Enhancing Sustainability Workshops

Educational programs conducted by
the Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension

Contact Debbie Roos for more information about these workshops.

North Carolina State University and North Carolina A&T State University commit themselves to positive action to secure equal opportunity regardless of race, color, religion, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, or veteran’s status. In addition, the two Universities welcome all persons without regard to sexual orientation. North Carolina State University, North Carolina A&T State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and local governments cooperating.

Persons with disabilities and persons with limited English proficiency may request accommodations to participate by contacting Sam Groce, County Extension Director, at 919-542-8202 or in person at the County Extension Office at least 14 days prior to the event.

Workshops are listed with the most recent one on top.
Please scroll down to view the complete list.

September 22, 2014: Tax Issues for Diversified Farmers

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will offer a workshop on Tax Issues for Diversified Farmers from 1:00-5:00 pm on Monday September 22 at the Silk Hope Farm Heritage Center in Silk Hope, NC. The workshop will be taught by North Carolina State University Farm Management Specialist Guido van der Hoeven*. This workshop will offer something for everyone, from beginner to experienced farmers.

We last did this workshop in 2012. Here’s what some of the participants said in their written evaluation comments:

Very good speaker with a hard subject to understand.

I liked the interaction and the ability to ask focused questions related to our business. 

Guido is very informed and entertaining. This will help me keep my records in order and prepare my taxes.

Many participants from the last workshop said it needed to be longer so we added an extra hour to allow extra time.

Agenda:

Sales Taxes

  • Sales tax exemption for purchase of inputs plus a discussion of the new NC law changes
  • Collection and remittance of sales taxes on sales of farm products
  • Q&A relative to NC law changes

Income Taxes

  • Walk through the Schedule F (Profit or Loss from Farming) line by line.  Guido will discuss what can or can’t be included on each line; discussion of independent contractor vs. employee
  • Walk through IRS Form 4797 (Sale of Business Assets)  and discussion of why it’s important to understand the context of a transaction; briefly address capital gain

 Question & Answer Session

  • Registered participants will be invited to submit questions in advance that Guido will try to address.

* Guido van der Hoeven is an Extension Specialist/Senior Lecturer at NC State University since 1995 and has experience preparing tax returns for nearly 40 years. Van der Hoeven is an Enrolled Agent and his extension focus is farm management specifically in the areas of taxation, estate planning and intergenerational transfer of productive farms.

Advance registration is required by September 17. The cost of the workshop is $15 and includes handouts. Call 919-542-8202 or email Debbie Roos for more information. To register, download the registration form and mail with your check.

Download the registration form.

August 11, 2014: High Tunnel Production Workshop

High tunnel at Harland's Creek Farm

High tunnel at Harland’s Creek Farm

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will offer a High Tunnel Production workshop as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series on Monday, August 11, 2014 from 1:00-5:00 pm at the auditorium of the Agriculture Building in Pittsboro, NC. High tunnels can be used to extend the growing season and enhance growth, yield, and quality of a wide variety of horticultural crops. This workshop is intended for beginner high tunnel growers, or growers interested in purchasing their first high tunnel.

Agenda:

  • Why Use a High Tunnel? Advantages & Disadvantages
  • Selecting a Structure
  • Comparing Costs & Performance of High Tunnels
  • Site Selection & Tunnel Orientation
  • Selecting Crops for High Tunnels
  • Basics of High Tunnel Production: Fertility, Irrigation, Pest & Disease Management
  • Cost Sharing Opportunities
  • Resources & Suppliers for High Tunnel Growers

Advance registration is required by August 5. Our workshops frequently sell out, so don’t wait until the deadline to register! The cost of the workshop is $20 and includes a resource CD. Call 919-542-8202 or email Debbie Roos for more information. To register, download the registration form and mail with your check.

Download High Tunnel Workshop Registration Form

Speakers:

Steve Moore is currently researching and teaching sustainable food systems and directing the AgroEcology Program and the Pre-Peace Corps Program at Elon University.  Previously he was the Small Farm Unit Manager and Agriculture Energy Specialist at the Center for Environmental Farming Systems in Goldsboro, NC; the past Director of the Center for Sustainable Living at Wilson College in Chambersburg, PA; founder of the Robyn Van En Center for Community Supported Agriculture Resources and co-founder (with his wife, Carol) of Harmony Essentials, a company dedicated to the vision and practices of a sustaining food system.  Steve was appointed to the Pennsylvania Sustainable Agriculture Advisory Board, served two terms on the board of directors for PASA (Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture) and currently serves as the Vice President of the Board of Directors for Ecology Action in Willits, CA.  Additionally he has been a two term Associate Editor of the peer reviewed journal Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems and part of the National Cooperative Extension e-Extension development team.  He has a 40 year background in general farming and has been a pioneer in protected production, primarily high tunnels. Steve has done extensive consulting and provides presentations and workshops worldwide.

Debbie Roos is an Agriculture Agent for the Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension where she is responsible for programming in the areas of commercial vegetable production, organic production, alternative agricultural enterprises, pollinator conservation, beekeeping, and forestry. Debbie worked for three years as an agroforestry Extension agent and technical trainer for the Peace Corps in Senegal, West Africa, and later completed a M.A. in applied anthropology and a M.S. in horticulture at the University of Florida. Debbie delivers educational programming to growers through regular workshops and her award-winning Growing Small Farms website. Debbie has served on the Board of Directors for Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, Piedmont Grown, and Weaver Street Market. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Center for Environmental Farming Systems (ex-officio), the Piedmont Food and Agriculture Processing Center, and is an advisor to the Chatham Mills Farmers’ Market. She is on advisory committees for the CCCC Sustainable Agriculture Program and Chatham Conservation Partnership.

 

May 31, 2014:
Create a Pollinator Paradise Workshop and Garden Tour

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will offer a pollinator conservation workshop and garden tour as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series on Saturday, May 31, 2014 from 2:00-5:00 p.m. starting in the auditorium of the Agriculture Building in Pittsboro. Chatham County Agricultural Extension Agent Debbie Roos will give an overview of North Carolina pollinators and discuss the role of native bees and managed bees in crop pollination. Participants will learn about the principles of planting a pollinator garden and how to select trees, shrubs, herbaceous perennials, herbs, vines, and grasses to attract a diversity of pollinators. Debbie will emphasize native plants but also include a few other plants that provide good resources. The workshop will conclude with a tour of Cooperative Extension’s pollinator garden at Chatham Mills, about half a mile from the Agriculture Building. The garden is comprised of 145 different species, 85% of which are native to the piedmont of North Carolina.

I have partnered with Chatham County’s Mellow Marsh Farm to be able to offer each workshop participant several perennial butterfly weed plants (Asclepias tuberosa) to take home to plant for pollinators! This species is great for both bees and monarch butterflies.

Take a virtual tour of the pollinator garden to see how it progresses through the seasons! Click here to view the slideshow.

I created a website just for the pollinator garden with lots of educational resources which you can visit here on the Growing Small Farms website.

Advance registration is required by May 23. Space is limited so please register early to reserve your spot. The cost of the workshop is $15 and includes a CD of resources and perennial butterfly weed plants. Call 919-542-8202 or email Debbie Roos for more information. To register, download the registration form and mail with your check.

Download the registration form.

March 26, 2014:
Organic Soil and Disease Management in High Tunnels

Spring cover crops in the Haygrove tunnel at Peregrine Farm.

Spring cover crops in the Haygrove tunnel at Peregrine Farm.

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will offer a High Tunnel Production workshop as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series on Wednesday, March 26, 2014 from 9:00 am-3:00 pm at the Silk Hope Farm Heritage Center in Silk Hope, NC. The focus will be on Organic Soil and Disease Management in High Tunnel Vegetable Production Systems.

Agenda:

  • Peregrine Farm High Tunnel System: How We Manage Soils and Diseases Organically – Alex Hitt
  • Cover Crops, Crop Rotation, & Fertility in High Tunnels – Julie Grossman
  • Managing Soil-borne Diseases (Sclerotinia, bacterial wilt, Fusarium, southern stem blight, etc.) in High Tunnels – Frank Louws
  • Managing Foliar Diseases (downy mildew, powdery mildew, late blight, early blight, leaf spots, etc.) in High Tunnels – Lina Quesada
  • Resources for Soil & Disease Management in High Tunnels – Debbie Roos
  • Q & A and Research Needs

Advance registration is required by March 19. Our workshops frequently sell out, so don’t wait until the deadline to register! The cost of the workshop is $30 and includes handouts plus a hot lunch catered by Angelina’s Kitchen. Call 919-542-8202 or email Debbie Roos for more information. To register, download the registration form and mail with your check.

Download High Tunnel Workshop Registration Form

Speakers:

Dr. Julie Grossman is a faculty member in the Department of Soil Science at North Carolina State University (NCSU). Her research broadly explores the ways in which we can better manage plant-soil-microbe relationships in order to enhance soil fertility through microbial processes, with the ultimate goal of developing sustainable food production systems. In particular, she is interested in legume cover crops and their role in organic and low-input farming systems. Dr. Grossman advises a great diversity of students and takes pride in helping them build skills in the deeply intertwined areas of sustainable agriculture research, teaching, and outreach. Dr. Grossman holds an M.S. in Soil Science and Ph.D. in Agronomy and Plant Genetics from the University of Minnesota, and was an NSF Post-doctoral Fellow at Cornell University before joining the faculty at NC State in 2008.

Alex Hitt of Peregrine Farm is a 1980 graduate of Utah State University with a B.S. in Soils.  He has been farming outside of Chapel Hill, North Carolina for 32 years with his wife Betsy.  An extremely diversified operation, they produce cut flowers, small fruits, turkeys and vegetables. They sell most of their crops at the Carrboro Farmers’ Market and the rest in direct sales to a natural foods grocery chain and a few restaurants.  They have also marketed crops by pick-your-own, roadside stand, to florists and floral wholesalers.  They have both been full-time on the farm since 1990 and make their entire living off of 3 ½ acres in production. He is on the Board of Advisors for the Center for Environmental Farming Systems in Goldsboro, NC.  He is also on the Board of the Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA.  Alex is the past Chair of the Administrative Council of the Southern Region on the USDA’s Sustainable Agricultural Research and Education program where he served for seven years. They, together, were named 1995 Small Farmers of the Year by N.C. State A & T University, 1995 Farm Stewards of the Year by the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association and in 2006 were awarded the Patrick Madden Award for Sustainable Agriculture.  In 2008 they were inducted as Fellows in the Fellowship of Southern Farmers, Artisans and Chefs.

Dr. Frank Louws is a professor of Plant Pathology and Director of the Center for Integrated Pest Management (CIPM) at NCSU. He manages a research and extension program that focuses on disease management with emphasis on soilborne diseases of strawberry and vegetables. He also does farming systems research and a lot of on-farm research projects. Projects frequently seek to advance knowledge about the biology of plant pathogens and link that to practical disease management recommendations.

Dr. Lina Quesada is as an Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist for Vegetable Pathology at NCSU.  Her research program uses a broad range of tools from field studies to genomics to improve management strategies of vegetable diseases.  She received her B.Sc. degrees in Microbiology and Biology from Universidad de Los Andes, Bogota, Colombia.  Later she joined the Ohio State University and worked on genomics of Phytophthora infestans, the pathogen causing late blight of potato and tomato.  She received her Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from Michigan State University (MSU) and her doctoral work focused on the host range, host resistance and population structure of Phytophthora capsici, an important pathogen of cucurbits and solanaceous crops.  She then was a postdoctoral researcher at MSU where she studied populations of cucurbit downy mildew and bacterial canker of tomato.  Right before joining NCSU, Dr. Quesada was a NIFA postdoctoral fellow working on corn postharvest diseases caused by Fusarium, a soilborne pathogen that can also affect vegetables.

Debbie Roos is an Agriculture Agent for the Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension where she is responsible for programming in the areas of commercial vegetable production, organic production, alternative agricultural enterprises, pollinator conservation, beekeeping, and forestry. Debbie worked for three years as an agroforestry Extension agent and technical trainer for the Peace Corps in Senegal, West Africa, and later completed a M.A. in applied anthropology and a M.S. in horticulture at the University of Florida. Debbie delivers educational programming to growers through regular workshops and her award-winning Growing Small Farms website. Debbie has served on the Board of Directors for Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, Piedmont Grown, and Weaver Street Market. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Center for Environmental Farming Systems (ex-officio), the Piedmont Food and Agriculture Processing Center, and is an advisor to the Chatham Mills Farmers’ Market. She is on advisory committees for the CCCC Sustainable Agriculture Program and Chatham Conservation Partnership.

March 5, 2014:
Principles of Fresh Produce Safety and
Navigating the USDA GAP Audit

fresh produce at farmers' market

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension, in partnership with North Carolina State University and Carolina Farm Stewardship Association (CFSA), will conduct two workshops with the aim of providing farmers with the tools to reduce food safety risks and meet market requirements.

This two-part Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) workshop series will address how farmers of all sizes can achieve USDA GAPs certification, deliver information on principles of fresh produce safety and on-farm hazard assessment, as well as provide assistance with creating a fresh produce farm safety plan.

The first workshop, Principles of Fresh Produce Safety and Navigating the USDA GAP Audit, will be on Wednesday, March 5, 2014 from 9:00 am-5:00 pm in Pittsboro, NC.

This workshop takes place in a farm environment and will be based on newly developed components focused on navigating a GAPs audit. This workshop will combine classroom and on-farm instruction to provide producers with the tools needed to identify potential food safety concerns as well as strategies to minimize contamination. Participants will receive a certificate of attendance that fulfills a portion of the eligibility requirements to receive up to $600 in GAPs Cost Share assistance from CFSA. Participants will spend the morning at Harland’s Creek Farm, a certified organic diversified farm in Pittsboro, then receive classroom instruction at the Agriculture Building in Pittsboro.

The second workshop will be on Wednesday, March 19 and will cover Fresh Produce Safety Program and Plan Development. This workshop will be conducted in a computer lab and will provide direct assistance to producers in completing a fresh produce safety plan. Attendees will leave this session with a well-developed working draft of their specific food safety plan, which becomes the framework for an audit, and can be used to demonstrate individual farm risk-reduction steps.   Completion of the first workshop is a prerequisite and basic computer knowledge is required in order to receive the maximum benefit from this session.

At this time we are only accepting registrations for the March 5 workshop. We will allow participants to register for the March 19 workshop at the March 5 workshop.

Advance registration for the March 5 workshop is required by February 28. Space is limited, so don’t wait until the deadline to register! The cost of the workshop is $10 and includes handouts plus a hot lunch catered by Angelina’s Kitchen. Call 919-542-8202 or email Debbie Roos for more information. To register, download the registration form and mail with your check.

Download the registration form

Instructors:

Diane Ducharme, GAPs Program Coordinator, Extension Associate in Horticulture and Food Safety with the Plants for Human Health Institute, NCSU. Diane has worked for the past 14 years with NCSU-NC Cooperative Extension and now serves as NCSU Coordinator for Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) program within the Plants for Human Health Institute within the NC Research Campus in Kannapolis. Diane received her M.S. in Plant Pathology and brings this “practical application” background of horticulture, pathology, and food science together to address fresh produce safety, production and marketing issues. She currently is continuing her education in this area with the pursuit of a PhD in Horticulture and Food Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences.

Katie Baros, Extension Produce Safety Assistant, Plants for Human Health Institute, NCSU. As an Extension Produce Safety Assistant, Katie Baros is working to develop tools designed to assist growers in creating food safety plans. Katie holds a master’s degree in Agricultural Development with an emphasis in Extension Education and a BS in Animal Science from Texas A&M University. Prior to this position, she worked as an Extension Program Assistant creating educational material for youth and adult learners.

Matthew Agle, Extension Associate, NCSU. Matt grew up and worked on a 100 acre fresh produce farm in Western New York. He received a BS in Food Science at Cornell University and a MS in Animal Science at University of Idaho. In 2009, Matt worked for the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Service coordinating food safety outreach programs. He currently works for NC Cooperative Extension delivering Good Agricultural Practices training for farmers developing food safety training for restaurants.

March 3, 2014:
High Tunnel Production Workshop

Sliding high tunnel at Peregrine Farm

Sliding high tunnel at Peregrine Farm

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will offer a High Tunnel Production workshop as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series on Monday, March 3, 2014 from 9:00 am-5:00 pm at the Silk Hope Farm Heritage Center in Silk Hope, NC. High tunnels can be used to extend the growing season and enhance growth, yield, and quality of a wide variety of horticultural crops. North Carolina’s top high tunnel experts will share their many decades of research and experience with successful high tunnel production.

Agenda:

  • Microclimates and Environmental Factors for Vegetable and Small Fruit Crops in High Tunnels
  • Crop Scheduling for Year-round Production in High Tunnels
  • Crop Budgets: Economic and Labor Choices for High Tunnel Management
  • Fall Strawberry Production in High Tunnels
  • High Tunnels at Peregrine Farm: Overview + Focus on Tomato Production
  • Resources for High Tunnel Growers
  • Q & A and Research Needs

Advance registration is required by February 24. Our workshops frequently sell out, so don’t wait until the deadline to register! The cost of the workshop is $35 and includes handouts plus a hot lunch catered by Angelina’s Kitchen. Call 919-542-8202 or email Debbie Roos for more information. To register, download the registration form and mail with your check.

Download High Tunnel Workshop Registration Form

Speakers:

Dr. Sanjun Gu is the Horticulture Extension Specialist at NC A&T State University. His program goal is to increase on-farm efficiency and profitability while maintaining environmental sustainability for the target audience, the small, limited resource farmers in NC. His current focus is on season extension techniques, both organic and conventional, that allow winter vegetable production, and early spring/late fall vegetable and small fruit production. Sanjun holds a bachelor’s degree in Horticulture from Shandong Agricultural University (China), a master’s degree in plant tissue culture, breeding and genetics from China Agricultural University, and a doctorate in Horticulture and Forestry from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He joined NC A&T State University in December 2012. Previously he had served as the State Vegetable Specialist of Missouri, Viticulture Program Leader of Kentucky State University, and a breeder and season extension specialist in Shandong Academy of Agricultural Sciences in China.

Alex Hitt of Peregrine Farm is a 1980 graduate of Utah State University with a B.S. in Soils.  He has been farming outside of Chapel Hill, North Carolina for 32 years with his wife Betsy.  An extremely diversified operation, they produce cut flowers, small fruits, turkeys and vegetables. They sell most of their crops at the Carrboro Farmers’ Market and the rest in direct sales to a natural foods grocery chain and a few restaurants.  They have also marketed crops by pick-your-own, roadside stand, to florists and floral wholesalers.  They have both been full-time on the farm since 1990 and make their entire living off of 3 ½ acres in production. He is on the Board of Advisors for the Center for Environmental Farming Systems in Goldsboro, NC.  He is also on the Board of the Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA.  Alex is the past Chair of the Administrative Council of the Southern Region on the USDA’s Sustainable Agricultural Research and Education program where he served for seven years. They, together, were named 1995 Small Farmers of the Year by N.C. State A & T University, 1995 Farm Stewards of the Year by the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association and in 2006 were awarded the Patrick Madden Award for Sustainable Agriculture.  In 2008 they were inducted as Fellows in the Fellowship of Southern Farmers, Artisans and Chefs.

Steve Moore is currently researching and teaching sustainable food systems and directing the AgroEcology Program and the Pre-Peace Corps Program at Elon University.  Previously he was the Small Farm Unit Manager and Agriculture Energy Specialist at the Center for Environmental Farming Systems in Goldsboro, NC; the past Director of the Center for Sustainable Living at Wilson College in Chambersburg, PA; founder of the Robyn Van En Center for Community Supported Agriculture Resources and co-founder (with his wife, Carol) of Harmony Essentials, a company dedicated to the vision and practices of a sustaining food system.  Steve was appointed to the Pennsylvania Sustainable Agriculture Advisory Board, served two terms on the board of directors for PASA (Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture) and currently serves as the Vice President of the Board of Directors for Ecology Action in Willits, CA.  Additionally he has been a two term Associate Editor of the peer reviewed journal Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems and part of the National Cooperative Extension e-Extension development team.  He has a 40 year background in general farming and has been a pioneer in protected production, primarily high tunnels. Steve has done extensive consulting and provides presentations and workshops worldwide.

Debbie Roos is an Agriculture Agent for the Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension where she is responsible for programming in the areas of commercial vegetable production, organic production, alternative agricultural enterprises, pollinator conservation, beekeeping, and forestry. Debbie worked for three years as an agroforestry Extension agent and technical trainer for the Peace Corps in Senegal, West Africa, and later completed a M.A. in applied anthropology and a M.S. in horticulture at the University of Florida. Debbie delivers educational programming to growers through regular workshops and her award-winning Growing Small Farms website. Debbie has served on the Board of Directors for Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, Piedmont Grown, and Weaver Street Market. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Center for Environmental Farming Systems (ex-officio), the Piedmont Food and Agriculture Processing Center, and is an advisor to the Chatham Mills Farmers’ Market. She is on advisory committees for the CCCC Sustainable Agriculture Program and Chatham Conservation Partnership.


February 26, 2014:
Cut Flower Production Workshop

Cut flowers in Haygrove tunnels at Peregrine Farm

Cut flowers in Haygrove tunnels at Peregrine Farm

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will offer a Cut Flower Production workshop as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 from 1:00-5:00 p.m. at the Silk Hope Farm Heritage Center in Silk Hope, NC. Cut flowers are an important enterprise on many local diversified farms and can increase profits, improve cash flow, and even provide habitat for pollinators and other beneficial insects. Come learn from our nationally renowned cut flower experts at North Carolina State University!

Agenda:

  • The Latest and Greatest New Cuts
  • Production Info on New Crops for High Tunnels and Greenhouses
  • Take the Guesswork Out of Cut Flower Fertilization
  • When to Harvest Flowers During the Day and Other Postharvest Topics
  • Q & A for Everything Else You Need to Know!

Speakers:

Dr. John Dole is Professor and Department Head of Horticultural Science at North Carolina State University.  He grew up working in floriculture, planting and harvesting glads as a child.  He conducts research on cut flower production and postharvest, bedding plants, and poinsettia production.  He co-coordinates the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers National Cut Flower Trials, teaches Physiology of Flowering, and has co-authored Woody Cut Stems for Growers and Florists with Lane Greer, Cutting Propagation with Jaime Gibson, and Floriculture Principles and Species with Harold Wilkins.

Alicain Carlson is a graduate research and teaching assistant at North Carolina State University studying various aspects of production and postharvest of cut flowers under Dr. John Dole.  Alicain does extensive research on Eucomis as a cut flower, studies how bacteria and water quality affect vase life, and assists with the ASCFG cut flower trials at NCSU. She received her MS degree from NCSU in 2010 and is currently finishing her PhD. She completed her BS degree at Virginia Tech in 2008. Alicain also worked as a grower and floral designer at Lynnvale Studios, a cut flower farm in Gainesville, Virginia.

Dr. Iftikhar Ahmad is a postdoc scientist from Pakistan. He earned a M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Horticulture (Floriculture) from University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan. During his Ph.D. work, he also studied at University of Queensland, Gatton, Australia. He obtained a postdoc fellowship from NC State University in Dr. Dole’s laboratory on cut flower research. During his postdoc, he has mainly focused on postharvest physiology and production of cut flowers. He has published 40 scientific papers and over 50 other publications.

Advance registration is required by February 19. Space is limited so please register early to reserve your spot. The cost of the workshop is $15 and includes handouts. Call 919-542-8202 or email Debbie Roos for more information. To register, download the registration form and mail with your check.

Download Cut Flower Workshop Registration Form.

February 10, 2014:
Minimizing Taxation for Forest Landowners

Pine forest

Photo by Mark Megalos, NCSU

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will offer a forestry workshop entitled Minimizing Taxation for Forest Landowners as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series on Monday, February 10, 2014 from 7:00-9:00 p.m. in the auditorium of the Agriculture Building in Pittsboro (65 East Chatham St., Pittsboro, NC 27312).

NC State University Extension Forestry Specialist Dr. Mark Megalos will discuss how to minimize the tax liability on your forest land, management operations, timber harvest sales income and estates. He will also talk about the present use valuation program/forest tax deferment. The workshop will offer something for everyone, from new to experienced forest landowners.

This workshop is FREE but pre-registration is required.  Pre-register for the Timber Workshop by emailing extension.programs@chathamnc.org (put “February Forestry workshop” in the subject line) or by calling 919-542-8202.

November 7, 2013:

On-farm Pepper Production Workshop:
Ripe Peppers in the Market Garden – Methods and Varieties

(This workshop is a repeat of the October 29 workshop which sold out quickly)

Grower Doug Jones with his pepper crop at Piedmont Biofarm

Over the past decade, grower Doug Jones of Piedmont Biofarm has used on-farm breeding techniques to develop high-performing, good-tasting sweet pepper varieties. His 120 breeding lines include the flavorful “Sweet Habanero” group of seasoning peppers.  This year he’s conducting variety trials for Johnny’s Selected Seeds, looking at 40 varieties of sweet peppers and Anaheims.

Doug would like to help local growers and gardeners overcome the challenges that have prevented peppers from fulfilling their potential as an important and profitable crop for NC market gardeners, and a significant “superfood” in the diet of local consumers, many of whom are not aware of how flavorful a ripe pepper can be.  Some of those challenges include sourcing good genetics, finicky germination issues, providing good trellises, and extending the growing season of this long-lasting crop.

Local growers and gardeners are invited to come to Doug’s farm to learn about (and taste!) his research results.  He’ll also be recruiting participants to start a “collaborative, open-source, on-farm breeding network”.

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension and the Center for Environmental Farming Systems have partnered to offer a workshop and farm tour on pepper production on Thursday, November 7 from 2:00-5:00 pm at Piedmont Biofarm in Pittsboro (the first part of the program will be at the Agriculture Building then we will move to Piedmont Biofarm). Grower and educator Doug Jones will offer both an indoor workshop as well as a farm tour highlighting the 37 different varieties of peppers he is trialing this year. Participants will learn the “pros & cons” of including ripe sweet peppers as a significant crop on a small farm. Other topics covered will include indoor seed production, sustainable crop management, discussion and tour of the different variety and breeding lines, demonstration of season extension, varietal discussion, and a pepper tasting.

Advance registration is required by October 30. Space is limited so please register early to reserve your spot. The cost of the workshop is $10 and includes handouts on pepper production. Call 919-542-8202 or email Debbie Roos for more information. To register, download the registration form and mail with your check.

October 29, 2013:
On-farm Pepper Production Workshop:
Ripe Peppers in the Market Garden – Methods and Varieties

Grower Doug Jones with his pepper crop at Piedmont Biofarm

Grower Doug Jones with his pepper crop at Piedmont Biofarm

Over the past decade, grower Doug Jones of Piedmont Biofarm has used on-farm breeding techniques to develop high-performing, good-tasting sweet pepper varieties. His 120 breeding lines include the flavorful “Sweet Habanero” group of seasoning peppers.  This year he’s conducting variety trials for Johnny’s Selected Seeds, looking at 40 varieties of sweet peppers and Anaheims.

Doug would like to help local growers and gardeners overcome the challenges that have prevented peppers from fulfilling their potential as an important and profitable crop for NC market gardeners, and a significant “superfood” in the diet of local consumers, many of whom are not aware of how flavorful a ripe pepper can be.  Some of those challenges include sourcing good genetics, finicky germination issues, providing good trellises, and extending the growing season of this long-lasting crop.

Local growers and gardeners are invited to come to Doug’s farm to learn about (and taste!) his research results.  He’ll also be recruiting participants to start a “collaborative, open-source, on-farm breeding network”.

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension and the Center for Environmental Farming Systems have partnered to offer a workshop and farm tour on pepper production on Tuesday, October 29 from 2:00-5:00 pm at Piedmont Biofarm in Pittsboro. Grower and educator Doug Jones will offer both an indoor workshop as well as a farm tour highlighting the 37 different varieties of peppers he is trialing this year. Participants will learn the “pros & cons” of including ripe sweet peppers as a significant crop on a small farm. Other topics covered will include indoor seed production, sustainable crop management, discussion and tour of the different variety and breeding lines, demonstration of season extension, varietal discussion, and a pepper tasting.

Advance registration is required by October 23. Space is limited so please register early to reserve your spot. The cost of the workshop is $10 and includes handouts on pepper production. Call 919-542-8202 or email Debbie Roos for more information. To register, download the registration form and mail with your check.

October 22, 2013:
Selling Timber in Today’s Markets

Loading timber truck during pine harvest

Photo by Bob Bardon, NC State University.

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will offer a forestry workshop entitled Selling Timber in Today’s Markets as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series on Tuesday, October 22, 2013 from 7:00-9:00 p.m. in the auditorium of the Agriculture Building in Pittsboro (65 East Chatham St., Pittsboro, NC 27312).

Have you been holding off on selling your trees until the markets improved?  Have you been recently approached by a timber buyer? Have you ever thought about cutting your trees and selling them?  If you answered yes to any of these questions then this workshop is for you.  Come hear Dr. Dennis Hazel and Dr. Robert Bardon with Extension Forestry at NC State University discuss current markets and the process of selling timber.

By participating in this workshop participants should have a better understanding of today’s timber markets and be able to avoid the common pitfalls associated with selling timber.

This workshop is FREE but pre-registration is required.  Pre-register for the Timber Workshop by emailing extension.programs@chathamnc.org (put “October Forestry workshop” in the subject line) or by calling 919-542-8202.

October 10, 2013:
Create a Pollinator Paradise Workshop and Garden Tour

This is a repeat of the September 25 workshop which filled up early.

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will offer a pollinator conservation workshop and garden tour as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series on Thursday, October 10, 2013 from 2:00-5:00 p.m. starting in the auditorium of the Agriculture Building in Pittsboro. Chatham County Agricultural Extension Agent Debbie Roos will give an overview of North Carolina pollinators and discuss the role of native bees and managed bees in crop pollination. Participants will learn about the principles of planting a pollinator garden and – just in time for fall planting – how to select trees, shrubs, herbaceous perennials, herbs, vines, and grasses to attract a diversity of pollinators. Debbie will emphasize native plants but also include a few other plants that provide good resources. The workshop will conclude with a tour of Cooperative Extension’s pollinator garden at Chatham Mills, about half a mile from the Agriculture Building. The garden is comprised of 140 different species and cultivars, 85% of which are native to the piedmont of North Carolina.

I have partnered with Chatham County’s Mellow Marsh Farm to be able to offer each workshop participant several perennial butterfly weed plants (Asclepias tuberosa) to take home to plant for pollinators! This species is great for both bees and monarch butterflies.

Take a virtual tour of the pollinator garden to see how it progresses through the seasons! Click here to view the slideshow.

I created a website just for the pollinator garden with lots of educational resources which you can visit here on the Growing Small Farms website.

Advance registration is required by October 4. Space is limited so please register early to reserve your spot. The cost of the workshop is $15 and includes a CD of resources and perennial butterfly weed plants. Call 919-542-8202 or email Debbie Roos for more information. To register, download the registration form and mail with your check.

September 25, 2013:
Create a Pollinator Paradise Workshop and Garden Tour

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will offer a pollinator conservation workshop and garden tour as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 from 2:00-5:00 p.m. starting in the auditorium of the Agriculture Building in Pittsboro. Chatham County Agricultural Extension Agent Debbie Roos will give an overview of North Carolina pollinators and discuss the role of native bees and managed bees in crop pollination. Participants will learn about the principles of planting a pollinator garden and – just in time for fall planting – how to select trees, shrubs, herbaceous perennials, herbs, vines, and grasses to attract a diversity of pollinators. Debbie will emphasize native plants but also include a few other plants that provide good resources. The workshop will conclude with a tour of Cooperative Extension’s pollinator garden at Chatham Mills, about half a mile from the Agriculture Building. The garden is comprised of 140 different species and cultivars, 85% of which are native to the piedmont of North Carolina.

I have partnered with Chatham County’s Mellow Marsh Farm to be able to offer each workshop participant several perennial butterfly weed plants (Asclepias tuberosa) to take home to plant for pollinators! This species is great for both bees and monarch butterflies.

Take a virtual tour of the pollinator garden to see how it progresses through the seasons! Click here to view the slideshow.

I created a website just for the pollinator garden with lots of educational resources which you can visit here on the Growing Small Farms website.

Advance registration is required by September 19. Space is limited so please register early to reserve your spot. The cost of the workshop is $15 and includes a CD of resources and perennial butterfly weed plants. Call 919-542-8202 or email Debbie Roos for more information. To register, download the registration form and mail with your check.

August 19, 2013:
Selecting and Managing Cover Crops

to Maximize Benefits to Soil and Cash Crops

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will offer a cover crop workshop as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series on Monday, August 19, 2013 from 1:00-5:00 p.m. at the Silk Hope Farm Heritage Center in Silk Hope, NC. Cover crops are an integral part of agricultural production, especially for organic growers. Cover crops can improve soil health, reduce soil erosion, conserve soil moisture, protect water quality, reduce fertilizer costs, attract pollinators and other beneficial insects, and enhance crop yields.

Agenda:

Benefits of Cover Crops
Debbie Roos
North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Chatham County Center

Legume Cover Crops
Dr. Julie Grossman
North Carolina State University

  • How legume cover crops can help provide nitrogen (N) that can then be used by your cash crops
  • How to calculate the amount of nitrogen provided from your cover crops using simple calculations you can do yourself
  • How different termination strategies affect the amount of N provided
  • Which popular cover crop legumes you can use on your farm, and where to find them
  • How to provide the right type of bacteria for your legume through the process of inoculation

Peregrine Farm Cover Crop System
Alex Hitt
Peregrine Farm

  • Crop rotation system
  • Legumes, non-legumes, and mixtures
  • No-till vegetable production
  • Cover crop management and termination
  • Selecting the best cover crops for your system

Favorite Cover Crops of Piedmont Growers
Debbie Roos
North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Chatham County Center

  • Species
  • Seeding rates
  • Seeding dates
  • Seed sources
  • Management: equipment, termination, etc.

Open Question and Answer Session

Advance registration is required by August 15. Space is limited so please register early – we must RECEIVE your registration by August 15 to reserve your spot. The cost of the workshop is $15 and includes a CD of resources. Call 919-542-8202 or email Debbie Roos for more information. To register, download the registration form and mail with your check.

Cover Crop Registration Form

 

July 15, 2013:
Connecting Farmers and Landowners with Hunters to
Reduce Deer Depredation and Provide Hunger Relief

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will offer an informational meeting as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series on Monday, July 15, 2013 from 7:00-9:00 pm in the auditorium of the Agriculture Building in Pittsboro.

Derek St. Romain, Central North Carolina Regional Coordinator for Backyard Bow Pro, will talk about Connecting Farmers and Landowners with Hunters to Reduce Deer Depredation and Provide Hunger Relief. You will also hear from local landowners, hunters, food bank representatives and others who have worked with Backyard Bow Pro.

Backyard Bow Pro is a North Carolina non-profit organization that is working with farmers, property owners, communities, municipalities and conservancies across the state.  Their mission: to build social bridges between the verified hunter and non-hunter to work together to support local food relief efforts. Did you know ONE deer from your property could feed 200 meals?  Landowners that participate in the free program are finding that they can give back to their community in a way that they have not thought of, which is through meals.

Agenda:

  • Welcome – Debbie Roos, Chatham County Cooperative Extension
  • Joe Lasher, Backyard Bow Pro Founder
    • Backyard Bow Pro local structure and goals
    • Benefits of working with Backyard Bow Pro
  • Derek St. Romain, Backyard Bow Pro Regional Coordinator
    • Derek will speak to BBP’s charitable efforts at the local/regional level and will instruct folks on how to connect with local chapters and team leaders
  • Pam Caruso, CORA Food Pantry
    • Pam will update us on the local need, what an increase of red meat donation would mean to their organization, etc.
  • Farmer/Landowner Testimonials
  • Ken Knight, NC Wildlife Resources Commission
    • Deer and deer densities, natural balance
    • Deer related issues affecting our forest landowners across the state
  • Debbie Roos
    • Conclusion and Question and Answer Session

There is no charge for this program which will be from 7:00-9:00 pm in the auditorium of the Agriculture Building in Pittsboro. You do not need to register. For more information, contact Debbie Roos at 919-542-8202.

Directions to the Workshop.

From Backyard Bow Pro: If a picture is worth a thousand words, then these video links are priceless.  Click here to view a short landowner video that encompasses a “Person of the Week” ABC News Feature on Backyard Bow Pro.   Click here to view a short video of a venison delivery to the CORA Food Pantry in Pittsboro, NC.   Backyard Bow Pro’s efforts in Western North Carolina were recently featured in a local newspaper.

NOW is the time to be building those social bridges and forming relationships.  One of our supporters puts it best when he states, “By growing local networks of landowners, hunters, meat processors, food banks and most of all, caring people, a phenomenon can and will occur.”   Find out more by visiting our website.  Please feel free to contact us by email at info@backyardbowpro.org or call toll-free at 866-645-1772.

June 8, 2013:
Create a Pollinator Paradise Workshop and Garden Tour

Note: the original date for this workshop was listed incorrectly as May 25. The correct date is June 8.

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will offer a pollinator conservation workshop and garden tour as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series on Saturday, June 8, 2013 from 2:00-5:00 p.m. starting in the auditorium of the Agriculture Building in Pittsboro. Chatham County Agricultural Extension Agent Debbie Roos will give an overview of North Carolina pollinators and discuss the role of native bees and managed bees in crop pollination. Participants will learn about the principles of planting a pollinator garden and how to select trees, shrubs, herbaceous perennials, herbs, vines, and grasses to attract a diversity of pollinators. Debbie will emphasize native plants but also include a few other plants that provide good resources. The workshop will conclude with a tour of Cooperative Extension’s pollinator garden at Chatham Mills, about half a mile from the Agriculture Building. The garden is comprised of 140 different species and cultivars, 85% of which are native to the piedmont of North Carolina.

Take a virtual tour of the pollinator garden to see how it progresses through the seasons! Click here to view the slideshow.

I created a website just for the pollinator garden with lots of educational resources which you can visit here on the Growing Small Farms website.

Advance registration is required by June 5. Space is limited so please register early to reserve your spot. The cost of the workshop is $15 and includes a CD of resources. Call 919-542-8202 or email Debbie Roos for more information. To register, download the registration form and mail with your check.

Why not make a day of it? Come Saturday morning to Pittsboro to enjoy our small town before the afternoon workshop! Enjoy the Chatham Mills Farmers’ Market right there on the site of the garden at Chatham Mills, and eat at one of Pittsboro’s great farm-to-fork restaurants for lunch. Visit our Chatham County tourism website for ideas.

June 1 AND June 3, 2013:
Hands-on Queen Rearing Workshop for Beekeepers

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will offer a Hands-on Queen Rearing Workshop for Beekeepers from 10:00 am-3:00 pm on Saturday June 1 in the auditorium of the Agriculture Building in Pittsboro. The workshop will be repeated on Monday June 3 (same time, 10:00 am-3:00 pm) so participants can choose the date that best suits them. This is a hands-on workshop so class size is restricted to 25 participants for each session. Register early to reserve your space.

The workshops will be taught by North Carolina State University Apiculture Technician Jennifer Keller. There are many benefits to raising your own queens: you will always have one on hand when you need it, you can save money, and you can pick whatever characteristics are important to you and breed to that. This workshop is for beekeepers who understand the basic principles of queen rearing and want an intensive hands-on experience.

Agenda:

  • Review: what is queen rearing; advantages and disadvantages of rearing your own queens
  • Hands-on demonstration of each step in the bee yard
  1. Cell builders: identify a strong colony suitable for making a cell builder; set up a swarm box using an existing hive of bees
  2. Mating nucs: demonstration of different types; set up nuc or queen castle using existing colony
  3. Grafting: review process; hands-on demonstration and practice time

Cost of the workshop is $40 and includes handouts and a local lunch catered by Angelina’s Kitchen. Pre-registration is required. The deadline for registration is May 29 (we must RECEIVE your registration by May 29). Space is limited so register early!

Choose which workshop you want to attend and download the registration form:

Saturday, June 1

Monday, June 3

Call 919-542-8202 or email Debbie Roos for more information.

April 29, 2013:
Know your Forest Resources: What Landowners Need to Know

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will offer a workshop on Resources for Forest Landowners from 7:00-9:00 pm on Monday April 29 in the auditorium of the Agriculture Building in Pittsboro. Many landowners do not know who to turn to for advice or help with questions about their forest land, and this lack of knowledge can have serious negative consequences for landowners, some of whom have been targeted by unscrupulous timber buyers. There are organizations and consultants who are there to help you develop a plan for your forest land, whether your goal is to optimize timber production, create wildlife habitat, develop recreational opportunities, or something else.

Presenters:

  • Dr. Bob Bardon, North Carolina State University
  • Dr. Mark Megalos, North Carolina State University
  • Ben Baird, NC Forest Service

Agenda:

Where to Go for Services: What each Agency Offers

  • North Carolina Cooperative Extension and North Carolina State University
  • North Carolina Forest Service
  • Forestry Consultants
  • NC Wildlife Commission
  • Natural Resources Conservation Service

Forestry Management Planning

  • What is a Forest Management Plan? Who needs one and why?
  • Benefits of having a Forest Management Plan

Forestry and Agriculture Present Use Value Program (Deferred Tax Program)

  • What are the requirements?
  • What are the benefits?

This workshop is FREE but pre-registration is requested.  Pre-register for the Forestry Resources Workshop by emailing extension.programs@chathamnc.org (put “Forestry workshop” in the subject line) or by calling 919-542-8202.

March 11, 2013:
Queen Rearing Workshop for Beekeepers

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will offer a workshop on Queen Rearing for Beekeepers from 6:00-9:00 pm on Monday March 11 in the auditorium of the Agriculture Building in Pittsboro. The workshop will be taught by North Carolina State University Apiculture Technician Jennifer Keller. There are many benefits to raising your own queens: you will always have one on hand when you need it, you can save money, and you can pick whatever characteristics are important to you and breed to that. This workshop is for beekeepers who have some experience; we will not be covering the basics of honey bee biology. We will also be offering a follow-up workshop on Saturday June 1 for folks who understand the basic principles of queen rearing and want an intensive hands-on experience.

Agenda:

  • What is queen rearing?
  • Why make your own instead of buying? Advantages and disadvantages of rearing your own queens.
  • Things to consider before beginning: number of hives needed to be successful, materials needed, planning, etc.
  • Cell builders: identifying a strong colony; how to set up swarm box.
  • Grafting
  • Mating nucs
  • Grafting demonstration and hands-on grafting practice

We will be following up this workshop with an all day hands-on grafting workshop on Saturday June 1 at the same location. Details will be released in March.

Cost of the March workshop is $15 and includes handouts. Pre-registration is required. The deadline for registration is March 7 (we must RECEIVE your registration by March 7). Space is limited so register early!

Call 919-542-8202 or email Debbie Roos for more information.

Download a registration form.

February 28, 2013:
Piedmont Medicinal Herb Production Workshop

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension, in partnership with North Carolina State University, will offer a workshop on Piedmont Medicinal Herb Production from 8:30 am-5:00 pm on Thursday February 28 at the Silk Hope Farm Heritage Center in Silk Hope, NC.

I am really excited about this workshop because I see an opportunity for growers, whether large-scale or small-scale, to increase their income through the production of medicinal herbs. I invited my colleague Dr. Jeanine Davis, our North Carolina State University Medicinal Herb Specialist, to partner with me to put on this workshop. As Jeanine says, “the demand for domestically produced medicinal herbs is at an all-time high, but to make a profit growing herbs you need to know how to produce a quality product and who to sell to. This workshop brings together some of the top herbalists, herb companies, and herb educators in the Southeast. This is your opportunity to talk directly to the buyers from three herbal companies in North Carolina.” We offer a full day of educational programs, plus lots of opportunities for sharing and networking!

Agenda:

8:30-9:00 am
Registration and light breakfast

Welcome and Intro
Debbie Roos
North Carolina Cooperative Extension Extension, Chatham County Center
www.growingsmallfarms.org

Overview of Medicinal Herb Industry and its History in NC
Dr. Jeanine Davis
North Carolina State University
NCHerb.org
Medicinal herbs have a long history in NC and there have been many grant projects concerning them over the years.  So why don’t we have a state full of medicinal herb growers? Buyers are asking for herbs from NC again.

Global View and Forecast for Industry
Jackie Greenfield
Gaia Herbs, Inc.
Medicinal herbs can be grown less expensively in many other places. Why is there an increasing demand for domestically grown herbs?

How to Grow Medicinal Herbs in the NC Piedmont
Jeanine Davis
There are a large number of medicinal herbs that can be grown in the piedmont. These can be grown on a small-scale for direct sales to consumers and herbalists and for making value-added products. They can also be grown on a very large-scale for the wholesale market. The focus will be mostly on sun-loving herbs such as Echinacea, valerian, California poppy, dandelion, and stinging nettle. Will also discuss a few forest botanicals, such as black cohosh and bloodroot.  Organic and conventional production will be discussed.  Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) will be mentioned.

Post-harvest Handling of Medicinal Herbs
Jackie Greenfield
Most farmers can grow beautiful medicinal herbs. The loss in quality often occurs in the washing, drying, packaging, and storing of the herbs.

Selling Direct to Consumers and Small Buyers
Jeanine Davis
Medicinal herbs can be sold directly to consumers at tailgate markets, farm stands, and through websites. Local herbalists, herb guilds, herb schools, and natural health care practitioners are interested in buying locally grown herbs. There are also small manufacturers and cottage businesses making value-added products who would like herbs grown specifically for them.

Selling Wholesale: Opportunities with Gaia Herbs
Jackie Greenfield
Selling herbs wholesale is very different from selling direct. You have to know what the market wants, in what quantities and form, and when it needs to be delivered. Prices paid might be much lower than you’d expect, so how do you make money doing it?  How GMPs affect the purchasing of herbs from the farmer.

Local lunch catered by Celebrity Dairy

Featured Piedmont Wholesale Grower
Randy Ball

Ball Farm
Randy is a tobacco farmer who started growing medicinal herbs with the Medicinal Herbs for Commerce Project. He has continued to produce herbs for Gaia Herbs. Why does he grow medicinal herbs? Can it be done profitably?

Featured NC Small Grower, Manufacturer, and Buyer
Jeannie Dunn
Red Moon Herbs
Jeannie is an herbalist, small-scale herb grower/wild-harvester, and now director of Red Moon Herbs. She will share her experiences in these capacities and give her viewpoint on how growers can make money in this industry.

Tips for Selling to Herbalists
Suki Roth
Herb Haven
Suki is a local herbalist and small-scale herb grower/wild-harvester. Suki will talk about what herbalists do and how growers can find and connect with the herbalist community. Suki will talk about which herbs herbalists are interested in buying from local producers and why. She will also share her experiences as a small-scale grower and provide tips on how small growers can enter this niche market.

Breakout Sessions
Jeanine, Jackie, Suki, and Jeannie will all be available to talk to participants in small groups and have time for show and tell with plant samples and other items; this is a great opportunity for participants to ask questions and dig deeper into production, postharvest handling, and marketing, both at the wholesale level and small-scale, direct marketing level.

    1. Growing and Selling on a Large-Scale – Jackie Greenfield, Gaia Buyer and Randy Ball, large-scale grower for Gaia Herbs
    1. The Piedmont Herbal Community and Growing for Local Herbalists – Suki Roth, Herb Haven herbalist
    1. How to Get Started and Growing on a Small-Scale – Jeanine Davis, NC State researcher and Extension Specialist
  1. Growing for a Medium Sized Processor and Supplying Fresh Herbs – Jeannie Dunn, Red Moon Herbs Director

Let’s Talk Money: Enterprise Budgets, Costs, etc.
Jeanine Davis
Can you make a profit growing medicinal herbs?  We will share what our research and feedback from growers show.

4:30-5:00 pm
Questions, Comments, Evaluation

Participants will receive handouts and a Resource CD. Cost of the workshop is $45 and includes breakfast, local lunch, and the CD. Pre-registration is required. The deadline for registration is February 25 (we must RECEIVE your registration by February 25). Space is limited so register early!

Call 919-542-8202 or email Debbie Roos for more information.

Download a registration form.

January 2-March 6, 2013:
Chatham County Beekeeping School

An 8 week course sponsored by the Chatham County Beekeepers’ Association and the Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension. Click here for full details. 

December 12, 2012:
Food Safety Audit Training for Small Diversified Farmers

North Carolina State University and North Carolina Cooperative Extension are partnering with the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association to deliver workshops across the state that help N.C. farmers meet with U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) fresh produce safety standards. Workshops will be held at four Cooperative Extension centers across the state in November and December.

There will be a training on Wednesday, December 12, from 1:00-5:00 pm in the auditorium of the Agriculture Building in Pittsboro. The workshop is hosted by the Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension. This workshop is free but pre-registration is requested. To register, email Debbie Roos and put “GAPs workshop” in the subject line. Please include your name and county in the email.

The trainings will address how local farmers can achieve USDA Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) certification, provide information on risks behind specific GAPs requirements, and outline logistics for preparing and scheduling a GAPs audit. The USDA GAPs certification program is an independent audit of produce suppliers that focuses on best agricultural practices to verify that fruits and vegetables are produced, packed, handled and stored in the safest manner possible to minimize risks of microbial food safety hazards.

Farmers who attend the workshop will be eligible to get GAP cost share funding through CFSA in 2013!

As pressure mounts for agricultural producers to pass food safety audits for their operations and crops, one of the most common concerns Cooperative Extension agents hear from farmers is that the GAPs-certification process is confusing and overwhelming.

An N.C. farmer discussing preparation for a GAPs-certification audit explained, “I need someone to help me understand things better so this doesn’t seem so complicated. Otherwise I just put this information in the corner and give up.”

Workshops will focus on prevention and risk identification across all commodities from farm to fork. Wholesalers, community supported agriculture (CSA) farms, educational institutions and retail establishments increasingly want to know what risk-reduction practices are in place on the farm.

Another N.C. farmer discussing GAPs certification said, “The driving reason for us getting GAPs certified is to be eligible to sell to wholesalers, and by extension, major retailers, the party that insists that any vendor be GAPs certified.”

In addition to the Chatham County training, there will be three others across the state:

  • November 19 in Burgaw, NC
  • November 30 in Rockingham, NC
  • December 4 in Mills RIver, NC

See details for these trainings on the Opening Markets website.

This workshop is free but pre-registration is requested. To register, email Debbie Roos and put “GAPs workshop” in the subject line. Please include your name and county in the email.

An N.C. Specialty Crop Block Grant funded the development of this curriculum. For more information, contact Dr. Audrey Kreske, Food Safety Extension Associate, at ackreske@ncsu.edu.

December 5, 2012:
Fiber Animal Production

alpacas

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will offer a workshop on fiber animal production from 8:30 am-5:00 pm on Wednesday December 5 at the Silk Hope Farm Heritage Center in Silk Hope, NC. We offer a full day of educational programs and exhibits, plus lots of opportunities for sharing and networking and show and tell!

AGENDA:

Registration and Light Breakfast

Welcome and Introduction + Learning Resources - Debbie Roos, Chatham County Cooperative Extension

Animal Care - Dr. Barbara Walton, DVM, Third Street Veterinary Clinic

    • How to Find a Veterinarian
    • First Aid Kit for the Farm
    • Preventative Care
    • Common Ailments and Diseases

How to Control those Pesky Worms: Integrated Parasite Management for Small Ruminants – Dr. Niki Whitley, North Carolina A&T State University

Forage and Nutrition – Sam Groce, Chatham County Cooperative Extension, and Dr. Jean-Marie Luginbuhl, North Carolina State University

    • How to Establish & Maintain Pasture
    • Forage and Browse for the Piedmont Region
    • NCSU Research on Lespedeza for Parasite Control

Animal Spotlights: Producers will discuss breeds, harvesting fiber, unique production needs, and more!

Producer Panel: Mary Ann Pagano, Three Waters Farm; Ann Fay, Rising Meadow Farm; Elaina Kenyon, Avillion Farm; Rosmarie Rosenbloom, Black Tulip Farms; Laura Young, Dew Dance Farm

The panel will discuss:

    • Marketing Fiber (internet, farmers’ markets, fiber artist guilds, yarn shops, social media, etc. )
    • Income Potential from Fiber Animal Production

A local lunch will be catered by Celebrity Dairy.

Exhibitors: All the producers will have exhibits of their fiber products and tools and equipment for harvesting and processing fiber: fleece, raw fiber, spun yarn and roving, hand shearing equipment, hand knit and hand woven items, and more…

Demonstrations: spinning (with wheel and hand spindles), carding equipment, portable loom…

Exhibitors:

Participants will receive handouts and a Resource CD. Cost of the workshop is $45 and includes breakfast, local lunch, and the CD. Pre-registration is required. The deadline for registration is November 30 (we must RECEIVE your registration by November 30). Space is limited so register early!

Call 919-542-8202 or email Debbie Roos for more information.

Download a registration form.

November 8, 2012:
Tax Issues for Diversified Farmers

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will offer a workshop on Tax Issues for Diversified Farmers from 6:00-9:00 pm on Thursday November 8 in the auditorium of the Agriculture Building in Pittsboro. The workshop will be taught by North Carolina State University Farm Management Specialist Guido van der Hoeven*. This workshop will offer something for everyone, from beginner to experienced farmers.

Agenda:

Sales Taxes

  • When does a farmer pay sales tax on items purchased for the farm and when is a farmer exempt from paying sales tax?
  • When is a farmer required to collect and remit sales tax to the state (value-added products, packaged meats, prepared foods, certain value-added produce items, etc.)?

Income Taxes

  • We will work through a case study of a diversified farm that produces vegetables, cut flowers, grass-fed beef, and grapes. This farm markets through a CSA, farmers’ markets, and an on-farm stand. Guido will walk participants through how this farm fills out an income tax form and the discussion will reveal tax issues that farmers need to be aware of.

Payroll Taxes

  • We will discuss the differences between independent contractors and employees.
  • The discussion will contrast the payroll tax issues of independent contractors vs. employees.

 Question & Answer Session

  • Registered participants will be invited to submit questions in advance that Guido will try to address.

Optional Dinner: Participants will have an opportunity to pre-order dinner from Angelina’s Kitchen if they choose (they will be emailed a limited menu). Angelina will deliver the meals to the auditorium before the workshop and will accept cash or check. Drinks will be provided.

* Guido van der Hoeven is an Extension Specialist/Senior Lecturer at NC State University since 1995 and has experience preparing tax returns for nearly 40 years. Van der Hoeven is an Enrolled Agent and his extension focus is farm management specifically in the areas of taxation, estate planning and intergenerational transfer of productive farms.

Advance registration is required by November 6. The cost of the workshop is $15 and includes handouts. Call 919-542-8202 or email Debbie Roos for more information. To register, download the registration form and mail with your check.

Download the registration form.

November 7, 2012: Honey Bee Nutrition

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will offer a workshop on Honey Bee Nutrition from 7:00-9:00 pm on Wednesday November 7 in the auditorium of the Agriculture Building in Pittsboro. Winter starvation is believed to be one of the primary factors that cause honey bee colony loss in North Carolina. It’s important for beekeepers to understand what bees need and how to provide for those needs. The program will be presented by NCDA Apiary Inspector Nancy Ruppert and NC Cooperative Extension Agent Debbie Roos.

Agenda:

What Do Honey Bees Need and Why? (carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals, water, etc.)
Nancy Ruppert, NC Department of Agriculture & Consumer Sciences

Impact of Poor Nutrition on Honey Bee Health
Nancy Ruppert

How Can We Help Bees Acquire What They Need?
Nancy Ruppert

Increase Floral Diversity to Benefit Honey Bees
Debbie Roos, North Carolina Cooperative Extension

Advance registration is required by November 5. The cost of the workshop is $10 and includes a CD of resources. Call 919-542-8202 or email Debbie Roos for more information. To register, download the registration form and mail with your check.

Download a registration form.

September 29, 2012: Pollinator Conservation Workshop and Garden Tour

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will offer a pollinator conservation workshop and garden tour as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series on Saturday, September 29, 2012 from 2:00-4:00 p.m. starting in the auditorium of the Agriculture Building in Pittsboro. Chatham County Agricultural Extension Agent Debbie Roos will give an overview of North Carolina pollinators and discuss the role of native bees and managed bees in crop pollination. Participants will learn about the principles of planting a pollinator garden and – just in time for fall planting – how to select trees, shrubs, herbaceous perennials, herbs, vines, and grasses to attract a diversity of pollinators. Debbie will emphasize native plants but also include a few other plants that provide good resources. The workshop will conclude with a tour of Cooperative Extension’s pollinator garden at Chatham Marketplace, about half a mile from the Agriculture Building. The garden is comprised of 140 different species and cultivars, 85% of which are native to the piedmont of North Carolina.

This workshop will also be offered on Wednesday September 26 from 5:30-7:30 pm to accommodate demand (see listing below).

Advance registration is required by September 26. Space is limited so please register early to reserve your spot. The cost of the workshop is $15 and includes a CD of resources. Call 919-542-8202 or email Debbie Roos for more information. To register, download the registration form and mail with your check.

September 26, 2012: Pollinator Conservation Workshop and Garden Tour

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will offer a pollinator conservation workshop and garden tour as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series on Wednesday, September 26, 2012 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. starting at Cooperative Extension’s Pollinator Garden at Chatham Mills in Pittsboro. The garden is comprised of 140 different species and cultivars, 85% of which are native to the piedmont of North Carolina. After the garden tour, we will move to the auditorium of the Agriculture Building about half a mile away. Chatham County Agricultural Extension Agent Debbie Roos will give an overview of North Carolina pollinators and discuss the role of native bees and managed bees in crop pollination. Participants will learn about the principles of planting a pollinator garden and – just in time for fall planting – how to select trees, shrubs, herbaceous perennials, herbs, vines, and grasses to attract a diversity of pollinators.

This workshop will also be offered on SATURDAY September 29 from 2:00-4:00 pm to accommodate demand (see listing above).

Advance registration is required by September 24. Space is limited so please register early to reserve your spot. The cost of the workshop is $15 and includes a CD of resources. Call 919-542-8202 or email Debbie Roos for more information. To register, download the registration form and mail with your check.

July 30, 2012:
Connecting Farmers and Landowners with Hunters to Reduce
Deer Depredation and Provide Hunger Relief

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will offer an informational meeting as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series on Monday, July 30, 2012 from 7:00-9:00 pm in the auditorium of the Agriculture Building in Pittsboro.

Joe Lasher, the founder of Backyard Bow Pro, will talk about Connecting Farmers and Landowners with Hunters to Reduce Deer Depredation and Provide Hunger Relief. You will also hear from local landowners, hunters, food bank representatives and others who have worked with Backyard Bow Pro.

Backyard Bow Pro is a North Carolina non-profit organization that is working with farmers, property owners, communities, municipalities and conservancies across the state.  Their mission: to build social bridges between the verified hunter and non-hunter to work together to support local food relief efforts. Did you know ONE deer from your property could feed 200 meals?  Landowners that participate in the free program are finding that they can give back to their community in a way that they have not thought of, which is through meals.

Agenda:

  • Lyndie Bracey, CORA Food Pantry
    • Lyndie will update us on the local need, what an increase of red meat donation would mean to their organization,  etc.
  • Chef Derek St. Romain, Backyard Bow Pro Regional Coordinator and Chef Extraordinaire at the Duke Dietary Center
    • Derek will speak to BBP’s efforts at the local/regional level and will instruct folks on how to connect with local chapters and team leaders
  • Noah Ranells, Fickle Creek Farm and Brit Pfann, Celebrity Dairy
    • Benefit to farmers and landowners of working with BBP
  • Jason Allen, NC Wildlife Resources Commission and Ben Baird, NC Forest Service – Chatham County
    • Deer and deer densities, natural balance, and more
    • Deer related issues affecting our forest landowners across the state
  • Debbie Roos
    • Conclusion and Question and Answer Session

There is no charge for this program which will be from 7:00-9:00 pm in the auditorium of the Agriculture Building in Pittsboro. You do not need to register. For more information, contact Debbie Roos at 919-542-8202.

Download an Informational Flyer.

Directions to the Workshop.

From Backyard Bow Pro: If a picture is worth a thousand words, then these video links are priceless.  Click here to view a short landowner video that encompasses a “Person of the Week” ABC News Feature on Backyard Bow Pro.   Click here to view a short video of a venison delivery to the CORA Food Pantry in Pittsboro, NC.   Backyard Bow Pro’s efforts in Western North Carolina were recently featured in a local newspaper.

NOW is the time to be building those social bridges and forming relationships.  Don’t feel like you have to wait until July to contact BBP with questions or to request a meeting in your area.  One of our supporters puts it best when he states, “By growing local networks of landowners, hunters, meat processors, food banks and most of all, caring people, a phenomenon can and will occur.”   Find out more by visiting our website at www.BackYardBowPro.org.  Please feel free to contact us by email at info@backyardbowpro.org or call toll-free at 866-645-1772.

March 28, 2012:
Using Smart Phones
and Tablets in Direct Marketing

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will offer a workshop on using smart phones and tablets in direct marketing as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series on Wednesday, March 28, from 7:00-9:00 pm at the Silk Hope Farm Heritage Center in Silk Hope, NC. Smart phones and tablets are great tools and can be used to process debit card and credit card payments, as well as aid with recordkeeping at farmers’ markets, on-farm stands, and other direct marketing outlets.

Farmer Noah Ranells of Fickle Creek Farm will be the presenter. Fickle Creek Farm sells to local restaurants and markets through several local farmers’ markets and also offers on-farm tours.

Note: the examples given in this workshop will be for farmers and farmers’ markets but the information is relevant to food truck vendors, bakers, food entrepreneurs, artists, and anyone involved in direct marketing.

Agenda:

Importance of Recordkeeping for Small Businesses

Mobile Credit Card Processing Options

  • Comparisons of various service providers (Square, Intuit, etc.)
  • Is this right for my business?
  • Live demo of transactions

Mobile Recordkeeping Using Smart Phones and Tablets

  • Basics of recordkeeping using mobile devices
  • Inventory management
  • Additional options using cloud-based systems
  • Live demo of Registroid

Resources and Q&A

The cost for the workshop is $15. The deadline for registration is March 23. To register, download the registration form and mail with your check.

Download the registration form.

For more information, contact Debbie Roos at 919-542-8202.

March 7, 2012:
Galangal and Turmeric Production Workshop

(with Ginger Growers’ Roundtable)

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will offer a galangal and turmeric production workshop as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series on Wednesday, March 7, from 1:00-5:00 pm at the Silk Hope Farm Heritage Center in Silk Hope, NC. Presenter Susan Anderson of East Branch Ginger will give a thorough overview of galangal (Thai ginger) and turmeric production and talk about their potential as specialty crops for North Carolina growers.

The workshop will conclude with a roundtable for ginger growers (folks who grew ginger in 2011). Susan will present observations from the 2011 season in North Carolina and discuss strategies to improve crop performance with input and Q&A with growers.

Susan Anderson is the owner of Chatham County-based East Branch Ginger which offers certified organic, certified disease-free ginger, turmeric, and galangal seed pieces. Susan has a degree in horticulture from Virginia Tech and has worked as a research technician for Johnny’s Selected Seeds.

Agenda:

  • History of East Branch Ginger & Puna Organics
  • Galangal and Turmeric Seed
  • Presprouting
  • Galangal and Turmeric Culture
    • Hoophouse/High Tunnel Culture
    • Bag/Container Culture in the Greenhouse
    • Field-grown Culture
  • Fertilizers, Media, and Container Options for Bag/Container Culture
  • Insects and Diseases
  • Harvesting & Yields
  • Storing Harvested Galangal and Turmeric
  • Pricing
  • Marketing
  • Uses for Galangal and Turmeric
  • How Can You Get Seed?
  • Roundtable Discussion for Experienced Ginger Growers

The cost for the workshop is $20 and includes handouts plus one pound (total) of certified organic galangal and turmeric seed. The deadline for registration is February 24. We must receive your registration by Feb. 24 in order for you to be registered so we can procure the seed from Hawaii in time for the workshop. To register, download the registration form and mail with your check.

Participants are encouraged to bring a lunch. Drinks will be provided.

Download the registration form.

For more information, contact Debbie Roos at 919-542-8202.

February 29, 2012:
Ginger Production Workshop

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will offer a ginger production workshop as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series on Wednesday, February 29, from 1:00-5:00 pm at the Silk Hope Farm Heritage Center in Silk Hope, NC. Presenter Susan Anderson of East Branch Ginger will give a thorough overview of edible ginger (Zingiber officinale) production and talk about its growth as a specialty crop for North Carolina growers. This workshop is for first-time ginger growers.

Susan Anderson is the owner of Chatham County-based East Branch Ginger which offers certified organic, certified disease-free ginger, turmeric, and galangal seed pieces. Susan has a degree in horticulture from Virginia Tech and has worked as a research technician for Johnny’s Selected Seeds.

Agenda:

  • History of East Branch Ginger & Puna Organics
  • What is Ginger Seed?
  • Presprouting
  • Baby Ginger Culture
    • Hoophouse/High Tunnel Culture
    • Bag/Container Culture in the Greenhouse
    • Field-grown Culture
  • Hilling
  • Fertilizers, Media, and Container Options for Bag/Container Culture
  • Insects and Diseases
  • Harvesting: Baby Ginger vs. Mature Ginger
  • Yields for Baby Ginger
  • Storing Harvested Ginger
  • Pricing
  • Marketing Baby Ginger
  • Uses for Baby Ginger
  • How Can You Get Seed?

The cost for the workshop is $20 and includes handouts plus plus one pound of certified organic ginger seed. The deadline for registration is February 17. We must receive your registration by Feb. 17 in order for you to be registered so we can procure the seed from Hawaii in time for the workshop. To register, download the registration form and mail with your check.

Participants are encouraged to bring a lunch. Drinks will be provided.

Download the registration form.

For more information, contact Debbie Roos at 919-542-8202.

January 28, 2012:
Natural Beekeeping Workshop

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will offer a Natural Beekeeping workshop as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series on Saturday, January 28, 2012 from 10:00 am-4:30 pm in the auditorium of the Agriculture Building in Pittsboro.

This course is intended for beekeepers who want to learn more about how to manage their hives naturally. The national Certified Naturally Grown (CNG) organization recently developed a Natural Beekeeping (Apiculture) Standard. The primary focus of Natural Beekeeping is the health of the honey bees and the sustainability of beekeeping.

Beekeepers may choose to have their apiary Certified Naturally Grown to show their commitment to natural beekeeping. Whether or not you are interested in becoming a CNG-certified beekeeper, the workshop will be helpful if you are interested in learning more about natural beekeeping methods.

Master Beekeeper Dr. Buddy Marterre, lead author of the Certified Naturally Grown Apiculture Standard, will be the instructor for this workshop.

Participants will receive Certified Naturally Grown’s Handbook for Natural Beekeeping.

Note: This is NOT an introductory beekeeping workshop. The instructor will assume participants have at least some basic knowledge of beekeeping.

Agenda:

9:30-10:00 am
Registration

10:00 am-noon
Principles of Natural Beekeeping and How they Are Applied

Tips and Techniques for Dealing with Pests and Diseases

Overview of the Certified Naturally Grown Apiary Certification

Noon-1:00 pm
Local lunch catered by Angelina’s Kitchen

1:00-2:30 pm
Demonstration and Q & A

  • Making “no foundation” frames
  • Making splits for brood comb removal and disease management
  • Using traps to manage wax moths and small hive beetles

2:30-3:00 pm
Break

3:00-4:15 pm
Demonstration and Q & A continued

About the Instructor:

Dr. Buddy Marterre is a Past President of the Forsyth County Beekeepers’ Association (FCBA).  He is a Past Director, 2nd Vice President and Membership Secretary of the North Carolina Beekeepers’ Association (NCSBA).  He has also served as Chairperson of the NCSBA Long-Term Planning Committee and Constitution and By-Laws Committee, and is the current Chairperson of the NCSBA Association Management Software Committee.  He is the lead author and instigator of Certified Naturally Grown’s Natural Beekeeping Standards.  He has taught bee school to over 500 students in his county since developing the FCBA curriculum in 2004.  He is both an NCSBA Master Beekeeper and an EAS Master Beekeeper.  He has kept bees since 2003; he has had as many as 16 colonies and rears his own queens on a small scale.  He enjoys keeping turtles, gardening, woodworking, nature photography, biking, and operating on patients with cancer when he’s not with his bees.

The cost for the workshop is $20 and includes a local lunch by Angelina’s Kitchen and the Certified Naturally Grown Handbook for Natural Beekeeping. The deadline for registration is January 24. To register, download the registration form and mail with your check.

Download the registration form.

For more information, contact Debbie Roos at 919-542-8202.

Greenhorns banner

September 18, 2011:
Screening of The Greenhorns Film + Farmer Panel

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension along with the Sustainable Agriculture Program at Central Carolina Community College will host a screening of the new documentary The Greenhorns on Sunday, September 18 from 6:30-9:00 pm at the Silk Hope Farm Heritage Center in Silk Hope, NC. The screening will be followed by a Q & A with the director and a panel discussion with local “greenhorn” farmers.

Visit the Greenhorns website.

The Greenhorns documentary explores the lives of America’s young farming community and captures its spirit, practices, and needs. The film is inspirational and is meant to expose young people to the world of farming and entice them into considering agriculture as a career.

The Greenhorns has become much more than a film…the film grew into a small nonprofit organization that currently produces events, media and new media for and about the young farming community. Greenhorns’ mission is to recruit, promote and support the growing tribe of new agrarians. To that end, Greenhorns runs a weekly radio show on Heritage Radio Network, a popular blog, a wiki-based resource guide for beginning farmers, a GIS-based mapping project, and dozens of mixers and educational events for young farmers all around the country.

New York-based Director Severine von Tscharner Fleming will be in Silk Hope to answer questions about the film and the Greenhorns’ organization and movement.

We have invited a panel of young and/or beginner farmers representing our diverse community to talk about their experiences and answer questions from the audience.

Farmer Panel:

Advance registration is required for this event. The cost is $8.00 and the deadline to register is September 14 (registrations must be postmarked by this date). Please fill out the registration form and mail along with your check to reserve your seat. We hope to see you there!

For more information about this event, contact Debbie Roos at 919-542-8202.

Download the registration form to reserve your ticket.

Address for the Silk Hope Farm Heritage Center:
4221 Silk Hope Rd.
Siler City, NC 27344

August 29, 2011:
Pollinator Conservation Workshop and Garden Tour

bulble bee on Eupatorium
Photo by Debbie Roos, NC Cooperative Extension

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will offer a pollinator conservation workshop and garden tour as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series on Monday, August 29, 2011 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. starting in the auditorium of the Agriculture Building in Pittsboro.Chatham County Agricultural Extension Agent Debbie Roos will give an overview of North Carolina pollinators and discuss the role of native bees and managed bees in crop pollination. Participants will learn about the principles of planting a pollinator garden and – just in time for fall planting – how to select trees, shrubs, herbaceous perennials, herbs, vines, and grasses to attract a diversity of pollinators. The workshop will conclude with a tour of Cooperative Extension’s pollinator garden at Chatham Marketplace, about half a mile from the Agriculture Building.

This workshop will also be offered on August 25 to accommodate demand.

Advance registration is required by August 24. Space is limited so please register early to reserve your spot. The cost of the workshop is $15 and includes a CD of resources. Call 919-542-8202 or email Debbie Roos for more information. To register, download the registration form and mail with your check.

August 25, 2011:
Pollinator Conservation Workshop and Garden Tour

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will offer a pollinator conservation workshop and garden tour as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series on Thursday, August 25, 2011 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. starting in the auditorium of the Agriculture Building in Pittsboro.Chatham County Agricultural Extension Agent Debbie Roos will give an overview of North Carolina pollinators and discuss the role of native bees and managed bees in crop pollination. Participants will learn about the principles of planting a pollinator garden and – just in time for fall planting – how to select trees, shrubs, herbaceous perennials, herbs, vines, and grasses to attract a diversity of pollinators. The workshop will conclude with a tour of Cooperative Extension’s pollinator garden at Chatham Marketplace, about half a mile from the Agriculture Building.

This workshop will be repeated on August 29 to accommodate demand.

Advance registration is required by August 22. Space is limited so please register early to reserve your spot. The cost of the workshop is $15 and includes a CD of resources. Call 919-542-8202 or email Debbie Roos for more information. To register, download the registration form and mail with your check.

April 25, 2011:
Organic Pest Management for Vegetables and Cut Flowers

assassin bug feeding on Colorado potato beetle larva
Photo by Debbie Roos, NC Cooperative Extension

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will offer a pest management workshop as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series on Monday, April 25, from 7:00-9:00 p.m. in the auditorium of the Agricultural Building in Pittsboro. “Organic Pest Management for Vegetables and Cut Flowers” will be presented by Chatham County Agricultural Extension Agent Debbie Roos. We will discuss cultural, physical, and biological controls as well as organic pesticides. Participants will learn about effective control strategies for the primary vegetable and cut flower pests.

Participants will receive a CD-ROM with handouts and resources and a hand lens for insect identification. This workshop will provide 2 continuing certification credits for private and commercial pesticide applicators in classes L, N, O, D, and X.

The cost for the workshop is $10. The deadline for registration is April 18. To register, download the registration form and mail with your check.

Download the registration form.

For more information, contact Debbie Roos at 919-542-8202.

March 24, 2011:
Beneficial Insect Identification

syrphid fly
Photo by Debbie Roos, NC Cooperative Extension

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will offer an insect ID workshop as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series on Thursday, March 24, from 7:00-9:00 p.m. in the auditorium of the Agricultural Building in Pittsboro. “Beneficial Insect Identification” will be presented by Chatham County Agricultural Extension Agent Debbie Roos. Participants will learn how to identify the different life stages of the major beneficial insects that are natural enemies of vegetable and cut flower pests. We will look at photos and actual specimens.

Participants will receive a CD-ROM with handouts and resources and a hand lens for insect identification. This workshop will provide 2 continuing certification credits for private and commercial pesticide applicators in classes L, N, O, D, and X.

The cost for the workshop is $10. The deadline for registration is March 21. To register, download the registration form and mail with your check.

Download the registration form.

For more information, contact Debbie Roos at 919-542-8202.

March 14, 2011:
Organic Disease Management of Vegetables

basil downy mildew
Photo by Debbie Roos, NC Cooperative Extension

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will offer a disease management workshop as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series on Monday, March 14, from 1:00-5:00 p.m. in the auditorium of the Agricultural Building in Pittsboro. “Organic Disease Management of Vegetables” will be presented by North Carolina State University Plant Pathologist Dr. Frank Louws.

In addition to learning all about tomato diseases and downy mildew and how to control them, participants will have one full hour to ask whatever questions they want about vegetable diseases!

Agenda:

  • Diagnosis of Diseases and Disorders
  • Principles of Integrated Disease Management
  • Biologicals and Fungicides – OMRI-Approved Products
  • Organic Management of Tomato Diseases
  • Tomato Grafting for Disease Control
  • Downy Mildew: Cucurbits and Basil
  • Vegetable Diseases: Ask the Expert – Open Question & Answer

This workshop will provide 3 continuing certification credits for private and commercial pesticide applicators in classes N, O, D, and X.

The cost for the workshop is $15. The deadline for registration is March 9. To register, download the registration form and mail with your check.

Participants are encouraged to bring a lunch. Drinks will be provided.

Download the registration form.

For more information, contact Debbie Roos at 919-542-8202.

March 8, 2011:
Ginger Production

baby ginger
Photo by Susan Anderson, East Branch Ginger

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will offer a ginger production workshop as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series on Tuesday, March 8, from 10:00 am-4:00 pm in the auditorium of the Agricultural Building in Pittsboro. Presenter Susan Anderson of East Branch Ginger will give a thorough overview of edible ginger (Zingiber officinale) production and talk about its potential as a specialty crop for North Carolina growers.

Susan Anderson is the owner of East Branch Ginger which offers certified organic, certified disease-free ginger seed pieces. Susan has a degree in horticulture from Virginia Tech and has worked as a research technician for Johnny’s Selected Seeds.

Agenda:

  • History of East Branch Ginger & Puna Organics
  • What is Ginger Seed?
  • Baby Ginger Culture
    • Hoophouse/High Tunnel Culture
    • Bag/Container Culture in the Greenhouse
    • Field-grown Culture
  • Presprouting
  • Hilling
  • Fertilizers, Media, and Container Options for Bag/Container Culture
  • Insects and Diseases
  • Yields for Baby Ginger
  • Storing Harvested Ginger
  • Pricing
  • Marketing Baby Ginger
  • Uses for Baby Ginger
  • How Can You Get Seed?

The cost for the workshop is $25 and includes lunch and handouts. A local lunch will be catered by Angelina’s Kitchen. The deadline for registration is March 2. To register, download the registration form and mail with your check.

Download the registration form.

For more information, contact Debbie Roos at 919-542-8202.

February 24, 2011:
Vegetable & Cut Flower Insect Pest
Identification

close-up of yellowmargined leaf beetle
Photo by Debbie Roos, NC Cooperative Extension

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will offer an insect ID workshop as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series on Thursday, February 24, from 7:00-9:00 p.m. in the auditorium of the Agricultural Building in Pittsboro. “Vegetable & Cut Flower Insect Pest Identification” will be presented by Chatham County Agricultural Extension Agent Debbie Roos. Participants will learn how to identify the different life stages of the major pests of vegetables and cut flowers. We will look at photos and actual specimens.

Participants will receive a CD-ROM with handouts and resources and a hand lens for insect identification. This workshop will provide 2 continuing certification credits for private and commercial pesticide applicators in classes L, N, O, D, and X.

The cost for the workshop is $10. The deadline for registration is February 21. To register, download the registration form and mail with your check.

Download the registration form.

For more information, contact Debbie Roos at 919-542-8202.

February 10, 2011:
Heirloom Apple Seminar and Book Signing

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will offer an Heirloom Apple Seminar and Book Signing on February 10 with Chatham County author and heirloom apple expert Lee Calhoun in celebration of the much-anticipated release of his revised and expanded book, Old Southern Apples. This event will be held from 6:30-8:30 pm at the Agriculture Building Auditorium in Pittsboro, NC.

From the Chelsea Green Publishing website:

“A book that became an instant classic when it first appeared in 1995, Old Southern Apples is an indispensable reference for fruit lovers everywhere, especially those who live in the southern United States. Out of print for several years, this newly revised and expanded edition now features descriptions of some 1,800 apple varieties that either originated in the South or were widely grown there before 1928.

Author Lee Calhoun is one of the foremost figures in apple conservation in America. This masterwork reflects his knowledge and personal experience over more than thirty years, as he sought out and grew hundreds of classic apples, including both legendary varieties (like Nickajack and Magnum Bonum) and little-known ones (like Buff and Cullasaga). Representing our common orchard heritage, many of these apples are today at risk of disappearing from our national table.

Illustrated with more than 170 color images of classic apples from the National Agricultural Library’s collection of watercolor paintings, Old Southern Apples is a fascinating and beautiful reference and gift book. In addition to A-to-Z descriptions of apple varieties, both extant and extinct, Calhoun provides a brief history of apple culture in the South, and includes practical information on growing apples and on their traditional uses.”

What some others have to say about Lee’s new book:

“Lee Calhoun’s first edition of Old Southern Apples did much to bring the forgotten fruits of Appalachia and the Piedmont to the attention of heritage food conservationists. But this new edition is so stunning that it will serve to keep these horticultural and culinary treasures in circulation for at least another century.”–Gary Nabhan, author of Coming Home to Eat and coauthor of Renewing America’s Food Traditions

“Apples beloved in America’s past are making a comeback thanks to the work of crotchety apple growers like Lee Calhoun. His passion for seeking out the lore behind varieties like Barker’s Liner and the humongous Gloria Mundi can only be described as tenacious. Much like a grandfather apple tree still offering its gifts from aside an abandoned cellar hole, Lee stands true with honest assessments of many classic heirlooms. The renewal of apple culture across Appalachia starts with getting this outstanding book!”–Michael Phillips, author of The Apple Grower: A Guide for the Organic Orchardist

Lee will read excerpts from the book and answer questions from the audience. Copies of his new book will be available to purchase.

Lee will be selling his book at his cost: $45.00 (this hardcover book retails for $75.00). To reserve your copy of Lee’s book, please email Debbie Roos or call 919-542-8202 by January 28 and give us your name and the number of copies you would like (you will pay Lee on February 10). Even if you have already RSVPed for this event, you must still contact us to reserve your copy so Lee will know how many books to bring. Cash or checks will be accepted.

The program will start at 6:30 pm. For more information, contact Debbie Roos at 919-542-8202. This event is free; please RSVP by calling 919-542-8202. Directions to the Agriculture Building.

March 18, 2010:
Cultivating Connections:
Web Marketing and Social Media for the Small Farm

Do you want to build a website for your farm, farmers’ market, or ag-related business?

Do you have a website but feel like it is stagnant and not very effective as a marketing or educational tool?

Do you have a desire to educate people about farming and agriculture?

Do you want to increase the visibility of your farm or farmers’ market or ag-related business?

Would you like to be more connected to a thriving local foods community of farmers, eaters, entrepreneurs, and educators?

Do you need help managing your CSA memberships?

Then come on over to Chatham County and spend the day learning how social media can help you accomplish your goals!

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will offer a workshop entitled Cultivating Connections: Web Marketing and Social Media for the Small Farm as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series on Thursday, March 18, 2010 from 9:00 am-5:00 pm in the auditorium of the Agriculture Building in Pittsboro.

We’ll learn how farmers in NC and beyond are using Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to connect with consumers as well as their peers. (Follow Growing Small Farms on Twitter and Facebook!)

Live demonstrations of how to use these different social media tools will highlight their features and ease of use.

Who should attend? Farmers, farmers’ market vendors, and market managers. Ag-related businesses and non-profit organizations. Restaurants that buy from local farmers.

Workshop Agenda:

8:30-9:00 am
Registration and coffee

9:00-9:30 am
Social Media and Agriculture: Benefits, Challenges, and Opportunities
How do I decide which tools are best for me and my farm? How to maximize your time in the field and minimize time in front of the computer!

Social Media Tools

9:30-10:00 am
Facebook

How to market your farm and connect with customers through Facebook. Examples of NC farms and ag-related businesses on Facebook.

10:00-10:30 am
Twitter

What is it, how do I do it, and how does it help me as a farmer? Examples of farms and ag-related organizations on Twitter. Demonstration of how to use Twitter.

10:30-10:45 am
Break

10:45-11:00 am
YouTube

Examples of how farmers are using YouTube.

11:00 am-12:00 pm
Blogging

What is it, how do I do it, and how does it help me as a farmer? We’ll look at how farmers are using blogs to tell their farm story, strengthen their connection to their community, and communicate with CSA and farmers’ market customers. Demonstration of how to use free software like WordPress to create a farm blog. Examples of farms that have blogs.

12:00-1:00 pm
Local lunch catered by Angelina’s Kitchen

1:00-1:45 pm
Principles of Web Marketing for Farms

Choosing and buying a domain name. Components of a good farm website. Search engine optimization tips. Marketing your website. Email marketing.

1:45-3:00 pm
Creating a Farm Website
How to create a dynamic, professional, and successful farm website using software such as WordPress (free) and Small Farm Central (subscription service). We will build a simple website during the workshop using both of these tools. Examples of farms that have created websites using WordPress and Small Farm Central.

3:00-3:15 pm
Break

3:15-4:15 pm
On-line Tool for Managing Community Supported Agriculture Memberships

4:15 pm
Questions and Evaluation

Download the registration form.

Registration fee is $25.00 per person and includes breakfast, local lunch (catered by Angelina’s Kitchen), and handouts. The deadline for registration is March 12, 2010. To register, download the registration form and mail with your check.

For more information, contact Debbie Roos at 919-542-8202.

Directions to the workshop.

November 16, 2009:
Facebook for Farmers: a Great Marketing and Educational Tool

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will offer a workshop entitled Facebook for Farmers: a Great Marketing and Educational Tool as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series on Monday, November 16, 2009 from 7:00-9:00 pm in the auditorium of the Agriculture Building in Pittsboro.

Facebook can be a great tool for farmers who rely on direct marketing. Millions of folks are creating personal profiles on Facebook – did you know it can also be used to set up a business profile? No special software or expertise is required. All you need is access to a computer and the Internet!

You can use Facebook to announce a new crop at the farmers’ market, announce an event, post photos of things happening on the farm, communicate with your CSA and/or farmers’ market customers, and so much more. Farmers’ markets and agribusinesses can also use Facebook to communicate with customers!

Facebook can be beneficial even to farmers who already have a farm website because Facebook pages are easy to maintain and allow for direct interaction with customers. One local farmer who has a Facebook page reports that it has really helped with promoting on-farm events, noting that they start receiving reservations within minutes after posting an update.

In this workshop we will discuss the many ways you can use Facebook to educate customers, strengthen relationships, and increase sales. Participants will become more familiar with social networking terminology and learn how to use these tools to enhance the sustainability of their business.

During the workshop, we will actually create a business profile for a local farm so participants will see all of the steps involved (and how easy it is!).

The workshop will be taught by Neha Shah, Director of Travel and Tourism for the Pittsboro-Siler City Convention & Visitors Bureau, and Debbie Roos, Agricultural Extension Agent for the Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension. Neha won an Innovation in Tourism Award from the Destination Marketing Association of North Carolina for an earlier version of this workshop and her innovative use of Facebook and Twitter for marketing. This workshop is free and open to farmers, farmers’ market vendors/managers, and agribusiness owners.

I am also collecting examples of NC farms that have Facebook pages so if you know of a good one, please let me know!

November 2, 2009:
Farm Show and Tell at Piedmont Biofarm

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will offer a Farm Show and Tell at Piedmont Biofarm from 4:30-6:30 pm in Pittsboro, NC. This farm visit is for farmers of all levels and also eaters interested in learning more about our local farms!

Due to client requests, we are visiting Piedmont Biofarm three times this year to see the operation during each season. We visited in mid-February to see winter production and in early August for summer crops. The November visit will focus on cool-season crops and season extension, plus the very end of the season for a few warm-season crops.

Doug Jones operates Piedmont Biofarm where they produce a diverse mix of vegetables and herbs out at the Piedmont Biofuels Industrial Plant in Pittsboro. Doug and his farm crew sell at the Durham Farmers’ Market and also to the local community through a community supported agriculture (CSA) program. Doug has been farming for 38 years and has developed quite the reputation not only for his high quality produce but also for his plant breeding efforts. One of Doug’s new varieties of Senposai (Asian collards) is now available through Fedco, a seed company based in Maine.

Some of the things visitors will see include:

  • cool weather crops (rutabaga, kohlrabi, garlic, senposai and other greens, parsnips, leeks,
herbs, lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.)
  • season extension techniques for fall/winter crops10 varieties of sweet potatoes (orange, yellow, white, purple)
  • Jerusalem artichoke (we will see a harvest demo!)
  • Doug will also show about 100 of his own breeding lines of peppers – these peppers are still in the field under plastic row covers
  • Doug’s first peanut crop, drying in the greenhouse

You do not need to register for this free event; the program will begin promptly at 4:30 pm. Please arrive a few minutes early so we can start on time. Note: Daylight Savings ends Sunday November 1, which is why we are starting at 4:30 pm. We will end the visit in the greenhouse where we will have light.

Check out Cooperative Extension’s Growing Small Farms Website for more resources on sustainable production.

Directions to the Piedmont Biofarm Show and Tell from Pittsboro:

From the traffic circle in downtown Pittsboro, take Hwy 64 east. Go approx. one mile and turn right onto Industrial Park Dr. (Pittsboro Feed will be on your left, and the State Employees Credit Union will be on the right just past Industrial Park Dr.). Follow Industrial Park Dr. – when it turns to gravel, bear left on Lorax Lane and park outside the gate of the Piedmont Biofuels Industrial Plant. Walk through the gate and stay to the left where you will see the farm.

October 20, 2009:
Taking Your CSA to the Next Level

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will offer a workshop entitled Taking Your CSA to the Next Level as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series on Tuesday, October 20, 2009 from 8:30 am-5:00 pm in the auditorium of the Agriculture Building in Pittsboro. Farmer and CSA expert Elizabeth Henderson of Peacework Organic Farm in New York will spend the day sharing her vast experience with CSA and helping participants take their program to the next level.

What is Community Supported Agriculture?

Elizabeth is the author of Sharing the Harvest: A Citizen’s Guide to Community Supported Agriculture and is known nationally for her activism and educational leadership. See her bio below for more details.

This workshop is for farmers who already operate a CSA or are at least very familiar with the concept. If the CSA approach is new to you, please consider attending the October 5th introductory workshop (see listing below for details). We will NOT be covering the basics at the October 20th workshop. We would like to tailor this workshop to meet your needs. Please email Debbie Roos if you have specific issues you would like to see us address during this workshop. We will do our best to adapt the agenda to meet your needs. The workshop will include breakfast and a local lunch catered by Celebrity Dairy. Participants will receive a resource notebook and a copy of Elizabeth’s book Sharing the Harvest.

Agenda:

Note: participants who register for this event will be able to provide input into the program content. We will tailor the program to meet the needs and interests of registrants.

  • Recruiting new members
  • Do I need a core group?
  • Keeping members connected: online, newsletters, events
  • Improving distribution

Growing the Food

  • Crop planning: what to grow and how much
  • Succession planting
  • Harvest, post-harvest handling
  • Apprentices & employees

The Share

  • What is a share?
  • Pricing & budgets
  • Cooperating with other farms
  • Other markets

CSA as an agent of social change vs. marketing approach

Open Question & Answer 

Elizabeth Henderson farms at Peacework Organic Farm in Wayne County, New York, and has been producing organically grown vegetables for the fresh market for almost 30 years. She is a founding member of the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) in Massachusetts, has been on the Board of Directors of NOFA-NY since 1989, and represents NOFA in the national discussions of organic standards and on the Steering Committee of the Agricultural Justice Project. She chairs the Agricultural and Farmland Protection Board in Wayne County, and helped organize the Domestic Fair Trade Association. In 2001, the organic industry honored her with one of the first “Spirit of Organic awards, in 2007, Abundance Co-op honored her with the “Cooperating for Communities” award and in 2009 NOFA-NY honored her with a Lifetime Achievement Award.  Her writings on organic agriculture appear in The Natural Farmer and the NOFA-NY Food, Farms and Folks, and she is one of the authors of The Real Dirt: Farmers Tell about Organic and Low-Input Practices in the Northeast, lead author of Sharing the Harvest: A Citizen’s Guide to Community Supported Agriculture (Chelsea Green, 1999, with a new edition in 2007) and wrote A Manual of Whole Farm Planning (2003) with Karl North. With her former farm partner, she wrote A Food Book for a Sustainable Harvest for the members of the Genesee Valley Organic Community Supported Agriculture Project (GVOCSA). Her farm, Peacework Organic Farm, supplies vegetables to the 300-member GVOCSA, in its twenty first in 2009.

Download the registration form.

Registration fee is $45.00 per person and includes breakfast, lunch, notebook, and book. The deadline for registration is October 12, 2009. For more information, contact Debbie Roos at 919-542-8202.

October 7, 2009:
Heirloom Southern Apple Orchard “Show and Tell”

This is a repeat of the September 14 show and tell which is already filled to capacity. See listing below for details.

October 5, 2009:
Introduction to Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will offer a workshop entitled Introduction to Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series on Monday, October 5, 2009 from 7:00-9:00 p.m. in the auditorium of the Agriculture Building in Pittsboro. Agriculture Extension Agent Debbie Roos will discuss the history and philosophy of the CSA movement, present strategies for designing a CSA and recruiting and retaining members, discuss the pros and cons of CSAs, and share information on resources.

What is Community Supported Agriculture?

A diverse panel of CSA farmers will discuss their unique CSA operations and answer questions:

  • Harry LeBlanc, Beausol Gardens – certified organic, CSA with Meredith College, also does a winter CSA
  • Judy Lessler, Harland’s Creek Farm – certified organic, multi-farm CSA, flower CSA
  • Chris Stonehouse, Mustard Seed Gardens – small CSA

Download the registration form.

Advance registration is required by October 1. The cost of the workshop is $15 and includes handouts. To register, download the registration form and mail with your check. For more information, contact Debbie Roos at 919-542-8202. This workshop will be followed by another CSA workshop called “Taking your CSA to the Next Level” on October 20. See details above.

September 15, 2009:
Pollinator Conservation Workshop and Garden Tour

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will offer a pollinator conservation workshop and garden tour as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series on Tuesday, September 15, 2009 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. starting in the auditorium of the Agriculture Building in Pittsboro. This is a repeat of the August 31 workshop, added to accommodate demand, so please choose one date. Chatham County Agricultural Extension Agent Debbie Roos will give an overview of North Carolina pollinators and discuss the role of native bees and managed bees in crop pollination. Participants will learn about the principles of planting a pollinator garden and – just in time for fall planting – how to select trees, shrubs, herbaceous perennials, herbs, vines, and grasses to attract a diversity of pollinators. The workshop will conclude with a tour of Cooperative Extension’s new pollinator garden at Chatham Marketplace, about half a mile from the Agriculture Building.

Advance registration is required by September 9. Space is limited so please register early to reserve your spot. The cost of the workshop is $15 and includes handouts. Call 919-542-8202 or email debbie_roos@ncsu.edu for more information. To register, download the registration form and mail with your check.

September 14, 2009:
Heirloom Southern Apple Orchard “Show and Tell”

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension has organized a “show and tell” at Lee Calhoun’s Heirloom Southern Apple Orchard from 5:30-7:30 pm for Monday, September 14. This orchard visit is for both farmers and gardeners interested in learning more about heirloom apple production.Lee Calhoun is a nationally known expert on heirloom southern apples. He is the author of the very popular but sold-out book, Old Southern Apples, which gives the history of over 1,600 distinct southern apple varieties. For over 30 years, Lee has traveled around the south looking for long-lost apple varieties. Each one comes with its unique history and many are gorgeous to look at and have fascinating names (not to mention quite tasty!). Some were consumed fresh, while others were grown for cider or vinegar or for stewing.

Lee used to operate a nursery that sold grafted heirloom southern apple trees but has since retired. He mentored other nursery growers in the southeast who now offer the trees. Lee helped establish the Southern Heritage Apple Orchard at Horne Creek Living Historical Farm in Pinnacle, NC and still helps maintain those trees and dedicates himself to educating others.Visitors to Lee Calhoun’s orchard will see over 300 varieties of old southern apples. Lee recently converted much of his orchard to dwarf trees to make them easier to maintain. We will also see other fruit trees and vegetable gardens. We will enjoy an apple tasting.

There is no charge for the show and tell. However, you must register with Cooperative Extension. There is very limited parking at Lee’s orchard, so we can’t take over 50 people. I anticipate a lot of interest in this event. If we get more than 50 people then we will offer a second date. To register, please call Chatham County Cooperative Extension at 919-542-8202. You will be notified of the carpool location once you register. We will leave at 5:15 pm from this location (sounds like a stealth operation, doesn’t it?). We all MUST carpool to limit the number of cars. Please do not drive directly to Lee’s! Also, when you register, please let us know if you have a van and would be willing to drive.

August 31, 2009:
Pollinator Conservation Workshop and Garden Tour

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will offer a pollinator conservation workshop and garden tour as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series on Monday, August 3, 2009 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. starting in the auditorium of the Agriculture Building in Pittsboro. Chatham County Agricultural Extension Agent Debbie Roos will give an overview of North Carolina pollinators and discuss the role of native bees and managed bees in crop pollination. Participants will learn about the principles of planting a pollinator garden and – just in time for fall planting – how to select trees, shrubs, herbaceous perennials, herbs, vines, and grasses to attract a diversity of pollinators. The workshop will conclude with a tour of Cooperative Extension’s new pollinator garden at Chatham Marketplace, about half a mile from the Agriculture Building.

Advance registration is required by August 26. Space is limited so please register early to reserve your spot. The cost of the workshop is $15 and includes handouts. Call 919-542-8202 or email debbie_roos@ncsu.edu for more information. To register, download the registration form and mail with your check.

August 24, 2009:
Understanding Sales Taxes on Agricultural Products Workshop

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will offer a workshop on Understanding Sales Taxes on Agricultural Products from 7:00-9:00 pm in the auditorium of the Agriculture Building in Pittsboro on Monday August 24. This workshop is part of the Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension’s Enhancing Sustainability Workshop Series. Presenters include Guido van der Hoeven from North Carolina State University and Ed Strickland from the NC Department of Revenue (DOR).

The DOR recently released a reference guide designed to help farmers, merchants and other retailers understand the sales tax obligations for specific kinds of sales of agricultural products. Many farmers believe that their products are exempt from sales tax obligations when in fact they are not. Certain items like meats, baked goods, pickles, cut flower bouquets, and value-added products are subject to taxes if they are sold retail. Once farmers understand which products are subject to taxes, they then need to know how to keep the appropriate records and how to file. All of this will be discussed at the workshop, and participants will have time to ask questions.

If you already have questions, please go ahead and email them to me at debbie_roos@ncsu.edu. I will share them with our presenters to help them prepare for the workshop.

This is a FREE workshop but please RSVP by calling 919-542-8202 so we will know how many handouts to prepare. Directions to the workshop.

August 3, 2009:
Farm Show and Tell at Piedmont Biofarm

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will offer a Farm Show and Tell at Piedmont Biofarm from 5:30-7:30 pm in Pittsboro, NC. The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension has organized a “show and tell” for farmers of all levels and also eaters interested in learning more about our local farms!

Due to client requests, we are visiting Piedmont Biofarm three times this year to see the operation during each season. We visited in mid-February to see winter production and will return November 2 to see fall production and season extension.Doug Jones operates Piedmont Biofarm where they produce a diverse mix of vegetables and herbs out at the Piedmont Biofuels Industrial Plant in Pittsboro. Doug and his farm crew sell at the Durham Farmers’ Market and also to the local community through a community supported agriculture (CSA) program. Doug has been farming for 38 years and has developed quite the reputation not only for his high quality produce but also for his plant breeding efforts. One of Doug’s new varieties of Senposai (Asian collards) is now available through Fedco, a seed company based in Maine – isn’t that exciting?

The August 3 “show and tell” will focus on Piedmont Biofarm’s summer production of various crops plus Doug’s variety trials for Seeds of Change. Some of the things visitors will see include:

  • heirloom tomatoes, okra, specialty melons and other cucurbits
  • cool weather crops (arugula, cilantro, lettuce, etc.) growing in tree shade
  • season extension techniques for early planted fall crops
  • 10 varieties of sweet potatoes (orange, yellow, white, purple)
  • Seeds of Change variety trials – 35 pepper varieties, 3 eggplant, 7 edamame
  • Doug will also show about 100 of his own breeding lines of peppers
  • seed drying techniques

This Show and Tell will also highlight the work being done by EcoBlend, a manufacturer of environmentally friendly weed and pest control products that are produced at their plant at the Piedmont Biofuels Industrial complex in Pittsboro. The organic herbicides and insecticides are made from food grade plant-based oils and are non-toxic, biodegradable, and safe for use around children and pets.   Their products are OMRI-compliant and their OMRI certification is in-process.  During the tour we will view their organic herbicide spray demonstrations for controlling bermudagrass, poison ivy, Japanese honeysuckle, and other weeds. Farmers will also be able to take product home to trial. Learn more at the EcoBlend website.

You do not need to register for this free event; the program will begin promptly at 5:30 pm. Please arrive a few minutes early so we can start on time. Check out Cooperative Extension’s Growing Small Farms Website for more resources on sustainable production.

Directions to the Piedmont Biofarm Show and Tell from Pittsboro:

From the traffic circle in downtown Pittsboro, take Hwy 64 east. Go approx. one mile and turn right onto Industrial Park Dr. (Pittsboro Feed will be on your left, and the State Employees Credit Union will be on the right just past Industrial Park Dr.). Follow Industrial Park Dr. – when it turns to gravel, bear left on Lorax Lane and park outside the gate of the Piedmont Biofuels Industrial Plant. Walk through the gate and stay to the left where you will see the farm.

June 27, 2009:
National Pollinator Week Celebration

Come join the Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension and the Chatham County Beekeepers’ Association for the third annual celebration of National Pollinator Week on Saturday, June 27, from 10:00 am til 2:00 pm on The Lawn at Chatham Mills in Pittsboro, NC. The purpose of National Pollinator Week is to teach pollinator-friendly practices and raise public awareness of the importance of the bees, beetles, butterflies, moths, flies, birds, and bats that are needed to produce 80 percent of our flowering plants and one third of our human food crops. The National Academy of Sciences has reported that there is direct evidence of the decline of some pollinator species in North America. And, recently, Colony Collapse Disorder of honey bees has alarmed the agricultural industry.

CHatham Mills Pollinator Garden

One of the beds in Cooperative Extension’s new Pollinator Garden at Chatham Mills.

We have a great program planned for folks of all ages at our local event here in Pittsboro.

Program Schedule for Saturday, June 27

(Programs will be on The Lawn at Chatham Mills in front of Chatham Marketplace in Pittsboro)

10:00-10:30 am – Beekeeping Demo in Bee Cage – Don Hopkins, Apiary Inspector Supervisor, North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services

10:30-11:00 am – Basics of Beekeeping – Jim Williams, Chatham County Beekeepers’ Association

11:00-11:30 am – Pollinator Garden Tour – Debbie Roos, North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Chatham County Center

11:30 am-12:00 pm – Beekeeping Demo in Bee Cage – Don Hopkins, Apiary Inspector Supervisor, North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services

12:00-12:30 pm – Basics of Beekeeping – Jim Williams, Chatham County Beekeepers’ Association

12:30-1:00 pm – Beekeeping Demo in Bee Cage – Don Hopkins, North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services

1:00-1:30 pm – Pollinator Garden Tour – Debbie Roos, North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Chatham County Center

From 10:00 am-2:00 pm, feel free to visit the display tables and talk with local beekeepers!!You can hear presentations about beekeeping – how to get started, equipment needs, management tips – from local beekeepers. Tour Cooperative Extension’s new Pollinator Garden at Chatham Mills and learn how to attract and protect pollinators. Watch expert beekeepers work an actual hive inside a bee cage (bees inside, participants outside!), see honey bees up close and personal, and get your burning beekeeping questions answered.

Visit our kids’ tent with lots of activities for kids including pollinator story time, scavenger hunt, beeswax candle making, Chatham County pollinator coloring books, papermaking, and more! Watch “Bee TV” – park yourself in front of an observation hive and watch the worker bees attending the queen. It’s mesmerizing!

Meet our local Chatham County beekeepers and learn all about what it takes to produce the nutritious and delicious local honey available at Chatham Marketplace. We will have beekeeping equipment and products from the hive for “show and tell”.

Visit Chatham Marketplace to learn which products depend on bees for pollination (hint: look for the bee signs!).

Pick up some educational literature to further your knowledge about honey bees, beekeeping, pollinators, and pollinator conservation. Learn about the Chatham County Beekeepers’ Association and how you can get involved with this fabulously friendly group through monthly meetings and field days and even an email listserv – we welcome members of all skill levels: from never-tried-it (but always wanted to) to beginner to experienced!

Enjoy a pollinator-friendly local lunch at Chatham Marketplace during the program! (Did you know that worldwide, approximately 1,000 plants grown for food, beverages, spices, fiber, and medicine require pollination by animals?)

All Pollinator Week Events are free and open to the public. This event will be held rain or shine. Click here for directions.

This event is sponsored by Chatham Mills Development Corporation and hosted by Chatham Marketplace.

For more information about pollinator conservation, visit Cooperative Extension’s Pollinator Conservation website at www.protectpollinators.org.

Visit the Chatham County Beekeepers’ Association website for more information about local beekeeping. For more information about this event, contact Debbie Roos at 919-542-8202.

May 4, 2009:
On-farm Good Agricultural Practices Audit

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will offer an On-farm Good Agricultural Practices Audit as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series on Monday, May 4, from 5:30-7:30 pm at the Land Lab Teaching Farm at Central Carolina Community College (CCCC) in Pittsboro. This mock audit complements the April 21 GAPs workshop (see below) and will help direct market growers identify the critical points of concern in good agricultural practices: compost/manure management, water resources and irrigation, land history and topography, proximity to livestock (pastured hens are on site), postharvest handling and storage, and employee hygiene. The goal is to get growers thinking about where they can best focus their efforts to reduce the risk of contamination. The audit will be led by Keith Baldwin, Horticulture Extension Specialist at NC A&T State University. Keith is a member of the North Carolina Food Safety Task Force.

This is a free workshop. However, please RSVP to Debbie Roos at 919-542-8202 if you plan on coming so we will have a number for any handouts.

Directions to the CCCC Pittsboro campus: From the downtown traffic circle in Pittsboro, take 64 west. Go about ½ a mile to the intersection of 64 and 87/902 at the light at Al’s Diner (on your left). Continue straight through the intersection to stay on 64. From the light, go 0.2 miles and turn right past the NAPA Auto Parts Store into the CCCC entrance. The Land Lab farm will be on your left as you approach the brick buildings. It is surrounded by an 8 foot high deer fence and hard to miss!

April 21, 2009:
Good Agricultural Practices for Fresh Produce Safety

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will offer a workshop on Good Agricultural Practices for Fresh Produce Safety as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series on Tuesday, April 21, from 7:00-9:00 pm in the auditorium of the Extension Agricultural Building in Pittsboro. A 2008 survey showed that compared with five years ago, 76 percent of consumers are more concerned about the food they eat. In recent years an increasing number of reports in the media focus on contaminated produce and other food products. In North Carolina, a multidisciplinary Food Safety Task Force has been established to address food safety issues from field to fork. The task force includes farmers and partners from NC State University, NC A&T State University, CFSA, NCDA&CS, Farm Bureau, and industry groups.

Good agricultural practices (GAPs) are the basic environmental and operational conditions necessary for the production of safe, wholesome fruits and vegetables. The purpose of GAPs is to give guidance in implementing best management practices that will help to reduce the risks of microbial contamination of fruits and vegetables. Examples of GAPs include worker hygiene and health, manure use, and water quality throughout the production and harvesting process. While the U.S. has one of the safest food supplies in the world, recent media attention the past few years on foodborne illness outbreaks underscores the importance of good agricultural practices.

Growers are urged to take a proactive role in minimizing food safety hazards potentially associated with fresh produce. Being aware of, and addressing, the common risk factors outlined in GAPs will result in a more effective, cohesive response to emerging concerns about the microbial safety of fresh fruits and vegetables. Many farmers have never heard of GAPs. Others have learned that in order to access certain markets, their farm must be GAP-certified. The consensus in the small farm community is that some type of produce safety regulation is coming. It is important that farmers are aware of these issues and how they may affect their farm. It is also important that farmers are knowledgeable about how to reduce the risk of contamination on their farm. Learning more about GAPs can also prepare farmers to answer questions from customers at farmers’ markets, CSAs, etc. if/when we get another outbreak of foodborne illness.

There has been alot of “chatter” on the listservs lately about impending food safety legislation such as H.R. 875, the Food Safety Modernization Act. Learn the facts about this and other proposed legislation at the workshop. The North Carolina Food Safety Task Force believes that food safety programs should be scale-appropriate, risk-based, science-based, proactive, and focused more on education and incentives rather than regulations and punishment. Below is the agenda for the workshop:

Good Agricultural Practices for Fresh Produce Safety

  • Diane Ducharme, GAPs Program Coordinator, NC State University
  • Debbie Roos, Agriculture Agent, NC Cooperative Extension, Chatham County Center
  • Phyllis Smith, Family Consumer Science Agent, NC Cooperative Extension, Chatham County Center

Organic Perspective on GAPs

  • Roland McReynolds, Carolina Farm Stewardship Association

Update on Food Safety Legislation

  • Debbie Hamrick, Director of Specialty Crops, NC Farm Bureau Federation

Advance registration is required by April 17. The cost of the workshop is $10 and includes refreshments and handouts. To register, download the registration form and mail with your check. For more information, contact Debbie Roos at 919-542-8202.

Download the registration form.

This workshop will be followed by on On-farm Good Agricultural Practices Audit on May 4. See the above listing for details.

January 5-March 2, 2009:
Beekeeping School

An 8 week course sponsored by the Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension and the Chatham County Beekeepers’ Association. Click here for full details.

December 3, 2008:
Pastured Poultry Workshop

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will offer a pastured poultry workshop as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series on Wednesday, December 3, from 10:00 am-4:00 pm in the auditorium of the Extension Agricultural Building in Pittsboro.

Agenda:

  • 10:00 am – Brooder Management for Turkeys – Jesse Grimes, North Carolina State University
  • 10:45 am – Brooding, Predator Control, Training for Range Use, and Sources for Chicks – Ken Anderson, North Carolina State University
  • 11:30 am – Vaccination Guidelines for Small Flocks; NPIP Program and Blood Testing; NC Requirements/Laws  for Shipping in Birds from Out of State; Biosecurity Issues – Donna Carver, North Carolina State University
  • 12:30 – Catered Lunch
  • 1:30 pm – Comparison Between Heritage Breeds of Chickens – Jeanette Beranger, American Livestock Breeds Conservancy
  • 2:00 pm – Warm Season Forage Establishment and Maintenance – Dan Campeau, NC Cooperative Extension
  • 2:30 pm – Local Processing – Abdul Chaudhry, Chaudhry Halal Meats
  • 3:00 pm – Pastured Poultry Resources – Debbie Roos, NC Cooperative Extension
  • 3:30 pm – Wrap-up and Evaluation

Advance registration is required by November 25. Space is limited so please register early to reserve your spot. The cost of the workshop is $25 and includes a catered lunch and resource notebook. To register, download the registration form and mail with your check. For more information, contact Dan Campeau or Debbie Roos at 919-542-8202.

Download the registration form.

November 12, 2008:
Heirloom Tomato Grafting Workshop

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will offer a tomato grafting workshop as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series on Wednesday, November 12, from 1:00-5:00 pm in the auditorium of the Extension Agricultural Building in Pittsboro. Grafting vegetables to manage soilborne diseases is a common practice in commercial greenhouses in many other parts of the world and is only recently receiving attention here in the U.S. Grafted tomato transplants are able to combine the high quality fruit of heirloom cultivars with the disease resistance, stress tolerance, and vigor of modern rootstock cultivars. This workshop will focus on the work of North Carolina State University researchers and will include a participating farmer. Participants will get the opportunity to try grafting tomato seedlings. Come learn about this exciting new area of applied research.

  • 1:00 pm – Introductions: Why organic? Why high tunnels? Why grafting? Why together? - Mary Peet, North Carolina State University
  • 1:15 pm – History and Technique of Tomato Grafting - Suzi O’Connell, North Carolina State University
  • 1:45 pm – Grafting Demonstration – Cary Rivard & Suzi O’Connell, North Carolina State University
  • 2:30 pm – Diagnosis and Management of Soilborne Diseases Using Rootstock – Cary Rivard
  • 3:00 pm – Break
  • 3:15 pm – Case Study 1: Tomato Grafting at Peregrine Farm – Alex Hitt, Peregrine Farm
  • 3:45 pm – Case Study 2: High Tunnels and Grafting Research at the Center for Environmental Farming Systems – Cary Rivard  & Suzi O’Connell
  • 4:45 pm – Questions and wrap-up

Advance registration is required by November 10. Space is limited so please register early to reserve your spot. The cost of the workshop is $15. Handouts and light refreshments will be provided. Feel free to bring a bagged lunch! To register call 919-542-8202 or email debbie_roos@ncsu.edu for more information.

Download the registration form.

September 22, 2008:
Organic Insect Management in Vegetables

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will offer a pest management workshop as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series on Monday, September 22, from 7:00-9:00 p.m. in the auditorium of the Extension Agricultural Building in Pittsboro. “Organic Insect Management in Vegetables” will be presented by Chatham County Agricultural Extension Agent Debbie Roos. Topics will include cultural controls, physical controls, biological controls, and organic pesticides. We will discuss specific control strategies for some of the most important insect pests. Participants will receive a comprehensive resource notebook. This workshop will provide 2 continuing certification credits for private and commercial pesticide applicators (in sub-classes X, N, O, and D).

Advance registration is required by September 15. Space is limited so please register early to reserve your spot. The cost of the workshop is $15 and includes a resource notebook. To register call 919-542-8202 or email debbie_roos@ncsu.edu for more information.

Download the registration form.

April 7, 2008:
QuickBooks Pro for Farms:
How to Make it Work for Your Farm

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension presents a workshop on QuickBooks Pro for Farms as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series on Monday, April 7, 2008 from 5:00-9:00 pm at the Agricultural Building Auditorium in Pittsboro, NC. If you currently are using QuickBooks for your farm record-keeping and accounting but would like to learn new ways to simplify QuickBooks to provide better management information, then this workshop is for you! We will focus on how to get QuickBooks to provide you the information you want for your farm. To that end, we want you to let us know what you want – we will customize this workshop to meet your needs!

Please send an email to Debbie Roos with your burning QuickBooks questions and we will do the best we can to address these during the workshop.Note: this workshop is for people who already use QuickBooks – it is not for first-time users!

Topics:

  • Account classification – how to make the Chart of Accounts and other means of classification work better for you
  • Reports – how to customize financial and management reports to make them more useful for your farm
  • Accounts Payable/Accounts Receivable – accrual-based accounting and various methods for recording sales
  • Assets and Depreciation – how to better manage and keep track of assets and depreciation
  • Budgeting – how to create a budget for the farm
  • Tax Reporting – year-end organization for taxes (i.e., 1099s)

We are allowing 4 hours for this workshop to provide plenty of time to demonstrate QuickBooks tips and solutions and to accommodate questions.

This workshop will be taught by two local treasures: Marty Hayes and Alex Hitt. Marty Hayes has a degree in Corporate Finance and Business and has over 30 years of experience helping businesses of all sizes with their finances, from wholesale distribution, to large accounting firms, to national retail grocery stores (Whole Foods). She has also worked with small entrepreneurial businesses and non-profit organizations and has helped many local farmers get started on QuickBooks. She is currently working her own 30 acre farm in Chatham County with her husband and two dogs, tending to horses, pastured poultry, vegetables, and fruits.

Alex and Betsy Hitt have grown vegetables, cut flowers, small fruits, and pastured turkeys at Peregrine Farm for 27 years. Alex uses QuickBooks for all his record-keeping and finances and will share his tips for what works for them.

Having both Marty and Alex teaching this workshop will provide a dual perspective from both the accounting world and the farm world.

The cost of the workshop is $20 and the deadline for registration is April 2, 2008. Please bring a sandwich for dinner. We will provide drinks and light refreshments.

To register, download a registration form and mail with your check made payable to Chatham County Cooperative Extension to Debbie Roos at P.O. Box 279, Pittsboro, NC 27312. Call 919-542-8202 for more information. Please email Debbie Roos to send in your ideas for what topics you would like to see covered. The earlier you send in your suggestions, the more likely we will be able to address them. Please try and submit your questions by March 28 (registration deadline is April 2).

April 7 QuickBooks Registration Form

February 20-21, 2008:
QuickBooks Pro for Farms

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension presents a two-day training on QuickBooks Pro for Farms as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series on February 20-21, 2008 at the Agricultural Building Auditorium in Pittsboro, NC. This training will be for first-time users, or people who feel like they are first-time users!

QuickBooks computerized record-keeping systems have been put into service on many area farms over the last several years. To help demonstrate the use of this program in farm situations and to help answer questions in regards to the software, Cooperative Extension is sponsoring a two-day training of “hands-on, how-to” instruction. The workshop will be taught by Lara Worden, certified QuickBooks user and area agriculture agent. We will be setting up a computer lab in our auditorium, so each participant will have his/her own computer (provided by Chatham County) throughout the workshop.

Training topics:

  • Setting up your company
  • Setting up the chart of accounts
  • Understanding the basics of accounting
  • Entering everyday transactions
  • Reconcile accounts
  • Payroll
  • Working with reports
  • Account summaries for tax preparation and business analysis
  • Prepare tax forms
  • Special farm accounting transactions
  • Tips & tricks on using the software

Note: This February training will be followed by another training on April 7 for intermediate users of QuickBooks Pro. This workshop will be from 5:00-9:00 pm and will be taught by Marty Hayes and farmer Alex Hitt.

There will not be a computer lab set up for the April workshop but part of the workshop will be devoted to problem-solving specific questions that participants submit in advance. Details on the April workshop will be released later in February. The training will go from 10:00 am-5:00 pm on Wednesday February 20, and from 9:00 am-4:00 pm on Thursday February 21.

The cost of the two-day training is $80 to cover reference materials and refreshments. Lunch will be on your own.

Registration space is limited and pre-registration is required. I expect this training to fill quickly. Preference will be given to Chatham County farmers. Other farmers will be admitted if space is available. We will return your check if the workshop is full.

The deadline for registration is February 14, 2008. To register, download a registration form and mail with your check made payable to Chatham County Cooperative Extension to Debbie Roos at P.O. Box 279, Pittsboro, NC 27312. Contact Debbie Roos at 919-542-8202 for more information.

QuickBooks Training Registration Form

January 28, 2008:
Heirloom Apple Production Workshop

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension presents an Heirloom Apple Production Workshop as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series from 7:00-9:00 p.m.* at the Agricultural Building Auditorium in Pittsboro, NC. Nationally known heirloom apple expert and author Lee Calhoun will share his decades’ worth of experience producing heirloom apples in the North Carolina Piedmont.

Topics:

  • Rewards and challenges of growing apples in central North Carolina
  • Variety selection
  • Semi-dwarf vs. full-size trees
  • Sourcing trees
  • Planting and early care of apple trees
  • Long-term care of apple trees – pruning, fertilization, pollination, insect/disease/weed management
  • Harvest and postharvest handling – cleaning, cooling, and storage

The cost of the workshop is $15. The deadline for registration is January 24. To register, download a registration form and mail with your check made payable to Chatham County Cooperative Extension to Debbie Roos at P.O. Box 279, Pittsboro, NC 27312. Contact Debbie Roos at 919-542-8202 for more information. * Please arrive between 6:30-6:45 pm to get signed in and to receive your handouts. The program will start promptly at 7:00 pm.

Registration Form

August 29, 2007:
Pastured Pork Production Workshop

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension presents a Pastured Pork Production Workshop as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series from 5:00-9:00 p.m. at the Agricultural Building Auditorium in Pittsboro, NC. International Pig Production Consultants Keith Thornton and Lance Gegner will be the featured speakers at a workshop on outdoor pig production that includes a dinner catered by Chatham Marketplace featuring locally produced pastured pork.

Keith Thornton brings over 40 years of international swine production experience to the farmers of North Carolina. Keith has influenced swine production in the entire European community, Mexico, Australia, Canada, Chile, South Africa, Korea, Taiwan, Argentina, and the United States. He is the author of the book Outdoor Pig Production. Born in England, Keith now lives in Des Moines, Iowa.

Lance Gegner was formerly the pastured pork specialist at ATTRA and authored several of their publications on outdoor pig production and marketing. Both Keith and Lance are currently consulting for the Animal Welfare Institute.

Jennifer Curtis of NC Choices will talk about processing and marketing options for pastured pork. NC Choices was developed by NC State University (NCSU), NC A&T State University, the NC. Department of Agriculture and others to help small and mid-sized hog farms find local markets for niche pork products. The program, funded through the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, is administered by the Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS). NC Choices’ mission is to promote locally-raised pork and help small- and mid-sized hog farms find local markets for their environmentally-friendly, all-natural pork products.

The workshop will conclude with a panel of experienced local growers describing how they integrated pastured pork into their diversified systems. This workshop is intended to provide an overview of outdoor pig production for diversified farmers considering a new enterprise. However, given the speakers’ world-renowned reputations, even experienced pastured pork producers will likely find this workshop useful!

Agenda:

5:00-5:15 pm
History of Pastured Pork Production in Chatham and Surrounding Counties
Resources for Pastured Pork Production
Debbie Roos and Sam Groce
North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Chatham County Center

5:15-6:00 pm
Processing and Marketing Pastured Pork
Jennifer Curtis
NC Choices

6:00-7:00 pm
Overview of Outdoor Pig Production
Keith Thornton and Lance Gegner
Animal Welfare Institute

7:00-7:45 pm
Dinner catered by Chatham Marketplace featuring locally produced pastured pork

7:45-8:15 pm
Overview of Outdoor Pig Production (continued)
Keith Thornton and Lance Gegner
Animal Welfare Institute

8:15-9:15 pm
Grower Panel: Integrating Pastured Pork into Small-Scale Diversified Production Systems
Eliza MacLean, Cane Creek Farm
Bailey Newton, Triple B Farms
Natalie Veres, Grateful Growers Farm
Clarence Durham, Clarence Durham Farm

The cost of the workshop is $18 and includes a catered dinner and a resource notebook. The deadline for registration is August 24. We must receive your registration fee by then to guarantee your spot. To register, download a registration form and mail to Debbie Roos at P.O. Box 279, Pittsboro, NC 27312. Contact Debbie Roos or Sam Groce at 919-542-8202 for more information.

Download the Registration Form

March 21, 2007:
No-till Vegetable Production Conference

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension presents a No-till Vegetable Production Conference as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. at the Agricultural Building Auditorium in Pittsboro, NC. Reap the benefits of several years of research in the North Carolina Piedmont on no-till vegetable production systems. Learn how no-till systems can improve soil quality and improve crop yields. No-till expert Dr. Ron Morse from Virginia Tech will share his many years of experience refining his system of using high-residue cover crops in no-till organic vegetable production systems. Dr. Morse has also developed a no-till planter appropriate for small farms that he will bring for display. NC A&T State University Specialists and farmer Alex Hitt will discuss the soil quality benefits of no-till systems and how farmers can design the best system for their farm.

Agenda:

9:00-9:10 am
Welcome
Debbie Roos
North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Chatham County Center

9:10-10:30 am
Improving Soil Quality and Crop Yields Using Cover Crops in No-till Vegetable Production Systems: Results from Three Years of Research in the North Carolina Piedmont
Dr. Charles Raczkowski
North Carolina A&T State University

10:30-10:45 am
Break

10:45-12:00 pm
High-residue Organic Cover Crop Systems

Dr. Ron Morse
Virginia Tech University

12:00-1:00 pm
Nuts and Bolts of Successful Cover Crop Systems for the North Carolina Piedmont (cool-season crops, warm-season crops, nutrient management, mechanical kill, “up and coming” cover crops, and more)
Dr. Keith Baldwin
North Carolina A&T State University

1:00-1:45 pm
Lunch catered by Chatham County’s Celebrity Dairy

1:45-2:30 pm
Sustainable No-till Production of Summer Vegetables at Peregrine Farm

Alex Hitt
Peregrine Farm

2:30-3:15 pm
Equipment for Small-scale No-till Vegetable Production

Dr. Ron Morse
Virginia Tech University

3:15-3:30 pm
Break

3:30-4:00 pm
Improving Pest Management with No-till Systems

Debbie Roos
North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Chatham County Center

4:00-4:15 pm
Grower Resources

Debbie Roos
North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Chatham County Center

4:15-5:00 pm
Open Question and Answer Session

Participants will receive a comprehensive resource notebook. The cost of the conference is $25 and includes a catered lunch featuring locally grown food. The deadline for registration is March 16. We must receive your registration fee by then to guarantee your spot. To register, download a registration form and mail to Debbie Roos at P.O. Box 279, Pittsboro, NC 27312. Contact Debbie Roos at 919-542-8202 for more information.

Registration Form


March 15, 2007:
Heirloom Tomato Grafting Workshop

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will offer a workshop on Grafting Heirloom Tomatoes for Disease Control and Improved Yields as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series from 12:45-5:00 p.m. at the Agricultural Building Auditorium in Pittsboro, NC. Grafting vegetables to manage soilborne diseases is a common practice in commercial greenhouses in many other parts of the world and is only recently receiving attention here in the U.S. Grafted tomato transplants are able to combine the high quality fruit of heirloom cultivars with the disease resistance, stress tolerance, and vigor of modern rootstock cultivars.This workshop will focus on the work of North Carolina State University’s Dr. Frank Louws and his graduate student Cary Rivard, now conducting his PhD research on tomato grafting. Cary has done on-farm research on several local farms. Come learn about this exciting new area of applied research.

Agenda:

12:45-1:00 pm
Registration and Welcome
Debbie Roos
North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Chatham County Center

Participants are encouraged to bring a brown bag lunch – drinks will be provided

1:00-2:15 pm
Biology and Diagnosis of Soilborne Diseases in Tomato
Dr. Frank Louws
North Carolina State University

2:15-2:30 pm
Break

2:30-3:30 pm
Grafting Heirloom Tomatoes for Disease Control and Improved Yields
Cary Rivard
North Carolina State University

3:30-4:00 pm
Grafting Demonstration and Hands-on Practice
Participants get a chance to practice grafting tomato seedlings!

4:00-4:30 pm
North Carolina On-farm Research on Grafted Tomatoes
Cary Rivard
North Carolina State University

4:30-5:00 pm
Resources for Growers
Debbie Roos
North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Chatham County Center

Participants will receive a resource notebook. The cost of the workshop is $15 to cover materials. The deadline for registration is March 12. We must receive your registration fee by then to guarantee your spot. To register, download a registration form and mail to Debbie Roos at P.O. Box 279, Pittsboro, NC 27312. Contact Debbie Roos at 919-542-8202 for more information.

Registration Form

January 8-February 26, 2007:
Beekeeping School

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension and the Chatham County Beekeepers’ Association will conduct an 8 week Beekeeping School to be held on Monday evenings from January 8-February 26, 2007. Classes will be from 7:00-9:00 pm at the Agricultural Building Auditorium in Pittsboro, NC. We have an excellent line-up of speakers for the program which will offer something for all levels of beekeepers. The school will also include hands-on activities and field days. We have a great group of local beekeepers who are always more than willing to help beginners.

View the complete agenda on the beekeeping section of the Growing Small Farms website.

December 1, 2006:
Pastured Poultry Production Conference

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension presents a Pastured Poultry Production Conference from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. at the Agricultural Building Auditorium in Pittsboro, NC. An expert team of experienced, successful producers and researchers will present the latest information on pastured poultry systems that work. Learn all about selecting appropriate breeds, and how to feed, house, water, and protect pastured flocks. We will also discuss how to design and implement a biosecurity plan for your farm and talk about record-keeping, economics and the bottom line.

Agenda:

8:30-9:00 am
Registration

9:00-9:10 am
Welcome and Introductions
Debbie Roos
North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Chatham County Center

9:10-9:40 am
Key Decisions: Species, Breeds, Scale, System
Ben Bergmann
Fickle Creek Farm

9:40-10:30 am
Breed Selection: Chickens
Don Schrider
American Livestock Breeds Conservancy

10:30-10:40 am
Break

10:40-11:20 am
Brooder Management: Housing, Feeding, and Watering
Ben Bergmann
Fickle Creek Farm

11:20-12:30 pm
Post-brooder: Housing, Feeding, and Watering
Ben Bergmann
Fickle Creek Farm

12:30-1:15 pm
Lunch featuring locally grown foods prepared by Celebrity Dairy

1:15-1:45 pm
Predator Control
Ben Bergmann
Fickle Creek Farm

1:45-2:45 pm
How to Raise Standard Turkeys on Pasture
Alex Hitt
Peregrine Farm

2:45-3:00 pm
Break

3:00-4:00 pm
Biosecurity on Your Farm: Designing and Implementing a Plan

Don Schrider & Marjorie Bender
American Livestock Breeds Conservancy

4:00-4:45 pm
Record-keeping and the Bottom Line
Ben Bergmann
Fickle Creek Farm

4:45-5:00 pm
Regulations and Resources for Pastured Poultry Producers
Debbie Roos
North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Chatham County Center

September 25, 2006:
Pastured Poultry Production Conference

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension presents a Pastured Poultry Production Conference from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. at the Agricultural Building Auditorium in Pittsboro, NC. Learn all about forages for pastured poultry, sustainable pasture management, rotational grazing, and multispecies grazing. Get an update on the avian flu situation and how you can educate your customers proactively. We’ll also talk about biosecurity strategies and marketing opportunities. A one hour open discussion period will provide opportunities to get your burning questions answered!

We will also be offering an all-day pastured poultry conference on December 1, 2006. The December conference will focus on the nuts and bolts of production including breed selection, brooder management, housing, fencing, predator control, feeding, watering, and much more. Details will be released in October. Now is a great time to be preparing to plant forages for next year, and gearing up for 2007 production. The agenda for the September conference is below.

Agenda:

8:30-9:00 am
Registration

9:00-9:10 am
Welcome and Introductions
Debbie Roos
North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Chatham County Center

9:10-9:40 am
The Role of Forages in Pastured Poultry Systems
Noah Ranells
Orange County Agriculture Economic Development Coordinator
Fickle Creek Farm

9:40-10:00 am
Getting the Maximum Benefits from Pastured Poultry Manure
Ruth McDaniel
North Carolina State University, Soil Science Department
Forty Days Farm

10:00-10:10 am
Break

10:10-10:50 am
Pasture Management
Sam Groce
North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Chatham County Center

10:50-11:20 am
Cool-season Forages
Sam Groce

11:20-11:50 am
Warm-season Forages
Sam Groce

11:50-12:20 pm
Rotational Grazing
Sam Groce

12:20-1:00 pm
Lunch featuring locally grown foods prepared by Celebrity Dairy

1:00-1:30 pm
Multispecies Grazing
Noah Ranells

1:30-2:30 pm
Avian Influenza: What You Should Know
Dr. Donna Carver
Poultry Veterinarian Specialist, North Carolina State University

2:30-3:00 pm
Biosecurity Strategies on the Farm
Dr. Mary Ann McBride
Program Development Veterinarian, NCDA&CS Veterinary Division

3:00-3:15 pm
Break

3:15-3:45 pm
Marketing Opportunities for Pastured Poultry
Alex Hitt
Peregrine Farm
Growers’ Choice Cooperative

3:45-4:00 pm
Resources for Pastured Poultry Producers
Debbie Roos

4:00-5:00 pm
Open Questions & Answers

September 18, 2006:
Cut Flower Field Day
“Branching Out into Cut Flowers:
Enhancing Sustainability through Diversification

Have you been considering adding cut flowers to your crop mix? Or do you currently grow cut flowers but want to learn more about production and marketing?

If so, then you won’t want to miss this exciting event: on Monday, September 18, from 5:30-8:00 pm, we will have a Field Day at Perry-winkle Farm in northern Chatham County to talk about how growers can enhance sustainability by diversifying into cut flower production.The field day will start at 5:30 pm and finish by 8:00 pm. Farmer Cathy Jones will talk about sustainable cut flower production, from seed to market. The field day will include a Twilight Tour of Perry-winkle Farm to give visitors an opportunity to see field production of cut flowers.Cathy mentored a group of cut flower growers this summer at Perry-winkle Farm as part of a Farmer-to-Farmer Mentoring program supported by North Carolina A&T State University and the Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension.

The group of 20 growers from all over the Piedmont region came to Perry-winkle Farm for 7 three-hour classes starting in June. Participants learned about the nuts and bolts of cut flower production and marketing, including crop planning, supply sourcing, planting & harvesting, postharvest handling, record-keeping, marketing, tracking costs and profits, and much more.

Field Day participants will learn about the Mentoring Program and meet some of the farmer participants.

Please RSVP if you plan on attending by calling 919-542-8202 or email Debbie Roos.

This is BYOC – bring your own chair (or blanket)!

This field day will offer something for growers of all levels – and I suspect it will also be a great opportunity for networking and hobnobbing! We hope to see you there.

Directions to Perry-winkle Farm (but don’t forget to RSVP!):From Chapel Hill/Carrboro: take Jones Ferry Rd. out of town, head south about 8 miles to Frosty’s Store, take a right onto Crawford Dairy Rd, go 1/2 mile, take first right onto White Cross Rd., go 1 mile. Perry-winkle Farm is on your left. Look for plastic flowers on the mailbox.From Pittsboro: take Hwy 87 north to Chicken Bridge Rd. (approx. 7-8 miles), go right onto Chicken Bridge Rd, cross the Haw River and go to the stop sign, go right onto Crawford Dairy Rd. and take first left onto White Cross Rd. Go 1 mile and Perry-winkle Farm is on your left. Look for plastic flowers on the mailbox.

March 27, 2006:
Producing for Chatham Marketplace

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will host a Producer Meeting to discuss Producing for Chatham Marketplace on Monday, March 27, from 6:00-9:00 p.m. in the Agriculture Building auditorium in Pittsboro, NC. Chatham Marketplace is Chatham County’s locally owned co-op grocery store scheduled to open in spring 2006. The purpose of this meeting is to introduce Shiloh Avery, Chatham Marketplace’s new produce manager, and to discuss types of produce, quality, volume, packaging, communication, handling, etc. We will also introduce Jeff Barney, the new Kitchen/Deli Manager at CM. Jeff is also interested in purchasing as much as possible from local producers. If you are a producer living in or near Chatham County and hope to supply Chatham Marketplace, you won’t want to miss this meeting! The meeting will begin at 6:00 pm with a potluck, so bring your favorite dish to share. Drinks will be provided. Please RSVP to Debbie Roos at 919-542-8202 if you plan on attending just so we will know how many to expect.

February 28, 2006:
Year-round Vegetable Production with High Tunnels

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will offer a workshop entitled Year-round Vegetable Production with High Tunnels as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series on Tuesday, February 28, from 6:00-9:00 p.m. in the Agriculture Building auditorium in Pittsboro, NC. Steve Moore, NC A&T State University Research and Extension Specialist at the Center for Environmental Farming Systems, will talk about his 30 years of experience farming and 15+ years growing in high tunnels in Pennsylvania. Steve came to North Carolina in November 2005 and will be involved with research and outreach with season extension, winter production of vegetables, and much more. Come to the workshop to learn where Steve has been and where he is going. He very much wants to communicate with farmers so he can prioritize his research agenda. Steve’s work has been featured on Rodale’s New Farm website – just do a keyword search for Steve Moore.

The main focus of the presentation and discussion will focus on operation in a year-round systems approach, including general planting schedules and maximizing production. Other topics include design, layout, nitrate uptake in low-light greenhouse production and pest problems and controls. The program will allow for plenty of time for an open Question and Answer session.

October 24, 2005:
Season Extension Workshop and Field Day

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension, in collaboration with Central Carolina Community College’s Sustainable Farming Program, will offer a Season Extension Field Day as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series on Monday, October 24, from 2:00-6:00 p.m. in Pittsboro. The first part of the program will be in the Agriculture Building Auditorium and then we will move outdoors to the CCCC Land Lab about a mile away. Doug Jones, Land Lab Manager at CCCC, and Debbie Roos, Chatham County Sustainable Agriculture Agent, will be the presenters.

Topics:

  • Basic Principles of Season Extension
  • Thermodynamics and Properties of Plants
  • Cultural Practices for Season Extension
    • Site Selection
    • Variety Selection
    • Windbreaks
    • Row Covers
    • High Tunnels
    • Haygrove Tunnels
    • Plastic Mulch
    • Shade
    • Irrigation
  • Planting Guide for Vegetable Crops in the Piedmont
  • Spring Planting of Cool Season Crops – Considerations for the Piedmont
  • Marketing Opportunities
  • Field Examples of Season Extension Techniques
  • Resources and Suppliers for Season Extension

August 8, 2005:
Cut Flowers

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will offer a Cut Flower Workshop as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series on Monday, August 8, from 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m. in the auditorium of the Extension Agricultural Building in Pittsboro.

Agenda:

  • Advances in Cut Flower Research from North Carolina State University
  • Summer Bulbs and Favorite Unusual Cuts
  • Postharvest Handling for Optimal Quality
  • One Size Does Not Fit All: Tips for Determining the Best Postharvest Strategies for New Species and Cultivars You Try on Your Farm
  • Growing Pains: Taking your Cut Flower Operation to the Next Level

Featured Speakers:

  • Dr. John Dole, Cut Flower Specialist at North Carolina State University
  • Frankie Fanelli, North Carolina State University
  • David Huffman, Carmen’s Greenhouse

The workshop will also feature a Grower Panel for an open Question and Answer session.

Grower Panel:

  • Cathy Jones, Perry-winkle Farm
  • Leah Cook, Wild Hare Farm
  • David Huffman, Carmen’s Greenhouse

John Dole teaches and conducts research on specialty cut flower production at North Carolina State University. He coordinates the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers National Seed Trial and Perennial Trial and is the Executive Advisor for the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers. He is co-author of the floriculture textbook Floriculture Principles and Species. Frankie Fanelli teaches at North Carolina State University and Johnston Community College, and is Volunteer Coordinator at the JC Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh.

Frankie completed a M.S. in Horticulture under John Dole and worked with him to conduct postharvest trials on over 65 cut flower cultivars and species. Her research focus was summer flowering bulbs as cut flowers.

David Huffman owns Carmen’s Greenhouse in Hiddenite, NC. Carmen’s Greenhouse has been producing cut flowers and bedding plants for florists since 1993. With 30,000 square feet of greenhouse and a little over one acre of field space, they produce a wide range of cuts from tulips to sunflowers to asters. David grew up in the cut flower business and is well-known for his greenhouse-grown snapdragons.

July 11, 2005:
Organic Pasture Management

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will offer an Organic Pasture Management workshop as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series on Monday, July 11, from 6:30-9:00 p.m. in the auditorium of the Extension Agricultural Building in Pittsboro. Sam Groce, Chatham County Livestock Agent, and Debbie Roos, Chatham County Sustainable Agriculture Agent, will be the presenters. This workshop should be applicable to beef, goat, sheep, horse, and poultry producers. The agenda is posted below:

Pasture Management

  • Planning for the Pasture
  • Preparing to Plant
  • Preparing the Soil
  • Fertilization Rates and Timing

Forage Selection

  • Cool Season Grasses
  • Warm Season Grasses
  • Layout of the Farm

Common Weeds of Pastures

  • Cool Season Weeds
  • Perennial Weeds
  • Poisonous Plants
  • Weed Control Strategies

NOP Standard for Certified Organic Pastures

NC Examples of Organic Pastures

Resources for Organic Pasture Management

June 27, 2005:
Organic Pest Management in Vegetables and Cut Flowers

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will offer a pest management workshop as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series on Monday, June 27, from 7:00-9:00 p.m. in the auditorium of the Extension Agricultural Building in Pittsboro. Organic Pest Management in Vegetables and Cut Flowers will be presented by Chatham County Agricultural Extension Agent Debbie Roos. This workshop will provide 2 continuing certification credits for private and commercial pesticide applicators.

April 12, 2005:
Sheep Shearing Demonstration

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will offer a Sheep Shearing Demonstration as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series on April 12 from 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. in Silk Hope, NC. John Clouse, expert shearer, long-time Chatham County resident and owner of Rocky Hill Farms, will conduct the demonstration/training at Singing Winds Farm in Silk Hope. Teresa Fischer is the owner of Singing Winds Farm, and she has graciously offered to host the training. Participants should bring a sack lunch. John will demonstrate proper shearing techniques, then participants will have the opportunity to practice on Teresa’s sheep (brave, isn’t she?). To maximize the effectiveness of this training, we will limit the size of the group to 12, so only those serious about shearing should plan to come.

February 23, 2005:
Pastured Poultry Production Conference

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension and American Livestock Breeds Conservancy present a Pastured Poultry Production Conference from 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. at the Agricultural Building Auditorium in Pittsboro, NC. Learn about pastured chickens, turkeys, ducks, and geese. Approximately 12 speakers will discuss breeds, production, processing, marketing, and regulations.

Agenda:

8:30 am-9:00 am
Registration

9:00 am-9:15 am
Welcome and Introductions – Debbie Roos, NC Cooperative Extension, Chatham County Center

9:15 am-10:45 am
How to Raise Laying Chickens and Broiler Chickens on Pasture – Charles Gupton, Shiloh Farm; Ben Bergmann, Fickle Creek Farm

10:45 am-11:30 am
Appropriate Genetics: Chickens – Don Schrider, American Livestock Breeds Conservancy

11:30 am-11:45 am
Break

11:45 am-12:45 pm
Marketing Roundtable – Leigh Loraine, Nu Horizons Farm (marketing through CSA and farmers’ markets); Bret Jennings, Chef Proprietor, Elaine’s on Franklin (marketing to restaurants); Larry Benton, head of meat department, Weaver Street Market (marketing to retailers)

12:45 pm-1:30 pm
Lunch catered by Chatham County’s Celebrity Dairy

Biosecurity – Dr. Joanna Quinn, Director of Poultry Health Programs, NCDA&CS

1:30 pm-1:50 pm
Research on Standard (Heritage Breed) Turkeys - Marjie Bender, American Livestock Breeds Conservancy

1:50 pm-2:35 pm
How to Raise Standard Turkeys on Pasture – Alex Hitt, Peregrine Farm

2:35 pm- 2:50 pm
Break

2:50 pm-3:35 pm
How to Raise Ducks on Pasture – Ruth McDaniel, producer

3:35 pm-3:55 pm
Appropriate Genetics: Ducks – Marjie Bender, American Livestock Breeds Conservancy

3:55 pm-4:10 pm
Using Geese for Weed Management – Marjie Bender, American Livestock Breeds Conservancy

4:10 pm-4:25 pm
Poultry for Pest Management – Debbie Roos, NC Cooperative Extension, Chatham County Center

4:25 pm-4:50 pm
Regulations – Percy Russell, NCDA&CS and Richard Hoyle, NCDA&CS

4:50 pm-5:20 pm
Processing – Andy Youngblood, Hickory Mountain Farm

5:20 pm-5:30 pm
Resources – Debbie Roos, NC Cooperative Extension, Chatham County Center

January 13, 2005:
AGR-Lite Small Farm Insurance Program Workshop

Chatham County Cooperative Extension presents a workshop on the AGR-Lite Insurance Program for Small Farmers as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Workshop Series from 7:00-9:00 p.m. at the Agricultural Building Auditorium in Pittsboro, NC. This workshop will explain the new Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) Insurance program being offered in North Carolina with the support of the Risk Management Agency (RMA) in cooperation with the NCDA&CS. The workshop will provide details about the program, how to apply, and a discussion of the support documentation a farmer would need to apply and to file a claim.

January 12, 2005:
Blueberry Pruning Demonstration

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension presents a Blueberry Pruning Demonstration from 2:00-5:00 p.m. in Pittsboro, NC on Wednesday January 12, 2005. The first part of the demonstration will be at the Agricultural Building Auditorium in Pittsboro, NC, then we will move to Mystic Farm a few miles away for the pruning demonstration. This is a hands-on demonstration, so participants are encouraged to bring their own loppers! Presented by Matthew Holt of Mystic Farm and Debbie Roos, Chatham County Center of NC Cooperative Extension.

January 3, 2005:
Start of Six Week Chatham County Beekeeping School

The Chatham County Beekeepers Association and the Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will be offering a six week Beekeeping School starting on January 3, 2005. The course will be on Monday nights from 7:00-9:00 p.m. in the auditorium of the Agriculture Building in Pittsboro.

Week 1: January 3, 2005*

  • History of Beekeeping – Jim Williams
  • Parts of the Hive – Ken Pipes
  • Choosing a Good Apiary Site – Mike Almond
  • Beekeeper Tools/Equipment, Where to Obtain Them – Ken Pipes
  • How to Order and Buy Supplies – Ken Pipes

* please arrive at 6:30 p.m. for the first class to get signed in

Week 2: January 10, 2005

  • Race of Bees, Bees, Bee Parts and Life Cycle – Don Hopkins
  • Installing Package Bees – Don Hopkins
  • Feeding and Care of Bees

Week 3: January 17, 2005

  • How Honey Bees Produce and Use: Nectar, Honey, Pollen, Propolis, Wax and Water – David Tarpy
  • What Kind of Bee? Bee Characteristics – David Tarpy

Week 4: January 24, 2005

  • Spring and Summer Management, Swarming, Supering for Honey – Bill Shepard
  • Pollination, Moving Bees, Honey and Nectar Plants – Bill Shepard

Week 5: January 31, 2005

  • Fall and Winter Management – Don Hopkins
  • Bee Problems: Mites, Insects Disease and Pesticides – Don Hopkins

Week 6: February 7, 2005

  • Extracting Honey, Cut Comb, Processing Honey, Marketing Honey – Don Moore
  • Beekeeping Associations – Don Moore
  • Beekeeping Program: Master Beekeeper Exam Info
  • County Association Presidents Speak

Make-up dates in case of bad weather are Feb 17th and Feb. 24th. If a class is canceled we will have that class on the make-up date and not change the scheduled speakers or classes.

The cost of the school will be $20 and includes a book and resource notebook. Pre-registration by December 20 is required. To register, complete a registration form and mail with your check to Debbie Roos at P.O. Box 279, Pittsboro, NC 27312. For more information contact Leslie Fesperman at 919-960-5892 or Debbie Roos at 919-542-8202.

December 9, 2004:
Website Development for Farms

Chatham County Cooperative Extension presents a workshop entitled Website Development for Farms as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Workshop Series from 6:00-9:00 p.m. at the Agricultural Building Auditorium in Pittsboro, NC. A web presence can increase your income, even if you don’t sell products online.

Learn everything you need to consider in designing a website for your farm:

  • the elements that make an effective websitethe basics of web page construction
  • resources for building your own website
  • how to work with web developers: costs, what you need to provide, advantages and disadvantages, etc.
  • how to find a domain name and website host
  • how to maintain your site
  • how to publicize your site

The primary presenter will be Debbie Roos, Agricultural Agent for the Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension, who developed the Growing Small Farms website. Debbie will actually design and upload a simple website during the workshop, and also demonstrate how to maintain a website that was developed by a web designer.

The workshop will also feature a farmer and web designer team that worked together to build an effective website: Charles Gupton from Shiloh Farm & Retreat, and Kent Swecker from A New Machine. Charles and Kent will give tips about working with a web designer.

November 30, 2004:
Slow Food and Local Agriculture

Chatham County Cooperative Extension presents a Slow Food and Local Agriculture workshop as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Workshop Series from 7:00-9:00 p.m. at the Agricultural Building Auditorium in Pittsboro, NC. Area farmers will present slide shows describing their farms and will talk about their recent trip to Italy for the International Slow Food event “Terra Madre”. Learn about the concept of Slow Food and what it means to consumers and farmers. Celebrity Dairy will be catering the meal made from locally grown ingredients.

Program Agenda

  • Welcome and Introduction – Debbie Roos, NC Cooperative Extension, Chatham County Center
  • What is “Slow Food” and What Is its Impact on Local Agriculture – David Auerbach, Slow Food RTP
  • Farmer Presentations:
  • Discussion

October 18, 2004:
Beneficial Insect Habitat for Crop Pest Management

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will present a workshop on Beneficial Insect Habitat for Crop Pest Management on Monday, October 18, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. in Pittsboro. This will be a great opportunity to interact with researchers and learn about the beneficials you already have working for you on your farm and how to attract more. You will also have the opportunity to provide input on the future direction of research at NCSU.

Program Agenda

  • Beneficial Insects for Crop Pest Management – Dr. David Orr,
    NCSU
  • Principles of Habitat Management for Beneficial Insects – Debbie
    Roos, NC Cooperative Extension, Chatham County Center
  • Overview of NCSU Beneficial Insect Research Program – Dr. Mike
    Linker, NCSU
  • Beneficial Insect Research Reports from the Field – NCSU
    graduate students Lisa Forehand, Lisa Jackson, Mary Kroner, and Brooke Witting

Participants will be able to get an up close and personal look at the beneficial insects inhabiting their farms in the hands-on component of this workshop. The course is approved for 2 continuing certification credits for pesticide applicators in sub-classes N, O, D, and X.

August 23, 2004:
Business Aspects of Mushroom Farming

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension, in conjunction with North Carolina A&T State University, presents a workshop entitled Business Aspects of Mushroom Farming from 7:00-9:00 p.m. at the Agricultural Building auditorium in Pittsboro, NC. This workshop will provide farmers with instruction in the area of marketing strategies for mushroom farmers, developing a marketing plan, issues and activities and the need for North Carolina Association (Cooperative) of Mushroom Growers.

August 16, 2004:
Pittsboro Poultry Processing Plant Informational Meeting

There will be a Pittsboro Poultry Processing Plant Informational Meeting from 7:00-9:00 p.m. at the Agricultural Building auditorium in Pittsboro, NC. Andy & Heather Youngblood, owners of the Rose Hill Poultry Processing Plant, have recently partnered with Joyce Foods, Inc. of Winston-Salem, NC to form the Hickory Mountain Poultry Processing Plant. The plant will continue to provide services to independent producers. Many producers, however, remain concerned about having possible changes to both the processing procedure and future access. Mr. Joyce & Mr. Youngblood have graciously agreed to participate in an informational meeting to address producers’ questions or concerns. This meeting has been organized by Marjorie Bender, American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, Debbie Roos, Chatham County Cooperative Extension, and Mike Lanier, Orange County Cooperative Extension. All producers who have any plans to use the plant for processing should should contact Andy Youngblood at 919/548-4448 (mobile phone) or Jerry Blizard, Operations Manger for Joyce Foods, at 336/766-9900 extension 4707, as soon as possible. This is particularly true of farmers who have turkeys they are producing for the holiday season. Plant use is anticipated to increase. The sooner you schedule your processing, the more likely you’ll be able to schedule the time you need.

May 17, 2004: Micro-irrigation Workshop

The Chatham County Center of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service will offer a micro-irrigation workshop as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series on Monday, May 17, from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. in the auditorium of the Agricultural Building in Pittsboro. Joe and Jonathan Davidson from Berry Hill Irrigation will talk about design and equipment needed for vegetable and cut flower drip systems, propagation systems, pasture irrigation, containers, greenhouses, permanent drip, traditional tape, mini-sprinklers, and more. Both beginning growers and established growers should learn useful tips and alternative uses for irrigation such as for cooling crops.

March 30, 2004: Truffle Production Workshop

The Chatham County Center of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service will offer a truffle production workshop as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series on Tuesday, March 30, from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. in the auditorium of the Agricultural Building in Pittsboro. Franklin Garland will give a presentation on cultivating truffles that will include a slide show. Soil types, preparation for planting, orchard maintenance, harvesting, and selling truffles will be discussed. A question and answer session will follow. Information on the truffle grants program will be provided. Refreshments will be available. This is a free workshop.

March 8, 2004: Sustainable Soils Conference

The Chatham County Center of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service will offer an all-day soil management conference as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series on Monday, March 8, from 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. in the auditorium of the Agricultural Building in Pittsboro. The program is described below. Participants will receive a comprehensive resource notebook.

Conference Agenda:

8:00-8:30
Registration

8:30-8:40
Welcome

8:40-10:00
Targeting your Soil’s Potential: Managing for Changes in Soil Health that Really Make a Difference – Joel Gruver, North Carolina State University

10:00-10:10
Break

10:10-11:40
The What, Why, Which, When, and How of Cover Crops for North Carolina – Keith Baldwin, North Carolina A&T State University

11:40-12:30
Increasing Water Infiltration and Retention through Soil Management – Charles Raczkowski, North Carolina A&T State University

12:30-1:15
Lunch catered by Chatham County’s Celebrity Dairy

1:15-2:45
Getting the Most from your Soil Test Report – Joel Gruver, North Carolina State University

2:45-3:45
Cover Crops for No-till Vegetable Production – Greg Hoyt, Fletcher Research Center, NCSU

3:45-3:55
Break

3:55-4:20
North Carolina Soil Management Grower Profiles and Cover Crop Seed Sources – Debbie Roos, NC Cooperative Extension, Chatham County Center

4:20-5:00
Open Discussion – Ask the Experts

February 4, 2004:
Tax Tips and Management Strategies for Farmers

The Chatham County Center of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service will offer a tax workshop as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series on Wednesday, February 4, from 4:00-7:00 p.m. in the auditorium of the Extension Agricultural Building in Pittsboro. North Carolina State University Agricultural Economist Guido van der Hoeven will present a variety of topics pertinent to farmers and other small business entrepreneurs, including record-keeping, collecting/paying sales taxes, deductions, depreciation, changes in the 2003/2004 tax law, and much more. Participants will be guided through a Schedule F form. There will also be an open question and answer period.

January 12, 2004:
Crop Rotations for Enhancing Sustainability

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will present a crop production workshop as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Workshop Series on Monday, January 12, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the auditorium of the Agricultural Building in Pittsboro. “Crop Rotations for Enhancing Sustainability” will be presented by Peregrine Farm’s Alex Hitt and Debbie Roos, Chatham County Agricultural Extension Agent.

December 1, 2003:
Managing Cover Crops and Organic Inputs
to Improve Cash Crop Quality and Yield

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will present a crop production workshop as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Workshop Series on Monday, December 1, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the auditorium of the Agricultural Building in Pittsboro. “Managing Cover Crops and Organic Inputs to Improve Cash Crop Quality and Yield” will be presented by Dr. Sieglinde Snapp, a Research and Extension Specialist at Michigan State University. Dr. Snapp will discuss her research with manure, compost, and cover crops in vegetable systems.

November 12-13, 2003:
Serious Answers for Food Entrepreneurs in North Carolina:
a Resource-Focused Approach

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will host a food entrepreneur workshop as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Workshop Series on November 12-13 in the auditorium of the Agricultural Building in Pittsboro. “We will introduce the basics of planning and starting a food business, emphasizing the resources available to the entrepreneur,” said Dr. John Rushing, from NC State University’s Department of Food Science.

The two-day workshop will feature presentations by technical experts, business advisors and successful entrepreneurs. Major topics include business planning, marketing, promotion, operations, regulatory considerations, and packaging considerations. “All the details associated with starting a food business certainly can’t be covered in two days, but this course should give the entrepreneur a two month head-start,” said Rushing. The workshops are part of an expanded program intended to guide entrepreneurs through the myriad steps in getting a food product to market. North Carolina Cooperative Extension is partnering with Agribusiness Innovation Alliance, NC Department of Agriculture, and the GoldenLEAF Foundation to conduct this workshop.

Day 1 Program:

  • 8:00- 8:30 – Registration
  • 8:30- 9:00 – Welcome and Introduction
  • 9:00- 9:30 – What is the specialty foods industry?
  • 9:30-10:15 – What does it take to be an entrepreneur in this industry?
  • 10:15-10:30 – NC Specialty Foods break
  • 10:30-11:00 – Group Discussion
  • 11:00- 12:00 – What kind of facility do I need?
  • 12:00-1:00 – Lunch and NC BBQ sauce taste-off
  • 1:00- 1:30 – What do other entrepreneurs say?
  • 1:30-2:00 – How do retail businesses buy and sell products?
  • 2:00-2:15 – Group Discussion
  • 2:15-2:30 – Vote for your favorite NC Snack break
  • 3:00-4:00 – How does one set up a business in North Carolina?
  • 4:00-4:30 – How do I finance my venture?
  • 4:30-5:00 – Group discussion and first day evaluation
  • 6:00- 7:00 – Reception with the faculty and potential suppliers

Day 2 Program:

  • 8:00- 8:30 – This would be the perfect workshop if only we talked about…
  • 8:30-9:00 – What are the regulatory steps to processing my food?
  • 9:00-10:00 – Which rules apply to everyone?
  • 10:15-10:30 – Nifty Ideas break
  • 10:30-12:00 – Ten-minute table topics
  • 12:00-1:00 – Lunch and chat from an independent caterer – “been there, done that!”
  • 1:00-2:00 – How do I make a business plan?
  • 2:00-3:00 – How do I market specialty foods?
  • 3:00-3:15 – Market break
  • 3:15-4:15 – Ten-minute table topics
  • 4:15-4:45 – Post-test and evaluation
  • 4:45 – Presentation of Certificates

October 20, 2003:
Compost Teas, Compost, and On-farm Beneficial Microbe Extracts

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will present a crop production workshop as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Workshop Series on Monday, October 20, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the auditorium of the Agricultural Building in Pittsboro. “Compost Teas, Compost, and On-farm Beneficial Microbe Extracts” will be presented by Steve Diver, a Program Specialist from ATTRA (Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas), the USDA-funded national sustainable agriculture information service of the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) based in Arkansas; Dr. Frank Louws, NCSU Researcher and Extension Plant Pathologist specializing in sustainable disease management for NC growers; and Debbie Roos, Agricultural Extension Agent with NC Cooperative Extension in Chatham County.

Compost, Humus, and the Living Soil

  • Humus Management
  • Soil Biota
  • Soil Foodweb Concepts
  • Farm-scale Compost Turners
  • Compost Methods and Application Rates
  • Compost Quality and Standards
  • Humified Compost Mineralization Rate

North Carolina Research on Disease-suppressive Compost

  • Compost-amended Strawberry Plugs As an Alternative to Methyl Bromide
  • Mechanisms of Biocontrol with Disease-suppressive Compost
  • Commercial Microbial Antagonists

Compost Teas

  • History of Compost Teas
  • Types of Compost Teas and Extracts
  • Components of Compost Teas
  • Use and Benefits of Compost Teas
  • Rhizosphere and Phyllosphere Target Sites
  • Rhizosphere Benefits for Microorganisms
  • Compost Teas for Disease Suppression
  • Mechanisms and Target Pathogens
  • Compost Tea Production Methods
  • Brewing Compost Teas
  • Compost Tea Recipes
  • Compost Tea Brewing Equipment: Commercial-scale and Home-made
  • Minimum Standards for Compost Pathogen Risk Reduction
  • Compost Tea Use in North Carolina – What Are Farmers Doing?

Parallel On-farm Extracts and Beneficial Microbe Inoculation Systems

  • CT=Compost Teas
  • BD=Biodynamic Preparations
  • EM=Effective Microorganisms
  • IM=Indigenous Microorganisms
  • CPP=Cow Patty Pit
  • FPE=Fermented Plant Extracts
  • MYCO=Mycorrhizal Inoculant
  • Purchased Inputs and On-farm Inputs
  • Alternative Farming Systems Tools: Nature Farming, Biodynamics, BioOrganics Substrate and Microbial Culture
  • Benefits of Plant and Compost Extracts

August 4, 2003:
Organic Disease Management for Vegetables

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will present a pest management workshop as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Workshop Series on Monday, August 4, from noon to 4:00 p.m. in the auditorium of the Agricultural Building in Pittsboro. Take a break from the mid-day sun to participate in this special workshop! I scheduled this workshop outside of our normal time slot (7:00-9:00 pm) to allow more time and also to give farmers time to work in the fields before and after the workshop when it is coolest.

“Organic Disease Management for Vegetables” will be presented by Dr. Frank Louws, NCSU Researcher and Extension Plant Pathologist specializing in sustainable disease management for NC organic growers; Dr. Rose Koenig, a Florida organic farmer and plant pathologist and member of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) and Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) crop review panel; and Debbie Roos, Agricultural Extension Agent with NC Cooperative Extension in Chatham County. We will talk about the principles and strategies for disease management in organic systems, diagnosing plant diseases (with actual specimens), and the primary NC vegetable diseases and their management.

June 9-10, 2003: Acidified Foods Processing and Packaging School

On June 9-10, the Chatham County Center of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service will host an Acidified Foods School at the Extension Agricultural Building Auditorium here in Pittsboro. This program is intended for those persons with an interest in acidified foods processing and packaging. Entrepreneurs must attend this school to be able to produce and sell their acidified food products (pickles, pickled peppers, salsa, pickled eggs, etc.). Instruction will emphasize the technology associated with acidified foods packaged in glass or rigid plastic containers. This will be a very intense, two-day school with a packed program. Class begins at 8:00 a.m. and will end around 9:00 p.m. on the first day (help sessions and demonstrations may be scheduled for evening hours the first night, depending on need, so students should make themselves available). The school will adjourn at 5:00 p.m. on the second day. Examinations will be given after each session. Students must pass with 70% correct. Make-up exams will be allowed for all sections the following morning. Any student who has failed three exams may not participate in make-ups. To be certified, students must attend ALL sessions and pass ALL exams.


May 19, 2003:
Postharvest Handling for Small, Diversified Growers

The Chatham County Center of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service will offer a post-harvest workshop as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series on Monday, May 19, from 7:00-9:00 p.m. in the auditorium of the Extension Agricultural Building in Pittsboro. North Carolina State University Agricultural Engineer Mike Boyette will talk about quality maintenance, handling, cooling, packaging, drying, and much more. The talk will be geared towards small farmers. Participants will receive a comprehensive resource notebook.

April 28, 2003: Organic Pest Management 

The Chatham County Center of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service will offer a pest management workshop as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series on Monday, April 28, from 7:00-9:00 p.m. in the auditorium of the Extension Agricultural Building in Pittsboro. “Organic Pest Management in Vegetables and Cut Flowers” will be presented by Chatham County Agricultural Extension Agent Debbie Roos. Participants will receive a comprehensive resource notebook. This workshop will provide 2 continuing certification credits for private and commercial pesticide applicators.

March 24, 2003: Tax Issues for Small Farmers

The Chatham County Center of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service will offer a tax workshop as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series on Monday, March 24, from 7:00-9:00 p.m. in the auditorium of the Extension Agricultural Building in Pittsboro. North Carolina State University Agricultural Economist Guido van der Hoeven will present a variety of topics pertinent to farmers and other small business entrepreneurs, including Schedule F forms, record-keeping, collecting/paying sales taxes, deductions, depreciation, and much more. There will also be an open question and answer period.

February 27, 2003: Sustainable Soils Conference

The Chatham County Center of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service will offer an all-day soil management conference as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series on Thursday, February 27, from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. in the auditorium of the Agricultural Building in Pittsboro. The program is described below. Participants will receive a comprehensive resource notebook.

Conference Program:

8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. – Registration

8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

  • Soil Organic Matter – Joel Gruver, North Carolina State University
  • The Soil Food Web – Mary Barbercheck, Penn State University
  • Nutrient Cycles and Flows – Noah Ranells, North Carolina State University
  • Organic Fertilizers, Compost, and Amendments – Keith Baldwin, North Carolina A&T State University
  • Managing Soils to Reduce Erosion and Compaction – Charles Raczkowski, North Carolina A&T State University

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – Lunch

12:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

  • Cover Crop Fundamentals – Michael Wagger, North Carolina State University
  • Summer Cover Crops – Keith Baldwin, North Carolina A&T State University
  • Winter Cover Crops – Greg Hoyt, Fletcher Research Center, NCSU
  • Getting the Most from Your Soil Test – Joel Gruver, North Carolina State University
  • Research on Sustainable Soil Management in NC – All Presenters
  • Soil Resources – Debbie Roos, NC Cooperative Extension, Chatham County Center
  • Open Discussion – Ask the Experts
  • Wrap-up and Evaluation

October 21, 2002: Hands-on Crop Pest Identification, Part 2

The Chatham County Center of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service will offer a pest management workshop as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series on Monday, October 21, from 7:00-9:00 p.m. in the auditorium of the Agricultural Building in Pittsboro. “Hands-on Crop Pest Identification, Part 2″ will be presented by Chatham County Agricultural Extension Agent Debbie Roos. This will be a hands-on workshop where participants will view slides and actual specimens of vegetable and cut flower insect pests. Participants will receive a notebook of color photos and a hand lens for identification. This workshop will provide 2 continuing certification credits for private and commercial pesticide applicators.

September 16, 2002: Hands-on Crop Pest Identification, Part 2

The Chatham County Center of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service will offer a pest management workshop as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series on Monday, September 16, from 7:00-9:00 p.m. in the auditorium of the Agricultural Building in Pittsboro. “Hands-on Crop Pest Identification, Part 1″ will be presented by Chatham County Agricultural Extension Agent Debbie Roos. This will be a hands-on workshop where participants will view slides and actual specimens of vegetable and cut flower insect pests. Participants will receive a notebook of color photos and a hand lens for identification. This workshop will provide 2 continuing certification credits for commercial pesticide applicators.

August 12, 2002: Cover Crop Field Day

The Chatham County Center of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service will offer a field day as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series on Monday, August 12, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. in Pittsboro. A “Cover Crop Field Day” will be presented by Chatham County Agricultural Extension Agent Debbie Roos, North Carolina A&T State University Specialist Keith Baldwin, and North Carolina State University graduate student Joel Gruver. The evening will begin at the Agricultural Building, where participants will learn about winter cover crop species for North Carolina. Then the program will move to the Central Carolina Community College Land Lab about 1 mile away, where participants will view over 16 different summer cover crop legumes and grasses planted in June.

July 15, 2002: Marketing Through Community Supported Agriculture

The Chatham County Center of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service will offer a marketing workshop as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series on Monday, July 15, from 7:00-9:00 p.m. in the auditorium of the Agricultural Building in Pittsboro. “Marketing Through Community Supported Agriculture” will be presented by Chatham County Agricultural Extension Agent Debbie Roos and UNC-Greensboro Professor Dr. Susan Andreatta. A panel of farmers who operate CSAs will describe their operations and answer questions. Presenters will discuss the history and philosophy of the CSA movement, present strategies for designing a CSA and recruiting and retaining members, discuss the pros and cons of CSAs, and share information on resources.

June 17, 2002:
Asparagus Production, Management, and Marketing

The Chatham County Center of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service will offer a crop production workshop as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series on Monday, June 17, from 7:00-9:00 p.m. in the auditorium of the Agricultural Building in Pittsboro. “Asparagus Production, Management, and Marketing” will be presented by Granville County Agricultural Extension Agent Carl Cantaluppi and Chatham County Agricultural Extension Agent Debbie Roos. Cantaluppi is recognized throughout the eastern half of the U.S. as an asparagus expert, having worked with the crop as an Extension agent in Oklahoma, Illinois, Ohio, and North Carolina for approximately 20 years. He is the author of an asparagus production guide that is used throughout the region. Cantaluppi is currently conducting on-farm variety trials in Granville county. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from North Carolina’s asparagus expert! Organic production will be emphasized.

April 15, 2002: Biological Control to Manage Pests

The Chatham County Center of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service will offer a pest management workshop as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series on Monday, April 15, from 7:00-9:00 p.m. in the auditorium of the Agricultural Building in Pittsboro. “Augmentation and Conservation of Biological Control Agents to Manage Pests” will be presented by Chatham County Agricultural Extension Agent Debbie Roos and NCSU Biological Control Specialist Dr. David Orr. Participants will learn about effective strategies for purchasing and releasing beneficial insects and other biological control agents. We will also discuss strategies for conserving native populations of predators and parasitoids.

March 18, 2002: Beneficial Insect Identification and Use

The Chatham County Center of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service will offer a pest management workshop as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series on Monday, March 18, from 7:00-9:00 p.m. in the auditorium of the Agricultural Building in Pittsboro. “Beneficial Insect Identification and Use” will be presented by Chatham County Agricultural Extension Agent Debbie Roos. This will be a hands-on workshop where participants will view slides and actual specimens of beneficial insects and learn what pests they control. Participants will receive a notebook of color photos and a hand lens for identification. A follow-up workshop on April 15 will cover “Augmentation and Conservation of Beneficial Insects to Manage Pests”.

February 22, 2002: Connecting NC Farmers to NC Consumers

The Chatham County Center of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service will host a NCDA&CS Food Policy Council Information Conference on Friday, February 22, from 9:00-3:30 p.m. in the auditorium of the Agricultural Building in Pittsboro. The conference theme is “Connecting North Carolina Farmers to North Carolina Consumers” and is targeted to Piedmont area farmers and buyers.

Topics:

  • Institutional Buying: Farm-to-School Program and Dept. of Defense Buying, Selling to Government Agencies
  • Value-Added Processing: Facility Design and Regulations, Certified Kitchens, Value-Added Products
  • Farmer Cooperatives
  • Direct Marketing to Corporations
  • Financing Opportunities: Government-Backed and Commercial Loans, Capital Resources for Farm Enterprises, NCDA Grant and Cost-Share Opportunities, SARE Producer Grants

January 16, 2002: Marketing to Retailers and Restaurants

The Chatham County Center of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service will offer a marketing workshop as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series on Wednesday, January 16, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. in the auditorium of the Agricultural Building in Pittsboro. Marketing Agricultural Products to Independent Retailers and Restaurants will feature a panel of buyers and sellers discussing marketing guidelines and answering questions.

Presenters include James Watts, Operations Manager and Interim Produce Manager, Carrboro’s Weaver Street Market; Sam Poley, Executive Chef, Chapel Hill’s Weathervane Café at Southern Seasons; Ray Christopher, member of Carolina Organic Growers Cooperative and farmer, Timberwood Organics; Bill Dow, farmer, Ayrshire Farm; Alex Hitt, farmer, Peregrine Farm; and Debbie Roos, Agricultural Extension Agent. The growers have over 50 years of combined marketing experience.

October 29, 2001: Tax and Labor Issues for Small Farmers

The Chatham County Center of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service will offer a farm management workshop as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series on Monday, October 29, from 7:00-9:00 p.m. in the auditorium of the Agricultural Building in Pittsboro. “Small Farm Challenges: Tax and Labor Issues” will be presented by NCSU Extension Specialists Dr. Guido van der Hoeven and Dr. Chuck Moore.


September 10, 2001:
Cut Flowers – Insect Pests and Troubleshooting Problems

A Cut Flower Production Workshop will be held on Sept. 10 from 7:00-9:00 p.m. in the auditorium of the Agricultural Building in Pittsboro. The workshop is sponsored by Chatham County Cooperative Extension. Chatham County Agricultural Agent Debbie Roos and NCSU Floriculture Specialist Dr. Brian Whipker will discuss troubleshooting and pest management for cut flower production. A panel of local successful cut flower growers – Peregrine Farm’s Betsy Hitt, Perry-winkle Farm’s Cathy Jones, and Maple Spring Garden’s Leah Cook – will discuss their operations and answer questions.


August 13, 2001:
Cut Flowers – Cultivar Selection Plus Techniques
for Season-Long Harvesting of Field Cuts

The Chatham County Center of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service will kickoff its monthly Enhancing Sustainability Series with two workshops on cut flower production in August and September. On Monday, August 13, Dr. John Dole from North Carolina State University will talk about “Cultivar Selection and Species and Techniques for Season-long Harvesting of Field Cuts.” Dr. Dole teaches and conducts research on specialty cut flower production, water and mineral nutrition management, Dutch bulbs, and poinsettia production. He coordinates the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers National Seed Trial and Perennial Trial and is the Executive Advisor for the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers. He is co-author of the floriculture textbook Floriculture Principles and Species.

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