Organic Farmer Training Programs

FARMS Leadership | Monterey and Santa Cruz | November 16, 2020

Location(s) of Field Day:
ALBA (Agriculture Land-Based Training Association)
1700 Old Stage Rd, Salinas, CA 93908

Participating Schools:
Soquel High School
Gonzalez High School
Alisal High School
Greenfield High School

Field Day Hosts and Mentors:
Nathan Harkleroad – Education Program Manager with ALBA
Nancy Porto – Community Relations and Environmental Education Officer

Theme: Organic Farming

Summary of the Day: 

We wouldn’t be the FARMS Program if we didn’t talk about farming. This month, students learned about Organic Farming and the different training programs offered by ALBA. One of our students, Anahi Benivedes’ father is actually a farmer in one of the ALBA Programs. Nathan and Nancy shared a very engaging presentation and took us on a fun and informative virtual tour of the ALBA Headquarters. For the hands-on kits, students received an infographic poster about organic farming and conventional farming. They each received organic seedlings for their home gardens.

Waste, Innovation and Worm Farming

FARMS Leadership | Monterey and Santa Cruz | October 26, 2020

Location(s) of Field Day:
Jardin el Sol at the Sun Street Transfer Station
139 Sun St.
Salinas, Ca 93901

Participating Schools:
Soquel High School
Gonzalez High School
Alisal High School
Greenfield High School

Field Day Hosts and Mentors:
Estella Gutierrez – Resource Recovery Technician with Salinas Valley Recycles
Darlene Ruiz – Resource Recovery Technician with Salinas Valley Recycles

Theme: Food Waste and Innovation

Summary of the Day: 

Welcome to FARMS Leadership 2020! Our first field day is finally here and students start the year off virtually. This year we will be sending students monthly hands-on kits and this months kit is a build your own worm farm.

Students got dirty with this month’s kit as they built and named their farms. Students learned how to care for worms and how to keep a vermicomposting set up healthy and well-fed. Students then met with Salinas Valley Recycles to learn about food waste and waste innovation happening in Monterey County.

The Founder’s Harvest

FARMS Leadership | Sacramento Valley | Thursday November 12, 2020

Location(s) of Field Day:
Sierra Orchards – Winters, CA

Field Day Host(s) and Mentors:
Craig McNamara – Owner & Founder
Ramon Del Toro – Farm Manager
Sean McNamara – Farm Manager
Emily McNamara – Apprentice Farm Supervisor
Attila Kolozsi – Loading Supervisor & Farmhand

Theme:
Organic Walnut Production, Conservation, & Food Security

Summary of the Day:
The Sacramento Valley FARMS Leadership class commenced the 2020-2021 program a bit differently than previous years; Opting for a digital model that abides by the social-distancing safety standards necessitated by the Coronavirus pandemic. Students and teachers from Grant Union High School, Luther Burbank High School, and River City High School all joined Craig McNamara, owner of Sierra Orchards in a Zoom webinar for a screening of the virtual tour of his organic walnut orchard. In the post-tour Q&A session, one standout Junior of Luther Burbank, held Mr. McNamara to task with a battery of questions about his experience in the organic growing industry. FARMS Leadership students and a couple lucky teachers were provided Hands-On Learning Kits that included: organic walnut pieces, organic in-shell walnuts, crushed walnut shells, Sierra Orchards compost, organic cover crop mix, and a walnut grading sheet exhibiting the various defects that can befall the nutty legume; all complements of Craig McNamara and Sierra Orchards.


For more information or to view November’s Field Day, ‘click’ the YouTube link below: