best 2nd weekend in a new place ever! This weekend was the big trip to Worcester (reason why the northeast is crazy #281- this town is pronounced wooster...how could something spelled so differently than that be pronounced as wooster? ) for the Northeastern Organic farming alliance winter conference. we drove down the night before and stayed with one of the most giving, friendly, amazing people I have ever met- someone who has taken classes here and lives in this rad earth shelter that she built- so cool.
The conference was so much fun. Oddly, I love tabling- I think its' so fun to talk to people- the last time I tabled a lot was for nonviolent peaceforce, which is a little harder to talk about- so it was so nice to be able to talk about something as concrete and easy to explain as a school. Joel Salatin's keynote was pretty interesting. It was titled "Food from farms for families" (subtitled by Joel " vs. stuff from CAFO's for corporate interest")
a few brief points of interest from the talk...
* There is a Food Modernization Act that passed through the Senate and is in the process of being passed through the house. It is so, so, frightening. In a nutshell, part of what the bill does is give the FDA (note, not the USDA) the authority to come in to your farm, without a warrant, to see if you are using methods that are not science based. (which means pretty much any organic method of farming). There has been a lot of fear around the bills, and thus a lot of blogs and mainstream papers debunking the 'myths' on how damaging the bill is- from the parts I have read, I think that there is reason to be concerned.
please check out the bill, contact your house reps. etc.
http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-h875/text (this is a link to the bill)
*In this country we have twice as many people incarcerated as we have farmers
* In reference to CAFO's and factory farms he said something to the idea of "a culture who views their animals that way (as a means to an end, to be manipulated and produced as cheaply as possible, etc.) obviously thinks of its' citizens and other countries that way too.
* At one point he called someone an "earth muffin" best phrase ever- in all my days of calling people muffins, i had never thought to call someone an earth muffin
Other exciting things about the conference- It was a potluck- an 800 person potluck. And It flowed really well, there was tons of food, and it wasn't mass pandemonium... best idea ever!!! I had copious amounts of great food- and contributed a loaf of chocolate chip walnut banana bread.
I also went to a great workshop about starting seeds, talked to people from Vermont soil and high mowing seeds- exciting!
Sat. night we stayed in Northampton with Emily and got to see Kesa- fun to have Minneapolis in MA. yummy food, bars and dancing...
Sunday we got back to craziness.... a bunch of Marmoleum (a floor covering) was donated to us (awesome) so it's getting put in the kitchen, but we had to move everything out of the kitchen (not awesome)I missed the hard work this weekend, but had to deal with cooking breakfast and lunch today in the Kitchenette- a small windowless kitchen with an electric stove (eek!!!!) It was ok, but I burnt a bunch of stuff.
whew, a long one. apologies