Note: Workshops are subject to change. For those attending off-site workshops, you are responsible for your transportation to and from offsite workshops. Off-site workshop attendees can travel directly to their workshop to be checked in without visiting the conference registration desk. Public parking lots are available throughout Athens, rates & fees apply. We recommend using the UGA bus system or local bus systems whenever possible to get around campus or town.
The following two all-day workshops are add-ons for Friday, Feb. 20 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and not part of an educational pass. They must be purchased in addition to Saturday conference registration.
1. Developing a Food Hub (All Day) $80/$105
, Sponsored by White Oak Pastures
Haile Johnston, Common Market, Anthony Flaccavento, SCALE
Location: Oconee River 1, Foundry Building
The Wallace Center at Winrock International and its consulting partners will lead this start-up and capacity-building course to support the development of food hubs and the decisions needed to create them. This training will help people and communities understand various hub models and make initial decisions about feasibility, business planning, operations, and capitalization. The workshop will also address gaps in the public’s understanding of what is needed to establish and operate food hubs as viable businesses and as strategies for social impact.
2. Introduction to Biodynamics and Biochemical Sequencing $110/$135
Hugh Lovel, Quantum Agriculture
Location: Oconee River 2, Foundry Building
What is biodynamic farming and gardening? How do we do it? Great questions! Biodynamic preparation encourages: healthy humus formation, mineral retention and availability, improved crumb structure and tilth, beneficial soil microbes, including nitrogen fixers, rhyzobial activity (nodulation) on legumes, soil animal life from protozoa to earthworms, improved absorption and retention of water, fine, highly developed, robust root systems, and improved nutrient uptake by plants. This is a five-hour course with Hugh Lovel, author of “A Biodynamic Farm,” and his newly published book: “Quantum Agriculture: Biodynamics and Beyond.” Over the past 35 years, Hugh has gained broad experience in biodynamic farming while operating a market farm and the first CSA in Georgia.
These workshops are part of a conference educational pass and last 3 hours. They are being offered on Friday, Feb. 20, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
3. Rainwater Harvesting
, sponsored by Cafe Campesino
Nate Downey, Permadesign New Mexico & Terri Jagger Blincoe, Ladybug Farms
Location: Grand Hall 1, Ground Floor
Whether you grow for production or your own personal garden, collecting rainwater to irrigate is a viable and often healthier alternative to municipal water. It’s rich in vitamins and minerals, without the chlorine, and it’s FREE! Come learn how Ladybug Farms has utilized a 6,000 gallon rainwater harvesting system to irrigate a 1/2 acre growing area which yields 10,000 pounds of produce each season.
4. Using Cover Crops in Vegetable Production
Julia Gaskin, University of Georgia
Offsite Workshop: Bee Laboratory at the Durham Horticulture Farm, 1221 Hog Mountain Road, Watkinsville, GA 30677
This workshop will focus on cover crops in vegetable production—species selection, the importance of timely planting, estimating nitrogen release, and more. There will also be an interactive and hands-on demonstration for planting and roller crimping. If you want to grow organically and if you want fertile soil, cover crops are crucial.
5. State of Organic Seed Listening Session
Micaela Colley, Organic Seed Alliance
Location: Grand Hall 2, Ground Floor
The State of Organic Seed project monitors progress in building seed systems that meet the diverse and regional needs of organic farmers. In 2011, the Organic Seed Alliance (OSA) published the first State of Organic Seed report, a comprehensive analysis of organic seed systems in the U.S. Next year, OSA will publish an updated report that includes results from a national organic farmer seed survey, an analysis of changes over the last five years, updated policy and action recommendations, and more. This interactive listening session will allow farmers and others to provide their perspectives on how best to build the availability, quality, and integrity of organic seed. The results of this listening session will inform the recommendations of the State of Organic Seed report. Colley will also share preliminary results from the national 2014 Organic Farmer Seed Survey.
6. Rotational Grazing Workshop
Dennis Hancock & Lawton Stewart, University of Georgia
Offsite Workshop: The J. Phil Campbell Sr. Research and Education Center, 1420 Experiment Station Road
Watkinsville, GA 30677
If you plan to raise animals sustainably, this workshop is for you. It’ll cover key pasture establishment techniques and grazing management principles. The focus will be on using sustainable grazing systems.
7. The DIY Buffet: Hands-on Demonstration Workshops at UGArden, sponsored by Kaiser Permanente
David Berle, University of Georgia
Offsite Workshop: UGArden, 2500 South Milledge Avenue, Athens, GA 30606
Pick one set of the following:
1. How to Guide for Drip Irrigation: Best methods and materials and maintenance for setting up a drip irrigation.
2. How to Build a Raised Bed: Best methods and materials for building a raised bed garden.
1. Small Engine Repair: How to guide for maintenance and basic repair for small engine farm tools.
2. Small Farm Equipment Operation: Participants can test out small riding tractors or walk behind tractors outfitted with various implements to see how they work best.
8. Soil Health & Biology Microscope Workshop
Dr. Peter Hartel, University of Georgia
Offsite Workshop: Miller Plant Sciences Building, 120 Carlton St., Athens, GA 30602
This hands-on workshop is limited to 20 people. Please bring a handful of your own moist garden soil or compost in a plastic baggie. We will teach you how to use a microscope and a stereomicroscope to see and identify bacteria, fungi, protozoa, nematodes, and other soil microorganisms that live in your soil or compost, an otherwise unseen world of beauty, wonder.
9. Hiring and Managing Interns and Staff
Rachel Armstrong, Farm Commons
Location: Grand Hall 3, Ground Floor
Labor is perhaps the most important component of managing a successful farm. While farmers often employ interns and apprentices to cut costs in exchange for invaluable educational experience, sometimes those arrangements exist in a legal gray area. Are your interns actually employees? What labor and tax laws affect your farm? How should your contracts be written? National expert Rachel Armstrong of Farm Commons tackles these questions and more.
10. Whole Farm Planning
Daniel Parson, Oxford College at Emory University
Location: Grand Hall 4, Ground Floor
Are you preparing to start a farm? Are you reevaluating your produce business to maximize profitability? It’s never too early or too late to look at your operation holistically. Daniel Parson, the organic farm manager for Emory University’s Oxford College, will lead this in-depth workshop on building a farm business from A to Z.
11. Let’s Get Real: Organic Certification
Quality Certification Services (QCS), Florida Organic Growers and Consumers
Location: Grand Hall 5, Ground Floor
For those farming organically already, certification is an easy next step. Florida Organic Growers and Consumers, a community-based outreach and education organization, will lead attendees through a step-by-step process of USDA organic production and certification, highlighting the importance of record-keeping in any sound business and available reimbursement funds for the cost.
12. Food Safety Updates and Training
Sarah Hackney, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition; Dr. Judy Harrison, University of Georgia
Location: Empire Room 1, Foundry Building
After two years of proposals, comments and revisions, the new produce rules, part of the Food Safety Modernization Act, will soon go into effect. This workshop will outline these changes to food safety, which places the responsibility for food-borne illness prevention on farmers, and will examine exemptions for food produced and sold locally. In addition, Good Agricultural Practices and other safety programs will be highlighted.
13. Grow Your Profits By Growing Your Brand
, sponsored by Les Dames d’Escoffier International—Atlanta
Danielle Moore, Garnish & Gather & Amy Bean, The Little Farm
Location: Empire Room 2, Foundry Building
Learn how to develop an affordable, time-saving marketing strategy for your farm to increase sales. You’ll get tips on executing proven methods to reach consumers and increase sales through interactive communication with your customer and building a strong farm brand. Moore will cover the basics of how to market yourself, your farm and your products through e-marketing, merchandising, branding, sales, and promotion, and Bean will give real-life examples of how these techniques have worked for her farm.
14. A Vital Ecology, sponsored by Simply Organic
Robby Astrove, DeKalb County Recreation, Parks, and Cultural Affairs & Concrete Jungle; Almeta Tulloss, Athens Land Trust; Nicole Bluh, Good Shepherd Agro Ecology Center & Cherokee Moon Mixology
Offsite workshop: Athens Land Trust’s Williams Farm, 481 Ruth Street, Athens, GA 30601
This hands-on workshop is about creating viable soil, vibrant sustainable edible landscapes, and building personal vitality and health. Through demonstrations, tours, and hands-on activities we will learn about starting and sustaining fruit tree orchards, composting systems, and tonics to keep us healthy. We will share resources, recipes, enjoy tastings, and contribute towards a better understand of soil ecology, nutrition, and the promise of fruit trees.