Local farmers union
Friday 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
New York’s premier Veggie Folk-Rock Band! AKA Farmer-Jam Funkgrass, they play quirky plant-based originals with some eclectic covers sprinkled in. Members of Local Farmers Union consist of real-life farmers and chefs, pickin’ veggies by day and tunes by night.
L.A. Sound Productions
Friday 8:30 pm - 11:00 pm
DJ Lloyd Church will provide a wide selection of music and a prop-filled photo booth.
The Russet Trio
Saturday 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Based in New York’s Hudson Valley, the Russet Trio plays a wide array of traditional string band music. Formed in 2003 in Columbia County, the trio has become a highly sought after ensemble throughout the Northeast and beyond for contra and square dances, weddings, festivals and parties. Their music blends traditional Celtic and Appalachian music with syncopation and groove. However one attempts to describe this music, people’s feet will move and their spirits soar.
Contra Dance with Fern Bradley & The Russet Trio
Saturday 8:30 pm – 11:00 pm
Caller Fern Bradley, also a Hudson Valley favorite, specializes in teaching lively, easy and fun dances that participants of all ages can enjoy together. She will be joining The Russet Trio for the contra dance. They make a great combination that new or experienced dancers won’t want to miss!
Farmer trivia night
Saturday 8:30 pm - 11:00 pm
Whether you consider yourself an expert or beginning farmer, come test your farming knowledge and have some fun at Farmer Trivia Night. Topics will range throughout the spectrum of all types of farming. So grab some friends (or better yet, make some new ones) and form a well-rounded team to compete for the title of Farmer Trivia Night Champs!
Family Swim Time
Friday & Saturday 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
While the on-site pool at the Saratoga Hilton is open every day, we have set up a designated time to take a dip. All children must be accompanied by an adult.
Friday & Saturday 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
These authors have graciously offered to sit for book signings. Bring your copy from home or purchase one from the conference bookstore!
Jean-Martin Fortier (Friday)
The Market Gardener: A Successful Grower's Handbook for Small-scale Organic Farming
Les Jardins de la Grelinette is a micro-farm located in Eastern Quebec, just north of the American border. Growing on just 1.5 acres, owners Jean-Martin and Maude-Helene feed more than 200 families through their thriving CSA and seasonal market stands and supply their signature mesclun salad mix to dozens of local establishments. The secret of their success is the low-tech, high-yield production methods they've developed by focusing on growing better rather than growing bigger, making their operation more lucrative and viable in the process.
Bevin (Ben) Cohen (Friday)
From Our Seeds & Their Keepers – A Collection of Stories
Just a few generations ago we were a nation of seed savers because it was essential to our survival. Many of us have lost touch with this ancient practice, but the knowledge is still inside each and every one of us just waiting to be unlocked. As the demand for locally grown food increases, the demand for local seed is not far behind. After all, food is only as local as the seed that grows it.
Keynote Speaker: Leah Penniman (Saturday)
Farming While Black: Soul Fire Farm’s Practical Guide to Liberation on the Land
Farming While Black is the first comprehensive “how to” guide for aspiring African-heritage growers to reclaim their dignity as agriculturists and for all farmers to understand the distinct, technical contributions of African-heritage people to sustainable agriculture. At Soul Fire Farm, author Leah Penniman co-created the Black and Latinx Farmers Immersion (BLFI) program as a container for new farmers to share growing skills in a culturally relevant and supportive environment led by people of color. Farming While Black organizes and expands upon the curriculum of the BLFI to provide readers with a concise guide to all aspects of small-scale farming, from business planning to preserving the harvest. Throughout the chapters Penniman uplifts the wisdom of the African diasporic farmers and activists whose work informs the techniques described—from whole farm planning, soil fertility, seed selection, and agroecology, to using whole foods in culturally appropriate recipes, sharing stories of ancestors, and tools for healing from the trauma associated with slavery and economic exploitation on the land. Woven throughout the book is the story of Soul Fire Farm, a national leader in the food justice movement.
Catherine Bukowski (Saturday)
The Community Food Forest Handbook
Fueled by the popularity of permaculture and agroecology, community food forests are capturing the imaginations of people in neighborhoods, towns, and cities across the United States. Along with community gardens and farmers markets, community food forests are an avenue toward creating access to nutritious food and promoting environmental sustainability where we live. Interest in installing them in public spaces is on the rise. People are the most vital component of community food forests, but while we know more than ever about how to design food forests, the ways in which to best organize and lead groups of people involved with these projects has received relatively little attention.