*Michigan** Organic Listserv*
*November 5, 2010*


*SAVE THE DATE: 2010 Michigan Community & School Garden Networking Meeting*

*When:* November 13, 2010 from 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

*Where:* Edison Environmental Sciences Academy, 924 Russell Street
Kalamazoo, Michigan 49001
Why:* The Michigan Community & School Garden Coalition is for anyone
involved in community and school gardening, whether volunteer or paid,
working to support the gardens in our own communities and statewide. The
2010 conference will be a one day summit held in Kalamazoo. The time will be
used to share information about the various work and programming we are
facilitating in our communities.  There will be opportunities for attending
gardeners to raise important issues to be discussed in small and interested
groups. The day will also include an outing to visit local community
gardening projects.

*How: *There may be a small fee to cover some expenses but this cost will be
nominal. Details will be available soon. FOR UPDATES AND TO REGISTER:  Go to
** for details and information under the Calendar
and Events tab. Online registration is OPEN at**or by phone at (517) 353-0751.

*    **Fall fundraiser for the Institute for Sustainable Living , Art &
Natural Design (ISLAND): **Beans & Brownies Birthday Benefit Bonanza!***
When: *November 13, 2010 from 2-5 p.m.

*Where:* Neahtawanta Inn, 13080 Neahtawanta Rd, Traverse City, MI

*Why: *ISLAND is a non-profit arts and ecology center dedicated to
connecting people with nature, art and community. Come donate to the cause
and enjoy a wonderful evening including....

   - Heirloom bean tasting - sample 10+ varieties of heirloom dry beans
   grown here in Northwestern Michigan by Marty Heller.
   - Erica Bourdon's Gourmet brownie sampling
   - Featured bean delights prepared by local chef celebs
   - Live Music from some of Michigan's finest (stay tuned for the line-up,
   including Seth Bernard and May Erlewine!)
   - Locally made libations
   - Raffle drawings (guess how many beans in the jar!!)
   - Celebrating Marty Heller's 40th birthday!
   - Community, friends, family

*How:* $5 to $20 encouraged to benefit ISLAND. No registration necessary.

 *Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market EXPO** 2010*

*Registration is limited! Great Lakes EXPO Farm Market Tour*
When:* Monday, Dec. 6, 2010

*Where: *Grand Rapids, Mich. Departing from the Amway Grand Plaza

*Why: *Come enjoy a day-long tour as you visit farm markets in the Grand
Rapids area and experience farm marketing and agri-tourism at its best.
Great opportunity to engage with other farm marketers as you share ideas,
explore opportunities and discuss strategies during the one-day tour.
Michigan Stave University Extension will serve as tour hosts and will share
current research projects and help foster new ideas and implementation
 The stops include:*

   -  Critter Barn, Zeeland, MI
   -  Lubber's Family Market, Grand Rapids
   -  Moelker Orchards & Farm Market, Grand Rapids
   -  Post Family Farms, Hudsonville, MI
   -  Vander Mill Cider Mill & Winery, Spring Lake, MI
   -  Wells Orchard, Grand Rapids, MI

*How:* Cost: $149 (Includes transportation to all farm markets, lunch and
snacks.)  Use the registration form for the Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and
Farm Market EXPO to register for the Farm Market Bus Tour **. *The registration fee for the bus tour is
for the tour only*. There are separate registration fees for the Great Lakes
EXPO's education program and trade show.

More Information: Visit ** or call
616-887-9008, ext. 121.

While you’re registering for the farm market tours check out the 2010 Great
Lakes Fruit and Vegetable Expo.

*The 2010 Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market Expo*

*When:* December 7-9, 2010

*Where:* DeVos Place Convention Center, Grand Rapids, MI

*Why:* The EXPO offers informative education programs for fruit, vegetable
and greenhouse growers, and for farm marketers. This year there is 63
sessions and workshops over 3 days.

*Topics include:*

   - Fruit and vegetable commodities
   - Greenhouse production and marketing
   - Farm marketing ideas and issues
   - General topics of special interest to growers

Along with the numerous educational programs a Trade Show is offered during
the EXPO. This includes 400 exhibitors covering four acres of exhibit space
in one hall. To see list of exhibitors visit: **
How:* Register on-line or download the EXPO registration form at **.* Pre-register by November 12 to save

*Great Lakes Expo Features Organic Educational Sessions: Thursday Dec. 9,

 *ATTENTION ORGANIC FARMERS*! *Special Thursday Registration Fee of $35 is
available for admission to the trade show and education sessions.* This is
good for Thursday ONLY.  Thursdays spotlights organic educational sessions
on organic vegetable production, current issues in organic fruit,  Farmers
Markets and Organic Opportunities: Extending the Season on the Farm and at
the Market. The trade show will be open from 8a.m.-1p.m Thursday-only
registration does not include the free subscription offers that are included
with the regular registration fees. It also does not include membership in
the Michigan State Horticultural Society of the Michigan Vegetables.
Midwest Fruit IPM Course for consultants, extension agents and NRCS staff

posted on November 03, 2010 09:34

We are offering an in-depth course to train new Fruit IPM coaches and
consultants to fill a growing need in the Midwest. Please read the brochure
for the Midwest Fruit IPM
to begin January 2011 for more information. We are looking for
participants who can attend all four sessions.

The first session, held in Madison, WI from January 10-14, will cover the
basics of Fruit IPM in the Midwest, business planning, and the NRCS
conservation programs requiring IPM plans. During the second session
participants will attend the Michigan State Tree Fruit School; held from
January 24-26 in Hickory Corners, Michigan. In the third session, held at
various farms in Wisconsin June 22-24, participants will gain experience in
the field with growers and learn about biocontrols; effective use of spray
equipment, and early season pests and diseases. The fourth session, held at
various farms in Wisconsin July 13-15, will provide participants with more
field experiences with late season pests and diseases as well as extensive
work on writing IPM plans for both growers and NRCS.

We seek candidates with flexible schedules that will allow them to fully
participate in all sessions. Candidates should be professionals with crop
consulting experience. Candidates should be interested in gaining knowledge
that they will then apply in the field. This knowledge will include the
skills necessary to assist farmers in implementing IPM on their farms as
well as the ability to write IPM plans for farmers and NRCS Conservation
Programs (EQIP and CAP).We are specifically interested in individuals who
are crop consultants interested in expanding their services to include
fruit; new Fruit IPM consultants, County Conservationists; and Extension and
NRCS field staff.
*For more information*
Contact Jane Kleven 608-262-5200, [log in to unmask]
or Regina Hirsch 608-265-3637, [log in to unmask]

Event announcement found at the New Agriculture Network web site **.


*Year Round Farm Manager Wanted for the Giving Tree Farm, Lansing, MI*

*Farm Manager Position Description:*

Identifying ways for vocational program clients to participate in the daily
farm work:

   - Finding and adapting jobs for the clients, explaining tasks to the
   program coordinators daily, managing timing of projects and year round
   activities for the clients.
   - Communication and coordination with CBI directors, and office staff.


   - Farm planning, and season extension planning of vegetables, herbs,
   flowers, and some fruit with needs of the clients and accessibility in mind.
   - Seed and supply inventories and orders.
   - Promotion and marketing of CSA and additional produce.
   - CSA distributions.
   - Budgeting.


   - Scheduling of crops and harvests, accessing needs of crops, managing
   and maintaining soil fertility, irrigation schedules, input applications,
   weed control, integrated pest management, and cover crop management.
   - Monitor food safety issues and maintenance of farm infrastructure and

Managing farm staff:

   - Prioritizing labor needs daily, weekly, monthly.
   - Finding and hiring summer farm staff.
   - Directing seasonal farm staff.
   - Approving scheduling, hours, and mileage.

Record keeping for certification and produce sales:

   - Complete application to be certified organic.
   - Seeding, transplanting, and harvesting records.
   - Compost, amendments, and IPM records.
   - Monthly farm expenses.
   - Weekly farmer’s market and restaurant sales.
   - CSA payments.

*Education and Experience:* Training in horticulture and experience in
management of year round organic production, CSA programs, marketing, and
staff management desired.

*Type:* Full-time
Salary: *Competitive

*To Apply:* Email cover letter, resume, and references to the current farm
manager at *[log in to unmask]* and *[log in to unmask]*. Last Day to
apply: November 10th, 2010.

Position posting found at *
*Apprentice Farmer at Sunseed Farm*

*Dates:*  May 2 - October 14, 2011

*Compensation: *$10/hour, 1/4 - 1/2 acre cropland for personal farming
business development, limited access to farm machinery, tools and
infrastructure, guidance and consultation from the Senior Farmer.

*Hours: * 24 hours/week
Description: *The Apprentice Farmer's primary responsibilities will be to
work 3 days per week assisting the Senior Farmer in running the day-to-day
operations of Sunseed Farm, including all tasks involved in vegetable and
fruit production and marketing.  In addition, the Apprentice Farmer will
have access to between 1/4 and 1/2 acre of cropland to pursue the
development of their personal farming business, which, subject to the
approval of the Senior Farmer, could include the production of any
horticultural crops for sale or processing.  The Apprentice Farmer will have
access to the Senior Farmer for consultation and guidance during a weekly
meeting, and will have access to farm machinery, tools and infrastructure,
secondary to the production needs of Sunseed Farm.

This position is a unique opportunity to gain knowledge of Sunseed's farming
system and to gain experience running one's own farming business while
receiving mentoring and guidance from the Senior Farmer.

Although all applications will be considered, preference will be given to
candidates who anticipate a desire to live and farm long-term in Michigan.
 Excellent candidates for this position will possess solid previous
experience and a commitment to organic or ecological vegetable growing, a
strong, self-motivated physical work ethic, a desire to discover the best
and most efficient farming methods, and an entrepreneurial spirit.

Sunseed Farm is a year-round diversified vegetable farm just northwest of
Ann Arbor, Michigan, entering its second full year of production in 2012.
 We will be offering 60 CSA shares year-round, and we work in local farmers
markets and with area restaurants and grocery stores.  We are committed to
being the best example of professional, educational and community-enriching
ecological vegetable production in southeast Michigan.  For information on
the farm or for questions regarding the position, please email Tomm Becker
at [log in to unmask]

*To Apply:* Send your resume and a cover letter along with three
professional references to: Sunseed Farm, 716 Fountain St., Ann Arbor, MI

For more information on the farm visit the website

*Assistant Farmer at Sunseed Farms*

Dates: * Beginning May 2, 2011, continuing year-round

*Compensation:  *$10/hour starting wage, with raises based on demonstrated
skill, diligence, efficiency and initiative.

Hours:  40 hours/week during warm season, 20 hours/week during cool season.

*Description:* The responsibilities of the Assistant Farmer will be to work
full-time during the warm season and half-time during the cool season
assisting the Senior Farmer in running the day-to-day operations of Sunseed
Farm, including all tasks involved in year-round vegetable and fruit
production and marketing.

Although all applications will be considered, preference will be given to
candidates who anticipate a desire to work at Sunseed for more than one
season. Excellent candidates for this position will possess experience and
knowledge of organic or ecological vegetable growing, a strong,
self-motivating physical work ethic, and a desire to discover the best and
most efficient farming methods.

Sunseed Farm is a year-round diversified vegetable farm just northwest of
Ann Arbor, Michigan, entering its second full year of production in 2012.
 We will be offering 60 CSA shares year-round, and we work in local farmers
markets and with area restaurants and grocery stores.  We are committed to
being the best example of professional, educational and community-enriching
ecological vegetable production in southeast Michigan.  For information on
the farm or questions regarding this position, please email Tomm Becker at
[log in to unmask]

*To Apply:* Send your resume and a cover letter along with three
professional references to: Sunseed Farm, 716 Fountain St., Ann Arbor, MI

For more information on the farm visit the website **

*Ferris Farms Seeking Spring Help!*

Ferris Farm is just outside Ann Arbor, MI in Dixboro. The farm is on 120
acres, about 60 is pasture and one fenced acre is the vegetable garden.
There's also a double layer glass greenhouse loaded with tropical’s like
banana plants, hibiscus and lime trees all winter.

*Duties:*  Tend to tropical glass greenhouse, a hoophouse, and an acre of
vegetables and an acre of fruit.

*Compensation:* $9 to start, this number could change.
Hours: *40 hours a week.  If you're available weekends, you might be asked
to come in and water and/or roll up sides, vent houses, feed animals, etc.

*How to Apply:* Send your resumes to me via email *[log in to unmask]*.

For additional information call or text Mikey , 313-530-5820.


*Now accepting applications for 2011 Cohort of the Organic Farmer Training
Program at the Michigan State University Student Organic Farm!*

The Organic Farmer Training Program offers nine months of intensive
instruction in year-round organic farming.  The program focuses on
diversified production of vegetables, flowers, fruits and herbs for local
markets.  Students manage all aspects of a 10-acre certified organic farm,
including passive solar greenhouses used for year-round production in cold
climates.  Students also manage the SOF field production. Produce is grown
for the farm’s primary markets, including a 48-week CSA, six-month on-campus
farm stand, and sales to campus dining services.  Students develop
competencies in farm skills through trainings and engagement in the daily
operation of the farm.  Hands-on training is combined with workshops,
lectures, readings and assignments that build participants’ knowledge and
understanding of organic farming principles and practices.  The program is
designed to give participants a strong background in production skills as
well as the knowledge, management, and decision-making skills necessary to
operate a diversified small farm.

Program participants include new and beginning farmers, urban and community
farmers and gardeners, educators, and those interested in local or organic

Visit The Student Organic Farm website for full program description and
application, **  or contact us at *[log in to unmask]*,

*Register today for MIFMA’s Market Manager Certificate Program

The Market Manager Certificate Program is a voluntary program designed to
encourage farmers market managers to pursue education, leadership and skills
development in topics essential to market management.  Market managers will
be recognized with a certificate upon completion of the full program.

The six day-long sessions will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on
January 12, 26, February 9, 23, and March 8, and 9 at the Michigan Municipal
League conference room in downtown Lansing.
Topics include:

   - Business Planning and Market Growth Management
   - Human Relations and Conflict Management
   - Market Governance, Rules and enforcement
   - Fundraising
   - Marketing and Outreach

The fee is $200 for all six sessions for MIFMA members and $500 for all six
sessions for non-MIFMA members. Single sessions will be $50 for MIFMA
members and $85 for non-MIFMA members. Individuals can register for single
sessions, but will not receive certification.  *Program registration closes
December 31, 2010*. Individual session registration closes two weeks before
the session. Please call 517-432-3381 with any questions.

Register online today <>

*Real Time Farms is here to help you know your farmer and find their food!*

* *Real Time Farms is a national online food
guide. You can discover nearby farms, farmers markets, and locally-sourced
restaurants in your area and we encourage you to participate by sharing
photos and information on your local farms and farmers markets to help us
build the most transparent food guide available.The mission of Real
TimeFarms is to excite and educate people about where their food comes
from and
to connect them to fresh, local sources of food.

You can add your own farm or farmers market! Here are the steps...

1. Visit the Real Time Farms web page and click
on *create new account* at the top right hand corner of the page. Here you'll
also be able to participate by adding pictures of your farmers market or
farm. You can also enter in the location, website, and a short blurb about
your farmers market or farm. In the future restaurants will be able sign up
online too.

*USDA Announces Loan Program for Natural Resource Conservation*

WASHINGTON, Sept. 2, 2010 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today
announced the launch of a Conservation Loan (CL) program that will provide
farm owners and farm-related business operators access to credit to
implement conservation techniques that will conserve natural resources.

“This will give farmers who want to implement conservation measures on their
lands a chance to do so by providing assistance with their up-front costs,”
said Vilsack. “In return, these producers will help to reduce soil erosion,
improve water quality and promote sustainable and organic agricultural

CL funds can be used to implement conservation practices approved by the
Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), such as the installation of
conservation structures; establishment of forest cover; installation of
water conservation measures; establishment or improvement of permanent
pastures; implementation of manure management; and the adaptation of other
emerging or existing conservation practices, techniques or technologies.

Direct CLs can be obtained through local Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices
with loan limits up to $300,000. Guaranteed CLs up to $1,112,000 are
available from lenders working with FSA.

Source: For more information on the Conservation Loan program, contact a
local FSA office or visit the FSA website at For more
information about this announcement please see the notice which will appear
in the September 3 edition of the Federal Register:


*Sweet Onions Are a Potential Crop for Michigan by Dr. Ron Goldy, MSUE*

*Vegetable Production Educator*

*Southwest Michigan Research and Extension Center*

* *

* *

**Onion consumption in the United States has increased primarily due to
popularity of sweet onions.  Sweet onions have lower levels of pyruvic acid
then cooking onions and a more desirable flavor for fresh or slightly cooked
products.  Low acidity also reduces eye irritation when peeling.  Onion
storage ability is directly related to pyruvic acid levels so sweet onions
do not store well causing production areas to move seasonally.

Michigan’s onion industry consists almost solely on direct-seeded, pungent,
long-storing cooking onions.  Production systems and infrastructure are well
established and are somewhat easier and less expensive then sweet
onions.  However,
this does not mean Michigan growers should not explore sweet onion
production since Michigan could be a supplier during August and September or
longer at a time when they are sourced from western states or imported.

Research at the Southwest Michigan Research and Extension Center (SWMREC)
has investigated sweet onion production including variety adaptability,
direct seeding, harvest period and others.  This report summarizes those

Onions bulb in response to day length and sweet onions adaptable to Michigan
need to be either intermediate or long day onions, with long day-types being
more successful in our trials.  Thirty varieties from several seed companies
have been evaluated and Table 1 gives yield data on the better performing
lines.  Of those listed, Ovation and Western Giant have been the most
consistent in size and yield.  White varieties in general have poor
performance due to greater disease susceptibility.

Sweet onions are transplanted which adds to production expense.  In
Michigan, transplants are started in the greenhouse mid- to late February
and transplanted late April or early May for harvest in early August.
in 2008, trials at SWMREC were conducted to determine if direct seeding was
possible.  The 2008 trial was planted April 7 and found better direct seeded
performance with Ovation then Western Giant.  Montero, Desperado, and Red
Fortress were also among the better performers.  Harvest of the direct
seeded trial occurred early September – a month later then transplanted
trials.  Bulb size was generally smaller and less uniform and some entries
performed poorly.  However, results appeared promising so the trial was
repeated in 2009.  The 2009 transplanted trial again performed well;
however, performance of the direct seeded trial was so poor it was not

Weather during 2008 seed germination was different then 2009.  The average
April 2008 temperature was 50.6oF compared to 47.3oF in 2009 and
precipitation in 2008 was 1.77 inches while in 2009 it was 4.13 inches.  So
temperature and rainfall may have contributed to poor performance in
2009.  April
weather during 2010 was more like 2008 with an average temperature of 54oF
and 2.01 inches of precipitation.

The 2010 trial evaluated six varieties planted at five dates starting April
1 and ending May 10.  This was designed to try to avoid poor weather during
seed germination and to see how late seeding could be done without seriously
affecting yields.  Data for this trial has yet to be fully analyzed but
direct seeded Ovation again appeared to perform better then others in size
and yield at the earlier planting dates.  Bulbs from seeded plants were
again less uniform and smaller then transplants.  Later planting dates did
poorly for all entries.  Results from the 2008 and 2010 trial indicated
there may be potential for some varieties of sweet onions to be direct
seeded.  Trials on direct seeding will continue in 2011.

These trials indicate certain sweet onion varieties can be grown
successfully in Michigan from transplants (Table 1, Figure 1 visit  Transplants increase production costs but
large, sweet onions also bring greater return.  Transplants should be
planted in the greenhouse in February for planting late April or early May
for harvest in early August.  They could be sold soon after harvest or sold
through November if held in common storage.  This is a time when sweet
onions sold in Michigan are being sourced from a considerable distance.  Direct
seeding can not be recommended but this may change with further research.

Table 1.  Yield and size grades of in hundred weight per acre of
transplanted onion varieties at the Southwest Michigan Research and
Extension Center, Benton Harbor, Michigan.  Plant population was
approximately 95,000 plants per acre.










Solid Gold
















Western Giant
























Bello Blanco
















































Colossal = 4.0 – 4.5”; Jumbo = 3.0 – 4.0”; Medium = 2.0 – 3.0”; Small = 1.0
– 2.0”.

To see pictures of onions visit ** under the
vegetable production tab.

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