Head to the Farmshed
Emma St. Aubin
estau255@uwsp.edu
Throughout the year, the Central Rivers Farmshed has organized hands-on educational workshops to community members.

Whether you can hardly plant a seed or are an experienced farmer, the Farmshed has workshops to offer everyone.

The workshops are hosted on partner farms and at the Greenhouse Project, located at 1220 Briggs Court, and each class ranges from $25 to $50.

Jasia Steinmetz, a University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point Dietetics Professor, will kick off the school year and facilitate “Cooking with Spices” in the Teaching Kitchen on the second floor of the CPS on Saturday, Sept. 28 at 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Randy and Sally Cutler will conduct a workshop on Sunday, Oct. 6 at Cutler Country Comfort, their family owned farm in Milladore.

The workshop, Winter Preparation for a High Tunnel, is about turning the soil over, adding compost and planting.

For those unfamiliar with farming, a high tunnel is a tall commercial or industrial-sized greenhouse. These are used in commercial agriculture applications to maintain a more reliable and uniform temperature and humidity and to protect plants from variables such as wind.

“Plant selection is important because not all plants will grow with the cool weather and the current light,” Sally Cutler said.

The Cutlers have chosen to teach this workshop, along with many prior to this, because they support the Farmshed and want as many people involved in the local food movement as possible.

“We were one of the first farms to get a high tunnel, many people now have them. Hopefully we can share some of our experiences,” Sally Cutler said.

Students and faculty can highly benefit from these workshops.

“First of all you will see a real farm trying to be sustainable fifteen minutes from campus, secondly it’s hands-on learning, finally... it’s fun!” Sally Cutler said.

Holly Petrillo and John Sheffy from Liberation Farm in Almond will continue the series on Sunday, Oct. 13 with a cheese making workshop at the Greenhouse Project. Here, all cheese heads can gather to learn to make the food of their kind.

To finish the fall workshop series, Shelly Platten from Café Espresso will conduct “Soup’s On” in the Teaching Kitchen on the second floor of the CPS on Saturday, Nov. 16 at 4 p.m.

The Farmshed hosts th​eworkshops to make Central Wisconsin a well-known, local food community. Through the workshops, they are working to expand the connection between community members and their food.

So, why should we support local businesses? The logical answer is to support the local economy, but there is so much more to it than what meets the eye.

Supporting local and regional food systems are vital to ensuring economic, environmental and social sustainability.

Buying local supports local economies and helps keep family farmers farming. It also creates a connection between consumers and local farmers that enhances both individual and community health.

For more information about the workshops, visit www.farmshed.org