Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
12/15/11 CSA Workshop & Panel at the Watauga County Agricultural Conference Center
By now, most of you reading this know what a CSA is; a Community Supported Agriculture system usually involves some up-front payment by a buyer followed by multiple (often weekly) deliveries from the grower. But there are many varieties on this theme; what really works for local farms and consumers alike? Join NC Cooperative Extension, the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP), and a panel of successful local CSA farmers on Thursday, December 15, 2011 to learn more about the basics (in the morning session) and detailed logistics (in the afternoon) of successfully running a CSA.
What - CSA Workshop - Basics, Marketing, Planning, and Recordkeeping
When - December 15th
Where - Watauga Country Extension conference room
Time (both sessions with lunch panel) - 9:30am – 3:00pm
- 9:30am - 11:30am: Area Extension Agent Richard Boylan on CSA 101, aka “What to think about before starting a CSA”
- 11:30am – 1:00pm - lunch with panel discussion by local CSA farmers
- 1:00pm – 3:00pm - Peter Marks of ASAP on marketing, planning, management, and recordkeeping for a successful CSA
Cost - $5 for either morning or afternoon session only
- $15 for whole day including lunch
The Lunch-time Panel members include a diverse range of CSA Farm examples, including:
Creeksong Farm - (Jeff Thomas) – A diversified Vegetable & Meat CSA has become a viable expanded market for one of the longest-running organic farms in the region;
High Country CSA – An effort to expand opportunities for new and small farms in the High Country region, HCCSA coordinates offerings from a multi-farm network to offer a wide diversity of foods year-round via internet ordering ;
North Fork Farm - ( Jimmy and Sheila Greene) – This remarkably successful CSA was part of North Fork Farm’s first direct-marketing efforts for their own pasture-raised beef, plus pork and chicken from neighbor-farms;
Shady Grove Gardens & Nursery - ( Susan Wright) – Shady Grove has brought the CSA concept to cut flowers in an innovative twist on this marketing system;
Goldfinch Gardens - (Ben McMann) – An example of a single-farm successfully using an internet/email ordering system.
Registration will be available through ASAP beginning Tuesday, 11/29, and a link will be placed at the Watauga County Extension blog by then. Meanwhile, inquiries and/or pre-registrations can be directed to richard_boylan@ncsu or by calling the Watauga County Extension Center at 828-264-3061, or e-mail Hollis Wild at firstname.lastname@example.org
Organic Production & Certification Class for New & Transitioning Growers begins in January
A class for farmers wanting to begin or transition to
Commercial-Scale, Certified Organic
Production Of Vegetable and Fruit Crops
Have you heard about expanding sales opportunities for Organic growers? Perhaps you feel that your farm is too small to break into the conventional commercial vegetable market? Do you have some land that has been idle for a few years, and now are looking to put it into potentially profitable production? Do you want to farm more sustainably? Answering yes to any of these questions may mean that the upcoming class series on Organic Production is right for you. Whether you eventually choose to become a Certified Organic producer or not, the classes will be filled with information on proven techniques for successfully growing vegetable, small-fruit, and field crops while building your soils’ health and foregoing the use of synthetic chemicals on your farm.
This class series is geared toward growers who are already set-up for commercial scale production (e.g. - 1-acre of ready-to-be-certified-organic field land or more), and wish to enter the expanding Certified Organic Market, but smaller-scale growers are welcome, and many have found past versions of this class to be helpful as well. Topics covered will include soils & fertility, disease identification & control, insect identification & control, weed management, post-harvest handling, certification & record-keeping, and marketing to wholesale buyers.
The clasess will meet on Wednesdays, from 6:30-8:30 PM, at the Watauga County Agricultural Conference Center during the winter and early Spring of 2012.
Participating growers will receive books on organic agriculture, weed management, disease identification, and organic pest control, plus resource CD’s with additional information on organic production.
Cost: $50 – Class limited to 20 growers
· January 18 – Introduction to Organics & Certification, and Marketing to Wholesale buyers
· February 25 – Planning Your Organic Crops & Rotations
· February 1 – Soils & Fertility in Organic Systems
· February 8 – Weed Management in Organic Systems
· February 15 – Disease Management in Organic Systems
· February 22 – Tying Together Crop Rotation, Soil Fertility, and Weed & Disease Management Into One Coherent System
· February 29 – Insect Management in Organic Systems
· March 7 – Post-Harvest Handling for Selected Crops & Food Safety Considerations
· March 14 – Marketing Organic Crops & Certification Paperwork Wrap-up
· March 21 – Snow Date
· March 28 – Snow Date
· April 4 – Snow Date
Due to the likelihood that one or more of these classes may have to be cancelled due to snow, ice, or other inclement conditions, farmers enrolling this class should reserve their Wednesday nights through April 4, 2012. With luck, the class will be completed by mid-March, but one has to be cautious in these mountain winters…
For more information, call the Watauga County Cooperative Extension office at (828) 264-3061, or e-mail Richard Boylan at email@example.com
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Cooperative Extension is listing this job opening as a courtesy for our important partner in the local foods system, the Watauga County Farmers Market. All inquiries should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Watauga County Farmers Market (WCFM) Board seeks to hire a manager to lead in making the WCFM a destination for Boone and surrounding areas through high quality farmer and artisan products and with activities of interest to families. The Market Manager will serve as a positive, pro-active, energetic face for the Watauga County Farmers' Market. S/he will interact with the local community by providing information, answering questions, and addressing concerns. S/he must be well organized with respect to marketing, financial recordkeeping, and project management, and will coordinate all market activities, uphold the Market Rules, and implement and enforce market policies. The Market Manager is a part-time position, with primary responsibility being the day-to-day successful operation of the WCFM. This will include an on-site presence at the Market during all Market hours, as well as off-site work during non-Market hours.
Please see the WCFM web site at
for full details and application requirements.
Please also note that a separate, but related, position administering the USDA Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP) Grant will soon open, with an additional salary of approximately $11,000. Applicants for the WCFM Manager position should indicate in their application letters whether they are interested in and available for this separate but related FMPP position. Qualified WCFM Market Manager candidates will be encouraged to apply.
Closing deadline for applications is Monday, December 5, 2011.
Friday, November 4, 2011
• Christmas Tree Farmer of the Year: Steve Stanley.
• Cattleman of the Year: Jeff Winkler.
• Beekeeper of the Year: Burton Moomaw.
• Beekeeper Association's Presidents Award: James Wilkes and Mark Henson of Hive Tracks
• Mary Boyer was posthumously awarded the Woman in Agriculture Award.
• Agri-tourism Award went to New River Corn Maze
• L.E. Tuckwiller Award, recognizing a town or community for outstanding efforts in community development went to Recycling Consortium.
• Agriculture in Arts Award went to Jane and Mike Campbell.
• Youth in Agriculture award went to Jacqueline Walczak and Jazmyne Maxwell.
• Spirit of Farm City Award went, posthumously, to Angela Church McCoury.
• Farm Family of the Year Award went to David Yates from the Cool Springs Community. He also received a certificate from the Champion Tree Program from NC Division of Forestry for the largest butternut specimen in the state.