We did our annual trek back and forth to Burlington on Saturday and Sunday this past weekend to attend the NOFA-VT winter conference. NOFA stands for Northeast Organic Farmers Association. We are proud to be members of this organization and they are a fabulous resource for us. Aside from the winter conference they host numerous other events, workshops, etc. all in the spirit of helping farmers grow and produce the most nutritious and safest food available. The number of young people who are trying to “get their stake in the ground” is staggering and a blessing! As we work towards our goal of making our farm a model of sustainability we hope to incorporate some of these young and inspiring farmers into our landscape here on Gib Lane.
The keynote speakers this year were Shannon Hayes and Bill McKibben. While Bill probably needs no introduction, Shannon was a new one for us and completely delightful. Shannon was there to inspire and confirm that we are doing a good and natural thing by raising and butchering our own meat if we choose to eat meat. Bill was there to remind us that time is indeed running out for many, many people around the world if we don’t get real action on reducing carbon emissions and slowing, what is to some, our inevitable decline. He talked about the many weather related disasters of late and how there were more to come and that we may end up as a world that can do nothing BUT respond to disasters. It was a sobering message to a crowd of 1000 optimistic and hopeful farmers!
The theme for the conference this year was Room at the Table – Working Together For Our Food Future. It was a good theme in that we do need to come together to make this happen. One farm can’t do it and only 5% of the population buying local food won’t do it either! We had a ball car-pooling with the Green Mountain Girls – another CSA here in Northfield. We shared common values and ideas and the concerns that more people need to sign-up if we are to keep this local source of high quality food available – whether people sign up for their model or ours.
We encourage you to spread the word – eating locally is good for everybody and it’s available!