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Jeff’s Schedule for February 26 – March 3, 2018

For all you aspiring farmers, I’m teaching an Agripreneurship class at RCCC’s Cabarrus Business & Technology Center in Concord, NC. Here are the details. BTW, want to know what an Agripreneur is? Read on, and find out.

This week’s Tip

You can grow or harvest something almost year-round in the NC Piedmont. Our climate, even though it can be quite changeable in the Spring, is mild enough that some plants can over winter and grow more as it warms up. The first step in creating this “4 Season Garden” is to understand how plants relate to the weather. For the most part, this means knowing our average frost/freeze dates. In the Southern Piedmont of NC, where The Successful Gardener is based, our average last frost happens around the middle of April, just like tax day. Our average first frost in the fall is the ending days of October, or around Halloween. Now, these are average dates, so frost can occur 2 weeks earlier or 2 weeks later than the average date. But the time between Tax Day and Halloween is normally frost free.
Next, learn which plants can tolerate frost, like lettuce, and which are very tender, like cucumbers. This info is widely available in garden calendars and seed packs. In essence, you have cool-season veggies, herbs, and flowers, and warm-season plants. You plant cool-season plants to take advantage of cool weather, and warm-season plants in warmer weather. Keep in mind that cool-season plants started indoors will be quite tender when young. You’ll need to acclimate, or “harden off” those plants before you can figure they can take the cold. It’s a simple process. When the plants grown indoors are ready to be planted outside, move them outside on a warm-ish day. Keep an eye on them, and don’t leave them outside long. An hour is OK first time. Then each day, for about 10 days, leave them outside longer, until they can stay outside overnight. Then, they are ready to plant. Keep in mind that even cold-season plants can need some protection in extremes. We’ll talk more about 4 Season Gardens next week.

Here’s where I’ll be this week

I’ll start the week in Matthews, 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, February 27, 2018 6:00-9:00PM. Agripreneurship Seminar: The Agripreneur & The Idea 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 you’ll discover the skill set of the Agripreneur, get some of the basics of those skills, and learn to recognize opportunity when it appears.

Thursday, January 18, 2018 Farm Business Management Central Carolina Community College, Pittsboro, **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.

Friday Matthews, NC
Friday, I’m available for landscape consultations, especially if you are interested in starting your own 4 Season Garden. I can take next week’s class to a personal level, applying the principles I’ve created over the last 30 years to your garden. Schedule a consultation here.

Saturday, I’m out of town on personal business, but I’ll be available for classes and consults again next week.

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!

Peace, Grace, & Love,
Jeff

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Jeff’s Schedule for February 19-24, 2018

Spring is a busy time for The Successful Gardener! We’ll be at Renfrow Farm this Saturday for our Pruning workshop. The class is filling fast, so register now at www.jeffrieves.com/shop . We’ll follow that closely with the next class, “The Four Season Garden I – Spring & Summer” on March 6, at our regular time of 630PM. You can register for that class on my website, too.
FYI, next week we begin our Agripreneurship Series at RCCC. Details are here.

This week’s tip
We finish our three part series on Pruning Fruit Plants with some tips on dormant pruning grape vines. Assuming that you have already planted your grape vines and trained them to the wire trellis system used most often, pruning your grape vines is fairly straightforward. (For more detailed training info, see this.) You simply cut back the side shoots that have developed on the cordons, or horizontal parts of the vine. Each shoot should be cut back every year during the dormant season to 2 – 3 buds. These buds are next years’ fruiting growth. Try to get this done by February. If you wait too long to prune the vines, sap will drip out of the cut ends, sometimes to an alarming degree. I’ve never seen that kill a vine, but it’s easily avoided by pruning at the proper time.
I hope you learned something from this short 3-part series on pruning. Join us for our Pruning Workshop on Saturday for lots more info!

Here’s where I’ll be this week
Monday – Wednesday, Charlotte, NC area
I’ll be conducting consultations in the area. It’s time to start your planning AND planting in your garden, home landscape, or the farm. I can help you do all of that. See below for more details.

Thursday, January 18, 2018 Farm Business Management
Central Carolina Community College, Pittsboro,
**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.

Saturday, February 24, 2018 10AM-12PM Fruit Pruning Workshop
Renfrow Hardware & Renfrow Farm Matthews, NC
Pruning is one of the most important things you can do for the health of your trees. This class covers the basic types of cuts, why to make a pruning cut, and the right tools and how to maintain them. This is a SATURDAY WORKSHOP, so we’ll go down to the farm and do some pruning. Please dress for the weather! Register here.

Late Winter 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 solveproblems, 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,
Jeff

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Jeff’s Schedule for February 12-17, 2018

For all you aspiring farmers, I’m teaching an Agripreneurship class at RCCC’s Cabarrus Business & Technology Center in Concord, NC. Here are the details. BTW, want to know what an Agripreneur is? Read on, and find out.

This week’s Tip

As I said last week, Winter is a great time to prune fruit trees, berry bushes, and grape vines. This week it’s all about fruit bushes and brambles. First, have a reason for making any kind of pruning cut. For blueberries, figs, and the brambles (raspberries and blackberries), those reasons are similar. Remove all dead, diseased or dying stems and branches. That may be all your blueberries need. For figs, you may need to remove some branches that are in the way or too long. Then if any root suckers are growing off the roots, remove them as well. Now you are in all likelihood done with the fig pruning.
Brambles are somewhat trickier. Last year’s fruiting canes should have already been removed to keep the plant from being overgrown with old, unproductive growth. If you haven’t done this yet, do that first. They should be the larger, old canes. You can leave all of the other canes this year, if you like. For best production, though, only 4-6 canes per plant are necessary. You can head back some of the longest canes, but until you have some experience with growing brambles, I’d leave them alone after the old canes are removed. Those are the basics. If you want to know more about pruning all kinds of fruit plants, join me at Renfrow Farm, SATURDAY, February 24, at 10AM for a pruning workshop. Here are the details.
Is Winter the right time to prune berry bushes? January and February are the best times for heavy pruning. The plants are dormant, and will be shocked less. Remember that your bramble’s old, unproductive canes are best removed in the Summer. That leaves more energy for new cane production.But if do you wait til Winter for all heavy pruning, I think you’ll be OK.
Next week, we’ll talk about pruning grape vines.

Here’s where I‘ll be this week

I’ll start the week in the Blue Ridge Mountains, working on private projects. Wednesday is for working ON my business, instead of IN my business.

Thursday, January 18, 2018 Farm Business Management
Central Carolina Community College, Pittsboro,
**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, February 15, 2018 600-730PM
RCCC Small Business Agripreneurship Networking
Kannapolis Train Station, Kannapolis, NC
Agripreneurs are people who create new ways to produce and market food, drink, fiber, fuel, and fun! They create new enterprises that build value while conserving natural resources. If you’d like to meet some of them, network with other budding agripreneurs, AND find out about the new Agripreneurship Academy at RCCC, COME JOIN US! I’ll see you there! Here are the details.

Friday through Saturday Matthews, NC
Friday, I’m available for landscape consultations, especially if you have questions about your fruit trees. This is the best time of year for pruning fruit trees, grape vines and other dormant fruit plants. Pruning is easier than you think, but it pays to know how each cut will help your plants. I can help you gain confidence in your pruning skills, show you how to sharpen and maintain your tools, and teach you what to look for to keep your plants as healthy as possible. To schedule a pruning consultation, contact me here.

Saturday should be my first day at Renfrow Hardware for the 2018 planting season, helping in the seed department and the greenhouse. Renfrow’s has the best selection of vegetable seeds in the Charlotte metro are. I’ll be glad to help you find the seeds and plants to help you be a successful gardener! I’m usually there from 9AM til 2PM. Come see me!

Late Winter 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,
Jeff

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Jeff’s Schedule for February 5-10, 2018

We had a great turnout for the first class of 2018. Lots great questions and we all learned something. Thanks to everybody that turned out!

This week’s Tip

Winter is a great time to prune fruit trees, berry bushes, and grape vines. Lots of folks are intimidated by pruning, but don’t let a lack of knowledge keep you from doing anything. There are some simple guidelines that will help anybody prune successfully. First, have a reason for making any kind of pruning cut. Is it the right time to prune? January and February are the best times for heavy pruning. The plants are dormant, and will be shocked less. What kind of tree are you pruning? Apples and pears need to grow straight up, so pick a central leader stem and cut back others below that one. Peaches need to be vase-shaped so you cut out any central leader. This puts more Sun into the canopy. Some other obvious reasons for pruning away some plant growth are branches that are dead, damaged or diseased. If you just do that kind of pruning, you’ll do well. Next, you want to remove branches that grow straight up off a branch. That kind of growth is called a water sprout, which is mostly extra growth that usually Isn’t productive. In a peach tree or some other stone fruit, cut out the branches that grow back into the leaf canopy. Remember that gets more sun into the canopy, which promotes healthy fruit. Then you can remove any branches that cross over another branch, which also gets more sun into the canopy. If you do all these cuts, that should take care of your trees. Next week we’ll work on berry bushes

Here’s where I’ll be this week

Most of the week, I’ll be in the Charlotte, NC area. Monday and Tuesday will be used for private projects. Wednesday is for working ON my business, instead of IN my business

Thursday, January 18, 2018 Farm Business Management
Central Carolina Community College, Pittsboro,
**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.

Friday through Saturday Matthews, NC
I’m available for landscape consultations, especially if you have questions about your fruit trees. This is the best time of year for pruning fruit trees, grape vines and other dormant fruit plants. Pruning is easier than you think, but it pays to know how each cut will help your plants. I can help you gain confidence in your pruning skills, show you how to sharpen and maintain your tools, and teach you what to look for to keep your plants as healthy as possible. I’ll be teaching a pruning class at Renfrow Farm in February, and a fruit tree consultation will help you understand the basics that much better.

Winter 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,
Jeff

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