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Organic Farm School

Organic Farm School 2014

Start Date: 
Monday, June 16, 2014 - 6:00pm
End Date: 
Monday, August 11, 2014 - 6:00pm

Join us for 10 weeks of Organic Farm School with expert guest lecturers from around the Twin Cities Metro Area.  More details to come. 


START DATE DELAYED to Monday FEB. 3-- due to weather

Organic Farming 101   REGISTER NOW!  Limited Space.

Course Coordinator:  Professor Jacquelyn Zita, Farm Manager at the Women’s Environmental Institute
Tuition: $250
Monday evenings: 6:00-8:30,  FEB 3-- APRIL 7
Location: 400 Ford Hall, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN  
Level:  college level adult education

No plot of land is too small. What you need to know. This 10-week course is designed to grow organic farmers and the knowledge needed for whole farm planning and management using the principles and practices of organic agro-ecological farming. The class will provide students an opportunity to design your own organic farm or garden (for this year or in the future), develop the knowledge you need to organic farm or garden management, and create a business and farm management plan for a full farming season.  The class is coordinated by Professor Jacquelyn Zita, farm manager for the Women’s Environmental Institute, and may include a select number of other farmers, certifiers and professors as guest speakers.

COURSE SYLLABUS                               COURSE OBJECTIVES                         READINGS                         REQUIREMENTS                         REGISTER NOW                     

Growing Power Training Weekend at WEI, Oct 5th & 6th, 2013 Report

Our Fourth Annual WEI/Growing Power Training Weekend provided an opportunity for food justice enthusiasts from North Branch, the Twin Cities, and as far away as Ohio and Illinois to join together for hands-on workshops, lectures, farming, and networking! Despite dreary, cold weather, spirits were high and a total of 110 people attended, presented, volunteered, and participated in two days of workshops and fun.

   Over 22 individuals and organizations provided financial support or scholarships for youth and low-income community members to attend this event, allowing WEI to continue its partnership with Will Allen and Growing Power, Inc.  Our goal is to train participants in sustainable community farming methods and food justice as part of our mission as Minnesota’s Growing Power Regional Outreach Training Center (ROTC).

Participants chose from workshops such as hoop house building, mushroom growing, aquagreens and microgreens, aquaponics system construction, composting and vermiculture.  Attendees also had the opportunity to tour the WEI farm campus, harvest apples, and join in a fireplace food justice discussion with Will Allen.

   When asked what aspects of the weekend training they found most helpful, participants shared: “The education was great, the networking was awesome, meeting and talking with people with the same vision for a sustainable, peaceful world is inspiring” “I loved everything”  “I really thought your general hospitality was helpful. Made me feel comfortable networking with the community.”

   Some of the participants shared their goals for the future including:  “Lets use our communities to be independent of wealth so food access is a reality for everyone.” “I want to start a profitable urban farming and composting business that involves the community.”  “Help individuals (everyone) learn how to become sustainable by educating, promoting, and training people to gain access to land and opportunities while also discontinuing all the GMOs.” “We want to grow veggies year-round in our greenhouse and create more jobs for people in the community.”


Amador Sunrise Land Registry 2013 Report

By Registry Program Coordinator, Laurie Allmann

This year, Registry members enjoyed the opportunity to participate in WEI’s Prairie School hikes, led by naturalist Dave Crawford. The autumn gathering was a special event co-hosted by Wild River State Park on the topic of water quality in the St. Croix and Sunrise Rivers, featuring guest speaker Dr. Jim Almendinger, Sr. Scientist at the St. Croix Watershed Research Station. It was a wonderful and well-attended presentation, with important information that is now posted as a feature article on the website St. Croix 360. Check it out at: http://bit.ly/IfEoew

   We also held another “walk-about” with Program ecologist Tara Kelly visiting the property of the Wintz family, newest members to join the Registry. This benefit is at the heart of the Registry program. It’s a chance for landowners to walk their property with an ecologist, have any questions answered, and discuss how they might accomplish their conservation goals.

    As always, it has truly been a pleasure and privilege to connect with the people who are part of WEI’s Registry community of 15 households. It’s inspiring to know that there are people so appreciative of wildlife and natural areas, who are personally dedicated to being good stewards of their own property. There is truly no way to measure the value of the natural treasures contained in the 320+ acres owned by Registry members—the oak savannas, maple-basswood forests, prairies, streams, fern-filled ravines, sedge meadows and ephemeral pools that ring with frog song in the spring. But we can all be grateful to know that they are held in such caring hands.

    The Amador-Sunrise Registry provides conservation education and opportunity for local landowners to connect with others who share an appreciation for the rural and natural heritage of the area.  There is no cost to join, and no obligation. Open to residents of Amador and Sunrise Township in Chisago County. Founded by the Women’s Environmental Institute in 2008. Made possible by funding assistance from Embrace Open Space, with support from the McKnight Foundation.  For more information contact Registry Program Coordinator Laurie Allmann at Laurie@w-e-i.org.