By Laurel Blomquist | Last week the Gwenyn Hill Farm team made the trek to La Crosse to attend North America’s largest gathering of organic farmers and professionals, the highlight of every farming year. It was a chance to brush up on farming knowledge and reconnect with some 3000 farmer friends and business partners of all kinds.
MOSES, the conference organizer, works hard to make fresh, local, healthy food a focus of the conference. Always willing to walk the walk, MOSES arranged for all the food waste and tableware to be composted. Purple Cow Organics trucked the compostables to their commercial facility where they will be turned into ingredients for their soil enhancing products. We purchase Purple Cow seed starter, so, essentially, our seeds will be grown in compost from past conferences!
Thursday was Organic University — a one-day deep dive into specific farming topics. Linda attended the organic apple production session and I attended a workshop on soil. So much to learn, so little time!
The next two days were filled with workshop sessions, and keynote speakers, as well as checking out an extensive bookstore, and a massive exhibition hall. Our favorite session was the keynote given by Chris Blanchard, the farmer/consultant behind PurplePitchfork.com . His topic was farm-life balance. He drew on years of wisdom from other farmers gleaned during interviews for his Farmer to Farmer podcast. At the end, he received a standing ovation for his inspiring message and years of service to the organic farming community.
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