Attendees to be counceled on stress, balance

AFP Correspondent

NEW BRUNSWICK (Jan. 1, 2017) — Farming is stressful on the psyche and the body.
A session at the NOFA-NJ Winter Conference called “Get Up and Move” promises to help farmers keep going into old age.
It will be presented by Chris Moran, a farmer and personal trainer, and Lauren Nagy, a farmer and yoga instructor.
They will help farmers prepare for the coming season and to understand the aches and pains that come from strenuous work.
They will also teach yoga movement to balance some of the repetitive movements of farming and breath and posture control to release energy and relieve stress.
Elizabeth Henderson of the NOFA Interstate Council will present two sessions at the Jan. 28 and 29 Conference.
One will address economic fairness for the farmer, farmworker and consumer. Even in an age when market demand for regional values-based food is fairly strong, farmers are not the setters of prices in many supply chains. Minimum wage demands vie with food justice advocates objecting to raising prices.
Most farms rely on someone working off the farm for benefits, those that generate enough income, theoretically, to support a family have trouble finding good workers.
Her second session is a discussion of the 30-year history of CSAs and what the future may hold.
Alec Gioseffi of the Cooperative 518 Community Farm will offer a hands on workshop covering propagation methods including soil blocking.
Caren White, the Herb Lady, will present a session on container herb gardens.
Roman Osadca of Valley Fall Farm in Frelinghuysen Township, a noted expert in garlic, will discuss the history of garlic and its evolution into eight families of hardnecks and two of softnecks.
“Dan de Lion,” an earth herbalist, forager, musician and teacher will present two sessions. He provides classes, lectures and seminars on wild food foraging, mushroom identification, herbal medicine preparation and survival skills.
At the winter Conference, he will teach how to make medicinal herbs into medicines, sharing the tradition of tincture making.
His second session will be a lesson in making fermented foods.
On another note, everyone is looking for balance today, regardless of his or her line of work. Farmers have as much or more stress than anyone.
With his session at the Winter Conference, David Hambleton of Sisters Hill Farn in upstate New York, will talk about building a farm business and a life of balance at the same time. He will discuss taking the time and energy to devote to relationships and activities that bring joy.
Hambleton is a farmer and farm consultant from New York’s Mid-Hudson Valley where he operates a 300-family CSA.
Other Winter Conference presenters include:
Lee Reich, a “farmdener” (more than a gardener but not a farmer) who was a plant and soil researcher with the USDA and Cornell University.
She now lectures and consults and writes a bi-monthly column for AP. He has also written a number of gardening books.
His session, “Uncommon Fruits for Every Garden” will cover easy-to-grow and delicious fruits many farmers may not have heard of. Some are also appropriate for landscaping and some may have market potential.
They includes juneberry, cornelian cherry, lingonberry, gumi and others. Another session will address no-till integrated with nurturing the ground from the top down, avoiding soil compaction, maintaining a soil cover and pinpointing watering.
Steve Black of Ramelton Farm in Adamstown, Md., will present on Certified Organic landscape trees. He has the only USDA Certified Organic field production nursery, producing trees and shrubs for the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern markets.
He is president of the Maryland Nursery, Landscape, Greenhouse Association and has served on two USDA Specialty Crop Research Initiative Advisory Boards and is on the board of the Harry R. Hughes Center for Agro-Ecology.
He will speak on weed, pest and disease control measures as well as cover cropping, compost use and record keeping.