On December 2, 2015

Soil fertility management workshop open to vegetable farmers

Tuesday, Dec. 8 at 9:30 a.m.—RUTLAND—On Tuesday, Dec. 8, the Rutland Area Farm and Food Link (RAFFL) will be hosting a workshop, “Soil Fertility Management for Vegetable Farmers,” at the Energy Innovation Center in downtown Rutland from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. This workshop will feature presenter Becky Maden, of UVM Extension and Singing Cedars Farmstead. Farmers will leave with tools and plans to use to manage the health of soils.

Good soil fertility stewardship is a key aspect to profitable and sustainable vegetable farming.  Given the recent passage of Act 64, Vermont’s water quality bill, it is imperative that all farmers are aware of the impact of nutrient management on their farms. Topics covered in this workshop will be placed in the context of this legislation.

Attendees are encouraged to bring their most recent soil tests which they will use to start developing their own nutrient management plans. Participants will learn how to interpret soil test recommendations, calculate nutrient inputs and costs, and discuss amendment choices and how to effectively apply them. Additionally, the workshop will address cover cropping, within the context of soil fertility and field rotations.

Spencer Blackwell, of Elmer Farm, will join the Rutland workshop to discuss his evolving soil fertility plan for his farm in Middlebury. Elmer Farm grows 25 acres of organic vegetables, grains, and dry beans for CSA members and wholesale accounts.

“Given the importance of farmers taking a proactive approach to managing the health of their soils, we are excited to offer this applied, hands-on workshop to support the viability of our region’s vegetable farmers,” says Jen Miller, RAFFL’s New Farmer Program Coordinator.

The workshop’s full agenda and registration information are available online at www.rutlandfarmandfood.org/workshop.

The Energy Innovation Center is located at 68-70 Merchants Row, downtown Rutland.

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