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Cheyenne Conference Focuses on Raising Vegetables, Fruit for Market

October 27, 2017

Tools to help people raise and process table-safe vegetables, and even have a fruit orchard to augment operations, are part of the Farm to Market Conference Friday and Saturday, Nov. 10-11, on the Laramie County Community College campus in Cheyenne.

The conference is designed to take farm-to-market or backyard growers to the next level of food safety, using season extension or growing fruit for a specialty crop, says Catherine Wissner, University of Wyoming Extension horticulturalist in the Laramie County office.

The conference cost is $45 per day or $75 for both and includes lunch, coffee, tea and snacks. Registration and more information may be found at bit.ly/farmtomarket2017. All sessions are in the Leadership Room in the Pathfinder Building. Doors open at 8 a.m.

“Most states have adopted food freedom and cottage food laws reducing barriers for getting foods, like pickled products and fermented foods, to local markets,” Wissner says. “However, it is still very important for people to know, understand and practice food safety.”

Food acidification topics, including food-processing, pH, methods of thermal processing and sugar syrup, are on the schedule for Friday.

Attendees can choose from “Food Fermentation,” “Build a Hoop House” or “Understanding the Fruit Orchard” tracks Saturday.

“The fermentation process for vegetables can result in nutritious foods that may be stored for extended periods, one year or more, without refrigeration,” Wissner says. Those attending the session will learn how to process safely for home and direct sales.

Those in the hoop house session will help build a 12- by 12-foot-high tunnel complete with a UV plastic cover. Construction will be inside a building.

How to set up an orchard, types of trees and other possibilities suitable for USDA Zone 4 will be covered in the fruit orchard session. Also included will be grafting apples, what root stock works best, insight on growing apples at 7,200-foot elevation and a grower with 300 trees and 55 varieties.

The Wyoming Department of Agriculture specialty crops program and the Laramie County office of UW Extension present the conference. For more information, contact Ted Craig at Wyoming Department of Agriculture at (307) 777-6651 or Wissner at (307) 633-4480 or cwissner@uwyo.edu.


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