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New and Beginning Farmer Trainings in Louisiana!

In collaboration with SPROUT NOLA, Recirculating Farms has been offering farming classes as part of the New and Beginning Farmers Development Program through USDA. This program is designed for older youth and adults who eventually might like to become professional growers. Whether that means growing food for family, friends and neighbors, or something more – like eventually owning or operating a commercial farm – these classes are a great place to learn! We offer a wide range of topics: legal matters, aquaponics, marketing, registering a farm, loan programs, and more, both on-line and in-person (with proper social distancing and COVID precautions of course)! If you can’t make our live sessions (online or in person) everything is recorded and posted to a Google classroom following the event. We are all about supporting sustainable, smart, growing!

This year, we’ve offered the following classes:

  • So you wanna be a farmer? – designed to give a realistic overview on the world of professional agriculture;
  • Environmental stewardship farm day – focused on creating harmony in an urban environment through invasive species removal, water quality management, and other sustainable strategies;
  • Legal matters – reviewed what you need to know to protect yourself and your farm – considerations like liability, insurance, starting a business, land access, and the available options for growing spaces in the greater New Orleans area; and
  • Vegetable farm day – an in-person experience for a small group of participants to prepare a fall garden bed, fertilize crops, and check irrigation.
  • Emerging Markets – part of the Digital Shelf series with Fund17, NOLA FPAC and others – from on-line to home deliveries, Recirc Farms, Top Box Foods and Designum Media Group teamed up to talk about getting your products out into the community!

The remainder of the courses this year include:

  • Vegetable Production 101 – how to shift from gardening to growing, topics include spacing, irrigation, and seasonality;
  • Aquaponics farm day – a hands-on class to teach construction and function of aquaponic systems;
  • Marketing  – another  event in the Digital Shelf series – a group of entrepreneurs will review how to create a brand for your product, developing a customer base, and more;
  • Market farm day – an in-person experience at the ReFresh Market, to see the workings of an active farmers market in progress.

In addition to the classes, we are creating a series of videos for both adults and kids to support these other classes. Our first video in the series is: How to Start Growing. Stay tuned for more videos on garden design, cover cropping, irrigation, and transplanting plant starts! Our  kids series will debut soon, including an introduction to plants and a home container garden build video.

It’s not too late to sign up for our New and Beginning Farmers training program! Check out the eventbrite here, and you’ll receive an email soon after inviting you to join the Google classroom. Hope to see you there (on line or in person!) and if you’d like access to our video recordings – you can sign up through the eventbrite link, or please get in touch: media@recirculatingfarms.org

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