From staff reports
WEBB CITY, Mo. —
The Webb City Farmers Market will be the host for the Midwest Winter Vegetable Production Conference on Monday and Tuesday, Feb. 4 and 5, at the Continental Banquet Center, 2728 N. Range Line Road.
The conference will feature two nationally known winter producers: Adam Montri, of Michigan State University, and Michael Kilpatrick, of Kilpatrick Farms in upstate New York. Experienced regional winter producers also will be on hand: Pov Huns, of Huns Garden, Kansas City, Kan.; Dan Kuebler, of The Salad Garden in Boone County; and Tim Green, of Green’s Greenhouse and Garden in Galena, Kan.
Presentations will cover structures, succession planting and other best practices, specific crop cultivation, the economics of winter production, and marketing the winter farm. Growers from winter markets in Springfield, Columbia and Kansas City will discuss their experiences as winter producers.
The conference will end with a tour of Green’s Greenhouse and Garden, where owners Tim and Violet Green grow tomatoes, cucumbers, cabbage, lettuce and peppers in two high tunnels and multiple cold frames. The Greens sell produce at the Webb City Winter Market every Friday from November through April.
Eileen Nichols, manager of the Webb City Farmers Market, said the conference will help bridge the gap between customer demand and farmers who have the opportunity to grow year-round.
“We have seen an increase in demand for fresh produce during the winter,” Nichols said. “This is an educational project to help farmers hone their techniques in year-round growing. This is an important tool to extend their profitability.”
Cost of the conference is $30 per person, and includes two lunches, one breakfast and three handbooks on winter production. This will be the first Midwest Winter Vegetable Production Conference.
“I hope that this will turn into an annual event because the demand certainly is there,” Nichols said.
The conference is sponsored by the Webb City Farmers Market, University of Missouri Extension, Lincoln University Extension and Missouri State University. It is underwritten by a Specialty Crop Block Grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Agricultural Marketing Service and the Missouri Department of Agriculture.
Details and registration forms: 417-483-8139 or webbcityfarmersmarket.com