Last week I was down in Pacific Grove at the annual EcoFarm conference. I find this conference to be almost a pilgrimage, I leave before dawn and travel to a space filled with people involved in sustainable agriculture some I know and many I’ve never met before.
I love running into old friends to hear how their growing season went; was it good or bad, what did you learn, whats your plan for this year. Some of these friends work around me or in a nearby town. While others farm hundreds of miles away and EcoFarm is the only time I see them in person. I’m excited to hear stories from the new people I meet, how they run their operation or how they got started. There are so many ways to farm, every operation is different no two are alike, because no two farmers are alike. I also enjoy talking to people who work in policy and the nonprofit sector, their work is so important it allows us farmers to truly operate our farm businesses to the best of our abilities.
This conference also occurs at a perfect time of year for me, the holidays have passed, I’ve had time to relax off the farm, and I’m reflecting on the past season. I am able to enter this three-day conference with an open mind ready to learn new techniques both in the field and in the office.
I’ve attended EcoFarm for the last seven years and some years I think I might skip it, but I just can’t because I don’t want to miss the opportunities that it provides for me year after year.