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Spanish language workshops, equity and justice, international delegation, and female farmers By Amy Wu California is considered one of the most diverse states in the U.S. especially when it comes to its population . The state is a melting pot of races and ethnicities and languages; according to the latest U.S. Census there were 37% whites, 39% Hispanic or Latino followed by 15% Asian. That said, diversity – as defined by race and gender -- has not been readily reflected in the agriculture sector in the state especially when it comes to representation at industry...Read more
By Terry Oxford How did we lose in just one hundred years what it took billions of years to evolve? Reports from across the globe show a 75% decline in flying insects. Birdless skies are becoming more common. We hear deafening silence in the springtime when our skies should be vibrating with insects and birds. Recent reports show the usage of pollinator killing pesticides in farming is 48 times more toxic than in previous decades. American farmland has become a chemical soup. Photo: Millions of flowering trees are raised in monoculture conditions and sold to cities...Read more
Traveling to different regions can be a powerful way to spread knowledge, and this rings true when it comes to exchanging ecological farming practices. In the early part of this decade, EcoFarm welcomed a number of international delegations to its conference – farmers from El Salvador in 2015 and farmers from Cuba in 2016. We are happy to report that the program will return this coming January with a delegation of farmers from Nicaragua and Mexico attending EcoFarm 2020! Please help us welcome our international agroecology delegation – small coffee farmers at the...Read more
By James Nakahara The clocks have just fallen back, and we now find ourselves with more darkness in the evenings, giving all of us that work in horticulture more time to read, ponder, and plan out next years crop plan, which things did well, which did not, and all the minor tweaks and corrections that will surely follow. Amidst the ample hours of our much needed respite from the hot long days of summer, I would encourage us all to do some light reading. Orin Martin who has spent the last 4 decades working at the Chadwick Garden at UCSC has recently completed in...Read more
Today marks my six-week anniversary as executive director at EcoFarm. Although I’m still a newbie to the internal workings of the organization, it has become obvious that EcoFarm holds a special place in many people’s hearts. It is a treasured organization that has done so much to foster a sense of community among the tens of thousands of people who have come to Asilomar to attend its conferences over the past 40 years. While we celebrate our beloved community, we still must ask who has been excluded from enjoying the benefits of organic and regenerative agriculture,...Read more
The Ecological Farming Association (EcoFarm) presents the 40th annual EcoFarm Conference January 22 - 25, 2020 in Pacific Grove, CA. Building upon its farmer-to-farmer education model, EcoFarm is an essential networking and educational hub for ecologically-minded farmers, ranchers, and all who work to support their success in growing a healthy food system and world. EcoFarm is the oldest and largest organic farming conference in the West, featuring 70+ workshops, intensives, keynotes, farm tours, an exhibitor marketplace, tastings, seed swaps, mentorships, and organic...Read more
Submit your favorite portrait photos to be featured in a show curated for the 40th EcoFarm Conference! The show, Who We Are: Farmers in Their Own Image, is intended to reflect our common circumstances and to recognize our shared identity as we feed our communities far and wide. The photos will be featured at EcoFarm's Opening Night Art Show on Wednesday, January 22 and at another forum during the conference. Instagram and social media have provided farmers and ranchers an opportunity to communicate internationally with one another in a way that has never been possible...Read more
- By Sean Bettles, EcoFarm 2019 Scholarship Awardee I work with the White Buffalo Land Trust in Summerland, California and I also manage a 4 acre Valencia orchard in Ojai, California – which means I do most of the labor myself except I hire a crew to help me harvest the fruit. At White Buffalo, I work with a team to transition 12 acres of mono-culture avocados to a diverse, climate appropriate farm. We practice, develop and promote systems of regenerative agriculture while also engaging in scientific research, education and training. This last year was my third trip...Read more
Wed, Jan 22 | 8:00 - 9:45pm Visionaries in the Field: Weaving Together Ecology and Equity Leah Penniman Soul Fire Farm Leah Penniman is a Black Kreyol educator, farmer/peyizan, author, and food justice activist from Soul Fire Farm in Grafton, NY. She co-founded Soul Fire Farm in 2011 and has been farming since 1996. Leah is part of a team that facilitates powerful food sovereignty programs - including farmer training for Black & Brown people, a subsidized farm food distribution program for communities living under food apartheid, and domestic and international...Read more
By Sam Earnshaw At the 2019 EcoFarm Conference, over 200 attendees signed individual postcards to the attention of Governor Newsom and Jered Blumenfeld, Secretary of CalEPA, to demand changes from our top state officials to eliminate toxic poisons from agriculture. The effort was organized by Margaret Reeves and Mehda Chandra of Pesticide Action Network (PAN), Mark Weller and Sarait Martinez of Californians for Pesticide Reform (CPR), and EcoFarm's Steve Sprinkel, Sam Earnshaw, and Amigo Bob Cantisano - a key contributor to this legislative postcard effort. We...Read more