OAK Conference
Burlington Agenda

Sowing seeds for healthy soils, resilient farms and thriving communities

April 8, 2022

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Friday, April 8: 8am-5pm ET

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Annie Woods and Dave Willocks

Dark Wood Farm and The Baker's Table Restaurant and Bakery

Growing for Restaurants & Working with Chefs

In this session, we will cover which vegetable crops are most successful for year-round sales to restaurant clients and how to execute a growing plan for restaurants alongside other market channels. We will also discuss how to successfully communicate with chefs, tips for successful deliveries, and keeping strong client relationships.

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Jeff and Sandy Ashba

Organic Farm at Bear Creek

Get Practical with Organic Farming: Tips From a Local Farmer

In this session you will learn simple, sustainable and economical organic methods for growing on small plots and home gardens. The Ashbas will share their experiences using everyday, economical and readily available materials and inputs such as homemade pest traps, companion planting, wood ash and pollinator planting. This discussion will help home gardeners and beginning farmers learn how to lessen their dependence on purchased inputs, especially chemical pesticides and fertilizers.

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Joel Dufour

Earth Tools

Walk-behind Tractors for Small-scale Agriculture

If you have a small farm, you shouldn't have to buy BIG equipment to work it. Enter Walk-Behind Tractors, which are designed to work micro-farms efficiently and reliably. Explore the history, applications, construction, usability, and scale-appropriate nature of these versatile machines with Joel Dufour, who has been using, maintaining and selling walk-behind tractors since 1980.

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Cassia Herron

Louisville Community Grocery and Louisville Association for Cooperative Economics

Why Cooperatives are Good for Local Food System Development

Participants will learn how cooperative development is challenging conventional thought in the community development sector while connecting a diversity of community leaders and enhancing local food systems.

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Kevin Archer

Dandelion Ridge Farm

Embracing Invertebrates: Pollinator Habitat for a Thriving Farm Ecosystem

Establishing pollinator habitats can boost our farms’ productivity and increase their resilience. By fostering a tight integration between our crops and the natural systems around them, we can strengthen the invertebrate population, improve IPM and positively affect our farms’ overall health. Kevin will review methods and strategies for developing plots of various size and discuss the tools and materials necessary—most of which are already part of any working farm. Counteracting pollinator decline is regenerative and productive, not to mention abundantly beautiful.

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April Pandora

Eden Urban Gardens

Urban Farming for Profit: Overcoming Land Access & Capital Start-up Challenges

Hear the story of Eden Urban Gardens,LLC: a commercial USDA Certified Organic and Real Organic Food Project certified 1/2-acre, multisite working farm in the Cincinnati city limits. Learn how we found affordable land to purchase, funded start-up costs, navigated municipal red tape, and made a profitable farm business. We will also share our path developing trust within the local community and overcoming resistance to urban farming development.

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Lindsay Rebhan

Ecological Design

KEYNOTE : Regeneration Nation

To be a Regeneration Nation means we are supporting agroecosystems and building communities that will endure. We are hopeful when we look at our future and have the tools and knowledge to act. What are the critical leverage points and the most needed skills of our time? We will look at some of the most exciting regeneration tools and acts of our time. As we evolve with the land it is vital we connect with ancient wisdom and balance with appropriate technology. The way we plan our ecology is also the way we design our social realms. Healthy soil, clean water, and local foods are the ecologies that give us clear examples of how to thrive during turbulence. Everyday we have an opportunity to become a good ancestor.

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Mike Hass

Idyllwild Farm

FARM TOUR: Idyllwild Farm

Join us for this visit to Melbourne's Idyllwild Farm: 4 greenhouses, 5 high tunnels, and 3 acres in organic vegetable production. Mike Hass will share systems developed over 3 decades of growing in the Northeast and in Kentucky: seasoned variety selection, cover crops, early tomatoes, year-round greens, and efficient use of shade cloth, ground cover, and tarping.

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Lindsay Rebhan

Ecological Design

SHORT COURSE:  Land Resilience Workshop

This workshop will explore strategies for building regenerative farming systems and working landscapes. Participants will leave this workshop with an understanding of regenerative principles, observational exercises and tools to implement regeneration at any scale. Lindsay will share insights, lessons, and stories from years of transitioning urban and rural lands. The workshop includes resiliency design examples, agroecosystem lessons and stories, land assessment, water & soil strategies, understanding disturbance, succession and how it relates to regeneration and monitoring success. Leave with resources for taking the next step for your land!