Accessing Montana’s Resources and Financing Opportunities with Farm Link Montana

Annie Heuscher

This workshop will introduce attendees to the Farm Link site and share information and resources on several financing opportunities, including 0% interest Kiva loans, Specialty Crop Mini-Grants, and Farm Service Agency financing.

Time: 11:00am

Room: AT 203

Basics of Beekeeping

Wade Foley

A basic overview of backyard beekeeping for the beginner.

Time: 2:30pm

Room: Theatre

Beyond the Basics: seed saving and selection for earliness, vigor and cold tolerance in our challenging climate

Judy Owsowitz of Terrapin Farm and Triple Divide Organic Seeds will talk about particular varieties and how to choose the plant populations that are the most appropriate for the Flathead. We will include a brief look at saving some of the more challenging families, ie., wet seeded, or biennial plants.

Time: 2:30pm

Room: AT 204

Composting with Biology

Ryan Herring

Learn why composting matters and how to turn those unwanted scraps into useful energy rich compost that your plants are sure to love!!! We will duscuss all things Microbes, PH, Fungi, Humus, soil bio-chemistry.

Time: 1:30pm

Room: AT 202

Cover Crops/Soils/Hoop Houses

Angel Rosario

An overview of the benefits of Cover Crops, Soil Health Practices, NRCS-funded Hoop House details and requirements.

Time: 1:30pm

Room: AT 205

Designing and Implementing a Community Food Forest Vision

Jessica Peterson

Come learn about public perennial food forests and their growing role in urban planning and landscapes for a resilient and yummy future! Jessica Peterson is an edible forest designer, community organizer, and urban homesteader in Helena, Montana, and responsible for initiating and carrying out the first City Public Food Forest in Montana, the 6th Ward Garden Park. Exciting possibilities are emerging for a similar project in Downtown Kalispell if the community wants it.

Michael Blend (SolarGreen.House, Kalispell) and Jessica will co-facilitae this workshop. It will highlight what's important about food forests and the impact they are having nationally and in Montana. There will be a Q&A at the end, along with the chance to sign up if you are interested in this becoming a reality for Kalispell in the near future.

Time: 11:00am

Room: AT 205

Exploring Culinary and Medicinal Herbs - from seed to salve

Lindy Dewey

Our presentation will explore the culinary and medicinal uses of four herbs grown on our farm. We will incorporate an experiential aspect of sampling each herb as a tea, dish or salve. Seeds will be available for those wishing to give growing them at home a try. Plants will be available at the farm later in the spring. Please follow our FaceBook Page, SpiritWorks Herb Farm, for our weekly educational and experiential offerings.

Time: 12:30pm

Room: AT 202

Flathead Grows! Seed Library: A community effort

Megan Glidden

Imagine If Libraries introduces the new Flathead Grows! Seed Library - a partnership of committed stakeholders in Columbia Falls, Whitefish and Kalispell, and sponsored by Flathead county's ImagineIf library system.

We'll share our vision for the seed library's expansion and growth and seek your input as we explore what makes a community seed library successful and the resources it provides for building and preserving local knowledge and gardening skills. Whether you are a seasoned gardener and seed saver, or curious community member, you are important to helping the seed library's success!

Time: 12:30pm

Room: Theatre

Food Growing 101

Tawnya Rourke Kelly

Growing food isn't just for farmers. We can all grow something for our plate and to share with our neighbors. I invite families to attend to this workshop to learn about simple ways to incorporate growing food into your lifestyle, or to expand your garden this summer!

Time: 10:00am

Room: AT 204

Fruit Tree Grafting

Rod McIver

In this workshop Rod McIver, master fruit tree grafter, will provide an actual demonstration of both bench-grafting (grafting a “scion” onto a “whip”) and top-working, or field grafting, in which scions for new varieties of a fruit are added to an existing mature tree.

Time: 11:00am

Room: Theatre

Fruit Tree Pruning in the Flathead

Barton Morse

Barton Morse aka “The Garlic King of Montana” will cover pruning apple, pear, apricot, cherry, and plum trees as well as grapes. He will also bring his favorite tools and examples of branches for pruning.

This workshop is offered twice in Room 207:

Time: 1:30pm

Time: 2:30pm

Gathering Native Seeds

Michael Billington

An introductory course in gathering Native Seeds as a means of generating income. We will identify highly sought species and demonstrate basic gathering tools and strategies.

We will also discuss using native shrubs to produce food and promote ecologic for small land holders, and the theoretical and practical use of Native Plants to enhance the use and well being of privately owned landscapes.

Time: 12:30pm

Room: AT 204

Identifying and Encouraging Beneficial Insects in your Vegetable Plots

Julian Cunningham and Heather Estrada

This workshop will provide an introduction to identifying and encouraging beneficial insects in your vegetable plots. Come learn about the good, bad, and the ugly of the insect world in northwestern Montana gardens!

Julian Cunningham and Heather Estrada are part of the Integrated Agriculture & Food Systems program at Flathead Valley Community College.

Time: 11:00am

Room: AT 202

Improving your understanding of soil mineralization, and why it matters

Todd Ulizio of Two Bear Farm, LLC

This workshop will focus on the basic concept that you can't grow healthy food without healthy soil. We will discuss the importance of soil testing, walk through the process, and discuss results and how to implement them in your farm or garden.  The goal is to introduce you to some basic concepts regarding soil chemistry and biology that will help you become a better grower.

This workshop is offered twice in Room 206:

Time: 11:00am

Time: 1:30pm

Introduction to Honey Bees

Petr Ondracek

Backyard beekeeping: What's going on in our hives.

Time: 10:00am

Room: Theatre

Kid-Friendly Activities for Ages 8 and up

Whitney Pratt

We'll be offering garden-themed activities for kids ages 8 and older during these times:

Some of our activities include: building a mason bee house, making seed bombs, exploring what's inside a seed.

Rooms: AT 208, AT 209

Lessons Learned Building a Solar Greenhouse

Michael Blend

Flathead Valley designer-builder Michael Blend will share what he's learned building his year-round "SolarGreen.House". Using permaculture principles, he has constructed a passive solar growing building and root cellar that employs geothermal heating, solar, aquaponics, cob, and a rocket mass heater to keep a family in fresh food throughout a Montana year.

Time: 10:00am

Room: AT 205

Making Herbal Remedies from Your Garden

Kathie Lapcevic, a local writer, teacher and homesteader, shares easy-to-make remedies from your garden that support your family's health and vitality.

Kathie shares these remedies and more through her Homespun Living website, where she covers topics ranging from herbal health and organic gardening to food preservation, cooking from scratch,and more, all in support of you becoming fiercely DIY.

Kathie and her family are "...dedicated to living a life made of our own hands and one that is intrinsically connected to the natural rhythms of the earth."

Time: 10:00am

Room: AT 206

More Veggies Less Weeds

Mandy Gerth

Overview of weed control in small scale organic vegetable production. Will include how to use flameweeder, handtools, minimal tillage, and tarps to minimize weeds. Helpful advice for small scale commercial growers, home gardeners, and homesteaders.

Time: 10:00am

Room: AT 202

Never-Till Gardening

Patti Armbrister

In this workshop, Patti Armbrister of Agrarian Food Web Consultant, LLC, will explore the benefits and basics of never-till gardening. Learn the secrets to working with the microbial life in the soil so it does the work for you!

Patti has been helping folks grow local food in their community for years. She works with businesses, schools, community outreach programs and concerned parents to reduce the barrier to entry for anyone who wants to grow or eat healthy, local food.

"Whether you need help with funding, planning, or implementing a healthy food program or garden, Agrarian Food Web can help. From implementing farm to school or farm to cafeteria programs, growing gardens, local food community development, and implementing sustainable large-scale agriculture practices, we've done it all. Let us help you be successful in your vision for a healthy, well-nourished community."

Time: 2:30pm

Room: AT 202

Nutrify and Detoxify - The Many Faces of Herbs

Linda Peterson

Get the information and skills you need to avoid the many health challenges of today's toxic world. We were designed to eat what Nature provides. As we have left natural foods behind, disease has skyrocketed. Understanding the value of the nutrients and synergy found in organic plants will help you prevent disease. Disease is not a mystery! It is the result of a combination of factors: genetics; everything we ingest, breathe, or touch; infections, traumas, and our thoughts and emotional health. Being well becomes less complicated once you understand how the body works and what it needs to sustain good health. Strengthening the body through nutrifying (nourishing) and detoxifying the cells allows the body to function normally.

Linda Lieb Peterson has spent many years studying health research as she dealt with her own health challenges. Her workshop and newly published book are a compilation of what she's learned from her studies and dealing with her own health issues. She's done the legwork for you, gleaning and consolidating the experts' wisdom, and she shares it in an engaging blend of folksy "Mama Linda" and trained health educator.

Time: 12:30pm

Room: AT 203

Painted Mountain Corn Breeding Project -How to Nourish the World

Dave Christensen

In this interactive workshop Dave Christensen of Big Timber, MT will share how, in a 40-year breeding program, he has rescued the gene pool of over 70 different native corn species and developed the Painted Mountain corn variety - a rugged and early-maturing, open-pollinated soft-flour corn that thrives on marginal lands, is pest-resistant, nutrient-dense, and good eating as a sweet corn or as flour meal.

Using Painted Mountain corn and other plant breeding projects as examples, Dave will show you how and why projects like these are central to our ability to feed ourselves, and why they can help feed the world. Dave has watched Painted Mountain improve the health and hope of mountain populations around the world that have grown his corn.

Time: 1:30pm

Room: Theatre

Permaculture Urban Gardens

Gavin Wisdom

Come learn how you can apply permaculture principles to grow sustainably in your urban backyard.

Gavin Wisdom is part of the Pennyroyal Collective, a Kalispell-based, loose-knit fabric of individuals committed to living an ecologically responsible lifestyle. They built their first organic, permaculture-based garden in their urban backyard on 3rd Street in 2014. Trained by the VerdEnergia Permaculture Design Program in Costa Rica, Gavin will share what they learned from their first garden and how to apply permaculture principles when designing your own sustainable Montana urban food and medicine garden.

Time: 2:30pm

Room: AT 205

Planting the Seeds of success: Ag Financial Management

Aimee Roberts

This workshop presents attendees with the information and tools necessary for the successful financial management of an Ag operation, from reading financial statements to preparing detailed earnings projections. Topics covered include credit scores, building credit, lenders’ decisions, preparing to meet with a lender, choosing a lender, in-depth financial analysis, cost of production marketing, and evaluating the financial implications of different scenarios. The clear examples utilized in this presentation will illustrate the concepts in an applicable format, and participants will be directed to tools and resources they can put to use in their operation right away. This workshop is especially applicable given current commodity prices and the tight cash flow situation most producers are facing. Don’t miss out on the valuable insights you can gain from your own financial information!

Time: 10:00am

Room: AT 203

Safe Home Canning

Kathie Lapcevic

Kathie N. Lapcevic of Two Frog Home and Homespun Living will cover the basics of how to safely can fruits and vegetables at home for long-term pantry storage. An overview of water bath and pressure canning techniques will be presented as well as plenty of ideas for creative inspiration to make the most of all the garden produces.

Time: 12:30pm

Room: AT 206

School Gardens 101: a workshop for K-12 teachers

Maddy Halverson

School Gardens 101 is an OPI credit workshop for K-12 teachers interested in enhancing their curriculum by engaging their students in a school garden and providing lessons from the garden. Pre-registration is required.

This workshop will cover three topics over a three hour period and teachers can gain three OPI credits. Workshop participants will learn:

Patti Armbrister, the lead presenter of this workshop, is a school garden guru. Patti is an Agriculture Education Teacher and FFA adviser in Hinsdale, MT. Her goals are to find ways to build local foods by teaching people to grow food in their communities. She desires to live off the grid in the future by planning, setting goals and working smart.

Patti has a passion to teach other teachers in order to reach more students, rebuilding the life skills of being able to feed ourselves as humans on earth. She has been very involved with the Future Farmers of America (FFA), serving as a Hunger Hero’s Ambassador and presenting at meetings such as the 2015 Farm to School workshop. Patti is the vice-chair of the 2016-2017 AERO Board.

Time: 8:30am

Room: AT 207

Seed Saving 101

Robin Kelson, Good Seed Company

In this interactive workshop we'll go over the three basic concepts you need to consider for successful seed saving and how plan your garden growing accordingly. We'll also review simple seed cleaning methods and do a little seed cleaning together!

Time: 11:00am

Room: AT 204

Seed Starting 101

Judy Owsowitz

Judy Owsowitz of Terrapin Farm and Triple Divide Organic Seeds will cover the “what happens when” and various techniques of starting different families of seeds.

Time: 1:30pm

Room: AT 204

Starting with Sourdough

Julie Laing

Julie Laing of Twice As Tasty introduces newcomers to the basics of caring for and using sourdough starter and offers tips and tricks for those already accustom to working with sourdough. The demonstration focuses on how to feed a starter and use it efficiently in breakfast foods, flatbreads, and free-form loaves.

Time: 2:30pm

Room: AT 203

Steam Distilling Essential Oils

Florance O'Neal

This workshop will focus on the benefits and basics of steam distilling essential oils from medicinal plants in your garden and forests.

Time: 2:30pm

Room: AT 206

Successful Farm Marketing

Kaleena Miller (AERO), Annie Heuscher (CFAC)

In this workshop, we will help you identify your customers, competition, and market channels. We will also help you identify your unique business attributes and discuss useful marketing tools.

Time: 12:30pm

Room: AT 205