01 Feb Sustainable Farming Conference in Kentucky
Last weekend Kyle and I had the opportunity to travel with two fellow farmer friends all the way to Kentucky to attend the 2016 southern SAWG (sustainable agriculture working group) conference. What a gift! Kyle previously attended this conference in 2013 in Arkansas, however this was my first time in attendance. The conference in 2013 is what God used to affirm Kyle to pursue farming as a career. He retuned home pumped up and ready to begin a farm! This year I was grateful to get to join him and experience what the conference was like and grow in my farming knowledge as well.
After two full days of hearing from farming gurus on varying topics we came home refreshed, encouraged and equipped with new insights. We enjoyed attending talks about creating exciting bouquets, growing ginger (which we will attempt this year), better high tunnel practices, organic pest management and many others. Throughout the weekend we heard from other farmers about their operations and gleaned new ideas and possibilities from their beautiful stories. Some of the highlights of our trip were hearing from author and farmer Wendell Berry as well as Joel Salatin from Polyface Farms in Virginia. Kyle spent his free time roaming the Vendor Hall dreaming about new farm tools, equipment, seeds and the like while I attended the vendor hall once to retain a copy of a book of poems by Wendell Berry and munch on an insanely delicious piece of bacon a vendor was sampling. Being 34 weeks pregnant I had to ration out the time spent on my feet and pursuing the vendor hall repetitively did not make the cut. It was enough to walk to and from the hotel and conference building and then roam around three floors to find the different talks we were attending.
The other beautiful thing about this conference is the gathering together of like minded folks. We were able to ask questions to other farmers about how they do things as well as get advice or glean needed information. It was such a gift to get to be around so many others who share our ideals and goals and are farming or are involved in the sustainable, local food movement. I even got to meet other pregnant, farming Mamas which was a joy! By Sunday we were ready and excited to return home to our children and farm and to continue refreshed in our efforts of serving and loving our community by growing the best quality food we can can. We are so grateful for SSAWG and to get to do what we do!