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Local Food Movement Matriarch to Keynote Ohio’s Largest Sustainable Food and Farm Conference: Nutritionist, Author, and Gardener Joan Dye Gussow to Speak Sunday, February 20

As part of her work to transform America’s food system, Joan Dye Gussow will share her thoughts on where the local foods movement has been and where it’s going, along with practical ideas for eating locally and in-season, at the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association’s 32nd annual conference, “Inspiring Farms, Sustaining Communities” February 19-20, 2011 in Granville, Ohio.
“We’re excited to able to bring Dr. Gussow to this year’s conference. She is a pioneer of the organic and local foods movement. Her books continue to inspire and challenge all of us to be part of the creation of local, sustainable food systems that nourish our farmers, our bodies, and our communities,” said OEFFA Program Director Renee Hunt.
Joan Dye Gussow was one of the first persons to envision, teach, and write about a local, organic, whole food system, earning her the title “matriarch of the modern day food movement.” As one of the foremost critics of industrial agriculture, Joan has been a mentor to leaders in the local foods movement, including Barbara Kingsolver and Michael Pollan.
Joan is a highly acclaimed nutrition educator, author, gardener, Mary Swartz Rose Professor Emerita, and former chair of the Columbia University Teachers College Nutrition Department. She is the author of This Organic Life; The Feeding Web, and Chicken Little, Tomato Sauce and Agriculture: Who Will Produce Tomorrow’s Food?
On top of all these accomplishments, Joan views herself first and foremost as a gardener. Four decades ago, Joan began eating seasonally by turning her front yard into a vegetable garden. Today, we see Joan’s ideas bearing fruit with the boom of backyard and community gardens cropping up throughout the U.S.
Her latest book, Growing, Older is a memoir beginning with the loss of her husband of 40 years. Lacking a partner's assistance, Joan continued the hard labor of growing her own year-round diet. But hers is not a message of gloom. Rather it is an affirmation of a life's work—and work in general. The book challenges readers to think about what growing older on a changing planet will call on all of us to do: learn self-reliance and self-restraint, yield graciously if not always happily to necessity, and—since there is no other choice—come to terms with the insistence of the natural world.
Joan’s keynote address, titled “Where have we been? Where are we going?” will take place Sunday, February 20 at 2:45 p.m. She’ll share what it was like in the early days of the organic and local food movement, and talk about its connection to current issues, such as climate change. She also explore some of today’s challenges to establishing an ecologically sound food system.
Joan will also be presenting a workshop earlier that day from 9:30-11:30 a.m., titled “Just Do It!” She'll talk about what it would require of farmers and eaters if Ohioans were to eat locally and seasonally throughout the year.

The conference will also feature more than 70 other educational workshops and cooking demonstrations with topics including: season extension, growing brambles, grazing, dairy farming, pastured livestock and poultry, maple syruping, hiring and managing farm employees, cover crops, renewable energy, farm insurance, agriculture policy and activism, weed control, growing mushrooms, growing and marketing grains, school gardens, farm recordkeeping, growing garlic, meat goats, homemade dyes, farm to school, eating seasonally, green building, pest management, business branding, pricing for profitability, organic apple growing, beekeeping, ecological parenting, flower production, internet marketing, soil fertility, and food co-ops.

Additional Conference Features
The state’s largest sustainable food and farm conference, this year’s event will also feature keynote speakers Klaas and Mary-Howell Martens; a kid’s conference offering a variety of exciting workshops for children ages 6-12; a playroom for children under 6; a book signing by Joan Dye Gussow and The Contrary Farmer, Gene Logsdon; an exhibit hall offering an interesting array of information, products, services, and resources that relate to sustainable agriculture; a non-denominational Sunday service; and Saturday evening entertainment provided by the Back Porch Swing Band.

This year’s event will also feature a one-day pre-conference titled The ABCs of CSAs. This workshop will provide guidance for farmers interested in Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) including information on the challenges and benefits of CSAs, planning, record-keeping, membership recruitment and management, and more. The pre-conference will take place on Friday, February 18 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Granville, Ohio.

The workshop will be led by Beth Knorr, who spent nine years co-managing one of Northeast Ohio's most successful CSA operations at Crown Point Ecology Center with her husband Tim, and currently manages farmers' markets and provides educational workshops for the Countryside Conservancy. Beth will be joined by CSA growers, who will share their experiences.
Our Sponsors
OEFFA’s 32nd annual conference is being sponsored by Edible Ohio Valley, Edible Columbus, Northstar Café, Chipotle, Granville Exempted Village Schools, Lucky Cat Bakery, Mustard Seed Market and Cafe, Organic Valley/CROPP, Snowville Creamery, Whole Foods Market Columbus, Ben and Jerry’s, Blue Jacket Dairy, C-TEC, Canal Junction Farmstead Cheese, Casa Nueva, Curly Tail Organic Farm, Eden Foods, Luna Burger, Northridge Organic Farm, OEFFA Grain Growers Chapter, SARE-USDA, Whole Hog BBQ, Equine Veterinary Dental Services, Fox Hollow Farm, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream, King Family Farm, Marshy Meadows Farm, Sassafras Bakery, Bexley Natural Market, Bluebird Farm, Carriage House Farm, Charlie’s Apples, Crumbs Bakery, Flying J Farm, Green B.E.A.N. Delivery, Green Field Farms, The Greener Grocer, Hartzler Family Dairy, The Hills Market, Kitchen Basics, Phoenix Organics, OSU Social Responsibility Initiative, Schacht Family Farm, Schmidt Family Farms, Stan Evans Bakery, The Wayward Seed Farm, and Wild Goose Creative.
The Ohio Ecological Food & Farm Association (OEFFA) is a non-profit organization founded in 1979 by farmers, gardeners, and conscientious eaters who committed to work together to create and promote a sustainable and healthful food and farming system. For more information, go to
Conference Registration
Conference registration is now open. To register or for more information about the conference, including maps, directions, workshops, speakers, and a schedule, go to or contact Renee Hunt at (614) 421-2022 Ext. 205 or Last year’s conference sold out, so early registration is encouraged to guarantee a spot.
Press Passes and Interviews with Keynote Speakers
OEFFA offers a limited number of press passes to members of the media who would like to attend one or both days of the conference. We can also help members of the press schedule pre-conference interviews with our keynote speakers. To arrange an interview or request a press pass, contact Lauren Ketcham at (614) 421-2022 Ext. 203 or
Artwork and Images
For the conference art image or pictures of keynote speakers, contact Lauren Ketcham at (614) 421-2022 Ext. 203 or For photographs of the 2010 conference, go to
Event Calendar Announcement
Food and Farming Conference: The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association’s (OEFFA) 32nd annual conference, Inspiring Farms, Sustaining Communities, will take place February 19-20, 2011 in Granville, Ohio. OEFFA’s annual conference is Ohio’s largest organic/sustainable agriculture gathering. This event will feature nationally recognized keynote speakers Joan Dye Gussow and Klaas and Mary-Howell Martens, over 70 workshops, a trade show, organic and locally-sourced meals, a kids’ conference, on-site childcare, and Saturday evening entertainment. For more information visit or contact Renee Hunt at or (614) 421-2022 Ext. 205.