Small Farm Outreach Initiative offers spring series

  • Thursday, February 23, 2012

     

    PRINCESS ANNE, MD- (Feb. 14, 2012)- Plans are underway on the campus of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore for a series of events that will support area farmers who are preparing for a successful 2012 growing season. 

    The 2012 Small Farm Workshop Series begins on Saturday, March 3, with a pesky workshop of sorts.  Drs. Jerry Brust of the University of Maryland, Tom Evans of the University of Delaware, and Kate Everts of the University of Maryland and the University of Delaware offers "What's Eating My Plants?"  The workshop, to be held in the Food Science and Technology Building from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., is a comprehensive review of below and above ground creatures that suck and chew growing vegetation, airborne fungi, and viruses.  Participants will learn how to identify what is causing the damage as well as the appropriate chemical and organic controls.

    On Saturday, March 10, Dr. Gary Felton of the University of Maryland presents a "how to" workshop, "Farm Scale Composting."  The classroom portion will explore the science of composting and nutrient management.  There will also be a field demonstration on how to build the compost pile, with an emphasis on composting horse manure. A quality composting handbook is included in the registration fee.  The event will be held in the Food Science and Technology Building on campus from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., with registration being held from 9 - 9:30 a.m.

    An Integrated Pest Management Workshop is reserved for Saturday, March 17, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Richard A. Henson Center. Dr. Cerruit Hooks, University of Maryland College Park, will talk about different IPM techniques used to identify and treat pest infestations. Dr. Lauren Kolbs, University of Maryland College Park, will focus on ecologically-based weed management on small-scale vegetable farms. 

    The final workshop of the series will be held on Saturday, March 31, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Participants will explore the ins and outs of High Tunnel Raspberry & Blackberry Production.  Dr. Harry Swartz, Five Aces Breeding, Garrett County, Md.; Dr. Tom Handwerker, Small Farm Institute, UMES; and Michael Sigrist, Small Farm Program, UMES, will lead the discussions and share their field experience.  The workshop will begin at the UMES Food Science and Technology Building and will include a visit with hands-on demonstrations in the UMES high tunnels.

     The 2012 Small Farm Workshop Series is sponsored by the UMES Small Farm Outreach Initiative.  The registration fee for each workshop is $10 and includes lunch and all educational materials. Participants may register for every workshop offered at once and for a March 7 Update Dinner Meeting for a discounted price of $40.  For participants who wish to register for the dinner meeting separately, the registration fee is $10.  Representatives from USDA agencies and local agricultural organizations will be on hand to provide updates, share farm program opportunities, and address concerns as they relate to small-scale agriculture.  The Update Dinner Meeting will be held in the Richard A. Henson Center from 6 - 8 p.m.

    For more information about these events and more, contact Kayla Parmar at 410-651-6070 or by email at kjparmar@umes.edu.  Pre-registration is required.  To pre-