Sponsored by the Hudson Valley Slow Food and the Regional Farm & Food Project, this workshop aims to inspire and guide farmers and market gardeners in passive solar, energy efficient methods for meeting the demand for fresh produce beyond the summer months.
From 8:30 AM to 5;30 PM on Saturday, February 28, Steve Moore, a farmer with over 25 years of experience with greenhouses and diversified organic agriculture, will present a short course on sustainable greenhouse design and management. He will address a wide range of topics such as design, site preparation, construction, and glazings; soil management; planting and harvesting schedules; nitrate uptake in low light greens; finances, infrastructure, and income; growing transplants in a "hot bed"; and insect and disease management, including biological control.
Steve has taught numerous courses and made dozens of presentations on greenhouses, sustainable energy, and bio-intensive agriculture. Currently he is the farmer at Sonnewald Natural Foods in Spring Grove, Pennsylvania. Steve is the former director of the Center for Sustainable Living at Wilson College, where he started and managed a 130-family CSA with a 35 week distribution season and designed and operated a 10,000 sq. ft. greenhouse producing out-of-season vegetables. He has also conducted applied research on beneficial insects in greenhouses and microclimate topics.
Following the Saturday workshop session, participants are invited to enjoy a delicious dinner prepared by members of Hudson Valley Slow Food and students from the Culinary Institute of America. Cost per person: $15.
The workshop will continue at 9 AM, Sunday, February 29 in New Paltz with a presentation by David and Ty Zemelsky, year round organic growers near New Haven, Connecticut. During the cooler months, they grow greens in over 16,000 sq. ft. of greenhouses and have begun experimenting with greenhouse production of warm season vegetables. Only two of their five greenhouses are heated, and those are maintained at just 32 degrees. "The phenomenon of seeing the greens freeze and thaw is amazing," says David.
The Zemelskys successfully market their produce primarily to restaurants as well as to both conventional and natural food stores. They command prices are as high as $10/lb. for arugula and $7/lb. for salad mix. Thus far, their operation, which provides a reasonable income, has not required outside labor.
At noon on Sunday, participants will caravan to Hawthorne Valley Farm in Harlemville, NY (Columbia County) for a two hour tour and discussion of a year-round passive solar greenhouse designed by greenhouse manager Rachel Schneider and Steve Moore. Participants will be able to purchase a natural food lunch of their choice at the farm store on site when they arrive. Hawthorne Valley's new greenhouse enterprise complements an existing diversified organic/biodynamic farm (dairy/CSA/market garden).
Now in its third year of production, this 3,000 sq. ft. Ledgewood greenhouse uses a solar hot water system and radiant bottom heat. In Feb., view winter greens and tomato starts; tomatoes and red peppers are harvested June through November. Rachel will share the trial and error that went into making the greenhouse operation successful. The program will conclude by 3:30 PM.
This innovative farming seminar is open to all. The seminar fee is $85, with a $10 discount for each additional person from the same farm as well as a $10 discount per Regional Farm & Food Project membership. Attendance at either the Saturday or Sunday sessions can be arranged for a lesser fee. A catered lunch and workshop manual will be provided for all participants in the Saturday session. A late fee of $15 will be assessed for anyone registering less than two weeks prior to the program.
For more information, contact Gayil Greene, Hudson Valley Slow Food, at 845/255-4419 or firstname.lastname@example.org or the Regional Farm & Food Project at 518/271-0744 or email@example.com. To register, please mail the seminar fee payable to Regional Farm & Food Project, 295 Eighth Street, Troy, NY 12180. Additional information on the co-sponsors may be found at www.capital.net/~farmfood/ and www.hudsonvalleyslowfood.org
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