Updates on Organic Onion Pest and Disease Management

Level: Advanced
Brian Nault, Lindsy Iglesias, and Frank Hay

New York produces over 95% of the onions in the Northeast and is ranked sixth in the nation for onion production. Join Cornell Entomologists Brian Nault and Lindsy Iglesias as they discuss the most current organic management strategies for major onion pests, with a special focus on onion thrips (Thrips tabaci). Frank Hay from Cornell Plant Pathology will give an update on organic management for the foliar disease stemphylium leaf blight (Stemphylium vesicarium).

Half-Day Intensive: Wash Lines to Storage Buildings: Post-Harvest Construction Project Farmer Panel

Level: Advanced
Presenter: Chris Callahan, Jennifer Frederick, and Erik Fellenz

Chris Callahan and a panel of growers discussing recent pack shed improvements.

Biopesticides for vegetable diseases: what are they and how well do they work?

Level: Intermediate
Presenter: Meg McGrath and Amara Dunn

Learn about the numerous biocontrols and other biopesticides now available for managing diseases, their efficacy in university trials as well as on farms, and factors to consider to maximize success. A focus of the session will be sharing experiences starting with results from a NOFA-NY farmer survey.

Half-Day Intensive: The New Frontiers in Garlic Production

Level: Intermediate
Presenters: Ed Fraser, Brian Fox, Chris Callahan, and Crystal Stewart

The garlic industry in the northeast continues to expand, and it also continues to change. Join Ed Fraser, owner of Fraser’s Garlic Farm, Brian Fox, owner of Salem Mountain Farm, Crystal Stewart, regional vegetable specialist from Cornell Cooperative Extension and Chris Callahan, agriculture engineer from UVM for a discussion of the challenges and opportunities facing our industry. We will focus our interactive session on pests and diseases, advances in post-harvest handling that help overcome the challenges of our changing climate, and finding the best marketing niche for your garlic.


Level: Intermediate
Presenter: Lou Lego

This year's dramatic spring and summer weather here and around the country have caused degraded soil conditions, loss of farm water, and contamination of streams and lakes. A new planting system using natural wicking materials in raised hills or beds can greatly reduce field flooding and conserve water in the subsoil for natural irrigation during lengthy dry spells. Comparative data on the wicking hill production with conventional flat field production will be presented for several vegetable crops, as well as design and construction techniques for this new field and garden system.

Real Talk for When You Have to Spray: How to Make it Safe and Effective

Level: Intermediate
Presenters: Ethan Grundberg and Max Morningstar

Join this workshop for an overview of using organic sprays safely, legally, and effectively. Learn how to mix and calibrate, what the requirements are, timing, and more.

Automated misting system design and installation for greenhouses

Level: Intermediate
Presenter: Todd Lighthouse

Do you experience inconsistent or spotty germination or want to explore propagating plants by cuttings? Building a germination area with automated misting may be one of the easiest ways to improve your success. Todd Lighthouse of Lighthouse Gardens will discuss how to design and install a greenhouse germination system to fit a variety of circumstances, crop needs and budgets. Everything from a bare bones setup to larger scale, heated germination benches and everything in-between will be covered.

Heat Treating Seed

Level: Intermediate
Presenters: Meg McGrath, Tom Stearns, and Sandy Arnold

Heat treatment can be an important first step in managing diseases caused by pathogens that can be inside seed. Learn what seed to consider treating and how to hot water treat your own seed. It is easy and equipment now available makes it more affordable. Also learn about the new steam treating process being done by High Mowing Organic Seeds and its advantages, in particular for seed like basil that is problematic to hot water treat.

Maximize Your Greenhouse Space: Grafting for Productivity

Level: Intermediate
Presenter: Judson Reid

Join Cornell Vegetable Program’s Judson Reid to learn how grafted plants fit in an intense, smaller-scale production system by enhancing disease and stress resistance, boosting plant vigor and yield, and enabling quick high tunnel turnover. Participants will learn why grafting is an important tool in vegetable production, become familiar with some commercially available rootstocks, and learn proper techniques, including how to build and manage a ‘healing chamber.’ While the demonstration will focus on tomatoes as a gateway to grafting crops, the workshop will also provide an introduction to the fascinating world of cucurbit grafting.

Investing in Equipment: grower panel

Level: Intermediate
Presenters: Chaw Chang, Stick and Stone Farm, and others

Join a panel of experienced growers working at different tractor-managed field scales. Learn about how each farm decides what implement investments to prioritize, what tractor sizes and implements are most critical at each scale, and how each farm weighs these decisions. Growers will share how they assess equipment purchases, weigh the pros and cons of buying new versus used equipment, and how tightening weather windows on fieldwork and new developments in equipment may change your farm's needs.

Adding Value and Flavor to Winter Storage Crops

Level: Intermediate
Presenters: Michael Mazourek, Matthew Falise, Lucy Garrison-Clauson, and Nathaniel Thompson

Learn the tricks of working with new fall storage crops. Dialed-in techniques allow for improved storage and higher quality produce. Join a conversation with breeders, farmers, and chefs about new varieties and approaches to get the most value—and flavor—from your squash, beets, and potatoes.

Planning for and Implementing a Winter CSA

Level: Intermediate
Presenters: Stephanie Roberts, Anthony Paolini, and Bret Morris

Learn about our simple infrastructure improvements and growing techniques that have allowed us at Shared Roots Farm to have a thriving winter CSA and how it helps with our Summer CSA retention rates. We'll discuss planning and storing winter veggies, CSA arrangements and flexibility, and growing details. Our Winter CSA serves over 100 families with boxed shares as well as farmers market share options.


Level: Beginner
Presenters: Heron Breen of Fedco Seeds, Adrienne Shelton of Vitalis Organic Seeds, Lauren Giroux of Johnny’s Selected Seeds, and Jan van der Heide of Bejo Seeds

Why do seed companies discontinue beloved organic varieties that seem popular and successful? Join a panel of seed production experts to learn some of the reasons why varieties are discontinued and how the natural evolution of the vegetable industry trends toward constant innovation, financial sustainability, and adaptability to the market trends. Breeding companies are continually developing new varieties with better flavor profiles, improved yield potential, disease resistances, and more reliable seed vigor and production, while retail seed companies are constantly trialing new varieties, making comparisons with their current assortment, and selecting varieties to carry based on their customer base. Learn how seed companies evolve and make decisions to help growers meet the increasing consumer demand for sustainably grown produce.

Introducing the New York State Produce Safety Program

Level: Beginner
Presenter: Aaron Finley

Our presentation begins with a brief introduction to FSMA and the Produce Safety Rule, followed by the New York State implementation strategy including our outreach and education efforts. We will discuss farm coverage and exemptions under the Rule. You will learn how the On-Farm Readiness Review educational visit will prepare farms for upcoming inspections. Lastly, we will review some basic requirements of the Produce Safety Rule.

The Evolution of a Small-scale Organic Farm

Level: Beginner
Presenter: Jamie Edelstein

Please join past NOFA-NY president Jamie Edelstein as he takes you through the evolution of Wyllie Fox Farm. From being a waiter in burger joint to experimenting with over 400 varieties of tomatoes learn what it has taken to start a successful small scale certified organic farm. He will discuss his adventures in CSA farming, wholesale and retail distribution of both produce and flower and vegetable starts. This will be an inspirational story aimed at new farmers but all are welcome to share in the blood, sweat, and many tears of the past 40 years since Jamie sowed his first seeds.


Level: Intermediate
Presenter: Zaid Kurdieh

High tunnels aren’t just for tomatoes! Learn how Norwich Meadows Farm fits innovative tunnel production into their operation, raising a range of crops under protection, and what they’ve learned over the years.