Terra Madre 2014 and Updates

Terra Madre
Looking out over a small portion of the non Italian section of the completely overwhelming Salone del Gusto, Torino, 2015

Last Wednesday evening I got back from a two week trip to Italy which was amazing and completely overwhelming. The Italy trip started with the marathon event that is Terra Madre, now integrated into the enormous Slow Food show the Salone del Gusto. From there I traveled to Tuscany and then Chioggia, visiting farms and seeing a lot of the country side between. My final stop was Verona where I fell into bed sick, but managed to recover enough to have a nice visit with my friend Gio who works for the fascinating food company NaturaSì, now part of Ecor. Coming back, I stepped straight back into harvest and deliveries on the farm and then a presented a workshop on equipment at Tilth Producers 40th annual conference with my friend Chris Jagger from Blue Fox Farm in southern Oregon. It’s been a whirlwind and I wish I had a week just to process it all, get my notes straight and fill this blog and my websites with stories and information I gleaned while I was there.

I will be talking about my experience at Terra Madre at Slow Food Portland’s upcoming Terra Madre Talks event on the afternoon of December 7, and maybe showing a few slides. I’ll certainly be slowly working on getting some of the stories and photos posted on this website over time. Recently a lot of my internet content uploading has been through my instagram feed, simple photos and extended comments/conversations with other growers there (of course it’s mixed in with a bit of other stuff too).

One last note before I get back to writing agricultural plans for other folks and trying to figure out the plan for vegetable expansion at Our Table, where I’ve been growing for the past two years – Don’t forget that the amazing and dynamic Michael Ableman and I are teaching our Growing for Family, Neighborhood and Market workshop at the stunningly beautiful seaside, hot springs retreat, Esalen, December 12-14. Please sign up, please let everyone you know know to sign up. We want to see you all there and spend the weekend talking vegetables and soaking in hot water while overlooking the ocean!

Feeding the Future Workshop


This December 12-14 I’ll be co-teaching a workshop titled Feeding the Future: Growing for Family, Neighborhood and Market at Esalen on the central coast of California. Michael Ableman and I have been teaching a version of this workshop at his farm in Canada for the past four years and this year we’re excited to bring it to such a beautiful location.

Esalen is a beautiful and special place overlooking the Pacific Ocean, dedicated to education and research. They have a variety of lodging options and spectacular hot springs and gardens.

Please join us for what should be a very special weekend of fun learning and sharing of ideas on how to create spaces on all scales that are productive and that feed ourselves and our communities.

Foxglove Workshop Resources

I just got back last weekend from another great edition of the Growing For Market workshop that Michael Ableman and I have been teaching together for the past four years. David Cohlmeyer joined us this year and added some great perspective from production methods in the Eastern part of the Country, as well as strong business fundamentals. Every year I’ve put up a little web page with a few web resources for the students and this year I’m making it public so if you’re interested the page is here.

Foxglove Farm Workshops

photo from Foxglove Farm's Pastured Livestock Workshop Announcement

For the past few years I’ve been teaching workshops up at Foxglove Farm with Michael Ableman. Once again we’re doing a workshop this September, this time with David Cohlmeyer.

Foxglove Farm, on beautiful Salt Spring Island in British Columbia, is an amazing spot with great facilities for workshops, and lodging options for out of town guests. They’ve stacked their lineup this year with amazing instructors.

Joel Salatin (pictured above) kicks things off next week with a workshop on livestock, and if you’re lucky there’s still space available.  Other workshops with amazing instructors are on topics such as gardening, cheese making, and mushrooms. They’re also doing a series of movie and pizza nights and the annual festival is a fantastic event that I was lucky enough to attend last year. Check out the full schedule of this year’s workshops at Foxglove Farm’s website.