Saturday, January 26, 2013

NOFA-NY winter conference: live blog!

I'm currently sitting in the bustling lobby of the Saratoga Hilton at the organic farming conference. I was here all day yesterday too, but I have an hour break before my volunteer hours.

So what do farmers confer about?
Integrated Pest Management
Hosting Apprenticeships
Hog Enterprises
Intensive Grazing
And so much more!

What's cool about the conference:
Socializing with other farmers
Finding new resources
Sharing skills
Stretching my mind

But, of course the quality of every workshop varies slightly and sometimes the focus I think it will have turns out not to be the case and then the information isn't applicable. I've been to a lot of conferences in my various career iterations and this is always the case.

Also a major bummer is that Kim had to stay home. With the winter chill not quite unyielding, we couldn't leave the farm all day. I had a scholarship, so I was voted to attend- even though we paid for Kim today too. I always get more out if these events when she is here to discuss and process with me. Plus, it really hurts to blow a good chunk of change (even for a decent organization like NOFA) and not get the benefit. We aren't certified organic, and have no intentions of going that route (for elaboration another day). But the consolidation of information is pretty helpful and interesting.

As part of receiving a scholarship, I have to volunteer two hours. I was supposed to last night, but snow was plotting a landing and I needed to leave. Which means I'm here until 9 tonight and then driving the two hours home. Big time kids! It's a late night after a long day- but I certainly appreciate the scholarship so I'll just plan for coffee on the drive home.

Two days off farm are plenty, I'm ready to bring materials back home and retreat after a week of visitors too. Tomorrow it's all going to be catching up with my wife and re cooperating. Plus, I actually miss the animals. I forget how tied I am to our little world. It really is the place I feel best. It's great to go out and seek ways to grow and improve, especially when it makes me appreciate our efforts all the more.

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