Seminars to help Gympie region farmers grow
NOT quite a summer school this year.
A few scheduling problems in getting all the top quality, experienced speakers together at the same time, the two day event run by the Mary Valley Country Harvest group has now been organised for May 29 and 30.
The first day with eight sessions is broadly called 'feeding the family farm'.
Organiser Elaine Bradley said this will involve workshops dealing with a whole range of issues from seedling raising, soil fertility, family mental health issues, and marketing.
She said with many people entering a farming lifestyle who have not experienced it before, mental challenges can develop into real problems.
Attendees can choose which of four sessions they wish to attend as two run concurrently.
On day two there will be a bit of a change from previous schools in that it will be devoted to marketing, helping growers with a management plan and record keeping.
This is regarded as the most important aspect of small farm operations, as consumers increasingly want to know all the details of where and how their food is grown.
Ms Bradley said records have to be kept basically to prove that the farmer has done what is claimed if an audit becomes part of the system.
"Records are not just what was done, but how it was done,” she said.
"Good records can be regarded as a prime marketing tool for produce.
"It is not just vegetables but animal products and anything that is grown on a farm.”
On Monday night a harvest dinner prepared by chef Chris White, of Hungry Feel Eating House, Buderim featuring all - and only - local produce will be held.
On Tuesday morning a breakfast will be held at BOS Rural and give producers a chance to meet with product suppliers.
Ms Bradley said the school will be of benefit to all levels of farmers, those new to the challenging business and those who have met and overcome some of the problems, and will give all people an opportunity to talk and share knowledge.
Information from 0428 843 749 with registration preferred on line.