Soil Health for Vegetable Producers - Gilford, NH

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Gilford Community Church

19 Potter Hill Road

Gilford, NH 03249

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The NH Association of Conservation Districts in partnership with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and UNH Cooperative Extension are excited to host three free, soil health workshops for vegetable producers this winter. Soil health expert Jan-Hendrik Cropp will join us from Germany to share his knowledge about soil health management practices on organic and conventional farms.

In this workshop Jan-Hendrik Cropp from under_cover in Germany will deliver critical information that NH farmers can employ to better mitigate the effects of flooding, drought, and the increasing frequency and intensity of storms. Cropp will describe how to create no-till or low-till organic cropping systems using diverse living and/or dead mulches (such as cover crops and clover-grass/forage cuttings), along with rotational conservation/minimum tillage to increase soil health.

Additionally, there will also be a farmer panel facilitated by UNH Cooperative Extension to discuss how reduced tillage operations are working in New England. Participants will also receive info on new no-till transplanters and complimentary equipment that will be available for use in NH starting in 2019. Lunch is provided.

These free workshops will be held from 8:45am-4:00pm on three different days in three different NH locations:

Monday March 11th – Stonewall Farm, 242 Chesterfield Road, Keene, NH 03431

Wednesday March 13th – Gilford Community Church, 19 Potter Hill Road, Gilford, NH 03249

Thursday March 14th – Three Chimneys Inn, 17 Newmarket Road, Durham, NH 03824

Agenda (same for all three days)

8:45am: Registration with coffee & donuts

9:00am: Welcome & Agenda Overview

9:15am: Soil Health Introduction

  • Why reducing tillage matters/fundamentals of soil health - Cover, Roots, Diversity, No Disturbance

9:30am: Cropping Systems to Enhance Soil Health

  • Soil structure assessment
  • Minimum Tillage in Organic Farming

11:00am: Panel of Farmers and Q&A facilitated by UNHCE

12:30pm: Lunch (provided)

1:00pm: In Practice on the Farm

  • Mulching Systems in Commercial Organic Vegetable Production
  • Cut & Carry / N-Transfer: Alternative Forage Management on (Stockless) Farms
  • No-till through cover cropping in organic farming
  • Machinery and Equipment for those Systems
  • Practical Tools: Cover Crops Assessment

3:15pm: Equipment Opportunities for 2019

3:45pm: Evaluation & Wrap Up

Jan-Hendrik Cropp has been working for years in vegetable production and arable farming as a farm co-manager. He has been active as a consultant and presenter for soil health for 5 years through his business called under_cover. He acquired his knowledge through his own farming practice, studied organic agricultural sciences and has done various soil health research trips throughout Europe and North America (2015, 2017). His passion and specialty are mulching systems for vegetable farms which he has pioneered together with many colleagues over the last couple of years and which he tries to underscore scientifically with various on-farm-trials.

Funding for this project is provided by the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant awarded to the Cheshire County Conservation District through the NH Department of Agriculture, Markets, & Food, NH Association of Conservation Districts, and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. The USDA is an equal opportunity employer.

Registration is required. For questions, please call the Cheshire County Conservation District at 603-756-2988 x116

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Gilford Community Church

19 Potter Hill Road

Gilford, NH 03249

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