Farmer Field Days are production-focused, on-farm workshops to help beginning farmers and ranchers get practical information that they can use to plan or enhance their own operations. The Community Food and Agriculture Coalition is proud to partner with area farmers who will share systems and techniques that have helped make their farms successful. One Wednesday each month, we will visit a different farm during the afternoon to learn and see tools in action. After each workshop, we hope you’ll stay for a potluck social with other local beginning farmers and ranchers.
Farmer Field Days are geared toward those who are just at the beginning of their farm exploration – farm hands, interns, folks thinking about starting a farm in the near future, and anyone currently in the startup process. Beginning and established farmers and ranchers are welcome too, and everyone learns something new at a field day. As always, field days are FREE!
Farmer Field Day hosts take time out of their busy schedule to offer a unique look at the systems they have developed to be successful in today’s agriculture. To best assist the farmers in hosting a successful field day, we ask that you register at least three days in advance. Registration for each field day will close the Sunday before the event. Walk-ins are still welcome, but we’d greatly prefer to have a good estimate of numbers in advance.
Peony and Cut Flower Production
June 19 – 4:00
HARTS GARDEN, MISSOULA
Registration deadline: June 16th
Harts Garden grows a wide variety of flowers and decorative grasses. In past years they have grown over ten thousand stems for several farmers markets, selling locally grown bouquets at Clark Fork River and Polson Farmer’s Markets. At this field day, George Hart will talk about the key production techniques he uses on his flower farm.
Weed Management Systems
July 17 – 4:00
MILL CRICK & FOURTH WAVE FARM, HAMILTON
Registration deadline: July 14th
Mill Crick & Fourth Wave Farms is a farming partnership producing diversified vegetables and cut flowers in Hamilton and Corvallis. Mill Crick Farmer Randi Mark recently joined forces with Lindsey Aull of Fourth Wave Farm to grow everything from cut flowers to blue oyster mushrooms for market, farmstand and wholesale. Attend this field day to learn a variety of techniques to manage weed pressure on a diverse farm.
Orchard Management Techniques
August 7 – 4:00
FORBIDDEN FRUIT ORCHARD, PARADISE
Registration deadline: August 4th
Forbidden Fruit Orchard grows “sinfully delicious” fruits near Paradise, MT. Owners Tom and Lynn McCamant sell their fresh fruit at Missoula and Clark Fork River Markets, as well as through the Western Montana Growers Coop. They grow a wide variety of fruit including peaches, cherries, apricots, and nectarines. As part of this field day, Tom and Lynn will discuss orchard systems and the challenges of growing fruit in Western Montana.
Reducing On-Farm Carbon Footprint
SEPTEMBER 18 – 4:00
LIFELINE PRODUCE, VICTOR
Registration deadline: September 15th
At Lifeline Produce, Steve Elliot and Luci Brieger produce a wide variety of crops and livestock in the Bitterroot Valley. They work hard to grow fresh, delicious food for their community and actively look for ways to train beginning farmers through their apprentice program. Steve and Luci will talk about ways they are minimizing their farm’s carbon footprint and how you can do the same.
Hops Production Infrastructure
OCTOBER 16 – 4:00
BELL CROSSING FARMS, STEVENSVILLE
Registration deadline: October 13th
Bell Crossing Farms grows several varieties of hops in the Bitterroot Valley. Owners Desiree and Steve Funston saw the need for hops in Western Montana, and now offer a local option for breweries in the area. Join us for this field day to learn tips and tricks in developing the unique infrastructure required for a hop farm’s operation.