NOFA-NJ event’s second day to feature Toensmeier
LAMBERTVILLE — The second day of the Northeast Organic Farming Association-New Jersey Winter Conference will feature a lineup of organic farming and climate experts.
The 2021 member rate is $35, $50 for non-members and $15 for students and veterans.
In comparison, the 2020 single-day conference was $100 for members. Of course, they also save money on transportation.
While the virtual nature of the conference eliminates the interaction with other attendees it saves farmers and gardeners money and travel time.
The Sunday keynote speaker is Eric Toensmeier whose topic will be the power of carbon farming.
He is the author of “Paradise Lot” and “Perennial Vegetables.”
He is also a lecturer at Yale University and senior biosequestration fellow with Project Drawdown, a group trying to reach the point where greenhouse gases stop climbing and start to steadily decline.
Another Sunday speaker is Dave Robinson, the state climatologist for the past 26 years.
Robinson is a frequent presenter at statewide events including those of watershed and river groups.
Robinson’s research interest is in the earth’s cryosphere, in particular, hemisphere and regional snow cover dynamics and the interaction of snow cover with other climate elements.
He maintains the 51-year old satellite derived database of snow cover extent over the Northern Hemisphere.
Robsinson was the first scientist to identify progressively early loss of spring snow cover in the middle and high latitudes in recent decades.
In addition to his teaching and lecturing, Robinson oversees the Rutgers Weather Network with more than 60 stations.
He teaches climate, climate change and geography, specifically the geography of New Jersey.
Robinson if a fellow of the American Meteorological Society and holds a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Association of Geographers.
A third second-day speaker is Chris Smoje, author of “A Small Farm Future.”
He works on a small farm in Somerset, in the United Kingdom, where he grows fruit and vegetables for sale, often keeps livestock and manages the woodlands and campsite on the property.
Smoje is a social scientist by training. He posted on his website “smallholding. . .is the most likely way for humanity to see itself through the numerous crises we currently face both in the richer and poorer countries.”
“A Small Farm Future” was published in October. It makes the case for a society built around local economies, self-provisioning agriculture diversity and a shared earth.
Prof. Jaqueline Ricotta of Delaware Valley University will also speak on Sunday.
She is a professor of horticulture and current chair of the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture.
Since 2000, she has taught botany, sustainable agriculture organic food and fiber, integrated pest management, commercial vegetable production and marketing of horticultural products.
Ricotta brought organic certification to the DelVal farm in 2004 and she helped start an organic farm certification program with the Rodale Institute and also started the sustainable agriculture systems major at the university.
She received her bachelor’s degree from Cornell University, her masters from North Carolina State University and her doctorate from the University of Illinois.
All three are in horticulture.
In 2012, she received the Delaware Valley Distinguished Faculty Member Awards.
She is active with the American Society for Horticultural Science, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, the Bucks County Foodshed Alliance and the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture.
The final Sunday speaker is Dan Mays of Firth Farm, an organic, no-till farm on 14 acres in Maine.
He will speak about building soil, increasing biodiversity and strengthening the community through unique farming practices.
He has operated the diversified, certified organic Scarborough, Me., farm for six years.
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