Fauquier Education Farm - Agriculture Education
Fauquier Education Farm
P.O. Box 1143 Warrenton, VA 20188
 

Agriculture Education

The Fauquier Education Farm is a learning resource for students, farmers, gardeners and anyone wanting to learn more about how food is grown.

We offer a broad range of activities to showcase how to plant, maintain and harvest fresh wholesome vegetables while also being good stewards of the land. These activities include:

    Volunteer Workdays
    Demonstrations
    Workshop Series
    Beginning Farmer and Rancher Program

Volunteer Workdays

The best way to learn is to get your hands dirty!

Workdays offer hands-on learning for the community at large. With only one paid employee, the Fauquier Education Farm could not survive without lots of volunteer help. We want all of our volunteers, from school kids to seniors, to develop an understanding of how each crop is produced.  The Farm Director’s function, assisted by the Fauquier Master Gardener volunteers, is to teach as we work. Go to our, How to Help, page to sign up to receive weekly emails detailing when we are working that week. Our work hours change throughout the season due to weather and different seasonal crop needs.

Demonstrations

An important aspect of being an Education Farm is to conduct a wide variety of demonstration projects to showcase a range of agricultural best practices. These projects include field trials to see which crops work best in our area, cultural practices such as planting in plastic covered beds or into no till cover crops, farmscaping to encourage beneficial insects, or many other agricultural ideas that are put to the test and grown under real world conditions.

We partner with Virginia Tech, Virginia State University, John Marshall Soil and Water Conservation District, and state and federal agencies such as the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to provide timely, valuable information to the farming community through these demonstrations.

Workshop Series

Whether a variety trial or a conservation project our demonstration projects would be of no value unless we share the information.  For every project we have a Workshop where we invite anyone interested in learning about what we are doing, and why, to come to the farm and see for themselves. We are committed to holding ten of these workshops each year on a wide variety of agricultural and conservation topics. These are on-farm meetings that are well advertised and are always free and open to the public.

    Fauquier Education Farm 2018 Workshop Series

The Fauquier Education Farm Workshop Series is a learning resource for farmers and home gardeners of all experience levels. You can pick and choose any workshops that may interest you with no expectation that you need to attend them all. The first workshop on Jan. 20th will be held at Lord Fairfax Community College, in Warrenton. The rest of the workshops are held at the Fauquier Education Farm. These workshops are free and open to everyone. These will be held rain or shine and children are always welcome.

Contact Jim Hankins at fauquieredfarm@gmail.com or 540 336 4338

 

Jan. 20th, 2:30 to 4:30...It’s Time to Start Planning… Join us as we go through a full calendar year in the garden, with tips on what should be planted when and how to maximize your gardening success. We will also roll out all the upcoming workshops and learning opportunities at the Education Farm and let you know how you can become an important part of it all. We’ll also have free catalogues from our favorite vendors for you to take home.

Held at…Lord Fairfax Community College, 6480 College St. Warrenton, Va. 20187 (The class will be held in The Barn, same address, you can’t miss it)

The following workshops will at be held at

Fauquier Education Farm, 8428 Meetze Rd. Warrenton, Va

March 17Th, 2 to 4 Pm, Totally Taters Part I: This year we will be holding a field variety trial of 8 different varieties of potatoes. From Russet Burbank to several types of fingerlings, we will explore your options with this hardworking but humble vegetable. In Part I we will talk about everything you need to know to plant potatoes, with a hands-on demonstration on how to cut seed chunks as well as a demonstration of our potato plow and hilling disk. We will show you each of our varieties before they get planted, and even show you how to create a Lazy Bed.

May 16th 6 to 8 PM, No-Till Vegetable Production Part I: We will once again partner with the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the John Marshall Soil and Water Conservation District to showcase our on-going Conservation Tillage demonstrations. We will discuss using cover crops to enhance your soil health and add nutrients for your vegetable crops. We will also demonstrate the equipment and techniques we are using to grow vegetables with minimum soil disturbance.

May 25th 6 to 8 PM, Crops Under Cover: Our demonstrations in previous years have shown that using row covers and low tunnels will dramatically boost plant vigor and size while also provide protection from adverse weather and insect pest. Each year we are raising more and more of our crops using these protective cultivation techniques. Come join us to see how we are doing it.

July 11th 6 to 8 PM, Totally Taters Part II: It will be time to take a look at how our potato varieties have produced in the field, so we will be taking our potato plow out to dig up a row of each. We will talk about post-harvest handling and share the details of everything we’ve learned with this demonstration.

July 18th 6 to 8 PM, Summer High Tunnel Production: Farmers often speak of the advantages of high tunnel production to extend the growing season in spring and fall, but certain crops perform extremely well during the summer months inside a high tunnel. We will talk about what crops do well in this environment and how to maximize your summer production.

July 26th 6 to 8 PM, Farmscaping: Join us to learn how you can create the best environment in your garden to support a host of beneficial insects. Nature can destroy them, but only if you are willing to give the good bugs what they need. Learn a few simple steps to creating a healthy, balanced insect population while making your garden more beautiful along the way. Sunflowers!

August 1st 6 to 8 PM, No-Till Vegetable Production Part II: We will revisit our No-Till demonstrations to see for ourselves how well these techniques have worked. We will discuss mid-summer cover crops and preparations for planting fall cover crops.

August 9th 6 to 8 pm, Watermelon vs. Watermelon: We will have 10 varieties of summer time sweetness planted side by side to see how each will perform in the field. We’ll have seedless and seeded varieties and will talk about the advantages and pitfalls of each. There will be taste testing too!

August 25th 6 to 8 PM, Winter Squash Variety Trial: We will have a variety trial of 10 types of winter squash. Join us to see how well they have produced and discuss what goes into growing this popular fall crop.

  

Beginning Farmer and Rancher Program

The Fauquier Education Farm also plays a unique role in support of the Northern Piedmont Beginning Farmer and Rancher Program. These are two multi-week courses for folks who are new to, or dreaming of launching, a farming business.

The first is called the Northern Piedmont Beginning Farmer Program, which we have been teaching since 2011. It is a Whole Farm Planning course using the curriculum developed by the Virginia Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition Program. The Fauquier Education Farm has partnered with several Agricultural Extension Agents from surrounding counties to present this course and help guide new farmers on their path to becoming professionals.

The second course is, An Introduction to Getting Your Hands Dirty. In this course we take a careful look at what goes into field grown crop production. Our students should expect to learn a basic level understanding of the concepts and tools necessary to grow crops. It includes two labs at the Education Farm and a farm tour.