Fleeing the conference
We try to report our failures
here as well as our successes. So I feel obliged to admit that we
only managed to attend a quarter of the Acres USA
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We drove up to Ohio
Monday so Mark could attend the first part of his pre-conference course
Tuesday. The pre-conference classes were amazing, but by the time
they ended on Wednesday night, Mark and I knew we couldn't survive
another day getting up before dark, coming home after dark, and staying
inside a huge conference center for the time in between.
Yes, there were a dozen
Amish people at the pre-conference. No, they didn't seem to be as
badly affected by the concrete jungle as we were.
I was dying to see
Harvey Ussery (oh, and Joel Salatin), both of whom spoke Friday.
I was itching to listen to in-depth lectures on plant secondary
metabolites, cover crops, and more. I wanted to peruse the
bookstore and trade show, and to hear more about Fertrell's
Nutri-Balancer (which pastured poultry keepers seem to swear by.)
But we couldn't do it.
I like to pretend that the
reason we stay home so much is because the farm needs us, but the truth
is we need the farm much more. I don't think we relaxed until we
stepped out of the car on the edge of the hay field, waded through the
flood waters, and fired up the wood stove.
Note to self: Two days
of conference is about our max. No way can we combine a
conference with a family visit --- preferably, we'd plan it so that
half of each conference day was silent contemplation time. Live
Note to readers: All is
not lost! Once I digest the experience a bit more, I'll have a
really awesome lunchtime series on Mob Grazing for you. And I
think I can get a partial refund and use it to get MP3s of most of the
conference. Stay tuned.