Improve Your Soil Using Compost Tea
Join us for a hands-on workshop at Mesquite Field Farm covering compost tea and soil health and fertility.
Participants will learn
- How to utilize compost tea to improve soil health and fertility
- How to take a soil sample
- Analyzing soil under a microscope
- Make a compost tea from scratch
- Analyze composition of tea under a microscope
- Analyzing proper balance of bacteria and microbes in soil
- Build a compost tea maker
- Build a compost tea distribution container
- Improve soil fertility without chemicals
- Distribute compost tea on the land
Instructor, Casey Williams
Casey is a regenerative agriculturist in Corpus Christi, TX who has studied in multiple areas including permaculture, annual and perennial food production, soil health, and aquaponics. In the Summer of 2017 he took Dr. Elaine Ingham’s Soil Food Web online classes (Life in the Soils, Compost, Compost Tea, and Microscope). He is now in the training program to become a Soil Life Consultant with Environment Celebration Institute. Casey’s business, Agricultural Devolution, has a broad scope comprised of teaching individuals how to consciously tend the precious soil and design healthy, dynamic ecosystems as well as growing soil life and nutrient dense food himself. When not working he really enjoys the culinary arts and leisurely reading!
Breakfast and Lunch will be provided.
Cost: $50 per person
Time: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Register by May 30, 2018
This course will be all worms! Learn how worms can determine your soil health and how to cultivate them. We will also be demonstrating how to build and easy worm bin with minimum inputs.
Instructors: F.A.R.M. & Texas Worm Ranch
- Build/ install infrastructure
- Build soil health & productivity (e.g., make compost, plant and manage cover and catch drops, integrate crop and livestock production, install crop rotations, add organic amendments if and as required)
- Monitor ecological impact of all production activities
- Implement conservation practices & measures (e.g., buffer strips, water quality management projects, wildlife habitat improvement, strip cropping)
- Cultivate soil
Now that you have multiplied your worm collection, use the castings for compost tea. Compost tea is a great way to love your plants naturally. Compost Tea is a Liquid Gold fertilizer for flowers, vegetables and houseplants. … Very simply, it is a liquid, nutritionally rich, well-balanced, organic supplement made by steeping aged compost in water.
- Benefits of compost tea
- How to improve crop growth with compost tea
- Nutrient retention and availability of soil
- Build stronger soil structures with compost tea
Following discussion, we will demonstrate how to build a compost tea brewer!
This session you will learn how to know your markets and grow what they demand. Conduct market research, Building relationships with customers both wholesale and retail; promoting your farm and marketing plans
We will also be learning about implements for no till gardening. Participants will learn how to use a paper pot transplanter and seeder.
- Sell farm products & services
- Distribute farm products (e.g. deliver, ship)
- Obtain customer feedback
- Keep good records (e.g. customer comments, competition, price changes, sales, promotional activities)
- Conduct market research (e.g. research industry, competition, markets/customers, production potential, marketing strategies)
- Prepare marketing plan (e.g. pricing, marketing strategies, logo, product line, target customers, sales potential, promotion, product placement, labor needs, consumer trends, name, organic/”green” label options, potential for value-adding)
- Research legal requirements (e.g. zoning, organizational structure, product handling, liability, tax abatement options, development rights)
- Prepare annual/seasonal marketing plan (e.g. marketing strategies, sales outlets [on-farm, farmers’ markets, retail, wholesale], pricing, value adding).
- Monitor market conditions (e.g. price, supply, competition, consumer trends)
- Develop promotional materials
- Promote farm products & services (e.g. advertise, participate in “buy local” or “green label” campaigns)
- Obtain necessary supplies (e.g. scales, receipt books, cash box, packaging, labels)
- Contact buyers (e.g. retail and/or wholesale)
- Inventory tools, equipment & supplies
- Acquire necessary tools, equipment & supplies (e.g. purchase, borrow, rent)
- Monitor condition of tools & equipment
- Maintain tools & equipment
Join Mesquite Field Farm for mobile chicken tractor building workshop
- Learn the Suscovich design of mobile chicken tractors
- Learn how to build a mobile chicken tractor
- Construct 4 Suscovich style mobile chicken tractors
Lunch is provided by Pioneer BBQ
RSVP by October 18, 2018
This workshop will teach individuals how to build wicking beds for vegetable production. Wicking beds are a permaculture technique as an alternative to growing vegetables in the ground. We will be building a wicking bed.
- Understanding irrigation systems
- Planning irrigation systems
- Raised Beds
- Soil Moisture testing
- Determining moisture needs
Steve Smith, Army veteran, co-founder of F.A.R.M.
RSVP by November 1, 2018
Join us for a farm tour of Stiles Farm in Thrall, Texas. The Stiles Farm Foundation is a 2,716 acre farm located in Thrall, Texas in eastern Williamson County. The farm is managed by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service as a living demonstration of research-based, profitable, and environmentally sustainable agricultural practices for the Texas Blackland Prairie.
Tyler Coufal, Williamson County Extension Agent, will be putting together some hands-on learning activities and a farm tour of the Stiles Farm.
You can vote for topics from the following when registering:
- Parasite Management & Soils
- Cattle Handling & Working
- Sheep & Goat Handling & Working
- Animal Health & Nutrition
FARM LEARNING LAB:
MANAGING PRODUCTION INCOME FOR SUCCESS
9:00am – 1:00pm
Owenwood Farm & Neighbor Space
1451 John West Rd, Dallas, 75228
Does your farm income keep you up at night? Are you worried about those one or two crops making or breaking your year? We can’t control the weather, and we can’t predict farm income interruptions. But, we can plan for them.
Come to this free workshop and sleep better at night!
Join us for an interactive look at tools to assess potential income vulnerability throughout the year. You will have an opportunity to use tools to see where your farm’s income comes from throughout the year and look at strategies for managing any vulnerabilities, whether through diversification, crop insurance, or a combination. You will also gain knowledge on Whole Farm Revenue Protection crop insurance and have the chance to work with knowledgeable folks on whether this is a good option for your farm.
Just getting started in farming? You are welcome as well! This workshop will give you an opportunity to think through your farm plan as you are planning or getting it up and going.
Who should attend:
- Any farmer or rancher who wants to improve the financial viability of their farming operation
- Beginning farmers who are already growing or who have an idea of what they will grow. If you haven’t decided what you will be producing, this workshop maybe frustrating you to.
- Experienced farmers who want to better understand their farm and look at additional risk management options
- Any farmer with more than one product raised on the farm
Scott Marlow, Rural Advancement Foundation International -USA – Scott is Senior Policy Specialist at RAFI-USA. Previously RAFI-USA’s Executive Director, Scott also directed the Farm Sustainability program, providing in-depth financial counseling to farmers in crisis, education on disaster assistance programs and access to credit, and addressing the needs of mid-scale farmers increasing the sustainability of their farms by transitioning to higher-value specialty markets. With over 20 years working with farmers, Scott’s specialty is financial infrastructure, including access to credit and risk management. He has served and continues to serve on various boards and committees in North Carolina and nationally, including the steering committee of the National Task Force to Renew Agriculture in the Middle. He has a Masters Degree in Crop Science from NC State University and a BA in Political Science from Duke University.
Susie Marshall, GROW North Texas – As founder and executive director of GROW North Texas, Susie has 15 years of experience in working with farmers and food access. She also directs the Food Safety Outreach project for the Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, training small farmers in the Food Safety Modernization Act and serves on the Southern Risk Management Education Center Advisory Committee. Susie has a Masters Degree in Health & Physical Education from Texas A&M – Commerce and a BS from Texas Wesleyan University.
This training made possible by a grant from the USDA Office of Advocacy and Outreach.
What is one thing there is never enough of? COLD STORAGE!
Join us as we demonstrate how to build cold storage in a shipping container. You will be able to utilize skills taught to build cold storage anywhere you have space!
- Determining Equipment Needs
- Sourcing Eqipment/Supplies
- Dry and Cold Storage
Steve Smith, Army veteran, co-founder of F.A.R.M.
RSVP by December 13, 2018
As we move toward the development of our market gardens to meet our customer needs it is important that we prepare our soil, prepare our planting spaces, plant the appropriate crops, plant companion crops to reduce insect stress and maximize our garden space for successive plantings and profit.
This class will provide a discussion of the benefits of cover crops, which crops to plant, when to plant them, and a planting demonstration.
- Koen Stokes – Horticulturist, Veg’d Out Urban Farms
- Doug Havemann, Army Veteran, Co-Owner, Mesquite Field Farm
- Melissa Havemann, Co-Owner, Mesquite Field Farm
- Farm tool safety
- Crop planning
- Seed supply calculations
- Compost development
- Soil amendment requirements
- Farm implement usage (small scale planters)
- Soil preparation
- Planting bed preparation
- Watering methods
About this event
Please wear appropriate attire for the weather predicted for that weekend. It is required that you wear close toed canvas or leather footwear (boots preferred). No shorts will be allowed. Your clothing should be made from durable materials, like wool, leather, or heavy tightly woven cotton. A fabric baseball cap should also be worn to protect the top of your head from sparks. We will provide welding hoods, welding gloves, welding blanket, and welding sleeves for your use while actively welding. If you have your own welding helmet, gloves, and /or jacket you may bring it with you.