Workshop gives tips for urban farmers

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YOUNGSTOWN — The Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture is teaming up with Grow Youngstown, the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation and the National Center for Appropriate Technology to offer a part indoor, part outdoor workshop on market farming.

Topics

The workshop will be held April 15. This workshop — Hands-on Urban Farming: Sustainability & Profits in Small Spaces — will build upon the tenets and methods from both small plot intensive gardening and biointensive farming.

Farmers who work within the constraints of a limited planting area can still achieve high production by using SPIN and biointensive farming techniques. Both strategies were developed to increase yield and efficiency, while keeping concerns for the environment at the forefront.

Speaker

Andy Pressman, sustainable agriculture specialist with NCAT and the ATTRA project, will lead participants in exploring the theory and hands-on application of urban farming, drawing from his extensive background in SPIN, biointensive and other small-scale farming systems.

Participants at this workshop will have the opportunity to discuss farmers markets as well as other outlets for marketing and selling produce from urban farms.

Participants will learn, for instance, how incorporating plants that are known to attract beneficial insects and pollinator insects can reduce the need for synthetic inputs such as pesticides and fertilizers.

Other topics covered will include business planning, site design, bed preparation, planting, weeding and harvesting techniques, tool choice and market considerations.

Details

Hands-on Urban Farming is part of PASA’s 2011 Farm-Based Education series of events. This event takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is open to the public.

The opening session will be held in the Channing Hall of the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Youngstown, the hands-on session at the Fairgreen Neighborhood Garden, a short walk from the church.

Registration is $15 for PASA/GY/YNDC members, $25 for all others. Attendees should bring work gloves. For more information, or to register for this event, visit www.PASAfarming.org/FarmBasedEducation or call 814-349-9856, ext. 20.

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