When

Classes meet Tuesdays 

4:00 pm - 6:30 pm

July - September

Where

Classes are held on the farms throughout the Nevada County region.  See schedule for details.  Directions emailed one week prior to class. 

Contact

Molly Nakahara
Sierra Harvest
5302652343
farminstitute@sierraharvest.org
 

Sierra Harvest Agriculture Skills Course, 2020

Hone your skills! The Sierra Harvest Ag Skills Course offers a season of in-depth classes all about production farming.  All classes are taught on farms in Nevada County by local farmers and agricultural professionals. Location details are emailed one week in advance of class.  This course is designed to for beginning farmers interested in production scale agriculture. 

$22/ class -- $20/class for 7 classes -- $18/class for the entire course

Questions?  Email molly@sierraharvest.org

Register Now!

 

Class 1

Tuesday

July 7th

4-630pm

Starting a Farm with Peter Hidalgo, Son of Something Farm

Starting a farm is no easy task and it can feel overwhelming.  Join Peter Hidalgo of Son of Something Farm for a conversation on how to turn your farm or ranch dream into a reality.  Discuss which steps to take first and how to focus your time and energy for the highest impact.

Class 2

Tuesday

July 14th

4-630pm

Crop Irrigation with Antonio Garza of Riverhill Farm

During the hot summers of the foothills, proper crop irrigation can make the difference between success and failure.  Join Antonio Garza at Riverhill Farm for an in-depth look at field-scale irrigation systems and a discussion of the ideal types of irrigation for specific crops.  Riverhill Farm grows a large selection of vegetable and fruit crops for local markets including lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, blackberries and strawberries. 

Class 3 

Tuesday

July 21st

4-630pm

 

Bed Preparation & Weed Management with Jeremy Mineau, Super Tuber Farm

Learn to identify the right time and the best methods for preparing your fields for planting including choosing the right primary & secondary tillage methods and tools, applying amendments, and shaping beds.  Properly prepping your fields can mitigate weed pressure and promote crop success.  Jeremy Mineau of Super Tuber Farm will share his skills and knowledge of field-scale farming.  He grows a variety of crops on including 2 acres each of carrots and beets, notoriously difficult crops when it comes to controlling weeds.

Class 4

Tuesday

July 28th

4-630pm

Intensive Farming with Leo Chapman of Chapman Family Farm

See a small, diversified farm in action. Leo will introduce us to a farm system that integrates animals into a low-till fruit and vegetable system.  We will have an opportunity to take close look at the techniques he uses on his farm including hugelkulter, swales, and perennials.  If it can be grown in Nevada County, Leo has grown it!  Leo founded the Living Lands Agrarian Network and trained countless aspiring farmers in the area. He is a true local agricultural hero and elder, with much wisdom to offer.    

Class 5

Tuesday

August 4th

4-630pm

Fields in Forests:  Holistic Ag in the Foothills w/Tim Van Wagner of First Rain Farm 

What is the foundation of a sustainable farm?   How can we produce more from the resources of the land and import less?   Tim’s class will take a close look at First Rain Farm’s approach to integrated land management and farming through our livestock, forestry, fruit and vegetable operations.  He will share how these aspects of the farm are interconnected and how they support one another.   First Rain Farm produces vegetables, fruit, mushrooms, milk, forest products, compost and more on 40, certified Organic acres just outside of Nevada City.

Class 6

Wednesday August 12th

4-630pm

All About Farm Tractors with Diane & Patrick Bollinger,  Foothill Roots Farm

Join us for a class all about tractors!  Patrick & Diane of Foothill Roots Farm will lead a conversation about the capabilities of different types of tractors (big ones, walk behind, and in between) and the roll that each can play on a small farm.  Foothill Roots Farm grows mixed veggies, fruit and flowers on 6 acres in Meadow Vista and have used (and decided to not use) tractors on many levels- electric cultivating tractors, walk-behind tillers, and farm tractors.  Their attention to soil and ecological health has encouraged them to explore low-till practices as well.

Class 7 

Tuesday

August 18th

4-630pm

All About Flowers with Soil Sisters Farm

Join local flower powerhouse Soil Sisters Farm and learn all about specialty cut flower production!  Flowers can add habitat, creativity and a high value crop to any small farm.  The class will cover all about flowers - from selecting the best varieties to trellising, and intensive growing methods to flower harvesting and handling.  We’ll even dive into floral design with a little basic bouquet making!

Class 8

Tuesday

August 25th

4-630pm

Adding Bees into Your Farm with Cameron Redford, McClaughry Farms

Whether you host bees from a local apiary on your farm or decide to have your own hive, honey bees add ecosystem services and valuable products to a diversified farming system.  Join Cameron Redford, lead bee-keeper with McClaughry Farms for an introductory class on getting started with bees in the foothills.

Class 9 

Tuesday

September 1st

4-630pm

Soil Occultation with Bryanna & Steven Eisenhut, Stone’s Throw Farm

Join Stone’s Throw Farm and explore soil occultation- the use of silage tarps to aid in low-till bed preparation.  Occultation supports the biology of the soil to incorporate crop residues, suppress weeds, and enhance the tilth of the soil!  Stone’s Throw Farm is a certified Organic farm in Colfax, CA growing a wide array of vegetables and flowers for local markets.  

Class 10 

Tuesday

September 8th

4-630pm

Understanding and Improving Foothill Soils with Greg Weber, Greg’s Organics

Soil improvement in the foothill region requires a special focus on macro and micronutrients, and soil biology.  Join Greg Weber for a conversation and in-depth look at understanding soil tests, utilizing cover crops, inoculants, and soil inputs to build fertile, vibrant soils specifically for vegetable production.

Class 11    

Tuesday

September 15th

4-630pm

Seed Production and Seed Saving with Sarah Silverheels of For the People Seeds   

With the current loss of our seed heritage and diversity from consolidation of seed companies, seed saving has become paramount to life saving.  Learn best practices for planting, harvesting, drying, cleaning, and storage.  Sarah Silverheels includes among her vegetable crops many varieties of traditional native plants for basketry and forage.  Sarah will share her knowledge of production seed farming and teach us to be seed keepers.

Class 12

Tuesday

September 22nd

4-630pm

Small Farm Engine Maintenance with Paul Glowaski of Dinner Bell FarmYou go into farming to get your hands in the dirt, but every farmer spends a good amount of time with wrench in hand.  Knowing how to keep equipment in good working order is an essential skill. Learn tools and tips for keeping your farm machines in great working order.  Regular maintenance can save you time and money!  Paul Glowaski owns Dinner Bell Farm and is constantly rebuilding machines from walk-behind tractors to weed whips, chainsaws to tractors.  He apprenticed with the infamous Lowell Webb of Webbs Farm Supply. 

Class 13

Tuesday

September 29th

4-630pm

Successful CSA’s– with Jake Benedict of Mountain Bounty Farm

Stay-at-Home orders re-ignited interest in Community Supported Agricultural programs.  Join Jake Benedict who, for the past 10 years, has managed crop production for Mountain Bounty Farm’s CSA program on 18 acres in North San Juan. At over 800 produce boxes a week and dozens of pick-up sites from Penn Valley to Reno, Mountain Bounty’s CSA is a model of how a farm can directly feed a regional community.