Organic Tree Fruit Field Day to be held June 19th in Berrien Center, Michigan When: Saturday, June 19th, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Where: Earth First Farms, 8335 Smith Road Berrien Center, MI 49102 Why: The event will begin with a walking tour of the orchard with practical information and ideas for starting or transitioning to organic orchard management. In the field, Dr. Matthew Grieshop of Michigan State University will provide a hands‐on educational presentation on pest identification and discuss strategies for preventing orchard damage. Participants will also have an opportunity to learn about cider making from “cider guru” Bob Tritten, MSU Horticultural Extension Specialist for Southeast Michigan. A grower panel with successful growers from around the state will discuss marketing options, share experiences and answer questions. Take‐home resources on organic orchard production and certificaton will also be available. How: Cost: $25 (OTFA members receive a $10 discount for this and all other OTFA-sponsored events). To register and get directions, call or email Bridget O’Meara at (715) 808-0060, OTFAinfo@gmail.com . The field day is open to the public and includes a catered lunch. Registration deadline is June 12th. Cheese Making Class When: Two classes will be held June 12 & July 17, 2010, from 1-4 p.m. Where: WestWind Milling Company, 8572 Silver Lake Road Linden, MI 48451 Why: You will leave with the skills and info to help you create your own cheese for your family. How: Cost: $20 each, Ages 10 through adult. Limit 14 for each class. Register soon to guarantee your space. If interested call WestWind Milling Company (810)735-9192, advanced payment is preferred. Michigan Pollinator Short Course Offered at No Cost When: June 24, 2010 Where: East Lansing, MI (Contact Jennifer Hopwood for more information) Why: This training session provides an overview of pollinator-specific language within the Farm Bill, and how to translate that language into on-the-ground conservation. Training objectives:
- Awareness of various federal programs and funding available for pollinator conservation.
- Identify approaches to increase and enhance pollinator diversity on the land.
- Knowledge of the current best management practices that minimize land-use impacts on pollinators.
- Ability to identify bees and distinguish them from other insects.
- Understand the economics of insect-pollinated crops, and the effects of pollinator decline.
- Knowledge of the 2008 Farm Bill pollinator conservation provisions and how to implement those provisions in programs such as WHIP, EQIP, and CSP.
- Ability to assess pollinator habitat and to identify habitat deficiencies.
- Ability to make recommendations to farmers and land managers that conserve pollinators (including subjects such as tillage, pesticide use, irrigation, burning, grazing, and cover cropping).
- Ability to design and implement habitat improvements, such as native plant restoration and nest site enhancements.