Pre-recorded content available to view starting February 11th

Seed sovereignty and ‘Our Living Relatives’, in Native American Community Farming and Gardening

Elizabeth Hoover

Native heirloom seed varieties, many of which have been passed down through generations of Indigenous gardeners or re-acquired from seed banks or ally seed savers, are often discussed by Indigenous farmers as the foundation of the food sovereignty movement, and as helpful tools for education and reclaiming health. This presentation explores how Native American community-based farming and gardening projects are defining heirloom or heritage seeds; why maintaining and growing out these seeds is seen as so important, and how terms like seed sovereignty should be defined and enacted. Many of the definitions seed keepers provided highlight the importance of heritage seeds for connecting them to previous generations of seed keepers; as a symbol of how tribal governments and citizens needed to better protect their cultural property; and as a token of the “relationality” that many Indigenous people feel towards aspects of their food systems. Seeds are described almost as intergenerational relatives– both as children that need nurturing and protecting, and as grandparents who contain cultural wisdom that needs guarding.  For these reasons, a growing network of Indigenous seed keepers is coalescing to not only provide education to tribal people around seed planting and saving, but also to push for the “rematriation” of Indigenous seeds from institutions who have collected or inherited them, back to their communities of origin.

Native American Women and Mother Earth

Winona LaDuke

Keynote Session at NOFA NJ Winter Conference: LaDuke explores the strength, dedication, and vigor of Native American women. Though they may have been marginalized by the dominant society, they have still found a voice. They work to move forward, continue intergenerational, and protect Mother Earth.

Live virtual workshops from February 14th-18th

Monday, February 14th Workshops

10 AM

Bill Braun | Ivory Silo Farm

Tracks: Seed School, Farm and Garden

Chicories are on the rise for the American palate. They are a joy to grow, and incredibly nutritious, yet there is a need for regional adaptation. This workshop will detail the process of selecting and breeding chicory for flavor, disease resistance, and cold-hardiness at Ivory Silo Farm.

11 AM

Cyrena Thibodeau and Shannon Raider Ginsburg

Tracks: Farm and Garden

Beginning with an overview of a new landscape in CT Farm to School we will quickly move to an interactive conversation that identifies training gaps, best practices and opportunities for farmers. School markets may seem daunting, we break it down so you won’t miss out on this growing market.

12 PM

Chip Osborne | Osborne Organics

Tracks: OLC

Join Chip Osborne as we take a look at national trends in Organic Land Care and what you can expect in 2022. We’ll also dive into organic lawn and turf care and how you can steer your business toward organic services.

1 PM

Freedom G. | SEAmarron Farmstead 

Tracks: Farm and Garden

Hemp is one of the most versatile plants on the planet. In this workshop participants will learn the various ways hemp can be used on the farm — regardless of the size of their land — from regenerative farming to promoting soil health and as a cash crop. (oils, flower, hempcrete, biomass and carbon sequestration)

2 PM

Tim McLaughlin (New Pond Farm), Sherlene Rodriquez and Robert Peck (GVI), Maggie Gotterer (Two Coyotes Wilderness School), Robyn Stewart (Common Ground)

Tracks: Farm and Garden

This round-table discussion brings together a group of leaders participating in programming for children around the subject of growing food, wilderness training, and other related topics.

7 PM

Chef Bun Lai

Tracks: Farm and Garden | Organic Living

On a molecular level, food becomes us. On a spiritual level, we use it to fill our emotional void or to bring ourselves true fulfillment through joy and connection. On an ecological level, it can be destructive in so many ways or can be produced in a way that regenerates the soil and protects biodiversity. Nothing impacts our lives, who we are, or the world we live in more than the nourishment we put in our mouths. Food can launch us to the pinnacle of our potential or drag us down to the depths of our demise. We have the power to decide our destiny—and our planet’s destiny—and it all starts with our relationship with food.

Tuesday, February 15th Workshops

9 AM

Michael Piantedosi | Native Plant Trust

Tracks: Seed School

We will review present standards for seed collection, both at the habitat- and species scales. Contrasts between abundant and rare plant species seed collection will be discussed. Standardized seed collection protocols will be covered, as well as how to effectively use such standards through horticultural and conservation applications.

11 AM

Alison Grabarz | CT Dept of Ag

Tracks: Farming and Gardening

In this presentation, Alison will be going over the grant funding opportunities available through the CT Department of Agriculture. Some of the grants include Farm Viability Grant, Farm Transition Grant, Farmland Restoration & Preservation Grants, and Organic Cost Share.

11 AM 

Alphonse Avitabile

Tracks: Farm and Garden

How to get started with keeping honeybees.  Or how to become a beekeeper. Equipment needed and where to obtain it.

12 PM

Richard Cowles | CT AG Experiment Station

Tracks: OLC, Farm and Garden

Over the next 2-5 years, spotted lanternfly are poised to become one of the most vexing insect pests of hops, tree fruits, and vineyards. Learn about its biology and measures that may be necessary to protect these crops from damage.

1 PM

Tracks: Farm and Garden

Round Table Discussion highlighting several ocean/fish producers along with supporters of the aquaculture industry. We’ll learn how land producers are partnering with local fisheries in the food system, and what institutional support is offered to those participating in this fast-growing industry.

7 PM

Edwina von Gal | 2/3 for the Birds 

Tracks: OLC, Farm and Garden, Seed School

Birds need 70% native plants in their range to maintain healthy population levels.* That’s approximately 2/3 native plants, and that’s our goal. If we could plant even half of our 40 million acres of lawn in 2/3 native plants, and keep them pesticide-free, we could turn the bird losses into gains. Everyone, everywhere, can be part of the solution. You can make an easy, instant, positive effect on any property.

Wednesday, February 16th Workshops

10 AM

Heron Breen | FOOL (Fruits of Our Labors)

Tracks: Seed School, Farm and Garden

We will walk through the words and wisdom often hidden within the seed catalogs, websites, and packets that reflect our seed choices. What is there….and what might be missing! All of this is how we decide what will work for our farms and gardens.

11 AM

Joseph Orefice | Yale University

Tracks: Farm and Garden

This presentation will cover strategies/techniques for implementing silvopasture in southern New England. Joe Orefice will pull on his research and on-farm experience with silvopasture to present what can lead to success and what will cause challenges. The presentation will cover establishing trees in open pasture and converting forest to silvopasture.

12 PM

Ana Legrand | UCONN

Tracks: OLC, Farm and Garden

This presentation will review naturally occurring and commercially available biological control agents known to attack important scarab beetle pests of turfgrass. Scarab beetle larvae, also known as white grubs, have a number of natural enemies ranging from parasitoids to bacteria that can be used for pest management.

1 PM

Dr. Yonghao Li | CT AG Experiment Station

Tracks: OLC, Farm and Garden

Plant diseases can reduce the yield of vegetable crops and disfigure ornamental plants. A correct disease diagnosis is a first and critical step for effective disease control. This talk will discuss the basics of plant diseases and simple steps to identify diseases in gardens or fields.

Uprooting Racism, Seeding Sovereignty: Screening 6pm-7pm

Leah Penniman

“Uprooting Racism, Seeding Sovereignty” features a riveting keynote address delivered by Soul Fire Farm’s Co-Founder and Farm Manager, Leah Penniman, and closes with a performance by world-renowned poet, Soul Fire Farm’s Program Manager, Naima Penniman. The 45 minute long HD video also highlights other members of the Soul Fire Farm team, and includes premier footage of the farm itself.

The storytelling weaves the history and structural realities of racial injustice in the food system, with movement strategies past and present of frontlines communities mobilizing for food and land sovereignty. Learn how you and your organization can help build a food system based on justice, dignity, and abundance for all members of our community.

7 PM

Ayanna Wright

Tracks: Farm and Garden

In this ‘book-club’ style discussion, we will aim to tackle difficult questions and topics about racial discrimination in the food system, using ‘Farming while Black’ by Leah Penniman as a guide.

Thursday February 17th Workshops

10 AM

Alexis Doshas | Native Plant Trust

Tracks: Seed School

Growing northeast native plants from seed is a worthy and rewarding endeavor. Although often trickier to germinate than annual crops, we can produce ecologically valuable, low maintenance, and beautifully harmonious plants by learning the seed’s ecology. In this workshop, we will explore germination requirements, seed cleaning, and seed-sowing techniques.

11 AM

Mark Shepard | New Forest Farm, Restoration Agriculture Development + Forest Agriculture Nursery

Tracks: Farm and Garden

Join the country’s leading agroforestry expert as he walks you through how to implement adaptive and resilient perennial agricultural ecosystems. Learn how to restore ecological systems through the implementation of hazelnuts: the highly nutritious, delicious, and ever more in-demand food forestry crop.  

12 – 12:30 PM

With Mark Shepard, Lindsay Napolitano, Karen Vanek
Moderated by Johann Rinkens

Tracks: Farm and Garden

Join Mark Shepard + Karen Vanek (New Forest Farm, Restoration Agricultural Development and Forest Agriculture Nursery) and Lindsay Napolitano + Johann Rinkens (Fields Without Fences), in a conversation about the newly burgeoning field agroforestry in the Northeast. Hear about their strategies and techniques to utilize agriculture to restore the ecology of our lands while providing an abundance of local food, fiber, fodder, and medicine.  Together they will explain how they catalyze the restoring of degraded landscapes into healthy agricultural ecosystems to be a model for the well-being of the populace through economic viability of farm operations and empowered livelihoods.

1 PM

Monique Bosch

Tracks: Farm and Garden

Join us as we ‘zoom in’ on soil and compost ‘Under the Microscope’, checking out the microbes that make up our Soil Food Web. Get acquainted with the life in the soil, and how to determine your soil’s health by observing it under a microscope. We’ll also look at ways to get ‘healthy living soil’ using regenerative ag methods.

3 PM

Trevor Smith | Land Escapes

Tracks: OLC

Trevor Smith has taken his 20 years of field experience as a regenerative landscape designer and offers a unique way to approach land care. This class takes a stripped-down look at the human element and the role we play in the landscape. Topics include: • Regenerative Design: • Green Infrastructure: • Resilient landscapes:

5 PM

Michael Baczewski | New England Pollinator Gardens

Tracks: OLC, Farm and Garden

The purpose of this session is to provide participants with an introduction to two vital and valuable business competencies ~ strategic procurement and sustainable sourcing.

7 PM

Deepika Saksena

Tracks: Farm and Garden, OLC

America’s current system of consumption and disposal incentivizes waste. To achieve environmental and social justice and address the mounting climate crisis, we need to move toward a zero-waste future. Deepika Saksena will show you how with planning and making good choices anyone can move towards a zero-waste lifestyle.

Friday, February 18th Workshops (todas las clases de hoy se llevan a cabo simultáneamente en inglés y español/ all workshops today are held in both English and Spanish)

De la semilla a la cosecha: optimizando su inversión

10 AM

Paul Feenan

Tracks: Seed School, Farm and Garden

Join Paul Feenan from High Mowing Organic Seeds for a discussion that will help you achieve the best possible results from your seeds.  We will explore best seed storage options, how to achieve successful germination, and best practices for crops that can prove most challenging, sharing specific successful methods &strategies.

Únase a Paul Feenan de High Mowing Organic Seeds para una charla que lo ayudará a lograr los mejores resultados con sus semillas. Exploraremos las mejores opciones de almacenamiento de semillas, cómo lograr una germinación exitosa y las mejores prácticas para los cultivos que pueden resultar más desafiantes, compartiendo métodos y estrategias exitosas.

Cultivando como BIPOC

11 AM

Azeem Kareem | Samad Gardens Initiative

Tracks: Farm, and Garden

Panel discussion presentation about challenges affecting BIPOC farmers and how various community members have and are overcoming them. This will provide inspiration and encouragement for BIPOC farmers and non-BIPOC farmers alike.

Panel de discusión sobre los desafíos que afectan a los agricultores BIPOC y cómo varios miembros de la comunidad los han superado y los están superando. Esto brindará inspiración y aliento tanto para los agricultores BIPOC como para los agricultores que no son BIPOC.

Los gusanos saltadores

12 PM

Annise Dobson | Yale University

Tracks: Farm and Garden, OLC

In this workshop you will learn about the ecology of invasive jumping worms, earthworm identification, and recommendations to mitigate their impacts on soil.

En este taller aprenderá sobre la ecología de los gusanos saltadores invasivos, la identificación de lombrices de tierra y las recomendaciones para mitigar sus impactos en el suelo.

Diseño de jardines polinizadores en su granja

3 PM

Steve Munno | Massaro Community Farm

Tracks: Farm and Garden, OLC

Learn how to successfully implement a pollinator garden on your farm – from choosing the right plants to picking out the correct location. Having a pollinator garden on your farm is a great way to safeguard your crops while supporting declining pollinator populations. Farmer Steve Munno will discuss why, where and how to create pollinator habitat in your farm or garden.  Steve will share his own successes, failures, challenges and questions still to be answered from over a decade managing a certified organic vegetable farm in Woodbridge, Connecticut.

Aprenda cómo implementar con éxito un jardín de polinizadores en su granja – desde elegir las plantas correctas hasta elegir la ubicación adecuada. Tener un jardín de polinizadores en su granja es una excelente manera de proteger sus cultivos mientras apoya las poblaciones de polinizadores que están disminuyendo.

Cultiva tu propio boticario: Introducción al cultivo de hierbas

7 PM

Melody Wright | Pleasant Valley Botanicals

Tracks: Farm and Garden

This workshop will cover seed starting, growing, & harvesting of some favorite medicinal & culinary herbs. We’ll cover topics of agro-ecology, mycorrhizal inoculants, favorites for pollinators, cold stratification, tools, direct sew versus transplantation. We will also focus on some specific herbs: Holy Basil, Chamomile, Lemon Balm, Spilanthes, Yarrow, and others.

Este taller cubrirá el cultivo y la cosecha de semillas de algunas de las hierbas medicinales y culinarias favoritas. Cubriremos temas de agroecología, inoculantes de micorrizas, favoritos de los polinizadores, estratificación en frío, herramientas, siembra directa versus trasplante. También nos enfocaremos en algunas hierbas específicas: albahaca sagrada, manzanilla, toronjil, Spilanthes, milenrama entre otras.