Wednesday, August 30, 2017

What to See at the Soil Not Oil Conference - Sept. 6-9 in Richmond

The week after Labor Day, when all your Burning Man friends will be recuperating from their desert travels, we stay-at-home foodie/eco types will have two fabulous conferences to check out.

The first conference is the National Heirloom Expowhich takes place in Santa Rosa at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds, Sept. 5-8. Vandana Shiva will be keynoting.

Soil Not Oil, in downtown Richmond, brings together hundreds of eco-activists and features fabulous keynote speakers including Vandana Shiva, Miguel Altieri and others. The conference dates are Sept. 6-9.

Highlights I'm looking forward to seeing at Soil Not Oil include:

• David Johnson, a molecular biologist from New Mexico State University, on the panel Drawing Down Carbon at the Landscape Level. This panel covers conversion of atmospheric carbon into soil carbon.

• David Montgomery, author of the Hidden Half of Nature: The Microbial Roots of Life and Health (one of my favorite books about soil and the microbiome) will talk about his latest book Growing a Revolution, following farmers who are practicing what Montgomery calls "conservation farming"

• A wine focused session featuring Paicines Ranch, a ranching operation that's transitioning to organic practices and innovative approaches, using sheep in a newly planted vineyard. The vines are planted higher than normal, to enable sheep to graze in the vineyard year round. (Sheep are often brought into vineyards in the spring for weed control but are used there only until bud break.)

• A session on pesticides with Dr. Ann Lopez, director of the Center for Farmworker Families

The full day sessions are Friday and Saturday.

You can register online here. Or follow them on FB and Twitter, too...

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