Thursday, February 5, 2015

Healthy Farms Conference Breakout Sessions VI

Wetlands in Unexpected Places. Greg Fripp

 Using Constructed Wetlands in Urban areas to help the environment, to educate students and the community & to enhance economic opportunities for local populations.

Another Year in a Rural Whole Food System - A Conversation. Harold Stone

Last year, Harold described his rural economic development work - creating a Whole Food System in deeply rural Davenport, NE. In this, a follow-up report, we see that "rural" does not mean "dull and sedate."   The past year at Stones Thoreau has uncovered new challenges, and - as always - the solutions are not so quick and simple. This break-out session will be a simple conversation with the NSAS community about issues of rurality, food and community, when using economic development as a driver.

About: Dr. Harold L. Stone, owner of Stones Thoreau – Farm to Market, Inc. and South Maple Street Farmers Market and Commercial Kitchen is implementing food-based strategies to restore vitality to rural communities.  His primary focus is to create a replicable whole food system that will serve as an economic engine for development in rural food deserts. For over 30 years Dr. Stone, has been a professor of Regional Planning, a Cooperative Extension Associate in Soil and Crop Science at Texas A&M University, and supervised the preservation of historic structures in Washington, DC for the National Park Service.

Dispatches on Global Beekeeping. Dillon Blankenship & Kat Shiffler

Drawing on experiences from beekeeping at home and abroad (five continents between them), Kat Shiffler and Dillon Blankenship will talk about beekeeping livelihoods, beekeeping for development, and how alternative hive management and ancient practices can inform our domestic work with bees. Nature Conservancy.

About: Dillon Blankenship is a 2012-2013 Thomas J. Watson Fellow who spent thirteen months exploring local (and historic) beekeeping practices in the UK, Tanzania, Egypt, India, Russia, and Germany. He currently lives in Wood River, Nebraska where he works for the Nature Conservancy as a field steward and biological technician. You can find some information on his travels at

About: Kat Shiffler is an Agroecologist and beekeeper based in Lincoln, Nebraska. She conducted her thesis fieldwork in Chile with a Fulbright Scholarship, where she worked with distinct beekeeping enterprises throughout the long, skinny country. Learn more about her current projects at 

Cultural Recovery of Seed Saving. Betsey Goodman

Seed saving used to be a natural part of the growing season on every farm across this land. What happened? Each of us has an individual responsibility to uphold our food system if we want to keep at least a portion of it in the public domain, and it all starts with seeds. Come to this session to learn about seed saving basics and to have a discussion about why it's imperative in our time. 

About: Betsy Goodman: 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. 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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