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PFI Field Day: Vermicomposting and Cover Crops for Vegetables

Event Details

September 26, 2015 4:00 PM — September 26, 2015 7:00 PM
Location: Scattergood Friends School Farm
258 290th St.
West Branch, IA 52358
Contact Name: Practical Farmers of Iowa
Email: info@practicalfarmers.org
Phone: 5152325661
Website: practicalfarmers.org

Event Description

In 2014 Scattergood received a SARE Youth Educator Grant to scale up its worm composting system, incorporate it into the science curriculum, and find ways to keep the worms productive through the winter. The field day will begin by exploring what Scattergood has learned about non-mechanized vermicomposting systems before heading out to the gardens for a field walk. The field walk will include discussions about a sweet pepper variety trial, various cover cropping strategies, pollinator habitat restoration, a garlic-oat trial, a long-term trial comparing brown and green manures, as well as many other topics.

•Medium-scale vermicomposting
•Cover cropping strategies in an organic vegetable system
•Re-establishing pollinator habitat
•Pollinator census
•Pesticide drift – drift catcher

The Farm:
Scattergood Friends School is a small Quaker boarding school about 15 miles east of Iowa City, with approximately 10 acres of IDALS-certified organic gardens and orchards, and about 30 acres of pasture used to grass-finish beef and lamb. Scattergood also raises a few heritage breed Guinea hogs, a small flock of turkeys, and occasional broiler and laying chicken flocks. Scattergood primarily grows food for the school, but has in the past produced for farmers markets, New Pioneer Coop and a small CSA. The school has been an example of an extreme farm-to-school program since 1890 (but more recently since 2003, when a decision was madeto raise much of the food consumed at Scattergood).

From Iowa City: Take I-80 east for 9.7 miles, and take Exit 254 north into West Branch. Turn right onto Main Street (it turns into Herbert Hoover Highway) and go about 1.5 miles; the farm is on the right.

Meal Provided, RSVP requested. RSVP for meal: Lauren Zastrow, lauren@practicalfarmers.org, (515) 232-5661 by Wednesday, September 23.