Perennial Farm Gathering 2022 banner

Day 1: Wednesday, Dec. 7th

At a Glance

All times in CST

8:30 – 9:00 am

9:00 – 9:30 am

9:30 – 12:00 pm

12:00 – 12:30 pm

12:00 – 1:00 pm

1:00 – 2:00 pm

2:15 – 3:15 pm

3:30 – 5:00 pm

5:00 – 5:30 pm

Coming up Next

Day 1: Session info & Zoom Links

8:30am – 5:30pm CST

Help Desk

We have staff on call during the entire conference to help with any questions or issues you may have.

Zoom Info

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8:30am – 9am CST

Yoga with Nelle

Join a restorative yoga practice focused on longevity for the perennial work we do. A slow flow practice for all experience levels. Mat or rug optional.

Nelle is a mom, farmer, and student of yoga for nearly two decades. Alongside her husband and three children, she grows a wide variety of annuals, helps attend to a herd of cattle and sheep and a flock of hens. They live on a piece of heaven on planet earth in north central Wisconsin (Wausau). 

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9am – 9:30am CST

Welcome with Keefe Keeley, Executive Director at the Savanna Institute

 

Savanna Institute’s Executive Director Keefe Keeley welcomes all to the Perennial Farm Gathering and sets the stage for three days of discussion, stories, and nutshell updates with fellow perennial agriculture enthusiasts.

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9:30am – 12:00pm CST

Nutshells Talks: Share your perennial story

Moderated by Barbara Decré, Wisconsin Community Agroforester at the Savanna Institute

A perennial favorite of the gathering, our Nutshell Talks invite audience members to share five-minute updates, stories, lessons-learned or nagging questions from their work. You can include slides or other visual aids if you’d like–or you can just talk with guests. Nutshells are a great way to connect with a community of practice and help build knowledge across the region. Sign up in advance or during the session for a five-minute slot in the list of Nutshell presenters.

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Featured Resources

12pm – 12:30pm CST

Demo Farms: Listening Session

Moderated by Kaitie Adams, Demonstration Farm Director at the Savanna Institute

In 2019, Savanna Institute launched a network of Demonstration Farms to showcase the power and possibility of adding agroforestry to their farm landscapes. Now with 7 farms across 2 states showcasing innovative windbreak, alley cropping, silvopasture, and riparian buffer designs and research questions, we’re looking to future successions of these farms and opportunities to expand the program. And we want to hear from you! Join us for a listening session to answer the question: What do YOU want to see on Savanna Institute Demonstration Farms?

 

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12pm – 1pm CST

Lunch Room: Open Discussion

Not enough networking time or space in a virtual conference? This is an open space to chat either on video or through the chat with other attendees. Feel free to join, or not, or eat your lunch, or not. This session will be unmoderated.

 

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1pm – 2pm CST

New American Farmer

Jacob Gigler-Caro, Salt City Harvest Farm
Zachary Couture, Global Greens
Manika Gautam, SyRAP farmers
Moderated by Xinyuan Shi, Savanna Institute 

New American Farmers are refugees and immigrants that have resettled in the U.S. and have had to face the challenge of adapting to new lifestyles, cultures, and climates. Many come from an agricultural background and bring with them rich traditions around growing specialty crops and cooking diverse cuisines. Join us to hear from Salt City Harvest Farm (Syracuse, NY), Global Greens (Des Moines, IA), and Refugee and Immigrant Self-Empowerment (Syracuse, NY) as they share their experiences in working with these communities and building cross-cultural connections through growing food.

Jacob Gigler-Caro has been growing food in different capacities over the past 16 years, first finding his love for food in Chicago community gardens. Since then, he has worked alongside communities in California, Wisconsin and North Carolina. As Executive Director at Salt City Harvest Farm, he is committed to growing food, culture, and community through the cross-cultural exchange of food traditions.

Zachary Couture discovered a love for regenerative farming while volunteering to connect former-refugees to community gardens in Iowa. Since helping to start Global Greens, Couture has worked to grow it into a successful model for New Americans to access land and have a pathway to sustainable market farming.

Manika Gautam is from Nepal and has been growing food her whole life. She has been in the Syracuse Refugee Agriculture Program (SyRAP) for more than six years and plays a pivotal role as both an interpreter and bridge to the Nepali-speaking community in Syracuse. She juggles many roles as a community farmer, liaison, and single mother of three.

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2:15pm – 3:15pm CST

Thick as Thieves with Samantha Bosco

Samantha Bosco, Cornell University Graduate School
Moderated by Jacob Grace, Host of the Perennial AF podcast

People have been eating nuts (nucivory) and relating with nut trees for over thousands of years in what is now called the northeastern US. “Thick as Thieves”, as the saying goes, is about the close relationships, allyships, confidences, and strategies towards ulterior agroecological agendas. We’ll trace through a few historical roots of agroforestry advocates from across time and consider possibilities for the future.

Samantha Bosco is a doctoral candidate at Cornell University Graduate School of Integrative Plant Science Horticulture Section. Her dissertation, “Research is Nuts”, examines the past, present, and future role of temperate nut trees in both Indigenous and non-native communities. She’s led interactive education on the Skarù:rę Food Forest Project and serves on the Agroforestry Program Work Team for Cornell Cooperative Extension. Outside of academia Bosco is a parent, musician, forager, gardener, cyclist, rock climber, and lifelong wanderer.

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3:30pm – 5pm CST

What Can Land Access Look Like?

Nathan Aaberg, Liberty Prairie Foundation and The Land Connection
Alison Volk, American Farmland Trust
Eva Moss, Farm Commons
Hannah Breckbill, Humble Hands Harvest
Shelley Buffalo, (Meskwaki) Consultant for food sovereignty and local foods initiatives
Darius Nupolu, Dows Farm in Cedar Rapids
Moderated by Kaitie Adams, Savanna Institute

What does it mean to own land or have access? Looking for ways to access land for perennial production? Are you thinking towards the future about how to continue to provide sustainable stewardship to the land you own?  Join us as we discuss the ins and outs of land access and considerations when thinking about the land you want or the land you have.

Nathan Aaberg launched the Northeast Illinois FarmLink land access program at Liberty Prairie Foundation, which connects, advises, and educates farmers and farmland owners around land access and improved land stewardship. Nathan is working to build the program into a state-wide Illinois FarmLink with The Land Connection. Nathan and his family live in the Prairie Crossing conservation community in Grayslake, IL.

Alison Volk coordinates all aspects of new easement acquisitions across the country. Prior to joining American Farmland Trust, Alison worked at the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection for ten years. For five of those years she oversaw the Department’s farmland preservation program, which included the state’s agricultural conservation easement program. She earned a Juris Doctorate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she studied land use law and policy and focused on agricultural land preservation tools including conservation easements.

Eva Moss works in sustainable agriculture as a grower and an educator. As an educator, she functions as a conduit — (re)connecting farmers and ranchers with the unique seeds of their creative power in business transactional law. Her approach centers on emergent strategy, compassionate communication, and power with approaches. 

Hannah Breckbill co- owns and manages Humble Hands Harvest, a worker-owned co-operative farm that grows 2+ acres of organic vegetables, grass-finished sheep, pastured pork, and fruit and nut trees. The small business distributes at the Winneshiek Farmers Market in Decorah; and through a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program for both our veggies and our meat. The farm found a long-term home in 2017 on Hidden Falls Road, 10 miles from Decorah, on ancestral Sauk, Meskwaki, Lakota, and Ho-chunk land, and began functioning as a worker-owned co-operative that same year.

Shelley Buffalo is an enrolled member of the Meskwaki Tribe, also know as the Sac & Fox of the Mississippi in Iowa. Shelley served her community as Meskwaki Food Sovereignty Coordinator and now offers consultancy for food sovereignty and local foods initiatives. She is an advocate for indigenous food ways, food justice, and rematriation. A mother of two sons, Shelley made a living as a house painter and artist before finding her passion in farming and seed saving. The Meskwaki are unique in that their land based community is a settlement, not a reservation. Established in 1857 with the purchase of 80 acres near Tama, Iowa, the Meskwaki Settlement has grown to approximately 8,400 acres.

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5pm – 5:30pm CST

The Deep Roots & New Shoots Awards

Honoring Dr. Gary Paul Nabhan & Dayna Burtness

Conferring virtual laurels in appreciation of extraordinary folks who have made their life’s work advancing perennial agriculture 

Join us to celebrate our awardees and be inspired by their stories.

 

Gary Nabhanis a celebrated author, ethnobotanist, activist, and guy. His work over the past 50 years has given voice to the complexity of natural systems, and champions the need for Traditional Ecological Knowledge in western scientific study. His work has solidified his notoriety as a powerful voice in the movement to reconnect biodiversity and cultural diversity. He’s the author of over 30 books including the influential Growing Food in a Hotter, Drier Land: Lessons from Desert Farmers on Adapting to Climate Uncertainty. His contributions as a co-author and professor run the gambit of agronomy activism.

Dayna Burtness owns and operates Nettle Valley Farm, a 70-acre pastured pork farm outside Spring Grove, Minnesota. Dayna, who is part of the sixth generation of her family to farm in Houston County, Minnesota, does most of the day-to-day farm management and livestock care. In addition to raising hogs, Dayna manages an incubator farm program to host young livestock farmers who are interested in silvopasture and other agroforestry practices.

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Before you plant your perennial crops, ask yourself this one question:

“Who are my partners?”

Implementing agroforestry can be difficult, especially when it comes to transitioning land use, acquiring financing, and securing land tenure and access. We have compiled a series of videos and resources showing new kinds of partnerships between landowners, tree farmers, and investors or between landowners, community stakeholders, and investors to accelerate widespread adoption of agroforestry practices. Check out some of these stories to find unique partnerships that might appeal to you.

Share with a friend and support the understanding and adoption of agroforestry in the Midwest!