As the growing year is finally underway (knock on wood), another season of sorts seems to be coming to an end: conference season. For those of us in agriculture, the February calm before the storm of spring planting seems like the natural choice for those of who can to gather to share ideas, seeds, and seeds of ideas. The concept of trade secrets, in my experience, is not a popular one among farmers, and perhaps rightfully so. Those of us in sustainable agriculture simply seem to want to help each other succeed. Between the All-Hands Gathering in Berea, the first annual East KY Farmers Conference in Hindman courtesy of Community Farm Alliance, and the one-day sustainable agriculture conference Growing Appalachia also in Hindman, I’m invigorated and itching to put to use what I learned in my role at The David School.
Just one example of a great thing that has already come of a connection made during the Gathering in Berea; courtesy of equipment and supplies from the Magoffin County Extension Office, I was able to teach a workshop around shiitake mushroom log production (as pictured above).
As the henbit is taking over and the trees are blooming (a beautiful sight, of course, although cause of great consternation for fruit tree producers), I’m proud of the starts we have growing gracefully in the classroom and greenhouse and many more – Sr. Kathy’s legendary cotton among them! – waiting to germinate. Now, even as snowfall is approaching this weekend, the unmistakable buzz of spring seems upon us.