Organic Growers School is excited to bring this new curriculum and training opportunity to Southern Appalachia over the next two years in partnership with Certified Naturally Grown.

New Farmer-to-Farmer Video Series

Now accepting applications for Farmer Teachers!

As part of our collaboration with Certified Naturally Grown, we are currently developing online instructional materials and video lessons in Soil Health, Pest & Disease Management, and Weed Management. We seek experienced farmers with a robust understanding of vegetable production practices that work in alignment with ecological principles. Two to five selected farmers will be filmed by a small crew on their farm as they provide instruction on farming practices that relate to the curriculum topic(s). Deadline to apply is June 5th. 

Manage for Your Farm’s Future

Growing a viable farm business is sustained by continuous learning of the land and your products. In this workshop series, growers across Southern Appalachia will gain tools to manage their crop production for whole-farm success. The Holistic Crop Management workshop series will be held across Northern Georgia, Eastern Tennessee, Western North Carolina, and Southwestern Virginia. Workshops in each location will feature farmers and agricultural experts from the area. Participants will be able to build a network with experienced growers who know farming and the land.

2020/2021 Workshops

December 2020 – February 2021 •  Times & Locations Vary

Dates, locations, and workshop descriptions coming soon!

Workshop Structure & Cost

Workshop Structure & Cost

  • In the winter of 2019-2020, we’ll be hosting workshops in Abingdon, VA, Alexander, NC, Burnsville, NC, Cummings, GA and Jonesborough, TN.
  • Each workshop offered will be a one-day learning experience and will take place from 9AM-4PM.
  • Morning sessions will consist of discussion-based exploration of the topic: soil quality, pest management, disease control, or weed maintenance (see schedule of topics below.)
  • In the afternoons, participants will engage in hands-on activities lead by a local farmer to learn how they incorporate holistic crop management practices on their farm.
  • This curriculum uses Certified Naturally Grown standards as the guidelines for a holistic approach to crop production.
    • Participants are not required to be certified or consider certification to attend any of the workshops, however, the skills gained in these sessions will equip farmers to take on certification confidently. 
  • Participants can register for 1 workshop for $30, or 2 for $50, and lunch is included.

Workshop Descriptions & Winter Schedule 2019-2020

A Holistic Approach to Soil Health

December 10th, 2019, Celo Community Center, 36 Sweet Cider Lane, Burnsville, NC
January 9th, 2020, Virginia Highlands Community College, 100 VHCC Drive, Abingdon, VA
January 31st, 2020, Cane Creek Farm, 5110 Jekyll Rd, Cumming, GA — SOLD OUT
February 10th, 2020, Farm Bureau, 1103 Boones Creek Road, Jonesborough, TN

Participants will understand and learn to apply the four ecosystem processes, holistic management principles, basics of soil science and soil monitoring to help increase their farm’s soil health and productivity.

Managing Weeds Holistically

December 11th, 2019, Celo Community Center, 36 Sweet Cider Lane, Burnsville, NC
January 10th, 2020, Virginia Highlands Community College, 100 VHCC Drive, Abingdon, VA
February 1st, 2020, Cane Creek Farm, 5110 Jekyll Rd, Cumming, GA — SOLD OUT
February 11th, 2020, Farm Bureau, 1103 Boones Creek Road, Jonesborough, TN

Effectively managing weeds can be the most labor-intensive task for ecological crop and vegetable production. This one-day workshop will cover common weed biology, ecology, and identification. You 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.

Managing Disease Holistically

February 17th, 2020, SAHC Community Farm, 180 Mag Sluder Road, Alexander, NC

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 one-day workshop. 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.

Managing Pests Holistically

February 18th, 2020, SAHC Community Farm, 180 Mag Sluder Road, Alexander, NC

In this one day workshop, you 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.

Further Information

Please contact farmer-coordinator@organicgrowersschool.org if you want to learn more about this workshop series, or have any questions.

Funding for this workshop series was made possible by thanks to our farmer networks, regional partners, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service through grant #AM180100XXXXG067. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the USDA.

OGS is an equal opportunity organization. 

Thank you to our sponsors & partners:

OGS Farmer Programs are made possible by our farmer network and our funding partners: CLIF bar Family Foundation, Southern Sustainable Agriculture, Research and Education UNFI Foundation, WNC Bridge Foundation, Harry Chapin Foundation, Walnut Cove, New Visions, and USDA Rural Development. Our Growth Partners (year-round program support) are: Carolina Farm Credit, Earth Tools, Biltmore Company, Buchi,  Living Web Farms, and Chelsea Green Publishing. Our Media Sponsors are WNCW, Asheville FM and BPR. .