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Many New Yorkers attend Young Farmers Conference

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“The center is one of several places in the region where New Yorkers can indulge their weekend or would-be farmer impulses, or just learn something about what they eat, even if they don’t want to grow it themselves. In its fifth year the conference had sold out [its 260 spots] in 36 hours, with 175 on the waiting list.” Photo by Suzanne DeChillo/The New York Times.

Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture Conference

By Kathryn shattuck
New York Times
January 3, 2013

Excerpt:

Few flaunt the farm-to-table ethic more proudly than New Yorkers, who long ago jumped on the organic and locavore bandwagons.

Well aware of that the Stone Barns Center addresses farming on a scale and with a consciousness appropriate to urban and peri-urban environments, from rooftop and backyard gardens to the farms of tens and hundreds of acres normally cultivated in the densely populated Northeast rather than those with thousands of acres found farther west. (There is actually more land in urban communities that could be used to produce food than most New Yorkers realize, Mr. Kirschenmann said, citing a map created a few years ago at Columbia University that showed 25,000 such acres inside the city.)

At the conference I attended participants could select from courses like Soil Science Basics, Farmers’ Markets in Low-Income Communities: Untapped Opportunities for Growers, Considering the Cooperative and Growing New Farmers in the City. I chose classes that could apply both to the ranch and to the two acres, with greenhouse, that surrounded my home in a Hudson River hamlet where backyards are dotted with goats, beehives and chicken coops.

Read the complete article here.