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Greenhouse champion Eliot Coleman coming to Colorado

Rocky Mountain Farmers Union (RMFU) announces a one day conference, “Greenhouses – Makes Dollars & Sense” with Eliot Coleman, Sat., May 15, 2004, at the Montrose Pavilion, Montrose, Colo. The purpose of the conference is to introduce commercial and small scale, year-round horticulture to western Colorado.

Coleman’s vision and experience on growing healthy organic produce in cold climates is simple, economical and inspirational. He has more than 30 years of experience in all aspects of organic farming including field vegetables, greenhouse vegetables, rotational grazing of cattle and sheep, and range poultry. Coleman is the author of The New Organic Grower, Four Season Harvest and Winter Harvest Manual. More information is available at his web site: fourseasonfarm.com.
Coleman’s presentations will cover both large- and small-size greenhouses and the use of cold frames for the backyard gardener. Anyone interested in extending the growing season into the winter months is encouraged to attend.

Registration forms are available at www.rmfu.org – click special events. The registration fee is $35 and includes: two slide shows of Coleman’s farm in Harborside, Maine; panel discussions on construction, markets and financing of commercial scale greenhouses; and, afternoon workshops on small farm permaculture design, perennial culinary herbs for greenhouses, adding goats and chickens, improving soils and cooperative opportunities.

A complimentary lunch will be provided by Daily Bread of Montrose. There will also be an all day trade show featuring greenhouse builders and consultants, nursery and garden supply companies, irrigation specialists, non-profit associations, and products from local farms and ranches.

Other speakers at the conference include: Dr. Steven Newman, Colorado State University (CSU) Greenhouse Specialist; Frank Stonaker, CSU Specialty Crops, Le Adams, Santa Fe’s Farm to School Program; John Cruickshank, Hobbit House; Jerome Osentowski, Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institutes; David Gordon, Organic Certification; Fletcher Monroe, Mountain Plains Farm Credit Services; Ron Godin, Rogers Mesa Research Station; Edward Page, Tri-Area Extension Agent; Dan Hobbs, Cooperative Specialist RMFU; a representative from the United States Department of Agriculture on funding sources; and, representatives from regional farms successfully producing winter crops in greenhouses.

The event is sponsored by RMFU, Uncompaghre Farmers Market, Painted Sky RC&D, Colorado Organic Producers Association, Valley Organic Growers Association, Western Colorado Congress and Delta County. More sponsors are anticipated in the coming weeks.

RMFU has a long history of supporting innovative agricultural practices for family farmers and ranchers and sees year-round harvests as a valuable production tool. Contact Carolyn Mountel for more information (970) 708-2106 or e-mail: rmfu@rmfu.org.