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4/3 - 11/28/17

VCIH Herbal Roots Apprenticeship Program

The Herbal Roots Apprenticeship Program is a stand-alone program for the beginning herbal student and emphasizes hands-on, embodied learning in the VCIH gardens.

4/11 - 6/30/17

Farmer Sign-Up for Open Farm Week

Interested in participating in Open Farm Week? Farmer sign up is open through June 30!

4/26/17 5:30pm - 8:30pm

Groundswell: Community Conversations about Land Use, Livelihood, Food, and the Future of Vermont

At Groundswell, Rural Vermont will present a vision and encourage dialogue about a just transition to a regenerative agriculture in Vermont that meets the needs of farmer, eater, soil, environment, and community alike. The community conversation will be punctuated by a light dinner, live music, and social time. Farmer and childcare stipends available. Join Rural Vermont, local host Meghan Stotko of Heartwood Farm, friends and neighbors at Sterling College on April 26th from 5:30-8:30pm. RSVP at www.ruralvermont.org.

4/26/17 5:30pm - 7:00pm

The Dish: Going with the Grain

As Vermont's local food culture becomes more entrenched and increasingly mainstream, many farmers are looking to grow staple crops such as wheat, oats, rye, spelt and dry corn. Many of these cultivars flourished in the northeast in centuries past, but are sensitive to erratic weather and require long growing seasons, extensive acreage and lots of machine-based tillage, among other inputs. Local chefs, bakers, brewers, distillers and other food-related consumers are keen to find a steady supply of quality local grains. To what extent can the state supply these businesses with homegrown grain? In this panel discussion, Vermont grain farmers chat with bakers, distillers and maltsters about what is possible, practical and sustainable for the land and its people.

4/27/17 8:30am - 4/28/17 9:00pm

Vermont Retail & Grocers Association Convention & Expo

A business-to-business event loaded with multiple networking opportunities, information sessions, quality goods and services at every price point for retail, grocery and specialty food and beverage businesses of all sizes & stages of growth.

4/28 - 29, 17

New England Meat Conference

Join fellow farmers, processors, butchers, value-added producers and chefs at this year's New England Meat Conference. 2017 marks our third conference in what will be the industry event of the year for our region. Check out who among your peers will be sharing their work in sustainable and local meat production.

4/28/17 9:00am - 4/30/17 4:00pm

Yogurt Production

This three-day training is a practical, comprehensive, and technical guide to yogurt production and the principles governing the fermentation of milk to make yogurt. Participants will learn the specific skills to produce yogurt including food safety issues, fermentation science, and hands-on methods of making yogurt. These include: milk biochemistry, inoculants, sweetening, packaging, and economics of yogurt production. Participants will also learn Vermont and federal laws applicable to yogurt production and build cash flow worksheets for yogurt production operations. Using common milk processing equipment to make yogurt, participants will be able to explain and apply fermentation science to the yogurt making process.

4/29 - 30, 17

Basic welding and Fixing Rusted & Seized Parts

At the end of this training you will have the skills to fix equipment around the farm, house or business.

5/2 - 3, 17

Child Nutrition Tri-State Conference

This year’s Tri-State conference is hosted by Vermont Child Nutrition Programs, in partnership with Maine Child Nutrition Programs and New Hampshire Child Nutrition Programs. With 6 intensive pre-conference sessions and 25 workshops, there's something for everyone in the child nutrition world!

5/5/17 7:30am - 3:30pm

Vermont Foodbank – Hunger Action Conference

JOIN US! This year’s conference will focus on the importance of community engagement and innovation, and deepening community to create large scale change.

5/7/17 10:00am - 3:30pm

The Family Cow

Interested in having a milk cow to feed your family and friends & wondering how to get started?

5/15 - 20, 17

Craft Distilling as a Profession: The Vermont Experience

Vermont is one of the leaders in the nationwide boom in microdistilling. This training brings students into direct contact with a variety of processes involved in building, operating, and working in a distillery and the distilling industry.

5/15 - 26, 17

Holistic Forest Management - Sterling College Summer Mini-Course

A hands-on intensive that expands the concept of the farmstead to include forested areas. A diverse and knowledgeable team of instructors offer an in-depth introduction to ecologically sensitive yet productive, low-impact forest management techniques for timber and non-timber forest products.

5/15 - 24, 17

Fundamentals of Artisan Cheese

The School of the New American Farmstead at Sterling College is offering another session of its popular class “Fundamentals of Artisan Cheese,” in partnership with the Cellars at Jasper Hill. The intensive nine-day program will be held from May 15-24, 2017. Led by world-renowned master cheesemaker and educator Ivan Larcher, “Fundamentals of Artisan Cheese” provides students with the practical and scientific knowledge needed to create exquisite small-scale artisanal cheese. The course offers a whole-system perspective on cheesemaking, which begins on the farm and requires careful attention to animal husbandry and welfare, forage and feed, dairy production, and milk quality.

5/15/17 9:00am - 5/20/17 4:00pm

Craft Distilling as a Profession: The Vermont Experience

Vermont is one of the leaders in the nationwide boom in microdistilling. This training brings students into direct contact with a variety of processes involved in building, operating, and working in a distillery and the distilling industry. Lectures, labs, visits from experts, demonstrations, and hands-on experience at distilleries introduce distilling and still design, fermentation, distillery economics, and basic business and marketing skills. An emphasis is placed on production of high-quality spirits from local ingredients and how to bring these successfully to market

5/20 - 21, 17

Value Added Meat: Sausage and Bacon

This training will cover the two primary methods of producing meat value-added products: sausage making and smoking

5/20/17 1:00pm - 4:30pm

Butter, Yogurt and Cheese Making Class

Learn how to make delicious soft cheeses, yogurt and butter in your own kitchen!

5/21/17 10:00am - 3:30pm

Management Intensive Grazing for the Small Diversified Farm

By taking weather, biology, ecology, livestock management, and technology (ie electric fencing, water systems) into consideration you can make your grazing system a success on your farm.

5/21/17 4:00pm - 6:00pm

The Local Motive: Part 5 The Consumer - Screening & Discussion

Our grandparents' generation knew where their food came from but, today, food is much more readily available and commonly delivered through a vast, global industrialized system. Seasonality is less a factor in our daily diets, and doesn’t always affect availability or affordability. While this miracle of industrialization allows for a more diversified diet and a great deal of cheap food, one cost of these innovations has been the connection between consumers and the people who produce their food. The Local Motive is an opportunity to change that.

5/22/17 6:30pm - 10/2/17 9:00pm

Rutland/Bennington C.R.A.F.T. – Farmer Training Program

RAFFL & NOFA-VT to host CRAFT Farm Apprentice workshops on Rutland and Bennington County farms again this year between May and October of 2017. The Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training is a national apprenticeship program that seeks to educate farm workers who are interested in becoming farmers in the future. CRAFT provides the structure for meaningful mentor relationships between committed farmers and focused apprentices by providing a diversity of on-farm educational experiences throughout the season.

5/30 - 6/3/17

Study “Pollinators, Beekeeping, and Products From the Hive” at Sterling College

The economic value of pollinator-dependent crops is estimated to be between $18 billion and $27 billion annually in the United States alone. The School of the New American Farmstead at Sterling College is offering the course “Pollinators, Beekeeping, and Products From the Hive” for farmers, hobbyists, and landowners with interests in pollinator conservation and beekeeping.

5/30 - 6/4/17

Class in Sustainable Foraging in the Northwoods at Sterling College

When asked, “What is a weed?” Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “A plant whose virtues have never been discovered.” For those interested in exploring the virtues of wild plants and other edibles of Northern Vermont The School of the New American Farmstead at Sterling College is offering the course “Sustainable Foraging in the Northwoods.”

6/1 - 4, 17

Study “Mushrooms, Molds, and Mycorrhizae” with Tradd Cotter at Sterling College

Mushrooms are delicious and full of nutrients, but they are also surprisingly powerful tools for both ecologically-based farming and remediation and prevention of pollution. The School of the New American Farmstead at Sterling College is offering a new course in “Mushrooms, Molds, and Mycorrhizae” for those interested in exploring the cultivation and ecology of these fungi. This intensive four-day course, held from June 1-4, 2017, is designed to guide students through mushroom ecology and basic identification, farm reproduction methods and cultivation, mycoremediation, and medicinal mushrooms, extracts, and tinctures.

6/5 - 9, 17

Small-Scale Dairying

Running a successful, sustainable, and satisfying farmstead dairy and creamery requires knowledge and skill in the areas of animal husbandry, dairy product manufacturing, and business management. This course covers all three components in detail, providing students with the tools to effectively manage a healthy herd of dairy animals, produce and effectively market sought-after dairy products, and do so in a way that supports a balanced life for the farmer.

6/5 - 9, 17

Study “Wildcrafting: Food & Beverages From the Natural World” with Pascal Baudar at Sterling College

Wild foods are increasingly popular; chefs are incorporating wild ingredients into their restaurant meals and foraging guides are proliferating. The School of the New American Farmstead at Sterling College is once again offering the course “Wildcrafting: Food & Beverages From the Natural World” with noted author and instructor Pascal Baudar for those interested in exploring their own local landscapes as well as digging deep into innovative techniques for food preservation and “culinary alchemy.” This five-day course, held June 5–9, 2017, will have students bypassing both the grocery store and the farm as they head to the woods and other wild spaces to source the primary ingredients for a range of food and drinks. Students will explore the unique flavors of both field and forest as they make wild breads, brines, hot sauces, condiments, confections, infused salts, lightly fermented beverages, and wild beers.

6/5/17 8:30am - 6/9/17 4:30pm

Wild Mead: Traditional Fermented Honey Beverages

Make honey-based fermented beverages with techniques that have been utilized by ancient cultures since the first discovery of bubbling honey. This course will equip and inspire homestead mazers and aspiring beverage entrepreneurs to transform a staple product of the diversified farmstead—raw honey—into delicious, high-value meads and specialty non-alcoholic beverages.

6/12 - 16, 17

Study “The Art of Natural Cheesemaking” with David Asher at The School of the New American Farmstead

Home cheesemaking can seem daunting, and home cheesemaking without packaged, powdered cultures and synthetic rennets can seem well-nigh impossible. However, it is well within reach to make cheese that is inspired by traditional practices and based on the ecology of raw milk. The home cheesemaker can be liberated from commercial additives and empowered to cultivate their own starter cultures and growing the fungi that ripen cheeses. Author and cheesemaker David Asher will demystify the process and teach how to make natural and delicious farmhouse cheese in an upcoming course at the School of the New American Farmstead at Sterling College.

6/12/17 8:30am - 6/16/17 4:30pm

Ecological Orcharding

This five day course presents a whole system-based approach for producing delicious, nutritionally dense fruits and berries. Students will learn to select varieties, cultivate a thriving, diverse, productive landscape, create habitat for pollinators and beneficial insects, make and use natural sprays to boost plant immune response, and garden fungally. We will also explore value added products and market opportunities.

6/19/17 8:30am - 6/23/17 4:30pm

Holistic Livestock Husbandry

Holistic Livestock Husbandry looks at how infrastructure, feeding, handling, and management impact the health of the whole farm system in a small, diversified livestock operation. Sessions with Dr. Hubert Karreman, VMD and a master class with Dr. Temple Grandin offer the opportunity to learn from some of the most acclaimed figures in humane livestock management in an applied manner and small farm setting.

6/19/17 8:30am - 6/23/17 4:30pm

Ethical Slaughter and Butchery

This course explores ways to safely, ethically, and humanely bring our livestock from the field to the table. Over the course of five days, students will observe several on-farm slaughters of hogs, lambs, poultry and other livestock, participate in butchery of animal carcasses and a cooking demonstration, and take part in lectures and discussion of the ethical questions surrounding our choices to consume meat.

6/21 - 23, 17

Integrated Pest Management

Do you face persistent challenges in your greenhouse with powdery mildew? Thrips? Aphids? Root pathogens? Are you interested in using biological control but unsure how to integrate materials into your existing routine? Are you already using biologicals but unsure how to measure their effectiveness?

6/24 - 25, 17

Basic Welding

At the end of this training you will have the skills to fix equipment around the farm, house or business.

6/24/17 5:00pm - 10:00pm

RAFFL's 8th Annual Twilight in the Meadow

Twilight in the Meadow is an annual celebration of our region's community of farmers, producers, the working lands and the people who support them. As RAFFL's signature fundraiser, Twilight in the Meadow is held each year on a local, working farm with delicious food, lively auctions and toe-tapping music under the summer solstice sky.

6/26/17 8:30am - 6/30/17 4:30pm

Grazing and Soil Building

It is possible to simultaneously heal landscapes, sequester carbon in our soils, create ecologically sound, humane farming systems, and feed ourselves quality food. Learn to farm resiliently and develop efficient on-farm grazing systems by mimicking natural patterns, measuring and maintaining biodiversity, and setting appropriate animal numbers for the landscape and season.

6/26/17 8:30am - 6/30/17 4:30pm

Charcuterie: Artisanal Preparation & Preservation of Meat

This five-day artisan food intensive provides students the practical and scientific knowledge needed to process, salt, cure, and ferment meats from a variety of animals at home or in a small-scale professional setting with reverence and confidence.

7/10/17 8:00am - 7/14/17 5:00pm

Artisan Breadmaking & Heritage Grains with Richard Miscovich

They say man does not live by bread alone, but if the bread is good enough, one could certainly try. Author, teacher, and baker Richard Miscovich will be sharing his burning passions for both artisan breadmaking and heritage grains at the School of the New American Farmstead.

7/10/17 8:30am - 7/14/17 4:30pm

Market Gardening Master Class: Bio-Intensive Crop Production

Learn the key features and elements that make up a successful market gardening operation—farm set-up, bio-intensive practices, management strategies for farming without tractors, and planning off fields—from acclaimed Market Gardener Jean-Martin Fortier and tour his unique and profitable farm projects located in the nearby province of Québec.

7/17/17 8:30am - 7/21/17 4:30pm

Farmstead Toolmaking

Connect to the environment through making. Learn smithing and carving to sustainably build tools that every new American farmstead needs using commonly available materials. Cultivate making confidence in this five-day intensive course, designed to inspire and support further study of blacksmithing and green woodworking.

7/24/17 8:30am - 8/4/17 4:30pm

Small Batch Brewing

Learn the art and science of brewing from acclaimed brewmasters and get insider access to some of the most exciting craft breweries in the country. Fundamental microbiological concepts, critical safety and legal considerations, and key brewery-focused business development and marketing lessons will be taught. Theory will be balanced with hands-on practice as we apply new knowledge to produce a small-batch beer from scratch using products from the Vermont landscape.

7/31/17 8:30am - 8/4/17 4:30pm

Wholesome Pastry: Whole Grain Pies, Tarts, and Treats

Wholesome pastry? Why, yes! Practice baking savory and sweet pies, tarts, and other pastries incorporating a healthy dose of whole grain and fresh-milled flours to make more nourishing treats. Learn to satisfy both family members who are skeptical about sneaking something healthful into their dessert and customers who avoid highly-processed flours. Bakers will also learn how to source sustainably produced grains.

8/4/17

Sensory Evaluation of Cheese

One of the main factors driving consumer choice is the sensory quality of the final product. This one-day training will provide you with the fundamental tools to control and define the sensory quality of cheese, offering basic sensory training to describe and record the sensory characteristics of your cheese, as well as resourceful information and quality control systems to prevent defects in cheese.

8/7/17 8:30am - 8/11/17 4:30pm

Social Permaculture

This five-day Social Permaculture intensive uses permaculture ethics (earth care, people care, fair share), principles, and design language both as a lens to critically explore problems and a creative tool to generate resilient solutions. Students will emerge better equipped to hold transformative spaces, foster resilient, equitable communities, provide generative leadership, and catalyze long-term social change.

8/7/17 8:30am - 8/11/17 4:30pm

New Pastoralism & Innovative Entrepreneurship

Pastoralism prevails! This activated five-day intensive guides students through the process of envisioning and designing regenerative land-based, animal-integrated, and community-centered enterprises. Learn how to move from concept to reality, actualize creative collaborations, and make ancient arts both relevant and profitable in a rapidly changing modern world.

8/14 - 20, 17

Vermont Open Farm Week 2017

Do you love local food and farms? Want to get to know your farmer better -- and to get a behind-the-scenes look into Vermont's vibrant working agricultural landscape? Mark your calendar for Vermont Open Farm Week: August 14-20, 2017 taking place at farms across Vermont!

8/14/17 8:30am - 8/19/17 4:30am

The Art of Fermentation

Connect with traditional foodways across a range of cultures and experience the transformative, health-giving power of beneficial microbes. Learn processes for safely and confidently fermenting an array of vegetable, dairy, and grain products from world-renowned fermentation revivalist Sandor Katz.

9/1/17 8:30am - 9/2/17 4:30pm

Harvest Preservation Workshop: Preserving Your Fruit

Learn how freeze, can, and dry fruits, as well as make jams and jelly, pie fillings, and fruit leathers to make the summer’s sweetness last all year long.

9/3/17 8:30am - 9/4/17 4:30pm

Harvest Preservation Workshop: Tomatoes in January

Learn how to can tomatoes in a boiling water bath and pressure canner to make kitchen-ready purées, sauces, and salsas. Freezing and drying tomatoes will be included.

9/8/17 8:30am - 9/9/17 4:30pm

Harvest Preservation Workshop: No Fear Pressure Canning

Pressure canning is needed to preserve low-acid vegetables, meats, broths, and tomato-based sauces with meats and other vegetables. This class will cover everything you need to know about canning foods safely in a pressure canner.

9/10/17 8:30am - 9/11/17 4:30pm

Harvest Preservation Workshop: In a Pickle

Preserve a taste of summer in old-fashioned vinegar-brined fermented pickles and krauts. Learn how to preserve them in a boiling water bath and steam canner. Freezer pickles, quick Japanese pickles, and other globe-trotting pickled delights will also be covered.

10/9 - 13, 17

Essential Principles of Cheesemaking

This five-day training is a practical and comprehensive technical guide to cheese technology and the principles governing the quality of cheese. During this intensive, participants will learn the fundamentals of cheese making, quality control practices, and useful considerations in starting a small-scale cheese making business

10/14 - 15, 17

Introduction to Hard Cider Making

Hard Cider is the fastest growing segment of the alcohol beverage industry, but it has a long and storied history in the U.S. and abroad. In this course, we will examine the tradition, science, and craft of hard cider making at The Woodchuck Cidery in Middlebury, Vermont.

10/14/17

Sensory Evaluation of Cheese

One of the main factors driving consumer choice is the sensory quality of the final product. This one-day training will provide you with the fundamental tools to control and define the sensory quality of cheese, offering basic sensory training to describe and record the sensory characteristics of your cheese, as well as resourceful information and quality control systems to prevent defects in cheese

10/23 - 27, 17

Meat Cutting: Butchering Basics

This training will cover all of the basics of whole-animal butchery with both instruction and hands-on demonstration

11/8 - 9, 17

Sausage and Smoking (Fall)

This training will cover the two primary methods of producing meat value-added products: sausage making and smoking.

1/26/18

Meat Cutting:Butchering Basics (winter)

This training will cover all of the basics of whole-animal butchery with both instruction and hands-on demonstration.