NOTE: Schedule subject to change given our unexpected move to a new date/venue. We are working to keep workshop changes to an absolute minimum.

 

Friday, May 11

Registration (7:30–8:30 a.m.)

Welcome (8:30–9 a.m.)

Housekeeping and welcome remarks

 

Session 1 (9–10:15 a.m.)

Learn From My Mistakes
Julie Schaer, The Potager
In this session, Julie will be going through all of things she got wrong over the years growing on her family farm.

WV Grown Roundtable
Moderated by Buddy Davidson, West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDA)
Provide your ideas to the West Virginia Department of Agriculture in this listening session on how it should revamp and operate its “WV Grown” branding program for produce growers and value-added manufacturers.

Intro to Permaculture: Creating Sustainable Human Habitats by Following Nature’s Patterns
Alex Cole, WVSU Extension Service
This beginner’s session will go over the core principles of permaculture with a visual tour of Alex’s own home and garden that he has built on a shoestring budget over the last five years.

Upcycled Container Gardens
Melissa Stewart, WV National Guard (WVNG), Tabitha Surface, West Virginia State University (WVSU) Extension Service, and Aimee Figgatt, Capitol Conservation District (CCD)

 

Session 2 (10:30–11:45 a.m.)

Growing Specialty Crops in West Virginia
CCD & WVDA
This workshop will focus on conservation, production and marketing practices for specialty crop growers, and will provide an excellent opportunity for beginning growers to connect with and learn from experienced growers.

High Heels & Homesteading
Tinia Creamer, Lucas Farms FarmHer
Adapt. Grow. Original: The value of making agriculture and sustainability through homesteading part of your life in an unorthodox way.

Irrigation for the Home Garden
John Bombardiere, Rutgers University
Irrigation and rain barrels.


 

Lunch (12–1 p.m.)  

Session 3 (1:15–2:30 p.m.)

Waste Area Plants and the Legacy of Domestication
Lawrence Greene, founder of Ugata
We will discuss the relationship between domesticated plants and their wild cousins, urban farming in the Rust Belt and permaculture’s role in community renewal.

Service Provider Roundtable
Moderated by Julie Stutler, NRCS
Local representatives from multiple USDA agencies will lead a roundtable discussion on how USDA can assist you.

Home Butchering
Anita Cobb, Safari Meats
Basic butchering skills for the homesteader. Proper tools and their use, handling of the carcass and packaging. We will butcher a lamb for demonstration.

Streambank*
Judith Lyons, WV Conservation Agency

Living along a creek, stream or river bank makes for a beautiful view outside your windows. Recent flooding has given us a reminder of just how powerful Mother Nature and water can really be. In this workshop, Judith Lyons from the West Virginia Conservation Agency will take participants on a walk along the stream banks of the Poca River at Camp Virgil Tate to discuss keeping your soils in place with stream bank stabilization projects, repairing erosion issues, proper removal of blockages, who to call in the event of an emergency, and what services are offered by WVCA to landowners along these waterways. *This session will be held off campus at Wine Cellar Park in Dunbar. Transportation will be provided to and from the session.

 

Session 4 (2:45–4 p.m.)

Growing a Small Business — sponsored by Flaherty Sensabaugh Bonasso PLLC
Caleb Knight, Flaherty Sensabaugh Bonasso PLLC
Picking a business type and getting started, including who to call and how to get help, as well as other legal considerations, such as obtaining business licenses, hiring/firing employees, obtaining financing, protecting intellectual property, and other useful topics.

Composting
Aimee Figgatt, CCD and Department of Environmental Protection
Not sure what to do with your kitchen, garden and yard scraps? Would you like natural, homemade compost for your lawns and gardens in the spring? Then expand your recycling efforts to include kitchen scraps and yard debris by signing up for a Backyard Composting Workshop and turn your yard waste and food scraps into a valuable resource for your garden.

Season Extension and High Tunnels
Terry Hudson, Hudson Farms
This session will cover season extension for your home garden or small-scale production site. From high tunnels to low tunnels and other techniques for extending your growing season, the basics and how-to’s will be the focus.

Nature Walk, Plant and Tree Identification*
Tyler Putzulu, WV Division of Forestry & NRCS
Nature walks are a great to unwind and discover the world around you.  Join us for this walk through the woods of Camp Virgil Tate and learn more about the trees and plants that reside in our West Virginia hills. *This session will be held off campus at Wine Cellar Park in Dunbar. Transportation will be provided to and from the session.

 

Keynote and Movie Screening (4:15 p.m.) 

Join us as Romney, WV native and marine veteran, Calvin Riggleman, introduces the documentary, “Farmers for America,” in which he is featured. The film is narrated by Mike Rowe of the Discovery Channel’s “Dirty Jobs,” and highlights young farmers across the U.S. and the obstacles they face as the average age of today’s farmers is on the rise. After the screening, Mr. Riggleman will be available for a Q&A session.

 

Saturday, May 12

Registration (7:30–8:30 a.m.)

Welcome (8:30–9 a.m.)

Housekeeping and welcome remarks

 

Session 5 (9–10:15 a.m.)

Vermiculture: What Worms Can Do for You
Mike Easter, WVSU Extension
Vermiculture is the process of garden composting using worms. This session will be covering the benefits of vermicomposting and vermiculture, from plant health to soil building.

Homebrewing
Rob Absten, founder of K.R.A.Z.E.
An experienced homebrewer, Absten was the founder of K.R.A.Z.E., the Charleston-area’s homebrewing/beer-enthusiast group. He has been a leading advocate in the West Virginia brewery scene for a number of years, especially active in the legislative arena. He drafted the bill that eventually became our growler law, which allows restaurants and retailers to sell draft beer to-go in jugs.

Growing Your Business — sponsored by Kalmbach Feeds
Kimberly Donahue, U.S. Small Business Administration
How do you nurture your business so that it flourishes? This workshop will concentrate on a wide array of best prSSactices, including smart legal organization options, better marketing, and knowing when to expand your products and services. 

Explore Food Security and Value-Added Products in Your Backyard and Beyond! (Part 1)*
Rebecca Wood, Hopewood Holistic Health
We will cover the history and fundamentals of permaculture: urban, rural, and your backyard. Then we will take off into the woods and pastures to conduct an assessment of local resources. Includes discussions on value-added products, herbals and more. *This session will be held off campus at Wine Cellar Park in Dunbar. Transportation will be provided to and from the session.

 

Session 6 (10:30–11:45 a.m.)

Agriculture Adventures with ChalleNGe
Jessie Uphold, WV ChalleNGe Academy
As a quasi-military program operated by the West Virginia National Guard, Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy is expanding career exploration opportunities and life skills through agriculture. This will be a discussion of our farm to table production and cadet involvement. Cadets will also provide first-hand accounts of their experiences.

What the Flock? Raising Backyard Chickens
Annette Ericksen, WVSU Extension Service

Raised Bed Gardens
Aimee Figgatt, CCD
Learn the construction, management and benefits of raised bed vegetable and herb gardens.

Explore Food Security and Value-Added Products in Your Backyard and Beyond! (Part 2)*
Rebecca Wood, Hopewood Holistic Health
We will cover the history and fundamentals of permaculture: urban, rural, and your backyard. Then we will take off into the woods and pastures to conduct an assessment of local resources. Includes discussions on value-added products, herbals and more. *This session will be held off campus at Wine Cellar Park in Dunbar. Transportation will be provided to and from the session.

 

Lunch (12–1 p.m.)  

Session 7 (1:15–2:30 p.m.)

To Eat or Not to Eat: Nutrition and Allergies in the Kids’ Garden
Jessica Pollitt-Hudson, WVU Extension Service and Kimberly Earl, WV Children’s Allergy Alliance
In this hands-on session, we will explore topics related to garden experiences and taste tests with kids including: food safety practices, creating positive food experiences, and allergy awareness.

Backyard Hydroponic Production
Melissa Stewart, West Virginia National Guard
Learn the basics of hydroponics and how you can use this technology in your own backyard as a unique production system.

Self Promotion on a Shoestring Budget
Matt Browning and Stacy Herrick, WVSU Research & Development Corp.

Beekeeping (Part 1)
Eric Grandon, Sugar Bottom Farm
A brief introduction to beekeeping and the benefit it brings to urban agriculture.


 

Session 8 (2:45–4 p.m.)

Beyond the Basics: School Gardens from Start to Harvest
Tabitha Surface, Shelley Whittington and Emily Moore, WVSU Extension Service
School gardens are not one size fits all. From strawberry bags to production level growing, there is something that works for everyone. Join our session for information on school garden design, planning, funding and more.

Growing Lavender in West Virginia
Shelly Keeney, The Relevant Gardener
This workshop will focus on general guidelines for successfully growing lavender in our plant zone (6). Lavender is native to the Mediterranean and therefore can be a challenge to grow in our area. In general, this lovely herb prefers dry, sunny climates and well drained soil. It detests wet roots. High and dry is preferred, but it can adapt. Students will learn about the many varieties of lavender, soil preparation, watering requirements, seed/propagation, recommended varieties, harvesting, pruning, aromatherapy use, and culinary use. We will have some tasty, fragrant lavender treats to sample as well.

Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and GAP
Jeremy Grant, WVDA
Food Safety is serious business, and new regulation is going to be a game changer in terms of how we do business, or more importantly, how customers perceive we should be doing business when it comes to food production in West Virginia. This session will help you understand what you should be doing and why, and where to get the resources you need.

Beekeeping (Part 2)
Eric Grandon, Sugar Bottom Farm
A brief introduction to beekeeping and the benefit it brings to urban agriculture.