April 28, 2015

Creating the Cooperative Farm: a NOFA-NY Workshop

NOFA-NY and the Letterbox Farm Collective in Hudson, NY are presenting a workshop about cooperative farming and business structures.

When: Saturday, May 2nd, 3-5pm

Where: Letterbox Farm Collective, Hudson, NY

Registration fees are $15/person or $25 two or more people/farm. Pre-register and pay here or call Stephanie at 585-271-1979 ext. 509.

712712b249804bf28a1869851f58d9f8Letterbox Farm Collective is a growing collective of farmers, producing specialty vegetables, herbs, pork, pastured poultry, eggs and value added products.  The four farmers take charge of six enterprises and 25 sales outlets, and are ready to share their information about strong organization systems that help them manage diversity on so many levels.  Learn how Letterbox has developed their team, systems, markets, skills, and security in their first two years, and delve into the structural components (member agreements, business planning, and more) that make their business work. 





For more about the Letterbox Farm Collective, check out this recent piece from Rural Intelligence.

“The Future of Food” and GMO talk at Mettabee Farm

Mettabee Farm in Hillsdale, NY is hosting a screening of The Future of Food on Wednesday, April 29th.  The screening will be followed by a discussion of GMOs and the current labeling debate, led by farmer and activist Elizabeth Henderson.

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Beekman “Mortgage Lifter” Grants – Due April 30th

about_bottle2Beekman 1802 is giving away $18,147 in “lifts” to small farms with big ideas.  Awards will be granted in the amounts of $15,000 and $1,049 to agricultural business that fit the USDA definition of a Family Farm and have been in business for three years.  Last year, a local farm and Berkshire Grown member won the $15,o00 lift – this year it could be you!  Learn more and apply now!

Permaculture Design Course at Sirius EcoVillage

The Sowing Solutions Permaculture Design Certification Course is running their summer intensive July 17th-30th at Sirius EcoVillage in the Pioneer Valley.  Learn more here!


Urban Gardening Workshop from Alchemy Initiative

Julia Lemieux of Windy Ridge Farm and the Berkshire Community Action Council community garden program will teach companion planting and space-saving techniques for your small garden, raised bed or container garden.  This introductory workshop will involve hands-on, straight-forward examples of different methods and techniques to improve your garden’s output. Participants will work to create their own companion planted container to take home along with handouts detailing each topic discussed.  Cost is $30 with a limited number of scholarships available.


When: Saturday, May 30th, 3-5pm

Where: Robbins Ave Community Garden in Pittsfield

More info at the Alchemy Initiative website.

Sheep to Shawl at the Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation

Sheep-to-Shawl-May-08-AE-photos-033-300x200On Saturday May 2nd from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM the Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation (WRLF) will host a Sheep to Shawl Festival at its Sheep Hill headquarters in Williamstown.

The Sheep to Shawl festival is a celebration of spring and New England heritage, with local artisans and food producers, farm animals, shearing, herding, weaving and spinning all bringing a focus on the region’s historic fleece and fiber industry.

Tickets for Sheep to Shawl can be purchased at the gate. Non-member tickets prices are $5 per individual and $10 per family. WRLF members and those who come by bicycle pay $3 per individual and $6 per family. Become a WRLF member at the gate and receive free admission!

For additional details, visit the WRLF website.


Wildstone Farm Seeks Apprentices

Wildstone Farm in Pownal, VT is looking for an apprentice from May to November.  Contact Joy and John for more details.


Trusted Roots Farm Seeks Apprentice

Trusted Roots Farm in East Chatham, NY seeks an apprentice for the summer.  Learn more039b79_b5a307f1144e45b6a75ee9aa09dee213.jpg_srz_p_350_175_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srz.

Workshops at Bug Hill Farm

Bug Hill Farm launches a series of workshops and special events this month, covering topics such as Small Fruit Cultivation, Wild Edibles, and Medicinal Plants.  Learn more and register.

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Small Farms, New Markets: Webinar Series

Cornell’s Small Farms Program is hosting a free webinar series illuminating how farmers and buyers connect.


In recent years, a variety of new wholesale opportunities have opened to small and mid-sized farmers.  Whether its a brick and mortar venue such as a food hub, distributor or grocery store, or a virtual venue such as an online marketplace, these new avenues provide countless new ways to get your product out to bigger customers. But how do you decide which wholesale market is the right one to pursue?

You can find out by tuning in to Small Farms: New Markets, an upcoming three-part webinar series.  The webinars feature a dairy, livestock and mushroom farmer that have all transitioned successfully to one or more new wholesale markets.  Farmers will reflect on their decision making process, benefits and challenges, costs, and infrastructure needed to get their products to bigger markets. Each webinar also features one of the farmer’s ‘wholesale’ buyers who will describe how they establish productive relationships with smaller farms, and outline their business models and buying requirements.

All of the webinars are free and open to the public.   Registration is required.  Upon registering, you’ll receive an email providing a link and instructions for you to access the webinar(s) you signed up for. This webinar series is part of a larger training titled “Sparking a Wholesale Revolution: Connecting Small and Mid-sized Farmers to Larger Markets” sponsored by NE SARE (Northeast Sustainable Ag Research and Education) and the Cornell Small Farms Program.


Turning Milk to Gold (Butter)

Monday, April 6th. Noon – 1:00pm

with Shannon Mason of Cowbella and Sonia Janiszewski & Richard Giles of Lucky Dog Food Hub


Upstate Livestock Farm Reaches NYC Restaurants

Monday, April 13th. Noon – 1:00pm

with Stephen Winkler of Lucky 7 Livestock Company and Seth Mosner of Mosner Family Brands


Mushrooms to Dining Rooms: Meet the People Behind the Food Chain

Monday, April 20th. Noon – 1:00pm

with  Alan Kaufman of Shibumi Farm, Jennifer Goggin of FarmersWeb, and Anthony Fassio of the Natural Gourmet Institute