If Farm Aid’s stage is the heart of Farm Aid, the HOMEGROWN Village is the hands!
In the HOMEGROWN Village, 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 activities. 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.
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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?
What If We Ate More of What We Grew?
Presented by Salvation Farms
Salvation Farms’ exhibit will give a glimpse into what nutritious food that doesn’t make it to your plate looks like, while also helping to visualize what re-localized food systems in the United States could look like if we utilized the estimated 34 billion pounds of edible produce that remain on farms unharvested, unsold, and uneaten annually in this country.
The Hearts Behind What You Eat
Presented by UConn Extension, HeartCTGrown
Visit our booth and get excited not just about local food, but about the people growing and raising your food and find ways to create a relationship with your farmer!
Find Your Connecticut Grown Farmer
A virtual experience to find farmers, farm stands, and farmers’ markets in CT while meeting and talking with farmers themselves!
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?
Fair Shake for Farmers and Ranchers
Presented by Food Integrity Campaign
Think you’re smart enough to get our toy tractor from point A to point B? Take on the industry and see how you rank against your peers in a “simple” game to test your food and farm knowledge!
Diversity is Our Future
Presented by Gifts of Love Farm
Diversity is our Strength! Learn about types of produce that might be unfamiliar to you! Learn ways to cook, and recognize a variety of crops, as well as their nutritional value.
Food Systems and Equity Lawn Games
Presented by Northeast Sustainable Working Group
What’s in your food system? Come join NESAWG and learn about how the food you eat gets to your plate, and who is helped and harmed in the process.
Snapshot of EcoApple: Share the Love
Presented by Red Tomato
Learn about how local growers prioritize soil health, pollinators, and community through Red Tomato’s Eco Program, and send them a message back sharing your support through social media!
Breaking Barriers for Small Scale Family Farms
Breaking barriers can be fun… Join NCAT Agriculture Specialists and farmers in removing the barriers that family farmers face while creating equitable pathways to larger markets for small- scale farmers.
Mobilizing Veterans to Feed America
Presented by Farmer Veteran Coalition
Farming is a wheel of fortune so take your chance now and spin it.
Farming is Stressful
Presented by Farm and Ranch Assistance Network – National
Destress with box breathing! Stop by to learn about farmer stress and breathing techniques used to foster a sense of calm.
Presented by Rural Advancement Foundation International – USA
RAFI-USA will challenge festivalgoers with a fun and informative trivia game about how everyone can contribute to an economically, racially, and environmentally just food system.
Celebrating Our Community
Presented by Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network – Northeast (FRSAN– NE)
Join us in celebrating our farmers, write a message of appreciation that will be shared with our network of farmers and ranchers on social media.
In their Shoes & The Many Hats of Farmers
Presented by The National Grange
Consumers can see the many hats farmers wear and take a moment to step into their shoes all while learning how essential social outlets are for this population that often suffer mental health issues in order to get food from field to fork.
Save the Vote!
Presented by HeadCount
Get registered to vote and email your local elected officials about accessible, fair, and trustworthy elections.
Organic Dairy Consumers: What’s Important to You?
Presented by Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance
Come to honor our Northeast organic dairy farmers and meet a farmer. Learn a bit about organic dairy farmers and their cows and how they benefit our soil and water and the economy of our rural communities. Make your mark on an Organic Dairy Dot Matrix Survey where you can showcase what you value most—is it the ice cream?— and help build a vision for our valued but threatened organic dairies in our region.
You Can Do It Anywhere
Presented by Knox Community Farm
Get your hands in the dirt and experience how KNOX supports urban farmers in reclaiming land to grow great food in small spaces.
What are the farm-based innovations, alternative energy sources, growing methods, and models will power us into the future?
Let’s Build Something New Together!
Presented by Transfarmation
We’re working with farmers to repurpose CAFOs and create sustainable, plant-focused farms and thriving local economies.
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?
Regenerative Agriculture and Justice
Presented by American Sustainable Business Council
An opportunity to learn about and get plugged into the diverse regenerative agriculture and justice movement and relevant public policies.
Get Your Hands Dirty
Presented by Connecticut Farm Bureau
The exhibit will teach festival goers about the importance of soil health and its impact on our environment, water, nutrition and food.
It Starts with Soil
Presented by Yellow Farmhouse Education Center
Learn about how soil health is connected to the health of our food, our communities, and our planet.
Come play some games and do art projects in the HOMEGROWN Village
Build Mushroom Sculptures!
Presented by Artist Carol Padberg from Nook Farm House, urban microfarm
Join in a hands-on, interactive art studio where visitors can take a turn at weaving, learn how to dye with home-grown flowers, leaves and roots, and even work with the Oyster Mushroom mycelia to make living woven sculptures. These living sculptures will be used for the public event “Meeting Mycelia” on October 2, 2021 at the Keney Park Sustainability Project, in which participants will get a chance to learn more about the many ways mushrooms help create a cleaner, healthier world by creating soil and helping plants grow—and reminding us of the importance of connectivity.
Paint A Planter Box!
Presented by Fresh Start
Explore your creative side and leave your mark on the greater Hartford community. Join us in the Skills Tent where we’ll be painting a mural on a garden box from Fresh Start. Once the mural is complete and dried, we’ll donate the garden box to Knox Community Gardens!
The HOMEGROWN Skills Tent promises to be chock full of learning and fun! Participate in workshops and demonstrations to learn new skills.
2:00 pm — Fungi Power: Mushroom and Plant Foraging 101
Presented by Tristan Johnson and Lauren Bowden from The Connecticut Foraging Club
Ever wonder if those plants along the side of the road are edible? Come learn about common plants and mushrooms that can be foraged in New England, as well as their edible and medicinal uses. You’ll also hear about eating invasive species and about how important fungi are to our ecosystem, including how they can save our bee colonies.
3:00 pm — Dyeing With Backyard Plants
Presented by Artist Carol Padberg from Nook Farm House, urban microfarm
Learn how to make natural dyes for silk, wool, and cotton using plants in your backyard.
4:00 pm — Keeping it Spicy: Lacto-Fermented Hot Sauce 101
Presented by Sarah Tracy from Little Dove Botanicals LLC
Instead of ditching extra crops, learn how to preserve them! This demonstration will explain lacto-fermentation and demonstrate an economical, easy, tasty (and spicy!) way to ferment some of those bumper crops farmers and gardeners often have.
1:30 pm — Farming:Where are we now, and where are we going?
- Farm Aid Artist Board Member Margo Price
- Dairy Farmers James and Tina Spaulding from Good Oak Farms in Vermont
- Jennifer Fahy from Farm Aid
Since 1985, Farm Aid has amplified the voices of America’s independent farmers. Our work has been significant in elevating solutions to the powerful forces that threaten small and family farms. Now we stand at an inflection point that requires immediate action from our leaders, our government and each other. We need to plant seeds that will ensure America’s farming community stays diverse, resilient and continues to play an essential role in addressing some of the biggest threats facing our nation and planet.
2:30 pm — Farmer Heroes, Climate Heroes
- Nathaniel Rateliff and Joseph Pope III from the “Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats.”
- John Cleary from Organic Valley.
- Farmer Martin Beck from New England Grassfed at Cloverbud Ranch in Connecticut
The climate is changing. Time is running out. Corporate agriculture is a significant contributor (more than 40%) of global greenhouse gasses that are making the planet hotter, weather more extreme and threatening critical food systems we depend on every day. Small and family farmers, who disproportionately pay for the reckless practices of larger corporate farming operations, play one of the most important roles in tackling this crisis. Small and family farmers use eco-friendly practices that are good for the soil, good for our food and good for our families.
3:30 pm — The Past and the Future of Black Farmers
- Allison Russell
- Dania Davy from the Federation of Southern Cooperatives
- Kama Doucoure from Sampoo Kafu farm in the Hudson Valley
Modern, sustainable agriculture would not have been possible without the hard work and innovation of Black farmers – many who were forced into farming. Despite these contributions, Black people have been systemically excluded from owning, operating, and making a profit on their farms. As the nation confronts its racist history, so must our farming community. We need to find ways to elevate, support and celebrate Black farmers for their historical contributions, those who are farming now and find ways to support more Black people in becoming small and family farmers in the future.Learn more about the Farm Aid festival