February 2017

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Most of our team spent the weekend at Ohio’s premiere organic agriculture conference, getting inspired and honing our craft.  Hosted by OEFFA, Ohio’s Ecological Food and Farm Association, the conference attracts all sorts of food enthusiasts, from homesteaders to large-scale producers.  I had a lot of fun getting to know different people and explaining what Turner Farm is all about.  At events like this, we are always taking away new ideas to make farmingsimpler, more sustainable and more productive.

In other news, we still have spots available in some of our upcoming classes at the farm, the most imminent being Intro to Integrated Pest Management, held tomorrow, Wednesday, February 15th.  The class will dive into the principles of IPM, a garden pest management system that minimizes health and environmental risks.  The class will also teach you how to identify and manage common garden insects, both beneficial and pest.  Additionally, we will discuss the use of organic pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides and how to apply them when they are needed.

Also coming up is Understanding and Building Soil Health on Wednesday, February 22nd.This class will teach us organic ways to feed our soils, and will explain the complexities of soil pH, the nitrogen cycle, and compost. For more details, see our website, here.

Also on the 22nd is a class from our Teaching Kitchen, Nourished Skin, Inside and OutThe first in our four-part Lunch and Learn series will have you looking and feeling your most beautiful. As a Nurse Practitioner with more than a decade’s worth of experience in both medical and cosmetic dermatology, Jodi Westfall teaches skincare from the inside out. Jodi will present tips and science on gentle, natural skin care while you create your own natural products, including nourishing exfoliant and moisturizing oils made from simple, natural foods. Guests will also be served a delicious lunch centered around nutrients for healthy skin.

Here’s what’s in season and more of what’s going on around the farm:

In the Farm Market:
Certified Organic Produce – We have acorn and butternut squash, carrots, turnips, daikon radishes, rutabaga, beets, sweet potatoes, greens mix, and baby kale. Plus oyster mushrooms, pea shoots and sunflower shoots! We should have mache, spinach and arugula in time for the Thursday farmers‘ market in Madeira.
Meat and Eggs – Grass-fed lamb and beef, pastured pork, whole chickens and lard, all from Turner Farm. Eggs, both from here and other local farms.

In the Gardens:
We are happy to welcome Gerardo Patron to the Turner team this week! A former Gardens Apprentice, Gerardo is returning to Turner Farm after several years spent acquiring a masters degree in economics and working at other farms in Colorado and West Virginia. Gerardo has been hired as one of our permanent staff members, filling the Greenhouse Production / Crew Leader position. We feel lucky to have him, and we are now even more excited at the possibilities for the coming season.

What a strange “winter” we are in the midst of! It feels like spring is right around the corner, whether we are ready or not. Pictured below are our fantastic, committed volunteers Jim and Debbie, seeding the first vegetable beds of 2017! The radishes and carrots that they planted last month already have leaves emerging within this unheated plastic tunnel.

That’s all for now – Hope you to see you soon around the farm!

Rachel Bellis

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