Our Winter Hoophouse Workshop led by Adam Montri is now available online! See the videos here: http://www.dogooder.tv/Orgs/NESFP/default.aspx?MovieID=3409
Also, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced a new pilot project under the ‘Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food’ initiative for farmers to establish hoop houses to increase the availability of locally grown produce in a conservation-friendly way. Interested farmers should sign up by January 15, 2010.Read more at www.ma.nrcs.usda.gov/news/news_high_tunnel_pilot.html.
New Entry’s first Winter Growing and Hoophouse Workshop was a hands-down success, attracting 39 enthusiastic participants who left with a wealth of information about using hoophouses to grow vegetables in winter. The course was held at the Casey Family Services Conference Room in Lowell, and afterwards a group of participants carried on the conversation at New Entry’s offices down the street.
Adam Montri, a Michigan State University outreach specialist, led the workshop, presenting material and fielding questions on hoophouse site location, design, construction, cultivation and planting schedules, and a host of other topics related to winter production in hoophouses.
Participants took home resource packets. You can find more hoophouse resources online at Adam’s hoophouse blog (http://www.hoophouse.msu.edu/), a Kansas State site dedicated to hoophouses (http://www.hightunnels.org), or the year-round cropping schedule PDF available here.
Also, don’t forget to sign up for our Quickbooks Training (January 20th) and our Farm Taxes workshop – email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
If you want to learn more about New Entry, join us on Facebook, Twitter or sign up for our mailing list.
The New England winter is around the corner with its short days and cold temperatures – not the ideal conditions for growing vegetables.
New Entry is offering three winter skills workshops to help growers extend the season and keep busy until spring. The first is coming up in just two weeks:
Winter Growing and Hoophouse Workshop
with Adam Montri, Michigan State University
TIME: 9 am – 1 pm
LOCATION: Casey Family Services Conference Room (18 Palmer Street), Downtown Lowell, MA
Topics will include:
- Structure Options and Selection – which hoophouse is right for me?
- Site Selection and Preparation
- Crop Selection, Scheduling, Harvesting, and Pricing
- … And lots of Q&A and crop profitability discussion.
The course costs $15, checks made payable to: Community Teamwork. To register, please email email@example.com.
Adam Montri is an outreach specialist in the Horticulture Department at Michigan State University where he coordinates outreach efforts for the MSU Student Organic Farm focused on hoophouses/high tunnels and sustainable and organic production and marketing with both urban and rural farmers across the state of MI. Adam was one of the original student organic farmers while an undergraduate at MSU. He received his master’s degree in Horticulture from Penn State University where he focused on organic high tunnel tomato production. He and his wife, Dru, and daughter, Lydia, own Ten Hens Farm in Bath, MI. Check out Adam’s Hoophouse Blog here: http://hoophouse.msu.edu/blog/index.php.
In other news: New Entry makes a triumphant return to Twitter! Follow us at http://twitter.com/NewEntry.
By their nature, local food systems are contained by geography – but no one said that rule need apply to information! New Entry’s offices are located in Eastern Massachusetts, but soon beginning farmers all over the world will be able to access expert training from New Entry. Several interactive distance learning opportunities are in the works at New Entry, including an online version of the Farm Business Planning course and a series of video field trainings.
John Dorman, New Entry’s Digital Media Specialist, is tackling the video projects. As part of his work with Americorps/VISTA, John is focusing on helping New Entry reach more people and expand educational capacity. The distance learning projects fit that description to a T.
The online version of New Entry’s Farm Business Planning course will consist of 7-8 weeks of highly interactive 1 ½-hour classes. Paralleling the traditional six-week course held twice every year in Lowell, the online course will include everything from ‘talking’ (and subtitled) PowerPoint presentations, dynamic spreadsheets, written input from students during the class, and live discussion sessions.
The distance learning package will also include video field trainings, free for any graduate of the traditional or online Farm Business Planning course. The first two video trainings – on irrigation and equipment – are nearing completion.
Stay tuned for more information on distance learning opportunities through New Entry.
On August 6, 2009, New Entry’s annual Farm Tour became our biggest public event ever. More than 100 visitors – ranging from World Peas CSA farm shareholders, other local agriculture producers, people interested in local sustainable agriculture, to curious neighbors – joined us at Richardson’s Dairy for an insider’s look at the New Entry fields and an introduction to our farmers.
The tour was led by New Entry staff, with personal experiences recounted by farmers currently involved in our training program, in order for visitors to understand the symbiotic relationship that exists here between the two groups.
To make the event even more special, food and refreshments were prepared and provided by Fresh Roots, a Lowell organization that focuses on empowering local youth with practical work experiences that revolve around sustainability and urban agriculture. The Fresh Roots team used fresh produce from our farmers to create an amazing summer spread.
If we didn’t see you on the 6th, we hope to see you at next year’s tour!
The importance of locally-grown produce is finally returning to the forefront of American consciousness, thanks in part to the new organic garden First Lady Michelle Obama has had planted at the White House. If you’re reading this blog, chances are that you already know about this garden, and are also well-aware of the benefits of sustainable agriculture. Still, I thought it would be nice to take a moment to acknowledge this action, which marks only the second time in history for such a feature to occupy the Presidential property – the first being Eleanor Roosevelt’s World War II victory garden.
The garden serves as both as a talking piece for the American public – with Obama admirers hopefully taking note of the First Lady’s decision, and starting to think about how they can incorporate gardening into their own lives – as well as an educational tool, as local schoolchildren helping to first dig and plant the garden, and are now returning to harvest the produce and learn about healthy eating by preparing the foods with the Obama’s chef in the White House kitchen.
In this era of industrial agriculture-induced environmental destruction, as well as nutrition-related chronic diseases that are ravaging the country, the First Lady should be commended for her efforts to illuminate how fresh produce, local agriculture, and organic practices are attainable means of working to combat these problems.
For more information about the White House garden, follow these links:
Spring and Summer Field Training Courses are underway! On Thursday, June 25th, a dozen or so of our New Entry farmers and other would-be farmers joined Mackenzie at Richardson’s Farm for a course in Weed Management. A bit of theory coupled with a lot of hands-on trial and error with farm equipment and tools made this two-hour session a great opportunity for students to first learn and then feel exactly what it’s like to remove those pesky weeds from a patch of earth. Stay tuned to our blog to see some photos from this and other trainings!
These sessions have been happening every other Thursday since late-March, and have included such essential farming skills as: Equipment Use and Maintenance, Pest Management, Irrigation Setup, and Record Keeping.
There are still two trainings left in the series: a Cover Cropping field trip, and a session on Soil Testing and Nutrient management. If you’d like to join us, or just want a bit more information, head to our website:
Harvest season has returned, and with that, so has New Entry Sustainable Farming Project’s blog! We have lots to tell you about what we’ve been doing and what we have planned, but for now – just a quick heads up about a great campaign happening in honor of the 4th of July:
FoodIndependenceDay.org wants you to help celebrate America’s sustainable food producers this weekend, by eating a locally-sourced holiday meal, or serving one at your backyard barbeque. Invite your friends and neighbors to join you, tell them about the great farmers’ market where you bought your lettuce, the friendly farmer who sold you the beef for your burgers, and encourage everyone you know to explore the benefits of sustainable agriculture.
And if you have some free time before the fireworks, sign FoodIndependenceDay.org’s petition, or send a letter to your local politicians telling them how important this issue is to you!
Have a safe and happy weekend!
Sign up for the World PEAS CSA, and receive 18 weekly distributions of fresh, seasonal vegetables grown by New Entry and other local farmers. The CSA also offers fruit and winter share options. To get a copy of the brochure, please click here: <a href=”2009 World PEAS CSA Brochure.
If you are interested in volunteering to establish a “CSA cluster” in your workplace, home, or community where a minimum of 25 shares can be delivered, please e-mail Matthew Himmel.