Tuesday, February 11, 2014

2014 Healthy Farms Breakout Sessions VII

Breakout Sessions
Saturday, February 15th. 3:00pm. 

Growing food in an Urban Neighborhood: Lincoln’s Haley Hamlet. Tim Rinne

A mile from downtown, in Lincoln’s historic Hawley Neighborhood, the residents of a city block are tearing up their lawns and growing food.  Since 2009, two-thirds of an acre of ground in this standard-size block (with no vacant lots) has been converted to an edible landscape to grow vegetables and fruits for the twenty participating neighbors.  This block-based ‘hamlet’ right in the Capital City’s core is working to model a more productive, sustainable and cooperative use of the urban environment... growing community while growing food.

About Tim: Tim Rinne just celebrated his 20th year as the State Coordinator of Nebraskans for Peace.  Long interested in environmental and climate issues, from 2004-2013, he was the Political and Legislative Chair for the Nebraska Sierra Club.  Helping create the Hawley Hamlet and learning to grow some of his own food is the most satisfying political thing he’s ever done.  Makes you wonder why he waited until he was in his fifties to get going…

Dry Curing & Smoking Ham. Chad Lebo

Black Iberian pigs arrived in the United States in 1539, when Hernando de Soto landed in Florida. From the 16th century until the mid-20th century, curing and smoking ham was a traditional activity on many American farms. You can keep this now-dying tradition alive by dry curing and smoking your own ham and bacon whether you live in farmland and suburbia. But smoking is about more than just ribs. We will learn about many aspects of curing and smoking including various methods of smoking beef, fowl, vegetables, fish, herbs and spices and even water. We will also discuss aging. We will be focusing on whole muscle curing such as bacon and ham and corned beef.

About Chad: While living in Madagascar for 5 years and suffering a terrible lack of bacon, Chad Lebo reached back to his Mennonite roots and began curing and smoking his own bacon and ham. He also began making cheeses to accompany the smoked meats and it eventually grew into a small business crafting and selling artisanal cured meats and cheeses. This business has continued after he moved from Africa to Omaha in June of 2013. His new business, Cure Cooking, is based in Omaha and offers private and public cooking lessons in various traditional food crafts such as curing, cheese making, canning and sourdough bread baking. He also is a consulting cook for the Madecasse Chocolate company designing new flavors that are produced in Madagascar and sold throughout the United States and Europe. Visit www.curecooking.com for more information.

Attracting Beneficial Pollinators with Native Plants. Ben Vogt

Native insects are in evolutionary sync with native plants, so it makes since to include swaths of prairie wildflowers and grasses for nectar and larval food sources. Once you attract these pollinators and pest managers, you’re likely to increase crop yields, mitigate runoff, and improve soil structure. We’ll look at some of the top native plants for home and small farm gardens, as well as new prairie initiatives for larger operations.

About Ben: Benjamin Vogt owns Monarch Gardens, a prairie garden consulting business for DIY homeowners, businesses, and schools. He is on the board of Wachiska Audubon Society, writes a gardening column for Houzz, and speaks nationally on using native plants. You can visit him at his blog The Deep Middle.

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