RAFFL Workshops

RAFFL’s Summer Workshop Series (2013)

Want to find out how to prevent plant diseases from destroying your harvest? How to amp up your sales at the farmers market with a stellar booth that grabs the public’s attention? What to do when you’re tired and sore at the end of a long day? or how to figure out where to put that next hoop house or design an efficient farm landscape?

Then don’t miss out on RAFFL’s 2013 New Farmer Workshop Series!

Packed with expert speakers on dynamic topics, learn from the best and network with other new farmers from Rutland County and beyond!

We hope that these events provide farmers and community members with new skills and knowledge, and provide opportunities to celebrate local farms and delicious, real food.

Questions? Contact Garland at garland@rutlandfarmandfood.org or (802) 417-7096.

Integrated Pest & Disease Management for Fruits & Vegetables

Presented by Ann Hazelrigg, Plant Pathologist with UVM Extension

July 17, 5-7 pm, Merck Forest and Farmland Center, 3270 Route 315, Rupert, VT, followed by a farmer potluck!

$10 per participant

Hone your plant disease and insect ID skills and learn how to promote beneficial bugs and address pest and disease issues for fruits and vegetables.

We’ll begin with a presentation of pests and diseases for vegetable crops and talk about pertinent issues for organic growers.

Outside we’ll do a scouting walk with a focus on berries along with some discussion of other fruit crops and vegetables.

There will be ample opportunity to ask questions or ask for feedback about your own production concerns.

Bring a dish to pass and stay for the farmer potluck beginning at 7 pm! 

Increase Your Sales with nationally-recognized marketing expert Bruce Baker

August 31, 10 am- 12:15 pm RAFFL office & Depot Park, Rutland

Learn how to maximize your farmers market and farmstand sales. Learn what works and what doesn’t from one of the best! Bruce will discuss the importance of strategic booth design and how to attract more customers into your booth or farmstand through your display and merchandising. After the classroom session we’ll take a tour of the Rutland Farmers Market to evaluate what we’ve just learned.

Producers will have an opportunity to have Bruce give an analysis of their booth with suggestions for improvement in a 15 minute session. These slots are limited and fill up fast so sign up today to ensure you’re spot. Booths can set up at the market in Depot Park, farmstand and winter market growers can bring photos or create a mock-display indoors in the RAFFL conference room.

$15 registration for the classroom and farmers market session, there is an additional $15 charge for the one-on-one display evaluation. Sign-up today!

Click here to register for this workshop.

Movement for a Healthy Farming Body

Presented by farmers/yoga instructors Stephanie Jones, Galen Miller and farmer/massage therapist Lindsay Arbuckle,

September 23, 6-8 pm, Rutland Public Library Fox Room

Suggested donation: $10

Learn techniques and simple movements that can help increase your comfort and flexibility in everyday tasks. Learn how to relax your body after a long day of hard work and to let go of tension and stress. Practice self-massage and stretches to address acute issues common to farmers.  This workshop is for any farmer or aspiring farmer who wants to keep their body healthy and moving!

Organic Sweet Corn Production
Wednesday, August 8, 4-6:30 pm, followed by NOFAvore Social
Clear Brook Farm of Shaftsbury, VT MAP
Andrew Knafel, owner of Clear Brook Farm, has been growing organic sweet corn for 18 years, presently planting 6-8 acres annually. In this workshop, Andrew will focus on seeding techniques, discuss his homemade plate seeder, and explain why he uses transplants to get his corn started and the best ways to manage that process. Other topics will include organic pest control, weed control, and fertility management. Clear Brook Farm grows 25+ acres of certified organic produce and has approximately one half acre of greenhouses used in the production of bedding plants, organic tomatoes, raspberries, and field starts for the farm. The NOFAvore social to follow will feature products from Clear Brook Farm. Come and share a feast and provide input on NOFA-VT’s strategic plan. Organized by NOFA-VT. Registration requested for the social by calling (802) 434-4122.

Land Use Planning

Presented by UVM Extension’s Ben Waterman along with other experts

Date & Details to be announced
With a focus on soils, we’ll discuss land use planning around the farm including infrastructure improvements, planning for efficiency and drainage and irrigation.


Collaborative Marketing Workshop Series (2010) In partnership with the Intervale Center, farmers have an opportunity to learn creative ways to reach new markets by working with each other.

Workshop 1: Multifarm CSA models

Held November 16th at Champlain Orchards, this workshop introduced the concept of Multi-farm CSA’s.  Here are the presentations given by Jill Perry Balzano, SARE researcher and Sona Desai, Intervale Food Hub Manager:

Local Harvest: Looking at CSA from a Cooperative Perspective

Intervale Food Hub, a model for moving food forward

Workshop 2: In-depth Look at the Intervale Food Hub

At this workshop, we learned the details of the Food Hub, a farmer collaborative managed by the Intervale Center that aggregates, markets and distributes local vegetables, fruits, cheeses, eggs, meats and specialty products while returning a fair price to the farmers.  The Food Hub model opens up new markets to farmers and provides security through early crop planning, while maintaining farm identity to the end customers and allowing farmers to participate in setting the price for their product.

Here is the presentation, given by Sona Desai of the Intervale Center:

Intervale Food Hub: A Multifarm Collaborative

One the same day, we also met with a group of growers and consumers in Charlotte VT about an online ordering system they have set up to facilitate local purchasing.  The website is www.farmstandcoop.com.


We just wrapped up this very successful series of six training workshops for new farmers.  The workshop series was a collaboration between the Rutland Area Farm and Food Link and the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont.

Below, find a video of each workshop, and a link to the post where we’ve provided links to any handouts, worksheets and other resources discussed during each workshop.

Organic Pest and Disease Management

Greg Cox, owner, Boardman Hill Farm, West Rutland

Click here for a recap of the workshop and links to resources discussed

Crop Planning – Succession Planting & Diversification Choices

Kenneth Mulder, Farm Manager, Cerridwen Farm at Green Mountain College

Click here for a recap of the workshop and links to handouts, etc.

Part I

Part II

Small Farm Equipment: Safety and Maintenance

Richard Larson, Larson Farm, Wells VT

Click here for a recap of the workshop and links to resources discussed

Business Strategies and Cheese

Hannah Sessions and Greg Bernhardt, Blue Ledge Cheese, Salisbury VT

Click here for a recap of the video and links to resources discussed

Building Soils: Soil Testing, Composting, Amendments

Stephen Chamberlain, Dutchess Farm • Poultney

Click here for a recap of the workshop, links to handouts and resources discussed

Marketing Strategies for the Small Farm

Michael and Philip Kilpatrick, Kilpatrick Family Farm, Granville NY

Click here for a recap of the workshop & links to handouts discussed

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