Indigo Production
Sarah Bellows
Stoney Creek Colors
Thursday, 1:00 – 2:00 pm
Learn about Stoney Creek Farms from Sarah Bellos: Our natural indigo is a sustainable crop—it improves the health of people and ecosystems. Our goal for the next four to five years is to produce 15,000 acres of indigo in the USA. That means we can replace 2.8% of synthetic indigo dye globally. While that may not sound like much, it means big change.We’re making natural indigo low risk and high reward. To make sure our indigo can be grown by beginner and established farmers alike, we’re innovating at the farms in Middle Tennessee. And, market demand will ensure the crop is profitable. That means more American farmers than ever before will have access to a crop that provides sustainable income.

Urban Agriculture: Vertical Farming
Dr. Dilip Nandwani
Associate Professor, College of Agriculture
Tennessee State University

Thursday, 1:00 – 2:00 pm
Saturday, 8:00-9:00 am
Urban Agriculture is gaining importance world-wide and in U.S. Nashville is growing and land is limited in urban settings for growing fresh food locally. Vertical farming is the practice of producing food in vertically stacked layers, vertically inclined surfaces and/or integrated in other structures. The modern idea of vertical farming uses controlled-environment agriculture (CEA) technology, where all environmental factors can be controlled. In this presentation, speaker will discuss about organic vertical gardening system installed at the Organic farm, Tennessee State University. Topics will be covered on installation, potting media, supplies and materials, crops grown in the vertical system, nutrients etc.

Pruning: A Critical Component of an Effective Fruit Crops Management Plan
Dr David Lockwood
UT AgResearch
Thursday, 3:30 – 4:30 pm
Beginning with the year a fruit crop is planted until the last year it is in production, pruning is a critical production practice.  In the early years, pruning and training together are used to develop a tree or vine form that will encourage early and regular bearing of high quality crops on a consistent basis.  In bearing plantings, annual pruning is used to replace fruiting wood, and to help control diseases through removal of infected wood and assuring good sunlight, air movement and spray penetration throughout the canopy.  While it is only one of many essential practices in fruit production, it plays a vital role in successful fruit production.

The Nuts and Bolts of Organic Certification
Annette Wszelaki
UT Vegetable Extension Specialist
Thursday, 3:30 – 4:30 pm
In this session, we will cover choosing a certifier, the requirements for organic certification, writing your organic systems plan, the organic certification cost-share program and more.

Blueberries: A Natural Fit for Tennessee Growers
Dr. David Lockwood
UT AgResearch
Friday, 8:00 – 9:00 am
The health benefits of including blueberries combined with their great taste and versatility  make them a worthwhile addition to any fruit production operation. Both highbush and rabbiteye types of blueberries can be grown throughout Tennessee and can provide welcome additions to farm marketsand pick-your-own operations from early June through August. The success or failure of a blueberry planting is often determined prior to ever planting the crop.  Site selection and development lay the foundation to long-lived, productive plantings.  Once established, blueberries impose fewer demands in regards to pest control than most other fruit crops.  Annual pruning, maintenance of the proper soil pH and modest fertilization are essential to maintain productivity of the planting and to facilitate ease of management.

Foodscaping; Less Mowing, More Growing
Jeremy Leckich
Nashville Foodscapes
Friday, 8:00-9:00 am
Friday, 2:15-3:15 pm
How can growing food become integrated into our everyday landscapes while also becoming a low-maintenance and fun part of our lives? Foodscaping blends growing food with artistic design allowing food plants to escape from the limitations of a garden or farm and fully integrate into a landscape design.  Foodscaping follows patterns found in healthy, resilient ecosystems to guide ecologically sound and regenerative food growing systems. In this program, we will discuss foodscaping patterns and principles, as well as the best useful plants for our climate.

Grow Herbs for Value Added and Companion Planting
Cindy Shapton
The Cracked Pot Gardener
Friday, 9:15-10:15 am
Thinking of trying your hand at farming but want to start small? Or, looking for some value added product ideas to help supplement your income?  Join me as we talk about my favorite multi-faceted plants and how to capitalize on them. I will share with you some of my 30 plus years (did I say that out loud?) of herbal experience to help shed some light on this interesting subject.  Grandpa (mine and yours) always said, “don’t keep all your eggs in one basket”.  I think he and grandma knew about value added products grown on the farm.

Natural Chicken Production
John and Terri Taylor
Taylor Family Farm
Friday, 10:30-11:30 am
Use information you have already on file.

Organic Pest Control
David Cook
UT Extension
Friday, 10:30-11:30 am
Integrated Pest Management (IPM), as defined by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, is “The coordinated use of pest and environmental information with available pest control methods to prevent unacceptable levels of pest damage by the most economical means and with the least possible hazard to people, property, and the environment.” Organic pest management involves this same principle, but takes it a little bit further. This presentations will present organic methods for monitoring and managing insect pests in greenhouses, high tunnels, orchards and farms. Topics will include providing habitat for beneficial organisms, maintaining a health living soil, best nectar and pollen plants for beneficials and native bee pollinators, and organic insecticides and other tools.

TOGA Lunch and Learn:  Looking to the Future of Organics
Friday, 12:10-1:00 pm

Half Hill Farm Story;  How to Make the Most Out of a Small Farm
Christian Grantham
Half Hill Farm
Friday, 2:15-3:15 pm
Value added can become your Farm’s  main product before you realize it.   Come hear how Half Hill Farm has turned a small 7 acre farm into a thriving business from value added ideas.

Companion Planting
Cindy Shapton
Friday, 3:30-4:30 pm
Ever notice that you get along with certain people or neighbors better than others?  Anne of Green Gables would call it a kindred spirit; others might define it as compatibility.  It is the same phenomenon in the plant community, certain plants just seem to get along better and benefit or complement each other.   In the gardening realm this is called “companion planting”. Join Cindy as she talks about the benefit of herbs in plant neighborhoods to help keep the garden and gardener healthy. In an age where we are concerned about food being grown without pesticides, these companion planting practices are being re-evaluated and put to use once again.

Hemp Production
Will Tarleton
Six Boots
Friday, 3:30-4:30 pm

 

TOGA Tours:

Trevecca University
The Trevecca Urban Farm was inspired by an opportunity to create food access with neighbors in our local food desert and as a teaching tool to equip students to help food insecure neighborhoods around the world.  Since 2011, a robust urban farm has sprung up on Trevecca’s campus. In the heart of Nashville, livestock guardian dogs oversee our heritage goats, pigs, and chickens as they graze our campus and lots nearby. Vermicompost, aquaponics systems, campus composting, beekeeping, an urban orchard, greenhouse, vegetable gardens, and two additional community gardens produce abundantly within view of Nashville’s skyscrapers.

With agroecology at the heart of our teaching, our BA in Social Justice offers a professional concentration in Environmental Justice that trains students to care for creation.  People-centered organic agriculture is at the center of our creation care education, and we put this teaching to work right where we are and around the world. We teach that the best way to address hunger and heal the land is by growing great food on the soil right under our feet, using free materials and simple techniques available to everyone.

On our tour, we will tell our story building a farm in the middle of the city, the unique opportunities and challenges of urban farming, and failures and successes we blundered upon as we journeyed.  We will visit our herd of Tennessee Fainting Goats, Heritage Hog crosses, our laying hens, and apiary.  We will walk through our orchard and visit our gardens, our greenhouse, and our aquaponics systems.

Six Boots Growers’ Collective
Six Boots Growers’ Collective is a diversified farm raising sustainably-grown vegetables and fruit, Katahdin sheep, cut flowers, industrial hemp, and producing an assortment of value added products. We use ecological soil management techniques, cover crops, crop rotation, biodynamic preparations and compost. We also grow many open-pollinated and heirloom varieties.

Tour group will gather at the front of the hotel and leave at 10:30 a.m.

Lunch will be provided in the tour cost.