November 3, 2006 – Small Farm Conference

Today, we drove down to Columbia, Missouri to attend the National Small Farm Conference and Tradeshow. We’ll also use it as our “annual meeting” of high hopes LLC. The conference is a real interesting mix of people, some so far around each end of the political spectrum that they meet up here.

It was a nice drive down, we took some county roads (T61 from Eddyville to hwy 2 was a great drive and we avoided driving through Ottumwa).

I was able to listen to Joel Salatin talk about pasture-based farming. Joel is the poster child of ecological, community based farming. He was the hero of the best seller “Omnivore’s Dilemma” by Michael Pollan.

Perhaps some other day, I’ll summarize his presentation, but I do want to share one story.

I asked him if had any corrections or comments regarding his portrayal in the “Omnivore’s Dilemma.” He gushed a bit about Michael Pollan and then came with one little thing that raised his hackles. Pollan notes the lack of coffee at Polyface Farm, and seemingly begrudges, or at least can’t understand why there is not any coffee. Salatin says that is not true – there is indeed coffee on the farm, and if a guest asks, they are happy to brew a pot! Had only he asked, there would have been coffee.

one year ago…