2016 Programs Listing

MENU OF CLASSES

HOMESTEAD FARMERS & GARDENERS NETWORK
FARMING 101
WORKER COOPERATIVES IN FOOD & FARMING
EXPLORE YOUR FARM & FOOD BUSINESS IDEAS
FINGERLAKES CRAFT
FARM BUSINESS PLANNING COURSE
STRATEGIC MARKETING IN ONE NIGHT
FARMER 2 FARMER DISCUSSION GROUP
DRAFT ANIMAL PRACTICUM
ORCHARD WORKSHOPS
MANAGING SOILS FOR BETTER CROPS
GRAZING & PASTURE MANAGEMENT

To help determine which courses are right for you, see our recommendation guide here.

Click to view our e-program.


Homestead Farmers & Gardeners Network

Recommended For:

Food-CitizenHomesteaderExplorer

FOOD CITIZENS  •  HOMESTEADERS  •  EXPLORERS

Groundswell’s Homestead Farmers & Gardeners Network is designed to provide those interested in home-scale food production with the opportunity to connect with others, and share knowledge, skills and resources.  The first Gathering of the season is a Spring Swap, where we’ll share extra seeds, seedlings, and supplies for the garden, barn and kitchen. The last Gathering is a Fall Swap, where we’ll share the fruits of the season’s labors. In between, we’ll enjoy monthly tours of four unique homesteads – urban, rural and suburban. The homesteaders@groundswellcenter.org listserv allows participants to cooperate throughout the year.

Schedule:  The Homesteaders Network meets once a month on the 4th Sunday, from 3:30-5:30 PM, May through October:

  • Sunday May 22, Spring Swap – Groundswell Offices (click link for details)
  • Sunday June 26, Homestead Tour: Fournier Family Farm 
    • The Fournier family purchased 4.5 acres of mostly open land next to Upper Buttermilk Falls State Park in early 2015, which they planted with a variety of fruit trees and a large vegetable garden. They used materials at hand to quickly make enclosures and shelters and are currently raising Katahdin sheep, as well as chickens, ducks and guineas for meat and eggs. In 2015 they also raised pigs and turkeys. They do all of their own processing of animals on farm.
  • Sunday, July 24,  Homestead Tour TBA
  • Sunday August 28, Homestead Tour TBA
  • Sunday September 25,  Homestead Tour TBA
  • Sunday October 23, Fall Swap

Location: Diverse homesteads in the Ithaca, NY area

Cost: Groundswell Members Free; Non-members $10/tour; scholarships available

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Farming 101

Recommended For:

HomesteaderExplorer

HOMESTEADERS  •  EXPLORERS

Learn the basics of operating a farm! This program is designed for anyone who is exploring the possibility of farming, including landowners and those without land of their own. We will cover some business basics but the main focus on soils, land prep, and production of livestock or horticultural crops.  The program begins at 9 am and ends at 3 pm and will involve extension educators and farmers as presenters. This workshop will be offered in two locations: on March 12 at the Schuyler County Cooperative Extension office in Montour Falls and on March 19 at the TC3 Farm on Route 13 north of Ithaca. Co-sponsored by Cornell Cooperative Extension South Central NY Ag Program.

Schedule & Locations:  The same workshop will be offered on 2 dates at 2 locations:

  • March 12, 9am-3PM, CCE Schuyler County, 323 Owego Street, Unit #5, Montour Falls, NY 14865 (Human Services Bldg on Rt 14 south of the Village)
  • March 19, 9am-3PM, TC3 Farm, 100 Cortland Rd., Dryden, NY 13053 (right off Rt 13 just north of Dryden)

Cost: $10 per person; second person from the same farm or family just $5.

Register for either session by calling 607-272-2292, emailing mr55@cornell.edu, or clicking on one of the links below.

March 12, 2016 • Montour Falls 

March 19, 2016 • TC3 Farm

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Worker Cooperatives in Food & Farming

Recommended For:

ExplorerFarm-Worker

      EXPLORERS  •  FARM WORKERS 

Learn about people who own and democratically operate their food and farming businesses through worker cooperatives. Gain skills and templates for setting up your business with this principled and transformative model. This workshop will be led by Joe Marraffino, Rural Cooperative Developer for the Democracy at Work Institute.

A presentation will illustrate examples of seed suppliers, farmers, food processors, roasters, aquaculture and hydroponics growers, food distributors, bakers, restaurants, and baristas are building everyday democracy and economic stability into the food chain.

Schedule: March 21, 5-8pm

Location: The Space @ Greenstar, Ithaca, NY 14850

Cost: $10; scholarships available, light dinner included

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Explore Your Farm & Food Business Ideas!

Recommended For:

Explorer

      EXPLORERS 

Thinking of starting your own business in farming or food, need to bounce your ideas of others? Join Groundswell, Alternatives Federal Credit Union, and Cornell Coop Extension for a chance to “workshop” your business ideas! Our experienced staff will lead a group discussion to help you develop and refine your idea and get one step closer to making it a reality.

Schedule: This two hour workshop will be held twice in 2016. Dates to be announced.

Location: Groundswell office, 225 South Fulton Street, Ithaca, NY 14850

Cost: FREE to registered participants.

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Finger Lakes CRAFT

Recommended For:

PlannerFarm-WorkerEarly-BF

PLANNERS  •  FARM WORKERS  •  EARLY STAGE BEGINNING FARMERS

The Finger Lakes Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training (CRAFT) brings together aspiring farmers with experienced mentors to share support and information about starting and maintaining a farm business.  The group meets monthly throughout the growing season on diverse, small-scale, mostly organic farms. Each session features an in-depth tour of the farm operation, plus a short workshop on a specific technical topic.  If you are seriously considering farming as a business, or have already started farming, CRAFT is an important opportunity to connect with other local farmers and strengthen your support network.

Schedule:  The CRAFT network meets for the following events: 

Location: Diverse small farms in the Ithaca, NY area

Cost: Groundswell Members Free; Non-members $10/tour

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Farm Business Planning Course

Recommended For:

PlannerEarly-BF

PLANNERS  •  EARLY STAGE BEGINNING FARMERS

This course is designed for serious beginning farmers who need some guidance on how to start planning a farm business. Established farmers who want to improve their business operations will also benefit from this course.  Students in this class are expected to have at least one year of hands-on farming experience; a clear business concept in progress or ready to launch within a year; enough time to fully commit to an intensive 10-week course requiring substantial outside research and homework.

It is not a requirement that students own land or have the financial resources to buy land: this course will explore opportunities to lease land for farming in the Tompkins County area, and to find farm loans through commercial/agriculture lenders or through local “Slow Money” investors.

Course Schedule:  Thursday evenings, 6 – 9 pm, January 14 – March 17

Location: CCE Tompkins County, 615 Willow Avenue, Ithaca, NY, 14850

Cost:  Full tuition is $480 for the Course (One additional registrant from same farm or family is $240); Tuition support available

REGISTRATION for 2016 IS CLOSED. THANK YOU!

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Strategic Marketing in One Night!

Is your marketing strategy “we sell whatever we have to anyone that will buy it”?  Learn how a focused strategy and specific efforts can reduce your marketing labor needs and make every step count.  If you want to sharpen and focus your marketing skills or just don’t know where to begin developing a marketing plan, we can help!

Recommended For:

Early-BFExp-BF

EARLY STAGE BEGINNING FARMERS • EXPERIENCED BEGINNING FARMERS

Schedule: This is a one-evening workshop. Three dates and three locations to choose from!

  • Tuesday, February 16, 6:30-8:30 PM. Cortland County CCE Offices, 60 Central Avenue, Room 105 Cortland, NY 13045
  • Tuesday March 1, 6:30-8:30 PM. Groundswell Office, 225 South Fulton Street, Ithaca, NY 14850
  • Tuesday March 15, 6:30-8:30 PM. Steuben County Civil Defense Center, 7220 State Rte 54, Bath, New York 14810

Locations: Three locations to choose from. See above

Cost:   Free for registered participants

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Farmer 2 Farmer Discussion Group @ CCE Tompkins

Early-BFExp-BF

EARLY STAGE BEGINNING FARMERS • EXPERIENCED BEGINNING FARMERS

The Farmer 2 Farmer series is a free potluck dinner and discussion group for beginning and experienced farmers in the Central NY/Finger Lakes area. Facilitated by CCE’s Matt LeRoux, Farmer 2 Farmer is a great opportunity for you to meet and learn from other farmers with operations similar to yours. If you plan to come, please let Matt know via phone or email at mnl28@cornell.edu or 607-272-2292, ext. 159. Please bring a dish to share and one to eat off of, if you can.

Schedule:  Three winter gatherings in 2016:

  • Wednesday, Jan. 13, 6:30-8:30 PM Topic: Insurance with Tree Gate Farm
  • Wednesday, Feb. 17, 6:30-8:30 PM Topic: Holistic Planning with Erica Frenay
  • Wednesday, Mar. 16, 6:30-8:30 PM Topic: TBD

Location: CCE Tompkins County, 615 Willow Avenue, Ithaca, NY

Cost:  Free for registered participants

To register: Please complete the Program Registration Form and indicate your interest in “Farmer 2 Farmer Discussion Group”. Or contact Matt LeRoux at 607-272-2292, mnl28@cornell.edu.

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Draft Animal Practicum

Recommended For:

Anyone interested in learning what it is like to work with horses and mules in farming and logging.  No previous experience or knowledge is required.  Beginning teamsters will also find it useful.

This popular one-day workshop includes hands-on practice with experienced draft animals under the supervision of knowledgeable teamsters. Topics include safety; what makes draft animals work for people; how to harness a horse or mule; basics of line driving; how to skid logs with a team or single. Lunch time discussion will explore the economics of working with drafts animals and how to enhance your safety while you are learning. This program is offered in collaboration with Donn’s Teamster School.  Lead instructor is Donn Hewes. Class size is limited to ensure no more than 3 students per instructor. READ MORE

Course Schedule: Sunday April 24, 9AM – 4PM, with 1 hour break for lunch and discussion.

Location:  Donn’s Teamster School at Northland Sheep Dairy, Marathon, NY

Cost: Full tuition is $175; tuition support available

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Orchard Workshops by Know Your Roots

Know Your Roots is offering workshops in collaboration with Groundswell. Groundswell members receive 25% off the cost of these workshops.

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Recommended For:

Early-BFExp-BF

EARLY STAGE BEGINNING FARMERS • EXPERIENCED BEGINNING FARMERS

 

Renovating Old Apple Trees & Pruning Demo
This FREE workshop is an open-ended day of pruning discussion, explanation, and practice while we work to bring some old trees back to life. There will be smaller semi-dwarf trees that we can start. READ MORE.

Course Schedule: Sunday, April 3, 9AM – 4PM, with 1 hour break for lunch and discussion.
Location:  3336 Podunk Road, Trumansburg, NY 14886
Cost: FREE, registration required 

THIS CLASS IS FULL. THANK YOU FOR REGISTERING.

Apple Scab and Fireblight
In this workshop we will discuss the biology and ecology of each disease, disease cycles, forecasting tools, varietal resistance/susceptibility, control opportunities, and what to do if the inevitable strikes! READ MORE

Course Schedule: Saturday, April 9, 11AM-3PM
Location:  3336 Podunk Road, Trumansburg, NY 14886
Cost: $60 pre-register / $75 regular registration, Groundswell Members receive 25% off.

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Assessing Cold Damage to Apple Trees

We all want apples, right? In this workshop, we discuss how to identify floral and leaf tissue, dormancy and cold hardiness, factors that affect potential for cold damage, and what you can do to improve your chances for a successful crop. We’ll examine fruit buds under microscopes to evaluate the extent of cold damage (if any) as a way to ensure a crop of apples. READ MORE

Course Schedule: Saturday, May 7, 11AM-3PM
Location:  3336 Podunk Road, Trumansburg, NY 14886
Cost: $60 pre-register / $75 regular registration, Groundswell Members receive 25% off.

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Crop Load Management

In this workshop, we’ll discuss the basics of floral bud induction and development, flowering and early fruit development, return bloom, and crop load management tactics (yes, including thinning). READ MORE

Course Schedule: Saturday, May 14,11AM-3PM
Location:  3336 Podunk Road, Trumansburg, NY 14886
Cost: $60 pre-register / $75 regular registration, Groundswell Members receive 25% off.

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Soil Health and Fertility for Perennial Tree Crops

In this workshop, we’ll discuss the basics of floral bud induction and development, flowering and early fruit development, return bloom, and crop load management tactics (yes, including thinning). READ MORE

Course Schedule: Saturday, July 16, 11AM-3PM
Location:  3336 Podunk Road, Trumansburg, NY 14886
Cost: $60 pre-register / $75 regular registration, Groundswell Members receive 25% off.

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Apple Fruit Quality Characteristics at Harvest

In this workshop, we’ll discuss the basics of floral bud induction and development, flowering and early fruit development, return bloom, and crop load management tactics (yes, including thinning). READ MORE

Course Schedule: Saturday, September 24, 11AM-3PM
Location:  3336 Podunk Road, Trumansburg, NY 14886
Cost: $60 pre-register / $75 regular registration, Groundswell Members receive 25% off.

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Managing Soils for Better Crops

Recommended For:

PlannerFarm-WorkerEarly-BFExp-BF

PLANNERS • FARM WORKERS • EARLY STAGE BEGINNING FARMERS • EXPERIENCED BEGINNING FARMERS

Description: Explore practical soil management techniques through lectures, farm visits and guided discussions with fellow farmers on measuring soil health, cover cropping, composting, soil amendments and more. Assess the soil health on your own land, or another farmer’s field if you don’t own land yet. Participants will be encouraged to submit at least one soil sample for a Cornell Soil Health Assessment ($50 or $95 additional cost).

Course Schedule: Four evening sessions, 5-8 PM, on the fourth Wednesday of April through July:

  • Wed, April 27 — Soil Science 201 for Farmers. What makes healthy soil? Participants will learn basic soil health characteristics and conduct physical property tests on various soil samples. We will review basic soil types and the issues you have with your current or future soils. Presentation by Bob Schindelbeck (Soil Health Lab). Field tour TBD.
  • Wed, May 25 — Land Assessment and Advanced Soil Testing. What does healthy soil look like? Learn to do a visual assessment of land and soils. Learn how take samples for a soil health test and how to read their results for different crop needs. Students will submit individual soil samples for analysis. Presentation by Crystal Stewart, Field Tour by Plowbreak Farm.
  • Wed, June 29 — Cover Crops and Soil Amendments. How can you improve your soil through cover crops and other soil amendments? We will discuss individual cover crops and various mixes, composting, and other amendments.Presentation by Brian Caldwell. Field Tour by Tree Gate Farm
  • Wed, July 27 — Soil Biology and Advanced Soil Management. Gain a better understanding of the biological life in your soil and the implications for your cash crops. We’ll also look at planning multi-year cash/cover crop rotations, methods to reduce tillage in various cropping systems, and the effects of integrating livestock and other biological support systems.Presentation and Field Tour TBD.

Location: Diverse small farms in the Ithaca, NY area

Cost:  Full tuition is $150 for the series, $45 per session. Tuition support is available.

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Grazing & Pasture Management

Recommended For:

PlannerFarm-WorkerEarly-BFExp-BF

PLANNERS • FARM WORKERS • EARLY STAGE BEGINNING FARMERS • EXPERIENCED BEGINNING FARMERS

This eight-part technical course starts from the important details of how pasture management effects grass growth, works through the nitty-gritty details of successful pasture based farms and finishes with how to get your pastured meat processed and marketed. Each month throughout the grazing season there will be an intensive workshop on a different farm highlighting specific topics while also showcasing the unique elements of each farm in respect to their grazing systems.  Each farm will give participant’s a different perspective and insight on how to set up their own grazing systems.

Course Schedule: Eight 3-hour sessions on the 3rd Monday of each month, April to November, 5-8PM.

  • Mon, April 18 — It’s All About the Grass: Understanding how soil, grass, and grazing interact to grow better animals. Wellspring Farm, Mecklenberg, NY
  • Mon, May 16 — Bale it, Clip it, Graze it? Early season pasture management. Northland Sheep Dairy, Marathon NY
  • Mon, June 20Designing and Setting Up Your Grazing System. Benterra Farm, Groton NY.
  • Mon, July 25 — Permanent and Temporary Fencing and Watering Options. Shelterbelt Farm, Brooktondale, NY
  • Mon, August 15 – Hay: An integral part of all pasture farms. Location, TBD.
  • Mon, September 19 — Multi-Species Management on Pasture: Two (or 3 or 5) can be better than one. Kingbird Farm, Berkshire, NY. 
  • Mon, October 17 — My Grass Stopped Growing! Utilizing stockpiled pasture.  Angus Glen Farms, Watkins Glen, NY.
  • Mon, November 21Processing, Marketing and Health Benefits of Pasture-Raised Meats. EcoVilliage, Ithaca, NY. 

Location: Diverse small-scale livestock farms in the Ithaca, NY area

Cost:  Full tuition is $280 for the series, $45 per session; tuition support available

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