Online Organic Agriculture Seminar Series for Growers

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Join UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE) for a weekly lunchtime seminar series. Each week, we’ll be joined by a guest speaker for a 30-minute presentation followed by questions from the listeners and more general discussion. 

When: January 24–March 21, 2023; Tuesdays, 12–1 p.m. Pacific Time

Increase Your Farm Income Part 3: Working With a Co-Packer to Turn Excess Into Income

Savvy food makers who specialize in jarring up tasty seasonal goods can be a huge help when you come back from market with hundreds of pounds of leftover tomatoes. Processing excess produce not only keeps it out of the compost pile but also saves the money and hard work that went into growing and picking the crop. With some forethought, you can turn leftover produce into a shelf-stable product that can be sold all winter and beyond.

Survey for Urban Farmers in Southern California

Graduate student Thais Spiropoulos of California Polytechnic University, Pomona, in association with the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) programs in Southern California, will be conducting a needs assessment of urban farmers who primarily use organic growing methods. This survey aims to assess the technical needs of urban farmers within non-desert areas of San Bernardino, Riverside, inland Los Angeles, and Orange counties.

Increase Your Farm Income Part 2: Finding your Niche in the Market

Breaking into new markets may seem daunting when other farms grow or raise similar products. I remember trying to navigate this when I was first starting out. There were so many farmers with strong followings who already grew unique varieties that I questioned my ability to make a name for my farm.

But that wasn’t the case at all! With a little forethought and planning, I found that there is lots of room for innovation. Don’t be discouraged as the new farmer in town. With a little creativity, there is always a way to set yourself apart from other farms!

The Story of One Hawaiian Farmer, Lehia Apana

In a recent interview, Lehia Apana, multi-year Future Organic Farmer grant recipient and co-founder of Polipoli Farms on Maui, Hawaii, recalled her struggle identifying as an organic farmer. Despite using agroforestry and applying organic methods on the farm for many years, Apana speaks of having imposter syndrome and wondering when she and co-founder Brad Bayless could call themselves farmers. Their journey is not unlike that of other young farmers across the United States or even of young professionals in the first five years of their careers.

Value Added Producer Grant Program Open Through May 4

Value-added products can make a significant contribution to a farm’s cash flow when a crop grown on the farm is processed into a food product, such as salsa or jam, that can be sold at a higher price. USDA offers funding to support farmers and groups of farmers developing value-added enterprises through the Value Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program.

USDA has adjusted the VAPG program in response to COVID, including

Tuesday Lunchtime Organic Seminars

An Organic Agriculture Seminar Series for Growers is offered via Zoom on Tuesdays from 12-1 p.m., now through May 4.

University of California Cooperative Extension Small Farms and organic advisor Margaret Lloyd have organized the series aimed at providing useful information on organic topics for growers.

Each seminar features a guest speaker and a group conversation with questions from the audience. No pre-registration is required. The Zoom meeting link is the same each week.

UC Davis Seeks Information on Dried Fruit Production

University of California, Davis wants to hear from California dried fruit processors.

California is a major producer of dried fruits, and we at UC Davis want to support the production of high-quality dried products. A team of researchers in the Food Science and Technology Department is interested in developing guidance on the best practices to ensure the safety and quality of dried California specialty crops.

New CASFS Grower Guide on Organic Seedling Production Available in English and Spanish

A new technical but approachable guide developed by the Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS) at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) offers small- and medium-scale organic growers valuable information on organic and sustainable seedling production.