Sunday Workshops

Sunday, February 10th, 2019

Sustainable Food & Farm Workshops
9AM – 3:45PM
Nevada Union High School, Grass Valley

sunday workshop - farm conference 2019

Build your own personalized curriculum from twenty food and farm workshops with local and regional experts.  There is something for everyone!

Come for a full day on a wide variety of farming subjects for the homesteader, farmer, rancher and gardener.  See sample of schedule from last year.  During lunch, network with other participants based on your favorite food and farming interest areas.

8:30am            Doors open

9:00 – 10:15     Session 1
10:30 – 11:45   Session 2
12 – 1:00            Round Table Lunch
1:00 – 2:15        Session 3
2:30 – 3:45        Session 4

Information about Farmer Discounts can be found here.

Register Now

Please note this is last year’s schedule below

2019 details will be posted in November, 2018.


Fascinating Similarities between Gut and Soil Microbes
9:00 am – 10:15 am, Main Hall

Learn about the origins and interruptions of normal gut flora and the relevance of an ‘unleaky’ gut to a healthy immune system. Healthy soil microbes, particularly from healthy compost, are essential to the optimum health of most plants on the planet through mycorrhizal associations, and also to human health. Dr. Dale has been a practicing chiropractor for over 40 years, and he teaches his patients that unhealthy soil creates unhealthy plants and animals, and that unhealthy gut flora creates unhealthy humans. Dale and his family live on a 20-acre farm.

Presenter: Dr. Dale Jacobson D.C – Jacobson Chiropractic

Farm and Garden Pest Management
9:00 am – 10:15 am, Black Box Theater

Learn to identify what’s a pest and what’s beneficial. Learn about Integrated Pest Management to prevent damage from key fruit and vegetable pests and how to manage pest problems in an eco-friendly manner.

Presenter: Cindy Fake – County Director, Placer and Nevada Counties, Horticulture and Small Farms Advisor, UC Cooperative Extension

Growing Cut Flowers for Long Lasting Mixed Bouquets
9:00 am – 10:15 am, Science Hall

Learn about growing, harvesting and the post-harvest care for high quality, long lasting mixed bouquets. Attend this session for tips and tricks on grouping for farmer’s markets, wholesale or self-enjoyment.

Presenter: Deena Miller – Sweet Roots Farm

Keeping Your Hand Tools Ready to Use
9:00 am – 10:15 am, E-Wing 15 &16

Learn quick and easy ways to clean and lubricate tools after each use with plant friendly products, as well as to adjust, sharpen, and prevent rust for future use. Participants are encouraged to bring small hand tools to be worked on during the presentation. Paul DuPratt lived and worked on a cattle ranch in a remote area for years, and also managed an orange grove in the San Joaquin Valley.

Presenter: Paul DuPratt – UCCE Nevada County Master Gardener

Livestock for Vegetation Management Services
9:00 am – 10:15 am, F-Wing 1 & 2

Learn about using livestock to manage vegetation starting from the basic requirements of managing your own land, to offering management services to others as a business. The discussion will range from pigs and ponds to the intensive management of cows to poultry, goats, and sheep.  Livestock, correctly applied, is an effective tool to enhance landscapes for cities and rural lands.

Presenters:  Brad, and Alana Fowler – The Goat Works, managing livestock as a vegetation management tool for 12 years.


Intro to Permaculture: Designing Farms, Homesteads, and Backyards for Sustainability
10:30 am – 11:45 am, Main Hall

Create sustainable abundant living systems at your place with minimum labor and pollution by applying the lessons of nature’s patterns.   Learn harmonious integration of permaculture principles and practical ways to work with nature to design for food, water, energy, shelter and other human needs while enhancing local ecosystems for future generations.

Presenter: Cathé Fish – Director, Practical Permaculture Farm School, Permaculture Land Consultant, designer and international instructor

Planning for a Profitable Farm
10:30 am – 11:45 am, Black Box Theater

Learn tips from Starbright Acres Family Farm about goal setting, crop planning, setting prices and record keeping. Starbright Acres Farm is a semi-urban farm located in Grass Valley, CA.  They have one acre in cultivation, grossing over $100,000 per year.

Presenters: Ken and Aleta Barrett – Starbright Acres Farm

Season Extension in the Sierras
10:30 am – 11:45 am, Science Hall

Learn to have four seasons of harvest even at high elevation and with short growing seasons. Gary will share season extension techniques to enhance profitability by selling products during edge seasons when little else is available locally.

Presenter: Gary Romano – Sierra Valley Farms

Creating Grazing Programs for Livestock that Enhance Soil Health, Pasture and Profits
10:30 am – 11:45 am, E-Wing 15 & 16

Learn the components of a livestock grazing program for cattle, sheep, goats, and pigs, including intensive grazing principles and planning, soil biology, pasture and range ecology, predator protection and electric fencing, and nutrition supplementation. Roger and Dan will share experience from a combined 50+ years of experience raising livestock and advising hundreds of ranchers through visits, classes, and grazing academies.

Presenters: Roger Ingram and Dan Macon – former and present Livestock and Natural Resources Advisors for UC Cooperative Extension in Placer and Nevada Counties

Introduction to Fruit Tree Grafting
10:30 am – 11:45 am, F-Wing 1 & 2  

Learn the theory of grafting fruit trees and then do a hands-on bench graft. Dan Crebbin ran an heirloom fruit tree and hedgerow nursery for six years, and has been a Biodynamic farmer for 45 years.

Presenter: Dan Crebbin – Master Grafter

11:45 am – 1:30pm

Enjoy a fresh lunch provided by Summer Thymes Bakery and Deli. Host or join a conversation topic table by suggesting a topic on Saturday and/or by signing up for a topic on Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning.


Managing and Restoring Ponds
1:30 pm – 2:45 pm, Main Hall

Learn the steps to bring your pond back to optimal health, naturally. Managing pond algae is the single most important step in restoring pond health, working as a foundation for all other issues: invasive weeds, fish health, clarity, and odor. Paul Weir is a rural land real estate agent, organic apple grower and co-administrator of Grow Organic Apples Holistic Orchard Network with Michael Philips, author of The Holistic Orchard. Michael Parrish is the healthy pond specialist at Green Acres. Ask him for a list of things not to do.

Presenters: Paul Weir – Land Consultant and Michael Parrish- Pond Consultant, Green Acres 101.

Grow Your Market – A Farmers Roundtable Discussion
1:30 pm – 2:45 pm, Black Box Theater

Are you looking to diversify your marketing profile? Interested in selling to schools, through a CSA, to a restaurant or through a distributor? These questions and more will be addressed and answered by a team of experienced and successful local farmers. This forum will cover institutions, retail, and distributors, as well as direct to consumer options. This is an opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge from seasoned farmers who will share the how, why, advantages and challenges of selling through various channels. Reference materials will be provided.

Host: Justin Grossman – Farm to Market Specialist and Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF). Presenters: Alan Haight – Founder, Riverhill Farm; Aleta Barrett – Starbright Acres Farm; Rob Thompson – Legacy Ranching

Organic Certification Demystified
1:30 pm – 2:45 pm, Science Hall

Learn how and why to certify organic. Understand how new changes to the National Organic Program have reduced the costs and paperwork involved. Seth will share tips on how to streamline the process to save time and money. Guy Baldwin runs Towani farm with 15 acres of vegetables, herbs, flowers, and olives on 55 acres in Bangor, CA. He will share his experience from certifying his farm 26 years running.

Presenter: Seth Rosmarin – CCOF Organic Inspector and Guy Baldwin – Towani Farm

Preserving your Agricultural Land in Perpetuity
1:30 pm – 2:45 pm, E-Wing 15 & 16

Nevada County lost 40% of our agricultural land in a 5-year period. Learn how you can work with Bear Yuba Land Trust and other agencies to ensure that your farm or ranch stays in agriculture. You could even get paid to do it! Learn about the Sustainable Ag Conservation Lands grant, the NRCS regional conservation partnership program, Fish and Wildlife grants through the Trust for Public Land and more. Hear from a local rancher who is protecting the agricultural heritage of our county by putting her 5th generation ranch into conservation easements.  Sue Hoek has already protected 1250 acres of her land and has plans for more.

Presenters: Sue Hoek – Robinson Ranch; Kathryn Lyddan – Director California Dept. of Conservation, Division of Land Resource Protection, Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program; Erin Tarr – Director of Land Stewardship, Bear Yuba Land Trust

Fermentation for Health and Happiness – Hands-On Demos
1:30 pm – 2:45 pm, F-Wing 1 & 2

Learn to keep 3 or 4 ferments going year-round to use as homemade probiotics and to replenish gut flora for a healthy immune system and happy alert brain. Learn the ancient art of fermentation used to preserve foods by healthy traditional people around the world. We will make various kinds of easy ferments including Fermented Dairy Cultured Drinks, Dairy Condiments, Vegetable Drinks, and Vegetable Condiments.

Presenters: Shan Kendall and Terry Fowler – Chapter Leaders of Gold Country Weston A. Price Foundation

Session 4

Growing Medicinal & Aromatic Plants
3:00 pm – 4:15 pm, Main Hall

Learn tricks of choosing and growing herbs in the foothills, soil to harvest to market. We’ll also cover dealing with pests, rodents, deer, drought, sustainability and our short growing season. Kathi Keville operated a small, commercial herb farm that sold to an 8-tiered market and now grows 450 medicinal species at her Green Medicine Herb School. She lectures internationally and has written 15 books on herb cultivation and use, including the new The Aromatherapy Garden–signed copies available after the talk.

Presenter: Kathy Keville – Herbalist, Aromatherapist, Oak Valley Herb Farm

Creative Weed Management
3:00 pm – 4:15 pm, Black Box Theater

Super Tuber Farm grows a variety of crops on about 6 acres including 2 acres each of carrots and beets, which are notoriously difficult crops when it comes to controlling weeds. We will discuss cultural management and the importance of knowing your weed species; prevention and how we are preparing for weeds up to a year before harvest; tools we are currently using on the farm including hoes, tractor mounted implements, tarps, flame and most importantly our brains!

Presenter: Jeremy Mineau – Super Tuber Farm

Diversify your Farm Income through Agritourism
3:00 pm – 4:15 pm, Science Hall

Visiting a farm can be educational and entertaining for children and adults alike. Learn how agritourism can provide full-time farmers and hobby farmers with added benefits such as extra income and employment for family members. Learn how to identify what type of customers you want to attract, when you want them to visit you, and how to market your innovative farm products and services.

Presenters: Eric Bleau – Blue Oak Ranch, and Chris de Nijs – Nevada County Agricultural Commissioner

Tractor and Small Engine Care: How to Keep Farm Machines Running (mostly) Like New
3:00 pm – 4:15 pm, E-Wing 15 & 16

Keep your air filters clean and your zercs greased. This hands-on workshop will cover the tools and skills to keep your farm engines, from tractors to walk-behind tillers to weed whips in working condition.   Learn the wrenching and maintenance tips to keep you up and running through the season.

Presenters: Paul Glowaski – Dinner Bell Farm and Chris Bierwagen –  Bierwagen’s Donner Trail Fruit and Farm Market

Cooking with the Whole Animal
3:00 pm – 4:15 pm, F-Wing 1 & 2

Learn the delicious economy of meat. If you raise your own livestock for consumption, you know how much energy and money it takes, it is, therefore, essential to minimize waste and maximize yields. From bone broths to liver pates, the culinary and nutritional value of the odd bits is vast. Come ready to sample some delicious food and take away a small recipe book with tricks and tips for cooking with the whole animal.

Presenter: Gracie Schatz – Chef, Butcher, and Farmer with a goal to help others deepen their connection to their food.

4:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Share ideas on how to take what you’ve learned home and enjoyed a special viewing of 2016 Real Food Film Awards Winner