Workshops and Classes

Our 2017 Workshop Schedule is beginning to take shape! It will include apple orchard workshops and great sessions on cooking with and making vinegars, yum, yum! The list is always changing so check back to see new ones as they are scheduled!

Apple Orchard Pruning, Grafting and Management Workshops

There are workshops offered year-round for each season of an apple orchard. Check back for dates, locations and fees.

Pruning and Training Young Apple Trees …Two session, be sure to indicate which you want when you register!
If you have young trees (less than 5 years old) this is the class for you! The first few years of a newly planted fruit trees life set the stage for its long term health. We prune in the winter because the tree responds physiologically differently when it is pruned in the dormant season than when pruned in the growing season. Learn about training young fruit trees for optimum health and production as they mature including hands-on demonstrations and discussions of multiple training techniques. We will be specifically working with self supporting semi-dwarf trees and high-density trellised training systems. No prior experience required. Bring what pruning tools you may have and pictures of your trees to discuss, time permitting. All required tools and handouts will be provided, dress for the weather and plan on it being windy and being on your feet walking through snow for the entire class!

Saturday, February 11, 2017 – 11 am to 3 pm
Location: Clover Valley Farms, 6534 Homestead Road, Duluth, MN
Cost: $25 per person/couple, contact Cindy Hale <cindy@clovervalleyfarms.com>, 218-525-0094, to register
Pre-registration is required, if the temps drop below -10F we will likely reschedule, that’s why we need you to register!

CANCELLED due to unseasonably warm weather!
Sunday, February 26th, 2017, noon-2pm
Location: The Apple Tree Guy, 219 Kettner Drive, Carlton, MN 55718
Cost: $25 per person/couple, contact Cindy Hale <cindy@clovervalleyfarms.com>, 218-525-0094 with questions or to register.
Pre-registration is required, if the temps drop below -10F we will likely reschedule, that’s why we need you to register!

 

Restorative Apple Tree Pruning 
If you have apple trees older than 5 years old that have not been pruned for a long time (or ever!), then this is the class for you! Restorative pruning is very different than pruning and training young trees since you are simultaneously shocking the tree while trying to get the apple tree to what you want it to do. It takes several years of effort to fully “restore” an older tree but the results can be fabulous. Similarly, some things are not possible, like making a tall tree be small! Learn about the tools and techniques for restorative pruning of older fruit trees to improve their health and fruit production.  Appropriate for participants of all skill levels, the class will include hands-on demonstrations and discussions or a wide range of techniques to restore older trees. Bring what pruning tools you may have and pictures of your trees to discuss, time permitting. All required tools and handouts will be provided, dress for the weather and plan on it being windy and being on your feet walking through snow for the entire class!

CANCELLED — Sunday, February 12, 2017 – 11 am to 3 pm
Location: Clover Valley Farms, 6534 Homestead Road, Duluth, MN
Cost: $25 per person/couple, contact Cindy Hale <cindy@clovervalleyfarms.com>, 218-525-0094, to register
Pre-registration is required, if the temps drop below -10F we will likely reschedule, that’s why we need you to register!

 

Fruit Tree Grafting for Beginners – indoor bench grafting
Save or propagate the old family apple tree by learning how to graft it onto a new root to create a new tree! Course fee includes all supplies (handouts, grafting bands, sealant, etc.) and one semi-dwarf rootstock (available for $6 each from instructor, supplies are limited) and a selection of non-patented scions (twigs of desired apple varieties). Each student should bring a sharp, straight bladed knife (some will be provided for use during the class), good fitting leather gloves recommended. Bring your own “scion” wood if you have some. A “scion” is a 1-2 year old twig, the longer the better, cut directly before class. Keep scions moist by putting them in plastic bags with moist paper towels, leaves or moss.

Friday, April 21st, 2017, 4-6pm indoor session 
Location: Cook County Community Center, 317 W. 5th Street, Grand Marais, MN
To register call the U of M Extension, Cook County Office 218-387-3015. Diane Booth, Cook Co. Extension educator, $10 fee payable at the workshop. Extra rootstock might be available, check with Diane for what might be available and the cost.
Grafting Tools and Process with Images , download this handout which shows the tools and process we will be learning

Cindy will not be teaching a bench grafting workshop this year, but Deb Shubat (my teacher and all around fruit growing guru) WILL be teaching one the evening of March 13th through Duluth Community Education (Adult Enrichment, General Interest, Fruit Tree Grafting)

 

Fruit Tree Grafting – outdoor field grafting
Want more apple varieties, but don’t have room for more trees? Learn how to have five different apples on one tree! Save that great fruit tree from the family farm or cabin before the tree dies by grafting it onto a younger existing tree. Each student must bring a sharp, straight bladed knife along, good fitting leather gloves recommended. Grafting bands, sealant, and non-patented scions from a range of varieties will be provided. Bring your own scion wood of a 1-2 year old limb that has been cut directly before class. Keep scions moist by putting them in plastic bags with moist paper towels, leaves or moss.

Look for this class again in April 2017!

 

Introduction to Integrated Pest Management*

Geared towards backyard and beginning growers of all skill levels, whether you have 1 backyard tree or a small orchard. This class will include overview of issues related to growing healthy fruit trees and controlling pests and diseases throughout the season with emphasis on Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and organic management of fruit trees. Classes will include lots of handouts on specific topics covered including the “annual cycle of orchards”, meeting the culprits (recognizing specific diseases and pests), methods for monitoring and dealing with potential pests or diseases. Lots of discussion and hands-on activities, so bring your questions!

Sunday, June 4th, 2017, noon-3pm
Location: The Apple Tree Guy, 219 Kettner Drive, Carlton, MN 55718
Cost: $25 per person/couple, contact Cindy Hale <cindy@clovervalleyfarms.com>, 218-525-0094 with questions or to register.

*We use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) with a strong emphasis on only spraying when something is needed. The core idea behind IPM is to understand the life cycles of the plants being managed and the pests and diseases that can impact them. We monitor the phenology of our orchards as well as pests and diseases so we know what is present in our orchards at any given time. That information drives decisions about when or what to spray and more importantly when NOT to spray. We collect and submit our weekly data to the MN Department of Agriculture’s IPM newsletter which you can use to find local information about what conditions are being found around the state.

 

Planting Apple Trees 101
This will be a quick & dirty (yes, really) introduction to planting apple trees for maximum success. This one hour class will cover how & why to dig the right kind of hole for your soils, whether or not to add compost or other soil amendments, watering, fall preparation and other issues to be aware of when you are establishing a new fruit tree. Handouts and all tools will be provided. Plan on walking and/or standing for the entire duration of the class, dress for the weather!
       We used to do these classes with The Apple Tree Guy in Carlton, but now that he is trained in he will be taking these over!

 

Introduction to High Density Apple Orchards 
This full-day workshop is geared towards backyard and beginning growers of all skill levels, whether you have 1 backyard tree or a small orchard. The morning section will provide an introduction to apple trees and varieties and emphasize the use of super-dwarfing rootstock for high density (trellised) apple growing systems for creating maximum production in small spaces! The afternoon will include overview of issues related to growing healthy fruit trees and controlling pests and diseases throughout the season with emphasis on Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and organic management of fruit trees. Classes will include lots of handouts on specific topics covered including the “annual cycle of orchards”, meeting the culprits (recognizing specific diseases and pests), methods for monitoring and dealing with potential pests or diseases. Lots of discussion and hands-on activities, so bring your questions!

Look for this class again in May-June 2017!

 

 

Cooking Classes

Cooking with Gourmet Fruit Vinegars
Cindy Hale of Clover Valley Farms & Vinegary will lead you on a 5-7 course tour exploring ways that you can use culinary fruit vinegars to enhance the flavor, enjoyment and healthfulness of foods & beverages. Your taste buds will be titillated in this two hour class which will include appetizers, beverages, salad, small entree and dessert, all using different kinds of fruit vinegars. You will leave with a recipes and ideas for your own kitchen and inspiration to spare. All items served will be gluten-free.

  • watch for these to be scheduled in spring and summer 2017

 

The Making of Vinegars
Cindy Hale of Clover Valley Farms & Vinegary will give a quick introduction to the different type of vinegars (i.e. white distilled, Balsamic, Wine and Cider Vinegars, etc.), how they are made and their different characteristics. She will then lead you through the steps of creating your own homemade fruit vinegars. You bring an unopened bottle of wine and an empty, clean a quart-sized canning jar. She will provide the bacterial “mother” and an easy to follow procedure for culturing your own homemade and healthful vinegars.

  • watch for these to be scheduled in spring and summer 2017

 

Preserving Herbs Using Vinegars & Salts
Love those fresh herbs! Dried or frozen herbs just aren’t the same, so learn how to preserve those fabulous fresh herb flavors using different vinegars and salts. You can maximize the “fresh” herb flavors so you can have it at your fingertips when they aren’t in season! We will provide everything you need to do 2 different herb-vinegar infusions and one salt infusion. BUT, if you have fresh herbs and/or vinegars you’d like to use, bring them along, with some extra canning jars!

  • watch for these to be scheduled in spring and summer 2017
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