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If you’re interested in being a vendor at a farmer market, Jackson County UW-Extension will host the 2018 Fresh Market Growers’ educational meeting series.

The series will focus on a number of topics for beginning market growers, specifically for farmers markets and road-side stand marketers.

Topics will include a grower panel on hybrids, alternative crops, pest management and production tips; growing market flowers, crop planning calendars, Food Safety Modernization Act and post-harvesting handling techniques to maximize shelf life, and market display for maximizing sales.

The programs will be held on Friday, March 2, and Friday, March 16, from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Jackson Electric Cooperative community room N6868 County Road F, Black River Falls.

The March 2 session will focus on crop planning calendars for season-long produce and a grower panel discussion of hybrids and production techniques. Claire Strader, Fair Share Coalition farmers’ market vendor/farmer and Dane County commercial vegetable agent, will discuss the use of cropping calendars to ensure your supply of produce for the entire market season, and how to get a head start without a greenhouse. A group discussion with farmer/grower panel will discuss favorite hybrids, alternative crops that get consumer attention, production tips for starting the season early, etc.

The March 16 session will feature Food Safety Modernization and post-harvest handling and growing cut flowers for the market. Kristin Krokowski, Market vendor/farmer and Waukesha County UW-Extension commercial horticulture agent, and lead FSMA trainer for UW-Extension will discuss how FSMA aligns well with good post-harvest handling techniques to maximize “shelf life” at the market. Kyle Zenz, of Old Oak Family Farm, will share her tips for growing cut flowers for the farmers market, easy varieties to get started and flowers that attract customers.

The 2018 Fresh Market Growers Programs March 2 and 16 are open to all area market vendors. A $10 fee includes all materials, lunch and refreshments. Registration is appreciated for each program for materials and lunch count. For more information or to register, contact the Jackson County UW-Extension (715) 284-4257.


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