I’m back in the North Country after a short trip to the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT) Winter Conference this weekend in Burlington (I attended VT versus NH merely due to a schedule conflict for the previous weekend. No offense NH!). My busy day was filled with joyful informal talks with fellow attendees, lectures by inspiring presenters with stories of failure and success, and being part of a community of people, who like myself, are trying to create a sustainable solution.
I noticed something interesting as I hurried from one event to the next on Saturday. There were so many women here! I had the opportunity to hear Taylor Mendell, co-owner of Footprint Farm, speak in detail about the profits and challenges of growing winter greens in New England, and how after 7 years, she is still working to improve her systems. Jen Miller, of NOFA-VT, streamlined workbooks for budgeting and tracking costs of production. Jane Sorenson, of River Berry Farm, and Heidi Racht, of Pleasant Mount Farm, guided us through the basics of selling seedlings to expand our early season offerings. Women growers and women teachers, humbly sharing their knowledge to better the next generation of farmers.
I am grateful to them, and so many others at the conference, who took the time to be supportive to a new farmer and give hope and guidance.