Organic Farm School

Since 2006, WEI has offered in the Twin Cities a unique ten-week educational summer program composed of lectures, related readings, hands-on workshops and field trips. The series focuses on a wide variety of topics framing sustainable organic agriculture, food justice and the new food revolution, relevant to a larger understanding of sustainable agriculture, food justice and local and global food and farming politics. The lecture series has been variously located, starting in 2006 in the basement of Amazon Bookstore in Minneapolis, moving subsequent years to Open Book, Phillips Cultural Community Center, and most recently to Birchwood Café. The programming for Organic Farm School exemplifies WEI’s mission to promote environmental, food and farming justice, across rural and urban and international communities.

The 2016 program (the 9th annual Organic Farm School) is now in the early planning stages. A sample from the 2015 Organic Farm School can be viewed below.

2015 Organic Farm School – ARCHIVED

June 15th – August 17th, 2015
Location: Birchwood Café
Time: 6:00-8:30 every Monday evening/final dates will be posted soon

June 15: Introduction Session: Who Are We, What Do You Want to Learn, Overview of the Series and Reading List, Introducing the Women’s Environmental Institute with Karen Clark (WEI Executive Director) and Jacquelyn Zita, (WEI Farm Manager and Director of Education)

June 22: A Tribute to Atina Diffley: “Minnesota Organic Woman Farmer Pioneer”
Atina Diffley (Organic Farming Works, Inc.) reading from her book and sharing
her stories and organic know-how.

June 29 “Wild Fermentation.” Angelica Hollstadt (Angelica’s Garden)

July 6 “Living with Humus, Living with Us.” Professor Pat Farrell Ph.D., UMD Geography

July 13″The Urban Farming Revolution: More than a Farm.” Seitu Jones (Frog Town Project) Christina Elias and Annelie Livingston-Anderson (24th Street Urban Farm/Mashkiikii Gitigan)

July 18 “Know Your Bugs” Dr. Loretta Ortiz-Ribbin. Day-long Saturday FIELD STUDY to the WEI FARM: Learn how to capture and identify farm and garden insects, understand their life cycles, steward beneficials, and organically manage “the unwanted”. A Special Hands-On workshop

July 20 Regenerative Agriculture & Permiculture.” Paula Westmoreland (Ecological Gardens)

July 27 “GMOs:  From the Seed to the Plate to the State.” Jim Riddle (Blue Fruit Farm, Organic Independents, LLP) Tracey Singleton (Birchwood Café) Karen Clark (MN State Representative)

Aug. 3 Rural Farm Labor Struggles – Centro Campesino Minnesota , Family Farm Defenders Wisconsin and Brazil’s Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra (MST), Anthony Pahnke, Ernesto Velez and visiting Brazilian farmers

Aug. 10 “Pollinators and Pesticides: Demystifying the Science and Policy in Bee Declines.” Lex Horan (PANNA, Pesticide Action Network of North America)

Aug. 17 “The Future of Organics and Small Farm Sustainability in the State of Minnesota” Dave Frederickson, MN Commissioner of Agriculture

2016 OFS is currently being planned and instructors scheduled.
Please email with questions