Saturday, November 20, 2010


Today my father and I went to a sustainable agriculture conference put on by the Kansas Rural Center.
Connecting Cows, Carbon, and Carrots. Making Sense of Our Food Future.

I was actually quite impressed with the conference and although not all of it was worth my time it was encouraging to know that there is a large group of Kansas agricultural producers that get it. They get the fact that commodity agriculture they way we know it right now is not sustainable and if production continues the way the majority does today we are in for a great deal of trouble. Our finances, our environment, our political sphere all play a huge role in this. With my recent travels and experience working on small organic farms in other parts of the country I just thought that Kansas was missing the big picture. We live in the land of plenty and it is often difficult to see past our own pasture gates; however, Kansans are too thinking about the future.

I went to a couple of different workshops, one focusing on school and community gardens. This link between children growing food, being physically active, eating healthier, and overall leading a higher quality of life is so evident! I would love to be able to take part in this growing educational tool in my area. I also heard from a couple in Lawrence that have recently purchased land together and are starting several projects as a joint effort. It makes so much sense for two individual farmers that both need more space to purchase land together, own one tractor together instead of two, share work, and work together to do what they love. Collaboration people! My father was pretty excited to learn more about putting up hoop houses and starting a grass-fed beef production. Add that to the hundreds of articles he's read and the numerous speakers he's already heard about such topics. I told him he should quit wasting time gaining more information and just do it. So all in all, a great day hearing from other producers, local food enthusiasts, and even those political EPA people talking about climate change. There is hope for Kansas agriculture!

I thought I would share just a few kitchen productions from my week. I decided to conduct an experiment and make that green tomato relish with the spare tomatoes I accumulated right before the freeze. It was actually quite tasty and the kids in bake lab ate it up! I guess next year I shall have to pick more of them at the end of the season. After adding sugar and vinegar to the mixture one cannot tell the difference between green tomato relish and cucumber relish.

Oh and just a few more, 10 cups, of frozen pumpkin in the freezer.

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  1. Baby steps, my dear friend! Rome wasn't built in a day, to say nothing of the conversion to sustainable agriculture. The conference is encouraging, as is your own personal commitment to local/organic/community food. Love you!

  2. Glad you found more people like yourself in KS :)
    What did you put that relish on to eat?

  3. Relish + bread, on a sandwich? We were fresh out of the sausage in the lab, go figure.