Hey good folks!
Don't let the title of this entry scare you; I am not fighting off federal agents trying to take the farm or anything. Emily, two of our children, and I attended the 21st annual PASA conference this weekend in State College. PASA is the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture and is really the regions largest and I'd say strongest pro-sustainable farm organization. Every year of farming brings challenges including ones that make a farmer feel quite alone. Seeing over 2000 other people interested in providing, promoting, and protecting safe food is always an amazing encouragement and certainly does RELOAD our tanks for another season.
PRESENTATION AND CONFERENCE
Fellow farmer Eric from Barefoot Gardens and I presented results of trialing a fairly new biodegradable mulch on our farms in 2011. The mulch is a thin film that looks a lot like plastic but is made from corn starch! It breaks down after several months and leaves no toxic residues in the soil. Excellent for warming soil and weed control, this resource is used by a lot of fellow sustainable farmers.
I attended workshops on growing hightunnel tomatoes, seed saving, organic hightunnel production, and diagnosing nutrition problems in vegetables. Emily, while struggling with a sick infant (Norah with a snotty virus of some kind...) half-attended workshops including cut flowers, edible weeds and "Radical Homemakers".
The Keynote speaker was Brian Halweil, senior fellow at the World Watch Institute and food revolutionary. Very articulate and not a dooms-day type speaker. The Plenary Speaker was Shannon Hayes, author of "The Radical Homemaker".
The conference is not only for farmers so if you have an interest in attending next year, let us know and we'd be glad to introduce you to the PASA family!
VEGGIE SALE THIS WEEKEND
We are again going to offer our hightunnel grown veggies for Saturday, February 11th pick up. WE ARE GOING TO OPEN THE STORE AND CLOSE IT A DAY EARLIER THIS WEEK. The store will open on Wednesday morning and close on Friday morning. This will give us time to really pick what is ordered! More details to follow.
..mom, Katie and Chris, Adam and Bec, Ari, Addy, Juli, Sage and Fernanda! Without you we wouldn't have been able to attend the conference this weekend and RELOAD!
Michael and Emily
Little Peace Farm