Feb. 22nd, 6pm - $100.00 per person includes, dinner, signed copy of barbara's new edition of her book, A Garden Primer. 10% of proceeds donated to RI Food Bank - Call 274.2121 to make a reservation.

Additional food events include - Health In Balance - with Shape Up RI - March 27th 7pm - free to public

Real Meals from Local Fields - connecting local farmers with community - Friday, May 1st, 7pm, free to public

Local 121 Anniversary Dinner - June - TBD -

any questions please visit website or call 274.2121

Hosted by local 121 at the local 121: 121 washington st, Providence, RI.

Contact erin eberle at (401) 274-2121 or by e-mail for more information.

NOFA 5-Day Accreditation Course in Organic Land Care

Wednesday, February 27 11:30AM - Tuesday, March 4 8:00PM | Narragansett, RI | directions | website

Growing public awareness of pesticide use hazards and new legislation mandating least toxic and non-toxic alternatives are fueling a new market opportunity for professionals with knowledge of organic land care. This 30-hour course for professionals will provide the education needed for an understanding of organic land care design and maintenance. The curriculum is based on NOFA’s Standards for Organic Land Care: Practices for Design and Maintenance of Ecological Landscapes, written by NOFA’s Organic Land Care Committee. These Standards, published in 2001 and revised annually, extend the vision of organic agriculture to the care of the entire landscape, both private and public. At the end of the course attendees will be able to incorporate methods and materials that respect natural ecology and the long-term health of the environment. An optional exam will be given at the conclusion of the course. Those who pass the exam can become NOFA Accredited Organic Land Care Professionals.

DAY 1 * Principles and Procedures * Site Analysis, Design and Maintenance * Rain Gardens/Stormwater Infiltration * Soil Health, Soil Foodweb

DAY 2 * Fertilizer and Soil Amendments * Composting * Lawns * Lawn Alternatives

DAY 3 * Planting and Plant Care * Wetlands * Pest Management * Turf Insects, Perennials, Trees and Shrubs

DAY 4 * Pest Management * Ticks and Lyme Disease * Wildlife Management * Disease Control * Weeds * Mulches

DAY 5 * Invasive Plants/Control * Client Relations * Review * Accreditation Examination

Hosted by NOFA at the URI Coastal Institute, Bay Campus: 36 South Ferry Rd., Narragansett, RI.

Contact Kathy Litchfield at (978) 724-0108 or by e-mail for more information.