Last week I was a guest blogger at Hartkeisonline.com. Click the link at the bottom to read the entire article.
The State University of Old Westbury was host to the unprecedented Small Farm Summit on Long Island on April 15, 2011. The conference was a project of the Long Island Small Farm Initiative, and it marks the beginning of an on-going effort to cultivate active community support for sustainable local agriculture.
It was a full day featuring 20 different workshops sponsored by Long Island agencies such as Slow Food Huntington, Sustainable Long Island and the Long Island Chapter of the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York (NOFA-NY). These groups, along with others, have united to launch a grassroots campaign to raise awareness of local food on Long Island. They are working to grow the economy by developing our native food supply. The nearly 600 people who attended were organic and conventional vegetable farmers, chicken farmers, gardeners, teachers, students, and other people who were interested in the issues facing our Long Island community in regard to the food supply and its impact across socioeconomic lines.
One of the most exciting aspects of the program was that the keynote speaker was our much loved Joel Salatin – self-described “environmentalist capitalist lunatic farmer”, or as the New York Times calls him, “the high priest of the pasture.” He is the author of a number of books including Holy Cows and Hog Heaven, Everything I want To Do Is Illegal, etc. He is featured in Michael Pollen’s books and recently in the film, Food, Inc. However, most importantly, he has become a a mentor to other farmers who strive to bring their farms “beyond organic.”
The keynote was hilarious, as you would expect if you have ever heard Joel Salatin speak. He debunked ten myths about farms, ranging from “farming hurts ecology” to “who cares about earthworms” to “farming is dirty” to “local food is expensive and elitist.” Joel Salatin demystified these urban perceptions about farming with style and humor.
Read more at Hartkeisonline.