FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information please contact Lisa Ott
Phone: 516-626-0908 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
STANDING ROOM ONLY AT THE 2011 SMALL FARM SUMMIT
April 15, 2011 - Nearly 600 gardeners, farmers, health and energy advocates, students, teachers and interested individuals packed the auditorium at SUNY College at Old Westbury for the inaugural Small Farm Summit in support of sustainable local agriculture and growing the local food source.
This full day of education, discussion and networking began with a welcome and remarks from Dr. Calvin Butts, President, SUNY College at Old Westbury followed by a truly inspirational keynote address from America's favorite farmer, Joel Salatin. Mr. Salatin's riveting, fire and brimstone address debunked ten myths about farming - ranging from #1 Farms smell bad (farmers reincorporate nutrient rich by-products to improve soil), #7 Farming is environmentally harmful (use of appropriate farming practices is responsible land and water stewardship) to #10 Farmers are dummies (in fact, they have to be some of the smartest, most resourceful people in our community to survive and prosper).
Twenty workshops were organized and took place throughout the day with topics including school gardens, community gardens, farm-based education, funding sources for farmers, food equity, the basics of organic gardening, community supported fisheries (CSF's), sustainable economic development, food and farm policy and raising honey bees, among others. There were 72 expert panelists many of whom donated their services to help participants learn from their valuable insights and experiences.
Forty-nine small business and non-profits setup exhibits and included the Nassau County Soil and Water Conservation District, Cornell Small Farms Program, Northeast Organic Farmers Association (NOFA), Slow Food Huntington, Kennedy Plaza Farmer's Market, iEat Green, as well as the Town of Oyster Bay and several non-profit organizations from land trusts to food cooperatives to bee-keepers.
Decorations, provided by the North Country Garden Club, featured an educational display complete with blue pick-up truck, live chickens, fresh eggs, manure and Muttontown vegetables grown from seed. The Club was also responsible for the book signing which featured six of Salatin's books including The Sheer Ecstasy of Being a Lunatic Farmer and Everything I Want to Do is Illegal.
The Sylvester Manor Worksongers played delightful live music throughout the day and included fiddlers, banjo players, drummers and guitarists. They wrote a special "chicken song," honoring Joel Salatin, which was received with laughter and cheers from the audience.
The day ended with an iced tea social hour and cooking demonstration featuring radio personality and healthy food advocate Bhavani Jaroff of iEatgreen.
Like all successful events, the Small Farm Summit would not have been possible without the many volunteers who gave their time and energy in the days leading up to the Summit as well as the six months of planning that preceded this inspiring day.
Major sponsors of the event were North Shore Land Alliance, Land Trust Alliance/ New York State Conservation Partnership Program, Whole Foods Market, Karma 411, the Center for Social Innovation at Adelphi University, NOFA-NY and Lisa Mitten.
Plans for a follow-up Summit are underway for 2012. If you would like to get involved please contact the North Shore Land Alliance at 516-626-0908 or check out the Small Farm Initiative website at www.longislandfarmcentral.com.