Event Details:


Farm Conference events will run from Friday, January 9th - Sunday, January 11th.

• Friday: Tour of three farms and ranches (Tickets SOLD OUT)
• Saturday: Keynote speakers, expo and then in-depth session with Eliot Coleman or Mark Shepard.
• Sunday: Full day of 20 workshops on a wide variety of food and farming subjects.

Detailed Schedule by Day:

Friday Schedule - Three Farm Tour:

January 9, 2015 - 8:30 am - 4:00 pm (Food included in ticket price)

(Tickets SOLD OUT)

No cancellation for rain, dress appropriately for mud and rain, attendees drive themselves to each location (car-pooling will be organized for those interested).

8:30 - 9:15 am: Attendees meet at Fowler Family Farm in Grass Valley, coffee and baked goods and orientation.

9:15 - 10:45 am: Tour Fowler Family Farm - Multi-species livestock ranch raising cattle, hogs, sheep, goats, geese, ducks, chickens, and bees. See how sustainable, rotational pasturing works with multiple species. Un-irrigated vs. irrigated pasture pros and cons discussed. Learn the appropriate temporary and permanent fencing options for different species. Q&A throughout tour.

10:45-11:00am: Drive / Carpool to Elster Ranch (10 min drive)

11:00 - 12:30 pm: Tour Elster Ranch - Cattle ranch using cutting edge sustainable pasture development techniques. Yeoman plowing system to increase moisture retention and distribution without disturbing roots or micro organisms. K Line movable irrigation system for quick easy rotation of irrigation. See some of the best sustainably managed pastures in the region. Q&A thoughout the tour.

12:30 - 2:00 pm: Drive / Carpool to Three Forks Bakery & Brewery, Lunch included in ticket price. After lunch, drive / carpool to First Rain Farm.

2:30 - 4:00 pm: Tour First Rain Farm - Multi-rowcrop vegetable farm, seed production, herbs and goat herd share. See the farm's season extension methods, winter crops, and cover crops. Learn how off season preparations lead to fertility and reduced pests in Spring. Q&A thoughout the tour.


Saturday Schedule:

January 10, 2015 - 8:00 am - 5:00 pm at Grass Valley Veterans Hall

8:00 am: Doors open

8:30 - 9:00 am: Expo open, breakfast food, coffee, beverages and snacks available for purchase. during introduction announcements & welcome.

9:00 - 10:00 am: Mark Shepard speaks on Large-scale Permaculture Farming

10:00 - 10:30 am: Expo break

10:30 - 11:30 am: Jim Hightower speaks on Returning Culture to Agriculture

11:30 - 1:00 pm: Lunch Break - Lunches available for purchase on site.

1:00 - 2:00 pm: Eliot Coleman speaks on Profitable Year-Round Organic Farming.

2:00 - 2:30 pm: Expo break

2:30 - 5:00 pm: Choose between two in-depth discussions:

Eliot Coleman presents an in-depth talk on Exploring Season Extension


Mark Shepard presents an in-depth talk on Agro-Forestry Farming Techniques

Sunday Schedule:

January 11, 2015 - 9:00 am - 4:00 pm at The Gold Miners Holiday Inn, Grass Valley

15 Minute Breaks Between Each Workshop
Five concurrent workshops each session

Workshop locations: Holiday Inn Express and Old Post Office

9:00-10:15 Workshop Session 1

Learn the fundamentals of Aquaponic farming and gardening. Join us for the basics of creating a symbiotic cultivation of fish and plants which can provide multiple opportunities to enhance our sustainable food growing efforts. Presenters: Chelsea Wright and Trent Mason local aquaponics systems designers

Brewing and Applying Compost Tea
Learn to make compost tea the Dr. Elaine Ingham way. Learn what food stock and equipment you need, how to brew, when and how to apply. Presenter: Brian Malin, Vital Garden Supply in Grass Valley

Predator Protection for Small Scale Livestock
Predator protection is essential in raising livestock in the foothills. This workshop will cover types of predators (by type of livestock), predator behavior, and protection strategies such as fencing, facilities, management, and guardian animals.
Presenters: Roger Ingram, Farm Advisor and Director of the UC County Extension Service in Nevada and Placer Counties, tireless advocate of grass grazing and ranch marketing for the last 25 years. Dan Macon, Flying Mule Farm

Starting your Agroforestry Nursery
Learn how to implement Restoration Agriculture by creating your own nursery. You will learn plant breeding, propagation techniques, and pruning.
Presenter: Mark Shepard created New Forest Farm, a Permaculture Farm in southwest Wisconsin, where he converted a conventional grain operation into a profitable commercial-scale, perennial agricultural ecosystem. Author of Restoration Agriculture.

Greenhorns' Grange Future Tour
Learn about the revival of the underutilized Grange halls across the nation by new generations of young and beginning farmers. By understanding the roots of the Grange fraternal order, we can see the supportive socio-political benefits and impact the Grange and other cooperative movements have on farmers.
Presenter: Severine Fleming is a farmer, activist, and organizer based in the Champlain Valley of New York. She is director of Greenhorns, the grassroots organization with the mission to recruit, promote and support the rising generation of new farmers in America. Presenter: Severine Fleming is a farmer, activist, and organizer based in the Champlain Valley of New York. She is director of Greenhorns, the grassroots organization with the mission to recruit, promote and support the rising generation of new farmers in America.


10:30 to 11:45 Workshop Session 2

Science of Greenhouse Growing
Learn about state of the art greenhouses for 21st century greenhouse production. Learn about creating adequate air circulation through ventilation, lighting, heating and shading options, and retractable greenhouses. Presenter: Eric Brandstad, Forever Flowering Greenhouses

The Importance of Bioregional Seed Systems
Seed – the foundational element to all agriculture. Learn the importance of re-integrating seed production into the local farming loop and become inspired to re-engage as local bioregional seed stewards. Participate in hands on seed saving, and receive seeds to take home to start your seed saving journey. Presenter: Rowen White is th Director and Founder of Sierra Seed Cooperative. She teaches seed stewardship locally and across the country for Native Seed/SEARCH's education program, "Seed School."

Holistic Animal Husbandry: Keeping Domestic Animals in Good Health
Explore the basic ingredients in preventative health for all of our farm animals. We will give you tools to take care of your animals before they become ill. Presenters: Marney Blair and Lisa Bjorn own 20 acre Fulcrum Farm, which has been producing local food and excellent compost for over 13 years using Biodynamic methods and is Demeter Certified. They also offer compost education.

Native American Approach to Landscape Management
Learn about the ancient wisdom of connecting to our local natural world and how it relates to our managing our homesteads and ranch lands. Presenter: Grayson Coney is the Cultural Director of the Tsi-Akim Maidu. He grew up locally learning the indigenous cultural and culinary uses of our local native plants from his elders and later through a college degree.

Traditional Foods: Bone Broth for Health and Vitality
Learn how to properly prepare meat broths containing minerals in the bone marrow, and gelatin from the cartilage. These broths are delicious, extremely nutritious, and easy to assimilate. Modern research has confirmed that this broth helps prevent diseases and restores health. Presenter: Shan Kendall, local food, nutrition and fermentation expert from the Gold Country Chapter, Weston A. Price Foundation

Lunch 11:45 to 1:00 pm

1:00 -2:15 Workshop Session 3

Amazing Similarities of Healthy Gut and Healthy Soil Microbes
Drawing on more than 30 years of experience, Dr. Dale Jacobson discusses how our health is dependent on both our gut and soil microbes, and how they are related. Presenter: Dr. Dale Jacobson of Jacobson Chiropractic lives on a 20-acre organic farm and teaches his patients the importance of traditional nutrient dense organic foods and moving the body.

Techno Toolshed: Direct Marketing for Increased Sales
Technological tools can help improve your customer service and improve sales. Learn to use credit card readers such as Square to increase sales and how to determine which social media will work for you. Discover what Recipe Cards do for direct marketing sales. Presenters: Jim Muck, Jim's Producer and Molly Nakahara and Paul Glowaski, Dinner Bell Farm

Successful Integrated Vegetable and Animal Farming
Full Belly Farm, a 350 acre organic farm in the Capay Valley, grows 100 different vegetable crops throughout the year to supply their CSA (Community Support Ag) with certified organic food. Come hear about their innovative techniques and business ownership model. They must be doing it right, because their children are now farming with them. Presenters: Drew Rivers and Paul Muller from Full Belly Farms have been successfully farming for 30 years and are passionate about what they do.

Permaculture Water Harvesting for Farm and Garden
Learn to drought proof your land when it is raining and keep your land hydrated when it is not raining, best ways to store rainwater for farming and gardening, and other simple Permaculture techniques to keep the soil moist in our Mediterranean climate. Presenter: Cathe' Fish, Permaculture Consultant, Designer and International Instructor, Director Practical Permaculture Farm School in Rough and Ready, CA

Beginning Cheese Making
Learn easy, fun, beginner cheese making techniques in this hands-on workshop. We'll add a variety of seasonings to newly made soft cheese and have a tasting! Workshop Leader: Sarah Griffin-Boubacar, Peaceful Valley Retail Store Manager and Cheesemaker

2:30-3:45 Workshops Session 4

The Changing Food Safety Landscape for Family Farms
Learn about policy changes and food safety requirements including direct marketing legislation in California as well as the federal Food Safety Modernization Act. What are Good Agricultural Practices on your farm? Why do buyers want a third-party-audited food safety plan? Presenter: Dave Runsten, ag economist, Director of Community Alliance with Family Farmers Policy, and co-chair of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition's food safety committee. Raman Maangat, Manager of Community Alliance with Family Farmers Food Safety Manager who has had extensive experience with food safety implementation in British Columbia.

Growing Cut Flowers for Profit and Beauty
Basic considerations when planning a cut flower garden, from timing and succession planting a season's worth of cut flower material to ensure a continuous, abundant supply for your flower CSA. Choosing varieties for longevity, and for post-harvest handling, packaging and delivery for long-lived bouquets. Presenter: Angie Tomey is the owner of Little Boy Flowers and co-owner of Mountain Bounty Farm with her husband John Tecklin. She has been growing flowers since 2001 and has had a successful flower CSA program for 8 years.

Raising Livestock
Raising ducks, chickens, rabbits, quail, goats, sheep, cows with tips on home-scale butchering. Presenters: Brad Fowler of Fowler Family Farm raises sheep, goats, cows, pigs & chickens, Laura Christofk, raises Dexter cattle, American Guinea Hogs, chickens, & moderates Dairy Queenz Forum, Kathryn MacRoberts of Laughing Duck Farm raises sheep, goats, chickens, rabbits, ducks, quail, geese, Rob Bielen, raises poultry on Back to Basics Farm.

Drought, Water Rights and the Future of Water Access in Nevada County
The State Water Resources Control Board acting under Drought Emergency Orders from Governor Brown is modifying Nevada Irrigation District's water rights and may result in a more limited supply of agriculture water for Nevada County. Find out what's involved and how you can help protect local water resources.Presenter: Nancy Weber is a sixteen-year member of the Nevada Irrigation District Board, a descendant of farmers, a lifetime gardener and an ardent consumer of good food.

Training Livestock Herding Dogs
Permaculture farmer and locally renowned story teller Tom Wade brings a wealth of experience to the topic of herd dogs. Not only will this presentation be informative, but it is sure to be highly entertaining as well. Presenter: Tom Wade of Bluebird Farm, Nevada City, CA