agriculture fields

Regenerative Agriculture: Techniques Towards Sustainable Vegetable Production

January 27 | Noon

Using ground covers and reduced tillage can decrease reliance on chemical inputs in vegetable production. This talk covers some regenerative agriculture techniques and preliminary results from a field study in tomatoes. Kacie Athey

Other workshops in the Small Farms Winter Webinar series

Direct market farmers, homesteaders, land-owners, hobby farms, and backyard growers can learn practices to improve production and increase profit. The topics for this year's workshops range from new areas of agroforestry and regenerative agriculture to popular topics, such as grapes and vermicomposting, If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate, contact Grant McCarty, gmccarty@illinois.edu. 

 

Practical Agroforestry for Illinois Small Farms | January 20

This webinar will focus on agroforestry practices that are perfectly suited for small, diversified farms across Illinois. Using real-world examples from working farms, we’ll cover the dos and don’ts of how to incorporate trees and perennials onto your landscape for conservation, profit, and beauty through multi-functional windbreaks, hedgerows, alley cropping, and riparian buffers. Savanna Institute and Canopy Farm Management staff will also provide opportunities for technical advising, resource connection, and implementation options for farmers and landowners. Kaitie Adams, Illinois Community Agroforestry; Sven Pihl, Illinois Agroforestry Technical Service Provide, Savanna Institute; and Eric Wolske, Lead Field Technician, Canopy Farm Management

Vining Through Pumpkin Production | February 3

Learn more about commercial pumpkin production from variety selection through all of the production practices needed to maximize crop production and quality of this staple fall crop. Whether an experienced or new grower, this webinar will ensure you are “patch-ready” this growing season. Nathan Johanning

Overview of the 2022 Illinois Home to Market Law | February 10

The 2022 Home to Market Law is a game changer for cottage food producers. Learn what changes were made to the original Cottage Food Law and what it means for producers. Mary Liz Wright

Pawpaws: Our Native ‘Tropical’ Fruit | February 17

Learn about the largest native North American fruit that is currently enjoying a renaissance due to its fantastic tropical fruit taste. Discover the new improved varieties of pawpaw, how and where it grows best, its pests and, of course, the fruit. In addition, the issues of this fruit will be reviewed: its pollination, fruit shelf life, and processing. Pawpaw is a wonderful fruit that you might want to consider adding to your small farm.  Doug Gucker

High Tunnel Winter Greens Research from Dixon Springs | February 24

High tunnel systems allow growers to provide markets with fresh, locally grown products for a larger part of the year. During this presentation, research results will be shared on the utilization of high tunnels to maximize winter vegetable production. This project evaluated different cultural growing techniques, including planting date, black plastic mulch, and row cover for carrots, lettuce, spinach, and kale within a high tunnel at the Dixon Springs Agricultural Center in southern Illinois. Winter production can be a great avenue to diversify farm operations, increase income opportunities, and provide more local, Illinois-grown crops into the marketplace. Bronwyn Aly

Introduction to Vermicomposting | March 3 

Learn the basics of vermicimposting, including soil health, building indoor and outdoor vermicompost bins, care for red wriggler worms, and bin maintenance. Crystal Stevens

Mushroom Production | March 10

Information to come soon. Michael Hatfield

Getting Started with Backyard Swine | March 17 

Whether you are looking to raise your own meat or diversify your farming income, pigs can be a great way to get started raising livestock. Swine have a fairly low purchase cost, provide quick return on investment, and require limited equipment to get started. Learn the basics of swine care including selection of animals, nutrition, and fencing. Katie Bell

Growing Great Grapes | March 24

Wine vs table? Cordon vs Cane? Growing grapes can be intimidating. Since the plant can live for decades, early decisions will ensure you have greater success for years to come. This webinar will provide you with an introduction of the opportunities that await and the challenge you might face in grape production. Varieties, setup, disease management, and pruning will also be discussed. Grant McCarty