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Friday, December 8, 2017
University of Illinois Extension presents a weekly educational series for the small farm community. This series will provide practical knowledge on emerging topics which advance local food production in Illinois. These online presentations will give small farm producers a look at how leading practices in production, management, and marketing enable operations to improve profitability and sustainability. The complete list of topics and speakers is included below. Webinars will be held from noon -1:00 pm on Thursdays and are free.
Choose any number of the following webinars to attend when you register.
Jan. 18-Less Common Fruit Bearing Plants, Elizabeth Wahle,University of Illinois Extension Commercial Ag Educator (Fruits and Vegetables)
Everyone, or most everyone is familiar with fruits like apples, pears, cherries, blueberries and raspberries, but what about lesser known fruit plants like bush cherries, medlars, shipova, goji berries and pawpaw? This session will cover 24 of the lesser known fruiting plants, including their care, which are hardy for outdoor planting and which taste good straight off the plant or require processing to bring out their full flavor profile.
Jan. 25-Updated High Tunnel Concepts, Zack Grant,University of Illinois Extension Local Food Systems and Small Farms Educator
High Tunnels are a new priority when it comes to infrastrucutre on the small farm. Even if you have some experience growing in protected culture the learning curve is often steep with new information and cultural techniques always advancing. This webinar will bring you up to speed on the latest trends, tips, and techniques in high tunnel production.
Feb. 1-Introduction to Certified Organic Production, Grant McCarty,University of Illinois Extension Local Food Systems and Small Farms Educator
This course will provide an introduction to organic certification, alternative marketing strategies to organics, and understanding how to get started in seeking certification.
Feb. 8-Christmas Tree Production and Business Considerations, Dave Shiley,University of Illinois Extension Local Food Systems and Small Farms Educator
Small farm owners looking for another way to diversify, may see Christmas trees as the perfect winter crop. However production of the winter crop requires labor and chemical inputs throughout the year. This webinar will present production requirements, as well as, business management considerations in Christmas Tree operations.
Feb. 15-An Update on the Grand Prairie Grain Guild: Developing Staple Crop Varieties and Associated Regional Food Grade Markets, Bill Davison,University of Illinois Extension Local Food Systems and Small Farms Educator
This webinar will cover lessons learned from two years of trialing diverse varieties of grains and beans as well as providing an update on a new two million dollar USDA grant funded project that will support a regional team in breeding corn for organic farms over the next four years.
Feb. 22-Creating Community Food Production Systems, Laurie George,University of Illinois Extension Local Food Systems and Small Farms Educator
Join Laurie George to learn about the steps needed to get going in establishing community food projects like community gardens, school gardens, and food pantry gardens.
Mar. 1 -Heavy metals in soils: identifying and acting on contamination, Dr. Andrew Margenot,University of Illinois Department of Crop Sciences, College of ACES
This webinar will address an oft-suspected but sometimes under-evaluated risk to (peri)urban agriculture: soil contamination by heavy metals. The causes of heavy metals common in soils and their risks to producers via soil exposure and consumers via consumption of crops will be reviewed. Best practices, resources for identifying potential heavy metal contamination, the interpretation of test results, and management strategies to mitigate heavy metal risks will be discussed.
Mar. 8-Native Pollinators on your Farm, Doug Gucker,University of Illinois Extension Local Food Systems and Small Farms Educator
Native bees and pollinators are important pollinator for crops and fruits and are well adapted to our Illinois climate. Learn how to: identify common native pollinators, provide pollinator habitat and other pollinator friendly practices for your farm.
Mar. 15-Small Acres Pastured Poultry, James Theuri,University of Illinois Extension Local Food Systems and Small Farms Educator
Small scale poultry raising can be profitable, and especially when value is added by grazing the flock. Presentation will describe best breeds; housing; stocking density; pasture advantage; seasonal pastured system; food safety; wildlife control.
Mar. 22-Growing Ginger, Turmeric, and Other Unique Crops, Chris Enroth, University of Illinois Extension Horticulture Educator
Are there markets beyond tomatoes for local growers? During this winter webinar session University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator, Chris Enroth, will share his experience growing tropical crops like ginger, turmeric, and other unique vegetables in the Midwest.
Mar. 29-Tips for Modifying and Building Sprayers for Specialty Crops, Nathan Johanning,University of Illinois Extension Local Food Systems and Small Farms Educator
Need to modify or build a custom sprayer for your specialty crop operation. Join Nathan Johanning for an in depth discussion in sprayer modifcation for your specialty crop operation.
The webinars can be accessed on-line from your personal computer. In case you cannot attend these dates, register anyway to view an archived, recorded version. Information will be provided via email (by the Monday after airing) for viewing at your convenience.
Contact your local Extension office for more information about live viewing sites.
For more information, contact: Zack Grant, University of Illinois Extension, Local Food Systems and Small Farms Educator at 708-679-6889,email@example.com; or Doug Gucker, University of Illinois Extension, Local Food Systems and Small Farms Educator at 217-877-6042, firstname.lastname@example.org