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August E-News: EcoFarm Conference 2016 Theme Revealed and more

Regenerating our Lands and Water – annual EcoFarm Conference returns
The 36th annual EcoFarm Conference will be returning to the Asilomar Conference Grounds January 20-23, 2016. This year's theme, Regenerating our Lands and Water, is inspired by recognition of the urgent need for holistic management of the land and our most precious of resources – water. What is the meaning of "regenerate"? According to Merriam Webster Dictionary, "regenerate" means: 1) formed or created again 2) spiritually reborn 3) restored to a better, higher, or more worthy state.

California farmers bear the brunt of persistent drought and climate change. When orchards and fields lose access to water, farmers' and farmworkers' livelihoods are threatened - hurting the entire economy and putting our food security at risk. What can be done to foster the resiliency needed to adapt and diversify in the face of current conditions?

How can we weather the storms or lack of them? What do we need to start over (create again)? What are the steps to improve our current conditions (restore to a higher, more worthy state)? What is the response that may bring life back into what unites and guides our actions (a spiritual rebirth)? The EcoFarm Conference continues to provide the forum to gather, share knowledge, and work together for solutions. Join in reviving the inquiry to unearth the answers, realign and regenerate at the 36th annual EcoFarm Conference in 2016!

2016 Conference Artwork by Kim Hamblin


The 28th annual Hoes Down Harvest Festival coming up in October
As the summer days get shorter and shorter, we get closer and closer to the autumn weekend when we put our hoes down and celebrate the fruits of labor. Please join us at the Hoes Down Harvest Celebration on Saturday, October 3rd and Sunday, October 4th to honor agricultural arts and sustainable rural living. Two fun-filled days of events and seminars for all ages will take place at Full Belly Farm in rural Capay Valley - a region of many small farms that supply Northern California's neighborhood grocery stores and eateries with fresh organic produce. This 28th annual event offers the public a special opportunity to connect with rural life and deepen our understanding of the local food system.

Over 5,000 people from across the state attend the festival each year, and there is always a little something for everyone. Educational farm tours, a children's area, games, live bluegrass music and wagon rides are always favorite activities, not to mention the glorious all-organic farmers' market with a bounty of seasonal produce such as fresh-picked almonds and walnuts, a huge variety of melons, apples, and pumpkins. For more information visit the news section of our website as well as the official Hoes Down website. Online registration for the Hoes Down event, seminars, overnight camping and volunteer registration is open at