Workshops by Session

SATURDAY:  Session I  •  Roundtables  •  Session II  •  Session III 

SUNDAY:  Session I  •  Roundtables  •  Session II  •  Session III 
 

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SCHEDULE: SATURDAY, February 18, 2017 

8:00 am

Registration & Exhibitors' Fair open; refreshments available

9:00-10:30 am

Keynote: Dr. Fernando Funes Monzote

10:45 am-12:00  Workshop Session I

12:00–2:00 pm

Lunch, Exhibitors' Fair, & Roundtables (1:00–2:00)

2:15–3:30 pm 

Workshop Session II

3:45–5:00 pm

Workshop Session III

5:00-7:00 pm

Saturday Social & Activities


Saturday - Session I: 10:45-12:00pm

Climate Smart Farming

Presenter: Jonathan Lambert, Joshua Faulkner
This session will provide an overview of climate change impacts and opportunities to agriculture in the Northeast, and the new resources and decision support tools that are available through the USDA Northeast Climate Hub, Cornell Climate Smart Farming Program, and University of Vermont to help farmers adapt to a changing climate, and reduce their carbon footprint. We will showcase resources, extension support and a new climate adaptation framework for agriculture developed by NRCS with the Hubs. The session will also introduce several new tools (including a new growing degree day calculator, irrigation scheduler, and freeze risk tools), and how they can be used by farmers to make more informed decisions using long-term NOAA weather data and climate projections.

CSA: We Have a Problem

Presenter: Simon Huntley

Simon Huntley from Small Farm Central will review the current state of CSA farming across the country drawing on his experience working with 100s of CSA farms. What can be done to improve CSA member retention? How can CSAs serve more members? Simon will talk about emerging models in CSA farms that attempt to better address the needs of members while still making CSA work for the farmer.

Extensive Sheep & Goat Production

Presenter: Carol Delaney

Whether you are alone or with a travel partner, you will be escorted to Mali, El Salvador and France to see and learn about extensive production systems for goats and sheep. Using PPT and videos, Carol will discuss and entertain discourse about the elements of herding small ruminants to harvest their own feed. A lively conversation about how to implement the management of woody plants for goat production in Vermont will cap the presentation.

Farming Smarter not Harder: Planning for Profit

Presenter: Richard Wiswall

Farming offers fundamental satisfaction from producing food, working outdoors, being one’s own boss, and working intimately with nature. But unfortunately, many farmers avoid learning about the business end of farming; because of this, they often work harder than they need to, or quit farming altogether because of frustrating- and often avoidable- losses. This workshop will focus on the planning and analysis tools needed to run a profitable farm, in an easy, step-by-step format. Tips for beginner farmers will finish the session.

Food and Mood - Eating for Optimal Health and Happiness

Presenter: Leanne Yinger

We have access to so much processed food it has become a public health crisis nationally. This workshop, Food and Mood, will provide information about how eating closer to the source with farmer’s markets/stands and Farm to Table/School positively impacts overall health. Leanne will introduce how nutrient dense diets improve not only physical health but also mental health. Her lecture and interactive style are sure to provide food for thought as she shares real life stories about how changing diet and lifestyle provide healing of mind, body and spirit.

Herbal Tinctures by Numbers

Presenter: Betzy Bancroft

Once we’ve gotten comfortable and proficient with folk-method tinctures, we might want to be able to make consistent batches, understand the optimal amount of alcohol for the chemistry of the plant, and gauge dose accurately. Through demonstration and discussion, this class will explain the simple math involved with herbal tinctures, from ratio of plant to menstruum, alcohol percentage, accounting for water in fresh plants and more.

International Agricultural Opportunities for Farmers

Presenters: Mike Collins, Chuck Mitchell, Mimi Arnstein

Join three farmer-to-farmer volunteers who have traveled far and wide to exchange information with other producers around the globe. Hear about their experiences in Asia, the Caribbean, Central America, and others. Learn how to take advantage of volunteer programs and international conferences for commercial farmers and technical service providers plus get tips for having a fulfilling experience.

Making the Farmer/Chef Connection

Presenters: Lyndon Virkler, Darryl Benjamin

This workshop will offer tips for making successful connections to the right food service operations, sharing resources for successful marketing and distribution, and lessons learned from twenty years as a Vermont Fresh Network member. The workshop is for farmers who wish to improve their sales to local restaurants, schools and institutions. Savvy food service operators and their customers love to sample local food products, particularly heirloom vegetables and heritage meats not available through large distributors. Consumers want to know where their food comes from and they appreciate the quality, freshness, and flavor of local foods and often welcome the opportunity to support the local working landscape. When all goes well, there are great co-marketing opportunities for both farmers and chefs.

Managing Blue Orchard Bees (Native Pollinators)

Presenters: Leif Richardson, John Hayden

Through presentation, discussion, and demonstration, participants will learn how to manage and expand populations of the Blue Orchard Bee and other tunnel nesting native bees. These lessor known but extremely important pollinators are suffering from many of the same stresses affecting honeybees. The good news is we can do something about it.

Managing Pasture for Drought

Presenter: Ben Crockett

Were you one of the many folks feeding out hay in August and wondering where you'd buy enough hay to make it until this spring? In this workshop we'll talk about management tactics that can help reduce the stress on your pastures, your livestock, and yourself. Discussions will include record keeping and pasture planning, adjusting pasture rotations and paddock sizes, and managing for soil health.

Regenerative Farming, Impact Investing, and Climate Change

Presenters: Sally Dodge, Dale Guldbrandsen

In a facilitated discussion, Sally Dodge and Dale Guldbrandsen from Iroquois Valley Farms, will connect the partnership of socially responsible investors with organic farmers in slowing climate change through regenerative agriculture. This workshop addresses farmers who need access to land, investors who want to make a difference with their capital, and everyone who wants to join the Revolution in healing the planet through improving our soils.

Small-Scale, Sustainable Hop Production for Home and Market

Presenters: Laura Ten Eyck, Dietrich Gehring

This workshop will provide participants with an understanding of the botany, uses, cultivation and processing of hops for use by home brewers as well as for sale to small craft breweries.

The Farm as a School: Making the Most Out of a School Farm Visit

Presenters: Ali Zipparo, Misse Axelrod

Light up your inner educator and discover ways to foster curiosity and meaningful experiences for farm visitors at this hands-on workshop. Join Misse Axelrod from The Barn Yard and Ali Zipparo, Vermont Agency of Agriculture Farm to School Grant Coordinator to gather strategies for working with visitors of all ages, share tips for group management, and fill your toolbox with activities that can be customized to your farm. Attendees will leave this workshop with ideas for incorporating educational on-farm visits at their place of business.

The Milk with Dignity Program: Worker-Driven Social Responsibility

Presenters: Enrique Balcazar, Rafaela Rodriguez

The Milk with Dignity Program is bringing together farmworkers, farmers, corporate buyers and consumers to secure dignified livelihoods for both farmers and farmworkers. Additionally, the program provides assurance to both retail food companies and consumers who increasingly value a fair supply chain that protects workers’ rights. The Milk with Dignity Program, inspired by and modeled after the Fair Food Program, enlists the resources of food industry leaders, like Ben & Jerry’s, to improve farm conditions by providing participating farmers, who agree to comply with a worker-defined Code of Conduct, a premium price for milk. Representatives from Migrant Justice and the program's newly created third party "Milk with Dignity Standards Council" will share more about this program that is just getting off the ground!

Vegetative Plant Propagation: The Asexual Gift that Keeps on Giving

Presenter: Jacob Holzberg-Pill

This practical, hands on workshop offers a broad overview on many different types of vegetative (asexual) plant propagation; crown division, root cuttings, scaling, tip layering, softwood and hardwood cuttings. We will discuss which techniques work best for different species and genera. Come learn how to make more grape, currant, hardy kiwi, mulberry, quince, fig, blueberry, honeyberry, seaberry, blackberry, raspberry, strawberry, chive, horseradish, mint, lemon balm, comfrey, daylily, true lily, rhubarb, asparagus, sunchoke, rosemary, lavender, oregano, thyme, and many more. Participants will practice some of these techniques and take home plants.

Vining/Fruiting Crops in Hoophouses & Greenhouses: Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Peppers and Eggplant

Presenter: Andrew Mefferd

Though tomatoes might be the most popular, many of the same techniques can be used to grow the other vining/fruiting crops in protected culture- cucumbers, peppers and eggplant. Whether you grow in a hoophouse or a greenhouse, come hear about best practices that can be used with some modifications on all four crops including temperature, spacing, whether or not to graft, trellising, pruning and fertility.

 

SATURDAY - ROUNDTABLES: 1:00-2:00PM

Comida Justa: Building Solidarity Between NOFA & Migrant Justice

Facilitators: Brendan O'Neill, Louis Battalen

Unimos! Join Brendan O'Neill of Migrant Justice and Louis Battalen of NOFA's Fair Trade Committee as we provide an update about Migrant Justice’s Milk with Dignity Program & its Worker Social Responsibility model of Enforcement Mechanisms

Crop Insurance as Part of Your Farm’s Risk Management Plan

Facilitator: Jake Jacobs

The USDA provides crop insurance, revenue protection and disaster coverage programs designed to support farmers when natural or market events put their agricultural enterprises at risk. Participants will learn about the options available for Vermont producers, subsidies available to reduce premium costs, provisions for beginning farmers, traditionally underserved and farmers with limited resources, price addendums for organic producers and how to access information and coverage. Information will be presented with a PowerPoint, including a segment on navigating through USDA web sites. This workshop is for all agricultural producers.

Can the USDA be trusted with Organic Certification?

Facilitator: Dave Chapman

This discussion will be about the outcome of the USDA Task Force and latest developments in reforming "organic hydroponic" and animal welfare. We will take on the question of how to proceed if the organic seal no longer represents how we farm. There is a massive rush to the organic market by such corporate giants as General Mills and Danone who have little interest in upholding the principles of organic farming. Can we save the organic movement from such "success"?

Focus on Beginning Farmers

Presenter: Vern Grubinger

Bring your list of questions and pick the brain of your fellow beginning farmers and of Vern Grubinger, aging vegetable and berry specialist, before he forgets everything he has learned from experienced farmers.

Soil Resilence: Building Carbon and Enhancing your Soil

Presenters: Julie Rawson, Jack Kittredge

Growers who are experimenting with farming to build their soil carbon will discuss what works and what doesn't. Jack Kittredge and Julie Rawson of Many Hands Organic Farm in Massachusetts will moderate. Anyone who wants to learn more about how to enhance the life in their soil, build resilience, and sequester carbon is welcome.

 

Saturday - Session II: 2:15-3:30pm

A Test Kitchen: Farming, Teaching, and Feeding a College Campus

Presenters: Gwyneth Harris, Simeon Bittman, Allison Van Akkeren

College food can be great! Join Gwyneth Harris, Simeon Bittman and Allison Van Akkeren from Sterling College, where they grow 25% of their food on campus, and 50% is sourced locally or sustainably. They will share tips about growing, processing, and cooking college food; integrating curriculum and work; maintaining effective communication and management systems; and the college’s commitment to innovation and constant re-evaluation of campus food systems.

Advanced Techniques for Greenhouse & Hoophouse Vegetables: ADVANCED

Presenter: Andrew Mefferd

There are a number of techniques that are frequently used in larger greenhouses that are scalable to any size greenhouse. This presentation will be heavy on techniques that involve heat and fruiting crops, though there will be some that can be used with hoophouses and leafy crops. Topics included will be crop steering, balancing sources and sinks, carbon dioxide augmentation, keeping plants active, pre-day and pre-night treatments.

Beeswax: Production, Collection, Processing and Uses

Presenters: Ross Conrad, Alice Lee Eckles

Beeswax is a unique substance produced within the body of the honeybee. This workshop will explore the origins of beeswax within the hive, its properties, how the bees use it, and how we can benefit from this incredibly useful substance. Various methods of collection and processing will be discussed that are especially suited for the small-scale, hobby, or part-time beekeeper. We will also discuss some of the many uses for beeswax such as for household and everyday use, share beeswax recipes for salves and balms, and explore the many uses of beeswax for art, creativity, and self-expression such as through batik, Ukrainian eggs, encaustics, and lost wax casting for sculpture or jewelry making.

Carbon Farming - Principles, Practice & Metrics: ADVANCED

Presenters: Jack Kittredge, Julie Rawson

We'll discuss the principles behind carbon sequestration in farming and why it is crucial for both soil health and environmental sustainability. We'll explain these principles as used on our farm and others in the Northeast: cover crops, no/low till, maximizing photosynthesis throughout the year, animals in rotation, compost, and maximum nutrition. We’ll also cover the NOFA/Mass program to measure soil health on participating farms through 10 soil carbon proxy tests.

Designing Perennial Polycultures: Building Blocks of the Permaculture Garden

Presenters: Aaron Guman, Graham Unangst-Rufenacht

Just as in natural ecosystems, we can create gardens and landscapes of polycultures, or the growing of multiple plant species (and sometimes livestock) together in the same patch. Though this can be tricky, in this class we will focus on simple guidelines for creating successful combinations of plants. Animals in polycultures will be touched on, although plants are our focus. We will explore working examples from around temperate regions, and get familiar with patterns and resources to aid you in designing your own.

Exploring the World of Fermented Vegetables

Presenter: Andrea Chesman

Sauerkraut and dill pickles are the tip of the iceberg when it comes to making vegetable ferments. Learn how to make kimchi and various Japanese pickles, as well as curtido from El Salvador. Samples will be shared and methods and equipment demonstrated.

Farm Mechanizations Efficiencies

Presenter: Richard Wiswall

Learn the tools of the trade for greater farming efficiency. Cultivation tools to maximize weed control, harvest tools to speed the harvest, and packhouse tools for quicker and easier processing will all be covered. Cost/benefit analysis will show how long it will take for a new tool to pay for itself. Greenhouse innovations are highlighted as well.

Get Ready for RAPs! Vegetable Farm Nutrient Management

Presenters: Becky Maden, Silas Branson

New water quality regulations in Vermont (RAPs) have brought attention to nutrient management practices on farms of all scales in Vermont, including organic vegetable farms. While daunting at first glance, compliance with these regulations offer farmers an opportunity to tune up their fertilizer program and to ultimately increase farm profitability. This workshop will be interactive and hands on. Growers will be encouraged to create a fertilizer plan based on their soil tests. We will provide templates for fertilizer calculations, record keeping, and an overall soil amendment plan. Our target audience is commercial vegetable or berry producers. Participants are encouraged to bring their soil tests.

Grass-Fed: Using Animals to Harness Solar Energy

Presenters: Cheryl Cesario, Jeff Carter, Jenn Colby

This workshop will focus on management-intensive grazing practices employed by both dairy and beef producers to maximize efficiency and production of both land and animals. Cheryl Cesario, Grazing Specialist with UVM Extension in Middlebury will use real life examples from the field to demonstrate how to do it, along with some what-not-to-do's. The target audience ideally will have some basic understanding of grazing principles, as we explore MIG principles in more detail. We will look at pasture species, grazing system infrastructure, innovative practices, and challenges faced. Attendees will have the opportunity to do paddock size and acreage requirement calculations, as we look at stocking rate versus stocking density. (This will be a PowerPoint presentation, with questions welcomed throughout.)

Lyme and Tick-Born Disease: Prevention, Diagnosis and Treatment

Presenters: Alexis Chesney, Ruth Goldstein

Dr. Alexis Chesney, a specialist in Lyme disease and tick-borne illness, will provide a PowerPoint presentation on the topics of prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of Lyme disease. Topics include: tick bite prevention, a review of Lyme disease signs and symptoms, testing options, and pharmaceutical and herbal antibiotic treatment. There will be time for Q&A.

New and Novel Land Financing Mechanisms (Part I)

Presenters: Mike Ghia

This workshop is for farm seekers and other community members who want to explore less traditional ways to finance land acquisition. We'll share our findings from our new report about emerging farmland investor models and also discuss crowd-funding examples, land contracts and the new Land Contract Guarantee Program, land cooperatives, and community land trust among other methods. We will look at the positives, negatives, and limitations of these models while also seeking input from the farmers present about their experiences, questions, and concerns about these approaches.

New Developments in the Study and Implementation of Northeastern Indigenous Agriculture (Part I)

Presenter: Frederick Wiseman

The Seeds of Renewal Project's continuing work on the revival of Indigenous Agriculture has built upon the successes discussed at last year's NOFA Conference. In addition to tracking down new crop varieties from Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, the Project has initiated a program to design and install a traditional style agro-forest in Northwestern Vermont and new agriculture plots at the Odanak Abenaki Reserve in Quebec. They have partnered with Le Noyeau Aboriginal Gardens in Quebec to create a series of Abenaki style demonstrating plots planted with Abenaki crops alongside a Haudenosaunee garden. They are currently reaching out to the Métis and Wendat-Huron communities to join the multicultural endeavor. Perhaps the most ambitious new program is developing Native-style cuisine based on regional recipes and cooking techniques for fall 2017 harvest celebrations at La Noyeau in Quebec, the Vermont Organics Reclamation Rugg Brook Campus in Georgia, VT and the ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center.

Transition to a Multifunctional Agroecology System: the Case of Finca Marta in Cuba

Presenter: Fernando Funes Monzote

Are you thinking of starting an agroecological farm? Do you have any idea of what you would do and have you been involved in agroecology before? How would you transition your systems? Are you curious to learn about how a group of people in Cuba started a transition to agroecology and were able to build a sustainable system in five years? These questions, and more, will be discussed using the example of Finca Marta, an agroecological family project developed during the last five years west of Havana.

Raising Game Birds on Your Farm

Presenter: Eben Proft

Understanding Customer Behavior to Maximize your Direct Market Sales

Presenter: Maria Rojas

By leveraging customer research performed by grocery stores and large scale food retailers, building on 40 years of institutional knowledge internally, and working directly with producers selling in NYC Greenmarkets, FARMroots has created a tool for measuring customer behavior at farmers markets. In this workshop we, will go over tested strategies to increase sales and customer satisfaction. Learn tips for advanced merchandising, how to appeal to a customer’s behavioral habits, segmenting your market, and leveraging sales data records to make informed marketing decisions.

Veterans in Agriculture

Presenters: Jon Turner, Mark Bowen

This workshop will highlight the benefits of utilizing agriculture as a viable solution for veteran re-integration after returning home from war or transitioning out of military service. We will talk about ways to promote health and vitality through organic farm practices to mitigate the effects of Post Traumatic Stress and Traumatic Brain Injury as well as how the farm community can assist with this process.

 

Saturday - Session III: 3:45-5:00pm

Adding Cured & Smoked Meats to your Farmstand and CSA

Presenters: Bill Cavanaugh, Robin Morris

Increasingly, farmers and producers are finding themselves needing to differentiate their products in the marketplace. This panel discussion will look at the ways adding smoked and cured meats can serve to diversify your offerings and add value to your product. The panel will look at the challenges and opportunities inherent in a cured meat value added operation from the perspective of a farmer who’s been through the process, a chef who purchases high-end salumi and bacon for his restaurant, and a butcher who’s familiar with the regulatory and HACCP guidelines for cured and smoked production.

Community Composting: An Opportunity for Community & School Gardens

Presenters: Libby Weiland, Abby Foulk

This session will explore community composting as a way for community and school gardens to manage food scraps and garden debris while also gaining educational and social benefits. In light of Vermont’s Act 148, The Universal Recycling Law that bans the disposal of food scraps and yard debris from landfills, we’ll look at how Vermonters are managing these materials and benefitting from their value—through composting! In this workshop we’ll share examples of successful models, discuss challenges and creative solutions, and provide resources to help participants determine the role community composting can play in their community.

Conflict Resolution: Tools for Advocacy & Conflict Resolution

Presenter: Julian Portilla

Participants will learn some basic theory and tools of conflict resolution that can be used to resolve differences, to build coalitions, and to advocate for a desired future.

Want to Know your Crop Costs of Production?

Presenters: Mimi Arnstein, Richard Wiswall

Learn about the cost of production of ten major vegetable crops analyzed over 2015-2017 by a NOFA-VT study spearheaded by Richard Wiswall. Presenters will highlight best practices to maximize profits including key cultural practices, equipment and marketing options.

Farm Marketing in the Digital Age

Presenter: Simon Huntley

Excellent marketing is absolutely critical to successful direct-to-consumer sales such as farmers markets, retail farm markets, and CSA. However, the range in options for marketing your farm in 2017 is dizzying. Simon will present a farm-focused marketing system honed from working with over 1000 farms on their marketing over the last 10 years. Simon will help you harness the marketing tools of the digital age, while keeping your time investment to minimum so you still have time to be a farmer.

Hunting Wild Mushrooms of the Northeast with the ForageCast

Presenter: Ari Rockland-Miller

Join Ari Rockland-Miller and Jenna Antonino DiMare, co-founders of The Mushroom Forager and authors of a forthcoming book on hunting gourmet wild mushrooms, for a colorful presentation introducing foraging safety, strategy, and ethics. Discover how to use the ForageCast to make your hunts targeted and fruitful, while gaining a deeper understanding of place, seasonality and forest ecology. Participants will be introduced to edible and medicinal highlights from the Northeast ForageCast, with an emphasis on the safest and most distinctive species.

Introduction to Phytonutrients

Presenter: Betzy Bancroft

You’ve heard of ‘eat a rainbow each day’—find out more about why! There are colorful substances in foods that aren’t considered vitamins, yet have beneficial effects on our body’s structures and their functions, acting in several ways to help protect us from disease. We’ll discuss these beneficial effects and give examples of the phytonutrients and locally growable plants that provide them.

It's Back! Farm Bill Primer and Listening Session

Presenters: Sophia Kruszewski, Cris Coffin

Believe it or not, the next farm bill is just around the corner! In preparation, Sophia Kruszewski from ​the ​​National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) - in partnership with NOFA-VT and Cris Coffin from Land for Good - ​will host a session to ​review the process for reauthorizing the federal Farm Bill and to drill down into programs, policies, and ​needs relevant to New England farmers and food advocates. ​NSAC is a a national advocate for sustainable and organic agriculture programs and policies, and the session will provide an opportunity for participants to share their thoughts on NSAC campaign priorities, and to learn more about Farm Bill organizing efforts in Vermont and around the region. The workshop is open to farmers, ranchers, and advocates with all levels of policy expertise (including none at all!).

Natural and Organic Control of Honeybee Pests other than Varroa

Presenter: Ross Conrad

This workshop will focus on how to control the pests and diseases of the honeybee (other than Varroa) without the use of toxic chemicals and antibiotics. Topics will include American Foulbrood, European Foulbrood, Sac Brood, chaulk brood, honeybee viruses, Nosema, wax moths, small hive beetles, bears, skunks, birds, and other insect predators of the honeybee.

New and Novel Land Financing Mechanisms (Part II)

Presenter: Mike Ghia

This workshop is for farm seekers and other community members who want to explore less traditional ways to finance land acquisition. We'll share our findings from our new report about emerging farmland investor models http://landforgood.org/wp-content/uploads/LFG-Farmland-Investment-Models..., and also discussing crowd-funding examples, land contracts and the new Land Contract Guarantee Program, land cooperatives, and community land trust among other methods. We will look at the positives, negatives, and limitations of these models while also seeking input from the farmers present about their experiences, questions, and concerns about these approaches.

New Developments in the Study and Implementation of Northeastern Indigenous Agriculture (II)

Presenter: Frederick Wiseman

The Seeds of Renewal Project's continuing work on the revival of Indigenous Agriculture has built upon the successes discussed at last year's NOFA Conference. In addition to tracking down new crop varieties from Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, the Project has initiated a program to design and install a traditional style agro-forest in Northwestern Vermont and new agriculture plots at the Odanak Abenaki Reserve in Quebec. We have partnered with Le Noyeau Aboriginal Gardens in Quebec to create a series of Abenaki style demonstrating plots planted with Abenaki crops alongside a Haudenosaunee garden. We are currently reaching out to the Métis and Wendat-Huron communities to join the multicultural endeavor. Perhaps the most ambitious new program is developing Native-style cuisine based on regional recipes and cooking techniques for fall 2017 harvest celebrations at La Noyeau in Quebec, the Vermont Organics Reclamation Rugg Brook Campus in Georgia, VT and the ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center.

No-Till Crop Production with Compost/Biochar Blends

Presenter: Dan Pratt

Learn about systems for growing crops with minimal soil disturbance. Following Elaine Ingham’s seminal work on the soil food web and intrigued by the potential for building long-term fertility with the use of biochar, I will share the good, the bad and the ugly of our first two no-till seasons. Outline of techniques, harvest data and a list of suppliers provided.

Pasture Management for Small Ruminant Parasite Prevention

Presenters: Kimberly Hagen, Mary Lake

As the saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” - good pasture management goes a long way on the front-line of parasite prevention. Prevention and avoiding treatments is key to keeping soil, insects and animals all functioning in good health (the farm’s purse as well) good management has good value. This workshop takes a look at good grazing management and how to maintain healthy pastures, the role of high tannin plants, and the impact on the animal carcass when parasites get the upper hand.

Pest & Disease Roundtable

Presenters: Ann Hazelrigg, Eric Sideman

We will address farmer questions on pest and disease issues with input from farmers at the workshop

Sustainable Farming in Nicaragua, Cuba, Ethiopia and Burma

Presenter: Chuck Mitchell

Organic farming practices are rapidly being adopted all over the developing world. In this workshop, discussion will center on why there is so much interest. Starting in 1976 with the Peace Corps in Guatemala, the presenter has been working for 40 years in Latin America, Asia and Africa with government agencies and NGO's helping small farmers in numerous topics including: soil and water conservation, agroforestry practices, grazing management, beekeeping, organic crop and livestock management and teaching organic formulas for nutrients, insect and disease control and soil micro-organisms.

Year-Round Indoor Salad Gardening

Presenters: Peter Burke, Deb Burke

Learn how to grow all your salad green all winter long, without electric light or any special equipment. Everyone will take home a sample tray to grow at home and will be able to sample the gourmet salad. I will show you how to harvest a pound of green every day with only a kitchen cupboard and a window sill.

 

 

SCHEDULE: Sunday, February 19, 2017 

8:30 am

Registration & Exhibitors' Fair open; refreshments available

9:30–10:45 am

Workshop Session I

11:00-12:00 pm

Keynote: Dr. Vandana Shiva

12:00–2:00 pm

Lunch, Exhibitors' Fair, & Roundtables (1:00–2:00)

2:15–3:30 pm 

Workshop Session II

3:45–5:00 pm

Workshop Session III

5:00 pm

Ice Cream Social

 


Sunday - Session I: 9:30-10:45pm

Bringing Your Social Media Game to the Next Level

Presenter: Alex Epstein

A workshop that will explore some of the higher-level aspects of social media and its available tools that farmers, homesteaders, gardeners, land managers, educators, producers, and other food-system activists can use to bring their social media game to the next level.

CAPS, GAPs & FSMA—Oh My! Building a Produce Safety Continuum in Vermont

Presenters: Kristina Sweet, Hans Estrin

This workshop will provide an overview of Vermont’s evolving produce regulatory landscape and share resources for farms that grow, harvest, pack, or hold fresh produce. Farmers at all sizes and scales will learn about the Vermont Vegetable & Berry Growers Association’s CAPS (Community Accreditation for Produce Safety) program, the USDA Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) program, and the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule, similarities and differences between these standards, and when farms may wish to participate in CAPS, undergo a GAP audit, or need to comply with FSMA.

Designing Authentic Experiences and Selling Products on Your Farm

Presenters: Lisa Chase, Vera Simon-Nobes, Nicole Burke, Jennifer Kennett

“Authentic” is the new buzzword -- and what is more authentic than experiencing local food on a farm in Vermont?! From farmstands, CSAs, and u-pick to special events, tours, dinners, and classes, farms of all sizes are opening their doors (and barns, fields, and homes) to visitors. But providing high quality experiences and products can be a challenge for working farms with limited time and money. At this workshop, farmers and agricultural service providers will share tools, tips, and lessons learned for creating authentic experiences that are educational, safe, and profitable. Learn how to navigate Vermont’s regulatory system and find out how to benefit from opportunities like Vermont Open Farm Week and DigInVermont.com.

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Fruit Trees

Presenter: Nicko Rubin

Fruit trees can provide a lifetime of bounty or frustration and expense. Join nursery owner Nicko Rubin as he shares know-how that will ensure success with fruit trees. From soil preparation and planting to restoring old trees. Discussion will cover apples, pears, plums and cherries.Topics will include soil and site considerations as well as companion planting and understory management. Plenty of time will be given for question and answer.

Fencing Options & How to Implement them Successfully

Presenter: David Kennard

David will review electric fence options for livestock, crop and beehive protection. He will discuss how to avoid the 6 most common mistakes made with an electric fence, and offer installation and maintenance tips for an effective fence system.

Global Food, Local Food: Stories and Crops from Vermont Resettled Refugee Farmers

Presenter: Ben Waterman

Herbal Digestive Bitters: More than Just a Cocktail Mixer

Presenter: Guido Masé

Once regarded as a simple cocktail mixer, we are learning more and more about how important bitters are for a range of health complaints. Review the research on bitters for digestion, and explore the emerging science on how bitter taste receptors regulate appetite, energy metabolism, and inflammation in the body. We will discuss recipes and templates as well as differentiate between the strong, classic bitters and the gentler, more nutritive bitters and how to dose and blend them into formulas.

Homeopathy in the Barn; understanding principles and choosing remedies

Presenter: Bay Hammond

This workshop will offer insight into homeopathic principles, remedy treatment and keynote observation. With the goal of establishing and maintaining animal health we will discuss best approaches for correct remedy choice and the healing process. Remedies commonly used on small ruminant farms will be discussed. Questions and encouraged.

Industrial Hemp in Vermont

Presenter: Joel Bedard

This will be a brief levelset regarding the current status of rules and regulations regarding hemp in Vermont and the USA, with particular attention to how it translates into a value proposition for VT farmers.

Is An Exemption Your Redemption?

Presenters: Susan Isberg, Nicole Dehne

A clear definition of the exemptions to the Federal Poultry Products Inspection Act (FPPIA). We will present a PowerPoint as well as an attendee-driven Q & A discussion. Participants will increase knowledge of the PPIA exemptions, what can and cannot be produced, processed and/or sold under the exemptions and how they relate to local processors.

Outdoor Mushroom Cultivation on Logs and Beds

Presenter: Jon Carver

Plants to Attract Pollinators & Create Biodiversity

Presenter: Lizabeth Moniz

In this workshop, learn what plants to chose to incorporate into your landscape or garden to attract beneficial insects and pollinators creating more biodiversity and beauty. We'll talk about a variety of plants ranging from perennials to shrubs and mid-story trees. We'll also look at different color, bloom times, and plant form to appeal to and attract the broadest number of pollinators possible.

Structuring a Legally Secure Intern and Apprenticeship Program in Vermont

Presenter: Rachel Armstrong

Most farmers know that legally solid intern and apprenticeship programs can be complex. At the same time, farmers can’t risk misunderstandings in this area of law. This workshop makes understanding the law easy. We’ll break down the rules about wage rates (including food/lodging), educational programs, travel programs, taxes/paperwork, and more so you know what you need to do. Then, we’ll see how a Vermont farmer manages the rules on a day to day basis. This practical presentation offers perspective from a farmer and attorney so you can move forward.

Supporting Indigenous Micro-organisms on your Farm

Presenter: Bryan O'Hara

This workshop will cover in detail the techniques utilized in the production and use of indigenous micro-organisms (IMO). An IMO is a microbe culture, taken from local forest soils, and then multiplied through various culture steps to produce a highly activated inoculate. Utilized in vegetable production and other farm applications, Bryan O'Hara of Tobacco Road Farm will present his experience using this material on their farm which has been useful in enhancing the quality of their produce.

Thoughtful Harvests for Engaging Children & Adults in Gardens

Presenter: Carolina Lukac

Educational gardens can be designed to provide food and medicine, inspire stories and art, allow us to travel around the world and come home to our local landscape. Learn how to extend your harvest to engage children and adults through gardening, cooking, and crafts. We will explore must-have utensils for cooking in the garden with all ages, identify ideal plants for hands-on activities, and share versatile garden-inspired recipes.

Weed Management & Cultivation Equipment for Vegetable Farms

Presenter: Vern Grubinger

Vern Grubinger, vegetable and berry specialist for University of Vermont Extension, has been observing how farmers use tools to kill weeds since the mid-'90s, when he co-produced the video 'Vegetable Farmers and their Weed Control Machines.' He will review some weed control principles then show slides of a wide range of mechanical weed control tools currently in use on farms, from those that are commonly available commercially to some that are being imported from Europe and a few that were custom made by farmers. Throughout the slide show he will stop and ask farmers in the room to share their experiences with specific tools, pro and con, so come prepared to participate!

 

 

Sunday - ROUNDTABLES: 1:00-2:00PM

Can Vermont Attain its Water Quality Standards?

Facilitators: James Maroney, Jack Lazor, Roger Allbee

James Maroney will explain why Vermont’s new “Clean Water Law” is not designed to clean up the lake but to shield conventional dairy, the lake’s largest polluter, from the kind of regulation that would. Maroney will document Vermont’s fifty year long history of attempting to “balance” the attainment of our federally mandated water quality standards with the protocols of the conventional Vermont dairy industry and he will explain why the formula does not work. VAAF&M does not grasp that the problem in the lake is only a manifestation of the way we farm, and that since the two are inextricably linked, if you want to fix the former, you must first fix the latter.

Healthcare: Navigating Insurance for Farmers

Presenter: Shoshanah Inwood

 

Organizing for Pesticide Policy Change

Facilitator: Shaina Kasper

Thankfully, chemical lawn care, just like smoking, is increasingly viewed as an expensive and dangerous throwback. Just in the past year, dozens of cities, towns, and municipalities are taking matters into their own hands with local resolutions and ordinances. Montgomery County, Maryland, and South Portland, Maine are two recent places that have restricted all cosmetic use of pesticides. And Burlington, Vermont recently passed a resolution restricting the use of bee-killing pesticides. Learn about what community activists have accomplished to restrict pesticide use in their communities, the processes by which you can change policies in your town or state, and come away with some hard skills to get the word out to your neighborhood.

Results of the 2015 Organic Production Survey and 2015 Local Foods Marketing Practices Survey

Facilitator: Gary Keough

Presentation covering the results of the two surveys with concentration on Vermont Statistics

Will raising the minimum wage “wreck” our farms? Let’s talk about this!

Facilitators: Elizabeth Henderson, Howard Prussack

Organic farmers Elizabeth Henderson and Howard Prussack will share their experience and reflections on farm labor and their struggles to make their farming fair. Elizabeth will talk about why farm workers endorse Food Justice Certification. Please come for a lively discussion - a space to share dreams and fears. Can farms manage to pay more? How can farms get prices that fully cover production costs including fair wages for both farmers and workers? Is targeting high end markets the only way? What other strategies are available? What can NOFA-VT do to help? 

 

SUNDAY - Session II: 2:15-3:30pm

A Visit to the Food System of Oaxaca, Mexico

Presenter: Vern Grubinger

As part of UVM's semester abroad program, Vern has been teaching short courses in Oaxaca about food systems for the past 5 years. Each year he learns more about this special place, which is rich in food and farming traditions. A slide show tour will describe some of the diverse production and marketing taking place in Oaxaca.

Add Value, Not Liability: Legal Best Practices for CSA and Added Value Farm Ventures

Presenter: Rachel Armstrong

Starting a CSA, processing, improving packaging, and creating new products are great ways to make the farm more profitable. But, these activities have a huge legal impact. Liability potential, state/federal regulations, and tax factors all change when a farm begins CSA or adds value to farm products. We’ll learn the details of Vermont and federal laws, plus discuss strategies for making the rules fit the practical realities of the diversified farm operation.

Conservation Biocontrol: Farming with Native Beneficial Insects

Presenter: Jarrod Fowler

Conservation biological control is a science-based pest management strategy that seeks to integrate beneficial insects back into cropping systems for natural pest control, ultimately reducing and in some cases eliminating the need for insecticides. The workshop will cover the principles of Conservation Biological Control and how to support beneficial insects on farms through habitat enhancements, farm management practices, pesticide protections, and other conservation strategies.

Deciding to Grow: the Financial, Market-driven, Emotional, and Risk-taking Journey of Scaling Up

Presenter: Bruce Hennessey

Maple Wind Farm has grown by 200% in the last three years. The workshop will take participants through the process the farm went through to make the initial decision to grow and then focus on the major turning points of the journey thus far.

Specifically the workshop will:

  1. Outline the changing market in VT and surrounding states, and the rationale for a decision to grow our business.
  2. Give detailed financial and business plan data that gives a clear picture of what was needed to move forward and the financial and market assumptions made as part of our plan.
  3. Offer a detailed view into our approach to writing grant and loan proposals, and the planning aspects that seemed to work best for successfully funding a major expansion. Take away resources to find funding sources focused on farming.
  4. Explore how to work with customer partners to gain assistance with cash flow issues and yearly investments into cost-effective improvements.
  5. Create an opportunity to discuss the social and emotional factors in making the decision to grow, and attempt to define the type of mindset needed to pursue major change and increase risk.

Disease & Pest Problems

Presenters: Ann Hazelrigg, Vic Izzo, Scott Lewins

Discussion of current, past and future pest and disease problems.

Farm to Institution in VT and New England: The Facts and the Future

Presenters: Peter Allison, Abbey Willard, David Conner, Abbie Nelson

Surveys have been done and data has been collected, from many stakeholders in Vermont and other New England states, to determine what is the current picture of the Farm to Institution Supply Chain, and what could be the next steps to solve the production and procurement bottle-necks. Join us to learn about the results of college, producer, and distributor studies and participate in a conversation about how to provide technical assistance to both suppliers and consumers of local food in institutional markets.

Farm to Medicine Cabinet

Presenters: Katherine Elmer, Kenzie McDonald

Our organic farm landscapes are not only capable of producing nourishing foods, but also powerful plant-based medicines from weeds, cover crops, ornamental gardens, forests, and backyards. This talk by community herbalists Katherine and Kenzie presents local efforts for deepening the local food movement and enhancing human and ecological health by incorporating nature-based local medicine as part of a resilient food system. Come taste samples of Vermont’s medicinal bounty and share your own experiences on this topic.

Farmer Discussion: What to do with Surplus Crops?

Presenters: Theresa Snow, Abbie Willard

Theresa Snow of Salvation Farms will facilitate a conversation among fruit and vegetable growers about reducing food loss on farms. Farmers will be asked to share what they believe may be the best and most efficient uses for the edible crops that remain unharvested and unsold on their farms. Can a new market avenue be created with farm surplus crops? Is a temporary labor force needed? Should a farmer cooperative co-packer and processor exist? Farmers will be asked to discuss existing and potential enterprises that could help move more edible food off of farms and into our regionally-based food system, touching on efforts like market development for seconds and gleaning.

Home Orchard Care

Presenter: Michael Phillips

Successfully growing fruit for your family becomes straightforward when you narrow the big picture down to getting the basics right. Fungal and bacterial disease can be successfully managed with deep nutrition and competitive colonization. Major insect challenges can be resolved safely when you perceive who, what, and when. This overview of complementary sprays backed by biodiversity and soil health will set the stage for successfully growing tree fruit in the New England region.

Homeopathy in Practice

Presenters: Bay Hammond, Martha Hammond, Mike Eastman, Annie Claghorn

The Addison County Homeopathic Study Group gathers monthly for a discussion on how homeopathic remedies can assist in restoring and maintaining farm animal health. The group focuses on member support and remedy choice during times of animal stress and disease. For this workshop the core members will discuss their successes with homeopathy and remedies of choice for prevalent ailments. The group will also present a previously discussed case; explaining the groups process of sorting out symptoms, suggested remedies and eventual outcome. Time will be left for discussion.

Integrating Biochar into existing Organic Farming Practices

Presenter: Hugh McLaughlin, PhD, PE

Biochar has proven to be a useful addition to existing organic farming practices and in conjunction with composting operations. This workshop will cover the basics of "what is biochar" and how to integrate it into existing farming practices.

Natural & Organic Control of Honeybee Pests other than Varroa

Presenters: Ross Conrad, Alice Lee Eckles

This workshop will focus on how to control the pests and diseases of the honeybee (other than Varroa) without the use of toxic chemicals and antibiotics. Topics will include American Foulbrood, European Foulbrood, Sac Brood, chaulk brood, honeybee viruses, Nosema, wax moths, small hive beetles, bears, skunks, birds, and other insect predators of the honeybee.

No-Till Production and Techniques with Bryan O'Hara

Presenter: Bryan O'Hara

Learn methods for intensively growing vegetable crops from Bryan O'Hara at Tobacco Road Farm, without disturbing the soil through tillage or cultivation. Techniques utilized in this system include: multi-cropping, cover cropping, mowing, solarizing, weed-free composting, mulching, broadcast seeding, and weed control. This system has been in place for several years on Bryan's farm in Connecticut and has proven to be profitable.

Raising Ducks for Fun and Profit

Presenter: Erik Andrus

An introduction to the basics of duck management from hatchling to adult. Ducks are a great addition to any farm and are pleasant and adaptable companions, in addition to being a great source of meat and eggs. Erik has been raising ducks at Boundbrook Farm in Ferrisburgh, for six years and sells both duck eggs and roasting ducks. This workshop will also touch on the management of weeder ducklings in rice paddies, which is a crucial part of the farm's rice agriculture.

Regional Food Systems Planning and Urban Agroecology: Experiences from Cuba and Vermont

Presenters: Margarita Fernandez, Erica Campbell, S'ra DeSantis, Fernando Funes Monzote

Cuba and Vermont, while distinct in so many ways, find common ground in social, economic and environmental values that promote sustainability. Both places have, over the decades, become leaders in the global food movement. This panel will showcase experiences from Vermont and Cuba in food systems planning and urban agroecology in order to share what’s worked, what hasn’t, and to open a space to dialogue about what we can both learn from and how we can support each other.

Small Scale Meat Bird Raising & Processing

Presenters: Tim King, Markey Read

Are you raising your own meat birds already and want to get new ideas and share yours? Or, are you interested in raising them and just need to know more about it? Tim and Markey will present their 7+ years of planning and how they evolved their methods & systems for raising poultry for meat: Cornish hens, broilers, ducks and turkeys. They will show & tell their story of a homestead system by way of pictures, PowerPoint, presentation, and various useful handouts & guides. They will cover planning yield, acquiring chicks, raising them to maturity, keeping them safe & healthy, processing them, storing and using them for year-round food, and selling some of the excess. Join them for an insightful session, and for sharing of ideas regarding raising meat birds for primarily personal consumption.

Starting Out with Organic Pastured Pigs

Presenter: Alice Percy

Just getting into pigs? Thinking about expanding from just a couple pigs to a couple dozen? This workshop will provide an overview of how to effectively and economically house, fence, and feed a happy pig. Happy pigs taste better! Alice Percy, Coordinator of the Organic Growers Supply division at Fedco Seeds with 10 years experience raising certified organic pastured hogs at Treble Ridge Farm in Waterville, ME.

 

SUnday - Session III: 3:45-5:00pm

Biological Alchemy

Presenter: Michael Phillips

This hands-on exploration of soil biology and healthy plant metabolism will rock you. How these mycorrhizal fungi enhance plant health is absolutely stunning. Nutrients are delivered by means of “fungus-root” synergy. A boost to green immune function helps keep disease at bay. Expansive fungal networks bring resiliency to ecosystems. Soil aggregate formation addresses carbon flow. Yet for the longest time, we have ignored basic soil biology and instead disturbed ecosystems at our own peril. Time to change all that, and fast!

Branding & Marketing for Farmers and Producers

Presenter: Lara Dickson

Web designer, digital marketer, and farmer Lara Dickson shares tips and advice for promoting your farm and agriculture products online. You'll get insight on how some of her own clients have transformed their online marketing with reimagined websites, in the social sphere, as well as effective measurement and management tools that are easy and even fun to use.

Commercial Indoor Mushroom Cultivation

Presenter: Jon Carver

Ecological Small-Commercial Rice in New England - Opportunities and Challenges

Presenter: Erik Andrus

Rice is an exciting new crop for Northeastern growers. Come learn about our six-year effort to build a commercial rice operation in Vermont's Champlain Valley, now cropping 4 acres annually. Rice is a natural fit for marginal, wet agricultural lands but engineering, equipment, and value-added processing, and operational challenges are significant. Learn how we're addressing these challenges, with help from the ecological rice growing community in Japan.

Farm Land & Business Transition: Steps to get the Process Started

Presenter: Bob Parsons

This workshop will cover basic issues related to farm land and business transition. The powerpoint and presentation will cover basic points with the presentation using practical explanations, applied examples, stories impressing key points. The workshop will introduce key issues and challenges faced by farm families facing a transition and those looking for options transferring farm business and land to nonfamily members. This workshop will create more questions than answers in providing participants the range of issues confronting farming families.

Farm to Institution in VT and New England: The Facts & the Future

Presenters: Peter Allison, Abbey Willard, David Conner, Abbie Nelson

Surveys have been done and data has been collected, from many stakeholders in Vermont and other New England states, to determine what is the current picture of the Farm to Institution Supply Chain, and what could be the next steps to solve the production and procurement bottle-necks. Join us to learn about the results of college, producer, and distributor studies and participate in a conversation about how to provide technical assistance to both suppliers and consumers of local food in institutional markets.

Grass Milk: Insights & Production Methods

Presenter: Jack Lazor

Inputs for Organic Agriculture: Determining the Allowance Of Inputs and How OMRI Can Help

Presenter: Johanna Mirenda

Inputs used in agriculture, such as pesticides and fertilizers, are an integral part of most production systems. Specific regulations dictate which inputs are allowed or prohibited in certified organic production. Commercial growers and home gardeners alike will learn which different types of inputs are allowed in organic crop and livestock production. Attendees will also learn how to use the OMRI Products List to determine which brand name input materials have been reviewed and approved for use in organic production and processing.

No-Till Production & Techniques with Bryan O'Hara (Part II)

Presenter: Bryan O'Hara

Learn methods for intensively growing vegetable crops from Bryan O'Hara at Tobacco Road Farm, without disturbing the soil through tillage or cultivation. Techniques utilized in this system include: multi-cropping, cover cropping, mowing, solarizing, weed-free composting, mulching, broadcast seeding, and weed control. This system has been in place for several years on Bryan's farm in Connecticut and has proven to be profitable.

Options for Effective Deer & Wildlife Control in Crops & Gardens

Presenter: David Kennard

Wildlife pressure on gardens and crops has increased tremendously in the Northeast due to urbanization and the rise in deer population. As pressure increases on wildlife to find open spaces for forage, you need an effective fence to protect your investment. From residential gardens to commercial crops to CSA’s to orchards, there are many considerations that must be taken into account for each situation. David Kennard of Wellscroft Fence Systems will review the many fence options, both temporary and permanent, for wildlife control that will work best for you.

Organic Farming in Cuba: An American Farmer Perspective

Presenter: Howard Prussack

A visual tour of Cuba's urban and rural organic farms, looking at Cuba today, city and country.

Planning for the Future of Farmland

Presenters: Gretchen Siegchrist, Ben Kurtzman

We’ll show The Barber Farm Project, a 30-minute documentary that follows four generations of a Vermont farm family, whose land seems doomed to development until organic farming changes the landscape. After the film, we’ll lead an hour-long discussion about the practical, financial and emotional considerations families face when planning for the future of farmland.

Starting Out with Organic Pastured Pigs (Part II)

Presenter: Alice Percy

Just getting into pigs? Thinking about expanding from just a couple pigs to a couple dozen? This workshop will provide an overview of how to effectively and economically house, fence, and feed a happy pig. Happy pigs taste better! Alice Percy, Coordinator of the Organic Growers Supply division at Fedco Seeds with 10 years experience raising certified organic pastured hogs at Treble Ridge Farm in Waterville, ME.

Staying on the Right Side of Employment Law in Vermont

Presenter: Rachel Armstrong

Employment law vexes many farmers (especially diversified farmers) with detailed rules as to when minimum wage is owed, to whom, and for what tasks. Then, there’s payroll taxes, workers’ comp, and unemployment insurance, to name a few other legal concerns. And, what about contractors? Is that a solution? This session will discuss the particulars of federal and Vermont farm employment/labor law. We’ll learn how a Vermont farmer manages the rules on a day to day basis. This practical presentation offers perspective from a farmer and attorney so you can move forward.

The Swede Midge Situation in Vermont: Biology Basics & Management Updates

Presenters: Yolanda Chen, Elisabeth Hodgdon

Swede midge is a tiny fly that infests brassica crops, including broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and other related vegetables. An invasive species from Europe, this pest was first documented in Vermont in 2006 in Burlington. It has since spread throughout most of the state, causing up to 100% yield loss for organic crops. Management of this pest is particularly challenging. There are currently no effective organic management strategies for this pest. We will give an overview of swede midge identification, life cycle, and new prospects for ecologically-based management.

Using Human Senses to Gauge the Quality of Medicinal Herbs

Presenter: Guido Masé

Organolepsis is the science of using human senses to evaluate botanical quality. Learn about taste, odor, mouthfeel, visual characteristics, tactile elements such as fracture and crumble, and how we can leverage a common language and collaborative organolepsis to identify and characterize raw material. These techniques, if used properly, not only give you confidence about the herbs you're working with, but also serve as an FDA-accepted test of quality when compared to a well-described reference standard.