Monday, November 4, 2013

Sustainable Agriculture Conference Nov 15-17

It was just last April when Durham earned the title Tastiest Town in the South from Southern Living magazine, and it's a pretty well-known fact that Durham has great food.  Now, that food scene is attracting some of foods most forward thinking folks; local and sustainable agriculture experts will soon be converging on Durham to share tips, tricks and wisdom.

The Carolina Farm Stewardship Association’s 28th Annual Sustainable Agriculture Conference, happening in Durham, NC at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel Nov. 15-17, 2013, will feature over 70 food and farm workshops, farm tours by bus, hands-on intensives, and locally sourced, organic meals.

The Sustainable Agriculture Conference is one of the oldest and largest conferences of its kind in the U.S.  The 2011 Conference, also held in Durham, brought together more than 1,000 farmers, gardeners, foodies, and agriculture professionals to learn about the latest in sustainable farming methods, community gardening, cooking with local ingredients, and food policy activism.

“The local and sustainable food scene across the Carolinas is positively electric and the momentum continues to grow.  The Sustainable Agriculture Conference is at the heart of the local food and farming movement,” says Roland McReynolds, CFSA’s Executive Director.  He adds, “As always, we put our ideals on your plate with incredible, organic food supplied by local farmers at all of the conference meals, including the not-to-be-missed Local Foods Feast.”

This year’s conference boasts exciting tracks devoted to growing organic produce, pastured livestock, soils, beginning farmers, foodies, policy, and a ‘You Make It - Outdoors and Hands-on’ track.  The Conference features renowned speakers, such as fermentation guru, Sandor Katz, Rodale Institute’s Jeff Moyer, Growing for Market magazine’s Lynn Byczynski, author and food systems expert, Phillip Ackerman-Leist, and Michael Bush, author of The Practical Beekeeper.

Some of the more innovative and unique presentations at this year’s Conference include growing cut flowers, soldier fly production, raising goats, urban orcharding, hands-on farm hacking, mob grazing, farm to restaurant table, raising rabbits, lazy beekeeping, and permaculture.  In addition, classes on basic farm planning, marketing and management will give beginning farmers the skills they need to be successful.  This year, for the first time, the conference features “Big Ideas” talks in which top speakers will discuss provocative subjects, such as Climate Change and Farming, Faith and Agriculture, and Healthy Food Access.

The Friday, Nov. 15 Pre-conference features hands-on, intensive workshops on organic production, pastured poultry, food safety, mushrooms, food policy and foodsheds, and permaculture.  A very special intensive taught by Sandor Katz will teach participants the secrets of fermentation.  There will also be half-day bus tours to some of the most beautiful and successful sustainable farms and gardens in the Piedmont.
One of the highlights of the event is the Local Food Feast and Keynote, to be held on Nov. 15 starting at 6:30 PM.  This magical meal is made with only the best in-season, sustainably grown ingredients supplied by local farms.  This year’s keynote speaker is Sandor Katz, author of Wild Fermentation, which Newsweek called “the fermenting bible” and the newly released, The Art of Fermentation.  Katz is also the author of The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved, an exploration of America’s underground food movements. Sandor is a much sought-after speaker and thought-leader.  He lives on a farm in Tennessee.

For a complete list of conference offerings or to register for the conference, pre-conference intensives or tours, or the Local Food Feast, all of which are open to the public, please visit them online

Learn more about agritourism in Durham.

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