Friday/Saturday, March 11th and 12th:
Vandana Shiva will be the keynote speaker this year—gasp! If registration is a bit pricey for you, there are other ways to participate. You can volunteer for a 20% discount, or you can attend the Expo on Friday night from 4:30 to 8:30pm, which is open to the public at $10/person, and includes local, organic tastings and a cash bar.
Elliott and I will be hosting a farm tour on Friday and teaching a pastured poultry class on Saturday (descriptions below), auctioning off dates with ourselves (start saving your money now—local food and wine included), and generally running around like chickens with our…uh…never mind.
Farm Tour - Idealism & Production
Hope Grows is a six-acre pasture-based community farm operated by young farmers Arianne McGinnis and Elliott McGann. Their mission: to grow “farmers and food with integrity”. As the day-to-day managers of balance and symbiosis between the animals and the land, they use a seasonal rotation plan that supports the health and sustainability of the entire farm. They produce and sell pasture-raised eggs, broilers, turkeys, and pork. They are currently constructing an on-farm poultry processing facility – the first of its kind in the region.
Educational Session - Pastured Poultry Palooza
A comprehensive introduction to pastured poultry production: including laying hens, broilers, and turkeys. Topics will include brooding, breed selection, pasturing models, regulations, animal health, marketing, and on-farm processing. Special emphasis will be given to evaluating markets, economic sustainability, and low input solutions. Hope Grows’ mission is twofold, to provide clean, fair food to their community and to grow new farmers. They direct market pastured eggs, chickens, turkeys, and pork from their 6 acre farm.