Have you thought about growing fruits and vegetables for market? Ever wondered what it would be like to raise chickens in your very own backyard? If so, you might want to consider signing up for some workshops at the Fifth Annual Growers Market. The workshop is being brought to you by The Center for Rural Culture, in conjunction with Virginia Cooperative Extension. Workshops will be offered the weekend of March 13th (NOTE: this is a change from previous date of Janurary 30th-31st- due to various snow storms!), in Goochland County, VA.
As stated on their website, “The mission of the Center for Rural Culture is to educate, promote and inspire members of our community to sustain a culture that supports agriculture and the local economy, protects natural and historic resources, and maintains our rural character and traditions.” I recently interviewed Lisa Dearden, who is the Executive Director for the Center. She was literally on her way to be interviewed by NBC12 about this event. She was so excited about being able to help educate both experienced and novice farmers, and anyone else simply wanting to know more about sustainability.
One can pick and choose which workshops they would like to attend. Among them are: Sustainable Vegetable Production(20 additional seats just added), Specialty Niche Marketing, Small Fruit and Berry Production, Beekeeping and Hive Construction, Developing your Farm’s Brochure, and Web Basics & Social Media for Farmers.
There will also be some phenomonal hands-on workshops offered, including: brochure development (you will leave with a prototype on a CD to take home!), shitake mushroom logs (you will make and take home your own log that will produce shitake mushrooms for quite some time!) , seed-saving and tomato grafting (you will take home a grafted tomato plant!). Finally, there will be a 1/2 day workshop on Backyard Poultry Production (this will be Sunday, March 28th) that will cover the basics of of raising poultry on your own property and will include a hands on chicken tractor-making session! What’s a chicken tractor, you ask? Click here to find out. What could be better than raising a few hens in your backyard for fresh eggs?
Personally speaking, I am interested in attending the poultry workshop because presently, livestock is not allowed in Richmond, Chesterfield and Henrico Counties, unless you are zoned for agriculture. The Slow Food Movement is only gaining speed, which is why it’s time to update the regulations. Lisa Dearden made a great point- “You can have 3 bull-mastiffs on your property, chained, barking and threatening children, but you can’t have 4 hens, which are generally quiet and docile animals.” I look forward to finding out more on how to go about helping to change those laws.
The event is being sponsored by Nadolski’s Butcher Shop in Goochland, and Whole Foods, who is providing a delicious boxed lunch included with your registration fee. The fees are affordable, and really a steal considering the expertise that will be on hand to provide you with such a vast assortment of knowledge.
Come on out and join the fun! This is forecasted to be the biggest and most exciting year yet! Tune into NBC12 next week to watch a segment on the event.
Find out more about the Fifth Annual Growers Workshop here.
Register for the event here. J. Sargent Reynolds students get a discount!
Follow The Center for Rural Culture on Facebook.