Easing Into Winter

We finally got the garlic planted and mulched (the latest ever), brought the cattle home, moved the chickens into their winter coop, and stocked the root cellar.  Almost all the produce is sold – garlic, onions, potatoes – and all the beef for this year, and we’ve battened down the hatches for winter.  Which hasn’t come yet.  But once it does, we’re ready.

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Mike & Ian getting the garlic in the ground

Here are some of the sustainable farming events I’m working with in the “off-season”, and I heartily recommend all of them if they’re a fit for you:

Minnesota Organic Conference:
A great gathering in St. Cloud, January 7-9, 2016, with intense workshops the first day and an all-out frenzy of organic knowledge the next two.  I’ll be there representing Sustainable Farming Association at the Deep Winter Greenhouses Workshop on the first day, then at our exhibit booth the next two days.

Deep Winter Greenhouse Tour Series:
A whole string of farm tours at 9 different deep winter producers places, starting January 16 through fourCSB Greenhouse weekends, and culminating at a let’s-all-get-together-and-talk-about-it session at the SFA Annual Conference on February 13.  With locations ranging from Pelican Rapids to Altura, you’ll see the most innovative designs and operations in these passive-solar, energy-efficient, miracle-working veggie spas that are producing great food all winter long.  I helped to organize the whole thing along with some great partners.

Sustainable Farming Association Annual Conference, “Cultivating the Wisdom of the Community”:
I love working with a great crew to put this one together.  It’s energizing, intimate and informative.  No high dollar celebrity speakers from somewhere else, just the farmers, educators and local food professionals who are boots-on-the-ground right here in our back yards.  With lots of social time built in, I like to call it the gathering of the tribes.  And it’s quite inexpensive to attend.

Midwest Soil Health Summit:
This one DOES bring in the heavy hitters from out-of-town, the movers and shakers in the soil health movement: farmers and ranchers, scientists and educators who are on the cutting edge of fertility, conservation, profitability and good old common sense.  Held at a posh resort in central Minnesota, where you can rent out a fish house on the ice with a door-to-door catering service, this summit would be the opposite of the Annual Conference (above) if it weren’t for the fact that they’re both all about sustainability, environmental stewardship, farm resiliency and strong rural communities.

But before all that commences, I’ve got to get the next issue of The Stinky News ready for its Christmas Eve edition.  If I’m not already inflicting this precocious periodical on you via email, Stinky News Logo.jpgjust send we your address and I’ll rectify the situation.  If you want to balance out all those holiday sweets with a dose of thinly disguised nonsense, take a look at the last issue, which came out just before MN Garlic Festival back in August, and read all about the Chef Demo Derby:  http://www.sfa-mn.org/garlicfest/stinky-news-august2015-2/

All the best,
Jerry Ford

 

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About Living Song Farm

4th generation farm near Howard Lake, MN
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