Calling Concord-Carlisle farmers! Complimentary registration is available to the 6th Farm-Based Education National Gathering and the Massachusetts Farm and Sea to School Conference (November 4). Space is limited for walk-in registrants.
The event is a chance to see creative strategies for using your farm as a classroom, whether you host preschoolers, adults, families other farmers, and more.
Farmers from Concord, MA should contact Vera Simon-Nobes for registration information: (802) 985 0382.
Sell Food to Our Chefs
Does your organization build partnerships to strengthen a common vision? Josh Slotnick, a lecturer in the Environmental Studies program at the University of Montana and manager of the 10-acre university farm will offer a workshop on how partnerships can expand mission impact in breadth and depth.
Selected Farmer Workshops
November 5 -6 at Concord-Carlisle High School
Keynote Address by Sarah Waring, Center for an Agricultural Economy
Sarah Waring is the Executive Director for the Center for an Agricultural Economy, (CAE) a non-profit organization located in beautiful Hardwick, Vermont whose mission is to build a regenerative, locally based, healthy food system by engaging the greater Hardwick community through collaboration opportunities, educational outreach and providing infrastructure. Under Sarah’s leadership, CAE encourages the development of a local system that meets the needs and aspirations of the community and ensures economic and ecological stability and abundance. Sarah’s keynote address will share some of the turning points CAE has faced, some of the partnerships they have leveraged, and some of the vibrant projects that have emerged through community involvement, integrated and responsible agri-business, and a commitment to economic, ecologic and nutritional health.
Farmer-to-Private Landowner Partnerships and other Models of Farmland Access
Kathy Ruhf, Land for Good, Keene, NH
We believe that farmland access challenges require a comprehensive approach that seeks creative solutions at multiple levels! Partnering land-owners with land seekers can be a win-win for everyone, but these relationships can be complex. Whether you're a landowner, a farmer or someone in between, this workshop will share strategies for successful partnership among multiple stakeholders with a common interest: to keep the working landscape working, and to support vibrant agricultural economies.
Social Media Success on a Vermont Farm
Tammy White, Wing and a Prayer Farm, Shaftsbury, VT
From Live-Barn Cams to Social Media Giveaways, this workshop will share the story of one farmer’s social media success. Learn how Wing and a Prayer Farm built their followings on Facebook and Instagram, and how they translate their virtual fans to real live customers and community. Come prepared with your own recommendations for social media use and questions to discuss with your peers.
The Art of Seed Saving
Seeds are magical for learners of any age. This workshop will build your skills as a grower as you learn the various methods for saving seeds! From peas and beans to lettuce and tomatoes, seed saving is a fun and tangible way to connect to the roots of agriculture while bringing your own garden full circle.
Local Feature Panel: Innovative Approaches to Economic Vitality for Sustainable Agriculture (Double Session)
Join Brandeis economist, John Ballentine, Allendale Farm farmer, John Lee, and Woods Hill Table farm and restaurant owner, Kristin Canty for a discussion on the economic challenges of farming and the innovative approaches to bringing economic vitality to sustainable agriculture today and into the future.
Crafting Meaningful Farm Visits
Misse Doe Axelrod, The Barn Yard Farm, Roxbury, VT; Maria Reade, Someday Farm , East Dorset, VT
Light up your inner educator and discover ways to foster curiosity and meaningful experiences for farm visitors at this hands on workshop where we will gather strategies for working with visitors of all ages, share tips for group management, and fill your toolbox with activities that can be customized to your farm. Attendees will leave this workshop with ideas for incorporating memorable activities, real farm work, taste tests, and mindfulness into farm visits.
Farming, Teaching, Growing and Harvesting with Teenagers
Jon Belber, Friends of Holly Hill Farm, Inc, Cohasset, MA; teen farmers from Holly Hill
The Farm to Food Pantry program at Holly Hill Farm encourages students to volunteer at the farm to grow, cultivate, harvest and deliver produce to local area food pantries, as well as learn about organic farming. Education Director and a group of teen participants will guide attendees on the seasonal journey from seed to harvest as we discuss and share, through hands-on learning, about the steps and procedures needed to grow and provide healthy, organic vegetables. Learn strategies for cooking and enjoying kale, chard, potatoes, leeks and garlic with teens, and hear firsthand about the farm skills these high school students undertake during the course of their volunteer time.
Connecting High School Students with Immigrant Farmers
Tim Castner, Nashoba Regional High School, Lancaster, MA; Jessy Gill, World Farmers; 2-3 high school students
This workshop will feature the partnership between World Farmers and Nashoba Regional High School in Lancaster, MA. Representatives from World Farmers, teachers, high school students, and farm families will share the possibilities for constructive cultural exchange. Students will share their video projects and lessons that they learned interacting with refugee farmers from Africa and Southeast Asia.
Creating a Community Resource through Permaculture
Christine Barensfeld, ifarm LLC, Boxford, MA; Lillabeth Wies, Landscapes by Lillabeth, LLC, Georgetown, MA
This workshop will explain how ifarm LLC, an historic, 19th-century farmstead, is beginning to educate the community in the methods of permaculture, which is an approach to sustainable food production that emphasizes healthy, whole ecosystems. Presenters will share the ‘how-tos’ of their successful collaboration with Windrush Farm, Inc., a non-profit that provides equine-assisted therapeutic activities, and the educational programming that introduces economically disadvantaged youth to farm experiences. Attendees will leave with a basic understanding of permaculture and how it’s able to improve our ecology by following nature’s patterns, generation after generation.
Get Involved – Advocacy 101, Making a Difference
Jen Ryan, The Trustees, Boston, MA
Let’s make a difference! In this workshop, we’ll identify key issues that are important to you and your organization, and will discuss how to craft and deliver your message whether you’re talking to members, appointed, or elected officials. Jennifer Ryan, Director of Policy at The Trustees, will pull examples from the Massachusetts Local Food Action Plan, and will share what she has learned about being an effective advocate for the land conservation community for the past decade.
Practical Infrastructure for the Diverse Educational Farm
Tim Reese, Gale Woods, Three Rivers Park District, Minnetrista, MN
Gale Woods developed a number of systems & structures over the past decade to support a wide diversity of farm production systems. In this workshop we will share photos and plans, and discussion will focus on how these innovations help with farm management in an educational setting. Come ready to share your challenges and successes with setting up for positive, safe and fun on-farm learning! Bring photos and ideas from your site to discuss.
Creating a Partnership that Benefits Farmer, Teacher and Children
Erin Flynn, New Farm Institute at Green Gate Farms, Austin, TX
Green Gate Farms, a certified organic vegetable farm in Austin, Texas, and Austin Jewish Academy have been partnering since 2013 to bring fifth graders to the farm on Fridays for 10+ consecutive weeks to learn from farmers and area experts about food, health and environmental topics. Students are encouraged to be aware activists as they engage in meaningful work, and connect real-life projects with the curriculum. This workshop will share promising practices gleaned from the teachers and farmers involved in the partnership.
We Bought The Farm: From Millions in Debt to a Balanced Budget
Chester Mozloom, The Lands at Hillside Farms, Shavertown, PA
This workshop will focus on how a historic, non profit, educational dairy farm came into the "black" after contending with a $4.2 million purchase and $950,000+ annual operating deficit. Learn how a community of concerned citizens formed the non-profit with frugality, fundraising, and faith to preserve a 412-acre farm.
Farm to School 101
Simca Horwitz, Massachusetts Farm to School
Farm to School is a strategy for increasing access to healthy, local food for our most important eaters - kids! Join Simca Horwitz, Eastern MA Director of Massachusetts Farm to School to learn how Farm to School initiatives benefit kids, farms, families and communities. Topics will include sustainable purchasing relationships between institutions and farms, local food and farm education for students, and state, regional and national partnerships that can help build momentum and ensure long-term sustainability in the movement. Whether you are a food service professional, a teacher, parent or farmer, you'll leave this workshop with a picture of Farm to School and some nitty gritty tools for building the farm to school momentum in your community.
Local Feature Panel: The Massachusetts Food Plan and New England Food Vision
Cathy Wirth, The Trustees, Boston, MA; Brian Donahue, Brandeis University
Join Cathy Wirth, Agriculture Program Director at the Trustees, a member-supported nonprofit conservation organization that preserves land, nature, and historic places in Massachusetts and Brian Donahue, Historian, Brandeis University Professor, FBEN co-founder and author of Reclaiming the Commons: Community Farms and Forests in a New England Town for a deep dive into the systems and structures that will guide local food systems into the future.
The Manhattan Country School "Farm of the Future"
John McDaniel, Manhattan Country School Farm, Roxbury, NY
The Manhattan Country School, a progressive Elementary and Middle School in NYC with its own, student operated farm in the Catskill Mountains is doubling its enrollment. 8th Grade students have spent the school year engaged in the discussion of various scenarios of what their Farm and its educational program will look like in the future, including what impact of growing from twenty to forty students per class will have on the land, agriculture practices, and the small intimate setting that they have thrived in since 1968. Workshop participants will explore the complex questions facing our school community as we move forward and will be asked to use the lenses, as we have, of the "Triple Bottom Line," Environment, Economics, and Equity to help steer the dialogue.