For the last couple of years, Gavin has been going to the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (generally known as PASA) Farming for the Future Conference (also generally known as PASA). http://www.pasafarming.org/events/conference It’s a chance to compare notes with other farmers working on like-minded farms in the region. This year Angela went too.
“PASA was great!” Angela emailed when they got back. “Gavin and I had some solid time in the car to plan and talk through some systems changes we want to make this year. There were some really great workshops that we went to – my top two would be a day long workshop on hoop house production and a shorter session on labor management on the farm. Both workshops were led by very experienced and knowledgeable farmers that have had years to hone their skills and systems. Several times we found ourselves admiring the breadth and depth of the knowledge held by the veteran farmers in that community – and looking forward to the time when we hold that much knowledge. Farmers are too busy most of the year to get together and share information in this way. This was my first winter that I felt the true weight of that reality, and how precious the relationship building time is at winter conferences.”
Gavin wrote about the classes too and in his great observational style, he also described a nice moment of peace to experience before the chaos of the season takes over: “I found a little bar downstairs at the hotel and had a drink of the classiest scotch they had (not on the farm’s dollar, of course). As i sat with my 16 year aged Lagavulin I couldn’t help but reflect on where i was and what i was doing. 5 years ago it would have been hard to believe that i would be at a conference sipping scotch. A lot can change.”
Over the next few weeks, the farm will be getting back into the swing of things for real. Seeds are getting ordered. Growing plans laid out. Hires need to be made to replace the great Samara and Melanie who fled to Hawaii. It is both scary and exciting to think that another season is about to begin.