In addition to the TOGA presentations below, the conference will have over 70 classes to choose from among 8 of the participating statewide organizations. Whether you are a farmer or backyard gardener, there is sure to be something for everyone.
Hemp and Health
With Dr. Sarah Daron-Mathis
(Friday 9:15-10:15) With Hemp being on everyone’s lips there is still very little understanding of how this plant effects our bodies and how we can get the most benefits from it. Dr. Sarah is researching CBD in Colon Cancer but recognizes the importance of how Hemp can help multiple symptoms.
Native Bee Pollinators: They Will Never Ask, But They Need Our Help
With David Cook
(Friday 9:15-10:15, Saturday 10:30-11:30) As bees of all kinds decline, that leaves behind a pollination vacuum, and less pollination means lower food quality, higher food prices and threatened plant communities.
Lesser Known Fruit Crops for Tennessee
with David Lockwood
( Friday 10:30-11:30) Pawpaws, pomegranates, elderberries – just a few fruits less commonly seen in Tennessee. Varieties, site selection, site development, and cultural practices will be addressed along with major insect and disease pests.
The Homestead Garden: Growing Plants with a Purpose
with Cindy Sharpton
(Friday 10:30-11:30) With more and more people wanting to grow organic food and medicine in their backyards, choosing the right plants is essential
with Tony Foster
(Friday 2:15-3:15) Tony Foster, owner of Blue Honey Farm in Eagleville, Tennessee, will talk about basic blueberry knowledge, the pitfalls and lessons he learned along the way and the advantages and disadvantages of organic blueberry production.
Grow Herbs and Flowers For Fun, Profit and the Pollinators
with Cindy Shapton
(Friday 2:15-3:15) Join Cindy as she breaks down some of her favorite herbs and flowers and gives you tips on planting, growing and more.
Certified Organic and Certified Naturally Grown: Which Is Right For You?
with Dilip Nandwani and Deborah Lockhart
(Friday 3:30-4:30) This session will discuss two certification processes for anyone who is interested in learning about certified organic and certified naturally grown (CNG). Participants will learn professional, efficient and objectives of organic certification and process to assist farmers, ranchers, handlers and other vendors.
Organic Pest Control
with David Cook
(Friday 3:30-4:30) This presentation will present organic methods for monitoring and managing insect pests in greenhouses, high tunnels, orchards and farms. Topics will include providing habitat for beneficial organisms, maintaining a healthy living soil, best nectar and pollen plants for beneficials and native bee pollinators, and organic insecticides and other tools.
NRCS- Organic Champions-What They Have to Offer Organic Growers
(Saturday 8:00-10:15) USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service, Rural Development, Tennessee Department of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency, and Tennessee State University discuss organic agriculture programs and assistance offered from various state, federal and public organizations in Tennessee for organic farming community.
Climate Smart Agriculture for Tennessee Farmers
with Dr. Joanne Logan
(Saturday 10:30-11:30) According to the Food and Agricultural Organization, “Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) is an approach to guide actions needed to reorient agricultural systems to effectively ensure food security in a changing climate by taking on three main objectives: sustainably increasing agricultural productivity and incomes; adapting and building resilience to climate change; and reducing and/or removing greenhouse gas emissions, where possible”. Joanne likes to include a fourth pillar of CSA – educating farmers to increase their knowledge about the impacts of different aspects of weather and climate, such as extreme weather, on production. During this presentation, she will provide multiple examples of how CSA principles can be applied to small farms, especially organic enterprises.
Tennessee Organic Growers Association Tour: Stoney Creek Farm, Rocky Glade Farm, Delvin Farms and Arrington Vineyard
Lunch included, we will leave the hotel at 9:30 am and carpool to each farm. Cost is 75.00, includes organic lunch and wine glass from the vineyard.