Monday, March 4, 2013

CT NOFA Winter Conference

On Saturday March 2nd some of the farmers awoke verrrry early to attend the CT Northeast Organic Farming Association's Winter Conference (and on the way out we saw a big fisher cat in the driveway! But that's another story....). The conference was held in Wilton, CT at the town's high school. All three floors of the school were filled with dozens of vendors including local farmers, agricultural businesses, and various organizations. There were three workshop sessions, and we all split up to attend those that interested us the most. Just a few titles of the workshops that we attended include: "Pruning and Grafting Fruit Trees", "Cohousing = Sustainable Living", "Beginning Farmer Resources and Coalition Building", and "Food Preservation: Canning and Fermenting Your Own Food" - I loved this last one because we got to sample homemade sauerkraut and kombucha tea, and made a giant vat of salsa!

One of our favorite vendors sells delicious loaves of baked breads covered in garlic and herbs and dipped in olive oil. 

our workshop coordinator showing us around the classroom kitchen

fresh tomatoes, cilantro, red and green peppers, garlic, salt and onion

everyone at the workshop helped chop, mix, wash and can our salsa

trying some fresh, uncut kombucha at the canning workshop

Fresh canned salsa - by Paul, Kelsey and Tanya

One of many NOFA vendors, selling produce and local products

Andrew Lyons and Laura also attended a great workshop on maple sugaring, and they will be presenting their findings on Thursday March 7th at 6pm in EcoHouse (Sprague Hall). This is a perfect time to learn about sugaring, because the UConn sugar house will be having its open house on Saturday March 9th from 10 - 2pm!  Overall, the conference was very inspiring and educational, and personally I look forward to putting what I learned into practice at SVSF..... starting with a homemade batch of kombucha :)

Kelsey Sullivan
Tanya Lama (photos)


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