Let Farm Commons help you plan for a stable, resilient farm business with our Farm Law Webinars.  This year we are hosting 13 different- and completely free- farm law webinars. First up, we have 8 webinars in our Farm Law Basics series. Later in the winter, we are offering 5 new Advanced Farm Law webinars.

Read about and register for each webinar following the link below.  Every webinar will be recorded and available for viewing after. Register even if you can’t attend- you will receive a link to the recording in your email as soon as it’s available.



Variety Selection for Storage & Winter Crops: Farmer-to-Farmer Discussion 12/14

Join RAFFL for the first farmer-to-farmer discussion of the winter!!

Sunday, December 14 from 3:00 – 5:00

Location: Lihigh School, Poultney

Facilitator: Becky Maden

Description:  With limits on both storage and hoophouse space, varietal selection decisions for storage and winter crops tend to be more critical choices than a summer lettuce variety selection (though that is definitely important!).  Becky Maden recently moved to Singing Cedars Farm after spending 10 years co-managing Intervale Community Farm in Burlington where she produced a wide variety of storage and winter crops.  Join the discussion, share your experiences with your rockstar varieties and those that you now actively avoid, and get some ideas for your upcoming seed order!

Tinmouth House w/ 3.4 Acres For Sale

Find the listing at:
Soils are classified as prime agricultural soils- type is 148B, Bomoseen and Pittstown soils.  The link to the NRCS fact sheet for these soils is:
Contact Monica with questions at: monica.erhart@gmail.com.


Workshop 12/2 – Selling to K-12 School Meal Programs

The following workshop is for farmers, producers, and vendors who sell or wish to sell directly to Vermont school meal programs.  

Selling to K-12 School Meal Programs: Understanding Your Customers’ Needs & Regulations

School meal programs represent a big marketing opportunity for Vermont producers and suppliers, purchasing more than $15 million worth of food and supplies last year.  However these programs must follow strict federal and state requirements for competitive procurement for every purchase they make.  These long-standing regulations are just now beginning to be enforced in Vermont, and many schools who were not previously complying them will begin to implement competitive procurement practices in the coming year.  This class will explain what these procurement regulations are, and what you, as a vendor, can expect from the schools you do business with.  In addition, we will spend some time discussing how the new school meal patterns and other federal regulations affect the products that schools will be looking to purchase, and what school food service managers wish you knew about doing business with their programs.  This class is for farmers, producers, distributors, and other businesses that sell (or wish to sell) directly to school meal programs.

When:                  December 2, 2014  9-11:30am

Where:                 UVM Extension Office, 23 Pond Road, Middlebury, VT

Instructors:         Abbie Nelson, NOFA Vermont & VT FEED, Rosie Krueger, VT Agency of Education, Child Nutrition Programs

RSVP:                    Email Annie Harlow at annie@acornvt.org, Addison County Relocalization Network (ACORN)

Cost:                      Free, $5 suggested donation for food and beverages

Whole Farm Planning Class – Application Deadline Extended to 12/5

There are a couple of spaces left in the upcoming Whole Farm Planning for Beginning Women Farmers class for 2015.  The registration deadline has been extended to December 5th.

More about the class:

This class can be a good option for beginning farmers with 2-3 years experience who may not be eligible for farm viability services but are considering the next steps in their farm’s growth. Past participants say the class helped them build a solid foundation for developing farm businesses that match their values and quality of life goals.

Our lead instructor for the 10-session class will be Calley Hastings, certified holistic management educator and co-owner of Fat Toad Farm in Brookfield, VT.  The class will be held in Berlin, VT and on nearby farms in Central Vermont.

Session topics include: Creating a Values-based Farm Mission; Whole Farm Decision Analysis Process; Increasing Farm Profitability (Gross Profit Analysis; Enterprise Analysis), Business Planning, Marketing, Soil Fertility, Time Management, Land and Infrastructure Planning, Leadership and Communication Skills, and Integrating Livestock on the Farm.

Full and partial scholarships are available to cover the registration fee, which is on a sliding scale of $150 to $500.

Questions? Contact Heidi Krantz at 802-223-2389 or heidi.krantz.1@uvm.edu

(Also, just a heads up that this is the last year of this grant-funded program- it is not clear whether this class will be offered again.)

On-Farm Composting in Rutland Area

Hi all- See the message below from Alex- he’s helping the Rutland Solid Waste District research composting options in our area and is looking to talk to farmers who are potentially interested in getting involved!



My name is Alex Utevsky and I am currently doing some technical assistance work for the Rutland County Solid Waste Management District. One of the things they have asked for help with is identifying a farm in the Rutland area who might be interested in receiving food scraps (“Source-Separated-Organics” or SSO) on their farm.
This could be a vegetable farmer who wants to import more nutrients onto their farm, or a livestock farmer who has abundant composting feedstocks and could therefore easily compost food scraps.   Another possibility that seems to be an increasing trend is for egg producers to receive food scraps as a feed supplement or alternative feed source. In fact, while working with Highfields Center for Composting I recently had the opportunity to assist Wheaton Squier in Tinmouth to launch a food-scrap collection/ chicken-feeding operation.
I think any of these types of operations could work; the most important factor being a farm that is has the capacity and desire to incorporate an integrated enterprise into their current operations and who sees the multiple values of on-farm composting of SSO.
Please contact me with any questions or interest.
Alex Utevsky
Compost Technical Services


Innovative Land Financing Mechanisms – Workshop 11/13

Innovative Land Financing Mechanisms: new and novel approaches that you might consider

November 13, 2014 from 6:30 – 8:00pm at the RAFFL Office (67 Merchants Row 3rd floor, Rutland)

Presenter: Mike Ghia from Land for Good

This workshop is for farm seekers who want to explore less traditional ways to finance land acquisition. We’ll share findings about emerging farmland investor models, and also discussing crowd-funding examples, land contracts and the new Land Contract Guarantee Program, land cooperatives, and community land trust among other methods. We will look at the positives, negatives, and limitations of these models while also seeking input from the farmers present about their experiences, questions, and concerns about these approaches