Brian and I had a great time at the NOFA Mass Winter Conference. We met some great people, did some shopping (not nearly enough, I assure you), and took some very interesting workshops. Chief among those were the workshops on Soil Fertility and Beekeeping.
The science behind soil health has completely absorbed Brian’s engineer mind for the past 24 hours. One of his purchases was a book entitled Teaming with Microbes. He’s been reading me excerpts all day long while I do some web research on holistic management. Our studies have been intersecting all day, providing for some very animated exchanges. We are excited about applying what we know and what we have learned to our new farm.
Dan Conlon of Warm Colors Apiary gave a superb workshop on beekeeping. I think we could spend a week with him without exhausting our interest. He gets right down to practicalities with a good dose of humour. We’re talking about getting some nucs from him for our new place.
While visiting the various exhibitors at the conference, we stopped to speak with a pair of brothers from Vermont who are raising 100% pastured belted Galloway cattle. We chatted for some time between workshops. And picked up a handful of their literature. They have got some of the *prettiest* pastures I have ever seen on a cattle farm. We’re making plans to go up and visit Rich and Paul with our little tribe, to take a look at their animals and operation. We’re hoping to be able to offer our CSA folks and farm customers some of their beautiful grass-fed beef.
The keynote address was given by Michael Phillips of Heart Song Farm. I was really looking forward to hearing what he had to say, since I’d seen a video he produced on holistic management. I regret not having signed up for his day-long seminar. But maybe I can get us to another one of his events. I did pick up a copy of his book The Apple Grower, which I am really enjoying. I’d also like the chance to study herbalism with his wife Nancy – who was taught by Rosemary Gladstar. Nancy also gave a day-long seminar on herbals for the family. I’ve put her book on my wishlist, too – The Herbalist’s Way.
Can’t wait for the Summer Conference!