PRECONFERENCE

Intensives and Tours

All held on Friday November 3, 2017

Sustainable Ag Conference Brochure 2017

FRIDAY PRECONFERENCE BUS TOURS

Friday, November 3, 2017

Meet in in front of the Sheraton Imperial.  Buses leave promptly at tour start time.  Please plan to arrive 20 minutes early.

Please be aware that CFSA will be practicing strict bio-security during these farm tours. Visitors may be asked to disinfect their shoes, wear booties, or wash hands at farms with livestock.

Aquaponics Tour – SOLD OUT

Time: 12:30pm – 5pm

$45 Members, $60 Non-members

15 person capacity (per facility limits)

  • Visit: North Carolina State University Aquaculture Facility

  • Hosts: Dr. Harry Daniels, Aquaculture Specialist, NC Cooperative Extension and Bradley Todd, Aquaponics Farm Manager, Lucky Clay’s Fresh

This tour will visit the NC State Fish Barn; a research, demonstration and teaching unit focused on intensive aquaculture production with a particular emphasis on closed recirculating systems and host to a wide variety of aquatic animals and plants in four buildings. The tour will be led by Dr. Harry Daniels, the department head of the Applied Ecology program at NC State University and Aquaculture Specialist with the NC Cooperative Extension Service. Bradley Todd, Aquaponics Farm Manager with Lucky Clay’s Fresh, will also join the group adding his perspective managing bio-floc technology, vermiculture, and mycology as an all-encompassing production flow with Lucky Clays Fresh’s established Aquaponics system.

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Livestock Tour

Time: 12:30pm – 5pm

$45 Members, $60 Non-members

  • Visit: Dawnbreaker Farms

  • Host: Martha Mobley, Agriculture Agent, NC Cooperative Extension & Owner, Meadow Lane Beef

Dawnbreaker Farms sits on 20 acres nestled in the gentle rolling hills of Orange County. This tour will walk the pastures and woodlands which are home to pasture-raised, non-GMO chickens, forest raised pigs, Thanksgiving turkeys and grass fed lamb. In it’s fourth year of production, the farm is a thriving example of regenerative agriculture through thoughtful pasture management. Farmer Ben Grimes offers products at the Carrboro Farmers Market and Eno River Farmers Market, operates an urban delivery buying club, and sells to fine dining restaurants in the Triangle. Visitors will tour the field and forest production areas, and take an in depth look at Ben’s state inspected on-farm processing facility which has been designed for maximum efficiency.

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Agritourism Training Tour

Time: 12:30pm – 5pm

$45 Members, $60 Non-members

  • Visit: Minka Farm and Fickle Creek Farm

  • Host: Annie Baggett, NC Dept. of Agriculture Agritourism Marketing Specialist

CFSA Farm Tours attract over 3,000 visitors each year, so this year we are taking the agritourism training tour to two of our most visited farm stops on the Piedmont Farm Tour! The group will be led by NCDA Agritourism Marketing Specialist, Annie Bagget who will facilitate conversation and learning throughout the afternoon. The tour will visit Fickle Creek Farm for a walk through the pastures & a look at their range of visitor experiences including bi-monthly farm tours, farm stays, and on farm sales at their farm store. Just down the road, we will visit with Minka Farm who offers a variety of visitor experiences such as pick-your-own in the farm orchard, Scouting merit badge programs, and on farm sales.

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High Tunnel Tour

Time: 12:30pm – 5pm

$45 Members, $60 Non-members

  • Visit: Maple Spring Gardens and Nourishing Acres

  • Host: Gena Moore, Organic Research Coordinator, CFSA

NOTE: For a full day of high tunnel learning experiences, register for the morning intensive, too! Box lunch will be provided on this tour only.

Join CFSA’s Organic Research Coordinator Gena Moore for part two of a full day High Tunnel learning experience. The tour will visit Maple Springs Gardens where sustainable agriculture pioneer and leader Ken Dawson grows 80 different varieties of vegetables, as well as cut flowers, small fruits and culinary and medicinal herbs for sale to local markets. Ken has been farming organically since 1972, and has transformed this 79 acre farm from a once worn out and eroded tobacco farm into a fertile and productive system that utilizes a series of high tunnels for season extension and to limit disease and pest pressures. Farmers Keith and Megan Marshall own and operate Nourishing Acres, a 10-acre certified organic vegetable farm in Orange County, NC. The Marshall’s utilize several high tunnels to grow a variety of vegetables offered at multiple year-round markets & through wholesale retail outlets. Learn about how their use of High Tunnels has bolstered the growth of their farm in just a few short years & take a look at their impressive certified organic operation.

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Durham Urban Agriculture Tour

Time: 12:30pm – 5pm

$45 Members, $60 Non-members

  • Visit: Mamasprings Garden, Bull City Cool, and Inter-Faith Food Shuttle’s Geer Street Learning Garden

  • Host: Nicole Connelly, Durham Farm and Food Network

This tour will take a look at the burgeoning Sustainable Agriculture scene in downtown Durham. Our guide, Nicole Connelly will discuss the work that the Durham Farm and Food Network does to mobilize the community around issues such as food access and food justice. We will visit a variety of stops in the area, including the InterFaith Food Shuttle Geer Street Learning Garden to learn about their partnership with the DFFN on the Plant-A-Row gardener program that pairs community gardeners with local food pantries and tour this urban teaching/production garden. We will also tour  the Bull City Cool Food Hub to learn about the collection of innovative local food enterprises that operate out of the space. The tour will also visit Mamasprings Garden, a family run, urban farm in East Durham producing seasonal vegetables, flowers and herbs, and eggs. This urban market garden is a perfect setting to learn about smart, creative ways to increase your own backyard food production.

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Beginning Farmers Tour 

Time: 12:30 pm – 5pm

Members $45, Non-members $60

  • Visit: Ninja Cow Farm and Laurel Branch Gardens
  • Hosts: Aaron Newton, CFSA’s Lomax Farm Manager, and Silvana Pietrosemoli, CEFS-NCSU Dept of Animal Sciences

This tour is designed for farmers and ranchers who are just getting started and will showcase two successful farm models. Ninja Cow Farm raises grass-fed cattle, rare breed pigs, and free-range chickens. Laurel Branch Gardens is a diversified produce operation with annual and perennial plots. Topics addressed will include business planning, finding land, identifying markets, production knowledge, developing infrastructure, and more.

NOTE: This tour is also available in Spanish! Contact CFSA for more information.

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ALL DAY INTENSIVES

Friday, November 3, 2017

Sustainable Agriculture Leadership Training

Presenter(s): Smithson Mills, Consultant/Executive Director, Blue Ridge Food Ventures, and additional elected and appointed officials

Thursday, November 2 and Friday, November 3

9am – 5pm Both Days

Location: Thursday: Off-site (location TBA), Friday: Sheraton Imperial Conference Center

$80 Members, $95 Non-members –a bargain for this two-day training, thanks to support from Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation of North Carolina! There may be scholarships available to reduce the price further.

This two-day session is designed to inspire policy engagement and make you a powerful advocate for sustainable agriculture in your community. It is open to farmers and food council members who do not currently hold a leadership position. There is an application process. Find the application at www.carolinafarmstewards.org/sustainable-agriculture-leadership-training.

This workshop will provide you with ideas you can use in your community to bring your influential perspective to policy conversations. You’ll put these ideas into practice during the training, and, before the session wraps up, you’ll learn from and network with elected and appointed officials.

Note: Thursday’s training will be held at Durham County Cooperative Extension, 721 Foster St., Durham,. NC 27701. Lunch is included for both days.

 

Soils Under the Microscope

Presenter: Molly Haviland, Haviland Earth Regeneration, Author: A Microherder’s Manifesto

9am – 4pm

$85 Members, $100 Non-members

Soil microscopy is a powerful tool that allows you to create living soil prescriptions specific to your growing system. You’ll receive hands-on training using simple microscope methods to identify the key players that, in tandem with living plant roots and organic matter, are the catalyst for regenerative soil building practices.

**This is an advanced course that focuses strongly on the practical microscope identification and has little focus on basics of soil food web knowledge. A microscope is a requirement for attending this course.  If you do not have one, limited microscopes may be available by contacting khume@carolinafarmstewards.org.  If you are new to soil food web roles and functions read the NRCS Soil Biology Primer and/or Teaming with Microbes by Jeff Lowenfels and Wayne Lewis.  There are many videos on YouTube with lectures on soil food web roles and functions.  Come prepared for your successful learning integration.  

Lunch is included.

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Holistic Orchardry

Presenter: Michael Phillips, Author: Holistic Orchard and Mycorrhizal Planet: How Fungi and Plants Work Together to Create Dynamic Soils

9am – 5pm

$85 Members, $100 Non-members

Growing healthy fruit begins with understanding biological core truths. These in turn determine how we go about stewarding the orchard ecosystem through the growing season. Major insect challenges can be resolved safely and organically when you perceive who, what and when. Dealing with disease from a holistic perspective requires an in-depth understanding of nutritional cause-and-effect. Biodiversity brings in untold connections. The challenges you face at your locale will become far more manageable as you build a holistic system that keeps trees and berry plantings healthy from the get-go. This full-day intensive on stewarding the orchard ecosystem throughout the growing season and overcoming insect, disease, and marketing challenges to keep your orchard thriving also includes important training to sell the good fruit you grow using these techniques.

Lunch is included.

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Make A Life on Your Farm, Not Just a Living:

Communication Tools and Decision Making Systems For a Healthy Farm Partnership

Presenter: Atina Diffley, Organic Farmer-Educator, Activist, Author: Turn Here Sweet Corn: Organic Farming Works

9am – 5pm

$85 Members, $100 Non-members

A farming business partnership can be a relationship disaster or a positive and productive experience.  Learn communication skills and systems to balance family, farm, relationships, and self. This participatory workshop is designed for all types of farm partners and is most beneficial when both partners attend, as the majority of class time is spent doing exercises specific to your operation, discussing with partners, and sharing with the group.

Lunch is included.

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Farming With Medicinal Herbs

Presenters: Jeanine Davis, North Carolina State University, Department of Horticultural Science Associate Professor and Extension Specialist; Margaret Bloomquist, North Carolina State University, Department of Horticultural Science Research Assistant; Suki Roth, Herb Haven Herbalist; Lea Clayton, RiverSong Farm and GreenHeart Community Supported Apothecary Herbalist; Sunshine Dawson, Maple Spring Gardens Herb Grower and Herbalist

8:30am – 5:30pm

$85 Members, $100 Non-members

Growing medicinal herbs commercially is very different from producing vegetables, fruit, and row crops. To be successful requires an understanding of how an herbalist approaches the plants they use. Join us for this special workshop taught by two herbalists, a successful commercial grower, and university researchers/extension personnel with decades of experience working with the industry. Topics to be covered include an in-depth overview of three medicinal herbs,  value-added products you can make, a grower’s real life experiences, all aspects of production, GAPs, and selling your products.

Lunch is included.

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Cultivating Edible and Medicinal Mushrooms at Home or on the Farm

Presenter: Tradd Cotter, Microbiologist, Mycologist, Organic Gardener, Author: Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation: Simple to Advanced and Experimental Techniques for Indoor and Outdoor Cultivation

9am – 5pm

$85 Members, $100 Non-members

Participants in this hands-on intensive will learn fungal ecology and life cycles, while immersed in demos and hands-on methods to cultivate mushrooms on logs, stumps, wood chips, and straw, designing mushroom gardens, and composting or recycling with fungi. Also included will be lessons learned in marketing, business,and  product development. Learn both indoor and outdoor cultivation techniques for a wide spectrum of species that are high in economic and health value.

Lunch is included.

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MORNING INTENSIVES

 

High Tunnel Crop Production:

Sequential Planting, Soil Health, and Crop Projections

Presenters: Pam Dawling, Author: Sustainable Market Farming: Intensive Vegetable Production on a Few Acres;  Steve Moore, Agroecology Professor, Elon University; Gena Moore, Organic Research Coordinator, CFSA

8am – 11:30am

$45 Members, $60 Non-members

High tunnels are a profitable addition to many farms, but efficient and sustainable management can be a challenge. This session will describe best practices for high tunnel production and will include topics such as sequential crop planning, soil health and creating crop projections for popular high tunnel varieties.

Note: For a full day high tunnel learning experience, register for the afternoon bus tour too! 

Lunch is NOT included.

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AFTERNOON INTENSIVES

 

The Cooking Gene: Finding Your Family Story Through Your Food

Presenter: Michael Twitty, Historian/Chef/Author: The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South

1:30pm – 5pm

$50 Members, $65 Non-members

How has food connected people across time and space from Africa to the Caribbean to the American South? How do dishes reveal the culture, climate, and history of a place and its people? How do these facts of history and cultivation impact our family and individual stories? Join us for a demonstration and kecture with culinary historian Michael Twitty that will focus on the preparation of 3 dishes from geographic areas in which his roots originated.

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Afternoon Panel Discussion

What Mainstream Supermarkets Want: A Panel of Buyers

Presenter(s): Fred Broadwell, Project Director, Local Organic Y’All, and panelists

4pm – 5pm

Join us for a lively discussion with buyers from mainstream supermarkets about the opportunities and challenges of sourcing locally-grown foods for their stores.  Representatives will include Lowes Foods, Food Lion, the largest grocery chain in NC, Wegmans, a newcomer to the South with a strong family farm focus, and others TBA. Fred Broadwell of Local Organic Y’All will moderate and offer a brief overview of the supermarket players in NC and SC, and the local sourcing landscape. We will definitely talk about the game-changing Whole Foods Market-Amazon merger!

Note: Your conference pass includes admission to this pre-conference special event. Continue the discussion at the Grower-Buyer Meet-up!

 

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