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Extension > Small Farms News > April 2018

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Deep Winter Greenhouse Open House

By Greg Schweser
Director Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems
University of Minnesota
Regional Sustainable Development Partnership

The UMN Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships, the Lake City Catholic Worker Farm, and the Sustainable Farming Association are excited to announce the next open house (and potluck) of our Deep Winter Greenhouse (DWG) campaign to help producers build passive solar greenhouses developed by the University of Minnesota Center for Sustainable Building Research.

This open house will occur on Saturday, May 5 from 4:00 to 7:00 pm at the Lake City Catholic Worker Farm, in Lake City, Minnesota. The Lake City Catholic Worker Farm is one of five producers and community organizations that was chosen to participate in the University of Minnesota Regional Sustainable Development Partnership’s campaign to spread awareness of this technology and to conduct research on the production and financial capacity of the system. Please see the attached flier for more information. 

DWGs use passive solar heat collected from the sun in the day which is stored in an underground rock bed. At night that heat dissipates into the enclosure above to allow cold tolerant crops to grow. This technology will help small- and mid-sized farms increase their revenue potential helping to keep small farmers on the land and increase access to fresh locally grown food. 

The University of Minnesota's Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships is proud to support our local producers and community groups that are experimenting with novel technology to enrich our communities. Attend this open house, learn about passive solar greenhouses, ask questions, and enjoy yourself!
This event is also a potluck.... so feel free to bring a dish to share and bring plates and utensils to cut down on waste.

See the flier for more details.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Backyard and Small Flock Poultry Workshop - St. Peter

By Jason Ertl, UMN Extension Educator

SAINT PETER, Minn-- Have you ever considered owning your own backyard chickens? Or do you already have a small flock and want to learn more about how to care for your feathered friends? Then join University of Minnesota Educators and Specialist for a day of poultry education on April 28th in St Peter, Minnesota.

Raising poultry on a small scale is gaining in popularity throughout all parts of Minnesota, but without access to education, many home producers are left scrambling to find answers to their questions. The Backyard and Small Flocks Workshop is designed to help start answering some of those questions.

The workshop will cover a range of poultry related topics including chicken breeds, poultry regulatory issues, poultry husbandry and nutrition, biosecurity, issues with raising poultry, and baby chicks. Whether you consider yourself a novice or an expert chicken raiser, this workshop will have something for you.

The workshop will be held on April 28th at the Governor’s Room in the St Peter Community Center, 600 South 5th Street, Saint Peter, MN 56082. The program runs from 10:00 AM to 3:30 PM with registration starting at 9:30 AM.

If you are interested in attending the event please pre-register at least one week in advance. You may register by contacting Jason Ertl, Local Extension Educator at (507) 934-7828 or via email at

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Learn how to safely host groups on the farm

By Colleen Carlson, Extension Educator
Are you a farm with animals that also hosts Breakfast on the Farm, school field trips, has a pumpkin patch or apple orchard, or other similar activities? If so, you are participating in agritourism! 
Learn how to create a fun, safe environment for your visitors. Workshop topics include best practices for human-animal contact, working farm safety issues, food licensing and handling requirements, and more!  Learn how to create a fun, safe environment for your visitors. Owners, employees, and youth volunteers are encouraged to attend!
Wednesday, April 18, 2018
5:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.
Carver County Extension Office
11360 Hwy 212 W,
Cologne, MN, 55322
*Boxed dinner will be provided for registered attendees. Vegetarian options are available upon request.  Please register by April 12, 2018.  Class minimum 15.
For more information contact Colleen Carlson, Extension Educator Carver/Scott at 952-466-5306 or email
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