Workshops and Events

We are fortunate to be able to source the most knowledgeable farmers and educators around – pulling from the 1,100+ farms we certify in addition to many other organizations who share in the goal of building a better food system. The conference will offer workshops at 10:00 am, 2:00 pm, 4:00 pm, and 6:00 pm daily with on-demand recordings to follow each session.

Adding Value with Organic Cut Flowers

Corinne Hansch of Lovin’ Mama Farm
Join long time, certified organic flower grower Corinne Hansch of Lovin’ Mama Farm to learn the ins and outs of adding cut flowers as a revenue stream to your farmers market operation. Cut flowers bring value to the farm on many levels – by creating beneficial habitat on the farm, high yields per square foot, and interest and beauty at your market stand that draws customers in. We will focus on which flowers are easiest to grow and bring in the highest profits. We’ll also cover no-till flower growing, seed and bulb sources and varieties, trellising, weed control, season extension, harvest, bunching and arranging, pricing, transport, marketing, and sales.

Leveraging Tech to Support Resilient Local Food Systems

Austin Becker of Farmstand Local Foods and Amy McCann of Local Food Marketplace
Join us for a panel discussion on how food hubs and farmers markets can leverage technology to support small producers. We will speak with a Utica-based farmers’ market that provides an online storefront to both expand food access and support local food producers. We will discuss how markets and food hubs can help producers more easily distribute local food, as well as why selling to food hubs can be a powerful risk management strategy for farms. This panel will also discuss the role of online sales alongside traditional offline business strategies. We will discuss market trends, diversifying sales channels, and leveraging technology to support local food.

Natural Dye Plants

Sarah Gotowka of Luna Fiber Studio
Natural Dye Plants offers a look at pigment bearing plants that you can cultivate – such as indigo, cosmos, and coreopsis – and plants you can forage, find in a grocery store, and even in a compost bin. During this workshop, Sarah will give a live, hands-on demonstration on dyeing with homegrown plants. Sarah owns Luna Fiber Studio, a textile studio based in Trumansburg, NY specializing in natural dyes and weaving, rooted in sustainability and social justice. Sarah has been growing dye plants for over 12 years.

Navigating Direct Sales: Farmers Markets, CSA, and Farm Stores
Live Spanish Interpretation will be available

Bobcat Bonagura of Main Street Farms, Corinne Hansch of Lovin’ Mama Farm, and Fred Lee of Sang Lee Farms
Session 1:
Join these experienced farmers for an overview of their operations and marketing approaches. This workshop will cover why direct marketing is so important for all farmers – especially beginning farmers – and will cover the big three direct marketing options: farmers markets, CSA, and farm stores. The discussion will include how to decide which outlet makes the most sense for your farm, and how to balance and utilize all three direct marketing options.

Navigating Direct Sales: A Deep Dive Into Farmers Markets
Live Spanish Interpretation will be available

Bobcat Bonagura of Main Street Farms, Corinne Hansch of Lovin’ Mama Farm, and Fred Lee of Sang Lee Farms
Session 2:
Join us for a second session to dive into farmers markets. The discussion will include how to choose the best farmers markets in your region and get accepted, scaling up to run multiple markets on one day, staffing, packing for market, market displays, and anti-racism at the farmers market. Bring your questions for Q&A!

Connecting the Dots: Generating More Revenue from Your Farm

Kathrine Gregory of New York Small Scale Food Processors Association (NYSSFPA) and Dacotah Rousseau of Down to Earth Markets
You are passionate about growing the most beautiful, flavorful vegetables and fruits, and from our other presenters you have heard about direct sales including farmers markets, CSAs, and on-farm stores. Now how do you make even more money? You need to consider selling cases of your produce (not just a small bag) by going direct to small food processors and local restaurants. Learning to connect these dots will ensure you leverage your time at the market!

Succession Planning

Gabriel Gurley of NY FarmNet and Claudia Kenny of New York State Agricultural Mediation Program
Farm succession planning can be one of the most challenging aspects of owning a farm. Conflicts often arise when there are differences of opinion regarding the transition and future goals of the farm between the senior and junior generations. Equally challenging is when there isn’t a future generation that is present or committed to farming. These challenges affect all involved and overcoming them are vital to the future of the farm and retirement plans. Claudia Kenny from the New York Agricultural Mediation Program and Gabriel Gurley from NY FarmNet will address these topics and more in this program.

Intro to Organic Certification

Kristen Barker and Heather Orr of NOFA-NY Certified Organic, LLC
Using organic practices? You might be certifiable! Join NOFA-NY Certified Organic, LLC staff for a fast-paced, intensive overview of the organic certification process and requirements for crop, livestock, and on-farm processing production. Bring your questions! We’ll discuss how the National Organic Program regulations fit with your operation or future planning.

Handling, Processing, and Distributor Certification

Ashleigh Knecht of NOFA-NY Certified Organic, LLC
Join NOFA-NY Certified Organic staff for a discussion of certification requirements and the USDA National Organic Program regulations as they relate to processors, handlers, and distributors. Topics covered will include integrity within supply chains, who has to be certified under the upcoming Strengthening Organic Enforcement Rule, processing, the “National List,” co-packing and private labeling, labels, international equivalencies, and more.

Organic Transition Panel

Patty Gentry of Early Girl Farm, Conner Pangia of Happy Now Farm, and Teddy Tomao of NOFA-NY
Join NOFA-NY’s Organic Educator, Teddy Tomao, to learn the ins and outs of the Long Island Organic Transitions Program. The panel will include two farmers who are going through the process of transitioning towards organic certification and touch upon the ways in which the program looks to spread organic certification throughout the entire island.

NOFA-NY Certified Organic Coffee Talk

NOFA-NY Certified Organic, LLC Staff
We will be on hand for Q&A. Bring your questions!

Bacterial Populations in Organic Raw Milk Impacting Finished Product Quality

Nicole Martin of Cornell Food Safety Laboratory and Milk Quality Improvement Program
Diverse groups of bacteria contaminate organic raw milk, but only a subset have an impact on processed organic dairy products. In this workshop we will cover the main groups of bacterial contaminants that impact finished product quality as well as the ability of commonly used tests, such as the laboratory pasteurization count, to detect these organisms.

Forage Management for Health, Nutrition, and Internal Parasite Control on Organic Goat and Sheep Farms

Tatiana Stanton of Cornell University Dept. of Animal Science
This workshop will discuss the weaknesses and strengths of different forages for pasture and hay and how to use forage analysis to determine fermentable fiber, other nutritional components, and what trace mineral mixes and concentrates (in the event you use concentrates) complement the forages you are using. We’ll look at a few examples of soil analyses to see how these can reflect mineral imbalances or problems with soil health and also discuss methods to improve pastures without doing full scale renovations. The workshop will also touch on some recent studies on parasite control with regard to the effect of specific forages and other innovations.

Holistic Veterinary Medicine for Cows

Dr. Cynthia Lankenau of Holistic Center for Veterinary Care
Join Dr. Lankenau to learn about the alternative holistic therapies she uses in her practice including herbology, homeopathy, acupuncture, and aromatherapy to keep cows healthy. She has long practiced as a large animal veterinarian and will teach you how to care for your valuable farm partners.

Raising Pigs in a Silvopasture System Without Purchasing Grain

Walter Jeffries of Sugar Mountain Farm
Pigs can work well when properly managed in a silvopasture system. With grain prices increasing, learn about alternative feeding strategies for pigs, including the use of vegetables, fruits, brewers’ waste, eggs and more!

Better Farming Through Buckwheat

Dr. Thomas Björkman of Cornell AgriTech, Kyle Gifford of The Birkett Mills, and Klaas Martens of Lakeview Organic Grain
Buckwheat makes a lot of sense in many organic rotations by improving the soil, suppressing weeds, distributing seasonal workload and proving income quickly. Demand for buckwheat far outstrips supply in the Northeast, so it is an assured market for new growers. While buckwheat is not difficult to raise, there are a few steps that are crucial to get right and easy to get wrong. This workshop will get growers off on the right foot.

The workshop will include the basic procedures from Björkman, who has been the leading source of extension information and research in the region for the last three decades, practical examples and nuances from Martens who has been raising buckwheat even longer, and the market opportunity from Gifford who is the third generation in the buckwheat business.

Capturing Value with Cereal Rye

Heather Darby of University of Vermont Extension and June Russell of Glynwood
Cereal rye is the most common cereal grain grown throughout the region. It has been most popular as a hardy cover crop suitable for the harsh climate in the northeast. This presentation will discuss adding value with rye and the various emerging markets that require high quality rye. Agronomic practices that produce a high quality rye product will be highlighted, along with updates on rye varieties currently available as commercial seed and in regional research trials. Finally, parameters for meeting distilling and baking quality rye will be outlined.

Using Cover Crops to Reduce Tillage in Organic Field Cropping Systems

Stuart Farr of Hudson Valley Hops & Grains, Luke Gianforte of Gianforte Farm, Kristen Loria and Chris Pelzer of Cornell Sustainable Cropping Systems Lab
Organic grain farmers will share experiences integrating cover crops in their crop rotations to both reduce tillage and optimize timing of soil disturbance. Members of the Cornell Sustainable Cropping Systems lab will also discuss related research on tillage reduction using roll-crimped cover crops in a rotational organic no-till system.

Low-Maintenance Fruit and Nut Trees

Allyson Levy and Scott Serrano of Hortus Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, authors of Cold-Hardy Fruits and Nuts
Join Allyson and Scott to learn the ins and outs of low-maintenance/no spray fruiting plants, like Che, Gooseberry, American Persimmon, Hardy Sour Orange, and Pawpaw, that are often overlooked by the average gardener or farmer. This workshop will outline the basic growing conditions and best attributes of many fruit trees, nut trees, and shrubs that do well in growing zones 3-6.

Organic Strawberry Production

Carlos Aguilera and Lorena Mendoza of West Haven Farm
Join Carlos and Lorena to learn about the production, marketing, challenges, and successes they’ve had with strawberries on their farm which is Ithaca’s longest running Community Supported Agriculture program.

Organic Tree Fruit for our Homes and Communities

Heron Breen and Petra Page-Mann of Fruition Seeds
Everyone deserves local fresh fruit! This truism lingers in our minds as we each imagine a more abundant home landscape, or a communal harvest from public plantings. While we all desire the bountiful mature producing tree, that outcome lies within the choices we make regarding young nursery stock and their care. When we rush or are unaware in the early stages, that hope for the mature tree may be dashed. Join Petra Page-Mann and Heron Breen of Fruition Seeds to explore the planning, preparing, planting, and best practices that help ensure our Organic Tree Fruit wish fulfillment.

7 Essentials of Seed Starting (and the Common Mistakes to Avoid)

Petra Page-Mann of Fruition Seeds
Growing great seedlings is simple with the right seeds at the right time with the right tools. Here are the keys from a life-long gardener and seed starter!

Creating a Fertility Program Without Reliance on Purchased Inputs

Al Johnson of NOFA-NJ
Fertility for our garden soil is all around us. These inputs can be grown, they can be recycled and most don’t cost a thing. We will look at numerous cover crops, how to use them, how to obtain them and how to manage and incorporate them with and without machinery. Multiple uses of natural mulches, both in season and out will be examined for providing added fertility needs. Simple composting techniques and well as home sources of minerals and calcium needs using shells and bones. We will look at several types of soil tests and discuss what they mean.

Permaculture Living Lands Trust: Resilient Design Strategies For Climate Change

Andrew Faust of Permaculture Living Lands Trust
Introducing the Permaculture Living Lands Trust, a 501(c)(3), we are a fledgling organization that has been started by three long time friends and Permaculture activists working together for more then 20 years, on many different Permaculture related projects and seeing the need for a Permaculture focused land trust.

In this session I will explain:

  • How to create a regional foodshed plan to address food insecurity and climate instability
  • How to protect land for ongoing sustainable harvests contributing to a local biologically based economy and resilience.
  • Decentralized Renewable Energy Systems for Home, Town & Country

As people rise to the call to plant more and more trees to restore ecosystems and sequester carbon, let’s plant trees that also provide a sustainable harvest for local communities of food, fuel, fiber, building materials and fodder for livestock – and let’s plant them on land that is held in trust for community AND ecological benefit.

This is why we created a land trust focused on permaculture design. Land trusts are nonprofit organizations acquiring land or conservation easements for long-term stewardship.

Permaculture design is a worldwide movement that is helping to regenerate local ecologies and economies through a whole systems approach to meeting human needs.

What kind of synergies will result from bringing these two powerful concepts together?

Answering that question is at the heart of our origin story.

At the Permaculture Living Lands Trust we are cultivating an inheritance of multi-functional, agroforestry, agro-ecological landscapes, some of which will take decades to mature. These Permaculture Forest gardens will produce yields for centuries, that future generations will effusively thank us for!… as they browse in abundant agroforestry commons.

Join me for this stimulating and insightful session to learn more well thought out solutions to our collective predicament. Watch this for a sample of the themes we will cover.

Native Perennial Food Plants for your Edible Landscape

Dani Baker of Cross Island Farms
This presentation will illustrate the growth habit, preferred habitat, care required, food value, other uses, and landscape appeal of over 25 native perennial plants you can include in your edible landscape. When placed in habitats that meet their needs, native plants tend to be well-adapted to our climate and have few pest, disease, or maintenance problems. The plants range from small and tall nut and fruit trees to berry bushes, edible groundcovers, and even vines. If you want to create an edible hedge, an edible bed, a foundation planting or a forest garden, you will discover there are a variety of native food plants to choose from to fill your space.

Scaling Up from Home Gardening to Market Gardening

Jerry and Kristi Winquist of Local Roots Farm
Conversations with first generation farmers Jerry and Kristi Winquist of Local Roots Farm, a NOFA-NY certified organic small scale market garden in Burt, NY. Shared insights and ideas for transitioning from a home garden to a market garden. Along with methods for improving efficiency, both in the field and at the market, recommendations about farmers markets; How to stand out and make your business work for you and your lifestyle. Join in discussion about the risk and rewards of expanding your market garden operation and questions to ask yourself before moving forward.

Advocating for a More Just and Resilient Future Through the 2023 Farm Bill
Live Spanish Interpretation will be available

Katie Baildon of NOFA-NY and Devin Cornia of NOFA-NJ
Join NOFA’s advocacy campaign for building a more just and resilient future through the 2023 Farm Bill. Attendees will be invited to reflect on what the farm bill means for their lives and livelihoods and develop a narrative to use in their own advocacy efforts. Attendees will also be invited to engage in NOFA-led advocacy efforts throughout the year.

Growing Local Leadership

Kathie Arnold of Twin Oaks Dairy, Liz Martin of Muddy Fingers Farm, and Mayda Pozantides of Groundwork Market Garden, Facilitated by Katie Baildon of NOFA-NY
What opportunities are there on the local level to inspire and influence a shift to more organic and agroecological systems of farming and more localized food systems? Join a panel discussion about how local legislative engagement has helped build community support for soil health, organic practices, food sovereignty, and revitalizing local food economies. Attendees will hear about the panelist’s experiences in positions of community leadership as well as opportunities for engagement in local boards, committees, councils and legislative bodies.

Land Access and the Farm Bill: How Storytelling in Advocacy Can Help Win the Radical Policy Change Young Farmers Need to Succeed
Live Spanish Interpretation will be available

Erika Rincon of National Young Farmers Coalition and Land Advocacy Fellows from the Northeast
Storytelling is a powerful tool for policy advocacy. Farmer stories are a necessary piece of any farm bill campaign that aims to ask for changes that accurately represent farmer needs. Join three Land Fellows from the Young Farmers One Million Acres Campaign in a discussion and workshop about the power of storytelling in advocacy and about their experience in direct advocacy over the last year. We will also include additional background information about the Farm Bill and why equitable land access policy is so important to ensuring that we have a diverse, well resourced next generation of farmers. Participants will get to learn about the farm bill and how it could impact their land access journey, hear from farmers already engaged in advocacy, and then build their own advocacy skills through individual and group work. The stories our farmers will share cover the intersection of race, land, and resiliency.

Vision 2050: A New York State Vision for a Profitable, Regenerative, Equitable, and Healthy Food System by 2050

Anu Rangarajan of Cornell Small Farms Program and Phoebe Schreiner of The Center for Agricultural Development and Entrepreneurship (CADE)
CADE, Cornell University, Hartwick College, SUNY Cobleskill, and faculty of Columbia University, conducted a two-year research project engaging stakeholders across New York to put forward an integrated, comprehensive Food System Vision for New York State by 2050 – one that is profitable, regenerative, equitable, and healthy – aimed at setting the agenda for New York’s political leaders and informing the foundation of a State Plan.

Ultimately, it envisions a food system that accelerates sustainable agricultural economic development; creates green jobs throughout the farm and food sector; increases food security and healthy food access; advances equity, and mitigates climate change.

Our interactive, moderated panel discussion followed by audience Q&A will include members of the Vision 2050 team and address questions including:

  • Why does NY need a Vision?
  • How did you ensure it was an inclusive process?
  • What were key findings on what NY wants to see for its future food system? What did farmers say in particular?
  • What does ‘profitable, regenerative, equitable, and healthy’ look like, and what are you calling on your political leaders to do?
  • What were points of tension, recognizing that political divides are so prevalent today?

Hard copies of the V2050 publication will be available.

Community Nutrient Cycling in Post-Industrial America: Mounting Challenges, and Potential Solutions

Jay Herbert of Vermont Compost Company
Join us to discuss some of the current challenges facing community composters, including plastics and other sources of contamination, the regulatory landscape, and manure sourcing in the changing dairy landscape. Participants will learn how to make decisions to minimize risk for their own compost piles, what questions to ask of their local composters to ensure they’re receiving a safe product, and what to expect of the compost industry in the years to come.

Cultivating Climate Resilience with Whole Farm Planning
Live Spanish Interpretation will be available

Laura Lengnick of Glynwood, author of Resilient Agriculture: Cultivating Food Systems for a Changing Climate
Take this interactive workshop to learn more about the pros and cons of your current risk management strategies and how farmers in NY and beyond are using resilience thinking to improve the performance of their operations no matter the weather.

Lessons from NY’s Agricultural Environmental Management Program

Greg Albrecht of NYSDAM, Lee Braggs of Murray Street Community Garden, Klaas Martens of Lakeview Organic Grain, and Becca Rimmel of Bottomland Farm
Learn how to unlock support for on-farm soil health projects by enrolling in NY’s Agricultural Environmental Management Program (AEM). Hear from a panel of NY farmers about how enrollment has unlocked opportunities for funding projects that build on farm resilience. Panelists will also share best practices for engagement with local Soil and Water Conservation Districts and navigating NY’s many funding opportunities.

Healthy Living Soil: A True Story

Monique Bosch of CT NOFA
Join us as we take a close-up look at soil, compost, and compost tea under the microscope to see the bountiful microbial life that exists. We’ll look at the impact these beneficial microbes have on the plants and trees above ground. We’ll also discuss ways to increase microbial populations using regenerative practices.

NY-NRCS Interim Conservation Practices: Soil Carbon Amendment, Raised Beds, and Low Tunnel System

Josh Hornesky and Amy Langner of NY-NRCS
In 2020, the NY-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) adopted interim conservation practice standard Soil Carbon Amendment. This interim conservation practice has been implemented over the past two years and will be adopted as conservation practice standard 336 in 2023. This past summer, the NY-NRCS adopted two interim conservation practice standards: Raised Beds and Low Tunnel System. These interim conservation practices will be evaluated over the next three years across the state. This workshop will provide participants a general overview of how interim conservation practices work, and most importantly provide information on where and how these practices can be utilized on agricultural operations. Participants will gain a better understanding of the requirements associated with installing these interim standards as well as some of the potential programmatic opportunities associated with them. Come learn why NY-NRCS adopted these practices, where they apply, and if they can assist you in achieving your conservation objectives. 

Understanding Exotic Earthworms and the Invasive ‘Jumping Worm’

Justin Richardson of University of Massachusetts Amherst
Earthworms are important agroecosystem engineers, however, nearly all are not native to the northeastern United States. Whether it is vermicomposting, fishing bait, or biological soil aeration, earthworms serve many roles in the agricultural industry. Despite their benefits, they can negatively impact natural areas and some agroecosystems. Here we will cover what are earthworms, how do they behave in agroecosystems, why most are exotic to the northeast, and the impact of the rapidly expanding ‘jumping worms’.

Asha Laaya (Farm of Hope) Deaf-led Farm

Jay Regmi of Deaf New American Advocacy Inc 
Jay will present via PowerPoint including photos. He will share his story and experience working as Farm Manager with the Deaf New American Community. He will briefly describe his vision for this Deaf-led model farm.

Community Farming and Suburban Land Access for Buffalo’s Immigrant and Refugee Populations

Beth Leipler and Mahamud Mberwa of Providence Farm Collective
Urban farming is one tool for increasing urban food security, but it’s not the only one. Providence Farm Collective (PFC) is a nonprofit organization with a 37-acre farm in the suburbs, providing access to farmland and farming resources 30 minutes outside of the city of Buffalo. PFC currently has an incubator farm program and community farm program, representing eight communities and over 200 farmers residing in and around Buffalo. PFC was founded in 2019 and grew out of the Somali Bantu Community Farm. The goal of these farms is for communities to build fresh food security, grow culturally relevant crops, connect farmers back to the land, and provide opportunities to farm for income. In this workshop, you’ll learn more about PFC’s story and programs, including a new farmers market they started so their growers can sell produce in the Buffalo neighborhood where many of them live.

Creating an Equitable Experience for Low-Income Families on the Farm

Mary Godnick of Creative Kitchen Garden, and Essex County Women Infants and Children (WIC)
This summer, two farms partnered with the Essex County WIC program to lead a pilot program that offered weekly educational, hands-on, and you-pick experiences to participating families. Learn how Creative Kitchen Garden, Craigardan, and the Essex County Public Health team worked together to go above and beyond to offer a safe, fun, educational experience that purposefully made space for the needs of low-income families with young children living in the Adirondacks. This presentation will give farmers, community organizers, and county agencies an understanding of how the program was led so they can explore starting a similar program in their community.

Share your Vision with the Syracuse-Onondaga Food Systems Alliance

Maura Ackerman and Avalon Gupta VerWiebe of the Syracuse-Onondaga Food Systems Alliance (SOFSA)
SOFSA was established in 2019. Since then, they have worked towards the mission of building a network of food systems stakeholders and aligning resources in the region. Part of this work has involved listening to the needs and wants of community members to build their strategy and platforms. Farmers in New York State are an incredibly valuable part of this network. The goal with this session is to hear from anyone who might want to share about what they see as the needs, wants, dreams, and visions of the farming community. Participants’ input will help to meaningfully shape SOFSA’s future directions.

Biocontrols: When and How do they Work on Organic Farms?

Dr. Amara Dunn of New York State Integrated Pest Management Program and Crystal Stewart Courtens of Cornell Cooperative Extension
Have you ever wondered how biological controls such as botanical extracts, beneficial microbe mixes, or beneficial insects can help control pests and diseases in the garden? Dr. Amara Dunn, biocontrol specialist with the New York State Integrated Pest Management Program, will discuss biocontrol trial results from the past few growing seasons, and will give a broad overview of how various biocontrols work (and when they won’t!). Participants are encouraged to bring their questions and experiences for a lively discussion.

Extreme Weather: The Reality Show We Didn’t Want but Can’t Leave

Rod Porter of King’s AgriSeeds, Maryellen Sheehan of Hartwood Farm, and Jenna Walczak of Cornell Cooperative Extension
Climate resilience is becoming more essential every year, with both drought and heavy rains possible in the same season. This session provides some practical solutions that can make farms more resilient, along with resources farmers can access to soften the financial blow of adopting changes.

The First 5 Years: From 1 to 6 Acres

Jesse Goldfarb of Tributary Farm
Join Jesse Goldfarb for a broad overview of how he scaled up his farm over the first five years. Tributary Farm went from one acre to six acres in production while always trying to improve soil health, weed pressure, and profitability. He will cover growing practices as well as marketing, profitability, and team. He will also discuss what investments were made and what investments were delayed. In the 2022 season, the farm cultivated six acres of vegetables and six acres of cover crops supporting a 285-member free choice summer CSA, 150-member free choice winter CSA, as well as various wholesale accounts and donations.

Tomato Intensive (Two Sessions)
Live Spanish Interpretation will be available

Erin Grimley of Root Down Farm, Judson Reid of Cornell Vegetable Program, and Crystal Stewart Courtens of Eastern NY Commercial Horticulture Program
Join us for a deep dive into tomato production! This two-part session will include best varieties for indoor and outdoor production, fertility and water management, and grower perspectives on indoor and outdoor growing.

Cultivating Food Systems for a Changing Climate

Laura Lengnick of Glynwood, author of Resilient Agriculture: Cultivating Food Systems for a Changing Climate
Bring your questions, thoughts and lessons learned to this open-ended discussion with Laura about how all of us, no matter where we stand in the food system, can use resilience thinking to cultivate the health of land, people and community in support of the just transition to a resilient food future.

Greg Swartz and Tannis Kowalchuk of Willow Wisp Organic Farm
Each year, NOFA-NY members and supporters have the opportunity to nominate a NOFA-NY Certified Organic farmer who has gone above and beyond for organic. This year, the Farmers of the Year award goes to Greg Swartz and Tannis Kowalchuk of Willow Wisp Organic Farm! Read more here.

Talk Saves Lives

Jennifer Schwytzer of NY FarmNet
Talk Saves Lives is AFSP’s standardized, 60 minute plus Q&A education program that provides participants with a clear understanding of this leading cause of death, including the most up-to-date research on suicide prevention, and what they can do in their communities to save lives.

Participants will learn common risk factors and warning signs associated with suicide, and how to keep themselves and others safe. Topics covered include:

  • Scope of the Problem: The latest data on suicide in the U.S. and worldwide 
  • Research: Information from research on what causes people to consider suicide, as well as health, historical, and environmental factors that put individuals at risk 
  • Prevention: An understanding of the protective factors that lower suicide risk, and strategies for managing mental health and being proactive about self-care 
  • What You Can Do: Guidance on warning signs and behaviors to look for, and how to get help for someone in a suicidal crisis

Witness to Injustice

Residents of the Onondaga Nation and members of Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation (NOON)
This unique interactive group teaching is used to foster truth, understanding, and respect between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples and is led by both residents of the Onondaga Nation and members of NOON. The exercise helps individuals to learn the true, untold history of the Indigenous people of North America including colonization and the injustices Indigenous peoples experience then and still today.

Virtual Dinner Party and Moderated Open Mic

Hosted by the Northeast Community Seed Conference & Celebration
6:00 pm – 7:00 pm EST: While we are not all gathering in a conference center somewhere, we CAN share a meal together. This can be each of us in our own homes and with our families, as well as potluck parties hosted regionally in our homes and communities. This virtual gathering will allow us each to share, in a facilitated forum, the dishes we’ve made from food we’ve grown and maybe even from seed we’ve saved!

7:00 pm – 9:00 pm EST: Sharing our songs, our art, our thoughts, our stories, our poems, our humor – this is so important to our Community Soul! Seed Saving, Farming, Living, Loving – this and more are themes we are sure to explore together at this Virtual Open Mic. Please come to participate, even if you just want to listen and enjoy! We’ll stretch the limits of Zoom, and maybe our hearts and minds too.

Seed Production Intensive for Market Farmers: Have you been wondering if seed crops may fit into your market garden? Join us for a four-part series of workshops (Thursday and Friday) that explore how seed crops fit into the crop plan, special labor or equipment requirements, and the economics of seed production. Growers who feel that seed growing may be a good fit for their farm are then invited to participate in a six-week online seed course which is part of a SARE-funded effort to increase seed production capacity in the Northeast.

Session 1

This session will focus on production and horticultural considerations for integrating seed into a market garden, including a discussion of why one would want to grow seed, how seed crops differ from food crops in their timing and location on the farm, and what kinds of special equipment or effort are needed to process seed.

Session 2

This session continues the production and horticultural themes from the morning, with a roundtable discussion of market farmers currently growing seed, and a deep dive into a few specific crop examples to give a concrete sense of how seed production can work on a market farm.

Seed Production Intensive for Market Farmers: Have you been wondering if seed crops may fit into your market garden? Join us for a four-part series of workshops (Thursday and Friday) that explore how seed crops fit into the crop plan, special labor or equipment requirements, and the economics of seed production. Growers who feel that seed growing may be a good fit for their farm are then invited to participate in a six-week online seed course which is part of a SARE-funded effort to increase seed production capacity in the Northeast.

Session 3

It looks like seed crops may fit on the farm from a production perspective, but will they pay the bills? This session examines seed economics, including an overview of contracting versus on-farm use and sales.

Session 4

The final session of this series of workshops is a roundtable discussion focused on grower experiences with seed sales, and is an opportunity to discuss both where we are as an industry and where we want to go in the future.

Seed Story Night

Bonnetta Adeeb, Will Bonsall, Angela Ferguson, Jasmine Hart, Christian Keeve, Steve McComber, Anna Muhammad, Melody Mason, LuAnna Nesbitt, Chloe Nunez, and Owen Taylor
Intersecting human and plant stories are our personal, cultural, and cross-species dialogues and narratives … as well as ongoing documentations of when, where, and how to work with plants to culminate in food as well as seed for the next iteration. Please join us for two hours of Seed Stories in their many forms. Listening and feeling required, joy encouraged!

Culinary Seed Celebration! Enjoying and perpetuating a specific variety of vegetable, grain, or fruit is often deeply enmeshed in family recipes and cultural traditions. Without these recipes and traditions, seeds can become detached relics rather than cherished beings we cannot live without. We dedicate these Saturday sessions to the deliciousness of seed work!

Celebrating Grains!

Bonnetta Adeeb, Sylvia Davatz, HP Lovelace, and Richard Roberts
Home gardening and market farming Seed Savers can easily include Grains (“small” and “large”!) into their food self-sufficiency and seed growing cycles. Grains can both nourish the body, and allow a welcome crop-type rotation for soil health, even on a small scale. In this morning session, come explore Wheat, Rye, Spelt, Oats and other diverse small grains, as well as Sorghum!

Polenta: A Culinary Gateway to Discovering Food and Seed Traditions

Marissa Alfiero, Donna Dyrek, and Sharon Maynard
Join three inspiring Seed Savers and excellent cooks from different cultural/culinary backgrounds in exploring Polenta as a mirror and gateway! This fantastic dish originates with Indigenous traditions, and continues to evolve across many cultures. Three approaches will illuminate the journey of this foodway, and also how to seedsave its primary ingredients here in the Northeast. We’ll re-define “from scratch” as meaning “from seeds we save for the foods we love”.

Virtual Dinner Party and Moderated Open Mic

Hosted by the Northeast Community Seed Conference & Celebration
6:00 pm – 7:00 pm EST: While we are not all gathering in a conference center somewhere, we CAN share a meal together. This can be each of us in our own homes and with our families, as well as potluck parties hosted regionally in our homes and communities. This virtual gathering will allow us each to share, in a facilitated forum, the dishes we’ve made from food we’ve grown and maybe even from seed we’ve saved!

7:00 pm – 9:00 pm EST: Sharing our songs, our art, our thoughts, our stories, our poems, our humor – this is so important to our Community Soul! Seed Saving, Farming, Living, Loving – this and more are themes we are sure to explore together at this Virtual Open Mic. Please come to participate, even if you just want to listen and enjoy! We’ll stretch the limits of Zoom, and maybe our hearts and minds too. 

Community Seed Saving Intensive (Two Sessions)

Jill Bishop, Sonia Brin, Zach Goldberg, K Greene, Steve McComber, Anna Muhammad, Masha Vernik, and Michael Washburn
Experienced Northeast Seed Stewards share the passion and practicalities of seed saving work across a morning and afternoon session. Geared toward beginners, with some intermediate content, following common and uncommon crops/varieties through their lifecycle.

Special thanks to our App Sponsors Hudson Valley Farm Hub and Honey Dog Farm.