Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Farm Gathering

I got to have a mom's day today! In the middle of the week! Can you believe it? When I heard about a local food expo going on in our area, I was interested. Since it fell on a Wednesday, I wasn't sure I'd be able to make it. But, as you may or may not know, my hubs is pretty sweet. He took the day off to hang with the kids :-)

I knew it was going to be a good day when I found out Fish Hawk Acres was going to be catering the event. The $10 fee was more than worth it for the lovely breakfast and lunch we had! The idea for the expo was to bring farmers and buyers (as in restaurants and stores) together to learn more about the opportunities to mesh local foods.

I met up with my friend Laura from Sweet Wind Farm and Cheri from Bonds Creek Farm. We attended a morning breakout session on alternative certifications for farms. It is a costly process for a small farm to become certified organic. A farm can follow organic practices and instead of shelling out the moolah for that organic label, they can become certified naturally grown (CNG). It seemed like a viable option for small farms in the area!

Then it was time for lunch. Yum! I may have had seconds of dessert. No judgements, please....

The first afternoon session I attended was for fruit production. There were so many good points raised in this talk! What's the first thing that sells out at a Farmers Market? Fruit! This talk focused on berries, mainly strawberries, blueberries,  and raspberries. It really got the wheels turning for Dan and I to work with our wild black raspberries to increase productivity. The canes are already there, so there's no cost involved other than our time. And we absolutely adore the berries. In case you don't remember the loveliness that is wild black raspberries...

The last talk of the day that I listened in on was by a poultry professor with WVU on raising backyard birds. He was a great presenter, even though Laura and I didn't agree totally with what he was saying. It opened some good dialog, though!

There was a "pop up" market outside after the event. I picked up some more honey and grabbed some honey chapstick. I'm hoping to start making my own soon, but this is pretty fantabulous for now. And I came home to two happy kiddos!

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