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2015 Blue Ridge Farm
School Registration Deadline is 1/12/15

The demand for locally grown food continues to grow despite a faltering economy.  Direct sales from farms to consumers grew 215% from 1992-2007.  The average farmer in North Carolina is 57 years old, and looking forward to retirement.  We need new farmers to meet the demand for locally grown food in North Carolina. Quite often I get people who come in my office and say "I have some land that I want to do something with... but I don't know what.  Can you tell me what I can grow and make some money?"  This is really an open ended question, because it really depends on the market and the operator on whether an agriculture venture will be successful.  Any good business starts out with a good plan and lots of research.  More and more families are looking at ways to supplement their incomes and put their land into something productive. The Blue Ridge Farm School is a 7-month educational program that trains beginning and transitioning farmers with a strong commitment to operate successful small-scale sustainable farms.  The school offers seven business planning seminars, which will provide farmers the tools to create a viable business plan.  Each business session will focus on different areas of writing a business plan including financial management and effective marketing strategies.  The school also includes seven day-long field trips at different working farms led by innovative experienced farmers and agricultural professionals.  Participants will learn about low-cost sustainable farming methods, including fruits, vegetables, cows, poultry, goats, specialty crops and agri-tourism.  The business classes will meet the second Tuesday of the month beginning in February 2015 from 6:00 p.m-9:00 p.m. at the Upper Mountain Research Station in Ashe County. The farm field days will typically be the fourth Tuesday of the month from 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.  The farm field days will be held at various farms throughout the Blue Ridge area. The registration deadline was December 23rd , but interested participants are encouraged to inquire about available space up through the end of January. Fees for one person will be $250.00 and two people $400.00. For additional information please visit the North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Ashe County Center website at http://ashe.ces.ncsu.edu or contact us at (336) 846-5850. Brochure Blue Ridge Farm School Application

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farmer

2015 Blue Ridge Farm
School Registration Deadline is 1/12/15

The demand for locally grown food continues to grow despite a faltering economy.  Direct sales from farms to consumers grew 215% from 1992-2007.  The average farmer in North Carolina is 57 years old, and looking forward to retirement.  We need new farmers to meet the demand for locally grown food in North Carolina. Quite often I get people who come in my office and say "I have some land that I want to do something with... but I don't know what.  Can you tell me what I can grow and make some money?"  This is really an open ended question, because it really depends on the market and the operator on whether an agriculture venture will be successful.  Any good business starts out with a good plan and lots of research.  More and more families are looking at ways to supplement their incomes and put their land into something productive. The Blue Ridge Farm School is a 7-month educational program that trains beginning and transitioning farmers with a strong commitment to operate successful small-scale sustainable farms.  The school offers seven business planning seminars, which will provide farmers the tools to create a viable business plan.  Each business session will focus on different areas of writing a business plan including financial management and effective marketing strategies.  The school also includes seven day-long field trips at different working farms led by innovative experienced farmers and agricultural professionals.  Participants will learn about low-cost sustainable farming methods, including fruits, vegetables, cows, poultry, goats, specialty crops and agri-tourism.  The business classes will meet the second Tuesday of the month beginning in February 2015 from 6:00 p.m-9:00 p.m. at the Upper Mountain Research Station in Ashe County. The farm field days will typically be the fourth Tuesday of the month from 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.  The farm field days will be held at various farms throughout the Blue Ridge area. The registration deadline was December 23rd , but interested participants are encouraged to inquire about available space up through the end of January. Fees for one person will be $250.00 and two people $400.00. For additional information please visit the North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Ashe County Center website at http://ashe.ces.ncsu.edu or contact us at (336) 846-5850. Brochure Blue Ridge Farm School Application

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Invasive Weed
Workshop

Jan 29th 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.,  Watauga County Agriculture Conference Center Part 1 (1 pesticide certification hour) Information on the distribution, identification, and eradication of terrestrial and aquatic invasive weeds. Led by Paige Patterson and Wendy Patoprsty Part 2 (1 pesticide certification hour) Construct a weed wiper that can be used to apply herbicide in areas where there is danger of damaging wanted plants or in sensitive environmental situations. There will be a small charge to construct a weed wiper. Contact Paige Patterson at the Watauga County Cooperative Extension Office if you plan to make a weed wiper.

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Master Gardener
Training Classes To Be Offered This Spring

Watauga County Agriculture Extension Office is excited to announce that it will be offering The Master Gardener Program this spring, starting March 5th, 2015. Classes will be held on Thursdays from 8:30-12:00 for 12 weeks. As a class participant you will receive 40 hours of training in subjects including botany, plant propagation, houseplants, lawns, plant insects, diseases, weeds, fruits and vegetables, flowering plants, houseplants, and landscape design. Both organic and traditional methods will be discussed. The program will include hands on activities, field trips, and guest speakers. After successfully completing your training, passing a final exam, and returning a like number of hours in volunteer service, you will be certified as a Master Gardener. There is a $115 charge to cover the master gardener manual. To download application http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/?attachment_id=331772 or for an application and more information on this great program contact Paige Patterson, Consumer Horticulture Agent at 828-264-3061. or paige_patterson@ncsu.edu.  You can also learn more about this program at http://www.ncstategardening.org

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blueberry

Free Blueberry Winter
Pruning & Production Workshop January 27

The Watauga County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will host a Blueberry Winter Pruning & Production Field Day in Deep Gap (Watauga Co.), NC on Tuesday, January 27, 2015, from 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM. Blueberries are a healthful and potentially profitable specialty crop that thrives in the NC High Country climate. On Tuesday, January 27, 2015, from 2 PM to 5:30 PM, North Carolina Cooperative Extension will lead a Blueberry Winter Pruning & Production Field Day.  The Field Day will be held at the Kelley farm Deep Gap, NC, where State Blueberry Extension Specialist Bill Cline, and Area Extension Agent Richard Boylan, will guide participants through the decision process for selecting blueberry canes to be removed to maximize plant health and production for the coming years. Environmental factors, including soil drainage, fertility, weed management, and insect challenges will also be discussed as bushes are pruned. Participants are welcome to bring pruning tools of their own, and some tools will be available for use on site as well. In addition to hands-on pruning work on the farm, there will be time for a Q&A on blueberry production challenges with Dr. Cline during the afternoon. To reach the Kelley’s farm (126 Old Glade Road, Deep Gap, NC  28665), take Hwy 421 southward for about 8 miles from downtown Boone. Turn left on Brownwood Rd. Continue on Brownwood Rd. for approximately 0.7 miles, then turn left onto Old Glade Rd. Available parking will be marked. Bill Cline works as a researcher and extension specialist in the Department of Plant Pathology at North Carolina State University. His areas of expertise include diseases of small fruits, and all aspects of blueberry production. North Carolina Cooperative Extension’s programs in Watauga and Wilkes counties work to identify and promote viable crops and agricultural marketing strategies suitable for the region and work with farmers to improve profitability.

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Introduction to
Beekeeping Course series begins January 20 in Boone

An Introduction to Beekeeping course will be offered in Watauga County in January and February. It is designed for those who want to consider becoming beekeepers.  Topics to be covered include races of bees, basic hive and frame construction and placement of hives, and beekeeping tools.  In addition, the course will include information on installing bees, hive management, diseases and pests, making nucs and splits, queen replacement, and honey production as well as other topics. The class will be held at the Watauga Campus of Caldwell Communtiy College in Boone.  Class dates are January 20, 22. 27, 29, February 3, 5, and 10.  Class hours are 6:00-8:00 P.M.  The cost of the class is $21.00 and includes the textbook. Interested persons can contact the Continuing Education Department at 828-297-3811.

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NEWS View All

Make 2015 the year of “real food”

As a foodie dietitian, I enjoy reading food trend predictions every year. Some seem odd, such as cricket flour being introduced into foods for the protein. Others could have value, like the forecast MORE »

Preserve Your Hunting Bounty

While most of us are scurrying about tending to holiday-induced deadlines, some are more concerned about having a successful deer hunting season, which ends on January 1st in Watauga. Last weekend, Extension livestock MORE »

Make Breakfast Too Easy To Skip

If you are too rushed to eat in the morning, or just don’t feel hungry, you’re not alone. According to a marketing research company study (NPD Group), 14 percent of children aged 14 MORE »

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EVENTS View All
Introduction to Beekeeping Course seriesTue Jan 27, 2015
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM Where:
Watauga Campus of Caldwell Communtiy College, Boone, NC
— 11 hours ago
NCFGC MWCThu Jan 29, 2015
12:30 PM - 7:00 PM Where:
Western North Carolina Regional Livestock Center, Stock Dr., Canton, NC
— Tomorrow
Invasive Weed WorkshopThu Jan 29, 2015
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM Where:
Agriculture Conference Center, 252 Poplar Grove Road, Boone, NC 28607
— 2 days away
Birds Eye Business Planning Course Thu Jan 29, 2015
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM Where:
Ashe County Wilkes Community College Campus, West Jefferson, NC
— 2 days away
Introduction to Beekeeping Course seriesThu Jan 29, 2015
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM Where:
Watauga Campus of Caldwell Communtiy College, Boone, NC
— 2 days away
Field Trip to The Market Gardener author workshop at Living Web FarmsMon Feb 2, 2015
1:30 PM - 7:00 PM Where:
176 Kimzey Rd. Mills River NC 28759
— 5 days away
Watauga County BeekeepersTue Feb 3, 2015
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM— 7 days away
Introduction to Beekeeping Course seriesTue Feb 3, 2015
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM Where:
Watauga Campus of Caldwell Communtiy College, Boone, NC
— 7 days away
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