2020 Classes

Sessions are from 6:30 to 8:00 pm

September 17
Poultry for Beginners


This class covers the basics of raising poultry for eggs and meat.  Start-up, brooders, feeding, healthcare, production, marketing, and regulatory issues will all be discussed.

Speaker: Megan Denton , Able Farms
September 22
Food Safety from Field to Market


Are you a fruit and vegetable producer looking to extend your season or increase sales through long-term storage or value-added processing?  Learn about food-safe harvest and post-harvest handling practices, best practices for post-harvest storage of fruit and vegetable crops, farm direct exemptions for value-added products, and how to safely produce a value-added product in your home/farm kitchen.

Speaker: Sara Runkel, OSU Extension
September 24
Growing and Marketing Winter Vegetables West of the Cascades


Join this session to learn about growing and marketing winter vegetable west of the Cascades. Heidi will share field management, harvest, and handling techniques for field-grown winter vegetables, including information from experienced growers. Nutritional information, recipes, and cooking demos are available on the Eat Winter Vegetables website, learn how you can use this resource to promote awareness and consumption of local winter vegetables.

Speaker: Heidi Noordijk, OSU Extension
**September 29
Equitable Food Access: Hear from Farmers in the Field


A common frustration for every small, sustainable farmer in or entering food production is the reckoning between low wages and long hours and the high cost of food that is unobtainable by those most in need in our community or even themselves. Hear from Black, Indigenous, and Farmers of Color who’ve come up with creative and successful solutions to both make a livable wage while also ensuring they can support and feed their community. What have been their challenges, successes, and failures? This is an opportunity for the Farm community at large to listen to the needs of the BIPOC farmer community and leverage their resources to support these creative solutions.

Speakers: Michelle Week, Good Rain Farm; Malcom Hoover, Black Futures Farm; and Spring Alaska Olson, Sakari Botanicals
October 1
Pasture Management


With proper grazing and attention to the needs of the keystone species in your pasture, Western Oregon can produce an abundance of high-quality forage. This class will cover the biology of the pasture growth cycle, ways to improve pastures, management of winter pastures, supplemental feeding to extend pasture value in the summer, and weed control choices.

*This session will not be recorded, slides will be provided

Speaker: Chip Bubl, OSU Extension
October 6
How to Start a Farm Business


A farm business expert will go over what you need to know when starting a farm business. This will be followed by practical experience from two beginning farmers. Nicki and Eric will share their experiences, successes, and challenges in starting a farm business. Eric has been farming with his partner Beth for six years in the Yamhill Valley growing vegetables and flowers. Nicki is in her second year of farming at the Headwaters Incubator Program growing and marketing produce with her friend and farm partner Irina. Topics will include financing, business structure, leasing land, selecting markets, and farming with a partner.

Speakers: Nicki Passarella, Amica Farm and Erik Grimstad, Even Pull Farm
October 8
Marketing, Promotion & Brand Identity


Geared for small farm business owners who want to develop a solid brand identity as well as those considering a re-brand.  You will receive examples and tools to help you identify your value proposition, your “story” and your own brand identity.  You will also be provided with tips & tricks to easily utilize social media for marketing.

Participants of this session can be entered to receive a free 30-minute one-on-one marketing consultation.

Speakers: Kate Morton, Associate Brand Manager, Tillamook Country Smoker; & Chris Orcutt, Director of Marketing, OpenDoor Coliving
October 13
Dry Farming: Vegetable Crops in the Maritime Pacific Northwest


Join this session to learn about practices that support dry farming vegetables in our region, hear about some of the results from recent research projects, and how to get involved with the Dry Farming Collaborative

Speaker: Amy Garrett, OSU Extension
October 15
Sustainable Hemp Production Growing Hemp Responsibly


 Interest in and production of hemp has grown significantly in Oregon over the past several years, and that has had many positive benefits on our agricultural landscape but has also created the potential for negative environmental impacts. In this session, we will provide a broad overview of hemp production in Oregon while introducing practices that enhance environmental sustainability. We’ll introduce nutrient and irrigation management, weed control options, cover crops, and soil management considerations.

Speakers: Teagan Moran, OSU Extension, & Gordon B. Jones, PhD, OSU Extension
October 20 Session moved to December 3
** October 22
Equitable Food Access: How to Contribute to Oregon’s Food Sovereignty Network


Now that you’ve gathered a few ideas from listening to the experience and needs of BIPOC Farmers, where do you fit in? What can you do that’s tangible, meaningful, and immediate beyond the basics of communicating with your representatives and singing a petition? We will explore practical examples of financially sustainable ways to make locally farmed food more accessible in your community this season and next. Learn from the farmers and organizations on the ground what actionable steps you can take to further build capacity to achieve a more Equitable Food Economy. Together we can work towards strengthening and broadening the solidarity economy and rework our social structures from the ground up.

Speakers: Michelle Week, Good Rain Farm; Malcom Hoover, Black Futures Farm; Spring Alaska Olson, Sakari Botanicals
October 27
Running a CSA: Know Before You Grow


Community Supported Agriculture can be a rewarding and profitable direct-market outlet for specialty crop farmers.  However, it has unique constraints and challenges.  Learn tips and tricks about how to manage a successful CSA program, including crop planning, member outreach and retention, setting up shares, determining pricing and payment, current CSA trends, and much more.

Speaker: Holly Hutchason, Executive Director of Portland Area CSA Coalition
October 29
Farm to Vase: Growing and Designing Specialty Cut Flowers


Hear from flower farmers and designers Leah Rodgers at Indigo Gardens and Lindsay Goldberg at Fawn Lily Farm about the benefits and challenges of adding floral design work to your farming; the trends in colors, varieties, etc; and how to fit weddings and special events into your business plan.

Speakers: Leah Rodgers, Indigo Gardens & Lindsay Goldberg, Fawn Lily Farm
November 3
Vegetable Weed Management


This course will discuss effective, efficient strategies for managing weeds on your farm.  From tractor cultivation to custom-designed, scale-appropriate hand tools, and everything in-between.  This presentation and discussion comes from many years of experience and experiments.

Speaker: Josh Volk, Cully Neighborhood Farm
November 5
**Racial and Food Justice Series in partnership with Friends of Family Farmers


White Farmers and Food System Members Forming an Anti-Racist Affinity Group: Experiences from a Portland Farmer Development Group

In recognizing the pervasiveness of racial injustice and inequities in our local farm and food system, a small group of white people who are involved in farmer development in the Portland area has been meeting for the past year and a half to better understand their own whiteness and privilege, and recognize the role that plays in limiting opportunities for farmers of color. The group will share why and how the group formed, what we’ve been learning, curriculum, and activities.Rubi Shirazi will give an introduction on how to form a caucus group, develop community agreements, and creating habits for accountability.  

We are not experts and acknowledge the teachers that have been guiding us in this process. The focus of this session will be on how white farmers and food system members can create learning caucuses.

Speakers: rubi Shirazi (re)solution lab; Matt Gordon, Rogue Farm Corps; Bryan Allen and David Wills-Ehlers, Zenger Farm; Rowan Steele, East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District Headwaters Incubator Program and Heidi Noordijk, OSU Extension Small Farms Program
November 10
Bookkeeping for Farmers

Looking to set-up a bookkeeping system for your farm? Kellee Boyer of Blackthorn Bookkeeping will cover tips for developing a bookkeeping system, data entry and archiving, and how to use this data to make decisions on the farm. A robust record-keeping system can use data from one platform for loans, grants, tax filing, and certifications.

Speaker: Kellee Boyer, Blackthorn Bookkeeping
November 17
Soil Ecology for Small-Scale Vegetable Production


Explore the fascinating and important world of soil biology and farm practices that can nurture it. Caring for your soil biology improves soil health and can increase crop productivity, reduce weeds, and sequester carbon. Jen will go into great detail about the importance of nutrient cycling in the soil (soil food web)- how it works and why it is so important for growers. Jen will also discuss no-till methods, occultation (tarping), and the use of compost and organic matter that can improve your soil biology in a small scale vegetable production context.

Speaker: Jen Aron, Blue Raven Farm
** November 19
Racial and Food Justice Series in partnership with Friends of Family Farmers


Documentary Watch Party and Discussion
Film to be confirmed.

December 3
Record Keeping for Farm Business Decision Making

In this workshop, we’ll talk about the records you need to start keeping now that will help you make informed business decisions and identify a plan for your farm’s environmentally and economically sustainable future. Strategies for integrating record-keeping practices into your day-to-day will be emphasized. This session is for farmers that have at least two seasons of farm management.

Speaker: Tanya Murray, Farm Viability Specialist Oregon Tilth
Racial and Food Justice Series is available without registering for Small Farm School. Visit Friends of Family Famers for updates: https://friendsoffamilyfarmers.org/

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