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Soil and Nutrition Conference heads to Somerville

Posted by boston.com  January 24, 2014 10:00 AM

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The following was submitted by the Northeast Organic Farming Organization: 

The third annual Soil and Nutrition Conference will feature Graeme Sait, a leading expert on biological farming. Based in Queensland, Australia, Sait has trained over 20,000 farmers and consultants globally, often working in challenging conditions to grow resilient and nutrient rich crops. Co-sponsored by NOFA/Mass, the Bionutrient Food Association, and Cuisine En Locale, the conference will take place from February 2 to 4 at Anthony's Function Hall in Somerville. 

This intensive three-day conference promises to offer growers and consultants cutting edge growing strategies. Sait says that by focusing on soil health - supported by appropriate minerals and microbes - growers can increase plant immunity, thereby mitigating common plant diseases like early blight and powdery mildew. Sait also addresses major issues in the farming community, from personal health to farm profitability. 

Healthy soils and a community of knowledgeable farmers and consumers who value the links between food quality and human health are important to Dan Kittredge. A central Massachusetts farmer and the founder of the Bionutrient Food Association, Kittredge sees, "a direct correlation between soil health and plant health, and plant health and economic viability. By building soil health we can build better food yields, resistance, shelf life, flavor, aroma, and nutrient levels."

Kittredge says: "Graeme Sait is one of the best people on the planet doing this work. He is very knowledgeable, experienced, and charismatic, helping farmers understand principals for building soil by putting things in practical terms." By bringing Sait to the area, Kittredge hopes to form local Bionutrient Food Association chapters, allowing farmers to share information, build consumer interest, and buy soil amendments at bulk prices, making fertile soil more affordable for farmers. 

To accommodate increasing attendance, the conference is moving from Northampton to Somerville. Award winning caterers Cuisine en Locale host the conference in the historic Anthony's Function Hall, preparing local and organic meals for attendees, with ingredients largely sourced from conference attendees. 

Cuisine En Locale owner JJ Gonson is enthusiastic to host this event, stating: "Rather than trying to reinvent the entire food system, we need to support local farms and stop using chemicals and monocropping. We can turn food that's bad for people and the environment into good food by building healthy soil and crops."

For more information, visit http://bit.ly/19X7BYA.

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