The rain continues and chilly temps seem to hang on, but Spring arrives this week! So does the Sustainable Ag class at Lomax Incubator Farm in Concord, NC. There’s more information below.
This week’s tip
As my family will tell you, I use Mason jars for a lot of things, even using them as the main drinking glass at my home. They are really useful, aren’t they? What’s that, you don’t know what a Mason Jar is? That’s the trade name for a canning jar. What we know as a Mason jar was invented by John Mason in 1858. It hasn’t changed much over the years, except for the lid. So now that you know what the Mason jar is, let’s talk about it as a superior canning jar. I’m sure everybody’s Mom or Grandma used all kinds of jars back in the day. I used to as well. After repeated episodes of opening the canner only to find broken glass and ruined food, I stopped using them. I use Mason jars exclusively now. They are made for repeated uses, while other jars are NOT. Always check the threads and mouth of the jar before use, looking for cracks or chips. Then inspect the rest of the jar for cracks. Any of these weak spots can cause the jar to crack while processing or might prevent the lid from sealing. Remember that lids should be new.
As a point of clarification, there are several labels of Mason jars these days. Ball, Golden Harvest, and Kerr are the most common these days. They also make the 2 part lids and bands that seal during and after the canning process. The 2 parts are the ring, which includes the threaded part, and the lid, or dome, that covers the mouth of the jar. The lid also has a rubber ring that seals tight if the process is effective. Just a note here to tell beginners that while the jar and ring are reusable for canning, the lid is not.
Next week, more info on equipment for canning your fresh fruits and vegetables.
Here’s where I’ll be this week
I’ll start the week in Virginia, working ON my business, as opposed to IN my business. Just as in gardening, I have a lot of business management experience that forms the basis of whatever I teach.
Tuesday, March 20, 2018, 6:00-9:00 PM, The Agripreneur and the Business RCCC’s Cabarrus Business & Technology Center, 660 Concord Parkway N., Concord 28027
This is a FREE seminar! Here’s more info
Ag Entrepreneurs, or Agripreneurs create new ways of solving problems and creating value while using and protecting our natural resources. They meet the needs of our society while nourishing our families and developing our communities. They may create new production methods, or even new ways to do business. Tonight we’ll look at the many different parts of operating a Farm or food business, including structure, taxes, and certifications.
Thursday, March 22, 2018 Farm Business Management Central Carolina Community College, Pittsboro, NC **This is a curriculum course and registration is closed for the semester. I teach Farm Business Management at CCCC, based on my work, Cash Crop: Cultivating Profit In Your Farm or Food Business. You can cultivate profit in the same way you cultivate your crops. Good planning helps you work ON your business as much as you work IN your business. Creating and analyzing enterprise and whole farm budgets cultivate the farm’s operation in order to grow your farm’s profits.
This class can be offered at your community college, too. Contact me to find out how.
Thursday, March 22, 2018 6:00-9:00PM Sustainable Agriculture 101
Elma C. Lomax Incubator Farm, Atando Road, Concord, NC
Here’s how to register.
Demand for sustainable or organically grown products continues to increase. USDA Certified Organic produce is in short supply at all major grocery stores. Opportunities abound IF you can produce a quality product, grow in sufficient quantities, and know the proper marketing channels. I’ve been teaching farmers to cultivate profit since 1996. Come join us at the Lomax Farm to learn how to grow good food in a certified organic farm. We’re going to be on a working farm, so dress appropriately. That includes dressing for wet, cold weather.
Saturday, March 24, 2018 9AM-2PM, In the Greenhouse at Renfrow’s!
Renfrow Hardware, 188 North Trade Street, Matthews, NC
More info here.
Come see me for all your gardening needs, from fresh transplants, great products for the garden, or the best selection of seeds in the Charlotte region! Got a problem? Bring it to us. Need to understand a soil test recommendation? We’ll interpret it for you. Come see us!
How can I help you?
Late Winter/early Spring is a great time to take stock of what’s going on in the garden and landscape. Last year’s growing season is behind you, and with leaves down you can see the architecture of your landscape clearly. You can get a head start on Spring or finish up those Fall projects. I’ve designed and installed all kinds of landscapes, from formal herb gardens to Permaculture homesteads. In an hour, I can solve problems, identify plants, show you some opportunities, and help you enjoy your garden even more! If you’re interested in a home landscape consultation, contact me here.
I farmed and operated a plant nursery in NC for 15 years, and was an NC Cooperative Extension agent for 8 years. In that time, I learned a LOT about farm production and farm business management. I can help you with organic certification, transition to organic practices, and marketing your farm and food products. To learn how to cultivate profit on your farm, contact me here.
In these times of great opportunity for small business owners, strategic planning is essential for success. I can help you write a business plan, construct enterprise and cash flow budgets, and do market research. Individual consultations and group trainings are options for getting the information you need to succeed! To take advantage of the opportunities that are available to small business owners, contact me here.
Remember to enjoy your garden, because THAT’S what makes you a Successful Gardener! Hope to see you sometime this week!
Peace, Grace, & Love,