Big Dreams Small Farms-Market Garden Workshop

— Written By

N.C. Cooperative Extension Service’s Big Dreams Small Farms Series gathers in Watauga County for a day-long Market Gardening workshop on Tuesday, May 28, 2019. This workshop will introduce new and aspiring market growers to what it takes to grow a diversity of vegetable crops suitable for sale to restaurants, at farmers markets, via CSA shares, or other small-scale retail outlets.

Using the Big Dreams Small Farms Series format of a half day in the classroom and a half day on the farm to give participants a comprehensive introduction to farming systems, the workshop will begin at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, May 28, 2019, at the Watauga County Agricultural Conference Center (252 Poplar Grove Rd., Boone NC 28607). In the classroom and over lunch, Mountainwise Farmers Casey Jordaan and Tyler Hoskinson will share the story of how and why they began farming in the NC High Country, first on land leased from Springhouse Farm, and then on the Zionville, NC land they found to purchase for their own. Their choices about equipment, location, crop selection, and markets provide an ideal springboard to discussing the range of options available to market vegetable producers in this region. Extension Agent Richard Boylan will discuss soil testing, fertility, and tillage choices for market garden production, using the Mountainwise N.C. Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services’ testing results as a reference. Extension Agent Eli Snyder will discuss evaluating crop varieties and planting intervals for production success and profitable sales.

Then, at 2:30 p.m., the group will travel to Mountainwise Farm itself for the on-farm component. By visiting the fields, equipment barns, and pack sheds, participants will learn about field site selection, tillage, and cultivation choices the facilities and infrastructure needed from seedling germination to harvests, insect and disease control strategies, and post-harvest handling. The host farm has been busy building infrastructure thanks to a grant awarded by the WNC AgOptions Program, and lots of hard work. This will be a great opportunity to see how these pieces come together on a working small farm.

Registration is required. The cost for the workshop is $25 and includes lunch.

Register online

Registrations are due by 5/21/19.

More information about the entire Big Dreams Small Farms series.