4. Looking for Intern/Apprentices:
You and everyone else looking for interns/apprentices should register on the OEFFA apprentice program website. It's free to OEFFA members. Apprentices seeking positions for 2008 are already signing up--3-4 in the last 2 weeks. (I've already found a good one myself!) But to access the names and contact info of the apprentices data host farmers need to register their opportunity. Don't delay. So go to www.oeffa.org, click on apprentice program, and sign up. If you are already registered on the Good Earth Guide, use your sign in username and password. If you've registered before, you only need to update your listing. Make sure you change the dates to 2008! Your application is automatically made invisible after the availability date you set.
Contact [log in to unmask] if you have any problems. Mike Anderson, new OEFFA Organic Education Coordinator, is now in charge of the program.
5. Farm to School: Healthy Kids, Thieving Farms
A Regional Conference for Schools, Camps, Parents, Students and Farms.
SAVE THE DATE! March 12, 2008
Help Kids eat healthy, learn well, and connect to their community with locally grown foods!
This is where school and camp food service directors, parent groups, teachers, and others can find the farmers in northwest
6. BLUEBERRY IPM SCOUT TRAINING PROGRAM STARTS FEB. 14
Having qualified IPM scouts benefits growers, packers, processors and shippers. Growers can learn more about adopting sustainable farming practices to reduce pest and disease control costs and maintain fruit quality. Employing highly trained IPM scouts will reassure packers, processors and shippers that they are purchasing the best berries and lay the groundwork for expanding sales of high quality fruit into other markets.
Anamaria Gomez-Rodas, MSU blueberry IPM scout training certificate program coordinator, says that the program is specially designed for growers and farm workers in
"It is important for blueberry growers to comply with the new pesticide regulations as required by the Food Quality Protection Act," she says. "Our training program deals with how to scout for insect pests and diseases and how the new insecticides and fungicides act on pests and beneficial insects."
The blueberry IPM scout training program consists of three modules.
The sessions are offered in English with training materials and help sessions
available in both English and Spanish. Participants must be able to speak and
understand English at a minimum of a fifth grade level.
The program is approved by the Career Education Consumer Report (CECR) and the Allegan Michigan Works! agency. Participants who successfully complete all modules and pass the exams will receive a certificate of completion.
Training will take place at the Angus J. Howitt IPM Training Room at the MSU Trevor Nichols Research Complex in Fennville. Classroom sessions will run from 1 to 6 p.m., including breaks and help sessions. Each topic will be divided into 50- to 55-minute segments.
The registration fee is $250. MSU students may register for one university credit. Registration includes classroom instruction, materials and snacks. Scholarships may be available.
as You Grow:
A Practical Experience in Organic Gardening
Continuing Hands-On Workshops throughout the Growing Season
at Whetham Organic Farm
Gardening is a rewarding hobby for many people throughout the country. It relaxes us, brings us closer to nature, improves our health in many ways. Vegetable gardening also allows us to eat the freshest food possible - from garden to table as it has been done for millenia by people all around the world. But not everyone is confident in their ability to bring real food to their table or to do it in a way that is environmentally beneficial as well as healthful to them. Gardening organically is proven to be ecologically sustainable and to provide food that is more nutritious.
This series of workshops on our farm is designed to teach the philosophy and principles of organic growing to beginning gardeners and those who want to convert to organic practices. These classes will begin in late winter and continue through the season. In spring and summer the sessions will take place in the hoophouse and the garden, providing the hands-on experience needed for practical application of the information.
Participants will learn how to choose varieties and seeds; the importance of soil tests and the minerals needed to increase the fertility of your garden; how to start transplants (in seeds flats and plugs and in soil blocks) and how to transplant. All will be able to take home vegetable plants for your garden. Later in the season participants will actually work in the gardens on our farm, learning when and how to plant seeds and transplants, how to choose cover crops for summer and fall and how to compost.
Workshops will begin in late winter (February) and will continue through October. Ten sessions are planned with each session 2 to 3 hours in length. The cost to attend the entire series is $150. Individual workshops will be $25. Space is limited .
Pat Whetham has 30+ years experience with organic vegetable gardening, including 19 years on a certified organic farm.
This series of workshops focuses entirely on vegetables and herbs and will not cover flowers or ornamentals except as the same techniques apply. Fruit trees will not be covered at all but some of the information can be applied to small fruits such as strawberries.
Contact Pat at Whetham Organic Farm for details: [log in to unmask]">[log in to unmask]
or 810-659-8414 or reserve your spot in the workshops by sending in the form
below with a $25 deposit. Send to Pat Whetham, Whetham Organic Farm,
Organic Vegetable and Crop Outreach Specialist
Michigan State University
C.S. Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems
303 Natural Resources Bldg.
East Lansing, MI 48824
For information on organic agriculture production please visit: http://www.MichiganOrganic.msu.edu/
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