A few weeks ago I mentioned here that Leiann and I were going to a Farm and Food Conference. It was held in Cedar City, Utah and we have been in attendance for the past 3 days. I was asked to post here after each day's activities that went on that day. But as things happened, it moved a little faster than I could keep up with, so I didn't do it. So tonight I wanted to make mention of it and make note of a few highlights.
The First day I was supposed to attend a certification class that was related to the FSMA, aka; Food Safety Modernization Act. I have made mention of this Federal Level series of "policies" that have been signed in to law. This is a massive overhaul of the laws regarding food production in the US. I mean this is massive and has far-reaching effects on many aspects of food production and even the serving and selling of food. Our friends in the great white north also have their version of this law with similar far-reaching effects. Anyway, the people that were doing the education and certifying didn't show up. So I went to another hands-on class that was dealing with Bio-Dynamic Farming. There were some interesting concepts introduced there. Some of these I am familiar with, some were a little too far out for me to have worked with in the past. But this gave me a little bit clearer understanding of those "far-out" concepts, so maybe I can work with them more. But one interesting concept was how to make innoculats using herbs. People claim they work, so maybe we shall see.
While there at that class, right at the end of it, guess who showed up? One of the main reasons I went to the conference and that was John Peterson of "The Real Dirt on Farmer John" fame from Angelica Organics out of Illinois showed up. He is sort of the father of the CSA, Community Supported Agriculture, movement. We both share similar experiences from going through the farm crisis of the late '70s and earlier '80s. He started trying to do the CSA stuff about the same time Leiann and I were trying to develop the same stuff. Only he was able to make it happen, we were not. We spent a lot of time talking and hanging out during the whole conference. He was one of the keynote speakers.
Many of the speakers were good. However, many of them didn't have answers to some of the hard questions that were asked of them. Many of these "hard questions" and the information that was being sought after are the very questions and the instructions that I am covering in the monthly gardening tips that I send out. But one speaker was a real curve-ball for me. Leiann will post the video of him and his class in this group tomorrow. His topic was growing melons and other plants in the desert. He actually grows in the desert without watering the plants. Yes, he has great melons. He does pre-water the soil before planting, then through his cultivation methods, he usually doesn't need to ever water them. He said one time he had grown 80 acres of Broccoli. He asked if broccoli is supposed to be sweet. Everyone said no, he said yes, it is. But when it was time to sell the crop, the buyers wouldn't buy it because it had purple streaks through it. They had it analyzed and found that the streaks were because of trace minerals that the crop had taken up because of the method of growing the crop. The trace minerals also made the broccoli sweet.
It is things like this trace mineral aspect and even the method in which a crop is grown makes a great deal of difference in the quality of the end outcome. To get your head around this kind of stuff is when you start understanding essential oil quality.
As we move forward, we will make reference to the ideas presented at this conference as we discuss gardening ideas and even essential oils. One of the main reasons why we discuss gardening ideas is to give you a little peek inside the big box of essential oils before you get that little bottle of oil. I am of the opinion that you cannot appreciate and even understand the theater play unless you understand the story behind the play. Since I am a fan of Shakespeare and his plays, perhaps you can catch the drift of my thinking on this matter.
So there you have it, the real basic run down the Food and Farm Conference