Monday, January 12, 2009

Winter Workshops

The New Roots farm doesn't sleep in the winter! We've been busy throughout the past few months with our workshops. We started with the introduction workshop- this one was open to our 9 returning farmers and our 4 new farmers. We felt like it was important information for everyone to hear. We talked about the training farm model... the things that growers can expect from Catholic Charities and KCCUA, and what we expect of them.
Subsequent workshops have included marketing for the farmer's market, introduction to vegetable growing, and making our field maps. The field maps workshop is really hard. Most refugees are not familliar with maps so we have to start from scratch, explaining that a map is a picture from above a place. As simple as this sounds, is can be really confusing. Here are a few pictures from the field maps workshop.

The growers looked at pictures in the seed catalogue and thought about what they wanted to plant in their field. Here is Dena and Pay Lay working with Joanne on theis maps.

Daniel Dermitzel from KCCUA taught this workshop. Here he is working with Zawadi to pick out crops she is interested in.

This is Zawadi's map. This season will be her first year selling at market.

This past week's workshop was on paying sales tax. Throughout the season, the growers have been saving their sales tax to pay the state. We all started checking accounts so that we can pay the money. On Thursday, we went through the forms and actually wrote out the check. Before we wrote the check, we tried a few practice checks. Most of the growers have never written a check before, so once again we have to start at the beginning.

Here is Hawo's check. She did a great job of painstaikingly copying "Missouri Dept. of Revenue" on her check. Although she needed a little help with the rest, we were so excited! Maybe next year she will be able to write the check herself!

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