Report on the Small Farm Summit Held on Long Island New York

Small Farm Initiative, Long Island farmer, organic farming, Joel Salatin

Last week I was a guest blogger at  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.

This post is linked to: Real Food Wednesday, Full Plate Thursday, Pennywise Platter, Simple Lives Thursday, Fresh Bites Friday, Fun with Food Friday, Mangia Monday, Monday Mania, Tuesday Night Supper Club, Tuesday At the Table, Traditional Tuesday Blog Hop, Grain-Free Tuesday

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Leave a Comment

  • Pavil, the Uber Noob May 18, 2011, 10:12 am

    I am delighted to see these small farm events. This might be something for Weston A Price chapters to consider doing. I might go next year to see how these events are organized and play out.

    Just a head’s up on more Joel & farming. Joel’s farm, Polyface is hosting a farm day 9-July this year. More info at

    • Jill May 18, 2011, 12:49 pm

      Hi Pavil,
      Thanks for your comments! And thanks for the heads up! I’d love to visit Joel’s farm!

  • Jenn @ Dishrag Diaries May 18, 2011, 10:34 am

    Hey, Jill! I just read your guest post at Food Renegade and hopped over. I didn’t realize you were on Long Island. I live in VA now but grew up in Bay Shore, and have lived all over Suffolk. Anyway, the blog looks great; I see you have affiliate ads! Yea!

    • Jill May 18, 2011, 12:47 pm

      Hi Jenn,
      Bay Shore is just a hop skip and a jump away! Thanks for visiting!

  • Hannah K. May 19, 2011, 10:02 am

    Hi Jill,

    It’s always heartening to hear about events like these. Personally it fills me with hope.

    I love listening to Joel Salatin! He could talk about mud and I would still be fascinated. Also his books are fun to read, and are very insightful even if you aren’t planning on becoming a farmer. It’s farmers like him that are making a difference for the face of farming.

    • Jill May 19, 2011, 11:05 am

      Hi Hannah,
      So true. It is very uplifting to be at a conference with people who are all on the same page. I am excited that Long Island is really starting to appreciate the farmers who are still here as well as the new ones coming in. Even thought developers took so much farm land, there is still land left for farming. I can only hope that land stays for farm land.

  • Miz Helen May 20, 2011, 9:16 am

    Jill, what a great report on the Small Farm Summit. It looks like a very important summit with great information. Thanks for bringing us this report at Full Plate Thursday!

    • Jill May 20, 2011, 9:52 am

      Hi Miz Helen,
      Thank you for your interest!

  • Nicole Feliciano May 20, 2011, 10:53 am

    Sounds like a great summit. I’m all for supporting local, small farms. We belong to Brooklyn’s food COOP and try to shop from these farms whenever we can. Thanks so much for sharing on Momtrends.

    • Jill May 20, 2011, 1:25 pm

      Hi Nicole,
      Thanks for your comments. I grew up in Brooklyn. Love it there!

  • Amy February 17, 2012, 9:37 pm

    Hi Jill,
    Just wanted to give you a heads up (if you don’t already know):
    The Long Island Small Farm Summit is happening again this year… Sat. April 14th at Hofstra University. Please check out the updated website for more information.
    Workshops and panels to be posted soon….
    See you at the summit!
    PS: I am also involved with a start-up coop in Sea Cliff, LI. We are currently operating as a buying club and are sourcing almost all of our products locally and/or regionally.
    If you would like more info, check out our website:, or email me back. Thanks!