Holistic Crop Management

Thu, Apr 22
Online w/Organic Growers School
6-part webinar series is $225
Organic Growers School
(828) 214-7833

Organic Growers School is excited to offer this curriculum and training opportunity for the second year in partnership with Certified Naturally Grown.

Spring 2021

March 23 – April 27, 2021 • Online – livestream from anywhere!

In response to the need for virtual learning opportunities during the pandemic, we have restructured this curriculum from in-person workshops to a six-part webinar series, which includes a mixture of videos, resources, and live virtual meetings.

March 23 – April 27, 2021 – Online
Growing a viable farm business is sustained by continuous learning of the land and your products. In this workshop series, growers across Southern Appalachia and beyond will gain tools to manage their crop production for whole-farm success.

Workshop Descriptions & Winter Schedule

Session 1: Tools from the Holistic Management Framework

March 23, 2021

Participants will learn how to view the farm as an ecosystem while managing the four ecosystem processes – energy flow, water cycle, nutrient cycle, and community dynamics – in order to establish balance and promote productivity on your farm.

Session 2: A Holistic Approach to Soil Health

March 30, 2021 

Soil health, in an agricultural context, can be loosely defined as the combination of soil fertility, soil structure, and the biological activity that enables the production of healthy plants, active nutrient cycling, water infiltration and retention, and minimal soil erosion. Participants will understand and learn to apply the four ecosystem processes, holistic management principles, the basics of soil science, and soil monitoring techniques to help increase their farm’s soil health,  productivity, and resilience.

Session 3: Managing Weeds Holistically

April 6, 2021 

Effectively managing weeds can be the most labor-intensive task for ecological crop and vegetable production. This session will cover common weed biology, ecology, and identification. Participants will also learn preventative as well as mechanical and cultural practices you can implement on your farm to reduce weed pressure, save time, and money.

Session 4: Managing Pests Holistically

April 13, 2021

In this session, participants will gain an ecological understanding of pests including their biology, how to sample for pest and beneficial insects, and their relationship to soil and nutrient management. You will also learn management strategies that are commonly used to prevent pest damage, promote beneficials, and be equipped to develop a plan to manage pest outbreaks effectively on your farm.

Session 5: Managing Disease Holistically

April 20, 2021

We’ll take a deep dive into ecologically-based preventive, cultural, and integrated practices to reduce the impact of the disease on your farm in this session. You will gain a thorough understanding of what causes disease, identification techniques, and best management practices for reducing the damage that crop disease can cause.

Session 6: Developing Holistic Decision-Making Skills for Your Farm

April 27, 2021

As we work with the land, farmers are subject to many natural factors that are out of our control and we must prepare for the unexpected by being in the constant process of a plan. Viewing the farm through the window of the four ecosystem processes offers us a framework of Observation and Monitoring. In this session, we take that a step further by exploring tools and developing skills for decision-making in order to confidently proceed with a plan of operation rather than having to function within ‘crisis management’.