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Fostering Sustainable Agriculture through Research, Education and Policy since 1984

Looking Forward to 2015

The 2014 season was such a success! We couldn’t have done it without all the amazing customer support and encouragement we received throughout the season. As the interns last year found out, farming is hard work but your kind words and smiles make it all worthwhile. 2015 is shaping up to be another exciting year full of changes and improvements. We can’t wait to share it with you!

To begin with we have split our Garden Student Program into 2 sessions: Apprentices and Interns. The intern program will expose students to the basics of growing food with hands-on work as well as workshops, classes and field trips. This program targets people new to farming and helps them decide if this is truly the right career for them. Coursework includes soil health, greenhouse management, marketing, harvesting and post-harvest handling including food safety. The apprentice program will focus on students who already have farming experience and are looking to increase their knowledge and perhaps specialize. In addition to hands-on learning, leadership roles and workshops they will learn farm planning basics by developing a business plan to help them prepare for their own farming endeavors in the future.

One of our top goals for 2015 is to increase our support community! We will be participating in both the Lake Geneva Farmers’ Market on Thursdays and Beloit on Saturdays. This will give us more opportunities to connect with surrounding communities and give our students even more exposure to marketing and sharing their experiences and knowledge. We hope to increase our worker-share program this summer so we can give back to the community while connecting with them in our fields. Follow our Facebook page for announcements and updates on how you can get involved.

A personal goal for me this season is to continue to increase our production while decreasing our impact to our soil and environment. I’ll be working with Jim Stute in our research department on cover cropping systems that can then be used as a mulch as well more “living mulches” to cut down on tilling requirements. The move to no-till farming in row crops is a hot topic right now but not necessarily optimal for veggie production. For certain crops I believe we can find a good compromise. We’ll continue to work towards a soil management strategy that puts the health of our soil as high on our priority list as production and yields.

With so many changes and improvements for 2015 I find myself getting even more anxious to get the season started! Each day I look out the window and wonder when I can start playing in the dirt again. Before I know it the MOSES Organic Conference will be here signaling once again the start to the greenhouse season. Upon my return the greenhouses will be turned on, apprentices will arrive and trays will get filled with hope, love and seeds!