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 Spring Growth Conference Minimize

Saturday, March 7, 2015

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. - Common Ground Education Center, Unity

Farming in the Face of Climate Change

Thank you to everyone who attended!

 

On-farm nutrient cycling is a key way that farms can build resilience in the face of climate change. At this year's Spring Growth Conference participants will hear about historical trends impacting Maine's weather patterns and the theoretical opportunities for closing the loop. Keynote speaker, John Aber, from the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment at the University of New Hampshire, will set the stage for the conference by discussing future climate and land use scenarios in the context of the wildlands and woodlands and Food Solutions New England vision.

In the afternoon MOFGA's Organic Crop Specialist, Eric Sideman will facilitate a Farmer Panel discussion of practices on the farm. How do farmers close gaps in their farm’s nutrient cycles and how can we move toward greater resilience by utilizing local resources to return nutrients to our farms? Join us for a full-day, in-depth discussion and a local, organic meal.

Registration Fees (includes lunch)
$50 individual / $75 couples / $25 students & apprentices

 

9:30 am Registration
10:00 am John Aber's Keynote, with Q&A
12:00 pm Glen Koehler, UMaine Cooperative Extension, Recent Observations
and 30-Year Forecast for Climate Change in Maine
12:30 pm Lunch
1:20 pm

Ivan Fernandez: Announcing the report
"Maine's Climate Future: 2015"

1:30 pm Eric Sideman introduces Farmer Panel
3:30 pm Closing Remarks

John Aber

Keynote Speaker

John Aber, MOFGA's Spring Growth Conference keynote speaker, joins us from the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment at the University of New Hampshire. He will speak about meeting the challenges of climate and land use change. He will set the stage for the conference by discussing future climate and land use scenarios and put that into the context of the wildlands and woodlands and Food Solutions New England vision. He’ll then lead attendees into a discussion of ways to increase the efficiency and lower the cost of milk and vegetable production by closing cycles, using his innovative composting experiment as an example. 

Aber has a bachelor's degree from Yale in computer science and master’s and doctoral degrees from Yale in forestry and environmental studies. He was a post-doctoral fellow at the Ecosystems Center, Marine Biological Lab at Woods Hole, Mass.; assistant professor at the University of Virginia and assistant and associate professor in the forestry department of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

An associate professor and then professor at UNH since 1987, Aber first coordinated the cross-college program in environmental science there; then chaired the Ph.D. program in natural resources and earth system science; was vice-president for research and public service; and provost and vice president of academic affairs. In 2013, he returned his full attention to research, focusing on the sustainability of UNH’s innovative Organic Dairy Research Farm.

Aber has received several awards and fellowships, including the Charles Bullard Fellow from Harvard University, the Distinguished Professor Award from UNH and the Wilbur Cross Medal from Yale University.

He received a Northeast SARE Agroecosystem Research and Education grant entitled "A closed system energy independent organic dairy farm for Northeast US." This led to subsequent grants from the N.H. Agricultural Experiment Station for a study on "Closing Nutrient and Energy Budgets on a New England Organic Dairy Farm: A Wood-Bedding-Compost System." He is also involved in a study of "An Integrated System for Providing Bedding and Energy Using On-Farm Forest Resources and an Experimental Aerobic Composting System." 

Aber has hundreds of publications to his credit, including coauthoring the textbook "Terrestrial Ecosystems" and the book "Forests in Time: The Environmental Consequences of 1000 Years of Change in New England." He has also written about heat recovery from compost facilities.

Participants in the Farmer Panel – A discussion of practices on the farm. How do farmers close gaps in their farm’s nutrient cycles and how can we move toward greater resilience by utilizing local resources to return nutrients to our farms? Moderated by Eric Sideman.

Mike Bahner

Gabor Degre photo, Bangor Daily News

Bahner Farm in Belmont is owned and operated by Mike and Christa Bahner. Following apprenticeships on several Maine farms and Christa's stint as the MOFGA Farmer-In-Residence the Bahners struck out on their own in 2009. After acquiring their 37 acres they have rapidly invested in infrastructure to serve their summer and fall CSAs, multiple farmers markets and a growing farmstand. In the interest of closing the loop Mike began to concentrate on on-farm systems. For the last 3 years he has been working on improving and intensifying their composting practices along with integrating living mulches, orchard hugel mounds and perennial cash crops into their ecologically based farm system. www.bahnerfarm.com

Tasha Brodeur

Tasha is owner/operator of Tasha’s Veggies, a small farm in Parsonsfield, Maine. She grows approximately one acre of vegetables, organically & sustainably. The farm is run mostly on human power, practices bio-intensive, succession plantings & specializes in heirloom varieties. Tasha’s Veggies are sold at The Newfield Farmer & Artisan market, area restaurants, an on-farm CSA and through Tiny Farms Cooperative (a local buying club). www.tashasveggies.com/

Bill and Lauren Errickson

Bill and Lauren Errickson own and operate Singing Nettle Farm, a horse-powered, off-grid, certified organic, permaculture-inspired farmstead in Brooks, Maine. While studying sustainable agriculture, natural resources, biology, and ecology in a university setting, Bill and Lauren became purposed with the idea of providing food and medicine to the community while rehabilitating the natural ecosystem. Singing Nettle Farm offers fresh seasonal produce, flowers, and herbs through their CSA programs, herbal tea blends, perennial nursery stock, annual seedlings, and permaculture design and consultation services. www.singingnettlefarm.com

 

 

 

 


    

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