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 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. Read below for this year’s HOMEGROWN Village exhibits and skills activities.
This year’s HOMEGROWN Village will take place on September 22 between noon and 5:30pm.
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Eat Your ZipcodeIn Farmers We TrustPowering the FarmTap the SourceThe Fertile GroundThe HOMEGROWN Skills TentArt & Games in the HOMEGROWN VillageDig In at the Farm Aid TentMeet Farmers in the FarmYard
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?
HOMEGROWN Youthmarket in the HOMEGROWN Village
Presented by The Institute for Community Research for Youth Food Alliance, Hartford, CT, Knox Farm, Hartford, CT, Ellis Clark Regional Agriscience and Technology Program Nonnewaug High School, Woodbury, CT and National Grange, Washington, DC
Meet the youth staffing Farm Aid’s HOMEGROWN Youthmarket and the organizations that support these next generation farm and food leaders. And don’t miss out on the local produce they’re selling at two HOMEGROWN Youthmarket stands at Farm Aid 2018!
What plants and animals are Native to your state? Come see and learn about indigenous foods in Connecticut and beyond.
Farm to Table for Schools
Presented by Chef Budd Cohen, Audubon, PA
Learn how farm-to-school food is changing the picture of what school lunch can be! Chef Budd will demonstrate how to make delicious recipes using farm-direct products and share tips for how to start up a farm-to-school program.
America Can Be Truly Bountiful for All
Multi-national corporations have too much control over our food system. The first step in taking power back is knowing who the bad actors are and how they influence and control the food system. The second step is expanding on the solutions and messages heard from family farmers, ranchers and fishermen. Together, we can ensure that America is truly bountiful for everyone.
Show Your Love for Local! Memories and Mapping
Presented by UConn Extension, Vernon, CT
Reflect on your local food memories and/or write a postcard to school food directors or your favorite farmers supporting them in advancing farm to school efforts. Learn about heartCTgrown and Put Local on Your Tray, two food system education programs led by UConn Extension.
Livestock and Regenerative Grazing
Presented by The Livestock Institute, Westport, MA
Learn about the importance of local, regional processing facilities and understand the difference between a local facility vs. a commodity-scale facility, the differences between quality of meat, and how local facilities can be created.
Farmers Market Coalition National Poster Contest
Presented by Farmers Market Coalition, Kimberton, PA
Check out a beautiful display of farmers market posters from the National Farmers Market Coalition’s 2018 national contest and learn ways to engage with your local markets.
Farm Bill Jenga and Be Heard Selfie Booth
Presented by Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group, Kingston, NY
We’re playing to win! Try your hand at Farm Bill Jenga and let your elected officials in Congress know that you want them playing on your food system’s team. Learn about the Farm Bill, a key component of how food is produced, distributed and consumed in the United States, and the role it plays locally in your community.
Presented by Foodshare, Bloomfield, CT
Learn about a simple and easy to use stoplight system called “SWAP” (Supporting Wellness at Pantries), which is designed to help promote healthy food choices at food banks and pantries. Learn to identify foods and test your nutritional knowledge in a fun and easy way. Rethink what you believe you already know about the food you eat.
Solving Hunger, Reducing Food Waste
Presented by CT Food Bank, Wallingford, CT
Learn how food banks in Connecticut work, how farmers make it possible to do the work, and how to reduce food waste in your own life.
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?
Unearthing Our Roots: What Every Farmer Needs to Know
Presented by Farm School NYC, New York, NY
Do you know where your FARMING comes from? Test your knowledge and help crowdsource the roots of organic, sustainable agriculture from its origins in cultures around the world!
Biology for Apples and Bees
Presented by NE Region Land Grant Institutions, Northeast
Have some fun with pheromones! Learn how farmers, especially NE apple growers, use integrated pest management, biological controls, pheromones and predator insects to manage pests, disease and invasive insects that put their crops, and our favorite apples, at risk.
A Place for Northeast Apples
Presented by Red Tomato, Plainville, MA
Why does having thriving Northeast apple orchards matter, what forces in the food system and market are putting them at risk, and what can citizens and eaters do to push back on those forces and help our region’s apple orchards thrive? Learn about the Northeast’s apple growers, and what eaters and citizens can do to keep them growing, thriving and nourishing the land, communities and tables of our region.
The Big E and Future Farmers
Presented by Eastern States Exposition, West Springfield, MA
The Big E — North America’s 5th largest ag fair — is now in its 102nd year. Find out more about the Big E and see a photo timeline of the fair as well as award-winning entries from young farmers and future farmers.
ASPCA’s Factory Farm Detox
Presented by ASPCA, New York, NY
Learn how to avoid factory farmed food. Understand misleading labels in the marketplace to help you identify higher welfare food and support more humane farming. Sign up for the Factory Farm Detox, which challenges consumers to give up factory farmed food for one week.
Farm Education? It’s Your Call
Presented by Farm Education, Inc, Sheffield, MA
Learn how to identify and call your local and state representatives about relevant farm education issues. Calling to advocate for the education of new young farmers and food policy is as easy as calling for takeout.
Organic Farmers ROCK!
Presented by Rodale Institute, Kutztown, PA
Organic farmers rock! Learn about the benefits of organic agriculture and why it is good for the environment (soil, water, air), animals, our health and our farming communities. Then write a thank you postcard to a U.S. certified organic farmer!
Do You Have What It Takes?
Presented by The Carrot Project, Boston, MA
Do you have what it takes? Can you run the farm? Make money and come out ahead? Play our game and gain an appreciation for the complex decisions and extensive knowledge required to start and operate a successful farm and the financial impacts — good and bad — of key decisions.
From Moo to You
Presented by CT Milk Production Board and CT Farm Bureau Association, Hartford, CT
Come meet Daphne the mechanical cow to experience milking a cow and learn how Connecticut dairy is about more than just local milk; it’s about dairy farm families committed to a sustainable environment, community and economy.
Sustainability in Dairy: Who Milks Cows in Vermont?
Presented by Milk with Dignity Program, Burlington, VT
Get into the mud and learn about the experiences of dairy workers. Wear the boots of a farmer and focus on the day-to-day experience of migrant workers on dairy farms in Vermont and hear what the Milk with Dignity Program is doing to start a conversation and bring about change in this industry.
There is a Family Farm Dairy Crisis — Call for Artwork
Presented by Dairy Art Project, Solon, IA
See some of the works of art that have been submitted as part of the Dairy Art Project and take the opportunity to learn how you can contribute to this traveling art exhibit.
Organic Farmers are Super Heroes
Presented by Organic Farmers Association, Kutztown, PA
Organic farmers are super heroes! In their everyday work, they grow healthy food, regenerate soil and build healthy ecosystems. Come see the environmental services organic farmers provide and learn why they are SUPER HEROES!
Young and Beginning Farmers of Connecticut
Presented by National Young Farmers Coalition, Hudson, NY
Meet members of the New CT Farmers Alliance who will highlight their experiences as young and beginning farmers in Connecticut, with opportunities to hear farmer stories and interact with farmers themselves. Spend some time in our interactive seed planting area with pots and seeds provided.
AgrAbility: Making Farming Accessible for All
Presented by West Virginia AgrAbility, Morgantown, WV
This play area is your chance to get your hands on some awesome, accessible farm tools (including a tractor!) and dig in the dirt while learning that there are no limitations to who can farm.
Farm of the Present: Broadband and Robotics
Presented by National Grange, Washington, DC
Farming may sound like an off-the-grid occupation, but today’s farmers rely on broadband and robotics as well as many other technologies to improve their practices and lessen their carbon footprints — something you can explore today with the Grange.
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?
Presented by Montana Trout Unlimited & Natural Resource Council of Maine, Missoula, MT
Learn how farmers can help to be better stewards of their clean water resources through engaging with current federal clean water policy issues. We’ll help to identify the streams that feed your local water systems and their federal protections that are in jeopardy of being removed.
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?
Presented by Land Trust Alliance, Vernon, CT
Learn how the Land Trust Alliance creates and provides resources, services, programs and advocacy that serves the needs of those working to preserve farmland and other landscapes while working to defend perpetuity in land conservation.
It’s Much More Than Dirt!
Presented by National Center for Appropriate Technology, Keene, NH
See the importance of soil health demonstrated as the basis of a strong and resilient food system. We’ll show that with some sustainable agriculture tools and practices, a farmer can create good soil structure and biology that leaves the ecosystem healthier than when they found it.
The Underground Universe: Life in the Organic Soil
Presented by Northeast Organic Farming Association, Barre, MA
Come meet the superstars of the soil food web that make organic farming possible. This collaborative effort among the seven Northeast Organic Farming Chapters (CT, MA, NH, NJ, NY, RI and VT) will let you see microbes and all the critters that keep our soil alive and healthy.
Soil Health: A Winning Strategy for Farmland Protection
Presented by American Farmland Trust, Wethersfield, CT
Hear about the importance of soil health and soil conservation practices and why they are integral to ensure a viable food system for future generations. Experience a soil simulation that shows the importance of preserving prime and locally important soils to promote local food production and consumption.
Presented by Town Farm-Ledyard, Ledyard, CT
Get your hands dirty and learn how to create soil blocks from compost and how to plant seeds in soil block trays. Check out a worm castings box to understand how compost is made from food scraps!
Sowing the Seeds of Healthy Soil
Presented by Fair Farms, Takoma Park, MD
Let us tell you about the connection between plants, soil health and water retention. Think about the connection between soil and plant health through easy solutions to improve soil fertility for backyard gardeners and farmers alike.
Unlock the Secrets in the Soil
Presented by USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, Tolland, CT
As world population and food production demands rise, keeping our soil healthy and productive is of paramount importance. By farming using soil health principles and systems, more and more farmers are increasing their soil’s organic matter and improving microbial activity. Learn more and don’t miss the walk-through Soil Health Tunnel!
We Dig [Healthy] Soil
Presented by New England Farmers Union, Washington, DC
Enjoy an interactive activity showing the importance of soil productivity within the farming community and providing effective strategies to better care for our soil. Learn to distinguish different types of soil and attributes that make soil healthy throughout the country.
You Are What You Eat: Sludge-Free For Me!
Presented by United Sludge Free Alliance, Kempton, PA
Get the “poop-scoop” on the differences between fertilizing with animal manure versus human waste, watch worms at work in the soil, and see plants soaking up nutrients in a colorful demonstration.
The HOMEGROWN Skills Tent
The HOMEGROWN Skills Tent promises to be chock full of learning and fun! Get your hands dirty, participate in workshops and demonstrations, and 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.
2018 Skills Tent Demo Schedule
12:30 p.m. – 1 p.m. – What’s All the Buzz About?: Beekeeping 101
Presented by Stuart Woronecki from Stonewall Apiary, LLC
Come learn about the different types of beekeeping tools, equipment and clothing and how to keep bees in New England. Also, see live bees in action in our observation hive.
1 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. – Curd Your Enthusiasm: Cheesemaking 101
Presented by Shannon M. Rice-Nichols from Tregaverne
Impress your dinner guests! Learn the steps to make fresh mozzarella at home, as well as information about sourcing top ingredients and tricks to make tasty cheese (using milk from family farms, of course!).
2 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. – Start a Seed Revolution: Seed Saving 101
Presented by Bill Braun of NOFA/Mass and the Freed Seed Federation
Engaging with our food from the seed up presents amazing opportunities to grow better and more diverse crops and ensure that seeds — like air and water — remain in the public commons in perpetuity. Come learn how to save seeds and start your own seed revolution.
3 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. – Natural Colors: Plants Dyeing 101
Presented by Michelle Parrish from Local Color Dyes
Many common wildflowers and easy-to-grow garden plants can be used to create beautiful colors on natural fibers. This demonstration will feature four different dye baths, using plants that can be grown or gathered in the Connecticut River Valley in southern New England. Come watch the process of making a dye bath with plants and then observe dyeing woolen skeins of yarn using an immersion method. Dye plants in the demo will include some familiar plants such as marigolds, and some less familiar such as madder root.
4 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. – Bitters are Better: Bitters Making 101
Presented by Lupo Passero from Twin Star Herbal Education
Discover how to make and use herbal bitters in this hands-on demonstration. Also learn the history and science of bitters as well as basic formulas, tools and processes to make your own bitters tinctures at home.
5 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. – Harvesting Paper: Hemp Papermaking 101
Presented by Eli Shalom from Artisan Hemp
Hemp is a hearty plant that has many industrial applications and a long history in the U.S. This workshop will illustrate the process of papermaking with hemp plants and the benefits of using hemp instead of trees. Watch the entire process from raw hemp stalks, to retting, pulping, and then sheet forming, pressing and drying.
Farm Aid 2018 Seed Swap
Calling all 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!
Celebrate Your New Skills with a Tattoo!
Come get temporary fruit and veggie tattoos outside of the Skills Tent (all day until supplies run out). Thank you to Tater Tats for generously donating this year’s awesome tats!
Art & Games in the HOMEGROWN Village!
Presented by Brian Calhoun and Dave Matthews
Break your flock of Chickapigs free while dodging opponents, hay bales and an unruly pooping cow in this strategic board game. Chickapig breeder and game creator Brian Calhoun joins forces with his farming buddy Dave Matthews to bring this game from farm to table. Bring some friends and give it a whirl on giant magnetic boards.
Make your mark on Farm Aid 2018 with a fun art project that will allow you to help weave yarn into a frame built from large branches!
Dig In with Farm Aid!
Take Action with Farm Aid
Add your voice to the chorus of people clamoring for change across the country. Join us today to take action for family farmers and a better food system!
We all need family farmers and family farmers need us – to raises our voices in support of critical policies that help them stay on the land, growing good food for us all. Join us in this year’s featured actions:
Stand with Farmers
Presented by Farm Aid and the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
Express your artistic side while fulfilling your civic duty. Decorate a postcard to be sent to your members of Congress, urging them to stand by farmers and rural communities and fully fund the “tiny, but mighty” farm bill programs at risk in the 2018 Farm Bill.
The Importance of Voting Local
Presented by HeadCount, New York, NY
Local governments have a huge impact on laws and regulations that affect farmers, the food industry and everyday life. Register to vote and become a more active member of your community!
Stop by to learn more about Farm Aid’s work over the past 33 years to keep family farmers on the land and to grow the Good Food Movement! Read about our grantees and the work we have funded across America and check out the timeline of highlights from Farm Aid’s last 33 years.
Farm Advocate Link & Farmer Resource Network
Navigating the complex world of farm lending, state and federal regulations, contracts, and government programs can feel impossible for many farmers. Since the farm crisis of the 1980s, farm advocates and farm service organizations have helped farmers navigate the maze of food and farm regulations and programs. Come learn about Farm Aid’s Farm Advocate Link and Farmer Resource Network — two programs which connect farmers to the people and resources that can help them stay on their land and be successful.
Celebrate 30+ Years of Farm Aid Grantmaking
Farm Aid stitched together a quilt to illustrate how our annual grant program creates a vibrant network of family farm organization across the country. Come read about the incredible work of our grantees over the last 33 years.
Learn more about the Farm Aid concert
Gather in front of the FarmYard stage to put your farm on Farm Aid’s farmer map! Mingle with family farmers and farm activists throughout the day.