NOFA-VT Winter Conference

Save the Date! The 33rd Annual NOFA-VT Winter Conference will take place February 14 & 15, 2015 at the University of Vermont, Burlington.

Become a conference sponsor!Support the Winter Conference and reach our 1400+ attendees as a conference sponsor, advertiser, or exhibitor! Click here for all the details.


Watch our 2014 conference trailer and featured speakers!

Location & Transportation

The Winter Conference will take place at the University of Vermont in Burlington, VT. UVM's Davis Center acts as the hub of the conference, housing registration, our exhibitors' fair, keynotes, meals, and more. Workshops are held in nearby classrooms.

Staying in Burlington:

We have rooms blocked at a discounted rate at two local hotels: Best Western and the Doubletree, both in South Burlington just minutes from UVM. Make a weekend out of it!

  • Best Western’s rate of $83.00 per night is available until February 1. Call 1-800-371-1125 and use group code 407855. 
  • Doubletree’s rate of $104.00 is available until January 13. Two night minimum required. Click here to make your reservation online or call 1-802-658-0250.

For more accomodation options, please visit the Lake Champlain Chamber of Commerce.

Getting to Burlington:

Parking at UVM:
Parking for the Winter Conference is in the Given and Jeffords lots at UVM. These are both a short (3-5 minute) walk from the Davis Center. See below for a parking map. For GPS, use the address 63 Carrigan Drive, Burlington (click here for Google Maps). Please click here for a general map of the UVM campus.

parking at UVM


We are planning over 65 workshops for commercial farmers, gardeners, homesteaders, and organic eaters for the 2013 conference. Check back in December for more workshop information!

Photos by Elizabeth Ferry

Exhibitors' Fair

Always a favorite aspect of our conference, the Exhibitors' Fair features local businesses, agricultural experts, and organizations involved in food and farming.

*NEW!* Please join us Saturday night for Happy Hour with the Exhibitors at 5:15, featuring local beer and wine, with refreshments from Healthy Living Market and Cafe.

This year's exhibitors include:

  • Acadian Organic Fertilizer
  • Alltech
  • BCS/O'Neill & Associates
  • Center for an Agricultural Economy
  • Chelsea Green
  • City Market
  • Cooperative Fund of New England
  • Davis Center Exhibitor
  • Deep Root Organic Co-op
  • Drip Irrigation Systems
  • eOrganic
  • FarmPlate
  • Green Mountain Compost
  • Hanover Coop
  • Healthy Living
  • High Mowing Organic Seeds
  • Hunger Mountain Coop
  • Institute for Energy & the Environment, Vermont Law School
  • Intervale Center/Intervale Conservation Nursery
  • Johnny's Selected Seeds
  • McGill University - MacDonald Campus
  • New Village Farm
  • Northeast SARE
  • NOVIC - Nothern Organic Vegetable Improvement Collaborative
  • Progressive Asset Management
  • Risk Management Agency
  • Rural Vermont
  • Shelburne Farms
  • Singing Spindle Spinnery
  • Sterling College
  • The Children's Initiative
  • Tierra Farm
  • Total
  • UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture
  • UVM Department of Continuing Education
  • UVM Extension Rural & Ag VocRehab & VT Agribility
  • UVM Extension VT Rebates for Roll Bars Program
  • UVM New Farmer Project
  • Vermont Agency of Agriculture
  • Vermont Association of Conservation Districts
  • Vermont Compost Company
  • Vermont Migrant Farm Worker Solidarity Project
  • Vermont's Local Banquet Magazine
  • Wellscroft Fence Systems, LLC
  • Weston A Price Foundation/Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund
  • Wormpost Vermont

Conference Sponsorship


Download Sponsorship Info

Become a Winter Conference sponsor, advertiser, or exhibitor, and support Vermont's food system while reaching our committed, enthusiastic audience.

Click here to download our sponsorship, advertising, and exhibiting information. »
Deadline extended! Reply by October 27 to be listed in the conference brochure!

Subscribe to our e-newsletter or follow us on Facebook for the latest updates!

Advertising Details

Advertising in the conference program puts proof of your support and connection to the local, organic foods movement in the hands of each conference attendee.

**Advertising space is full for 2013. Contact the office if you'd like to be put on a waiting list.**


Artwork is due January 18, 2013 and must be black and white. PDF or high-resolution TIFF format preferred. Ads requiring formatting, resizing or other editing will incur an additional fee of $25. Download the sponsorship brochure & reply form by clicking here.

WC ad sizes


Non-Sponsorship advertising prices:

Half-page $250
Quarter-page $200
Eighth page $150

Exhibitors' Fair Details

Unlike many trade shows, our exhibitors' fair has an intimate, friendly atmosphere. Our two-room layout allows for more exhibiting space and gives you a choice of price options; sponsor exhibitors will always receive priority placement in Area 1.

**As of December 7, Area 1 is full, but there is plenty of room in Area 2. Please contact the office if you would like to be placed on the waiting list for Area 1.**

WC Exhibitors Fair Map

All Exhibitors receive:

  • One four or eight foot table
  • Two chairs
  • Free wi-fi access
  • Early lunch opportinity
  • Electricity available for additional $25

Exhibitor's Fair hours:

Set up:
Friday 2/15 - 4-7 PM
Saturday 2/16 - 6-8AM

Break down:
Sunday 2/17 -  4-8 PM

Saturday 7:30AM-7PM
Sunday 7:30AM-4PM

Conference Mixer in Exhibitors' Fair area:
Saturday 5-6pm

Non-Sponsor Exhibitors' Fair Prices:

  Area 1 Area 2
Non-member - 8 ft $550 $325
Member - 8 ft $500 $275
Farm/Nonprofit Member -8 ft --- $200
Farm/Nonprofit Member - 4 ft ---







Our exhibitors' fair sells out every year and space is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Click here to download the sponsor brochure and reply form.

Food & Product Sponsorship

Our locally-sourced meals and snacks are vital to the conference, and would not be possible without the generous support of our producers!

Food donations will be recognized on the NOFA Vermont website and on the “meals and food” page of the conference program, as follows:

Donation value



Company logo in program and website; NOFA business membership; 1 conference registration (includes meals) 

$500 – 1000

Level 1 name placement in program and on website

$250 – 500

Level 2 name placement in program and on website

up to $250

Level 3 name placement in program and on website

>> Click here to download a PDF of the food and product donation contract. This form is fillable using Adobe Reader or Apple's Preview.

Press Information

2014 Coverage:

Press Releases: 

For more information about the Winter Conference, please contact Caitlin Gildrien, NOFA Vermont Outreach Coordinator, at or 434-4122.

Photos from previous years: (Credit NOFA Vermont and Gabrielle Kammerer or Elizabeth Ferry as noted; click to view full-sized and download.)


NOFA Vermont logo: download a high-res PDF here.

2013 Winter Conference

View the 2013 Winter Conference program to see the speakers, workshops, and activities that made it such a success.

Watch some of the highlights from 2013:

Keynote Speakers


Vern GrubingerWe are proud to welcome Vern Grubinger as our Saturday keynote. Vern has worked with and for farmers for 30 years and has worked for the University of Vermont Extension since 1990. Currently the statewide vegetable and berry specialist and coordinator of the USDA 's Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program, Vern is a valued partner of NOFA-VT and a key resource for commercial vege table and berry growers throught the state.

We asked Vern to share his vision of the future of Vermont's agriculture through his keynote address. He says,

"The resilience of Vermont's food system is challenged by many factors, including climate change and weather extremes, reliance on fossil fuel, loss of good farmland , and consolidation of food processing, distribution and retailing. Strategies for addressing these challenges are emerging as part of an ongoing transformation in how people think about food: that it must be managed with systems approaches; that local and regional food systems create synergies unrelated to 'efficiency'; and that good food supports physical, economic and cultural h ealth. This presentation will highlight some of these strategies and the farms involved with them, celebrating the progress being made and suggesting new actions for the future."


Wendy JohnsonWendy Johnson is a Buddhist meditation teacher and organic gardening mentor who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. Wendy is one of the founders of the organic Farm and Garden Program at Green Gulch Farm Zen Center in Marin County, Wendy is the author of Gardening at the Dragon’s Gate (Bantam, 2008) and a prize-winning garden columnist for Tricycle: The Buddhist Review. In 2000 she and her husband, Peter Rudnick, received a Sustainable Agriculture Award from the National Ecological Farming Association. Wendy is a 15-year mentor and advisor to the Edible Schoolyard Project in North Berkeley and a founding instructor in the innovative Indian Valley Farm and Garden Project, established in 2009.

Wendy's keynote will address "The Ground of Resilience." Wendy says,

"Deep ecological farming and dynamic community are rooted in the wild resilience of the living earth. As the 2011 growing season delivered tempestuous weather and economic uncertainty from Burlington to Bangladesh, we were reminded how deeply our lives intertwine with the elemental world. In these times of challenge and change, what are the practices that ground and sustain us? How do we emerge with renewed focus and bravery and cultivate the Ground of Resilience?"


Saturday Events

Join us Saturday night as we unwind from one day of workshops and recharge for another!

Happy Hour with the Exhibitors

Light refreshments, local wine and beer offerings, and a chance to get to know our exhibitors. Refreshments sponsored by Healthy Living Market and Cafe.

NOFAvore Dinner and Dance
6:30-10:00pm; $20 + cash bar

Just want to dance? Show up at 8; we'll be taking donations at the door.

Enjoy a fantastic locally-sourced meal by Sodexo, good company, and music by the legendary Clayfoot Strutters, with contra dance calling by Rachel Nevitt!

We will also be hosting the first annual NOFA-VT Seed Swap outside the dinner hall, so bring seeds to share! Experts from High Mowing Organic Seeds will be on hand to answer your questions about seed saving and garden growing!

Also during dinner will be a story booth with the Vermont Folklife Center. If you would like to share your story about farming or food, find a partner and sign up for a 15-minute slot by emailing, calling the NOFA-VT office at 802-434-4122, or signing up at the conference.


Want a taste of Saturday's music? Listen below.

Sponsorship, Advertising, and Exhibiting

There are many ways to support the Winter Conference while promoting your business or organization to our attendees.

Download the sponsorship brochure and reply form or visit the links below for more details.

We offer a range of sponsorship options that provide many benefits, including complimentary registrations, exhibiting discounts, and advertising in the conference program and on the Winter Conference website.

*We are no longer accepting ads for the 2012 program.*

By advertising in the conference program, each attendee will see your support and connection to the local, organic foods movement. Programs are handed to each attendee and act as a manual for the weekend.

Our attendees look forward to browsing gardening tools, visiting with our sponsors, troubleshooting with experts, and making new connections to local businesspeople.


We are no longer accepting new ad orders for the 2012 Program.  Please accept our apologies and try again next year!

(Ad space has been reserved for qualifying sponsors; please contact the office with any questions.)

Our annual conference grows each year; this year we expect at least 1,500 attendees. By advertising in the conference program, each attendee will see your support and connection to the local, organic foods movement. Programs are handed to each attendee and act as a manual for the weekend.

ad sizes

  • Half page - 7.5"x4.5" - $200
  • Quarter page - 3.5"x4.75" - $125
  • Eighth page - 3.5"x2.25" - $75

All ads must be in black and white. PDF or high-res JPG images preferred.

We are no longer accepting new ad orders.

Ads are due January 16, 2012.

Exhibitors' Fair: Vendor Information

We've improved our exhibitors' fair!

Here are some highlighted changes:

  • Main entrance/exit to workshops now adjacent to exhibitor area
  • NOFA’s Hospitality Table with complimentary snacks located adjacent to exhibitor area
  • Exhibitors’ Fair browsing time built into the conference schedule
  • Saturday evening pre-dinner social hour in exhibitor area, with beer/wine reception and cheese tasting
  • Opportunity to include booth talks and demos in the conference program

Download the exhibitors' brochure and reply form.

Attendees browsing the exhibitors' fairOur attendees look forward to browsing gardening tools, visiting with our sponsors, troubleshooting with local experts, and making new connections to local businesspeople.

All farm- and garden-related products, crafts, and resources are welcome! The conference schedule leaves plenty of browsing time during the lunch break as well as during a special cocktail hour on Saturday night.

Exhibitors receive one free registration (does not include lunch). Electricity is available at your table for an extra fee.

Sponsorship Packages

We offer a range of sponsorship options that provide many benefits, including complimentary registrations, exhibiting discounts, and advertising in the conference program and on the NOFA-VT website.

We also offer advertising and exhibitors' fair opportunities without sponsorship.


Download the sponsorship, advertising, & exhibiting brochure and reply form, or explore your options below. 

Benefits to All Sponsors
• Prominent listing in the registration brochure (mailed to over 4,000 homes and businesses) and conference program (handed to approximately 1,500 attendees)
• Web listing and link on the conference website
• Sponsorship listing in the spring issue of the NOFA Vermont print newsletter, NOFA Notes
• Your contribution is tax-deductible!


Benefactor · $2,500+
Additional benefits:
• Public recognition prior to keynote address
• Prominent banner location at the conference
• Level one logo placement on NOFA Vermont website,
conference brochure, and conference program
• Business card printed in spring issue of NOFA Notes
• Two 2-day conference registrations, including lunch - ($230 value)
• Exhibitors’ Fair table (8 feet) -
($325 value)
• ½ page ad in conference program ($200 value)
• One year NOFA Vermont business membership ($50 value)


Sustainer · $1,000
Additional benefits
• Public recognition prior to keynote address
• Level two logo placement on NOFA Vermont website,
conference brochure, and conference program
• Business card printed in spring issue of NOFA Notes
• One 2-day conference registration, including lunch - ($115 value)
• Exhibitors’ Fair table (8 feet) -
($325 value)
• ¼ page ad in conference program ($125 value)
• One year NOFA Vermont business membership ($50 value)


Contributor · $500
Additional benefits:
• Level three name placement on NOFA Vermont
website, conference brochure, and conference
• One 2-day conference registration, including lunch - ($115 value)
• 25% off Exhibitors’ Fair table - ($81.25 value)
• ⅛ page ad in conference program - ($75 value)
• One year NOFA Vermont business membership ($50 value)


Supporter · $250
Additional benefits:
• Level four name placement on NOFA Vermont
website, conference brochure, and conference


Friend · $100
Additional benefits:
• Level five name placement on NOFA Vermont
website, conference brochure, and conference


To become a sponsor, advertiser, or exhibitor, please mail in the reply form with your payment.

Please contact the NOFA Vermont office with any questions at or (802) 434-4122. Thanks for your support!

The Children's Conference

children's conference sceneThe NOFA-VT Children’s Conference is the place for all children ages 6-12 to be on February 11th and 12th

Preregistration is closed but we will have a limited number of walk-in slots available. Please arrive at 8:00am at Edmunds School if you would like to register on the day of the conference.

For parents who would like to join us for lunch at the Children's Conference ($10 per day), there will be a shuttle leaving the main entrance of the Davis Center at 12:10 each day and returning at 1:05.

Please make sure your child brings appropriate outdoor clothing: BOOTS, MITTENS, SNOWPANTS, HAT. A change of clothes is also good!

Parking/drop-off information: Edmunds School parking lot is accessible from Maple Street, between South Willard and South Union Streets. Transportation to and from the conference is the responsibility of parents or guardians.  We will also be offering shuttle rides to and from Edmunds for those adults who with to attend the local foods lunch.

Taking place just down the road from UVM at Edmunds Elementary School on Main Street in Burlington, the Children’s Conference provides a variety of exciting and hands-on workshops to inspire and teach our young people about agriculture, cooking, nutrition, animals, the environment, and much more!  With a talented crew of experienced farmers, chefs, and educators to lead our many workshops and activities, youth will have a fun-filled learning adventure.  Kids will explore topics from sourdough-making to seed science and farm animals to birdhouse-building. Snacks and a local foods lunch are included. 


Children's Conference Registration 1st Child Additional Children
Saturday OR Sunday ONLY $25 $20
Saturday AND Sunday $45 $35
Adult Lunch at Children's Conference $10 $10


Children can attend the Children's Conference even if no adult is attending the Winter Conference.

Please note: Space is limited—pre-registration is strongly encouraged.  There will be few walk-in registrations available.  Please use the form on page 25. We also ask adults joining us for lunch to pre-register and add $10 per adult, per day. Thanks! Once we have received your registration we will send you an information packet about the children’s conference.


8:00 - 8:15

Registration & Check-in

8:15 - 8:45

Entry activity

8:45 – 9:05

Group Orientations

9:05 - 10:30

Workshop Session I

10:30 – 10:50

Snack Break! 

10:50 – 12:15

Workshop Session II

12:15 – 1:00

Local Foods Lunch


Children:  Outdoor Recess or Indoor Option:

2:00 - 3:25

Workshop Session III

3:25 – 3:45

Snack Break!

3:45 – 4:45

Whole group activity (outdoor and indoor environmental/outdoor education)


Parents arrive.  Pick up, pack up and head out!

Workshop presenters include: Green Mountain Farm to School, Winooski Valley Parks District, Circus Yoga, VINS

Conference activities subject to change.

JFF logoThe Children’s Conference is funded in part by the generous support of the Johnson Family Foundation. 


Interested in presenting or volunteering next year?  Contact

Children's Conference Documents

Please click here to download the informational packet about the 2012 NOFA Vermont Children's Conference.

Please contact the Liz Gleason, the Children's Conference Coordinator with any questions:


Rideshare & Accomodations

We currently have rooms blocked at two local hotels: the Best Western and the Doubletree across the street. Make a weekend out of it!

We've also set up a blog to facilitate home-sharing. If you have room to offer or need a place to crash, visit

Looking for a ride? Have room in your car?
We've created a group on to facilitate ridesharing. Please click here to offer or search for a ride.

Friday Night Events

Opening Reception: 4-9pm; $10 + cash bar

Taking place at Main Street Landing in downtown Burlington (see below for map), we are pleased to offer an opening reception to start the conference off right! Enjoy local wine and beer, light appetizers, and tastings from Friday's workshops, including crisp apple slices and sweet honey. Sugarsnap Catering will provide additional tasty snacks and the Skinny Pancake will run the bar. $10 includes admission to our feature film, Queen of the Sun.

Film Screening: Queen of the Sun
6-7:30pm; $5, free to those attending the Opening Reception

QUEEN OF THE SUN: What Are the Bees Telling Us? is a profound, alternative look at the global bee crisis from Taggart Siegel, director of THE REAL DIRT ON FARMER JOHN.

Taking us on a journey through the catastrophic disappearance of bees and the mysterious world of the beehive, this engaging and ultimately uplifting film weaves an unusual and dramatic story of the heartfelt struggles of beekeepers, scientists and philosophers from around the world including Michael Pollan, Gunther Hauk and Vandana Shiva. Together they reveal both the problems and the solutions in renewing a culture in balance with nature.

Map to Main Street Landing

View Larger Map

Friday Intensive Seminars

This year we are featuring several day-long seminars on Friday. These will take place at Main Street Landing in downtown Burlington from 10am to 4pm on Friday, February 10.

Click for more information in each topic:

Cost: $55 member, $65 non-member. Lunch is included. Pre-registration required.

Advanced Orchard Health for Sustainable Fruit Production
For commercial growers

Fruit tree culture has been stuck in allopathic mode for far too long, solely seeking out short-term fungicides and antibiotics to destroy disease-causing organisms from without. We never understood that the tree’s own immune ability could be coupled with the stimulation of friendly microbes to defeat disease from within. Join orchard health expert Michael Phillips for a day of in-depth orchard care geared towards fruit producers looking for sustainable and nature-based production techniques.  Register here. 

Nose to Tail Processing
For farmers, homesteaders, and home cooks

Butchery is a cornerstone in an artful food system. This intensive workshop will educate you in the time-honored tradition of butchery.  Instructors Frank Pace, Head Butcher at Healthy Living Market, Sam Ehrenfeld of Greyrock Farm, and Sam Fuller of NOFA Vermont will guide you through a hands-on lesson in making fresh sausage. 

Discussion will focus on whole animal processing, cooking techniques for various cuts of meat and the chefs will demonstrate how to make several types of charcuterie including bacon, pate, salami, and ham.  Get intimate with your food as you roll up your sleeves and engage with this venerable art.  Register now!

Organic Beekeeping
For homesteaders & commercial farmers

This workshop provides an introduction for folks interested in small scale and backyard beekeeping. Featuring Local bee expert Ross Conrad, this workshop will present a balanced view of natural and organic beekeeping topics and practices including: location and equipment requirements; basic honey bee biology; sourcing bees, swarming as an expression of the bees vitality; presence and mindfulness in the bee yard; non-toxic pest and disease control; and an appreciation for the role that pollinators and beekeepers play within the Earth's ecosystem.  Register here. 

Weed Management in a Wetter, Warmer Climate 
For advanced, commercial growers

In a higher CO2 climate, weed physiology is changing and weed management systems must adapt as well. This workshop brings together three experts in weed management.

Dr. Lewis H. Ziska, plant physiologist, will examine weeds' shifting geographical ranges, competitiveness, resistance to control and reproductive responses in our warmer, wetter climate.

Dr. Eric Gallandt is a professor of Weed Ecology whose practical research focuses on reducing the germinable weed seedbank with soil disturbance, cover crops,  elevated seeding rates or inter-row hoeing and selective use of seed predators.

Tom "Geo" Honigford, of Hurricane Flats in South Royalton, Vermont, has a zero tolerance attitude towards weeds at his 8 acre diversified vegetable operation. Honigford will discuss several weed species and equipment and systems for their management, why he weeds at least every two weeks, and how his long-standing zero-tolerance philosophy is paying off.  Register here. 

Renewable Energy Options On-Farm and Alternative Fuels for Greenhouses
For commerical growers

Using renewable energy on farm can be simple in theory and complicated in practice. The first half of this full day workshop will outline how to conduct an on-farm energy audit and various options for financing renewable projects, while the second half will look at real on-farm solutions to alternative energy and greenhouse heating.  Register here. 


10:00 - Welcome

10:15—Rose Wilson – Sustainable Business Planning

Rose specializes in marketing, business planning, and business development for farms, non-profits and small businesses.  She will discuss opportunities for farmers to receive support in integrating renewable energy into their greater farm management plans.

10:30— NRCS and Efficiency Vermont—Efficiency and Conservation 

There is financial help available for Vermont farmers looking to assess and retrofit their farm systems.    Bob Kort of Vermont Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Jenn Osgood of Efficiency Vermont will provide an overview of auditing processes, assistance programs and some next steps to take once your audit is complete.

11:00— Chad Farrell, Encore Redevelopment

Encore Redevelopment specializes in project development services for renewable energy systems and manages the financing, permitting and construction of these projects for owners and investors.  Encore's Principal, Chad Farrell, will outline the details and opportunities associated with both farm-owned projects and third party financing models. He will share several examples of how farmers are diversifying their income streams through investing in and/or hosting renewable energy systems on their land.

 11:30—Caleb Elder, AllEarth Renewables

Caleb Elder, of AllEarth Renewables, will discuss the importance of the VT Group Net Metering rules for farms installing renewable energy systems. Group Net Metering allows farms to install solar or wind generation wherever they have the best resource (ridgeline for wind, barn roof for solar, etc.) and then apply the credits to multiple accounts. Caleb will also discuss some different AllEarth Renewables projects installed on farms in VT over the past two years.

12:30—Lunch catered by The Skinny Pancake

1:30—Alternative Fuels for Greenhouses

Heat Capture and Transfer from Aerobic Composting

Heat Capture and Transfer from Aerobic Composting is a valuable tool for farms seeking to reduce dependence on fossil fuel and grid based energy systems. Farms generating or having access to compostable feedstock can glean heat for space, water, greenhouse and other needs. This is a valuable technology for holistically focused farm operations.  Joshua Nelson and Brian Jerose run AgriLab Technologies, LLP and teach courses on composting and sustainability at Green Mountain College.

Outdoor Cordwood Gasifiers for Greenhouse Heating

High Ledge Farm maintains just over 4,000 sq feet of greenhouse space for bedding plant production and for growing greenhouse tomatoes and winter greens. Paul was interested in installing an alternatively fueled heating system following a devastating propane tank failure that led to a fire which destroyed almost all the farm’s buildings including his greenhouses in the spring of 2009.  In this workshop, Paul Betz will share why he chose to install a cord wood gasifier and how it provides energy security.  

Wood Pellet Central Heating Systems for Greenhouses

Ease your impact on the environment and lower your operational costs by heating your greenhouse with wood pellets. Workshop participants will learn about the operational costs, environmental, and local economic benefits of heating with wood pellets verses oil or propane.  The workshop will review a case study of a greenhouse wood pellet user and will discuss fuel cost comparisons, operational and maintenance requirements, and the origins and processes used to create wood pellets.  Andy Boutin is founder of Pellergy, LLC, a manufacturer of wood pellet central heating systems.

4:00 Closing. Opening Reception in the Lake Lobby begins.


Winter Conference Registration

Registration for the 2015 Conference will open in January, 2015.

Subscribe to our e-newsletter or follow us on Facebook for the latest updates!

Winter Conference Scholarship Information

We make every effort to ensure that our conference is accessible to everyone. To this end, we offer two scholarship opportunities for the 2014 Winter Conference. Scholarships are limited, so we encourage early application - don't wait until the deadline!

Please apply before registering for the conference. Applicants who do not receive scholarships will still be able to register for the conference regular rate.

The deadline to apply for scholarships is January 24, 2014.
Please apply for only one scholarship.

1. General Winter Conference Scholarship

Thanks to donations from members, friends, and conference sponsors, we have a general scholarship fund which can cover up to 50% of registration costs (does not include meals or social events). NOFA Vermont members needing financial assistance to attend the conference may apply for this scholarship (Deadline is January 24.) If you would like to support our scholarship program, you can make a donation when you register.

This scholarship is now closed.

2. Beginning Farmer Scholarship

This scholarship is available specifically for beginning farmers (defined as those who have been farming for ten years or fewer). This scholarship covers a single-day registration fee (does not include meals or social events), and is supported by the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA, Grant #2010-49400-2184.

Click here to apply for the Beginning Farmer Scholarship.


Other scholarship opportunities:

Women farmers can apply for Vermont Farm Women's Fund Scholarships.

Vermont Farm Women's Fund scholarships can be used to defray registration fees for educational conferences, courses and classes. VFWF targets its scholarship awards to women who own, operate or work on Vermont farms, and who earn a majority of their income from farm-related activities. Scholarships can cover up to 75 percent of conference registration fees, but are capped at $150. Click here for application information. Applications must be submitted to VFWF at least 10 days prior to the event. If you have questions, please email or call 802-223-2389.


UVM Students:

The University of Vermont is offering scholarships to 20 UVM students to attend one day of the conference. Application deadline is 1/24. Click here to apply.


Please do not apply for more than one scholarship. For questions regarding scholarships, please contact the NOFA office: 434-4122,


Full workshop descriptions will be available soon!

» Please click here to view a list of weekend workshops (PDF).

2015 Winter Conference RFP

33rd NOFA Vermont Annual Winter Conference
February 14 & 15, 2015 • University of Vermont, Burlington, VT

Proposal application period:
August 1, 2014 – September 15, 2014

Proposals will not be accepted after September 15, 2014

Proposal submission link:

[Click here to download this RFP in PDF form.]


About the Conference:

The NOFA-VT Annual Winter Conference is Vermont’s largest agricultural conference, bringing together more than 1,500 farmers, gardeners, homesteaders, educators, policy makers and consumers for three days of workshops, networking sessions, meals and celebration.

PLEASE NOTE: This year we are combining many aspects of NOFA-VT’s Direct Marketing Conference (DMC) into the Winter Conference, and will not be hosting a separate DMC in January.  There will be a separate farmers’ market organizer conference in collaboration with the Vermont Farmers’ Market Association in March 2015.


2015 Conference Specifics:

Location: University of Vermont’s Davis Center and surrounding campus, Burlington, VT

General conference programming: Saturday & Sunday, February 14-15th

Full day intensive workshops: Date to be confirmed; Friday, February 13th or Monday, February 16th.


Goals of the Conference:

The goal of the conference is to facilitate learning and sharing of information on all aspects of local, organic food production, marketing, and consumption.  Our conference aims to create a gathering space that fosters collaboration between diverse groups of people, while also meeting the specific needs of these varied groups. The suggested topics below apply in the broadest sense. Additional topics will be considered. 

  1. Technical commercial organic vegetable, fruit, herb, flower, dairy & livestock production (beginner – advanced)
  2. Direct marketing strategies and best practices: CSA, farmstands, farmers’ market vending, etc.
  3. Procurement and infrastructure: distribution, processing, storage, food safety and cooperative models
  4. Education: farm-based education, experiential education, school gardens
  5. Agri-business marketing, technology, and business planning
  6. Food security and access
  7. Homesteading and gardening (beginner - advanced)
  8. Health, wellness and nutrition
  9. Alternative energy, climate change and resiliency
  10. Policy, activism, and community engagement




We will offer at least sixty 1.25 hour workshops, and some 2.5-hour double workshops over the course of Saturday and Sunday. You can expect between 30 – 120 people in attendance.



We will host one day of “intensive” workshops on Friday, February 13th or Monday, February 16th.  These intensive workshops are an opportunity to dig deep into a topic area and are typically 4 - 6 hours long (with a mid-day lunch break). Compensation arrangements for intensives will be handled on a case-by-case basis.


Presenter requirements, responsibilities, and tips

We encourage interactive sessions that provide opportunities for significant audience participation. These sessions may include individual or group discussions, small group work, or hands-on tasks. PowerPoint presentations are not required, and if used, we encourage a creative approach. Interactive and hands-on vs. lecture-only sessions have the highest appeal and tend to be the most beneficial to attendees.  Of course, we’re looking for high quality, educational, sessions. Sessions that focus on how to implement a system, idea, etc. without having to hire a consultant are preferred; selling services or products cannot be the focus of the session.

Panels are welcome. Prior to submission of the proposal all panel members should be contacted and their commitment confirmed. There is a maximum of 4 panelists per session. Panelists do not receive honorariums (see Compensation Benefits, below).

We ask that presenters allow for 10 to 15 minutes of question and answer at the end of each session. It’s imperative that presenters do not allow one attendee to monopolize discussion. Presenters are expected to handle such attendees appropriately. There will not be facilitators for all sessions. 

Handouts/supplemental materials need to be provided by the presenter 10 days prior to the conference. NOFA will provide the appropriate number of photocopies at no charge to the presenter. 


Set up:

Unless requested differently by the presenter, each classroom will be set up “lecture style” with a table up front for the presenter. 


Audio Visual (AV):

The following AV will be provided:

  1. LCD Projectors with connections to PC laptops or computers
  2. Projector Screen
  3. Wireless internet
  4. Flip chart & markers OR white board with markers 

The following AV must be supplied by the presenter:

Your presentation on a flash drive or in your email. If you prefer to use your personal laptop, you must bring the appropriate adapter cords if it is a Mac.


COMPENSATION BENEFITS (for single and double person presentations only)

  1. Presenters may choose a $50 honorarium, a 1-year membership to NOFA-VT, or registration and lunch for an additional weekend day of the conference (for presenter only, not transferrable to friends/family).
  2. Complimentary registration and lunch will be provided on each day presenting.
  3. One night’s accommodations in a local hotel will be provided if one-way travel by car exceeds 4 hours.
  4. Handouts that are sent to NOFA 10 days prior will be photocopied at no cost.

For panels with three or four presenters each panelist will receive a one-day complimentary registration and lunch for the day they are speaking. We’re sorry that we cannot offer honorariums or complimentary accommodations for panel presenters. Panels with more than 4 presenters will not be accepted.



This is a competitive process and only a limited number of proposals will be accepted. Proposals will be reviewed by the conference committee and sessions that best meet the needs of the conference attendees and overall conference goals will be selected. You can submit more than one presentation or submit a presentation which requires back to back sessions. Each subsequent session should build on the initial content and add depth to it.  Incomplete proposals will not be considered. To submit your proposal, please follow the following link:

Questions and Information

For more information about the conference and/or information concerning workshop content and submission process, contact Barbara Richardson at 802-434-4122 or 

Submission of a proposal is not a guarantee of its acceptance.

All proposals will be reviewed by a committee. Notification of your proposal’s status will be provided by October 15, 2014. 

Thank you for your interest in participating in NOFA-VT’s 33rd Annual Winter Conference. The event is NOFA-VT’s largest fundraiser and makes it possible for us to run the programs that educate and connect farmers, gardeners, and their communities throughout the year. The success of our conference is due in large part to the support of the many talented presenters who choose to participate each year.

Children's Conference

We are always excited to welcome the next generation of farmers, gardeners, and food lovers at the conference!

Details for the 2015 Childrens' Conference will be announced this winter. See below for 2014 offerings. 

Subscribe to our e-newsletter or follow us on Facebook for the latest updates!

Kids at the ConferenceWe see the high number of kids at our conference as proof of the vitality of this movement! Children may accompany their parents to the main conference or register for the Children’s Conference.

» Click here to download the 2014 Children's Conference Schedule. (PDF)

Listen to some songs from the 2012 conference, written and performed by Children's Conference participants and the wonderful Chris Dorman.

Child Care

Childcare • Ages 2–5

Cost per 75 minute workshop session: $10 for first child, $5 for each addition child from the same family.

*As of January 21, there has been very little interested in childcare indicated to us. If you would like this service to be available, please let us know when you pre-register!*

If there’s enough interest, we will offer a supervised childcare option for children aged 2–5. Childcare is by drop-off only, and available only during workshop sessions. It is not intended as all-day care. Workshops are 75 minutes, and parents will be charged by the workshop session.

Available on first come, first serve basis. Maximum number of children allowed in the room will be 10. If you are interested in childcare as a service, please indicate when you register. (This does not obligate you or reserve a space, only allows us to gauge the level of interest.)

Please check back here for more updates!

Children's Conference

Children's Conferece

Is your child attending the Children's Conference? Click here for details & important forms!

Children’s Conference • Ages 6–12
Registration: $30/child/day

Please welcome the Children’s Conference to the University of Vermont campus! The Davis Center’s Livak Ballroom will come alive with stories, singalongs, art projects, guided movement, lunch- time parades, feathery friends and bike-powered blenders. Kids will join their parents for lunch, then move off campus for a field trip each afternoon.

The Saturday field trip to ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center will educate and delight about the Ecology, Culture, History, and Opportunity for stewardship in the Lake Champlain Basin and beyond. Kids are active learn- ers at ECHO as they explore more than 70 live species of animals and more than 100 interactive exhibits.

On the Sunday field trip to the Flynn Center for Performing Arts, a professional teaching artist will engage kids in an afternoon of creative capers that bring local food systems to life. This special outing is designed to dynamically  deepen your child’s connections with science, eco systems, life cycles of plants and more.

Included in the cost of registration:

  • Creative activities in the Livak Ballroom, Davis Center, UVM
  • Transportation to ECHO Center (Saturday) and the Flynn (Sunday)
  • Entrance to ECHO Center (Saturday) and programming at the Flynn (Sunday).
  • Snacks

Lunch is not included in the registration cost. Children are welcome to join adults for lunch at the Children’s price of $10. Of course, you’re also welcome to pack a bag lunch for your kids!

Children's Conference Details & Forms

Dear Children’s Conference Parent,


Thank you for pre-registering your child for the 2013 NOFA-VT Children's Conference! The conference is just a week away, and we're looking forward to having you there! Attached to this email are your conference materials. If possible, please print the medical waiver and photo release (attached below) and bring them with you when you check your child in. If you can't print these, we will have extra copies at registration.


On the day of the conference, please make sure to check your child in at the registration table in front of the Frank Livak Ballroom on the 4th floor of the Davis Center at UVM. Do not go to the general conference registration on the 1st floor. Let us know about any allergies or dietary restrictions, and designate an adult to pick your child up at the end of the day (5pm) and at lunchtime.


Your "what to bring" backpack list is located on page two of the informational letter, attached below. We do plan for outdoor play, so please prepare accordingly!


Have questions between now and then? Please contact Vera.


Thanks, and see you soon,


- Vera and Danielle




Vera Simon-Nobes

NOFA-VT Assistant Conference Coordinator

(802) 338 1114 (cell)


Danielle Pipher

NOFA-VT Children’s Conference Coordinator

(802) 498 8030 (cell)

Welcome & Information737.81 KB
Schedule Details1.44 MB
Medial Waiver (doc)1.83 MB
Photo Waiver (doc)1.81 MB

Conference Schedule

Details for the 2015 conference will be announced this winter.

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The exhibitors' fair is the place to find books, crafts, tools, and informative materials from agricultural businesses and organizations.

Become a 2015 Exhibitor! »

2015 Exhibitors

Featured Speakers

Featured speakers for the 2015 conference will be announced this fall. 

Subscribe to our e-newsletter or follow us on Facebook for the latest updates!

2014 Speakers


Michael Rozyne: Something Bigger

Michael RozyneGetting our vision of an organic future BIG enough to cover broad issues is critical, but it’s not the hardest part of our work. Fitting in to something bigger –forging alliances and partnerships outside the organic world so we can tackle those broad issues – that is our hardest work. Can we do it, and how?

Michael Rozyne is executive director of Red Tomato, a non-profit produce “food hub” based in Plainville, MA. In 1986, he co-founded fair trade coffee company Equal Exchange, now a leading US fair trade company. Rozyne started Red Tomato in 1996 to bring fair trade principles to farmers in the US and to make local produce available in a grocery store near you.


FarmsTED Talks

Inspired by the TEDTalks format of brief but excellent presentations on “ideas worth spreading,” we are featuring a series of shorter talks on Sunday highlighting four people who address our conference theme of Growing Outside the Box.

Dorn CoxDorn Cox is an organic grain grower at Tuckaway Farm in Lee NH; the Director of Green Start, an organization working towards food and fuel security; and co-founder of Farm Hack, an open source community for resilient agriculture.

Dorn will focus on how Farm Hack brings non-farmers into the agricultural innovation process and widens the definition of who is part of the local food system.


Chris Dutton 

Chris Dutton is the Agricultural Programs Director at Vermont Technical College in Randolph. Chris brings his experience as a dairy farmer and veterinarian to educate the next generation of farmers at VTC.

He will talk about how education can create the best farmers for Vermont by teaching the keys to farm independence: science, business skills, and critical thinking.


Helen Whybrow


Helen Whybrow raises purebred Icelandic sheep and organic high-bush blueberries with her family at Knoll Farm in Fayston.

During the past growing season, Helen and independent filmmaker Michael Sacca interviewed Vermont farmers about why they choose to be certified organic. Helen will show the resulting short film, Organic Matters, and talk about the organic movement’s potential for growth and influence.


Darlene Wolnik


Darlene Wolnik lives in New Orleans, and works as a facilitator, researcher and analyst for community food systems across the U.S.; she has been working with Vermont’s farmers’ markets since 2011.

Darlene will address the question of bringing more of the population into the “pop-up tent” of local food systems. How do we invite everyone in while still allowing for the slow but steady growth of small family farms and producers?

Highlights & Activities

Details for the 2015 conference will be announced this winter. Read below to see what the 2014 conference had to offer.

Subscribe to our e-newsletter or follow us on Facebook for the latest updates!

Community Art Project 
Join local artist Bonnie Acker to create carrots and cows, farmers and fields for large, brilliantly-colored paper collage panels. All ages will be celebrated, and you don’t have to consider yourself an artist!

There will be a place for everyone to share scissors, paper, glue and dreams of a Vermont – and a world – where wonderful food is enjoyed by all.

New Farmer Coaching Sessions
Beginning farmers can sign up for a one-on-one coaching session with a Vermont New Farmer Project consultant to discuss business goals or review draft business plans. Click here to learn more and sign up.

Farm and Food Systems Hackathon
What online and digital tools are farmers currently using to manage and promote their farm? What digital tools, if built, would make it easier and more effective for farmers to prosper? Farmers, students, techies, please join the conversation!


Buddy Badges 
Back for a second year!
Look for the number on the name badge you receive at registration, find the oVermont Soap Company logother conference attendee with the matching number, and dash off to the registration area for a pair of matching prizes! (Thanks to Vermont Soap for donating to our prize bin!)

This year, choose from a number of “interest icons” to add to your badge & help you start conversations with like-minded folks.

Plowing Old Ground: Vermont’s Organic Farming Pioneers
Photography Exhibit

“History is made of stories, lost to time unless they are told. The stories here are from Vermont’s early organic farmers, who helped build an industry and a culture from scratch. Theirs are important stories that ‘Vermont’s Organic Farming Pioneers’ tells through photographs and text.“
Be sure to make time to view this exhibit of stunning photos and stories from Susan Harlow and John Nopper, featuring some of NOFA Vermont’s original members!

Some of these veteran farmers are even giving workshops over the weekend, passing along their hard-earned knowledge to the next generation of organic farmers.

Wool Spinning
Join Twist o’ Wool Spinning Guild for demonstrations and hands-on yarn-spinning!


Intensives for the 2015 conference will be announced this winter. See below for 2014 offerings. 

Subscribe to our e-newsletter or follow us on Facebook for the latest updates!

2014 Intensives

Action Planning for Farm Resilience in a Changing Climate
High tunnels may be one way for farms to increase resilience.10am–4pm, Davis Center, UVM
$50 members; $65 non-members

**A $30, post event refund is available for commercial farmers who participate.

Join researchers and extension educators from the University of Vermont who are partnering with farmers to develop long-term farm management strategies under weather extremes. The session will include themed “resilience stations” exploring best management practices, financial planning, and personal care. Bring your farm maps and other information to develop an individualized “climate change resilience action plan.”

Presenters: Joshua Faulkner, UVM Farming and Climate Change Program Coordinator; Kate Westdijk, UVM Food Systems Research Specialist; Eric Noel, co-owner of Health Hero Farm; John Hayden, co-owner of The Farm Between; Jenn Colby, UVM Grazing Specialist; Kirsten Workman, UVM Agronomy Specialist for Field Crops and Nutrient Management; Sam Smith, Intervale Center Farm Business Specialist; Sarah Noel Larose, VT Natural Resources Conservation Service; Liz Brownlee & Connor Steman, former UVM Field Naturalist Program Master’s students; and Lindsey Ruhl, Master's student in UVM Plant and Soil Science.

This workshop has been made possible by the Vermont Community Foundation and is based on work supported by the UVM Food Systems Spire and several UVM departments.

Beef Butchery: Hindquarters and Smoked Sausages
Learn to cut beef in this workshop.10am–4pm, ArtsRiot, 400 Pine Street, Burlington, VT
$75 members; $90 non-members; walk-in registration available as space permits.

Join two of Vermont’s leading butchers to learn about cutting beef and value-added processing. The first half of the day we will breakdown a hindquarter of beef, learning about the different cuts, meat quality, and the dry-aging process. The second half of the day we will be making smoked kielbasa and summer sausage and reviewing the equipment, science, and food safety behind their production. Space is limited for this hands-on session and pre-registration is required.

Presenters: Frank Pace is the butcher at Guild Fine Meats in Burlington. Cole Ward teaches butchering in person and through his video series, The Gourmet Butcher.

Chicken Soup for the Soil: Building Nutrient-Dense Soil for Nutrient-Dense Crops
Quality crops begin with healthy soil.10am–3pm, Davis Center, UVM
$50 members; $65 non-members

Soils, crops, and livestock are all interrelated and have the potential to add up to a thriving, healthy whole farm system. This workshop will start with strategies for building first class productive soils that produce nutrient-dense crops. Jerry Brunetti will tell us how to do it from the ground up.

Jack Lazor and Heather Darby will describe their research work and practical approaches to producing superior quality crops here in Vermont.

Presenters: Jerry Brunetti is the owner of Agri-Dynamics, Inc. in Martins Creek, PA and is a soil and crop consultant for livestock farms and ranches. Jack Lazor is the owner of Butterworks Farm in Westfield, VT and author of The Organic Grain Grower. Heather Darby is a farmer and the Agronomic and Soils Specialist for UVM.

This workshop has been made possible by the Forrest and Frances Lattner Foundation.

Commercial Growing of Medicinal Herbs for Market in the Northeast
Calendula is one of the herbs that can be grown in VT.10am–3pm, Davis Center, UVM
$50 members; $65 non-members

Interested in producing herbs on a commercial scale? Join the owners of Zack Woods Herb Farm in an exploration of the entire process from seed selection to sales, including facilities layout and planning, species selection, propagation, growing, harvesting, post-harvest processing, storage, value-added processing and marketing.

Presenters: Jeff and Melanie Carpenter have owned and operated Zack Woods Herb Farm, a certified organic medicinal herb farm located in Hyde Park, VT, for 14 years. Zack Woods Herb Farm sells organic dried and fresh bulk herbs, herbal teas, and potted medicinal plants through both wholesale and retail accounts.

Lodging and Transportation

Staying in Burlington:

We currently have rooms blocked at two local hotels: Best Western and the Doubletree, both in South Burlington just minutes from UVM. Make a weekend out of it!

  • The Best Western’s rate of $83.00 per night is available until February 1. Call 1-800-371-1125 and use group code 407855.
  • The Doubletree’s rate of $104.00 is available until January 13. Two night minimum required. Call 1-802-658-0250.

For more accomodation options, please visit the Lake Champlain Chamber of Commerce.

Getting to Burlington:

Meals & Food

Details for the 2015 conference will be announced this winter. See below for 2014 offerings. 

Subscribe to our e-newsletter or follow us on Facebook for the latest updates!

Hospitality Table

The NOFA Hospitality table will be stocked with local breads, cheese, apples, and other snacks to keep you fueled for a long day of learning. Cider and hot tea will be available for drinks; our friends at Vermont Coffee Company will have coffee available by donation as well.

Plus, look for freshly roasted root veggies from the NOFA-VT mobile oven outside the Davis Center!


Saturday: Turkey Tikka Masla & Tofu Tikka Masala, Apple Celaric Slaw, Green Salad, and Dessert Sunday: Sloppy Farmer Joes & Sloppy Lentil Joes, Magenta Root Slaw, Green Salad, and Dessert

New School Cuisine Cover

Locally-sourced lunches are prepared by UVM Sodexo with recipes from the cookbook New School Cuisine, developed with help from NOFA Vermont as a partner in Vermont FEED. Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options are available.

Lunches do sell out! We cannot guarantee lunches to walk-in registrants. Other options for food on campus are limited, especially on Sunday, when many on-campus dining areas are closed. Click here to explore UVM's dining services' locations, menus, and hours.

There are also lunch options at Fletcher Allen Hospital; the Harvest Cafe in the McClure Lobby is particlarly well-known for quality, locally-sourced food.

You may also bring a bag lunch and join us in the dining room.

Saturday Night

Click here for Mixer details, restaurant recommendations, and Cocktail Walk reservation information.

Sunday Ice Cream Social


Close the conference with our famous ice cream social, thanks to the generosity of our friends at Strafford Organic Creamery.

Saturday Night Events

Details for the 2015 conference will be announced this winter. See below for 2014 offerings. 

Subscribe to our e-newsletter or follow us on Facebook for the latest updates!

Conference Mixer with the Exhibitors
5:15-7:30 - Exhibitors' Hall, Davis Center, 1st and 2nd Floors

We're expanding our popular mixer to give everyone more time to talk with each other and their favorite exhibitors. This is a great time to finish those conversations you began at lunch or in workshops, or just to unwind after a long day of learning.

Join us for bluegrass music from Caleb Elder and Brett Hughes, a beautiful photo exhibit to view, tasty appetizers from Sugarsnap, and a cash bar.

Seed SwapSeed Swap Packets from High Mowing Organic Seeds

Bring your seeds! The NOFA-VT Seed Swap is the perfect time to expand the biodiversity of your garden and share the bounty of your own saved seed.

A representative from High Mowing Organic Seeds will be on hand to answer seed-saving questions. Bring clearly-labeled seeds; we'll provide packets to take home your new ones.


Instead of hosting a dinner this year, we invite you to head downtown and enjoy some of our great local restaurants.

We especially recommend the following Burlington-area businesses, which support NOFA Vermont through our annual Share the Harvest fundraiser. Reservations are recommended, as this Valentine's and Presidents' Day weekend is likely to be busy.

City Market/Onion River Coop  Juniper
El Cortijo Lake View House Restaurant
The Farmhouse Tap & Grill  Leonardo's Pizza (take-out only)
Great Harvest Bread Company (breakfast & lunch only)
Leunig's Bistro
Guild & Company
Penny Cluse Cafe (breakfast & lunch only)
Guild Fine Meats (take-out only)
The Skinny Pancake (Tell them you're with NOFA and they'll donate 10% to us!)
Hen of the Wood Trattoria Delia

For more dining options, visit the Vermont Fresh Network or the Seven Days' guide to restaraunts and bars, Seven Nights.

Cocktail Walk
5:15-6:30 | 21+

Cocktail Walk logoUnwind after Saturday's conference with local cocktails and food downtown!

Meet at Church & Main in downtown Burlington for an original cocktail and appetizer featuring local spirits and bitters. From there, we'll walk to Juniper for a different Vermont-inspired cocktail and a delicious spread of snacks. The distiller and bartender will be on hand to tell the story behind their spirits and bitters. The event begins promptly at 5:15 at Church & Main and will wrap up around 6:30 at Juniper, not far from music and fun at Skinny Pancake.