March 16-18, 2014 Wisconsin Dells.

This intensive three-day school demonstrates what it takes to set up and run a successful vineyard business.

Topics include:

  •    business planning
  •    current markets
  •    site selection
  •    variety selection (table and wine grapes)
  •    site preparation
  •    vineyard management
  •    IPM for insect pests and diseases

To learn more about the school, contact Regina Hirsch at the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems, UW-Madison, 608-335-7755 or rmhirsch@wisc.edu

 

Enjoy your favorite apple products, this year of plenty!

UW-Madison is recognizing the work of our Eco-apple project. See the story at: http://www.news.wisc.edu/22267

Growers are meeting here in Madison on December 9th to talk about their efforts this growing season and their concerns for the next. If you are a commercial apple grower and want to join us, contact us!

If you want to hear the farmers tell their own story, go to this short video:

At the Core: Apple growers of the Upper Mississippi River

Apple growers from Wisconsin and Minnesota share their thoughts on running a farm-based business, the pleasures of apple growing, opportunities for learning and assistance, and what the future holds.

This video features the following growers:
Steve Louis, Oakwood Fruit Farm, Richland Center, WI
Doug Shefelbine, Shefelbine’s Orchard, Hollman, WI
Tom Ferguson, Morningside Orchards, Galesville, WI
Craig Schultz, Bushel and a Peck, Chippewa Falls, WI
Dave Pagoria, Helene’s Hilltop Orchard, Merrill, WI
James and Barbara Lindemann, Gardens of Goodness, McFarland, WI
Charlie Johnson, Whistling Well Farm, Hastings, MN

Produced by Laurie Greenberg for the UW-Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems

 

 

For more information, go to: www.driftlessfarmcrawl.blogspot.com

 

EVENT ONE:  Driftless Farm Crawl

 

This event is aimed at connecting residents and families to local food and farms.  This event will feature several farms located in the tri-state area that will open their doors to the public on Saturday, September 21st from 1:00pm-5:00pm.  We will be providing maps and information for families, as well as descriptions of each participating farm!

 

Each farm will host at least one scheduled tour during the day.  Farms will able be encouraged to sell their product on site during the event, as we hope to increase the economic viability of local, family farms

 

EVENT TWO: Driftless Farm to Table Dinner

 

Delicious food from local farms will be artfully prepared by four Tri-state area chefs, highlighting our rich local food culture.   This dinner will be a one night only, family-style, four course creation based on what’s ripe and good from our farmer’s fields.

 

This dinner will be prepared by:

Driftless Market – Platteville, WI

L.May Eatery – Dubuque, IA

One Eleven Main – Galena, IL

East Mill Bakeshop – East Dubuque, IL

Time is short to make the registration deadline for this workshop – one that you won’t want to miss! Check out the draft agenda and handouts we are preparing for the event! Registration information here.

(ps: more than 60 people turned out for the aronia field day in Soldiers Grove at Star Valley — see previous post)

 

8:30-9:00 a.m.                  Welcome & introductions

9:00-9:45 a.m.                  Principles of ecological gardening

9:45-10:30 a.m.                split into 2 groups:

  1. Small group discussion/Functions worksheet: What are the functions you want fulfilled on your land? What are your land’s needs, yields, characteristics?
  2. Tour at Nature Nooks — motivation and philosophy, species selection for food production, wildlife buffer, riparian plantings, visual screens, ecotourism

10:30-10:45 a.m.              Break

10:45-11:30 a.m.              Small Group discussion /Tour at Nature Nooks

11:30-12 p.m.                    Lunch

12-12:30 p.m.                    Travel to Cullen and Micaela’s Long Arm Farm

12:30-2:30 p.m.                Tours at Long Arm Farm with 3 groups :

  1. philosophy, context & background, plant selection, how to plant different species (sheet mulching, etc.), plant selection for hedgerows, what is working well, markets
  2. animals, chicken tractor and rotations, plants for fodder, cheese cave, markets
  3. plant varieties, plant selection, propagation, what to grow along riparian zones & edges, sun/shade, guilds, juglones tolerant plants

2:30-3:00 p.m.                  Travel to Mike Breckel’s Hawkstone Vineyard

3:00-4:15 p.m.                  Tour at Hawkstone Vineyard – motivation and philosophy, elderberry production, processing and markets

4:15-5:00                            Elderberry tasting (tentative), Wrap Up

 

Handouts:

  • Definition of Terms – perennialization, forest garden, agroforestry, permaculture, organic/gardening/farming, sustainability, resiliency, food security
  • Functions worksheet– what are your goals (hobby farm, supplemental food or income, primary income, etc.), what things do you need to consider on your land? What functions do you want fulfilled?, Do you have specific goals? Land use plan? Biz plans? Markets in mind? Philosophy about land?
  • Observations & Basic Principles worksheet —  aspect, sun/shade, slope, water, soils, cycling, stacking functions, interrelationships, relative location, species selection (needs, yields, characteristics), guilds, animals
  • Plant Lists – fruit and nut varieties, native plant lists from the UW Arboretum, permaculture guilds
  • Plant Nurseries
  • Participant List

To register, use using
the form available on the CIAS website at www.cias.wisc.edu and send with payment to Michelle Miller at UW-Madison CIAS, Attn: Growing Woody Perennials in the Kickapoo Region, Ag Bulletin Building, 1535 Observatory Drive, Madison, WI 53706. Contact Michelle with registration questions at mmmille6@wisc.edu or 608-262-7135. For workshop questions, contact Marian
Farrior: mlfarrior@wisc.edu, 608-265-5214.

It is time to register!

There are three upcoming events for food and agriculture enthusiasts in the Driftless:

  • Aronia Field Day, Saturday, August 24th, 9:30-2pm, Star Valley Flowers, Soldiers Grove, WI. To register, RSVP to phil@starvalleyflowers.com
  • Growing Woody Perennials in the Kickapoo Region, Thursday September 12, 8:30-5, Viroqua. To register, go to www.cias.wisc.edu
  • Driftless Experimental Wine Festival, October 20, 2013. Go to www.AppleRiverWinery.com, Driftless page for more information. To register as a vendor, email  MountHopeVineyard at yahoo.com

More information on each event is posted below. Please register / RSVP as soon as possible.

———————————————————————–

Aronia field day, Saturday August 24th, 9:30-2pm, Star Valley Flowers, Soldiers Grove, WI. To register, RSVP to phil@starvalleyflowers.com

The Midwest Aronia Association is co-sponsoring an aronia field day on Saturday, August 24, hosted by John Zeher, owner of Star Vally Flowers (www.starvalleyflowers.com) John has been an avid supporter and a team member of the Wisconsin initiative to promote aronia even before the existence of MAA.  His sales manager, Phil Mueller, is one of three MAA Board members from Wisconsin. John and Phil are experienced growers of deciduous shrubs and have been marketing to the cut flower industry for over 25 years.  They have a long history of growing aronia as part of their cut flower business and also manage 30+ acres of organically gown aronia planted in 2012.

 
The highlight of this field day will be the tour of aronia fields in various stages of growth and to see what pieces of equipment are used to manage the plants at different ages.  Representatives from equipment manufacturers will be on hand to answer questions and possibly do demonstrations. Other activités include:
  • a discussion about post harvest handling/processing requirements
  • an update on Dr. Brian Smith’s aronia breeding initiative at UW-River Falls
  • Questions and answers about possible companion crops–log onto www.uncommonfruit.cias.wisc.edu for background information.
 
This will be a valuable and informative field day.  Please RSVP to Phil @ www.phil@starvalleyflowers.com to arrange for lunches.
If you have never been to the Driftless area, this is a great opportunity to learn from some of the best in a beautiful part of the country.  Hotels and guest houses are available in nearby Viroqua.  E-mail Phil for more information and any questions.
 
The cost of attending the field days is $20 for MAA members and $40 for non-members (lunch provided)
 

———————————————————————-

Growing Woody Perennials in the Kickapoo Region, Thursday September 12, 8:30-5, Viroqua. 

Space is limited, and registration is old-school (no on-line registration option or plastic) so please register early.

Register using the form available on the CIAS website at www.cias.wisc.edu and send with payment to Michelle Miller at UW-Madison CIAS, Attn: Growing Woody Perennials in the Kickapoo Region, Ag Bulletin Building, 1535 Observatory Drive, Madison, WI 53706.

Contact Michelle with registration questions at mmmille6@wisc.edu or 608-262-7135.

For workshop questions, contact Marian Farrior: mlfarrior@wisc.edu, 608-265-5214.

Location: We will begin the day at Nature’s Nook: S4878 Cty. Rd. S, Viroqua, WI 54665.

Directions: From Viroqua, take Hwy 56 east to Hwy 82. Turn left on Hwy 82 and go to County
Road S. Turn right on S. Nature’s Nook is about 1/2 mile down County Road S on the left.

Draft agenda:

  • 8:30-9:00 a.m.                  Welcome & introductions
  • 9:00-9:45 a.m.                  Definitions, Principles of ecological gardening
  • 9:45-10:30 a.m.                2 groups: 1)  Small group discussion/Functions worksheet: What are the functions you want fulfilled on your land? What are your land’s needs, yields, characteristics?  2)      Tour at Nature Nooks
  • 10:30-10:45 a.m.              Break
  • 10:45-11:30 a.m.              Small Group discussion /Tour at Nature Nooks
  • 11:30-12 p.m.                    Lunch
  • 12-12:30 p.m.                    Travel to Cullen and Micaela’s Long Arm Farm
  • 12:30-2:30 p.m.               3 groups : 1) philosophy, context & background, plant selection, how to plant different species (sheet mulching, etc.), plant selection for hedgerows, what is working well, markets; 2) animals, chicken tractor and rotations, plants for fodder, cheese cave, markets; 3) plant varieties, plant selection, propagation, what to grow along riparian zones & edges, sun/shade, guilds, juglones tolerant plants
  • 2:30-3:00 p.m.                  Travel to Mike Breckel’s Hawkstone Vineyard
  • 3:00-4:15 p.m.                  Tour at Hawkstone Vineyard
  • 4:15-5:00                            Elderberry tasting

This workshop is sponsored by UW-Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems and the UW-Madison Arboretum, with a grant from the Kickapoo Valley Reforestation Fund. Our wonderful collaborators include: the Vernon County Land and Water Conservation District, My Wisconsin Woods, the Aldo Leopold Foundation, the Kickapoo Woods Cooperative, and Southwest Badger RC & D.

——————————————————————————–

Driftless Experimental Wine Festival, October 20, 2013. Go to www.AppleRiverWinery.com, Driftless page for more information. To register as a vendor, email  MountHopeVineyard at yahoo.com

To receive a registration form for exhibitor/consumer email MountHopeVineyard@yahoo.com

The Driftless Experimental Wine Festival was initiated to bring together boutique and independent wine makers who produce wines made from grapes grown within the Upper Mississippi River Valley AVA (Northwest Illinois, Northeast Iowa, Southeast Minnesota, and Southwest Wisconsin), the Driftless Area. Efforts have been realized to develop initial flavor profiles for French-American Hybrid grapes and Northern Cultivars developed at the University of Minnesota. In order to further those efforts, terroir influenced wines need to be explored.

This event is the first step in a series that will exhibit experimental wines produced only from local and state specific (UMRV AVA) grown grapes. The experience will provide consumers with an opportunity to enjoy similarities and begin to identify differences, terroir influence, between those wines. Gross proceeds from the event will fund scholarships at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale in Horticulture (viticulture) and Architecture (winery design).

Want to know what woody perennials to grow for the long-term health of your land and the region? Learn how to use ecological principles and considerations to manage your land, and see what some beginning growers are doing in the Kickapoo region.

Thursday, September 12, 2013, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm • Viroqua, WI

Participants will visit:

  • a new ecotourism and retreat site that has plantings to benefit both people and wildlife;
  • a family farm devoted to specialty food that uses permaculture principles and practices along with managed grazing of goats;and
  • an elderberry on-farm research project inspired by work at the University of Missouri.

This workshop is designed for landowners with properties of all sizes who need a bit of inspiration and insight about how to get started, what is working on the ground, and what to plant in hedgerows, woodland edges and streambanks. Join us in exploring these three different locations and approaches to applying ecological principles to growing woody perennials in the Kickapoo region.

Space is limited! Please register by September 6.

Registration fee: $40, which includes a box lunch from the Viroqua Food Co-op; or $30 and bring your own lunch.

Register using the form available on the CIAS website at www.cias.wisc.edu and send with payment to Michelle Miller at UW-Madison CIAS, Attn: Growing Woody Perennials in the Kickapoo Region, Ag Bulletin Building, 1535 Observatory Drive, Madison, WI 53706.

Contact Michelle with registration questions at mmmille6@wisc.edu or 608-262-7135.

For workshop questions, contact Marian Farrior: mlfarrior@wisc.edu, 608-265-5214.

Location: We will begin the day at Nature’s Nook: S4878 Cty. Rd. S, Viroqua, WI 54665.

Directions: From Viroqua, take Hwy 56 east to Hwy 82. Turn left on Hwy 82 and go to County
Road S. Turn right on S. Nature’s Nook is about 1/2 mile down County Road S on the left.

Draft agenda:

8:30-9:00 a.m.                  Welcome & introductions

9:00-9:45 a.m.                  Definitions, Principles of ecological gardening

9:45-10:30 a.m.                2 groups: 1)  Small group discussion/Functions worksheet: What are the functions you want fulfilled on your land? What are your land’s needs, yields, characteristics?  2)      Tour at Nature Nooks

10:30-10:45 a.m.              Break

10:45-11:30 a.m.              Small Group discussion /Tour at Nature Nooks

11:30-12 p.m.                    Lunch

12-12:30 p.m.                    Travel to Cullen and Micaela’s Long Arm Farm

12:30-2:30 p.m.               3 groups : 1) philosophy, context & background, plant selection, how to plant different species (sheet mulching, etc.), plant selection for hedgerows, what is working well, markets; 2) animals, chicken tractor and rotations, plants for fodder, cheese cave, markets; 3) plant varieties, plant selection, propagation, what to grow along riparian zones & edges, sun/shade, guilds, juglones tolerant plants

2:30-3:00 p.m.                  Travel to Mike Breckel’s Hawkstone Vineyard

3:00-4:15 p.m.                  Tour at Hawkstone Vineyard

4:15-5:00                            Elderberry tasting

This workshop is sponsored by UW-Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems and the UW-Madison Arboretum, with a grant from the Kickapoo Valley Reforestation Fund. Our wonderful collaborators include: the Vernon County Land and Water Conservation District, My Wisconsin Woods, the Aldo Leopold Foundation, the Kickapoo Woods Cooperative, and Southwest Badger RC & D.

Space is limited – 50 people have registered to date! After June 24nd, we cannot guarantee lunch will be available. Please register soon.

Register on-line

Thursday, June 27, 2013  9:30-4pm

Viroqua & Viola, WI

Hosted by: Rooted Spoon Culinary, Viroqua, WI and New Forest Farm, Viola, WI in collaboration with the Hazelnut Development Initiative, the Midwest Aronia Growers Association, and the UW Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems.

Two panel discussions will address the marketing of hazelnuts, aronia and mushrooms. Chefs will speak to their experience working with forest products from local growers. Hazelnut and aronia growers, and a mushroom forager, will share their experience marketing to local restaurants.

After a lunch at Rooted Spoon Culinary highlighting some of these forest products, the venue will shift to New Forest Farm in Viola, WI (about a half-hour drive). Here, attendees will tour the largest hazelnut planting in Wisconsin situated within this perennial permaculture farm. Please, no sandals on the farm tour.

Marketing the Native Understory agenda

9:00-9:30         Sign-in, registration, coffee

9:30-9:45         Welcome and introductions - Norm Erickson, hazelnut grower and Master of Ceremonies. Also, Dani Lind, chef; Brady Williams & Michelle Miller, UW-CIAS

9:45-10:45      Grower Panel: Norm Erickson, Rochester, MN , hazelnuts; Michael Mathiasen, St. Charles, IA, aronia; Joe Skulan, Lodi, WI, foraged mushrooms.

10:45-11:00     Break

11:00-12:15     Chef Panel: Chef Ryan Boughton, One Eleven Main, Galena, IL; Monique Hooker, chef and author of Cooking with the Seasons: A Year in My Kitchen; Brad Niemcek, Kickapoo Culinary Center

12:15-1:00       Lunch and informal networking

1:00-1:20         Lessons from value-added nut enterprises in the Midwest: 5 case studies -Brady Williams

1:20-1:40         Upper Midwest Hazelnut Development Initiative, Jeff Jensen, President Minnesota Hazelnut Foundation (invited) and Jason Fischbach, UW Extension – Bayfield County (invited)  and Midwest Aronia Association, Phil Mueller.

1:40-2:00        Unstructured networking

 2:00                Leave for Mark Shepard’s New Forest Farm in Viola to tour hazelnut and aronia plantings and learn about permaculture systems.

The registration fee for this event is $10. Space is limited to the first 80 people to register. Register on-line

Some of the businesses sending representatives include:

  • Weaver Gardens, Altura, MN
  • Proudspirit Farm, Viola, WI
  • Ecker’s Apple Farm, Trempealeau, WI
  • The Root Note, LaCrosse, WI
  • Walnut Bluffs Farm, Canton, MN
  • Star Valley Flowers, Soldiers Grove
  • Bellbrook Berry Farm, Brooklyn, WI
  • Strause Farms, Rio, WI

Representatives from the following towns and cities have registered:

  • Waunakee, WI
  • Cedar Rapids, IA
  • Milwaukee, WI
  • Spring Green, WI
  • Necedah, WI
  • Prairie du Chien, WI
  • Johnson Creek, WI
  • Luana, IA
  • Decorah, IA
  • St. Charles, IA
  • Rochester, MN
  • Stoddard, WI
  • West Bend, WI
  • Black River Falls, WI
  • Highland, WI
  • Rib Lake, WI

Marketing the Native Understory: Selling Driftless Hazelnuts, Aronia and Mushrooms Direct to Chefs

June 27, 2013, Viroqua / Viola, Wisconsin

9:30-4pm

Hosted by: Rooted Spoon Culinary, Viroqua, WI and New Forest Farm, Viola, WI in collaboration with the Hazelnut Development Initiative, the Midwest Aronia Growers Association, and the UW Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems.

Hazelnuts and aronia are newly emerging, cultivated woody perennial crops in the Upper Midwest, and wild mushrooms are part of a long tradition of foraging in this region. These “forest products” can help chefs create locally-sourced signature dishes, and can help landowners supplement and diversify their income.

Selling direct to chefs may be an important way for growers and foragers to get their products to market,  invigorate production and develop the necessary processing infrastructure. One of the main barriers to chefs purchasing local products is a lack of information about crop attributes or availability. With this in mind, the UW-CIAS  is working with local partners to connect chefs and growers from around the Driftless Region at this event. Throughout the day, growers and chefs will have opportunities to develop contacts with potential buyers and suppliers.

Two panel discussions will address the marketing of these crops. Chefs will speak to their experience working with forest products from local growers. Hazelnut and aronia growers, and a mushroom forager, will share their experience marketing to local restaurants.

After a lunch at Rooted Spoon Culinary highlighting some of these forest products, the venue will shift to New Forest Farm in Viola, WI (about a half-hour drive). Here, attendees will tour the largest hazelnut planting in Wisconsin situated within this perennial permaculture farm. Check back for updates on the agenda and participating organizations.

The registration fee for this event is $10. Space is limited to the first 80 people to register. Visit our web page, where we will post agenda updates and participating organizations. Or, if you are ready, you can  register on-line.

(Could someone organize something like this for our region?)

June 10-12, Cambridge MA

Here for more information.

This leadership summit, presented by The Culinary Institute of America and Harvard School of Public Health, will help you NAVIGATE an increasingly complicated world of shifting consumer values and demands, public health imperatives, escalating food costs, and looming environmental challenges. Harvard nutrition expert Dr. Walter Willet (left) is chairman of the Menus of Change Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee, a group that together with the CIA and our Sustainable Business Leadership Council is working to create an integrated platform of strategies and tools to help you build forward-looking—and delicious!—menu concepts for the future.
Confirmed speakers to date include Sam Kass, senior policy advisor for healthy food initiatives at the White House; Barton Seaver, CIA graduate, author of For Cod and Country, and director of the Healthy and Sustainable Food Program at the Harvard University Center for Health and the Global Environment; Andrea Illy, CEO of illycaffè, and director of his company’s economic, social, and environmental sustainability value report; and Rick Bayless (left), chef, author, television host, and sustainability advocate.

 

http://www.magnetmail.net/actions/email_web_version.cfm?recipient_id=1217469004&message_id=2595838&user_id=CIA_&group_id=1013146&jobid=13819482

Cobb Hill, VT

Offering an open-source curriculum by Sustainability Leaders Network designed to strengthen and inform the biomimicry movement among educators and learners locally and around the world.

The more our world functions like the natural world, the more likely we are to endure on this home that is ours, but not ours alone. – Janine Benyus, leading biomimicry scholar

About this curriculum
This course offers an introduction to biomimicry and how to learn from nature. With an emphasis on getting outside and exploring the land around you, the biomimicry curriculum that we have designed, tested, and refined focuses on observing, appreciating and learning from nature and natural systems in your locality. Cognizant of the ways in which consumption and population growth have degraded our environment, we focus on positive solutions learned from nature and ways to take meaningful action.

I know all of the statistics of destruction, but I have chosen to come to this out of love, because I love this place. And I want to stay here. I want to stay home. – Janine Benyus

Course goals
Through this course, teachers and learners alike will:

  1. Become knowledgeable and enthusiastic about biomimicry.
  2. Get outside and strengthen relationships with the local environment.
  3. Learn to better recognize, observe, and think creatively about processes and systems in nature.
  4. Shift to see nature not as something to exploit, but as a teacher and model.
  5. Collaborate with nature to devise and apply practical solutions to current challenges.

Colleagues Edie Farwell and Dominic Stucker designed the original curriculum, Edie taught the course at The Sharon Academy in autumn 2012, and Dominic Stucker and Alex Bauermeister further developed the course for publication.

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