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Farm-Scale Permaculture Workshop - November 4 - 7 - Tahlequah

posted Oct 6, 2011, 10:20 PM by Leslie Moyer   [ updated Oct 6, 2011, 10:21 PM ]

Northeast Oklahoma and surrounding regions are in for a treat when Mark Shepard conducts an Agroforestry/Permaculture "weekend intensive" in the Tahlequah area on November 4 through 7 (or longer if more farms want walking/talking tours).

Mark is the CEO of Forest Agriculture Enterprises and runs New Forest Farm, the 106 acre perennial agricultural forest considered by many to be one of the most ambitious sustainable agriculture projects in the United States.

Read about Mark Shepard's work here: http://permaculture.org.au/2010/12/18/mark-shepherds-106-acre-permaculture-farm-in-viola-wisconsin/
here:  http://www.forestag.com/bio.html
and here: http://littlehouseontheurbanprairie.wordpress.com/2010/10/24/new-forest-farm-visit/

The weekend will consist of a free and open-to-the-public lecture on Friday evening.  The weekend intensive course will start with a lecture Saturday morning followed by practical application through walking and talking tours at local farms Saturday afternoon through Monday evening and beyond if desired.

This event is possible due to a grant from Sustainable Green Country, NSU Committee for Sustainability (assistance in locating lecture space), generosity of River Bend Catering, participating farms, and workshop attendees.  Many thanks to all!!!   If there are any proceeds raised above Mark Shepard's fees, they will be used to start a Sustainable Tahlequah Lecture Series aimed at bringing regional and national sustainability/regenerative farming experts to the Tahlequah area.

Fees for participants:
Friday:  Free and open to the public
Saturday: $55 per person
Sunday: $45 per person
Monday: $45 per person

If you are serious about agroforestry/permaculture and would like to attend this course but the participant fee is a barrier, please contact Julie Gahn at juliegahn@yahoo.com or (918) 207-9107.


Friday evening Lecture 7 pm to 9 pm:
NSU Webb Building, Room 614

Introduction to agroforestry, ecologically designed farming and permaculture including a brief history of agriculture, followed by a brief introduction to ecosystem mimicry, then on to some Permaculture design principles and how we apply them on an agricultural scale.

Saturday morning Lecture 8 am to 11 am:
NSU Webb Building, Room 614

Earth shaping and water management in the farm-scale agroforestry/permaculture system and introduction to stacking and succession.

Saturday Lunch 11:30 am to 12:30 pm (Riverbend Catering!)
Gahn farm on Double Spring Creek
(You're invited to leave your suggestion for our farm name!)

Saturday Walking and Talking Tour 12:30 pm to 5:00 pm:
Gahn farm at Double Spring Creek
(Bring clipboards and pens)

During the tour of the farm, the owners will discuss with Mark:

-- Earth shaping and water management
-- Perennial polycultures and succession appropriate for our location
-- Logistics of harvesting in a polyculture system e.g. how to harvest tons of nuts in a "stacked" situation
-- Processing nuts (Mark's hazelnut invention)
-- Integration of animals into nut/fruit plantings
-- Practical advice for a newbie getting their first farm animals
-- Recommendations on enterprises that could be undertaken & collaborations that could be sought
    -- Selling to the "nut" markets?
    -- Wood gas from nut hulls?
    -- Alcohol Can Be a Gas -- is David Blume's book sound from an engineering standpoint?
    -- Should we be planning/designing systems to produce our own vehicle fuel from alcohol?
    -- Complementary fruit products?
-- How to practically go "off-grid"

(Participants are welcome to ask questions too.)

We are in the finalizing the schedule for Sunday and Monday (at this point four more farms have expressed interest in hosting at least a 1/2 day walking/talking tour.  Mark Shepard is driving to Tahlequah, giving him the option to extend his stay, and additional farms are welcome to arrange for a walking and talking tour. Please contact Julie Gahn at juliegahn@yahoo.com or (918) 207-9107 for further information.

We hope you can come learn about Mark's approach to agroforestry, permaculture and regenerative farming!
Julie Gahn
Gahn Farm at Double Spring Creek
(name tbd!)

Ozark Tracker Society Announces Coyote Mentoring Workshops

posted Sep 6, 2011, 1:26 PM by Leslie Moyer

The Ozark Tracker Society (OTS) announces that they are a recipient of a regional award from the EPA for the Ozark Nature Mentoring Initiative, to provide one-of-a-kind, cutting-edge training in nature connection and nature mentoring. These programs are currently only offered on the east and west coasts and cost hundreds of dollars. With this grant, they will be offering Coyote Mentoring workshops, beginning this September 23-25, for only $25 per person!

Coyote Mentoring is based on the 8-Sheilds Mentoring Model, developed by Jon Young and endorsed by Richard Louv, and includes aspects of indigenous societies coupled with 21st century methodology. CM capitalizes on the natural learning process, using techniques that foster innate curiosity through stories, questions, mysteries and challenges in a way that traditional Western education has abandoned.  CM is dynamic, engaging, fun and cultivates authentic bonds between students, mentors and the natural world. CM workshops are for formal and informal educators or anyone wanting to re-establish native bonds with the nature.

At the end of year two of the OMNI, OTS will have a week-long Art of Mentoring with Jon Young!!! Those who have attended the Coyote Mentoring workshops will have first dibs at the Art of Mentoring and possibly the chance to play an advanced role.

This is an amazing opportunity for our entire community! The first workshop will be held at the MMLERC in Colcord, OK, Sept 23-25.

OTS invites you to visit their NEW website for details about the workshop and to register: www.ozarktrackers.org . There are only 30 spaces available, so register today!

For more information, contact:

Sarah Hammond, PhD
Program Director
Ozark Tracker Society
501c3 Non-Profit Organization

Blue Thumb Water Quality Training - Nov 4 & 5 - Pryor

posted Sep 6, 2011, 1:25 PM by Leslie Moyer

Blue Thumb Program:

There is an upcoming Blue Thumb training for people interested in doing watering quality monitoring and/or water quality education in creeks and streams in NE Oklahoma.  The Blue Thumb Water Quality Education Program is the educational arm of the Oklahoma Conservation Commission (OCC) Water Quality Division. Blue Thumb trains volunteers to monitor streams in their communities, conduct groundwater screenings, and to share their knowledge of water quality with others. Volunteers include an array of student groups, Girl and Boy Scout troops, families, couples, and individual citizens monitoring 100 streams across Oklahoma.

I'll forward more details when they become available, but here is some "save the date" information.  The upcoming training will be held in Pryor, OK, on Friday, November 4th and Saturday, November 5th, at the First United Methodist Church, 400 E. Graham.  The training begins at 8:30 a.m. on Friday and will continue through Saturday.  Volunteers will (if they choose to do so) leave with water testing kits to begin monitoring a stream of their choice or they can be paired up with another testing site in need of volunteers.

Blue Thumb volunteers work with the wonderful staff at the Oklahoma Conservation Commission and other area volunteers to monitor the quality of water in our beautiful creeks and streams.  We do monthly creek testing and twice a year we test for aquatic life in the streams (macroinvertebrates), such as aquatic snails, insects, worms, etc.  Once every 5 years each creek is sampled for fish life. 

For more information and to register for the Pryor event, contact Cheryl Cheadle, 918-398-1804 cheryl.cheadle@conservation.ok.gov

Oklahoma Recycling Seminar - October 13 - Stillwater

posted Aug 12, 2011, 9:15 AM by Leslie Moyer

“Recycling Across Oklahoma: Urban, Suburban and Rural” will take place on Thursday, October 13, 2011 in Stillwater.  The full day conference, hosted by the Oklahoma Recycling Association (OKRA), will feature a keynote presentation about Walmart’s Zero Waste Program.
Additional topics include Future Trends in Recycling; Master Recyclers Programs; Rural Recycling Collections; E-waste recycling; Tire Collections; Household Hazardous Waste Events; and Backyard and Municipal-scale Composting Programs, among others.
Oklahoma Recycling seminar sponsors to date are Greenstar Recycling, ODEQ, OEMA, OGE and the Indian Nations Chapter of SWANA. For registration fees and more information about the seminar, as well as sponsor and exhibitor information, visit: http://www.recycleok.org/events-activities.php. Registration includes all sessions, continental breakfast, lunch, breaks, and parking.

Ozark Tracker Workshop - Saturday, August 20, 2011

posted Aug 9, 2011, 9:40 PM by Leslie Moyer

Ozark Tracker presents a daylong workshop, "ONCS-5, Wild Green Thumbs: Using Plants for Food & Medicine" on Saturday, August 20, 2011

Develop a deep connection with local plants by learning more than just their names. Learn to use local wild plants as foods and medicines, and how to properly process, sustainably harvest and wildcraft them.

Core Routines:
Art of Questioning
Sensory Awareness Exercises

The workshop starts at 9:00 a.m. and ends at 5:00 p.m. and costs $35 per person. It will be held at the beautiful "Looney" property in Colcord, OK. It is a little over an hour from both Fayetteville and Tulsa!

This is a family friendly workshop- all skill levels and abilities are welcome. Join us for a adventure in the Oklahoma Ozarks!

To register or for more information, go to our website:https://www.ozarktrackers.org/Nature_Series.html or check out our Facebook page.

P.S. We hope to be awarded an EPA grant this month to provide Nature Mentoring workshops, starting this September, at very reduced costs! This is an AWESOME opportunity and we are so grateful to be able to share these amazing techniques here in the Ozarks. We will keep you posted...


Sarah Hammond, PhD
Program Director
Ozark Tracker Society
501c3 Non-Profit Organization

Edible Garden Tour - June 11 & 12 - Tulsa

posted May 30, 2011, 11:36 PM by Leslie Moyer   [ updated May 30, 2011, 11:49 PM ]

Come see how some folks are growing their own food right in the city! You'll see gardens both large and small--with fruiting trees and shrubs, herbs, edible flowers, and vegetables. Come and be inspired about what you could do in your own space, no matter how small! You will enjoy shopping for your own garden at the vendor booths in each driveway. We'll have garden art by Feral Glass, an array of edible plants from Shady Grove Natural Farm (from Hulbert) and more! See flyer below for details.

Southern Oklahoma Green Jobs Training Consortium

posted May 9, 2011, 8:06 PM by Leslie Moyer

Program Contact: Jannason Long, jlong@ecok.edu, (580)559-5859

Unemployed: Contact local One-Stop Center

Program Website: www.ecok.edu/sogreen

Consortium Members: East Central University, Southern Oklahoma Workforce Board, Chickasaw Nation Career Services, Dr. Green Energy, Byng Public Schools, Ada Public Schools, Pontotoc Technology Center.  We are always looking for more partners!!!

Training /Certifications Offered:

LEED Green Associate (LGA) (60 participants) - LEED Green Associate. 3 day course designed for non-technical fields of expertise in basic green building concepts. For individuals preparing for employment with companies who implement green building practices. Green Building Science, LEED 201: Core Concepts & Strategies.
National Certification: LEED Green Associate
Expected start date 4/16/2011 Training Duration: 24 hrs (3 Consecutive Saturdays)
Photovoltaic Systems Technology Technician (PVST) (40 participants) - Photovoltaic System Technology. 3 day course for introduction to photovoltaic technology and basic installation standards of PV technology in private residences.
ECU Certification: Photovoltaic Science
Expected start date 6/28-30/2011 Training Duration: 24 hrs (3 days)
Weatherization (Unemployed Worker) (WUW) (40 participants) - Weatherization Science for Unemployed Workers. Basic environmental science, computer proficiency, basic weatherization science, blower door procedures, energy audits, and thermography principles.
ECU Certifications: basic computer operation, Introduction to Environmental Health Science, basic weatherization science, blower door operation, basic building thermography, infrared camera, operation and theory, and energy audit.
Expected start date 5/16/2011 Training Duration: 80 hrs (2 weeks)
Weatherization Worker Enhancement (WWE) (60 participants) - Weatherization Worker Enhancement. Basic weatherization science, blower door procedures, energy audits, and thermography principles.
ECU Certifications: basic weatherization science, blower door operation, basic building thermography, infrared camera, operation and theory, and energy audit.
Expected start date 7/11-22/2011 Training Duration: 40 hrs (10 afternoon classes)

Several of the educational institutions are sending their maintenance crew to the trainings for upgrading skills!

For more information contact:
Jannason L. Long
Coordinator, Continuing Professional Education
ECU's Center of Continuing Education
& Community Services
Phone: 580-559-5859
Fax: 580-310-9007
Email: jlong@ecok.edu
CPE Website: http://www.ecok.edu/continuing_ed/cpe/index.htm
Oklahoma Victim Assistance Academy:  www.assistvictims.com
Southern Oklahoma Green Jobs Consortium www.ecok.edu/sogreen

Cherokee Nation Ethnobotany Conference - May 19 & 20, 2011

posted May 9, 2011, 8:00 PM by Leslie Moyer

The Cherokee Nation will host an ethnobotany conference, “Cherokee Plants and Cherokee People,” Thursday, May 19, and Friday, May 20. The conference will include speaking presentations from traditional plant experts and a guided nature walk to help give hands-on plant identification experience to conference participants.

Thursday’s program will be held in Tahlequah from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Council Chambers at the W.W. Keeler Cherokee Nation Complex, 17675 S. Muskogee Ave. After a brief opening ceremony, several presenters will discuss plants traditionally used by Cherokees for food and medicine, those unique to the ancestral Cherokee homelands in the southeast and the way they are tied to Cherokee identity. Friday will feature a nature walk that affords participants a chance to see some culturally significant plant life in its natural habitat.

Dr. Karen C. Hall, director of the South Carolina Master Naturalist Program, will discuss the Cherokee Worldview Garden located at Clemson University. Hall started the garden to demonstrate the worldview of Cherokee people and the relationship they have with nature and in particular the role plants play with that relationship. She is also the state coordinator for the South Carolina Master Gardener Program.

R. Alfred Vick is an award-winning landscape architect involved in the reconstruction of the historic village at the Cherokee Heritage Center in Tahlequah. He is an assistant professor of Environmental Design at the University of Georgia and an expert in sustainability. His primary interest is in preserving natural systems while still allowing people to interact with them. Vick’s presentation will be “The Impact of Indian Removal on the Availability of Culturally Salient Cherokee Plants.”

Pat Gwin and Mark Dunham, both with Cherokee Nation Natural Resources, will give a presentation on Cherokee gardens and ethnobotany. Gwin and Dunham coordinate the Cherokee Nation’s popular heirloom seed exchange program, which allows tribal citizens the opportunity to request a variety of traditional plant seeds for their home gardens. They also oversee the Don Guy Memorial Garden located on the grounds of the Cherokee Nation complex, in which some of the heirloom plants are grown each summer.

At 9 a.m. on Friday, a bus will leave from the main tribal complex to take participants to tribal lands in Rocky Ford, Okla. and to the grounds of the Cherokee Nation’s historic Saline Courthouse, east of Locust Grove, Okla. for a guided nature walk. The Saline Courthouse with its pristine 14 acre grounds is a designated National Park of the Cherokee Nation.

The guides for the walk will be Gwin, Dunham, Hall and Vick. Participants will see plants of historical importance to Cherokees as they grow naturally and will have a chance to practice identifying them.

The “Cherokee Plants and Cherokee People” conference is free and open to the public. Transportation to the nature walk will be available on a first-come basis. The event is co-sponsored by Cherokee Nation’s Leadership Group and Natural Resources Department. For more information, call Cathy Monholland at 918-453-5389.  http://www.cherokee.org/PressRoom/31893/Press_Article.aspx

USDA Funded Farmer-Veteran Retreat May 20-22, Fayetteville, AR

posted Apr 27, 2011, 11:19 PM by Leslie Moyer

The Farmer-Veteran Coalition announced today four upcoming educational farming retreats planned this spring and summer through funding received primarily from the Risk Management Agency of the US Department of Agriculture. The retreats will take place in Southern California, Arkansas, Iowa and Pennsylvania.  Each one will have a unique curriculum and theme and will offer valuable lessons to veterans starting out in all aspects of the agricultural industry.     

Each retreat will entail two packed days of visits to farms, food companies and talks by industry leaders with the intention of giving military veterans interested in food and farming tools to understand and reduce some of the risks to launching successful careers.     

The events, which also include funding from FVC, and corporate sponsors, are free for all veterans and active-duty military personnel interested in or currently farming.  However, due to limited spacing preference will be given to those that have demonstrated the most serious interest in pursuing food and farming careers and to post 9-11 veterans nearer the beginning of their careers.      

The Los Angeles retreat will focus on urban farming, school gardens and the work being done to bring healthy food into the city’s food deserts.  The group will initially gather on the evening of Thursday, March 24.   The educational curriculum the next two days will include a tour of the city’s wholesale produce market, a culinary academy, urban farming and a chance to get hands in the dirt and help Teaching Garden, a Southern California based project that establishes edible gardens at many of the nation’s poorest schools.     

 “Our goal is to give veterans a new mission,” said FVC Director Michael O’Gorman, “and putting in these gardens for the children is a great way to learn and serve at the same time.”     

The Arkansas retreat will be based around Fayetteville on May 20-22.   This retreat and the ones in Iowa and Pennsylvania will be co-sponsored by NCAT (National Center for Appropriate Technology).   This retreat will focus on sustainable poultry and small ruminant production (goats and sheep) but will include tours to area fruit and vegetable farms as well. The tours will be led by NCAT’s poultry expert and chicken farmer, Terell Spencer, who is also a combat veteran of the Iraq war.     

The majority of funding for the Iowa retreat is coming from Blue River Hybrids, the country’s leading supplier of organic and non-GMO seed corn, soybeans and forages.  The July 15-16 retreat, dubbed “Coming Home to Farm”, will be centered between Des Moines and Ames and will focus on organic and sustainable farming practices.  Besides tours of organic and sustainable grain, vegetable, pork and wine production, classes will be given on how to become organically certified and how to turn production techniques into marketing advantage.     

The fourth retreat will be held near Shavertown, Pennsylvania on August 20-21.  Being located in the Southeast corner of the state, near large metropolitan areas, this retreat will focus on techniques to produce high yields and profitable farms off of limited acreage.   NCAT staff will give a tour of their ‘SPIN’ project – “small plot intensive agriculture” – and tours of greenhouse, hydroponic and aquaponics production.     

FVC hopes to add additional retreats later in the year and is working with groups in California, Washington State, Indiana and elsewhere to host one-day educational farm tours for veterans throughout the year.  Veterans interested in attending any of these events or finding out about other services of the Farmer-Veteran Coalition are urged to contact us at info@farmvetco.org, check out our website, www.farmvetco.org and follow us on Face Book.  We urge you to get involved!     

Risk Management Agency

Sabir Brara
Farmer-Veteran Coalition
818-635-0780, 530-756-1395
Davis, CA – February 7, 2011

Southern SAWG Conference Comes to Little Rock, AR - January 18-21, 2012!

posted Apr 18, 2011, 11:45 PM by Leslie Moyer

Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (SAWG) 21st Annual Conference

"Practical Tools & Solutions for Sustaining Family Farms"

January 18-21, 2012
The Peabody Hotel
Little Rock, Arkansas

Full details will be available on the Southern SAWG website by early October

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