Join us each day on The Common at 11 a.m., and at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, for keynote speakers.
Friday, September 25th
Sprout: The Story and Impact of One School Garden.
A junior at Monument High School in Great Barrington, Mass, Sam Levin is one of three co-founders of Project Sprout, an organic, student-run 12,000 square foot garden on the grounds of his school. Now in its third year, Project Sprout supplies the school’s cafeteria with fresh fruits and vegetables, helps feed the hungry in the community and serves as a living laboratory for students of the Monument school system. Sam's story is remarkable portrait of vision and persistence. Inspired by Alice Water's The Edible Schoolyard, Sam and his peers set to work to transform their own community's relationship to the land and their food. “The plan was simple,” Sam told the those gathered at Slow Food's Terra Madre gathering last Fall. “Create a student-run organic vegetable garden on school grounds that would be used as an educational tool for students ages 3 through 18; provide delicious vegetables for school lunches; and ultimately build connections with nature for the children of our district.”
Saturday, September 26th
Who Invited these Chemicals to Dinner and How can we get rid of them?
Will grew up on a small farm in southern California and served in the Marine Corps between the Korean and Vietnam wars. He received a PhD in Anthropology (focused on Peruvian tropical forest agriculture) and taught at U-Ill and UC-Santa Barbara before being fired and jailed for a year for civil rights and anti-war activism. He returned to farming and farm labor full-time in 1972 and has been farming organically ever since, in Oregon, California, and Vermont, where he now co-manages Cedar Circle Farm in Thetford. He founded the Sustainable Cotton Project and is a board member of the Organic Consumers Association, Rural Vermont, and is a co-chair of Farms Not Arms. Will’s first book, The War on Bugs, reveals how advertisers, editors, scientists, large scale farmers, and government agencies colluded to convince farmers to use deadly chemicals, hormones, and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in an effort to pad their wallets and control the American farm enterprise. Echoing the warnings of seminal works on the topic like The Jungle by Upton Sinclair and Silent Spring by Rachel Carson, The War on Bugs shouts that the time to stop poisoning our food, water, air, and ourselves is now!
Sunday, September 27th
Feeding the People
One of the region’s most entertaining and successful young farmers, Mark Guzzi will share his experiences growing and direct marketing produce through farmers’ markets. He’s been doing that since 1993, when he started working on farms.
A former MOFGA apprentice and a 2000 graduate of the University of Maine Sustainable Agriculture program, Guzzi now owns Peacemeal Farm in Dixmont, one of the area’s oldest organic farms, which he bought from farm co-founder Ariel Wilcox in 2003. Along with his wife, Marcia Ferry, and their crew, he grows 10 acres of MOFGA-certified organic vegetables, which they sell at six markets a week—in Orono, Camden, Belfast and Waterville. They also have a booth every year in the Farmers’ Market at the Common Ground Fair. An avid believer in the value of diverse and successful farmers’ markets, Guzzi chairs the Orono market, where he’s been a member since 1997.
Lynn Miller of Small Farmer's Journal
Small Farm Conservancy
Lynn R. Miller is one of the country's foremost experts on small farms. A multi-faceted speaker, author, storyteller, artist, teacher, and farmer, his efforts to champion the causes, and advocate the support, of the small independent family-based farms and ranches of North America have made a significant difference. As the originator(1976)/owner/publisher/editor of The Small Farmer's Journal, he offers to over 40,000 subscribers around the world a powerful tool for self-sufficiency, sustainability and community.
Miller earned Bachelor and Masters degrees in Art and Special Education from the San Francisco Art Institute and The University of Oregon. He has been farming since 1970 and working with draft horses since 1973. In 1976 he conceived of and started The Small Farmer’s Journal, an international farm quarterly. To this day he functions as editor/publisher.
Miller has authored (and sometimes illustrated) over 12 books on various topics related to animal power and alternative agriculture, including; The Small Farm Dream is Possible, Why Farm, The Workhorse Handbook, Buying a Farm, Work Horses Today, Training Workhorses, Thought Small, Ten Acres Enough, Horsedrawn Plows & Plowing, Haying with Horses and more. He has conducted workshops and lectured extensively throughout the United States and Canada. He continues with research and development in agriculture alternatives. He is currently farming a mixed crop/livestock, high-desert, horse-powered, family ranch raising Belgian Draft Horses, commercial beef cattle, free range poultry, potatoes, hay, grain, while working to dovetail operations into an ever more beneficial symbiotic relationship with the fragile surrounding wildlife habitat.
When recently asked to identify the ecologyissues he is most concerned with this was his answer:
"The two greatest environmental challenges today are related. They are poverty and the decay of community. Addressing these two issues goes to the core of small farm, organic, land reform, and ecology concerns." L.R. Miller