Small Farm Conference to Offer Sessions on Agritourism, Using Weather Data

The Nevada Small Farm Conference will feature four intensive workshops and 20 sessions delving into soils, pest control, and other farming issues. The 11th annual conference is February 3-5 at the Nugget Casino Resort.

Two sessions on weather data should be useful to anyone, growing any crop, says Conference Chair Ann Louhela.

“Anybody that does farming, weather data is our survival,” Louhela told Grape Basin News. “We use it religiously.”

A Friday afternoon session is devoted to Nevada climate, demonstrating how to find the latest weather data, and how to apply it to farming. The conference website encourages participants to bring a  computer or mobile device to view the data.

An additional session explains how to use weather data — plus math — to control pests.

Keynote speaker Steve Moore will conduct an intensive called “Building Soil Foundations,” which is scheduled to repeat several times during the conference. Moore is Professor of AgroEcology at Elon University in North Carolina

Smith Valley Farmer Tom Renner will speak on Saturday at a session on agritourism. Renner will be part of a discussion on inviting visitors to the farm – a key component of winery success. Renner opens his pumpkin patch and other attractions to the public each year.

The full conference schedule is available online.

The conference registration fee is $95. Louhela encourages online registration to avoid a line at the door.

About Grape Basin News


Grape Basin News covers the full spectrum of issues related to growing and producing wine in Nevada. GBN covers the business of wine, including legal, social, and agricultural developments that affect growers and winemakers.


Samantha Stone is a journalist and commentator who’s covered politics, law, business, digital crime and privacy. She’s had the good fortune to work as a broadcaster, a writer, and a podcast producer. Her entry-level experience in marketing and promotion spawned an understanding of the business side of commercial broadcasting, and an appreciation for all commercial enterprise.

Sam covered three presidential elections, three mid-term elections, and four legislative sessions. She’s worked as a reporter for CBS Radio in Las Vegas, Vegas PBS, KOH Radio in Reno, and as a producer for the powerhouse San Francisco sister stations KGO and KSFO when they were ABC-Disney properties. She’s been published in the Las Vegas Review Journal, the Reno Gazette Journal, the San Fransisco Examiner, and the SF Weekly. She was among the first in the mainstream media to develop a cybercrime beat, as founding producer and sometime co-host of The Cyberjungle, a podcast covering digital security, privacy, and the law.

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Beer and Wine, Mighty Fine

What happens when you blend and unfermented wine with unfermented beer? A beverage that’s unlike anything else, says Matt Robison from Record Street Brewing Company.

In December, Robison whipped up a dopplebock in preparation for an upcoming beer festival. Then he added muscat juice. The five-gallon batch is still fermenting, but he can tell you what he thinks it will taste like.

To call it complex, he says, is an understatement.

“First you’ll get the malt flavors of the beer, which in a dopplebock are kind of bready-toasty and raisiny. Then, with the muscat you’ll get kind of an oaky flavor. The wine also brings a tart aspect to it.”

Robison is speculating, based on a somewhat similar hybrid he tasted, and loved. That creation from Tahoe Mountain Brewing inspired his experiment. If it turns out well, he says he’ll put it on the menu at Record Street when it opens this summer.

“If it comes out no good, well – we’ll go from there,” he says.

If you’re curious, Robison plans to sample his hyrid (as yet unnamed) at Freeze Your Pints Off, the annual outdoor winter beer festival in the alley behind Under The Rose Brewing Company. Get there early, it’s a five-gallon batch.