University of Minnesota
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Regional Partnership for Sustainable Development

Local Foods College

Local Foods College

Local Foods College is a series of eight sessions, meeting at 6 PM on Tuesdays from January 13 to March 3, 2015.  This is the fourth year for this series, and the 2015 series will provide many options for participants to interact with one another. The webinar format is handy for many participants to access from home or office locations.  There are also public sites that offer opportunity to network with your neighbors.

Click here to enter Moodle Classroom

Schedule of Sessions

· January 13, 2015 - Natural Soil Fertility - Mark Boen, Owner of Bluebird Gardens near Fergus Falls

This session will look at the importance of achieving and maintaining good soil biology, the importance of cover crops and some natural soil amendments used in sustainable production systems.

· January 20, 2015 - Vegetable Production Tips & Tricks - Courtney Tchida, Student Coordinator, Agronomy & Plant Genetics Dept, CFANS

Courtney will cover Arugula to Zucchini and most of the vegetables that you can grow in Minnesota, with tools and tips discovered from growing them all over the last ten seasons at Cornecopia Student Organic Farm

· January 27, 2015 -  Small Farm Business PlanningRyan Pesch, Extension Educator, Community Economics who owns Lida Farm near Pelican Rapids

Participants will learn about basic financial analysis including how to measure profits in their operation as well as simple measures growers can make to guide management decisions. We will touch on cash flow analysis, marketing costs, and recordkeeping.

· February 3, 2015 - Native Pollinator/Bee Keeping - Karl Foord, Extension Educator in Horticulture, Farminton Regional Center; Emily Cambell of the American Honey Princess and UMC Students

This session covers pollination including native pollinators and honey bees.  Karl Foord will share strategies for protecting pollinators and providing habitat.  Emily campbell, American Honey Princess will rcord a presentation on honey and honey bees that will be available online.

· February 10, 2015 - Deep Winter Greenhouses and Season ExtensionCarol Ford of Milan MN

A new movement in passive solar greenhouse design is sweeping Minnesota. Learn about passive solar greenhouse design and winter production techniques from one of the movement’s pioneers.

· February 17, 2015 - Growing in small spaces – Alex Liebman of Stone’s Throw Urban Farm (Minneapolis); Jason Bergstrand from Lake Region Takes Root (Fergus Falls)

You can maximize your production and get more out of your small yard/farm/garden plot. Learn about techniques like interplanting, succession planting, and maximizing season extension from experienced farmers.

· February 24, 2015 - Food Hubs: Community Connectors in Northwest and Central MinnesotaJessica Saucedo of Rail River Food Hub; Melissa Mattson of Fresh Connect Food Hub; Arlene Jones of SPROUT MN Food Hub

Regional food hubs are springing up across the country and Greater Minnesota is no exception.  Food hub leaders from Central and Northwest Minnesota will share the story of their start up, lessons learned, community supported agriculture (CSA) models, building relationships with institutions and growers, and how a food hub can serve as a community connector.

· March 3, 2015 - Farm to Bottle - Eric Sannerud from Mighty Axe Hops; Ron Leasman from Leatherwood Vinegary; Mike Swanson and Cheri Reese from Far North Spirits

Hear the story of three innovative farm to bottle businesses from around Minnesota, and how they are adding value to locally grown grain, herbs and fruit through the process of fermentation.

Local Foods College is free, but registration is required to provide you access to the Moodle classroom. Please register online here, or use this printable brochure.

Register Here

Printable Brochure

Sponsors and Partners

· University of Minnesota Extension


· Statewide Health Improvement Program

Public Viewing Sites

Central Lakes College Ag & Energy Center
MNSCU Center of Excellence in Agriculture
1830 Airport Road
Staples, MN 56479
U of M ExtensionHubbard County
201 Fair Ave
Park Rapids MN 56470-3286
(218) 732-3391 (phone)
Farm Market Cafe,LLC
108 Wall Street South
Onamia, MN 56359
We'll be open for dinner, networking at 5pm followed by the webinar at 6pm.
Douglas County Site
720 Fillmore Street, 
Alexandria, MN 56308 
Contact Robin Trott 320-762-3890 for more information
Morrison County Extension
Morrison County Government Center
213 1st Ave SE
Little Falls MN 56345
Minnesota Street Market
27 West Minnesota Street
St Joseph,
phone 320.363.7733.


Recorded sessions from 2012, 2013 and 2014 are posted here: