January 16, 2013 | Back to: News

Third annual Sustainable Food and Farm Conference set for this weekend


To raise awareness of sustainable food practices, the third annual Sustainable Food and Farm Conference will be hosting a variety of farming-related workshops and presentations from speakers this weekend.

“We saw it as an opportunity to get our farming community together and create more awareness,” said Dennis McDonneil, conference organizer. “What Nevada County has going on agriculturally is pretty extensive.”

There will be multiple workshops going on throughout the day with a wide variety of topics, some of which include a presentation involving aquaponics by Will Allen, a talk by Temra Costa, writer of “Farmer Jane: Changing the Way We Eat;” and a discussion with Mark Baker from Baker’s Green Acres. There will also be presentations on egg services, growing cut flowers, fodder solutions, healing with food, increasing biodiversity and “a whole bunch more,” MacDonneil said.

“There’s everything from eating healthy to beginning introductory farming for a novice wanting to get a better idea on how to set up their farming and gardening operations, to a pretty in-depth how-to (to) improve soil and manage livestock and workshops of that type, so there’s a little bit for everybody there depending on what you’re looking for,” McDonneil said.

“There are some really fantastic and international speakers that we’ve been able to bring in over the past three years to be able to enhance and showcase what we’re doing as well as provide a lot of good information for those who attend.”

One of the workshops, Polyface YOU, will be led by Joel, Daniel and Shari Salatin from Polyface Farms, a sustainable and organic farm in the Shanendoah Valley of Virginia.

“Usually Joel comes out and speaks, but this time it worked out really well for them to do the workshop series together,” MacDonneil said. “So it’s kind of exciting and unique that we get to be the first ones that have them together.”

The conference is organized by a volunteer group consisting of farmers and local farming organizations, MacDonneil said.

“We’re an all-volunteer group that gets together to showcase farming workshops and we try to be a positive for the community,” said McDonneil.

The conference run from 9 a.m.-3:15 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m.- 6 p.m. Sunday, at Grass Valley Charter School at 225 South Auburn St. in Grass Valley, located next door to the Veterans Hall, where the keynote speakers will make presentations.

Visit www.foodandfarmconference.com for more information and tickets. The price to attend all conference events is $100 and there are also packages and a la carte deals starting at $30.

“The all-conference pass is getting close to being sold out,” MacDonneil said. “So if people are considering getting tickets, they should be moving quickly on that.”

To contact Staff Writer Jennifer Terman, email jterman@theunion.com or call (530) 477-4230.


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The Union Updated Jan 17, 2013 09:25PM Published Jan 17, 2013 09:25PM Copyright 2013 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.