Agroforestry: dollars and Sense Workshop
Offered May 7th

Aronia berries, chestnuts, black walnuts and other specialty crops can do more than provide extra income for farmers; they can also benefit the environment by reducing sedimentation and pollution in Iowa waters. An upcoming workshop hosted by Trees Forever will introduce property owners and natural resource professionals to the benefits of agroforestry practices, including perennial crops that make sense for improved water quality.

Participants in the workshop will learn about agroforestry - the intentional integration of trees and shrubs into crop and livestock enterprises - and will have the opportunity to learn from several Iowa Nut Growers Association members, including Bill Hanson, Tom Wahl and Jeff Jensen, a field coordinator for Trees Forever. The event will be 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 7, on the campus of Indian Hills Community College in Centerville.

Topics include: agroforestry basics, perennial crops for water quality improvement, value-added processing, budget worksheets and marketing information for chestnuts, hazelnuts, black walnuts and more. "By growing perennial crops we can get the ecological benefits we want while harvesting nuts and berries for income," Jensen said, adding that the practices help farmers meet the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy to reduce nitrogen and phosphorous from entering surface waters.

The Iowa Nut Growers Association has a research planting at the college, "We will be touring the research plot so attendees can see firsthand how some of these nut and berry crops are grown," explains Brydon Kaster, sustainable ag program coordinator for Indian hills Community College. An afternoon session will focus on value-adde processing options for growers and feature an oil press for making nut oils.

INGA Summer Meeting and Memorial Tree Planting June 18th

The Iowa Nut Growers Association will be hosting their summer meeting and a memorial tree planting in honor of long-time member Al Beck on Saturday, June 18th in conjunction with the IA Aroboretum near Madrid.

What: INGA summer meeting and memorial tree planting
Where: Iowa Arboretum, 1875 Peach St. Madrid, IA
When: TBD
Cost: Free