March 23, 2009

Contacts in end paragraphs; Anu Rangarajan, Cornell Small Farms Program, 607-255-1780

Organic Vegetable Training Offered in Keeseville, Malone, Canton and Wellesley Island

Interested in growing vegetables organically? The Cornell Cooperative Extensions of Northern New York, Adirondack Harvest and the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program are offering programs with presentations and local farm tours on organic vegetable production and how to make an organic farm plan with attention to soil health, crop rotation, and insect and disease management. The fee for the 9:30am-2:30pm program with lunch is $5.00.

The Organic Vegetable Training programs and farm tours will be offered:
• Monday, April 6 at AuSable Valley Grange Hall, Keeseville, with tour to Fledgling Crow Farm, Keeseville
• Tuesday, April 7 at Franklin County Building, Malone, with farm tour to Magic Earth Farm, Malone
• Wednesday, April 8 at Cornell Cooperative Extension of St. Lawrence County Learning Farm, Canton; farm tour to be determined
• Thursday, April 9 at Minna Anthony Common Nature Center on Wellesley Island with farm tour to Cross Island Farm, Wellesley Island.

Program presenters include fresh market vegetable production specialist Anusuya Rangarajan, a Cornell Department of Horticulture faculty member, Cornell Small Farm Program Director, and Cornell Organic Work Team Co-Chair. She has worked in organic agriculture for 10 years and operates a certified organic strawberry farm in Ithaca.

Rangarajan says, “This program is a great way to learn how you can grow food for your family and for sale. Start with the basics, visit others who are doing what you want to do, and make an educated plan that fits your interests and your area.”

Joining Rangarajan for the April 6-8 programs is Abby Seaman, a Senior Extension Associate working with the NY Integrated Pest Management Program and conducting vegetable crops research in Western NY. She has led several on-farm and research station trials on organic production systems. She co-chairs the Cornell Organic Work Team.

Program attendees will be eligible to apply for a $250 scholarship to pay a local mentor to help them implement new organic practices on their farm. The Towards Sustainability Foundation, a nonprofit that promotes efficient food production and use of natural resources to support an ecologically sustainable society, is co-sponsoring the programs.

Preregister for the Keeseville program with Anne Lenox Barlow, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Clinton County, 518-561-7450; for Malone program with Richard Gast, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Franklin County, 518-483-7403; for Canton program with Katherine Lang, Cornell Cooperative Extension of St. Lawrence County, 315-379-9192; and for Wellesley Island program with Sue Gwise, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County, 315-788-8450. The Northern New York Agricultural Development Program offers horticultural crop production resources on its website at www.nnyagdev.org. # # #