Published DateCONCORD — The Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Hampshire will host monthly workshops and farm tours throughout the state focusing on a range of topics, from experimental orchard establishment and farm-scale seed saving, to management intensive rotational grazing and cover cropping.
The goals of the series are manifold:
Each session will be rich in information about various production techniques;
Participants will have the opportunity to connect with farmers who have particular expertise;
Each session will give participants the opportunity to connect with other farmers in their region and throughout the state who share similar interests.
On Saturday, May 18 from 9:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. the Earle Family Farm, a 30 year old highly diversified organic farm in South Conway will be hosting a hands-on work and learn day in their small orchard. Participants will actively design a healthy environment for young apple and pear trees using permaculture methods. This will include contour swales for water retention, reusing orchard trimmings and hedge and roadside brush trimmings to create brush beds that initially aid as solar traps, then humus as they decay back into soil. Comfrey will be planted as a living mulch, and some herbs planted to attract beneficial insects. A pot luck lunch will be shared at noon.
A Cover Cropping and Roller Crimper Demo will be Wednesday, June 5, 6-8 p.m. at Brookford Farm in Canterbury. Participants can discuss cover cropping with other interested growers, make connections, and continue the dialogue. Bring along a blanket, flatware, silverware and a dish to share. After the tour, please join in for a potluck meal.
On Tuesday, July 16 from 6-8 p.m. join Steve Normanton for a tour of Normanton Farm, an organic, pasture-based meat and vegetable farm in Litchfield. Normanton will take attendees for a walk about his pastures, which are set up for management intensive rotational grazing, both as a means to improve soil and reduce supplemental feed costs. He'll share his experience developing his grazing system, and answer questions about his management decisions and techniques.
NOFA-NH & UNH Cooperative Extension will host a Seed Production Workshop on Wednesday, August 7, 6-8 p.m. at Sanborn Mills, Loudon. Participants will learn what steps they can take to become more than just a seed saver, from pollination and plant breeding to wet and dry seed extraction techniques. The basics of hand pollination, necessary isolation distances, plant roguing, seed harvesting and processing techniques, and proper seed storage will be discussed.
This program is supported by the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture.