OVERVIEW | THIS WEEK | SCHEDULE | WORKSHOPS | SPEAKERS | EXTRAS | REGISTRATION | SPONSORS
Digital Marketing Intensives - Monday February 8th
From Direct-to-Consumer to Digital Marketing: The Fundamentals of Building a Strong Business Brand Online
Monday, February 8th, 9-11 am
Mieko Ozeki, Radiance Studios, LLC
Selling products and events can be overwhelming with the multiple channels available to reach potential customers. This workshop will help hone your business story and brand to create genuine content for digital marketing and increase your customer base. We address the fundamentals of developing a well-organized, attractive, user friendly website for a virtual audience and how social media plays into your marketing strategy.
Amplifying & Advancing Your Brand Through Social Media
Monday, February 8th, 1-3 pm
Mieko Ozeki, Radiance Studios, LLC
Social media is a megaphone to your business brand and story. This workshop focuses on the concepts and tools for creating, scheduling, posting, and managing your business' presence on social media. You'll learn about content development for platforms like Facebook and Instagram, and how to drive customer traffic to your website and/or directly at a farmers market or farmstand. The afternoon session builds upon content from the morning session workshop on the fundamentals of building a strong business brand online.
Commercial Producer Workshops - Tuesdays 2:30-4 pm
Online Sales & Marketing: Lessons Learned from the Quick COVID Pivot
Tuesday, 2/9, 2:30-4 pm
Julie Rubaud, Red Wagon Plants; FM Muñoz, My Name is FM Consulting
2020 was the year of the pivot, in every sense of the word. This workshop will share Red Wagon Plants of Hinesburg as a case study in how one business was able to quickly adapt to the new realities of operating in a pandemic environment with e-commerce and curbside pick up. Many opportunities were discovered in the process. Julie and FM will share what worked, what did not, and which new practices are here to stay.
Building On-Farm Soil Health with Cover Crops
Tuesday, 2/16, 2:30-4 pm
Becky Maden, UVM Extension; Silas Branson, Intervale Community Farm
This workshop will focus on ways vegetable and diversified farms can utilize cover crops to cycle nutrients, build soil organic matter, fix nitrogen and more. We’ll discuss how to plan ahead for year-round soil coverage and discuss ways to experiment with mixes and some lesser known species. Please come prepared to share your own experiences and inspirations with cover crops!
Hoophouse Growing Success in the Shoulder Seasons
Tuesday, 2/23, 2:30-4 pm
Ryan Fitzbeauchamp, Evening Song Farm
Join this workshop to discuss the details of shoulder season greens production in unheated high tunnels. Ryan Fitzbeauchamp of Evening Song Farm has been growing high tunnel greens since 2012, and continues to learn and refine production techniques to grow a steady supply of greens for their year-round CSA. Attendees can expect an overview of techniques to maximize production for harvest in November-December and February-May. We'll also dive into the nitty gritty details on variety selection; planting dates; row cover management; pest, weed, and disease management; and low-cost effective winter washing/packing setups.
Stronger Together: Cooperative & Alternative Models for Farms and Food Businesses
Tuesday, 3/2, 2:30-4 pm
Agrarian Commons; Brush Brook Community Farm; Land in Common; Humble Hands Harvest; Diggers' Mirth Collective Farm
While typical farm business structures can be limiting, building something new and different can be a challenge! Join this panel of farmers and agricultural organizations to learn about a variety of alternative structures that are being implemented to bring about transformation in social, environment, and economic facets of agriculture. We'll discuss the ways these models address broader systemic issues and build community, as well as practical tips and advice for turning alternative vision into reality.
Homesteader & Gardener Workshops - Tuesdays 6-7:30 pm
Vermicomposting for Homesteaders & Gardeners
Tuesday, 2/9, 6-7:30 pm
Rhonda Sherman, North Carolina State University
Learn how to use worms to turn food scraps, livestock manure, and other organic residuals into vermicompost that will improve soil health, increase yields, and suppress plant diseases and pests. This workshop covers the fundamental concepts of vermicompost production for homesteaders and gardeners. Topics include earthworm husbandry, feedstocks, pre-composting, vermicomposting methodologies, and harvesting techniques.
The Fermentista's Garden: Hands-On Fermentation Demonstration
Tuesday, 2/16, 6-7:30 pm
Nancy VanWinkle, Nomadic Roots Kitchen
This hands-on workshop will introduce participants to homestead-level fermentation practices, from planning your garden around fermented food production and preservation, to transforming that bounty into delicious fermented foods and condiments. Participants will learn common lacto-fermentation techniques to produce their own jar of sauerkraut or other simple ferment. Advanced fermented products will be discussed as well.
Climate Resilience on the Homestead
Tuesday, 2/23, 6-7:30 pm
Jon Turner, Wild Roots Farm
Focusing on agroforestry practices, this workshop will overview methods that allow for greater resilience in Vermont's growing season as weather patterns become increasingly erratic. Ranging from one acre to several, we will discuss annual and perennial production, livestock integration and ways to dovetail several food systems that benefit human, pollinator, songbird and grazing species.
Seed Starting Systems at Home
Tuesday, 3/2, 6-7:30 pm
Carolina Lukac, Vermont Community Garden Network
Set yourself up for success for seed starting at home! Whether you choose to purchase new supplies or creatively reuse items, there are some basic guidelines and many insider tips to help you along the way. Join Carolina for a virtual tour of her rustic basement grow room where she starts hundreds of vegetables, flowers, and herbs from seed for her backyard & community garden plot. Learn about tray sizes, potting soil, watering, heat pads, lighting fixtures, and more.
In Living Color Virtual BIPOC Space - Wednesdays 4:30 - 5:30 pm
Virtual BIPOC Space - Weekly sessions for BIPOC participants
Wednesdays 2/10, 2/17, 2/24, 3/3, 4:30 - 5:30 pm
In Living Color: Centering the needs & voices of Black, Indigenous, People of Color, the In Living Color Virtual BIPOC Space is a space designed by and for BIPOC participants, providing a refuge for people to gather, connect, rest, and share in the celebration of our lineages & lived experiences. The In Living Color Virtual BIPOC space is also a place for BIPOC participants to access emotional and energetic support throughout the duration of the conference by way of Amanda David and Mandana Boushee , (BIPOC Community Herbalists and facilitators of the In Living Color Space.)
BIPOC participants are invited to join the space anytime during our Open Hours. Open Hours will be held live each Wednesday of the conference from 4:30-5:30 p.m. EST. The space will open on 2/10 with an Opening Ceremony at 4:30 p.m. EST and will close with a Closing Ceremony on 3/3 at 4:30 p.m. EST. The In Living Color facilitators will also be on-call and available 24/7 during the conference via email.
To connect with the In Living Color BIPOC space facilitators, Amanda David and Mandana Boushee, please contact them at [email protected] If you have questions about the inclusion of this space in the conference, please contact Megan Browning from NOFA-VT at [email protected]
Please consider learning more through the following resources: Why People of Color Need Spaces Without White People , by Kelsey Blackwell, on the importance of these spaces when we gather. Racial Microaggressions Are Real. Here’s How to Navigate Them , by Ruth Terry, on microaggression culture. Woke Without The Work , an online workshop for Non-BIPOC Herbalists, who are seeking to move beyond optical support of our communities, towards active, tangible, and embodied practices of equity.
Policy & Food Systems Workshops - Thursdays 11:30 am-1 pm
The Cows Don't Milk Themselves: Milk with Dignity & Farmworker Rights in the Time of COVID
Thursday 2/11, 11:30 am-1 pm
Throughout the Corona Crisis, migrant farmworkers continue to work day in and day out to produce the milk and dairy products that line supermarket shelves. Join Migrant Justice for a 1.5 hour presentation to learn more about farmworkers’ groundbreaking Milk with Dignity program which brings together farmworkers, consumers, farmer owners and corporate buyers with the principal goal of fostering a sustainable Northeast dairy industry that advances the human rights of farmworkers, supports the long-term interests of farm owners, and provides an ethical supply chain for retail food companies and consumers. We know that the cows don't milk themselves: Learn more about how you can get involved and help expand this powerful solution to the Hannaford supermarket’s supply chain.
Advancing BIPOC Land Access in N'Dakinna
Thursday 2/18, 11:30 am-1 pm
Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust; Every Town Project; Vermont Land Trust; NOFA-VT, Vital Communities
Join the Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust, Every Town Project, Vermont Land Trust, NOFA VT, and Vital Communities for a discussion on their work advancing land justice with and for BIPOC. Walk away with a better understanding of how BIPOC and non-POC land-based partnerships can take shape equitably, what BIPOC land stewards need to thrive, how you can help, and how the overlapping missions of our organizations are innovating land access for BIPOC in ways that are undoing systemic racism and repairing the harm of colonization one relationship and acre at a time.
Organizing to Win: Building Community Power for Systems Change
Thursday 2/25, 11:30 am-1 pm
Hayley Jones, Shaina Kasper, Meg Handler, Community Action Works; Stuart Blood, Energy & Climate Upper Valley
Too many people feel alone, or powerless to confront those who are polluting our most vulnerable communities. Fortunately, when people come together and take action at the local level, whether that’s passing environmental justice ordinances or stopping fracked gas pipelines, they lead the movement for large-scale transformation. Join organizers at Community Action Works to learn effective tools for dealing with pollution threats in your own neighborhood, from choosing the right decision-maker to gaining support from your community. Hear firsthand from activists how they’ve run campaigns to resist polluters and made systemic changes.
Participatory Capacity Building for an Inclusive Organic Movement
Thursday 3/4, 11:30 am-1 pm
Jennifer Taylor, Lola's Organic Farm, Organic Farming Association; A-dae Romero-Briones, First Nations Development Institute
Description coming soon!
Changemaker Roundtables - Wednesdays noon-1 pm
The Organic Farmers Toolbox: Resilient Farming Practices for Climate Change
Wednesday 2/10, noon-1 pm
Aaron Parker, Edgewood Nursery; Jono Neiger, Regenerative Design Group, Big River Chestnuts
The changing climate is bringing more extreme and unstable weather to the northeast. This workshop will present a toolbox of tangible practices to implement on your farm or homestead to better mimic and align with the resiliency we see in the natural world. Jono and Aaron will share examples of agroforestry, soil compaction reduction, water management, and others from their work in numerous land-based settings. These practices can be implemented at any scale and offer a wide range of benefits, focusing on farm resilience and increased productivity over time.
Community Food Access: Growing for Each Other
Wednesday 2/17, noon-1 pm
Chief Don Stevens, Nulhegan Band of Coosuk - Abenaki Nation; Jake Kornfeld, Farm at Vermont Youth Conservation Corps; Sammy Levine, ShiftMeals; Andrea Solazzo, Vermont Foodbank; Shane Rogers, Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund
According to the U.S. Food Sovereignty Alliance, “food sovereignty is the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems.” In Vermont, much work is being done to create a resilient food system that works for everyone and centers people, especially the most marginalized, first and foremost. Join this panel discussion for a conversation about food sovereignty and some of the work being done to build a more just and equitable food system for all.
Farm Stress & Emotional Well-being on the Farm
Wednesday 2/24, noon-1 pm
Allen Matthews, Farm First
Where do you turn when work/life balance feels impossible? Farm life can be a roller coaster. Although it can look idyllic from the outside, farming is often punctuated by stressful, demanding and dangerous work. Farmers navigate long hours, money worries, weather crises, and social isolation. Stress challenges our emotional well-being and mental health. The goal of this workshop is to help farmers identify resources and techniques to resolve stresses before they mushroom into debilitating situations. Join and connect with other farmers over your most victorious and challenging moments of the season, and explore strategies for supporting health and well-being on and off the farm.
Policy Roundtables - Fridays noon-1 pm
Soil Health Policy in Vermont: Changemaking from the Ground Up
Friday 2/12, noon-1 pm
Cat Buxton, Vermont Healthy Soils Coalition & Grow More, Waste Less; Caroline Gordon, Rural Vermont; Maddie Kempner, NOFA-VT
Attendees of this workshop will leave with an understanding of the broad legislative landscape around soil health, specifically highlighting the variety of pathways toward improving soil health through policy initiatives, educational efforts and coalition building in Vermont. At the workshop, farmer activists will be invited to speak about their initiatives and students will present on their research of Payment for Ecosystem Services with the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems.
The State of Organic
Friday 2/19, noon-1 pm
Andrew Bahrenburg, Office of Senator Leahy; Steve Etka, National Organic Coalition; Nicole Dehne, NOFA-VT
Join this workshop for a lively discussion on the status of key organic regulations and 2021 priorities. Come hear about the important topics that need to be addressed in 2021 to ensure that the organic program continues to have integrity and meets the needs of Vermont farmers and processors. There will be time for questions and discussion.