NOFA-NY HEADS INTO SIX COUNTIES FOR ITS AUGUST ON-FARM ORGANIC FIELD DAYS
From a Cultural Exchange of Soil and Science to Food Safety in the Packshed and Rotational Grazing, August’s Organic Field Days Bring Expertise to Six New York State Farms
Half a dozen organic, on-farm organic field days are scheduled throughout August by the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York (NOFA-NY) to bring farmer-to-farmer expertise. Walk-ins are welcome, but pre-registration is strongly encouraged. Unless otherwise noted, fees are $15/individual, $25/two or more people from same farm. Details of the Organic Field Days are as follows:
Saturday, August 5, 3 – 5:30 pm: Celebrating Common Ground: Discovering Weeds, Soil Health, and Diversity at the Incubator Farm. Groundswell Incubator Farm hosts a fascinating cultural exchange of soil and science, weeds, and words at this field day. Learn from Cornell Research Technician Sandra Wayman and Fay Benson, Cornell Cooperative Extension Small Farms Program with their Soil Health Mobile Trailer and incubator farmers. This day provides a unique opportunity for hands-on learning about breaking through cultural and language barriers. This event is produced by NOFA-NY and Groundswell with support from the USDA-Risk Management Agency. Groundswell is located at 100 Rachel Carson Way, Ithaca, NY 14850 (Tompkins County).
Tuesday, August 8, 1-5 pm: Food Safety, Wash Water Sanitizing and Workflow in the Packshed. This half-day Hudson Valley Farm Hub workshop focuses on post-harvest considerations in the wash line and packing house. Regional Vegetable Specialist Robert Hadad, Cornell Vegetable Program will tie food safety practices to the wash-and-pack, covering facility design, product flow, wash techniques and sanitizers, cleaning and more. Farm Hub staff will offer a walk-through of their newly constructed wash and pack facility featuring three separate climate-controlled rooms capable of long-term root crop storage; a brusher-washer and vibrating sorting table; and tubs for hydro-cooling broccoli. This event is produced by NOFA-NY and Cornell Cooperative Extension with support from USDA-NIFA Food Safety Outreach Program. Location is Hudson Valley Farm Hub, 1875 Hurley Mountain Road, Hurley, NY 12443 (Ulster County).
Thursday, August 17, 6 – 8:30 pm: Starting with Heifers: Growing into an Organic Dairy. Many farmers are looking at alternative ways to transition in organic dairying. Tom Bonofski of Vision-Hope Dairy is planning to return to dairy production by transitioning heifers and rebuilding milking facilities to be strategically placed when the organic market opens back up in the future. Participants in this field day will join a farm tour, hear alternative ideas from season inspector and Dairy Transitions Project leader Robert Perry, and learn about Tom’s strategy based on a slow systems approach, without expecting transition incentives. This event is produced by NOFA-NY with support from the New York Farm Viability Institute. Vision-Hope Dairy is located at 46 Springbrook Road, Pulaski, NY 13142 (Oswego County).
Saturday, August 26, 11am – 1pm: Finding Your Tribe: Growing Your Food, Your Seeds and Your Team (plus: Watermelon Extravaganza!). Finding your voice, your niche and your team is an endless and endlessly exciting opportunity to grow, be challenged and share abundance. Participants will learn the basics of integrating seed on their market farm, how Fruition Seeds builds its team, and enjoy tasting their new watermelon varieties. This event is produced by NOFA-NY with support from the USDA Risk Management Agency. Fruition Seeds is located at 7921 Hickory Bottom Road, Naples, NY 14512 (Ontario County).
Tuesday, August 29, 1 – 4pm: Rotational Dairy Grazing. Organic Valley and NOFA-NY join together to invite participants to learn about the multi-species rotational grazing system. In this FREE field day, Echo-Valley Farm’s Aaron Fisher shares his knowledge on balancing forages for both his milk cow herd and his sheep. He will share his experiences in intensive grazing on his 30-cow dairy. Organic Valley Agronomist Mark Kopecky will speak on balancing soils in a grazing rotation. Also discussed will be soil health as it pertains to both field crop production and pasture management. This event is produced by NOFA-NY with support from Organic Valley Cropp Cooperative. Echo-Valley Farm is located at 492 Marshville Road, Canajoharie, NY 13317 (Montgomery County).
Thursday, August 31, 1 – 4 pm: Building an Organic Dairy from the Soil Up. In this FREE field day, participants will learn about assessing soil health, developing a farm design and building their own dairy. Jim and Anne Phillips of Triple 3 Livestock will share their farm story and provide a tour of their new facilities. Mark Kopecky, Organic Valley Agronomist, will discuss soil health as it pertains to crop production and pasture management. Fay Benson, Cornell University SCNY Regional Team, will bring the Soil Health Trailer to demonstrate variations in soil types and management systems. Fay will also share his knowledge of crop insurance options available in New York State. This event is produced by NOFA-NY with support from Organic Valley Cropp Cooperative and the USDA-Risk Management Agency. Location is Triple 3 Livestock, 955 Parker St., Marathon, NY 13803 (Cortland County).
Online registration for Organic Field Days is here: http://bit.ly/2qkSwsJ. For further information about the Organic Field Days, visit http://bit.ly/2q9qnto or call (585) 271-1979. NOFA-NY’s On-Farm Organic Field Days continue through October.