Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Overview NOFA Summer Conference

So I have returned from the NOFA Summer Conference and boy was it an experience. I learned so much and there were so many people of all farming walks of life. It was so interesting talking to other chicken owners who varied in chicken numbers from 20 to 2500. Imagine 2500 chickens! I guess at that point they don’t have names or anything. Anywho, everyone was so nice. I don’t think I met one mean person. Everyone just seemed to be there to have a good time and learn something new.

There were many accommodation options. For higher budget people, there was the campus hotel or the dorm suites with kitchenettes and a/c. I stayed in the regular dorms which was the posh price of, I believe, $30 per night for a single room with no a/c (bring your own bedding and fan) and I was lucky enough to be given a corner room. I’ve always thought of dorm rooms as cold, cave like rooms. Well the extra window added a world of difference and there was even a bit of a cross breeze. I felt quite special. It doesn’t take much.

If your wallet wasn’t up to that, there were camping areas. For $12 per night you could pop up your tent or park your adorable little camper and still use the shower facilities in the dorms and the restrooms in the student union.

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I want it. Too cute.

In addition to all the classes and speakers, there was a contra dance and a fair. I enjoy contra dances thoroughly. All ages were dancing together having a great time and there were quite a few people that liked to throw in extra spins here and there and leave their partners quite dizzy. The fair was an old fashioned type fair. There were wheelbarrow and three legged races, pie eating contests (blueberry of course), a guess where the cow plops raffle, and a parade mostly manned by children and two cattle brought up the rear. 

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There was also a dog that herded ducks, some goats, and this mule. He was huge and I wish I had taken a picture of his sign that said what kind of mule he was. His ears were lovely and longer than my forearm.

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The big tent had all kinds of organic vendors and groups that support organic agriculture. There was also a silent auction and a book sale. It was my dream book shop with all the books you could want pertaining to all things homestead and farm. I bought three books and then had to stop. If my pockets were deeper many more books would have come home with me. I was surprised there were no yarn vendors. But, that will just give me the excuse to go to the New York Sheep and Wool Festival in the fall. Now that’s another fabulous get together. Overall, I will definitely go again. I will cover the classes I attended in other posts.

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