Agroecology from A to Z

Adventures in Agroecology and Food Systems

SAEA 2012 Gathering Together Farm, Philomath, OR

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During the 2012 Sustainable Agriculture Education Association conference, we got to tour a regional farm, Gathering Together Farm in Philomath, OR. Not only do they produce wholesale vegetables, run an on-site farm stand and restaurant, sell at 9 farmers’ markets, run a 350 family CSA, but they also operate a seed business. Join us as we cover topics like organic soil nutrient management in unique soils with naturally high magnesium, how the Willamette Valley became the global hub for vegetable seed production, regionally adapted seed production and season extension.

Many folks, especially those who grew up in urban and suburban areas, haven’t heard of or seen a grange. Does the National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry ring a bell? No? Years ago, I had the pleasure of being invited to speak at the Live Oak (#503) grange in Santa Cruz, CA by the organization that was funding my research at the time, the Organic Farming Research Foundation. I learned about the history of the populist grange movement and a modern movement to revitalize many of the US’s dying grange halls with a sustainable agriculture twist.

Gift for the grangers / J. Hale Powers & Co. Fraternity & Fine Art Publishers, Cin'ti. ; Strobridge & Co. Lith. Cincinnati, O. Promotional print for Grange members showing scenes of farming and farm life. Source: Wikipedia

Gift for the grangers / J. Hale Powers & Co. Fraternity & Fine Art Publishers, Cin’ti. ; Strobridge & Co. Lith. Cincinnati, O. Promotional print for Grange members showing scenes of farming and farm life. Source: Wikipedia

Back in the Willamette Valley, Mary’s River Grange #685 hosted conference goers for an amazing local food dinner catered by Gathering Together Farms and shared their efforts to organize green granges in Oregon, “The Green Grangers“.

Game hens and eggplant. I don't usually post photos of food, but this meal was so amazing, and to eat it in a Green Grange, was quite a treat!

Game hens and eggplant. I don’t usually post photos of food, but this meal was so amazing, and to eat it in a Green Grange, was quite a treat!

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