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Natural Awakenings Fairfield & Southern Litchfield Counties

Gather with Organic Farm, Food and Garden Enthusiasts

Farmers, landscapers, foodies, gardeners and community leaders convene at CT NOFA’s 35th Annual Winter Conference to learn innovative practices, share ideas and network with others. This year’s event will take place on Saturday and Sunday, March 11 and 12, at Western Connecticut State University, in Danbury.
Saturday highlights include 45 workshops to choose from plus keynote speaker, Leah Penniman. Nearly 100 farm, food and sustainable service exhibitors will have tables in Berkshire Hall while some of Connecticut’s most creative and generous chefs cook up a storm for lunch.

Sponsored by UConn and featuring agriculture-related loan and service providers, the Agricultural Re$ource Fair will take place on Sunday morning, offering an in-depth look at what it really means to access agricultural funding in Connecticut. Service providers and farmers will pair up to present with a detailed account of what it’s like to apply for various grants and loan programs.

A special workshop with 2016 NOFA Farmer of the Year, Bryan O’Hara, will take place from 12:30-3:30pm for all kinds of vegetable growers. Intensive Vegetable Production - No Till, Soil Health, & Appropriate Fertilization will cover the concepts and practices that lead to the high yields of high-quality vegetable crops. There will be an emphasis on soil health, producing vegetables without tillage and how to choose fertilizer materials. Register to save a seat.

Penniman will focus on Ending Racism and Injustice in the Food System. She is an educator, farmer and food justice activist from Soul Fire Farm in, Grafton, New York.

Among many other roles, Penniman is a core member of the Freedom Food Alliance and also runs an on-farm restorative justice program that is an alternative to incarceration for area teens and a training program for aspiring black and Latino activist-farmers.

The cost to attend the conference for Saturday only is $35 for a student/farmer/senior, $50 for CT NOFA members, $60 for non-members, and free for children; add $15 for lunch. The cost for both days is $55, $70, $90 and free. The Sunday afternoon workshop is only $20 for members and $30 for non-members.

For more information, visit Register for one or both days and various workshops and the main event at Location: Western CT State University, Midtown Campus, 181 White St, Danbury. See ad, page 37.