Big Dreams Small Farms workshops coming
By Morgan Watts
Rowan County Cooperative Extension
Are you interested in starting a farm or expanding into something different on your current farm but aren’t sure what you want to do just yet?
Join us this spring and summer for a series of workshops called Big Dreams Small Farms.
Each workshop will be one day with a lecture in the morning, followed by a farm visit in the afternoon. Workshops will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Locations will vary by topic.
The first workshop on March 13 is at the N.C. Cooperative Extension Rowan County Center, 2727 Old Concord Road. This workshop is on small ruminant production — sheep and goats. Topics coveredwill be site selection, facilities and infrastructure; production systems; breed selection; basic animal care and husbandry; start-up costs; processing; and marketing.
We will visit Back Creek Farm in Mount Ulla in the afternoon.
Other workshops in the series are:
• April 11 at the N.C. Cooperative Extension Rowan County Center. The workshop will cover the basics of pastured pork production.
• April 25 at the Rowan County Center. This workshop will be on agritourism. We will consider a real case study scenario and look at the challenges of starting a farm with the benefits and challenges of agritourism. Plus, we get to visit an operation already making it work.
• May 9 at the Cooperative Extension Davidson County Center. This one will be on pasture poultry. Some of the topics covered will be biosecurity, breeds, best management practices, health, generic costs and marketing.
• May 23 at the Cooperative Extension Cabarrus County Center. This workshop will be on small fruit production. Topics will include blueberries, brambles and muscadines.
• June 9 at the Rowan County Center. This workshop will be on market gardens. Topics will include infrastructure, basic tools and equipment, soil maintenance, pest management, marketing and food safety in fresh produce.
Register online at go.ncsu.edu/smallfarmseries2019.
The cost is $25 per session or $125 for all six sessions, which will include materials, lunch, snacks and transportation to farm visits. Make checks payable to Davidson County Livestock. Mail the payment to Davidson County Livestock, 301 E. Center St., Lexington, NC 27292
If you have any questions about any of these workshops, call the Rowan County Center at 704-216-8970.