February 9th, 2020 9am – 4pm
Nevada Union High School, Grass Valley
Build your own personalized curriculum from twenty food and farm workshops with local and regional experts. Whether your a farmer, ranchers, homesteader or foodie, there’s something for everyone!
SESSION 1 – 9:00 to 10:15
FASCINATING SIMILARITIES BETWEEN GUT AND SOIL MICROBES
Unhealthy soil creates unhealthy plants and animals, which when eaten create unhealthy humans with unhealthy gut flora including the widespread epidemic of ‘leaky gut’ and ‘IBS.’ Learn to create healthy gut flora by nurturing mycorrhizal associations and healthy soil microbes essential to optimum health.
Presenter: Dr. Dale Jacobson D.C, 40 year practicing chiropractor at Jacobson Chiropractic.
PRACTICAL ANIMAL HUSBANDRY
Explore preventative health for our farm animals. Learn biodynamic concepts for optimal health, using preventative methods before animals become ill. You will leave with techniques and recipes you can apply the next day.
Presenters: Marney Blair and Lisa Bjorn own 20-acre Fulcrum Farm, Demeter Certified and producing local food and excellent compost for over 13 years using Biodynamic methods. They also offer compost education.
WILD FORAGING FOOD AND MEDICINE
Open your eyes to the abundance of food and medicine that grows wild in gardens, farms, and open spaces around the Sierra Foothills. Take a visual tour through some of the tastiest nutrient-dense foods that might already grow around your garden or farm. Learn how to turn them into culinary delights, and key medicinal self-care. Emphasis placed on ethical wild harvesting, as well as plants with a wide safety margin. Several demonstrations included.
Presenter: Rachel Berry is a Sierra Harvest staffer, and has taught herbalism, wild foraging and DIY organic skincare courses for over 10 years throughout Northern California through Sierra Botanica.
SEED PRODUCTION FOR MARKET AND GARDEN
Learn how seed production can become a profitable part of a diversified farming system, including a brief overview of seed saving techniques based on varieties, climate, and desired selection criteria. Seed production presents opportunities for farms to diversify their market outlets, develop off-season cash flow streams, and contribute to the resurgence of locally-adapted and produced seed diversity and supply. Strategies for getting started growing seeds on contract with seed companies will also be discussed.
Presenter: Tim VanWagner owns First Rain Farm. Tim started farming with Living Lands Agrarian Network in 2004.
FARMING AS A FINANCIALLY VIABLE CAREER CHOICE
How are small-scale farmers creating financially successful businesses? Join experienced farmers and agriculture professionals as we discuss real-world career choices for making money and satisfying lifestyles.
Moderated by Aleta Barrett, owner of Starbright Acres Family Farm a financially successful micro-farm in Nevada County for 10 years. Presenters: Michael Whamond and Shanon Ously, Hillview Farms; Antonio Garza, Riverhill Farm; Ken Barrett, Starbright Acres Family Farm.
SESSION 2 – 10:30 to 11:45
PERMACULTURE SOLUTIONS FOR EARTH HEALING
Learn how regenerative agriculture and permaculture are creating solutions worldwide using bio-remediation techniques based on mimicking nature to heal soil, water, oceans, deserts and atmosphere. Join us for discussion, before and after case studies, and video clips. You will leave with hope for the future and actions for every farm and garden.
Presenter: Cathe’ Fish, permaculture land consultant and instructor, college weather instructor, 31 year UCCE Master Gardener, Nevada County Fire Safe Council Defensible Space Landscape instructor, Sierra Harvest Conference organizer, Director PracticalPermaculture Farm School in Rough and Ready, CA.
INTENSIVE SMALL SCALE PRODUCTION: TOP 10 BEST PRACTICES
As farmers, we face many challenges. Learn to identify the key steps to success and profit in farming. We’ll share Hillview Farm’s top 10 practices and stories about the realities of what it has taken us to run a profitable small intensive low-till “neighborhood” farm.
Presenter: Michael Whamond, ecological owner of Hillview Farms in Auburn, CA
RESOURCES FOR RESILIENCE
Learn about local support providers with many free or cost shared resources to improve farm and ranch resilience. These include improving irrigation systems, cross fencing, to structuring long-term leases and loans. Meet the people in our community who are here to support you!
Moderated by Molly Nakahara, Dinner Bell Farm, Sierra Harvest Farm Institute director.
Presenters: Pamela Hertzler, District Conservationist Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) in Grass Valley; Liya Schwartzmen, Central Valley Program Coordinator at California FarmLink; and Cindy Fake, County Director of UC Cooperative Extension Placer and Nevada Counties, Horticulture and Small Farms Advisor.
TRAINING LIVESTOCK HERDING DOGS
Gain insight into the mind of herding dogs. Tom’s understanding of livestock, from sheep, goats, cattle and even water buffalo, and his experience teaching people to understand their role in the dog/shepherd partnership make this an informative and entertaining workshop.
Presenter: Tom Wade of Buffalo Brothers Grazing and Land Management, Nevada City, CA, certified Permaculture practitioner and locally renowned storyteller.
CAN WE FARM WITHOUT PLASTIC? TRADITIONAL AND MODERN ALTERNATIVES
Plastic is everywhere, polluting land and sea. “Sustainable” farmers and gardeners also use plastic for everything from hoop houses to mulch. There is little recycling, except ‘down-cycling.’ Learn traditional and contemporary alternatives to plastic. We won’t get rid of all of the plastic easily, but we can return to older, still innovative, techniques for doing what we want to do without all that plastic.
Presenter: Michael Foley is Director of the School of Adaptive Agriculture, co-owner of Green Uprising Farm, both in Willits, and author of Farming for the Long Haul.
11:45 to 1:00
Networking Lunch and Book Store
SESSION 3 – 1:00 to 2:15
SUCCESSFUL CUT FLOWER PRODUCTION
Flowers spark joy in people’s hearts! Learn to produce gorgeous and unique cut flowers while enhancing biodiversity. Learn tips to grow seasonally specific cut flowers for florists and flower lovers using low and no-till methods to build soil. Come learn about their farm, production methods, and keys to their success.
Presenter: Kori Hargreaves, Dawn Creek Farm, 13 acre farm in Rio Linda, CA
GROUNDWATER WISDOM AND WELLS
Learn how you can improve infiltration to your well through changes in land management. How does water enter into your well? How do surface water and groundwater connect around your land? Yes, you can impact your water quality. Get details about well operations in our local fractured rock.
Presenter: Evelyn Soltero, geoscientist, ecological hydrologist, owner of All About Wells
ADDING TO YOUR INCOME STREAM WITH AGRITOURISM
From farm stands to pumpkin patches, farm tours, and on-farm classes, agritourism is an opportunity for any farm or ranch, no matter the size. Learn all about agritourism opportunities that work and what is now legal in Nevada County. Get details on how to bring people out to your farm, sell them on value-added activities and products, and create an additional income stream.
Presenters: Penny Leff, small farm advocate, UC SAREP -Statewide Agritourism Coordinator; Debbie Bierwagen, Donner Trail Fruit Farm Market & Pumpkin Patch.
Learn how two Nevada County ranches use regenerative practices to raise superior quality healthy pasture-raised meat and eggs while benefiting the environment. This team of ranchers will share keys to success such as rotational grazing, cover crops, and working in community with other local meat producers, as well as common misconceptions about the meat industry, animal feed, grass-fed beef, pasture-raised pork, chicken, and eggs.
Presenters: Ciara and Michael Shapiro, AM Ranch: Amy and Kevin Pharis, Pharis Pork and Poultry
MAKE EASY HOMEMADE SOFT CHEESES
Learn fun beginner soft cheese making with oh-so-easy techniques. Soft cheese can be an amazing party treat, a delicious appetizer, used in main dishes and rich desserts. Simple does not have to be boring! We’ll add a variety of seasonings to newly made soft cheese and have a tasting.
Presenter: Sarah Griffin-Boubacar, Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply Product Development Manager and 10-year cheesemaker and instructor
SESSION 4 – 2:30 to 3:45
HEDGEROWS: CREATING AND MAINTAINING BIODIVERSITY ON FARM AND GARDEN
Learn to plan, plant and maintain hedgerows, including hedgerow species, site preparation, weed management options, as well as available financial resources for creating functional hedgerows to increase biodiversity.
Presenter: Rex DuFour is an entomologist specializing in integrated pest management. He is the Director of the Western Region NCAT National Center for Appropriate Technology in Davis, CA
ORGANICALLY APPROVED PEST AND DISEASE MANAGEMENT
Learn proven, practical methods for managing common pests, with a combination of cultural practices, plant nutrition, trap crops, insectary plants, classical biological control, physical barriers, physical traps and organic pesticides. Amigo Bob will share his 45 years’ experience researching, designing and implementing nontoxic pest management on more than 900 organic farms with 100,000 acres of nearly every crop commonly grown.
Presenter: Amigo Bob Cantisano, founder of Peaceful Valley Farm Supply, cofounder of CCOF, OMRI, and Eco-Farm Conference. Founder and current president of Organic Ag Advisors in North San Juan, CA
SELL IT BEFORE YOU GROW IT!
Learn more about the seasonal demand trends for the foothill region and discover new opportunities for local sales of farm products. Find out which crops are in high demand and when local buyers are in need of supply. You’ll hear directly from some of the biggest regional buyers of local produce and you’ll leave with a list of produce needs from the Tahoe Food Hub & The BriarPatch Food Co-op.
Moderator: Lauren Scott, Sierra Harvest Procurement Specialist.
Presenters: Susie Sutphin, Tahoe Food Hub; Shana Maziarz, Three Forks Bakery and Brewing Co.; Greg Weber, owner of Greg’s Organics and Founder and Director of Real OrganicsX.
GRAZING FOR FIRE SAFETY AND SUPPRESSION
Large herds of wild grazing animals have historically covered California’s landscape. Today our forests are overgrown and our grasslands are neglected. Goats and sheep are a perfect solution to restoring our lands while helping to reduce the fire risk we are currently facing. From small to large acreages, learn how livestock grazing can be beneficial to mitigating fire when it comes.
Presenters: Brad and Alana Fowler are Nevada County born ranchers dedicated to sustainable agricultural practices. They have decades of experience raising animals and, since 2006, have operated The Goat Works, using goats and sheep for vegetation management.
MAKE YOUR OWN SALUMI
From coppa to culatello, bacon to bresaola, salami to sausage, Ham Stand owner Jason Jillson will share the art of how they create on-site their delicious healthy wildly popular salumi (Italian finely sliced cold cuts) from all local, sustainably raised meats. Enjoy a taste while you are at it! Includes a hands-on demo of old world traditional butchering for curing purposes.
Presenter: Jason Jillson has a graduate degree in culinary instruction, is an advanced self-taught butcher/meat preserver and has worked in hotels around the world making amazing food. He currently owns and operates The Ham Stand in Nevada City.