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Winter Guild Gathering
February, 7th 2015
Harmony School (909 E. 2nd St., Bloomington)

The Local Growers Guild host’s a full day of workshops for professional growers and home gardeners.  You’ll interact and learn from experts, meet new people, and have opportunities to network with a growing community focused on increasing the viability of small farms and strong local food economy. Two tracks of workshops, detailed below, will be presented by leaders in their respective areas. Attend your favorite workshops in either track throughout the day.

Bring Your Soil Questions

Bulk Order Vendors will be available all day to answer questions and help place your bulk orders. For more information on the LGG Bulk Order of soil amendments, cover crops, and produce supplies, email localgrowers at localgrowers dot org or read more online.

8:30-9:00:        Sign In and Welcome
9:00-11:20:       Morning Workshops
11:30-12:30:     Lunch                      
12:30-1:00:       LGG Annual Meeting
1:00-5:00          Afternoon Workshops

Tickets:              Members $10 in advance, $15 at door; Non-Members $15 in advance, $30 at door. Tickets are available via PayPal at localgrowers.org and at Bloomingfood’s Market & Deli. Become a LGG producer, community, or farm advocate member at our website.

Parking:            Street parking is free on Saturday, but crowded. The Atwater parking garage is two blocks away at Atwater and Woodlawn (map). We like to reserve the parking lot for Winter Market customers.

Lunch:                Please consider buying lunch for a Winter Market prepared foods vendor.  Options include tamales, biscuits and gravy, tarts, pies, savory and sweet baked goods, pizza, granola, coffee, and more.  You can also visit Elm Heights Bloomingfoods 2 blocks away or bring a picnic.

Annual Meeting: What’s the LGG doing right now?  Everyone is welcome, encouraged even, to attend this over view of LGG activities and meet the board. Board members will be around through the day to hear your ideas as well.

Winter Market: Thank you to The Bloomington Winter Farmers’ Market for sharing the venue. Winter Market is open Saturdays from 9 to 12:30. If you haven’t been, take afew minutes to check out the bounty of delicious locally produced foods.

Workshops

Track A – Small Growers and Home Gardeners

Getting the Most Out of a Small Space – Intensive planting techniques (9-9:40)
Michael Hicks, Living Roots Ecovillage, LGG member
Jami Scholl, My Edible Eden and curriculum developer for early childhood gardening

Diagnosing and Managing Diseases and Pests Organically   (9:50-10:30)
Amy Thompson, Monroe County Extension Educator

Home Scale Rabbit Raising   (10:40-11:20)
Rhonda Baird, Bloomington Permaculture Guild and LGG Member

Keeping Small Herds (2:30-3:10)
Allen Kitscher, Moon Valley Farm, LGG Member
Whitney Schlegel, Marble Hill Farm, LGG Member

Track B – Farm Management

Labor on Small Farms (9-9:40)
Josh Egenolf, WE Farm, LGG Member
William Harriman, Harriman Farms
Grant Pershing, Freedom Valley Farm, LGG Member

Financial and Liability Considerations for Farmers 9:50-10:30
Elizabeth Ruh, Personal Financial Services, LGG Member
Jeremy Goodrich, Shine Insurance, LGG Member

Soil Testing, Conservation Practices, and NRCS Farm Funding  (10:40-11:20)
Cara Bergschneider, NRCS Conservation Officer and Soil Scientist

Amendments for Optimal Soil Health
Panel Presentation (1:00-2:30) Additional Q&A (2:30-3:10)
Ted Stutz, Ohio Earth Foods
Jason Hobson, Advancing Eco Agriculture (AEA)
Jerald Rhodes, White River Ag cover crops

Local food in Neighborhood Groceries – Needs and Processes of Local Retailers (3:15-4:30)
Bloomingfoods,
Sahara Mart,
Lucky’s Market

December Letter from the Board

The Holiday season is upon us.  I hope you’re all warm and well.  While the produce and animals never taken a holiday, I still find it a time of year to reflect so I can start regrouping in January for a new year.  Before you settle in around the woodstove, please take 5 minutes to read the following, mark your calendars, and provide input for the topics below.  You are the LGG!  What you want is what we do.

Local Growers Guide

Work is well underway on the 2015 LGG Guide publication.  We are hoping for our best publication yet, and YOU are a part of making that possible. I realize the deadlines are soon – it’s our goal to have the Guide ready in March.  We also plan to increase the number of copies, and distribute more widely.  (We have partnered with Purdue and Extension Educators from around the state, which are happy to help.)  Here is how you can help make the 2015 Guide a stellar publication:

  • We have space for more articles – Do you have a suggestion for an article? Anything you, a customer, or fellow farmers have asked, debated, researched? If you’re inclined, go one step further and write an article for the Guide. Please email suggested article topics to ccarterjones@aol.com. Please contact Cheryl before writing- submissions will need to be approved by the LGG board. Deadline for ideas: 12/24/14
  • Do you have high resolution pictures of your farm or your backyard garden that you could forward for possible inclusion?  If so, send to ccarterjones@aol.com.   Spring, summer or fall pictures would be great, if you have them.  Deadline:  12/30/14
  • The Guide is self-funded – we have to have advertisers in order to publish it.  If you would like to place an ad, or know a potential advertiser, please contact Elizabeth Ruh -elizabeth@personalfinancialserivces.net.  Advertising Deadline: 1/15/15 
  • If you have not paid your 2015 dues, please do so immediately.  Any member that is not current as of January 1st may be omitted from the Guide.

Memberships

I know this is briefly above, but feel memberships are worth 2 mentions.  The LGG is currently a cooperative, and will always function like one regardless of our tax status.  Do you want the board and director to promote your farm, continue the bulk order, provide an informative newsletter with conferences, funding sources, and regional farm news, and continue working on a stronger local food economy?  Your contributions are so important for the success of the LGG.  Contributions of time and thought are most valuable, but we must have a little money once a year to help pay the bills.  The financial contributions from sponsors and advertisers help to keep the cost low for our grower members, but show your appreciation for the LGG by renewing your membership! 

Please check your spam/junk folder for an email from
membership@localgrowers.org.  For anyone that still owes their dues, invoices have been emailed at least twice in the last several months.  Most recently this past weekend.  Also, if you would take a minute and add this email to your approved senders list, this is how we will share bulk order invoices.

Many of you have renewed recently. Thanks!  If you haven’t, please do.  If you have any questions about the amount you owe contact Treasurer, Elizabeth Ruh - elizabeth@personalfinancialserivces.net

Bulk Order

We are planning for a bigger bulk order this year, with earlier delivery, and a location that allows for better organization of everyone’s order. The details will roll out in January.  We’ll have Byron Seeds Cover Crops from Jerald Rhodes, Soil and livestock supplements from Ohio Earth Foods and AEA, and a plethora of farm and greenhouse supplies from Nolts.  Ordering will begin in late January and wrap up in mid February.

Winter Guild Gathering February 7th

I’m getting excited for the 2015 Winter Guild Gathering.  We have confirmed most of the presenters and are refining the schedule.  To help us make the most of the bulk order we have reps from Byron, Ohio Earth Foods, and AEA, to discuss their products and how to make the best choices for your farm.  We also welcome a number of retailers including Lucky’s (expected to open in 2015), Sahara Mart and Bloomingfoods to discuss their guidelines about purchasing local foods.  In addition we’ll have other topics on farm management, funding with NRSC, and practical skills.  Come join us for a great day, of learning, sharing, networking, and stock up on some food from the Winter Market Vendors along the way.

Holiday Blessings to Everyone from the LGG Board and Director!

LGG partnering with IU and Purdue

Grant explores alternative markets for local food

The LGG is a partner in 2 grants that were recently funded. We are a project participant for the Community Health Engagement Program grant through IU’s School of Public Health, with Professor James Farmer. We will be exploring if interest exists among producers and consumers for market diversification of local food products beyond what’s happening currently (farmers’ markets, CSAs, restaurants, and local grocers). The Bloomington Community Farmers’ Market will be looking at the impact of current farmers’ market programs aimed at increasing food access and Monroe County United Ministries will be evaluating demand and value amongst individuals with lower socio-economic status. We plan to share our findings next fall.

Grant supports resources for small farms in Indiana

The second grant was awarded to Purdue, lead by Tamara Benjamin and Kevin Gibson, faculty promoting small sustainable farms. The main purpose is to provide support to encourage 1000 new small farms in Indiana. Some of this funding will be given directly to the LGG to improve our technology to host information sharing. We are looking for a web designer with database experience to hire in early 2015. If this is you, or you know someone, please email membership@localgrowers.org. We will also be looking for farms to host workshops around the state and growers to develop educational materials for the website. Both have stipends for participation. More information will be available in January as the funding comes in and we begin implementing.

Fun on the Farm Tour!

LGG Board member Tom Mooradian stirred up a delicious mint, golden raspberries, and honey tea for the recent Farm Tour dinner at Living Roots Ecovillage.  Big shout out to Tom’s bees for sharing their gift!

Participants were amazed by the 2.5 acre deer-proof wood fence that surrounds the farm and the huge diversity of vegetables they grow inside of it.

We’re excited to see how their orchard and grazing pastures develop in the next few years.  Thanks again to Living Roots Ecovillage for hosting the dinner and to all the sponsors.

The Farm Tour is Co-sponsored by Bloomington Parks and Recreation, the Local Growers’ Guild, Bloomingfoods Market and Deli, and Harvest Moon Flower Farm with special thanks to Muddy Fork Farm.

Want to see more?  Check out this video the LGG made with Living Roots Ecovillage on their Permaculture gardens.

Living Roots Ecovillage – Urban Permaculture: Feeding Our Communities from Local Growers Guild on Vimeo.

 

Thank You!

Thanks to everyone who came out to our local dining fundraiser on Friday night.   We hope you keep going back to these restaurants that source food locally all year round!

Laughing Planet
Nick’s English Hut
Upland Brewery
Lennie’s
No Coast Reserve