Resilience is Fertile: BriarPatch Food Coop awards farmer scholarships to the 39th Annual EcoFarm Conference!

EcofarmFor the third year in a row, The BriarPatch Food Co-op will send farmers to the EcoFarm Conference in Asilomar, Ca.  Each year, hundreds of farmers from across California and beyond, gather at EcoFarm for four, action packed days to attend workshops, tour local farms, network and celebrate ecological agriculture. 

Sierra Harvest’s farm institute administers these scholarships. This year’s lucky farmers are Lynn Archer of Sierra Gourmet Mushrooms, Carmela Higareda of Higareda Family Farm, and Christian Hund of Super Tuber Farm.

Lynn Archer, the owner of Sierra Gourmet Mushrooms, is looking forward to attending the day-long Food Safety Workshop for Produce Growers at EcoFarm.  She is also planning to attend workshops that focus on farm regulations, Organic Certification, and business management.   Moving forward, Lynn hopes “to expand our production so we meet the needs of our local grocers. We want to expand our composting operation and maybe be able to offer compost to our local farmers next spring. We are interested in becoming certified Organic and will try to get that done next year as well.”

Carmela Higareda, an integral part of the team at Higareda Family Farm, is excited to attend the conference and learn more about organic farming and expand her knowledge of healthy soil and a healthy environment.  She hopes to gain information and skills at EcoFarm to support her in “helping my family’s farm grow and improve the quality of our produce.”  Higareda Family Farm specializes in fresh herbs including parsley, cilantro and basil.  You can also find their certified Organic chard and kale at the BriarPatch Food Coop throughout the fall and winter.

Christian Hund has been farming with Super Tuber Farm for the past year.  Super Tuber grows many delicious vegetables on the shelves of the BriarPatch Food Coop produce department, including potatoes, beets, carrots and cabbage.  Christian is looking forward to attending the EcoFarm Conference and gaining more skills to help him be more efficient at vegetable production.   As a beginning farmer, he wants to “widen my horizon in many different topics:  pest control, soil, livestock and production tools.”

 A big thank you to the BriarPatch Food Coop and the National Coop Grocers Association for supporting our local farmers and helping healthy food flourish in Nevada County!