The Iowa Network for Community Agriculture would like to announce the “Eat Fresh Southern Iowa Local Foods Conference” to be held March 22-23 in Albia.
INCA is a volunteer driven organization with a purpose to cultivate connections among Iowans to create healthy, fair and sustainable local food systems. Albia was chosen for this year’s conference and serves as a great central location for connecting producers and consumers in the southern Iowa area.
Stacie Gibler and Robin Kennedy, directors of the upcoming conference, stated that the goals are to connect and educate consumers, producers and outdoor enthusiasts as well as expand production of local foods, and provide support for local hunting of wild game and wild edibles.
A kickoff event is set for Friday, March 22 on the second floor of the Albia Brewing Company. It includes a dinner and performance by local readers of “Farmscape: the Changing Rural Environment.” The readers theater was written by Iowa Poet Laureate Mary Swander, a professor at Iowa State University. “Farmscape describes a wide variety of aspects of Iowa agriculture in the voices of those who farm, work in agriculture, and live in the countryside. Swander will be at the event to discuss the reading with the audience following the performance. All those who attend this dinner and production must pre-register as seating is limited.
On Saturday, March 23 an entire day of break-out training sessions and an indoor farmers market featuring local vendors and sponsors will be held at the Trinity United Methodist Church and Family Life Center located at 1117 Benton Ave. East.
Some of the featured speakers are Mary Swander, Iowa State University professor and author of “Farmscape,” Bill Hanson, member of the Iowa Nutgrowers Association and long-time commercial black walnut producer, Duane Headings and David Yoder, experts in improving soil quality in home gardens and high tunnels affiliated with International Ag Labs, Grant Olson with the Seed Savers Exchange from Decorah, Mike Krebil, member of the National Wild Foods Association Hall of Fame, Gail Curtis, Certified Master Herbalist, Renae Beard, 2012-13 Iowa Honey Queen and her family as experts in bee keeping and honey and Peter Woltz, board president of Des Moines Iowa Food Coop. Many other experts will be on hand for questions and demonstrations relating to deer processing, fish filleting, evergreen disease, farmers markets and licenses needed to sell food.
The indoor farmers market is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.
All other conference participants must register for the Friday evening performance and Saturday break-out sessions in advance. Seating is limited, so register early. Visit http://southerniowalocalfoods.eventbrite.com for more information and registrations. For questions call (641) 932-3547.