Note: Workshops are subject to change.
1. Why Farms Fail
Scott Marlow, Rural Advancement Foundation International
Scott Marlow, executive director of the Rural Advancement Foundation International, has been the go-to guy for farmers in the Carolinas to turn to when facing the closure of their farming operations. In those kitchen table discussions, Scott has seen firsthand the traits, practices, and experiences that determine what it takes to be a successful farmer or a former farmer. This is a must-see talk from the person who can address that nagging question haunting the back of your mind, “Should I really be doing this?”
2. Race and Gender: The Faces of Injustice within the US Food System
Shirley Sherrod, Southwest Georgia Project for Community Education
Sponsored by Les Dames d’Escoffier
Join Shirley Sherrod, former Georgia State Director of Rural Development for the USDA, co-founder of the Southwest Georgia Project, and former organizer with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee as she explores through her own experience how the U.S. food system has been entangled with issues of race, class, and gender, and how it impacts everyone from farmers to consumers. Attendees will also hear from other movement leaders, participate in an interactive activity, and brainstorm together how to dismantle these types of inequities.
3. Introduction to Biodynamic Farming
Jeff Poppen, Long Hungry Creek Farmer
Where did the organic movement begin? What is biodynamic farming? How can studying plant growth improve the soil? Jeff, the Barefoot Farmer, will go over it all and discuss biodynamic preparations, how they are made, and what practices are working at Long Hungry Creek Farm to minimize inputs and maximize high quality production.
4. Mushrooms, Molds, and Mycorrhizae: The Cultivation and Permaculture of Fungi
Tradd Cotter, Mushroom Mountain
If you think growing mushrooms is too complicated, here’s your chance to see how easy and rewarding it can be. Attendees, beginner to advanced alike, will leave with the knowledge and skill sets to accomplish their personal or professional goals, which will span from cultivating on a small to large scale, incorporating edible mushrooms, beneficial fungi into garden designs, medicinal mushroom cultivation and preparation, and the basic art of mycoremediation to clean contaminated soil and water from polluted sites.
5. Whole Farm Planning
Daniel Parson, Oxford College of Emory University
Sponsored by White Oak Pastures
Are you preparing to start a farm? Are you reevaluating your produce business to maximize profitability? It’s never too early or too late to look at your operation holistically. Daniel Parson, the organic farm manager for Emory University’s Oxford College, will lead this in-depth workshop on building a farm business by focusing on business and marketing, field planning and rotations, and essential tools and equipment.
6. Maximizing Profits in Small Spaces
Brennan Washington, Phoenix Gardens
This session was so popular last year that we are expanding it to a workshop intensive. Phoenix Gardens’ Brennan Washington shares his tricks and tips to maximize production and profits in small spaces. In this session, participants will learn all aspects of running a small-scale commercial market garden.
7. Extending the Harvest: Creating a Four Season Garden
Ira Wallace, Southern Exposure Seed Exchange
Sponsored by Cafe Campesino
From frost sweetened carrots and collards to sun ripened tomatoes and melons, learn how to plan, create and produce garden bounty all year. This workshop will focus on the all season garden, including in-depth succession planting, planting summer crops for a fall garden, and bare-root fruit planting for late winter.
8. Grow Market Shoppers
Danielle Moore and Michael Wall, Georgia Organics; Sagdrina Jalal, Georgia Farmer’s Market Association; Sara Berney, Wholesome Wave Georgia
Sponsored by Georgia Department of Public Health
The Georgia Organics My Market Program has attracted more than 20,000 first-time shoppers to farmers markets across the state. My Market operators, and Wholesome Wave Georgia, have learned many lessons about attracting and retaining customers at markets across the state. This session will look at the impact shopper incentive programs and double value coupon programs can have in building a community’s access and demand for fresh, local food. Hear how to start and maintain your own My Market program, and learn what to do, and not to do, to keep local dollars flowing into your farmers market.