I often post an article about the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture’s winter conference shortly before the event takes place in February, but this year I thought I would provide more advance notice and encourage those who are interested in the event to plan ahead for it.
The schedule, speakers, workshops, and all the other details regarding the conference are now posted on the PASA website and registration opened yesterday for what will be the 25th annual Farming for the Future Conference. Plan now in order to take advantage of the early bird pricing on the registration fees and to reserve lodging at the Penn Stater Conference Center or other nearby hotels in St. College, PA.
Pre-Conference Sessions and Half-Day Workshops
The winter event will take place from February 3rd through the 6th of 2016 and the schedule looks loaded with interesting speakers and topics related to sustainable agriculture and organic farming/gardening. As usual things will kick off on Wednesday and Thursday with two days of pre-conference tracks and workshops.
This time around the Thursday sessions consist of half day workshops to choose from and I’m leaning towards the morning session on Korean Natural Farming, and an afternoon Fermentation Intensive that will be given by Sandor Katz, the author of a number of popular fermentation books. My friend Tradd Cotter will also be offering a half-day session on mycoremediation, and other topics for Thursday’s workshops include; intensive vegetable production, growing organic apples, building a solar generator, raising ginger in a temperate climate, and more.
Main Conference Workshops take Place on Friday and Saturday
If you can’t make it in time for the pre-conference sessions many of the presenters will also be on hand to give shorter workshops during the conference’s main program on Friday and Saturday. Here’s a partial listing of the concurrent workshops that will be conducted over those two days:
- Low & No-Tech Methods for High-Yielding Mushroom Harvests
- Biodynamic Beekeeping
- Plant Based Eco Efficient Soil Building
- Finishing Vegetables for the Highest Quality & Brix Levels
- Organic Stone Fruit IPM Methods – That Work!
- Growing for Food Pantries: Pittsburgh Area Experiences
- Fermenting Vegetables
- Best Practices for Growing Safe, Healthy Food in Urban Soils
- Farm Made Fertility: Composting, Inoculants & Fertilizers
- The Wide World of Beverage Fermentation
- Medicinal Mushrooms: Cultivation, Extractions & Product Development
And that’s just a sampling of all the great workshops that will be provided during the conference. There will also be a couple keynote speakers and the usual assortment of fun activities ranging from a knitting circle and seed swap, to movies, music, auctions, and many nutritious local foods to enjoy. You’ll find a number of sustainable agriculture companies on hand including; Organic Mechanics Soil, Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, Fertrell, Rodale Institute, BCS America, Peace Tree Farm, and Agri-Dynamics.
This is a great event, held at convenient location, and it takes place at a time just before the pace picks up for farmers and gardeners to get back into the swing of things for the spring growing seasons. If you’re a fan of sustainable agriculture, organic gardening, or healthful food production and distribution I hope you’ll make plans and register to attend this fantastic event!