Fortunately, this conference is full of intriguing and insightful farmers, producers, students and food-enthusiasts that I was able to keep my mind off of my separation anxiety! ;-)
Highlights for me this year included:
- Vegetable Crop Rotation - not only did this session offer great information within the 1.5 workshop, but also gave some great book/resource recommendations (FREE through the SARE website!). One thing that I hadn't considered before - mid-season cover cropping to restore soil nutrients.
- GMO-OMG Filmmaker keynote - this is an exciting film that has yet to make its way to the U.S. The clips that we saw were well-made, easy to understand and relate to. The filmmakers' goal to reach the 'average' U.S. consumer are definitely within reach, as long as their distribution plans are grassroots and intentional.
- Exhibition hall - being my second year at the conference, I was able to better engage in the exhibits, rather than just be overwhelmed by the aisles and aisles of tables, information, and products. I had a great conversation with ladies from the Wisconsin Dept of Agriculture and Consumer Protection, connected with an organic herbalist about possibly partnering for wholesale herb distribution, and found out about an exciting fundraising opportunity through Seeds of Change. Even when the workshops were too full to enjoy, I still learned a lot!