In December 2012, I joined CT NOFA as the Outreach Intern. I very quickly learned that a majority of my time would be devoted to helping Kristiane (the Events and Outreach Coordinator) and other CT NOFA staff promote the 2013 Winter Conference on March 2nd.
As I learned more about the event my curiosity peaked and my thoughts started to go from "This seems really cool!" to "I can learn about dairy goats, maple sugaring, climate change and meet with local vendors all in the same day? This is AWESOME!". When I realized today that the conference is only a week away, that curiosity turned into excitement and unlike the rest of the CT NOFA staff, I have never attended the Winter Conference (or really any conference similar in magnitude). This experience will be entirely new to me and I am greatly looking forward to it.
Here are some reason's why you should be excited too (newbie or not):
- Workshops, workshops, workshops. Did I mention the workshops?
- There are over 50 workshops (53 to be exact) to choose from and we are providing three sessions throughout the day to attend any of them that you are most interested in. Best part is there is something for everyone - topics like small business lessons, basic vegetable production, sustainable living, food preservation, school gardens, climate change and small scale agriculture, organic land care, and even seaweed aquaculture are all available!
- Get to know your neighbors
- A big part of sustainable eating is supporting local farmers and businesses. Throughout the day you can "meet and greet" with over 40 vendors and exhibitors from all over Connecticut. You might be surprised to find that some of them are located right in your own community and you just never knew it!
- All this talk about food is making me hungry....
- In past years lunch has been served Pot Luck style and while that is a fun and creative way to eat, it doesn't really cater (no pun intended) to the capacity the Winter Conference has grown to. So this year some of the very best farm-to-restaurant chefs from Fairfield County will be serving you lunch! I am particularly excited for this since in all honestly, my just-out-of-college-and-broke budget doesn't really allow me to go out to eat very often. This will be a great way to eat locally and organic from many different restaurants all at once! (The cost for lunch is $15)
- Silent Auction/Raffle
- Many of the vendors donate wonderful items and products to the raffle so if you see something you like during the day, maybe you could walk home with it!
- Celebrate sustainability with music!
- The band Gatsby's Green Light will be joining us during registration and the lunch hour to bring us good vibes for the day. The band often plays with organizations, events, and fairs that promote local food and clean energy solutions. They also donate 30% of their profit to organizations like NOFA.
Check out this video of the 2012 Winter Conference highlights to get even more excited!
I hope to see you next Saturday! Best,