Saturday, January 16, 2010

Hope and Inspiration for a Successful 2010 Season

2009 was a rough year in general, it seemed to be full of struggle and loss for many. It was an incredibly tough growing season--the cool wet weather brought an endless supply of weeds and disease. It was particularly devastating for tomatoes and tomato growers. For the first time in my ten year farming history, the infamous Late Blight (the same source of the historic Irish potato famine) came to Pennsylvania early enough to really effect the production of the summer staple that is the tomato. You can read and watch the thoughts of two of Pennsylvania's reknowed tomato growers--the Tomato Tim's--Tim Stark of Eckerton Hill Farm and Tim Mountz of Happy Cat--by clicking the links.

The great thing about farming, is that with every new growing season you can start again-- a clean slate so to speak--renewal, rebirth, and the constant hope that the forces of nature will be on your side. My wish for 2010 is to have a slightly warmer, less rain-filled growing season, I acknowledge the fact that my success each year is due largely to factors I cannot control. To refill the wells of inspiration, commitment and enthusiasm necessary to face whatever challenges the growing season may bring, many the of sustainable farmers of Pennsylvania make an annual pilgrimage to State College, PA in early February for the PASA Farming for the Future Conference. For more information about this amazing conference click here. If you or anyone you know has any interest in farming or some part of the sustainable food system, I strongly recommend attending this amazing and life changing conference. To help defray costs the Chester County Economic Development Council is offering a 75% cost share for conference registration fee. Click here for more details. The conference is made up of amazing speakers, workshops, and meals, including key note speaker and journalist Lisa Hamilton, whose photos appear in this posting. The other conference keynote is visionary architect Michael Reynolds. Download PASA conference PDF for all the complete workshop and speaker schedule.

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