Sunday, February 9, 2014

2014 Healthy Farms Conference Breakout Sessions VI

Breakout Sessions
Saturday, February 15th. 1:30pm. 

Growing citrus fruit in Nebraska in a geothermal greenhouse. Russ Finch

Russ Finch will talk about his geothermal greenhouse, design and utilization, success and failures.

About Russ: has a long history of involvement in a variety of professions. Russ has been involved in seismographing, served in the army, has been a baker and cook, has been involved as a farmer for 45 years and manufacturing for 31 years. He has worked with the post office for 27 years and finally has been involved in greenhouses for 35 years. Mr. Finch’s passion for the last several years has been developing the geo-thermal system and high plains structure adapted to his geo-thermal system. Russ grew his geo-thermal greenhouse design from a heating system he used for his home near Alliance. At 81 years of age, Mr. Finch incorporated a new business to market the "Greenhouse in the Snow" design/structure. Mr. and Mrs. Finch have been married 66 years have a son & daughter.

Learning the Language of the Fields. Daniel Deffenbaugh

Though the health and environmental benefits of sustainable agriculture are well known, a lesser emphasized aspect of this practice is the spiritual growth that can take place as we become intimate conversation partners with the land. For centuries, philosophers and clerics in the West have downplayed the human relationship with nature preferring instead to accentuate our distinction from the natural world on which we are ultimately dependent. Sustainable agricultural practices serve as a means of reintroducing us to our natural home, helping us, in the words of Thoreau, to "learn the language of the fields." In so doing, we regain a sense of what it means to be both physically and spiritually whole.

About Daniel: Daniel G. Deffenbaugh is Professor of Philosophy and Religion at Hastings College and author of Learning the Language of the Fields: Tilling and Keeping as Christian Vocation. A native of southern Ohio, he has been an organic gardener and seed saver for over thirty years. His current academic work focuses on the notion of integrated health, which sees human well-being as a dynamic balance of spirituality, physical vitality, community involvement, and ecological integrity.

Seed Saving for Resilience. Betsy Goodman

Historically, seed saving is something that every gardener did. Now, we are more product oriented and less aware of the value associated with allowing our plants to complete the whole cycle, that is-seed, plant, fruit, seed. Here, we will discuss the importance of seed saving as well as the fundamental basic concepts that a seed saver needs to know. Then, we will focus on specific vegetables upon request. 

About Betsy: Elizabeth graduated from Northern Arizona University in 2009 with a B.S. in Environmental Studies, emphasizing in Sustainability, Community, and Biocultural Diversity. She has worked with various farmers, herbalists, and seed producers along the West Coast. Fall 2011, Elizabeth attended Seed School from NATIVE Seed Search in Tuscan, AZ. Since 2010, Elizabeth has been Production Assistant at BloomsOrganic Farm. Every year, Elizabeth works with the Douglas County Health Department and the Douglas County Extenuation office to plan a community wide Seed Swap. Additionally, Elizabeth is the Founder and Volunteer Coordinator for Omaha Public Library's, Common Soil Seed Library. 

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