July 2016 Events for beginning farmers in VirginiaJuly 6-8: VSU Fish School: Local sustainable aquaculture production of catfish, freshwater shrimp and tilapia will be the focus of this year’s Fish School. Good aquaculture practices for ponds, cages and greenhouse aquaponics will be covered with short classroom presentations and then hands-on group activities. This event will be in Petersburg, VA. July 7: Mulch Madness: Adding mulch to your garden is a great way to suppress weeds, conserve moisture and add fertility to your soil. Join us for this workshop as we explore how we are using thick straw mulch and learn more about how to use this simple garden trick. We’ll also be showcasing our potato “lazy bed” grown in that same mulch. This workshop will be held in Warrenton, VA. July 8: Beginning Farmer Tour and Workshop: This event will begin with a tour of Riverside Produce Farm in King William, VA. Following the farm tour, participants will learn about a variety of resources and organizations available to beginning farmers and ranchers, growing and planning your markets, and hear some local success stories. This event will be in King William, VA. For information and registration, contact firstname.lastname@example.org July 12: Biological Indicators of Soil Health: What they are, how they are measured, and what is on the horizon? (Webinar): Participants in this webinar will learn about the biological importance related to soil health management. Advantages and limitations for a variety of biological soil health indicators will be discussed including how they are measured and may be interpreted. July 14: Summer Production Walk at Bellair Farm: Local Food Hub is pleased to announce a new training partnership with Bellair Farm, an 853-acre certified organic farm, with a 500+ member CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program in Albemarle County. This new partnership will provide an opportunity for beginning and establishing farmers to participate in seasonal production walks through Bellair Farm’s growing operation. A wide range of topics will be explored and discussed, including weed and pest control, disease prevention and management strategies, crew management, harvest techniques, equipment choices, livestock management, budgets, and more! This event will be held in Charlottesville, VA July 14: Side by Side: As a demonstration farm, we are not only experimenting with different plant varieties but also with different cultivation methods. This workshop will highlight how the same varieties of crops perform using plastic mulches, hay mulch, no till and bare ground cultivation. We will also compare our organic area with our conventional areas. We will be planting tomatoes, potatoes, cabbage and broccoli with each different cultivation method and be able to compare them all, side by side. This event will be held in Warrenton, VA. July 21: Honeybee Colony Management: Mitigating Pests and Disease:Mitigating pests and diseases within a honey bee colony can be one of the biggest challenges beekeepers face, both hobbyists and farmers alike. Heather Stertzer, Beekeeper/Co-Owner of Scottsville Supply Company, and Keith Tignor, State Apiarist, will discuss how to protect your investment and keep your colony as healthy as you can. The workshop will go in-depth on techniques to minimize destruction and colony loss from internal pests and diseases. This workshop is tailored to beekeepers that have already established a colony of bees in a managed hive, and will include Integrated Pest Management practices (IPM). It will not cover beekeeping fundamentals. This event will be in Charlottesville, VA July 21: Organic Pest Control: In 2016, the Ed Farm is making a commitment to use only organic fertilizers and pesticides on a large plot of our land. This workshop will explore several of the different organic pest control measures we are using that you can easily use at home. This workshop will be held in Warrenton, VA. July 26: Construction Equipment Operation Safety – NRCS and OSHA Policy (Webinar): Participants will learn what the OSHa and the NRCS Supplement to OSHA say regarding safe operation of construction equipment and receive tips on how to stay safe when working on or around this equipment. July 27: Subaqueous Soils and their Importance for Species and Marine Ecosystems (Webinar): Participate to learn the ecological and economic significance of subaqueous soils and NRCS’s current efforts to describe, classify, survey, and map these soil types. July 28: Pasture Lambing Workshop: Hair sheep have been a growing segment of the U.S. sheep and small ruminant industry. They are well suited for sustainable, pasture-based production and are a good fit for novice producers. Over the past 15 years Virginia State University has been managing and conducting research with a hair sheep flock of different breeds. The animals are managed in a low input, easy-care production system that includes lambing on pasture at different times of the year (April, December and July). The day-long workshop introduces sheep producers to pasture lambing, and provides hands-on exposure to activities associated with lambing. This event will be in Petersburg, VA. July 28: 2016 Patrick County Beef Conference: This conference will feature presentaitons by Dr. Temple Grandin, animal science professor at Colorado State University and internationally known livestock handling expert; Dr. Robert Gentry, Multimin USA; Dr. Mary Tomlinson, Healing Springs Large Animal Clinic; and Jason Carter, Executive Secretary of Virginia Cattlemen’s Association. This event is in Patrick Springs, VA.