Deep Winter Greenhouse Class Added for March 14

SFA’s Deep Roots Short Course, “Deep Winter Production of Greens and Livestock Fodder Utilizing Passive Solar Energy,” has added an additional course from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on March 14, 2015.

Click here to register.

Dr. Sue Wika’s deep winter greenhouse at Paradox Farm utilizes passive solar energy with underground heat storage and provides winter greens for local consumers. Photo by Ann Arbor Miller/MPR News.

Dr. Sue Wika’s deep winter greenhouse at Paradox Farm utilizes passive solar energy with underground heat storage and provides winter greens for local consumers. Photo by Ann Arbor Miller/MPR News.

During the class, farm owners Sue Wika and Tom Prieve will provide a detailed overview of the construction and operation of their deep-winter greenhouse, which utilizes passive solar energy with underground heat storage. The greenhouse provides greens for local consumers. In addition, the structure is utilized to produce fodder for the farm livestock. Students will be in the greenhouse to see how greens and fodder are planted and harvested.

Deep Winter classes provide opportunities for students to “get their hands dirty” in the greenhouse by planting and harvesting greens. It will also cover greenhouse construction in a more detailed manner. Registrants: Don’t forget to bring a sack lunch. Beverage and fresh winter salad (grown on site) provided.

The class will be held at Paradox Farm, 11643 State Hwy 78, Ashby, MN 56309 (Directions: 7 miles north of Ashby; 10 miles south of Battle Lake). Storm date is March 15, 2015.

KCIM Webinar, ‘Strategies for Implementing Cover Crops,’ Slated for March 6

KCIM Keep Cattle in Minnesota“Strategies for Implementing Cover Crops,” a SFA Keep Cattle in Minnesota webinar led by Livestock & Grazing Specialist Kent Solberg, is scheduled for 1-2:30 p.m. March 6. The webinar is free and open to all.

Cover crops are a powerful tool farmers can use to improve soil health. Cover crops can play a key role in implementing soil health principles. Specifically, cover crops aid in keeping soil covered, adding diversity to the rotation, keep a living root in the soil, and serve as the “bridge” between cropping systems and integration of livestock.

In the webinar, Kent will review the principles of building soil health, integration of cover crops and real world examples of how adding cover crops to your farm can move you toward productivity and profitability.

This webinar is the second in a series of KCIM webinars SFA has planned. Others are slated for April 3 and Nov. 6; keep watching SFA Connect for details about all upcoming KCIM webinars and programming.

Click here to sign up. For more information, visit our Keep Cattle in Minnesota homepage

New Programming Added to Midwest Soil Health Summit

MSHS_2colorNew programming has been added and registration is still open for the Midwest Soil Health Summit, set for Feb. 18-19 at Arrowwood Resort in Alexandria, Minn.

The MSHS begins at 1 p.m. Feb. 18 with registration opening and the first session, “Soil Science Basics,” with SFA Executive Director John Mesko. Additionally, we’ve just added a BRAND-NEW session to the MSHS, “Soil Science Basics II: Mycorrhizae,” with Dr. Wendy Taheri that will take place from 2:30  to 4 p.m. Feb. 18. This session is in addition to Dr. Taheri’s other session, “Understanding the Diversity in Agricultural Ecosystems,” set for Feb. 19.

Details have also just been finalized for our International Roundtable, set for 2:30 p.m. on Feb. 18. Attendance at the Roundtable is free but attendees must fill out a special registration form. The intended audience for this event includes internationally focused agriculturalists and funders with global ties and and an interest in networking around the issue of soil health. To learn more, click here.

Also, the MSHS program has been finished and is now available for download on the MSHS homepage.

If you need to reserve a room at Arrowwood, contact the front desk at 320.762.1124 and be sure to request the MSHS rate.

SFA Annual Conference: Last-Minute Details and Updates

SFA_AC_The 2015 SFA Annual Conference will be this Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015, in the Gorecki Center at the College of Saint Benedict in St. Joseph, Minn. Some last-minute details:

  • Pre-Registration has closed but you may still register at the door – all walkup registrations are $65. Registration begins at 7:15 a.m.
  • Children 3-12 who wish to attend the Budding Farmers programming may also register at the door for $10 each. Budding Farmers children must be potty-trained.
  • The Conference program and full schedule is now available for download at our Annual Conference homepage.
  • Mary Jane Miller’s Culinary Sessions include “Cooking for Kids,” “Start With a Rotisserie Chicken,” “Grassfed Beef 2: The Art of Braising,” and “Stump the Sommelier.” Then our popular after-conference reception will include beer from 612 Brewery and Mankato Brewery as well as cheese from Caves of Faribault.
  • There may be a limited amount of Leaders Breakfast spots available at the door for $12.50. If you wish to purchase a Leaders Breakfast ticket, make sure you arrive before the breakfast begins at 7:30.
  • Lunch is not included in conference registration. The bountiful and delicious St. Ben’s Cafeteria is in this building; there are restaurants across Minnesota St (which are listed in the conference program); and if you brought your lunch there are plenty of spots to enjoy that, including the Lunch Hour Sessions. Lunch is also a great time to visit our fabulous exhibitors and the ever-popular Seed Swap.
  • Want to set up a carpool? The SFA Annual Conference has a Facebook page.
  • Parking is available in Lot 5 across from the Gorecki Center at St. Ben’s. Enter the campus at the North Entrance on NW 3rd Ave off Minnesota St (be careful, blink and you can miss it). Just look for the SFA signs.

NEARLY 200 PEOPLE have already registered for the SFA Annual Conference. If you haven’t yet, make plans to attend!