An ACORN Event

Season Extension Online Conference

Date(s) February 8th and 9th


Season Extension Online Conference

ACORN and our generous partners* are pleased to announce our first online Season Extension conference with Andrew Mefferd, author of The Greenhouse and Hoophouse Grower's Handbook: Organic Vegetable Production Using Protected Culture** (available Feb 2017).

Join us for two days of learning, geared to beginners and experienced greenhouse producers alike and covering a range of topics: selecting structures for protected culture, fertigation, pest and disease management, managing fruit crops, grafting and much more!

Gain valuable skills and knowledge from the comfort of your own home! Conference will take place online on the following dates:

February 8th - 9:30am-4:30pm AST
February 9th - 9:30am-4:30pm AST

Agenda (All times are listed as Atlantic Standard Time) 

9:30 am - Introductions and Welcome

10:00 am - 11:00 am SESSION 1:  Optimizing Your Structure

  • Advantages of protected culture and choosing the right structures and best practices for maintaining an optimal structure (snow and other weather-related considerations; plastic replacement/selection; tricks to stabilize/enhance your structure … )
  • The basics of fertigation equipment, pest and disease control tools and other essential tools for optimizing your protected culture
  • Greenhouse layout and trellising options

11:00am - 11:30 am - Group chat box discussion

1.5 hour lunch break

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm SESSION 2:  Optimizing Your Plants - Part 1:  Plant Care

  • Protected culture basics- how to choose varieties that are different from field varieties for your situation.
  • Crop by crop variety selection criteria.
  • Plant basics- photosynthesis, respiration, transpiration and how to manipulate them.

2:00 pm - 2:30 pm - Chat box discussion

30 min break

3:00 pm - 4:00 pm  - SESSION 3:  Optimizing Your Plants - Part 2: Disease and Pest Prevention

  • Growing in a greenhouse is likely to alleviate some diseases of the field, and other diseases are likely to become more common
  • we’ll discuss common problems and outline cultural controls for disease control and prevention.

4:00 pm - 4:30 pm -  Chat box discussion and wrap up for the day


DAY 2:  February 9th

9:30 am - Day 2 - Introductions

10:00 am - 11:00 am - SESSION 4:  Advanced Fruiting Crops

  • Peppers - trellising, plant spacing, varieties, etc
  • Eggplant - trellising, plant spacing, varieties, etc
  • Cucumbers - trellising, plant spacing, varieties, etc
  • Tomatoes including: trellising, plant spacing, varieties, intro to grafting:  advantages and disadvantages

11:00am - 11:30 am - Group chat box discussion

1.5 hour lunch break

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm - SESSION 5: Grafting

  • Rootstock options and best performing varieties
  • How to choose/match rootstock and scion varieties
  • Performance characteristics (what you’re looking for)
  • Healing chambers, how to graft

2:00 pm - 2:30 pm - Chat box discussion

30 minute break

3:00 pm - 4:00 pm - SESSION 7: Advanced Leafy Greens / Other Crops

  • Crops covered will include:  lettuce, greens, microgreens, herbs (mostly basil)
  • Discussion and considerations for other GH crops (ginger, turmeric, etc)
  • Evaluating the ROI for crops less popular protected culture crops.

4:00 pm - 4:30 pm - Chat box discussion


Cost for Participation in the online conference + Digital recordings:

$ 75 for members

$100 for non-members

Recordings of the event will be available for sale after the conference: 75$/members, 100$/non-members

Note: Some registrants have been having trouble with Paypal payments - we're working to get this resolved, but if you have any trouble paying online, please call 1-866-322-2676!

Bonus for live participation:

Live chat in real time (get your specific questions answered)
Note-taking guide for participants (i.e. slide with note sections sent in advance of each workshop)
Advanced Participation in Agenda development:  Provide your input on the workshop content by answering targeted questions in the registration form, such as:  What do you hope to get out of the event, what specific questions do you want to be addressed in the session?

The Centre for Small Farms in Wolfville, NS  is generously hosting space for participants to gather and learn together.  Please let us know at if you'd like to join fellow growers there. Directions to the centre can be found here.

ACORN's Cancellation Policy - All notice of cancellations must be received in writing one week in advance and 75% of registration fees will be refunded, with the remaining 25% to support ACORN's administrative management. Cancellations received after this date will not be refunded. Substitutions received in writing from the registered participant will be accepted. Cancellations and substitutions should be forwarded to

*ACORN would like to thank Growing For Market Magazine, JustUs! Centre for Small Farms, New Brunswick Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries, Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture, PEI Department of Agriculture and Forestry through Growing Forward 2.  

Thanks also to ACORN's Network Partners - Johnny's Selected Seeds, Multi Shelter Solutions and OMRI - Organic Materials Review Institute.  

** For advanced reviews and praise of the book by well known members of the agricultural community, please see here