If Farm Aid’s stage is the heart of Farm Aid, the HOMEGROWN Village is the hands!
In the HOMEGROWN Village, thousands of festivalgoers will explore interactive exhibits and activities that engage all of their senses. Food and farm groups from across the country showcase exhibits about soil, water, energy, food and farming through art, games, and hands-on, interactive actives. In the HOMEGROWN Skills area, festivalgoers attend skillshares and demonstrations, celebrate the culture of agriculture and go home with new skills. Farmers, farm activists and festivalgoers come together in the FarmYard to meet and share stories. On the FarmYard Stage farmers and concert artists discuss urgent issues. Read below for examples from the 2016 HOMEGROWN Village in Bristow, VA.
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What does local food mean to you? What can we build to help us all eat closer to home and support family farmers in our area? How are you growing a strong, local Good Food Movement in your region?
To check out last year’s Eat Your Zipcode groups Click here!
Do You Know What You’re Eating?
Presented by Food & Water Watch, Washington, DC
Without labels, would you know if your food is genetically modified or your food’s country of origin? Take a stab at your best guesses in an informative game with Food & Water Watch!
What’s On Your Fork?
Presented by American Farmland Trust, Washington, DC
Join American Farmland Trust to learn firsthand from local farmers why shopping at your farmers’ market matters, and take a moment to say “thanks” to family farmers across the nation by recording a video message!
Food: Use It or Lose It
Presented by Society of St. Andrew, Big Island, VA
Take your potato truck around a path that will lead to the landfill, a farm field, farm animals or a feeding agency as you play a 3-D game to learn about food waste and hunger issues in America and how you can make a difference!
From Farm to Corner Store
Presented by DC Central Kitchen, Washington, DC
Getting a grocery store in a food desert is ideal, but improving the quality of food in stores that are already there has a more immediate effect. Learn about quick meals you can make from fresh produce and corner store ingredients, role-play as a consumer in a food desert with a specific budget, and learn how DC Central Kitchen is bringing Farm-to-Convenience Store to DC’s most underserved neighborhoods!
Reducing Food Waste: Cosmetically Challenged Food
Presented by West Virginia Food and Farm Coalition, Fayetteville, WV
Did you know your food had to win a beauty contest to get on your plate? Each year hundreds of thousands of pounds of food get tossed away or left in the field because it’s “ugly” even though it’s perfectly tasty and nutritious! Come see the difference between “grade A” and “ugly” produce and how it all can be eaten!
District Fresh: Growing Food Justice In DC
Presented by Dreaming Out Loud, INC., Washington, DC
Explore a “miniature urban farm” while examining social justice through a food lens that highlights urban agriculture as a community organizing tool and economic driver.
Host a Friendsgiving for No Kid Hungry
Presented by No Kid Hungry, Share Our Strength, Washington, DC
Take a seat at the Friendsgiving table to play a fun game of trivia and learn how you and your friends can help give back to those less fortunate! By hosting your own Friendsgiving for No Kid Hungry, you can mobilize friends and family to raise awareness and funds for kids suffering from hunger in the US.
Farmers are the backbone of America’s food system and our economy. What does it take to be a farmer? What challenges and opportunities are facing family farmers of all generations and backgrounds? How can we sustain and support the future of farming in America?
To check out last year’s In Farmers We Trust groups Click here!
Cultivating the Chesapeake Foodshed: Growing the Next Generation of Chesapeake Farmers
Presented by Future Harvest Chesapeake Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture (CASA), Cockeysville, MD
Come play Chesapeake Foodshed “Jeopardy” to learn how our local economy, environment, and collective health are hindered by non-sustainable agricultural practices, and how Future Harvest CASA works to educate new and continuing farmers in sustainable growing practices.
Industrial Hemp: A Solution
Industrial hemp is going back to the future to provide sustainable resource development for family farms! Learn about the first industrial hemp crop in Virginia in over 70 years while checking out a hemp guitar autographed by Willie Nelson.
Growing for the Future
Presented by National Farmers Union, Washington, DC
Test your knowledge of what it takes to be a beginning farmer by participating in lively games of trivia with fellow concertgoers. In between rounds, hear stories from Beginning Farmer Institute’s participants about their experiences!
Help Farm Animals and the Farmers Who Care For Them: Shop With Your Heart
Presented by American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, (ASPCA), New York, NY
Have fun in a photo booth, record a video message, and learn how to Shop With Your Heart to support a better world for farm animals and farmers!
We Need #MoreFarmers
Presented by National Young Farmers Coalition, Hudson, NY
Put your social media skills to work and learn why America needs #morefarmers. While you’re at it, help turn the tide towards federal farm policy that supports the next generation of farmers!
Factory Farms Harm Our Rural Communities
Presented by Socially Responsible Agricultural Project, Salem, OR
Enjoy solving mysteries? Pull out an item from the mystery bag to learn about the impact your “food-print” has on the communities where industrial-scale meat, dairy, and eggs are produced.
Virginia’s Farmer Veterans: Serving Our Nation Twice
Presented by Farmer Veteran Coalition, Davis, CA
Veterans possess a unique set of skills that translate perfectly into the farming community. Learn from an interactive display about the 30+ Virginian veteran farmers using the Homegrown By Heroes and Virginia Grown labels.
Smithsonian Food History Programs
Presented by National Museum of American History, Washington, DC
How does a national museum bring food and agriculture history to the table? Try your hand at milling wheat into flour, view interactive displays on flour production, and learn more about food history research and collections!
Know Your Farmer, Know Your Consumer
Presented by Community Farm Alliance, Berea, KY
Calling all consumers and farmers! Now is your chance to further farmer-consumer conversations by writing Mad Libs-style letters to each other with facilitation from Community Farm Alliance!
A GRAND ALLIANCE TO SAVE OUR PUBLIC POSTAL SERVICE
Presented by the American Postal Workers Union, Washington, DC
The fight to protect and enhance our public Postal Service is vital to rural America and to farmers. Check out our new video featuring Willie Nelson! Learn how you can join him and organizations like Farm Aid in A Grand Alliance to Save Our Public Postal Service. Have your photo taken with the original Postmaster General, Ben Franklin.
Water is life. The growing scarcity of clean water affects us all. What are the major threats to our water future? How do farmers practice water stewardship and how can we become better stewards of our water supplies?
To check out last year’s Tap the Source groups Click here!
Wheel of Farming & Fishing – How Industrial Agriculture Affects the Chesapeake Bay
Take a spin at the Wheel of Farming and Fishing! Will you be able to implement agroecological farming practices to sell clean, healthy, organic foods, or will you be compromised by a corporate contract? Will you know what kind of seafood production is beneficial to the Bay and our food system? Come play and learn how farms, fisheries and water are connected!
Food and Water Waste
Presented by United States Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC
Interact with engaging displays to learn about eating habits you can learn to reduce food and water waste, all while saving money in the process!
Black gold… topsoil… terra firma… No matter what you call it, soil is vital to growing healthy food. What makes soil healthy and what is soil’s role in the health of our land, water, air, climate and food supply? What can we do to better care for this vital resource?
To check out last year’s The Fertile Ground groups Click here!
What’s in the Air?
Presented by Moms Across America Eastern Shore, Salisbury, MD
One of our most precious substances is the air we breathe. Yet none of us really knows what we’re breathing in at any given time. In the past, people went to the country to take in the fresh air. Now, due to intensive industrial agricultural practices, we are discovering that the country air is not as healthy as it once was. Check your lung capacity with our fun interactive balloon experiment and learn what we can do to help keep our country air clean and fresh.
Presented by National Center for Appropriate Technology, Butte, MT
Get a first-hand glimpse of the world beneath farms with an interactive demonstration on the principles of soil health and how farmers are managing for soil life and carbon as a means to build resilient soils!
You Are What You Eat: Sludge-Free For Me!
Presented by United Sludge Free Alliance, Kempton, PA
Get the “poop-scoop” on growing America’s food, why animal manure is different than human waste, and how you can join the Clean Food Crusade, all while watching worms at work in the soil!
Protect the Final Frontier
Presented by Green America, Washington, DC
Time for a pop quiz! How many different types of wheat can you name? Come test your knowledge, get up close and personal with multiple varieties of wheat and flour, and learn why stopping GE wheat is key to protecting soil health.
Presented by Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA, Pittsboro, NC
Seeds are the source of life and the foundation of agriculture. Bees and other pollinators depend on flowering plants to survive, which is why we’re planting 1 billion seeds on farms this year. Stop by our table and learn how you can help us #BringBacktheBees. PLUS, check out our new documentary film, Under Contract, which tells the stories of farmers who are caught up in unfair production contracts and challenges this unsustainable status quo.
The HOMEGROWN Skills Tent
Presented by HOMEGROWN.org, the HOMEGROWN Skills Tent promises to be chock full of learning and fun! Get your hands dirty and take home a new skill. Participate in workshops and demonstrations to learn new skills.
Resurrect the Potluck
Traditions connect us to our ancestry and to each other. The potluck is a tradition that celebrates tried and true recipes, community and, of course, eating! What food traditions do you want to pass on to others? Share your cooking, baking, brewing, preserving, crafting and building skills with folks through demonstrations and hands-on activities.
To check out last year’s Skills Tent schedule Click here!
12:30pm – 1:00pm
Turning Food into Gold: Composting 101
Presented by Xavier Brown of Soilful City
Curb your waste! Learn how to compost your food scraps and use the final product in your home or community garden.
1:30pm – 2:00pm
Selecting the Best: Seed Saving 101
Presented by Paul Blundell from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange
Come learn the hows and whys of saving your own garden seeds. In this workshop we’ll explore why seed saving is important, some basic biology to help you save good seed, and review basic techniques for saving wet and dry seed from your home garden. And, come by our table throughout the day to learn, hands on, how to save seed from many of your favorite garden vegetables. We’ll have fruits and pods to demonstrate with, information and tools to help you save seeds, and answers to your questions.
2:30pm – 3:00pm
Wild-Gathered Cocktails and Medicine: Bittersmaking 101
Presented by McNeill Mann from Earth Village Education
Learn about digestive bitters: what they are, how to make them, and how to use them. Bitters are made by infusing alcohol (or vinegar) with flavorful ingredients to create a concentrated bitter flavor. They are used for their medicinal, digestive, and health benefits—and for flavoring drinks and cocktails! In this workshop you’ll learn about a variety of wild-gathered and kitchen-based ingredients used in making bitters, and about different methods of preparation.
3:30pm – 4:00pm
Encouraging Good Bacteria: Fermentation 101
Presented by Rachel Armistead from The Sweet Farm
Learn how to make delicious and healthy fermented veggies at home. Attendees will learn how to make either fermented pickles or sauerkraut, both full of probiotic bacteria to nourish your digestive system and strengthen your immune system.
4:30pm – 5:00pm
Tree-Free Paper: Hemp Papermaking 101
Presented by Elishewa Shalom from Artisan Hemp
Hemp is a hearty plant that has many industrial applications, and a long history in the U.S., particularly in Virginia. In this workshop, we will go over everything involved in the process of transforming hemp stalks into paper.
Farm Aid 2016 Seed Swap
Presented by farmer, Amy Talarico
Farmers and gardeners, bring seeds from home and come on down to the HOMEGROWN Skills Tent. Meet enthusiastic seed savers, swap some of your own seeds and go home with new varieties to try!