The Pick TN Conference will be held February 17-19, 2022 at the Cool Springs Marriott in Franklin, TN, 20 minutes south of Nashville. You'll have access to over 75 classes and a trade show. Join us for TOGA panels and farm tours.

Visit the Pick TN Website for more information about conference in 2023. TOGA is a proud host of the following sessions:

Pest Management for Organic Vegetable Production w/ David Cook

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.

Less Mowing, More Growing w/ Jeremy Lekich

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.

Herbs Worth Knowing and Growing w/ Cindy Shapton

Trying to find the right balance for sustainable farming and living can be challenging to say the least. Herbs are multi-faceted plants that can help to achieve that balance. From companion planting to help alleviate pest problems to calling in pollinators to building up soil to making plant remedies, herbs are worth knowing and growing on your farm or in your kitchen garden. Join Cindy as she digs into the benefits of herbs to get you on your way to a more sustainable and healthier farm and garden.

Lunch/Learn: Multiagency Organic Initiative Program in TN for Organic Producers w/ Dilip Nandwani, Danny Jones, Ron Eldrige, Debbie Ball, Adia Holland and Debra Kenerson

Organic agriculture is the fastest growing segment of agriculture with more than nearly $62 billion in sales at the retail level in 2020, up this year 12.4% from last year. Consumer demand for organic products is growing much faster than domestic organic production. While 5 percent of food sales are now organic, only 1 percent of acreage is certified organic. This percentage provides a major economic opportunity for agriculture and rural America, and USDA is well-positioned to meet the needs of organic producers. This multiagency session discusses organic agriculture programs and assistance offered from various state, federal and public organizations in Tennessee for organic farming community as well as technical resource on organic agriculture. Representatives and experts from Tennessee State University, Natural Resource Conservation Service, Rural Development, Tennessee Department of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency discuss support available from their agencies, new network of “Organic Champions” of NRCS and FSA (“go-to” resource) within State of Tennessee and impact of COVID19. Panel will fill a need for more expertise in organic agriculture, which is fastest-growing segment of agriculture in the country and globally.

Starting A Successful Organic Farm From Scratch: What I Know Now That I Wish I Knew Then w/ Jesse Fleischer

Trying to find the right balance for sustainable farming and living can be challenging to say the least. Aimed at new beginning or soon-to-be farmers, Jesse will discuss the ins and outs of starting a farming enterprise from scratch. From choosing land and making a business plan, to purchasing a first set of tools and equipment, Jesse will talk through the process of planning and developing infrastructure, identifying markets, choosing crops, planning a season, breaking ground, planting, harvesting, and getting crops to market. Using examples from Athena’s Harvest Farm and from other farms where he has worked and consulted, Jesse will share lessons learned along the way, resource ideas for new farmers, and ideas for how not to re-invent the wheel.

Humic Substances (Bio Stimulants) in Organic Vegetable Production w/ Dilip Nandwani, ZaDarreyal and Pinkky Kanabar, TSU

Humic substances (HSs) are biostimulants and growng in popularity for use-in for organic farming system to increase yield and product quality in a sustainable way. Humic substances are the major natural component of soil organic matter formed in soil from the decomposition of dead cell materials by microorganisms. Humic substances include humic Humic substances (HSs) are biostimulants and growing in popularity for crop production in organic farming to increase yield and product quality. Humic substances are the major natural component of soil organic matter formed in soil from the decomposition of dead cell materials by microorganisms. Humic substances include humic acids, fulvic acids, and humins. HSs have indirect effects e.g. increase in fertilizer efficiency, reducing soil compaction or direct effects e.g. improvement in the overall plant biomass on plant growth, increase the root growth and uptake of some nutrients and enhance tolerance to abiotic stress such as salinity. We shall discuss application of humic substances in organic vegetable production and share results of organic melons and sweet pepper research trials conducted at Tennessee State University organic farm.

Four Easy Ways to Grow Mushrooms at Home or Farm w/ Tradd Cotter

Looking for an amazingly easy class to get you started in growing mushrooms? Learn four easy methods of mushroom cultivation that have the potential for high-yielding, low-tech operations at home or on the farm. Tradd Cotter discusses cultivating mushrooms on logs, stumps, wood chips, composts, spent coffee grounds, paper, and cardboard. Learning these four techniques opens the door to being able to cultivate dozens of edible and medicinal species with little or no startup costs or expensive equipment.

Farm Tours and Workshop

Little Seed Farm

At Little Seed Farm we produce natural and organic soap and skincare products. Our herd of 100% grassfed goats produce organic milk for use in our soaps and moisturizer. All of our products utilize simple and natural ingredients to ensure you know exactly what you’re putting on your skin. Each bar and jar is handmade at our farm and shipped directly to you. During your visit you will see our dairy operation, learn about our organic & grassfed goat operation, peek into our soap and skincare production, and learn about the history of two city-dwellers moving to the country and starting Little Seed Farm 10 years ago!

Field of Dreams Farm

Field of Dreams Farm is a 117 acre family operated farm located in Watertown, TN established in 2010.  We current raise sustainable pastured eggs, chicken, duck, turkey, pork and beef for Nashville and the surrounding areas. We practice sustainable, organic farming methods allowing all our livestock and poultry to benefit from our fertile pastures. Our cattle are grass fed / grass finished and all other animals are supplemented with non-GMO feed.  All of our animals we raise are processed on the farm in our State Licensed Custom Slaughter facility.  In addition, we partner with another local grass based farm to provide lamb and rabbit.

Mushrooms, Molds and Mycorrhizae w/ Tradd Cotter

Author Tradd Cotter teaches this exclusive immersion covering hands-on activities like cultivation, medicinal properties of mushrooms and extraction preparation/formulations, and how to cultivate mycorrhizae in your garden or on your farm. Participants will receive an inoculated shiitake log or an oyster mushroom fruiting kit that they make themselves.