Central Lakes College offers Local Foods CollegeCentral Lakes College, through its Agriculture and Energy Center, is a co-host for seven sessions for farmers to increase the production of local foods in the region by building production and business management skills.
Central Lakes College, through its Agriculture and Energy Center, is a co-host for seven sessions for farmers to increase the production of local foods in the region by building production and business management skills.
Local Foods College is one aspect of a movement to strengthen local and regional food systems. It encompasses healthy foods for healthy people, stronger demand for healthy local foods, available accessible and affordable healthy local foods, and marketing and policy support for farmers and food producers.
Local Foods College takes place at 6 p.m. on Tuesdays, Jan. 24 and 31, Feb. 14, 21, and 28, and March 6 and 13 via interactive television at the Staples campus.
It will offer an overview of the basics, from planning to soils, fruit and vegetable production and business planning. Participants will learn from practitioners and educators and share personal experiences with others who are part of the growing movement to build resilient local food systems.
Schedule and topics:
Jan. 24 - Whole Farm Planning, Nutrient Cycles and Interactions. Betsy Wieland and Benjamin Arlt. Learn about cycles and interactions and how to use them properly within your production model. Wieland is an Extension Educator and researcher of opportunities for farmers and nutritious food. Arlt is a recent South Dakota State graduate whose interests include organic agriculture.
Jan. 31 - Soils and Composting. Randy Nelson. Covering the basics of soils and how to compost yard and garden wastes. Nelson of U of M Extension has a degree in Horticulture.
Feb. 14 - Vegetable Production and Planning Your Market Garden. Terry Nennich. Learn the basics of vegetable production, including site selection, water needs, seed selection, planning, and some basic methods of dealing with the short grand harsh winter of northern Minnesota. Learn how to layout a vegetable garden or market garden for maximum productivity. Nennich specialzies in vegetable and small-fruit production and is co-author of the Minnesota High Tunnel Production and Minnesota Farmers Market manuals.
Feb. 21 - Starting and Managing an Apple Orchard. Jake Overgaard. A practical look at considerations. Site selection, varieties, rootstock, orchard layout, pests, diseases, orchard floor management, pruning, post harvest management, and finances. Emphasis on providing useful re-sources for future use. Overgaard is an Extension Educator in Winona County whose interests are fruit and vegetable production, organic production, and international agriculture.
Feb. 28 - Small Fruit. Terry Nennich. Basic production and management of the three major small fruit crops grown in northern Minnesota – strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries – along with some minor small fruit crops. Soils, plant spacing, growth management, fertility, and harvest.
March 6 - Backyard Poultry. Jim Stordahl. For the beginner or poultry enthusiast. The entire cycle of raising poultry (mostly chickens) on your farm or in your backyard. Common poultry terminology and breeds, this is a guide through feeding, common problems, housing, and dealing with predators. Stordahl, an Extension Educator, works with small farms, local foods, and livestock production and grazes sheep, raises chickens and keeps a small apiary on his certified organic farm which supplies 75 percent of what his family consumes .
March 13 – 1. Marketing and Business Planning. Ryan Pesch. Marketing local foods takes both planning and creativity. Learn about how to identify your market, options to promote your product, and the basics of a business planning for your enterprise. Pesch works in community development and strategies for direct farm marketing, and researches the local foods market.
2. Farm to School: Find, Learn, and Connect. Sarah Reese. It takes a whole community to put nutritious foods from local farms on the menu at schools. Local growers/farmers restore a connection to eaters and gain reliable new markets in schools. Learn how to connect with valuable resources. Reese has a Community Health education degree from the U of M-Duluth and went on to become a Certified Health Education Speciaist.
A participant may attend any single session for $10 or all seven for $50. One family member or partner will be admitted at no additional cost. For information call 888-241-0781. Registration can be completed online at www.rsdp.umn.edu/Northwest
Checks may be made payable to University of Minnesota and sent to Regional Extension Office, 2900 University Ave., Crookston, Minn. 56716.
Other ITV locations are Bemidji State University, Minnesota State University Moorhead, Northland Community and Technical College, Thief River Falls, University of Minnesota Crookston, and Clearwater County Courthouse. Additional locations may be available.
Co-sponsors are Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, University of Minnesota, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Minnesota, North Central Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education, and Statewide Health Improvement Program.