FARM LAUNCH: ACCESS TO LAND, MARKETS, CAPITAL AND LABOR
Because the average American farmer is now 60 years old, half of all agricultural equity will change hands in the next 15 years. If young people can’t get in, old people can’t get out; both generations need an access ramp: one to get on and one to get off. Farm launch protocols require access to land (not ownership), markets, capital and labor (team building). Drawing on a lifetime of experience in this space, Joel leads aspiring farmers through the launch process.
BUILDING A RESILIENT FOODSCAPE: LINKING LAND AND LIFE
The dinner plate links the soil to our micro-biome; it’s the conduit in which degeneration or regeneration flows. The choice is ours. In a convenience-dominated culture, connecting life and land requires conviction and participation, which in turn demands investment. The foodscape our grandchildren inherit is being determined today, every day, by our menu decisions. Let’s make both land and life a great place to be.
Joel Salatin, 62, calls himself a Christian libertarian environmentalist capitalist lunatic farmer. Others who like him call him the most famous farmer in the world, the high priest of the pasture, and the most eclectic thinker from Virginia since Thomas Jefferson. Those who don’t like him call him a bio-terrorist, Typhoid Mary, charlatan, and starvation advocate.
With a room full of debate trophies from high school and college days, 12 published books, and a thriving multi-generational family farm, he draws on a lifetime of food, farming and fantasy to entertain and inspire audiences around the world. He’s as comfortable moving cows in a pasture as addressing CEOs in a Wall Street business conference.
His wide-ranging topics include nitty-gritty how-to for profitable regenerative farming as well as cultural philosophy like orthodoxy vs. heresy. A wordsmith and master communicator, he moves audiences from laughs one minute to tears the next, from frustration to hopefulness. Often receiving standing ovations, he prefers the word performance rather than presentation to describe his lectures. His favorite activity?–Q&A. “I love the interaction,” he says.
He co-owns, with his family, Polyface Farm in Swoope, Virginia. Featured in the New York Times bestseller Omnivore’s Dilemma and award-winning documentary Food Inc., the farm services more than 5,000 families, 50 restaurants, 10 retail outlets, and a farmers’ market with salad bar beef, pigaerator pork, pastured poultry, and forestry products. When he’s not on the road speaking, he’s at home on the farm, keeping the callouses on his hands and dirt under his fingernails, mentoring young people, inspiring visitors, and promoting local, regenerative food and farming systems.
Salatin is the editor of The Stockman Grass Farmer, granddaddy catalyst for the grass farming movement. He writes the Pitchfork Pulpit column for Mother Earth News, as well as numerous guest articles for ACRES USA and other publications. A frequent guest on radio programs and podcasts targeting preppers, homesteaders, and foodies, Salatin’s practical, can-do solutions tied to passionate soliloquies for sustainability offer everyone food for thought and plans for action.
Mixing mischievous humor with hard-hitting information, Salatin both entertains and moves people. Seldom using a power-point and often speaking from an outline scribbled in a yellow legal pad, he depends on theatrics, style, and compelling content to hold attention and defend innovative positions. The rare combination of prophet and practitioner makes him both a must-read and must-hear in a time desperate for integrity leadership and example.
Over the last decade, Farmer Ashley has weaved her regenerative farm and functional medicine practice into a common principle – food is medicine. Why? because farmers have a great opportunity to join healthcare reform by providing their community with the most important piece – food medicine!
Bitters are extraordinary plants that have many facets to their healing abilities. These most common of weeds are often overlooked for more exotic treatments. Bitter herbs have a long tradition of being used in preventative medicine. The taste triggers a sensory response in the central nervous system releasing digestive hormones that in turn lead to a range of effects, including stimulation of appetite, general simulation of the flow of digestive juices, increased bile, and aid in the liver’s detoxification. Aside from digestive affects these are not only wonderfully relaxing but are now the latest loves with DIY cordial/elixir cocktail movement. There will be samples to taste – come with your palette.
This workshop will demonstrate and discuss the steps necessary to make a batch of wine from start to finish and will provide an overview of the basic equipment needed to make wine at home. A great introduction for gardeners with too much fruit (or even other produce) on their hands or anyone who wants to make their own wine.
Many home gardeners are 90% of the way to a productive garden, but cave in easily to problems like pests, uneven watering and sub-par fertility. After years of farming on a small scale, Amanda realized that many of the methods she employs on her farm transfer easily and cheaply to the home garden. Join her as she talks about the low-hanging fruit that is nearly in your grasp!
Come discover how to make compost tea using homemade compost and brewing it with easy-to-find materials from around the farm or homestead. Learn how to make your own fertilizers, soil drenches and foliar sprays with an aerated barrel-style compost tea set up, see the nuts-and-bolts of the process and learn how to use compost tea on your farm and to build soil health and nutrient density.
This workshop is an introduction to basic seed saving, and will give participants the tools they need to get started! We’ll also talk about the benefits of saving seed, from increasing resiliency to saving money to improving the adaptation of varieties for your particular conditions.
In this workshop we’ll explore some of the basic concepts and principles for designing, establishing, and maintaining an edible forest garden. Learn how to combine edible and medicinal trees, shrubs, vines, herbaceous perennials, ground covers, and tubers into a beautiful edible ecosystem.
Mountain Run Farm History: 30 Years in 30 Minutes. Our experience on this land began 30 years ago. But we are not the first to live here, nor the last. We must learn the history of our land, set goals for the future and work in the present to make steps towards healing our mistakes and maybe even doing a little long-lasting good for this piece of Earth and the community that surrounds it.
Emilie will walk through two types of vegetable fermentation – “krauts” and “pickles”. Contrary to popular belief, this doesn’t just refer to cabbage and cucumbers, these terms are simply types of ferments. She’ll demonstrate each type, and help you understand when to use each method.
Experience the process of wood firing in its simplest way. We will harvest clay straight from the Earth and add some Water. A magical, flexible medium will come alive giving shape to your imagination and inspiration. While the clay slowly dries with the Air we will gather some wood and will get a Fire going. We will place what we have formed into the living flames while sitting around the fire telling stories, listening to each other just like our ancestors”
Exploring the magical landscape at Mountain Run Farm. Together we will gather leaves, flowers, and weeds, to create colorful prints on cloth. This process is called ecoprinting, it is a fun way to better understand the plants living near you!
Niti Bali is the Founder and CEO of Farm to Fork Meat Riot, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization serving as a catalyst for reestablishing the regenerative small family farm food system. Her strategically designed counter economic CSA program educates eaters to harness the power of life giving force through regenerative foods.
Believe it or not, the Jackson family left a 14 year long career in the military to farm full time. Find out why and how they took the leap, what drew them to regenerative agriculture, and how with the right mindset, passion, and faith anyone can make a full time career out of farming.
Learn how to transform wastes such as food scraps or newspaper into amazingly rich, biologically active compost using the wiggly worm. Caleb will discuss simple techniques for building a worm composting system for any scale — whether you live in an apartment or on a farm — what to feed them, how to harvest and use the castings, as well as the myriad of benefits this special compost has for gardens and plants.
Children will enjoy a story time reading of the book Sam The Junior Herbalist by herbalist and Author Angela Rahim. Children will recreate the Tummy Trouble Tea blend from the book and learn about helping the environment.
This workshop will tell the story of what drove Cam to start farming at age 30. Growing food in backyards and community gardens presents both challenges and advantages you may not have considered. You’ll learn about the tools, systems, and crop selections that have made the farm successful.
In late 2011 a group of farmers and local food advocates started gathering for monthly potlucks and the Land & Table network was born. At the beginning, the conversation over dinner included: “What can we do to grow and support the local food movement?”. Now, almost ten years later, many lessons have been learned along the way.
In this workshop, you will learn the basics of simple herbal medicine making. We will cover the nuances and materials of making tinctures, teas, and oils at home. We will also explore a few common herbs that get started with and remedies that all families should have in their home apothecary for common, everyday ailments.