Saturday, January 16, 2016

Healthy Farms Conference Breakout Sessions V

A. Meet the Local Aggregators of Sustainably Grown Food  

A panel-type session in which Lone Tree Foods, Nebraska Food Cooperative, and Tomato Tomato each give a 10 minute presentation of what they are all about and how they operate, and leave plenty of time for questions.

Justin Jones & Lone Tree Foods

Beth Kernes Krause & Nebraska Food Cooperative

Michael Kult & Tomato Tomato; Tomato Tomato's mission is to connect producers to consumers to increase the production and consumption of local foods. To accomplish this mission Tomato Tomato has a retail store, a wholesale division, a multi-farm CSA and the newly created 360 Food Exchange. The Tomato Tomato CSA had over 1500 members in 2015 and continues to be popular and convenient choice for consumers who want to eat locally. In late 2015 Michael Kult purchased Tomato Tomato and the 360 Food Exchange with the intention of continuing the mission. Michael's career before Tomato Tomato was in kitchens, restaurants and gardens. He brings a chef's sensibility and care along with an understanding of the challenges producers face each growing season. As a father with two school aged children Michael also understands the challenges faced by busy families as they try to incorporate fresh, healthy and local food on their dinner tables. 

B. Pattern Literacy: What Bees, Mycelium, and Other Network Patterns Found in Nature Teach Us 

When we stop, observe and interact with the ecosystem around us, we find patterns everywhere.  These patterns not only teach us how to identify plants and animals, but they also teach us how the world is structured. In order to be fully rooted and grounded as human beings, we need to learn to find our place within the patterned system of our ecology.  In this lecture, you will not only learn many of the patterns found within nature that will help you to become a better farmer, but you will also learn some basic principles on how to live more connected to your present.

Jonathan Dodd; is a husband, father, farmer, shepherd, permaculturist, and entrepreneur. He is the Executive Director of Keipos, Inc. and owner of New Earth Farm & Goods in Papillion, NE. After completing his Master of Divinity degree at Regent College, he began working with the rural coffee farming community of Santa Martha de Loma Azul, Nicaragua. Here, his heart of mercy and justice for the poor met agriculture, sustainability and community development. Over the past 6 years he has worked in three different bioregions, including tropic, sub-tropic and temperate climates. During this time he has continued to teach workshops on soil, gardening and design. After completing a PDC course at Midwest Permaculture, Jonathan has sought to create sustainable and replicable models of abundance at New Earth Farm, in inner city Omaha, and in Nicaragua, alongside his spouse, Catherine, and 3 children.

C. Small Scale Contract Seed Growing; Integrating seed growing into a diversified organic farm and intensive vegetable production 

This presentation is supported by a Nebraska Specialty Crop Block Grant that provides education, training, and mentorship; consultation and help in acquiring and fulfilling seed growing contracts; and access to specialized seed processing equipment. Its goal is to increase the number of successful organic seed growers in Nebraska to meet the unfulfilled and growing demand for organic seed. Topics include: Introduction. Seed growing at Meadowlark Hearth; Basic skills and knowledge needed for new seed growers; Special considerations in integrating seed growing into a diversified farm; The economics of small scale seed production; The synergy of seed growing mixed with vegetable production, especially with CSA; Seed processing; Acquiring and fulfilling seed growing contracts.

Nathan Corymb; grew up on a farm in Indiana and has been involved with agriculture all his life. He completed a three year training in Biodynamic agriculture at Kimberton Hills in Pennsylvania in the early 80’s where he met his wife Beth Everett. He has worked as vocational gardener combining social work, education and community gardening for 32 years. His interest in seed began with involvement with the Seed Savers Exchange and led him to do a year of training in seed work with biodynamic seed companies in In 1994 He and Beth founded the Turtle Tree Biodynamic Seed Initiative for development, production and distribution of biodynamic and organic seed. They worked with integrating seed production into community supported agriculture vegetable production and worked with a circle of seed growers throughout North America to supply seed to the initiative. From 1998 to 2009 they developed the seed production and distribution into a sheltered workshop for special needs adults in upstate New York. In 2006 they inherited Beth’s family homestead in Scottsbluff Nebraska and began converting it into a certified biodynamic and organic farm, moving there in 2010 to begin vegetable and seed production. Currently they grow vegetables for their CSA, the farmers market, online coop marketing, and direct marketing from the farm. At present they do contract wholesale seed growing for seven different organic seed companies. They work with a non-profit called the Living Environment Foundation that has preserving bio-diversity and developing organic seed as part of its mission.

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