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Best Practices for Field Harvesting and Post-Harvest Handling of Vegetables (for quality and food safety)

A Comprehensive Training Workshop for Farmers and Agriculture Professionals in:

Best Practices for Field Harvesting and Post-Harvest Handling of Vegetables (for quality and food safety)

Friday, May 4, 2018
9AM – about 5:00PM
City Roots, 1005 Airport Blvd, Columbia, SC 29205

(Please note: Extension agents and agriculture professionals are invited to a special supplemental session with instructor Atina Diffley the morning of Saturday, May 5 where she will share tips for teaching the Wholesale Success curriculum)

The purpose of this training is to guide participants in developing skills that are key to success in the marketplace, including in harvesting, washing, cooling and packing methods for different types of vegetables that yield a high quality product and minimize food safety risks. Based on feedback from our previous Wholesale Success trainings, in addition to critical information on best harvest- and post-harvest handling practices to meet market standards, participants will gain first-hand experience in the field and processing shed with harvesting and processing various types of vegetables.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND: Produce farmers, market gardeners and Extension Agents and other agriculture professionals who work with vegetable farmers. Seats are limited and pre-registration is required (see below).

HOSTED BY: Eric McClam, manager and co-owner of City Roots

INSTRUCTOR: Atina Diffley, is an organic farmer and lead trainer for the FamilyFarmed Wholesale Success Program. Atina’s areas of expertise include post-harvest handling, brand-name marketing, greenhouse management, and organic farming systems. She is a co-author author/editor for Wholesale Success: A Farmers Guide to Selling, Postharvest Handling and Packing Produce, and she presently serves on the boards of the Organic Seed Alliance and the Minnesota Institute of Sustainable Agriculture. From 1985 to 2008, she and her husband Martin ran the Gardens of Eagan, an urban-edge, organic vegetable farm, which he started in 1973 as one of the first certified organic produce farms in the Midwest.

REGISTRATION: Cost to attend the workshop for the general public is $10. Registration includes a Wholesale Success manual* (a $75 value) and a local foods lunch. Registration is free for Extension agents and other trainers (representatives from organizations who train farmers). This training is made possible by a grant from the from the USDA Southern SARE Professional Development Program. Registration is limited to 45 participants.
*This 316 page manual is newly updated and in its fifth printing. Wholesale Success covers up-to-date best practices information on food safety, postharvest handling, packing, business management, marketing, and crop-specific profiles for over 100 crops.

8:15 AM Registration (City Roots)
8:30 Welcome and introduction to the workshop and instructor Atina Diffley
8:45 Influence of preharvest factors on postharvest quality
9:15 Harvesting (when to harvest, tools, containers, methods, preventing damage)
9:50 Break
10:00 Post-harvest (cooling, curing, cleaning and drying, washing, tools)
11:00 Sorting, packing, storage and transportation
11:45 Overview of City Roots operation including post-harvest procedures and infrastructure (Eric McClam)
12:15 Lunch
1:00 Travel to the other City Roots vegetable production farm (about 10 min drive)
1:30 Observe and participate in harvesting a variety of different vegetable crops that will be boxed and transported back to City Roots for processing. Drive back to City Roots.
3:00 Arrive back at City Roots. Tour of farm and processing facility. Participate in processing different vegetables that were harvested at the other farm.
5-5:30 Adjourn

AGENDA Saturday, May 5: Meet at City Roots
(Optional morning session for Extension agents and other agricultural professionals)
9-11am Atina Diffley will discuss her experiences teaching the Wholesale Success material along with strategies for effective engagement with different audiences. Plenty of time will be available for Q&A and discussion.

Questions: Contact Kelly Flynn at