Tag Archives: Season extension

Pennsylvania Conference Recap

I was recently in PA for an all day conference on winter growing, season extension, wholesale, and food safety. I presented three times and we also heard from Cathie, a local grower and a Bill, representative from Wegmans supermarket who was talking about the great oportunities for growers of all sizes to sell to the wegmans family of stores.

My first talk was a standard winter growing and greens production.

Second talk was on Field systems and season extension. I have fun doing this talk as I get to discuss equipment, and show beautiful pictures of vegetables.

The last talk for the day was on Farm Planning, Wholesale markets, Food safety, and washing and packing. This was a lot of new material for me, and is the talk which took the most work. It went very well though.

There was signifigant interest in our annual bed strawberry system. Here’s the link to the slideshow that I have done on this.

Another question was the source of our supplies. Here’s the link to our resources page.

http://michael-kilpatrick.com/resources/

A grower also had a question on the bags that we use for our wholesale lettuce mix. They are from Uline, link here.

If you are a grower near a Wegmans, and they have stores in Western NY, PA, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and the Carolinas, you should look into sales oportunites through them. They are a very farm friendly company, and have employees whose sole job is to travel seek out new farms to sell to them. Definately worth a call or email.

Many thanks to Beth at the Blair Conservation District for organizing this event!

 

 

Speaking Engagement: Maximizing Profits through Year-round Wholesale Production

_MG_74701I will be speaking in East Freedom, PA on April 9th. The event is sponsored by several Pennsylvanian agricultural organizations and is FREE!  It will be a full day event with me covering several topics.

  • Winter vegetable production- I will cover what we have learned in 10 years of winter production. From varieties, to tunnel management, to seeding dates, you will leave this workshop knowing how to grow during the winter months.
  • Season Extension- In this workshop, I will cover how we s-t-r-e-t-c-h the season to provide greater product diversity in the spring and fall, as well as cool season crops during the mid-summer heat like spinach and lettuce. The emphasis will be on larger-scale wholesale quantities. Yes you can have spinach from April to December from the field!
  • Wholesale marketing and food safety- In the last couple years our farm has scaled up, received certified organic status, and focused heavily on food safety so that we could sell to larger, wholesale buyers. We’ll talk about our journey and demystify wholesale markets, GAPS, and food safety!

This is my main speaking engagement of the spring, don’t miss it! Attached is a flyer of the event. April9_Flyer

NRCS webinar

I was privileged to be selected to give a webinar for the NRCS last week about high tunnel production. Webinars are hard to give, as you can’t see your audience or hear yourself, so feedback and feeling that you are connecting with your audience is tough.

We briefly covered high tunnel placement and construction, crop planning, and different crop production.

NRCS recorded the webinar. You can access that HERE.

 

Overall, it was a fun experience.

NOFA-MASS Seminar: Farm Profitability: Season Extension and Marketing for the Small Farm

Ben from NOFA_MASS recorded the sessions-

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/6pge57mfe5gahxr/hRkd5qaqIr

Session 1 – Farm overview, soil, fertility, disease, economics

Introduction: Soils, markets and finances at Kilpatrick Family Fam

Goals and Purpose of Year-Round Farming

Soil Health

Labs

Fertility management

Beneficial insects

Rowcover

Economics of High Tunnel Production

Economics of Winter Growing: budgets, depreciation and labor costs

Equipment

Cultivation

Mulch

SLIDES FROM SESSION 1

MASS 1

Mass 1 b

Session 2 – Farm Systems for Field Production, Tunnel Structure Intro

Washing and Packing Resources
Storage Facilities

Tunnel overview

Transplant/propagation houses
Soil
Greenhouses Manufacturers
Venting options

SLIDES FROM SESSION 2

MASS SE 2

Session 3 – Greens for tunnels and season extension
Irrigation, row cover and other tools of the trade

Seed suppliers

SLIDES FROM SESSION 3

MASS SE 3

Session 4  Marketing the Farm
The Why of Marketing
Educate the consumer

SLIDES FROM SESSION 4

MASS SE 4