Food Systems Webinar Series from CDFA

Check out the upcoming CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series! They are very excited to kick things off on Tuesday, February 28 at 2:00 PM ET with our first installment – Bonds & Food Systems. The series will consist of five free webinars featuring programs and case studies, as well as traditional financing tools available for food and agriculture-related businesses and projects. Each webinar is designed to complement our recently released CDFA Food Systems Finance Best Practices Guidebook by expanding upon the tools outlined in CDFA’s toolbox approach. Please feel free to share this series with your network. We hope you are able to join!

The webinars are free, but registration is required.

 

  • February 28, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM Eastern – Bonds & Food Systems

  • April 25, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM Eastern – Access to Capital Tools & Food Systems

  • June 27, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM Eastern – Targeted Tools & Food Systems

  • August 29, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM Eastern – Investment Tools & Food Systems

  • November 28, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM Eastern – Restoring Local Food Systems Through Finance

School Garden Week of January 23rd, 2023

This is a weekly look at what is happening in the school garden to assist teacher educators engage their students in agriculture.  It can be used by garden students of all ages however!

For GTS participants, you should have gotten an email with a link to the December survey from Lauren.  Please respond if you have not yet done so.

 

First up a weather report to get us through the week for planning on our season extension:

 

Outside in the raised beds:

That weather report has cold temperatures all week.  I recommend that you leave the row covers alone and not try to get under to see the plants this week.  The snow cover is our friend,  providing a little more insulation and then watering the plants when it melts.

 

Inside in the Aerogarden:

This month we are planting tomatoes in the Aerogarden.  If you planted herbs in the Aerogarden last semester you will need to clean out the unit before you plant your tomatoes so you can start fresh with a clean Aerogarden.  Follow the instructions for tomato planting carefully.  CLICK HERE for the Aerogarden planting guide. If you need tomato pods then contact Katie.

When you start your Aerogarden with the tomato pods you will place the little clear plastic cap over the pod until it germinates.  Remove the plastic cap once the tomato seedlings have germinated.  The cap is like the cover for the LED seed starting, it keeps the humidity correct for germination and then removed when the seeds sprout.  For the holes with no tomato pods in them, make sure to place the flat black or white caps over them to prevent light from entering in the system, which may cause algae to grow.  Email Katie if you need hole covers.

In this pod all three of the seeds that came with the pod sprouted. Two of the seedlings needed to be thinned, or removed so that the pod is not too crowded. You can take scissors and very carefully trim off the seedlings you do not want, leaving the stockiest best looking seedling. Be careful you do not cut the one you want to keep. Do not try to pull them out or you may damage the one you want to keep. Send me pictures and questions if you have them.

 

This pod has been thinned down to one seedling and is good to go.

The Aerogarden website has a tremendous amount of content to assist with maintenance of the units, troubleshooting problems, or how to take care of the plants in the system.  CHECK IT OUT if you are having problems. Make sure to check your water level every week one or two times and add as needed.  Add fertilizer when needed according to the directions.

Do you need seeds or seed starter for your project?  Contact Katie.

Inside under LED lights:  Review the video below to make sure you are thinning your seedlings under the LED lights

This month’s seed starting under LED lights is lettuce.  If you did not get a chance to plant spinach or kale you can seed start them as well this month.  If you and your kiddos really liked the bok choy and you have the space under your lights and have some bok choy seed left then you can plant that as well.  If you do not have space to plant all of those,  and remember that we will be planting broccoli in pots in February (on pg. 3 on the GTS manual it states broccoli in March,  on pg. 30 it states we start broccoli in February – pg. 30 is correct,  we start broccoli in February and I will remind you all of that) so we need to plan on a little space for them.  Prioritize spinach and kale if you do not have any outside in the raised bed since the kiddos will be tasting them in the next two months. Email questions to me at mcdermott.15@osu.edu

We have been creating videos to support this project and have 4 done so far at our OSU Extension County YouTube channel.  Lots of questions about seed starting under the LED lights.  Check out the video below for a super quick, kid-safe (can show in class to your kiddos) seed starting video using the materials you have for the pilot:  The same technique as for kale in the video below works for spinach, kale, lettuce, and bok choy.  

Any questions about your growing?  Email me at mcdermott.15@osu.edu

OSU Extension to host Mid-Ohio Small Farm Conference – March 11th, 2023- in Mansfield, Ohio

Ohio State Extension announced plans to host a Small Farm Conference in Mansfield Ohio on March 11, 2023. The theme for this year’s Mid-Ohio Small Farm Conference is “Sowing Seeds for Success.”

Conference session topics are geared to beginning and small farm owners as well as to farms looking to diversify their operation. There will be five different conference tracks including: Farm Office, Horticulture and Produce Production, Livestock, Agritourism/ Marketing, Natural Resources.

Some conference topic highlights include: How to purchase our family farm, food animal processing, bee keeping, sweet corn, blueberry and pumpkin production, small ruminant nutrition, agritourism laws, fruit tree pruning and cut flower diseases.

Anyone interested in developing, growing or diversifying their small farm is invited to attend including market gardeners, farmers market vendors, and anyone interested in small farm living.

Attendees will have the opportunity to browse a trade show featuring the newest and most innovative ideas and services for their farming operation. The conference provides an opportunity to talk with the vendors and network with others.

The Conference will take place from 8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. at the Mansfield OSU Campus in Ovalwood Hall, just minutes from I-71 and US Rt 30.

For conference and registration call OSU Extension Morrow County 419-947-1070, or OSU Extension Knox County 740-397-0401. Please follow this link to register for the conference: https://go.osu.edu/2023osusmallfarmconf 

 

Click here to view, print, or download the flyer –> Small Farm Conference Brochure 2023

School Garden Week of January 16th, 2023

This is a weekly look at what is happening in the school garden to assist teacher educators engage their students in agriculture.  It can be used by garden students of all ages however!

This weeks update will have similar material as last week as I know that some of you are in various stages of getting back in to your planting and growing.  Send me any questions you have as we get started.

I have heard back from teachers who lost their plants and some that their cold hardy kale, spinach, and cilantro did just fine.  Let me know how your plants did good or bad and let me know any questions at mcdermott.15@osu.edu.  I am going to discuss a whole bunch of planting scenarios below.  Email me if you have a question about what to plant right now.

 

First up a weather report to get us through the week for planning on our season extension:

This week looks like you have a chance to pop the top on the row cover to check your plants with your kiddos on Thursday.

Outside in the raised beds:

This week has some favorable weather for outdoor growing.  If you pop the top on Thursday to check your plants, make sure to cover the beds with the row cover right after as we have cold coming this weekend.

If your plants did not make it then do not worry!  We will be able to still plant and get a harvest in other ways. Let Katie know if you do not have any more spinach or kale seed but still need to plant spinach and kale.  We will be watching for a planting time outside in the raised bed.

If you still are getting your raised bed set up, let me know so we can talk about an individual plan for you at your school.

Otherwise keep the row cover on top of the raised bed and only check when temperatures get close to or above 50 degrees.

Have questions about how your plants are doing or if they are big enough to harvest?  Just send me questions and pictures to mcdermott.15@osu.edu

 

Inside under LED lights:  

This month’s seed starting under LED lights is lettuce.  If you did not get a chance to plant spinach or kale you can seed start them as well this month.  If you and your kiddos really liked the bok choy and you have the space under your lights and have some bok choy seed left then you can plant that as well.  If you do not have space to plant all of those,  and remember that we will be planting broccoli in pots in February (on pg. 3 on the GTS manual it states broccoli in March,  on pg. 30 it states we start broccoli in February – pg. 30 is correct,  we start broccoli in February and I will remind you all of that) so we need to plan on a little space for them.  Prioritize spinach and kale if you do not have any outside in the raised bed since the kiddos will be tasting them in the next two months. Email questions to me at mcdermott.15@osu.edu

We have been creating videos to support this project and have 4 done so far at our OSU Extension County YouTube channel.  Lots of questions about seed starting under the LED lights.  Check out the video below for a super quick, kid-safe (can show in class to your kiddos) seed starting video using the materials you have for the pilot:  The same technique as for kale in the video below works for spinach, kale, lettuce, and bok choy.  

 

Example: There are 32 pots in the tray.  You could plant 8 lettuce, 8 kale, and 8 spinach now.  Then plant 8 broccoli in February.  Or substitute some bok choy in for some of the kale and spinach.  Let me know if you have questions. 

 

All of the seedlings we are planting now can will be able to be transplanted outside later on, or if you want to let them grow indoors until they are harvested you can do that too.

Inside in the Aerogarden:

This month we are planting tomatoes in the Aerogarden.  If you planted herbs in the Aerogarden last semester you will need to clean out the unit before you plant your tomatoes so you can start fresh with a clean Aerogarden.  Follow the instructions for tomato planting carefully.  CLICK HERE for the Aerogarden planting guide. If you need tomato pods then contact Katie.

The Aerogarden website has a tremendous amount of content to assist with maintenance of the units, troubleshooting problems, or how to take care of the plants in the system.  CHECK IT OUT if you are having problems.

Do you need seeds or seed starter for your project?  Contact Katie.

Any questions about your growing?  Email me at mcdermott.15@osu.edu

Marketing 101 for Urban Farmers on Thursday February 2nd, 2023 at 6:30pm

There is an upcoming opportunity for Urban Farmers hosted at OSU Extension Franklin County.  See the details below. There is a cost of $10 per person.  For any questions contact Mike Hogan at hogan.1@osu.edu 

 

CLICK here to view, download, or print the flyer –> Marketing Urban Farming_Franklin Co Training

Attention Ohio Food Producers – Ohio CAN

This looks like a great opportunity. Producers can sell food to the Ohio Association of Foodbanks.   Try the QR code in the pic below or if that does not work,  open the PDF of the flyer at the bottom to get more information.  You can also click HERE for the press release as well as HERE for the website page with more information.

CLICK HERE to view, print, or download the flyer –>  Ohio CAN One Pager

 

High Tunnel Soil Borne Disease Testing

We have numerous high tunnels in Franklin County at both community gardens and urban farms.  USDA ARS (Agricultural Research Service) based in Wooster is now accepting samples for free to test the soil in high tunnels for the presence of soil borne disease.

CLICK HERE for the submission form and more information. –> Soil_submission_form_2022

Questions? Please contact Anna Testen, anna.testen@usda.gov or 330-641-2862.

Composting 101

It is the time of year when Mother Nature provides a bounty of leaves that just need a little time to turn in to compost.  If you are not a composter and want to get started creating your own organic matter soil amendment then check out this recorded webinar that details the basics of Composting 101. You will be glad that you did!

Growing Over Winter Garden Walk at Greenway Community Garden on Wednesday October 5th @ 6pm.

You are invited to the Greenway Community Garden this Wednesday for a garden walk with some of my favorite people: The Growing and Growth Collective.  We will be talking about Growing Over Winter.  Lots to still plant but not alot of time to get those seeds and plants in the ground!  We will be talking season extension, cover crops, and what you can plant right NOW. This event is free and open to the public so bring your friends and your questions to The Greenway Community Garden at 1652 Greenway Ave. Columbus, OH 43203.  LINK TO MAP.