Needed: Specialty Crop Farm Projects for Hands-On Workshops

smalllogosquareWashington Young Farmers Coalition

Needed: specialty crop* growers to submit work-party requests for one-day, hands-on workshops (aka “crop mobs”)

Like an old-fashioned barn-raising, these workshops will provide an opportunity to join together and support a fellow grower, while learning valuable skills from experienced farmers. Our goal is to provide a fun, educational experience for all participants while helping a grower complete a large project.

  • Open to all Washington state farmers
    – Priority given to members of Tilth Producers of Washington
  • Crop Mob / Workshop ideas must fit the specialty crop requirements* but otherwise are flexible. Some past sessions and ideas include:
    – Infrastructure projects; hoop houses, green houses, fencing, netting, irrigation, moving compost or compost facilities, etc.
    – Equipment projects; learning how to use machinery and/or implements; threshing, seed cleaning, etc.
    – Pruning, planting seedlings or nursery stock, crop processing, etc.
    – Integrated Pest Management (IPM) projects.
  • Application forms are available HERE and should be returned by February 20, 2013 to:
    Jacqueline Cramer, Education Coordinator
    or call 206.632.7506

Tilth Producers and the WAYFC will provide:

  • Experienced growers partnered with each workshop to provide knowledge and instruction;
  • Logistical and organizational assistance, including planning, outreach and publicity, registration, and volunteer support. Host stipends are available.
  • Help with developing a work plan for approximately 15-25 volunteers with a range of skill levels (farmers and non-farmers).

Host farm is requested to provide:

  • Appropriate project materials, tools and supplies;
  • Proof of liability insurance;
  • Space for parking, and if allowed, space for overnight camping (optional);
  • Dry, covered space to gather in case of rain;
  • Access to drinking water and a restroom (if possible);
  • Secondary, back-up projects (if main project is completed quickly);
  • Time built into the schedule and space for meal(s) and rest –
    – Potlucks and music are optional but nice!

If you are not interested in hosting a crop mob but have projects you would like to participate in or learn about please send your ideas to Dates and location of this year’s crop mob workshops will be shared soon.
This Project is funded by a WSDA/USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant

*Specialty Crops are defined by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 as “fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops (including floriculture).” Eligible plants must be intensively cultivated and used by people for food, medicinal purposes, and/or aesthetic gratification to be considered specialty crops. Processed products shall constitute greater than 50% of the specialty crop by weight, exclusive of added water.

Here is an article on crop mobs