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Showing posts from December, 2023

Monthly webinar series: food safety foundations for value-added and preserved foods

Join food safety and food preservation experts from the University of Minnesota Extension throughout the year to learn how to safely handle and prepare food. Whether you are a grower, operate a food business, or preserve foods for your own use, these monthly educational webinars are for you. In this series, you will learn about bacteria that can cause foodborne illness, and how to improve food handling practices in your food business or at home so you can prepare safe food. Then, apply these safe food handling practices to food preservation methods. Each month learn a new skill or sharpen your existing food preservation knowledge. Note: this is not a certificate course for safe food handling or cottage foods. Webinars are free and open for all to attend. Registration is required. After registering, you will receive the webinar link. Register here: Audiences Farmer’s market managers Growers/farmers interested in pursuing value-added food production in the futur

New guide + webinar series: Choosing a high tunnel for your farm

High tunnels have become increasingly important for Minnesota specialty crop growers for season extension and to provide protection from unpredictable climate conditions. However, there is no single “standard” high tunnel. We've developed a new step-by-step illustrated guide to help determine which high tunnel is right for your farm, and how to customize it to meet your needs. This guide emerged from a series of community high tunnel builds this fall led by Renewing the Countryside, with Andrew Hanson-Pierre of Clover Bee Farm as our high tunnel construction expert. We worked with growers in Northfield and Rochester to build two high tunnels and train a network of farmers to develop the skills needed to build high tunnels. We learned a lot in the process, and we're excited to share it more widely with this guide.   Read or download the guide here.      This winter, we'll be hosting two high tunnel webinars to accompany the new guide:    Webinar 1: January 17, 2024, 5:30

A new way with table grapes in the Upper Midwest

Madeline Wimmer, Extension Educator, fruit production  Growing table grapes in a diversified farm setting Aaron Wills is the founder and operator of Little Hill Berry Farm, an organic diverse farm offering fruit crops like blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and is now dipping into growing table grapes. Wills’ interest in table grape production began after having a conversation with Erin Treiber, a table grape researcher at the University of Minnesota who was looking for an organic grower to trial some newer bred table grape soon-to-be-released cultivars (i.e., cultivated varieties). His vines are in the establishment phase and have yet to bear fruit, sitting at about two years old. He’s growing four different cultivated varieties (i.e., cultivars) and is excited about the production prospects. Image: The Wills family at Little Hill Berry Farm. Photo from Little Hill Berry Farm Website. Anyone who has grown multiple fruit crops understands that growing grapevines is a completely dif