If you are a produce grower, considering wholesaling, or simply want to learn more about GAPs for fresh produce, consider this program on Monday May 4th at the Halifax Extension Office.

“Grow Your Own” Vegetable Garden Series

Grow Your Own – Vegetable Workshop Series – Flyer

Virginia Cooperative Extension will be hosting a “Grow Your Own” vegetable gardening series on March 2, April 13, May 4, June 8, July 6, August 10, September 7, October 5, and November 16 of 2015 at the Prince Edward Extension Conference Room, 100 Dominion Drive, Farmville, VA.  

Topics covered in this series include:

      • principles of organic gardening
      • building soil health
      • seed starting and seedling care
      • attracting bees, butterflies and other beneficial insects
      • weed control
      • trellising
      • water management
      • companion planting
      • square foot gardening
      • and cooking and food preservation demonstrations.

The cost will be $5 per class or $30 for the entire series.  For more information and to pre-register by February 27th contact the Prince Edward Extension Office at (434) 392-4246 or cgracem@vt.edu.

Sustainable Garden Series

Sustainable Garden Series

At the John Randolph Firehouse & Community Center in Cumberland, VA
6:30 – 8:00 PM
Thursday evenings of March 12, March 19, March 26, April 2, April 9, and April 16
Optional $10 fee for hardcopy reference notebook.  CDs will be free.

Topics will be soils, composting, vermiculture, garden planning, irrigation, sustainable organic practices, food preservation, garden diseases, and garden insects.  There will be different speaker at each session.

Sustainable Garden Series – March 2015

Table Grapes & Raspberry Pruning Demonstration

Table Grapes and Raspberry Pruning Demonstration
February 20, 2015 from 9:00am-11:00 a.m.
VSU-Randolph Farm
4415 River Road
Ettrick, VA 23803

Dear Growers:
On February 20, 2015 we will be demonstrating how to Prune Table Grapes and Raspberry plants. If you are interested, please join us at Virginia State University, Randolph Farm. The time for this event is 9:00-11:00 a.m. This event is FREE and no need for registration, just show up.
– Dr. Rafie, VSU

Governor McAuliffe Announces $565,000 in USDA Specialty Crop Block Grants Available for Virginia Agricultural Interests

Governor McAuliffe Announces $565,000 in USDA Specialty Crop Block Grants Available for Virginia Agricultural Interests
~Request for Applications Now Open, Deadline for Submittal is April 2, 2015~

VDACS will give priority to projects with the sole purpose of enhancing the competitiveness of specialty crops as they pertain to the following issues:

• Increasing child and adult nutrition knowledge and consumption of specialty crops;
• Improving efficiency and reducing costs of distribution systems;
• Assisting all entities in the specialty crop distribution chain in developing Good Agricultural Practices, Good Handling Practices, and Good Manufacturing Practices;
• Investing in specialty crop research, including organic research to focus on conservation and environmental outcomes;
• Enhancing food safety;
• Developing new and improved seed varieties and specialty crops, pest and disease control;
• Developing organic and sustainable production practices;
• Developing local and regional food systems; and
• Improving food access in underserved communities.

Guidelines, instructions, and the application for the USDA Specialty Crop Competitive Grants are available online at http://www.vdacs.virginia.gov/marketing/scrop.shtml (click on Application Form to apply), via e-mail to Melissa Ball atmelissa.ball@vdacs.virginia.gov, or at VDACS, 102 Governor Street, Richmond, VA 23219.

According to a 2013 economic impact study conducted by the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia, agriculture and forestry are two of Virginia’s largest private industries with a combined economic impact of $70 billion annually. Agriculture generates more than $52 billion per annum, while forestry contributes more than $17 billion. The industries also provide more than 400,000 jobs in the Commonwealth. More information about the Weldon Cooper Center’s study can be found at: http://www.coopercenter.org/node/2/publications/economic-impacts-agriculture-and-forestry-virginia-revised-2012

Training for Compost Operations

The US Composting Council (USCC; http://compostingcouncil.org/) Compost Operators Training Course (COTC) will be conducted July 20-24 in northern Virginia. The course will be taught by members of the USCC (including me). Any assistance in promoting the event is appreciated.


Information on program:



Registration information:


An Introduction to Wind Energy Workshop

MONDAY MARCH 9, 2015 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center Executive Auditorium
1 Partnership Circle, Abingdon, VA 24210

REGISTRATION The registration fee for the workshop is $15. To register for this workshop please call the Washington County Extension Office at (276) 676-6309, and mail a check payable to Virginia Cooperative Extension to:

Washington County Extension Office
234 W Valley St., Suite B
Abingdon, VA 24210


Wind Energy Workshop Flyer with details