In this series, learn how to preserve your harvest in order to enjoy it in the off-season.
Edesia Community Kitchen
Edesia is a cooperative kitchen located in the beautiful North Fork Valley, a place to take raw agricultural products and turn them into yummy products. It’s also a place for cooking education, parties, and creative entrepreneurs to develop their passion into products. It is a certified commercial kitchen available for rent short or long term.
Zephyros Farm and Garden
Too busy to can your abundance of tomatoes? Don Lareau of Zephyros Farm and Garden has some tips for you to process tomatoes!
Deer Tree Farm and Agroforest
AJ Carrillo of Deer Tree Farm and Agroforest demonstrates a method to preserve the harvest by sun-drying squash.
Thistle Whistle Farm
Thistle Whistle’s Mark Waltermire discusses the steps to salt-brine fermented hot peppers.
Jeremy Klepper of Sauced discusses how he uses local ingredients to create his versatile sauces.
Jacob Gray, Gray Acres, raises cows and chickens for meat products, makes cheese (chèvre and feta) and grows berries for jams.
Government Programs for VOGA Members
National Organic Program
Organic Cost Share
Assistance for Producers in Drought-Impacted States
Rural Enterprise Assistance Project (REAP)
Value Added Producer Grants
EQIP & Conservation Stewardship Programs – Irrigation/water conservation, high tunnels, organic incentives, energy savings through lighting & energy upgrades
Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE)
Specialty Crops Fund
OREI Funding Grants
FSA – Beginning Farmer Loans
Steward is a private lender, working with regenerative farmers, ranchers, fishermen, and producers to provide the capital they need to expand and sustain their businesses. As their businesses grow and generate more revenue, they pay back their loan with interest. It’s really that simple.
Through our platform, Steward gives qualified lenders the opportunity to purchase loan participations—meaning they can join in our mission by helping to fund the growth of regenerative agriculture in their community or across the country.
2 Forks Club
2 Forks Club makes 0% Loans:
- The 2 Forks Club makes 0% interest loans to community farmers and local food entrepreneurs.
- Loan funds circulate. So when a loan is paid back, it goes back into our fund for future loans!
- Loans are selected based on loanee’s potential to make the greatest positive impact on our local food economy and a set of ethics established by loan selection committee
- All loans are voted upon by members, and anyone that makes a donation to the club ($250 minimum / year, $150 for farmer/ teacher) becomes a member and can vote on loans.
- Loans are selected annually
A lot of folks have expressed interest in growing their own food now and Juno Farms figured the least they could do is lend a hand. This basic 8x12x6 greenhouse design can be found on YouTube videos and the like. They took this basic design and made it Colorado proof. Anyone can build this with basic construction know-how and basic tools. Everything is off the shelf from local hardware stores and the greenhouse plastic is just standard sized available from most any of the numerous outlets online. The best part is the cost of materials is $350+/-. Much cheaper and waaay better quality than you’ll find commercially.
Email them at JunoFarmsnfv@gmail.com and they’ll send you their detailed plans for free! Complete with pictures and x’s and arrows. Just their way of contributing to the expanded interest of growing healthy, wholesome food and helping our neighbor in these trying times.
Bloom Freeze Damage Evaluation
Steve Ela of Ela Family Farms posted a series of photos on Instagram regarding grafting, brush burning and doing a freeze damage evaluation with blooms.
Grow Food. Share the Harvest.
The resources in the below button’s page are designed to help you grow your own food this year and beyond. Colorado State University Extension & Master Gardeners will help you every step of the way. More resources are added weekly and will change with the season.
Organic Farming Research Foundation Eduction
Organic Farming Research Foundation has created an Education page that contains educational guidebooks, soil health and organic farming webinars, online learning opportunities, managing risk resources, general reports, instructional videos and FAQs.
Workshop and Seminar Videos
2020 Herb School
The Learning Council, Valley Organic Growers Association and Slow Food Western Slope united in 2020 to create Herb School – an offering to the community. Herb School met once a month from March through November. Topics discussed included many aspects of herbal wisdom: propagating herbs, medicine making, herbs as food, wild food foraging, herb craft, and more.
A number of the sessions have been recorded for your viewing!
Making Hay with Mike Straub and Ben Gillespie
Learn the techniques for managing hay pastures for high quality nutrition for livestock. Workshop covers hay production, hay crops, seeding tractors, equipment and utilizing livestock to enhance the hay field.
Small Producer and Supply Chain Panel
A discussion about reclaiming local food systems, connecting directly with customers’ needs, and the core values. Sponsored by Startup Colorado.
Lisa Ganora with Alicia Michelsen
A discussion of the significance of medicinal herbs during a health crisis like COVID-19.
Regenerative Agriculture with AJ Carrillo
Learn how to plan, plant and manage your profitable ecological farm while restoring hope for the future.
Seed Growers Panel
Daphne Yannakakis of Zephyros Farm moderated the Panel, which included Greg Cranson, Sarah Pope, Mike Chamas, Lance Swigart, Pat Frazier, Don Lareau and Laura Parker. Chrys Bailey provided opening remarks.
Hemp Panel Discussion
Panelists include Dawne Vrable – Authentic Gardens, Elliot Brown – All Hemp Trading, Brian Stratton – Grower Remedios, Terry Moran – Colorado Department of Agriculture, Ty Odle – Paonia Extractor. With special guest: North Fork Valley Hemp Pioneer, Karla Tschoepe!
Seed Growers Panel
VOGA conducted a Seed Panel session via Zoom. Panelists included Sarah Smith, Laura Parker, Pat Frazier and Horton Nash. Emily Hartnett, VOGA Program Director, moderated the session.
Beginning Beekeeping with Julie Finley Ridinger
Learn about the life cycle of bees, evaluate the health of the colony, source clean forage through the season, learn the challenges facing your hive and more.
Starting a Family Garden
Pat Frazier of Peace and Plenty Farm discusses the basics of preparing a family garden for vegetable, flower and culinary herb culture.
Building Soil Health
Scott Horner and Lloyd Nelson discuss how to build soil health. Workshop held at Small Potatoes Farm
Designing Your Small Farm
AJ Carrillo of Deer Tree Farm leads a discussion on designing integrated agroforestry using keyline design, permaculture practices and holistic management techniques.