Friday, January 27, 2017

Farm School features three tracks: season extension, grazing, and fruit production. We are bringing together regional and national experts for these one-day intensives on Friday, January 27 at the Grand Traverse Resort. Farm School provides higher level sessions for farmers looking for more in-depth education in the topics of season extension, grazing, and fruit production. 

Full Schedule: 

8:30am Registration Opens

9:15 - 10:45am Farm School Concurrent Session 1

10:45 - 11:00am Refreshment & Networking break

11:00 am - 12:30pm Farm School Concurrent Session 2

12:30 - 1:45pm Certified Local Foods Lunch

1:45 - 3:15pm Farm School Concurrent Session 3

3:15 - 3:30pm Refreshment & Networking break

3:30 - 5:00pm Farm School Concurrent Session 4

Full Session Details

Concurrent Session 1

Season Extension: High Tunnel Winter Production with Paul and Sandy Arnold: High tunnel construction will be reviewed for their 34x144 tunnels and the efficient systems. The Arnold’s will detail their diverse greens production, which will include varieties, planting dates, insect/disease management, and harvesting techniques, as well as their marketing success at farmers’ markets with root cellar crops and the greens.

Grazing: Advantages to Diversifying Livestock with Cody Holmes: Mono culture farming/ranching hinders the potential of the productivity as well as profitability of the farm whether we are talking livestock or crops. Begin an understanding how 3, 4, 5 or more species of animals work in a symbiosis to create a system in which the whole is greater than the sum if it's individual parts.

Fruit: Orchard Health with Michael Phillips: Our primary role as orchardists is to build system health. Understory management that embraces forest edge ecology is critical when it comes to getting a leg up on fruit tree diseases. Equally telling is the nutrient density—and flavor!—of the apples we then harvest for our families and communities. Come learn about fungal allies, root relationships, fertility considerations, and the biodiversity that makes good fruit possible no matter what your level of experience.

Concurrent Session 2

Season ExtensionGood Soil Management and Record Keeping with Paul and Sandy Arnold: Techniques to manage soils in high tunnels, along with simple record keeping will be discussed in detail to show how winter production in upstate New York in high tunnels can gross over $200,000 per acre.

GrazingGrass Finishing of Livestock from Perennials to Annuals with Jason Rowntree: A presentation of five years of grass finishing research in the Upper Midwest—areas we do well and areas to improve upon. Plus, ideas on different finishing systems to match the size and needs of you and your farm. We'll also cover impacts of cover crops on beef performance and quality.

Fruit: Propagating Fruiting Plants on Your Farm with Trevor Newman: In this course we'll take an in depth look at propagating fruit and nut trees, berry bushes, and more. Learn cost effective strategies to produce your own nursery stock and integrated ways to grow an abundance of fruits on your farm.

Concurrent Session 3

Season Extension: Low Cost Season Extension with Collin Thompson: Season extension does not necessarily require large investments. Great gains can be made using simple and homemade structures. This session will provide information on low cost, DIY, and simple season extension options that will help you grow for more weeks each year and increase profits for your farm.

Grazing: Tall Grass Grazing with Cody Holmes: Full maturity of foraging plants in a mixed sward of multi species and varieties increases productivity, extends grazing season, and may reduce or eliminate mechanical harvesting of stored forages.  It doubles as a method of cover cropping without the high cost of seed purchases, machinery, fuel, and other costs associated.

FruitSmall Fruits for Farm and Homestead with Trevor Newman: Explore a unique array of fruit producing shrubs, canes, and vines all suited to cold temperate regions; From common to uncommon— from thornless blackberry and blueberry to gooseberry and hardy kiwi.

Concurrent Session 4

Season Extension: Season Extension Panel - Challenges and Opportunities - with Brian Bates, Adam Montri, and Collin Thompson, facilitated by Larry Dyer

GrazingHolistic Financial Planning with Jason Rowntree: An introduction to Holistic Financial Planning and decision making at the farm level. Thoughts on how to best appropriate funds on the farm and across the enterprises you manage. We'll discuss "planning for profit" as a concept of economics and decision making to get what you want. 

Fruit: Holistic Disease Management with Michael Phillips: Fruit tree diseases, unchecked by holistic understanding, can wreak havoc in the orchard. We’ll take an in-depth look at how the organic grower can keep apple scab, rusts and rots from developing on the fruit to a reasonable minimum. Utilizing pure neem oil, liquid fish, effective microbes, and fermented herbal brews allows us to leave behind the mineral fungicides of “Old School Organics” for the most part. These are exciting times to be growing healthy fruit.