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Workshops

Agronomy … Human Health … Systemic Solutions … Science & Consciousness … and the Real Food Campaign

These are the thematic tracks around which this year’s Soil & Nutrition Conference will be loosely structured. Below are some details about structure individual workshops, and as the specifics get finalized, we will post the actual schedule here.

Thursday / Pre-Conference Advanced Seminars

There are so many incredible topics to explore, we are excited to expand our conference once again to include a fourth day of presentations – full-day Advanced Seminars.  Take a deep dive with some of the seminal thinkers and leading practitioners of our generation!

Friday / Half-day Intensives

Friday, too, will offer you an in-depth look at topics with a variety of half-day presentations to choose from. Learn from the edge-runners in their fields. Imagine the possibilities when the best of the best get together to exchange ideas, insights and build the networks that will grow the movement!

Saturday & Sunday / Conference Workshops

The heart of the conference, Saturday and Sunday will be structured around 1½ hour workshops and panels spanning a wide range of thought-provoking topics that engage and inspire.

There is no need to sign up for specific workshops on a given day – follow your intuition and flow freely between tracks and speakers.

Click here to view the schedule.

Note: Our conference speakers are actively working on their workshop presentations, and as those get completed, we will update this page with their titles and descriptions.

Thursday Advanced Seminars

Sande Beddoe

Reams' Biological Theory of Ionization

Soil and Plant Workshop

You will learn in this seminar the principles of Dr. Carey Reams in a clear and practical way you can take home and use on your farm or garden. "High-energy, well-mineralized soil can have more beneficial effect on human health than all the medical institutions that will ever exist." During this presentation, you will learn why Dr. Beddoe believes Reams' Biological Theory of Ionization (RBTI) science and technology stands clearly beyond and superior to the fads, fables and "ologies" of agriculture and human health. You will learn why Dr. Beddoe holds, as true, that RBTI identifies the determinate factor for understanding the true way to grow the highest quality and healthiest food possible for superior human health. You will understand how the mistakes of treating symptoms remains ongoing in agriculture science as well as medical science. RBTI identifies the determinant factor of the underlying causes so you can achieve maximum energy delivery from soil to plant, producing the highest quality and quantity of crops. Dr. Beddoe will bring together, in a clear and practical way, the illusive parts of RBTI so that you will see — maybe for the first time — why you need to learn how to implement the math, science and technology of RBTI on your farm or garden as well as in your own physical being.

Dr. Beddoe will present an in-depth introduction to the most advanced soil and plant chemistry principles existing in this 21st century. RBTI contains the absolute best-kept secrets, ever, on how to grow the healthiest and highest nutrient content foods possible on planet earth.

You will gain vital insight on many unique RBTI agricultural subjects and learn:

  • How to build and activate the ideal top-soil
  • How you may be shooting your garden in its foot
  • How to know if you are going to be able to grow the part of the plant desired for harvest and how to make it happen
  • How to measure, on the spot, the exact quality of foods being grown
  • How the intimate connection between soil and human health works
  • How to observe what is happening, or not happening, in the farm field or orchard
  • How to best grow, specifically, the part of the plant desired for harvest
  • How and why carbon is so vital to the soil
  • How and why manganese is so vital to farm and garden soil
  • How electrical conductivity of the soil helps or hinders your farm or garden
  • Why Jack's beanstalk grew the way it did
  • How to extend your growing season
  • How to make your farm and garden harvest last longer on the shelf
  • Why calcium is so critical to the soil
  • The secrets of soft rock phosphate and potassium
  • How nitrogen can work for or against you
  • How plant foods can work for and against you
  • Why you need to understand the good and the bad of commercial plant foods
  • Secrets of soil moisture and plant growth
  • How to get a warmer start in the spring
Guido Masé

Interwoven Connectedness at the Heart of Health, Resilience, and Sustainability

Soil scientists know that a garden is more than just soil and plants: it is a thriving ecosystem. When talking about human health, herbalists take a similar approach that looks at the human being as a living ecological system. There is so much evidence that this reasoning is sound: from the wide-ranging effects that our microbial denizens have on mood and inflammation, to the multi-organ system interactions described in psycho-neuro-immunology, we are more than just a brain and its life-support machinery. But this systems-based complexity extends outward into our environment as much as it extends inward into our microbiome: influences from the surrounding ecology shape and direct our lives in hidden, but powerful, ways.

Some of these influences can be troubling: plasticizers such as BPA, pesticides used in conventional agriculture, food additives, and more, can impact everything from mood to fertility to immunity. But on a more hopeful note, plants and mushrooms, in a riot of wild diversity, have been influencing our lives since before we were human - largely in beneficial ways. The science and art of discovering and riding these influences is called herbalism, and it extends well beyond basic nutrition - just like holistic soil science extends well beyond N,P,K.

During this day-long intensive, we will explore and refine this central proposition: that the diversity of the natural world knits itself together into ecological systems using signal molecules, and in a well-connected ecology, all components (humans included) are more resilient, sustainable, and healthy. We will explore the latest research evidence on questions such as:

  • How did biodiversity come to be? Why is it essential?
  • How has the evolutionary process on this planet encoded the relationships between all its inhabitants?
  • How does DNA – an information-storage molecule – also function as an "antenna" tuned into the chemical signals from the ecologies both inside and outside us?
  • How does DNA pick up on these cross-kingdom signals and alter its expression as a result?
  • What types of chemical signals are most relevant to human health today? What types of plants, mushrooms, and bacteria carry these signals?
  • What are simple ways to incorporate these elements into our lives, farms, and gardens?
  • What are the consequences for humans, soil, our ecology, and the planet?

By zeroing in on gene expression and its modulation via molecules such as polyphenols, triterpenes, polysaccharides, saponins, and more, we will explore the ways in which herbalism brings the voice of the ecology to the dinner table. We will leave inspired and enlivened - and hopefully, more aware of the inescapable interconnectedness of humans and the ecology. And equipped with the knowledge herbalism provides, we will also walk away with practical strategies that help heal people, nurture the soil - and maybe even save the world.

Mark Fulford

Partnering with Soil: Human Re-mergence With Stable Soil, Diverse Crop & Animal Systems

It Matters More How We Farm Rather Than What We Farm

Modern conventional and organic agriculture is still mostly a till and kill system. It's a persistent paradigm we need to shift from for so many reasons. We cut open the soil to remove native vegetation and replace it with crops of our value set, many being foreign to the region. We tend to mono-crop for convenience of the market place without considering the consequences.

Shifting from this limiting mode to a simultaneous cropping and soil building enterprise with nature is being done world-wide with a spectacular yield and problem solving record. Machinery and field preparation is re-tooled to protect each precious square foot of soil, rather than suppress it's full expression. In some of these methods of paradox, "less is more"". Examples of mixed crops, grains, orchards, livestock and special attention to beneficial habitat are considered. Equipment is smaller, more nimble and synchronized.

It is not one single system, but a highly adaptable set of methods that fits almost any crop group or region of the planet. In this introduction and up to date review of methods, we will focus on how we can apply this fresh approach to our farms in the Northeast US.

How we farm affects the climate, global and regional economy.

Peter Bane

Root, Gut, Crown, and Sky

Ecosystem Perspectives on Soil Health and Nutrition

Permaculture design integrates human culture with the intelligence and demands of natural systems. Forty years of worldwide experimentation, learning, and cultural diffusion have given rise to powerful insights and resilient practice.

In this day-long workshop we will expand our awareness of what sustains healthy soils and nourishing food for all through the holistic frame of multiple actors and multiple inputs. Globally, modern agriculture has damaged almost all ecosystems and all people, yet the same daring that launched the now discredited Green Revolution, albeit with a different intellectual framework and different tools, is needed to repair communities, landscapes, and the climate.

We will examine the many links and parallel harmonies between living kingdoms and learn to apply permaculture design thinking and methods to achieve Gaian objectives. Our little-recognized fungal allies below the soil surface are key players in the uptake of balanced mineral nutrient by plants, humans, and other animals. At the same time, their woody antennae, the trees, with their winged and bacterial associates, are continuously modifying climate on the micro- and macro-level to nurture life and stabilize this third rock from the sun.

Together, we will explore what it takes to keep living systems functioning well while also providing home and services to humanity.

Friday Half-Day Intensives

Beverly Rubik

Wireless Radiation, 5G, the Environment, and Our Health

The 5th generation of wireless communication radiation for cell phones, WiFi modems, and related technology called "5G" is upon us, with the rollout beginning in 2019. The wireless telecom industry wants to install so-called "small-cell" antennas and their power supplies everywhere, including residential neighborhoods, every 200-1000 feet, and also plans to launch 20,000 satellites into orbit to deliver the new higher frequency bands of 5G. This includes frequencies corresponding to millimeter waves in the gigahertz range, previously used only for military radar and weaponry. These frequencies require a new type of phased array antennae that produce powerful but narrow digitally pulsed beams that will be beamed-steered through our bodies and the environment incessantly. There are many issues and concerns about this technology and its potential impact on human health, animals, plants, and the environment. Some of the issues are:

  • Lack of clear safety standards for these frequencies based on independent research;
  • The new syndrome of electro-sensitivity associated with wireless radiation exposure, detrimental to our health, that is escalating;
  • Microwave exposure as a causal factor in cancer;
  • Exposure of pregnant women and children who are most vulnerable;
  • Lack of inexpensive instrumentation to monitor our exposure to 5G radiation; and
  • Use of 5G waves by the military in a weapon called "Active Denial."

The Federal Communications Commission has mandated a rapid rollout of 5G technology, while local communities are rising up against it. Dr. Rubik will present both sides of the story – that of the wireless telecom industry and concerned citizens regarding these issues. The science underlying 5G waves and their biological and environmental effects from the peer-reviewed scientific literature will be presented, including the declassified military literature. Consideration will be given to how best to mitigate our exposure to wireless radiation in daily life, and what some environmental solutions might be. Finally, Dr. Rubik will explore what is required to move forward safely with a new generation of communication frequencies.

Note: A shorter version of this talk will be presented on Saturday afternoon.

Guido Masé

Herbal Medicine at Home

Simple Preparations & Techniques to Build Your Home Apothecary

Once you identify a few key categories of medicinal plants, you can easily create simple preparations that address good digestion and metabolism, mood and mental health, and the prevention of heart disease and cancer. Beyond this, there are a few essential medicinal plants that are excellent as topical disinfectants, making them valuable for the simple wounds, burns, cuts and scrapes of everyday life. Put this all together, and you have the simple building blocks for a great home medicine chest!

We will explore how herbal medicine makes this possible through a combination of discussion and practical work. Background will include secondary plant metabolites (the chemistry that makes plants effective), their health effects, and historical context. We will cover harvesting and extraction / processing for some basic internal and topical preparations. You'll become familiar with the potential for herbal medicine as a component of homestead gardens and self-care, and some of the basic science and traditions underpinning the work.

Jill Clapperton

Planes, Plants, and X-rays

Jill's quest is to understand how plants, soils and soil biota (rhizosphere processes) can increase the nutrient density of food; how to quickly, easily and accurately measure mineral nutrient density, and have the food system care.

"You are what you eat... and don't excrete."
- Dr. Ross Welch, USDA ARS Robert W. Holley Research Center for Agriculture and Health, Ithaca, NY

My quest began when I was sitting on an airplane in the dreaded middle seat, and the woman in the aisle seat was busy reading what I was reading. When I had finished, and was about to put the paper I was reading away, she quipped to me something along the lines of: "How come people in agriculture understand nothing about the nutrients in the food they grow?" Being fairly new at the job of Rhizosphere Ecologist for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, I asked her, "What makes you say that?" She then explained she was a medical anthropologist, and had been trying to understand how variation in regional nutrition, mineral nutrient density of food, and food culture in a community were linked to incidences of a specific disease.

I was unconvinced that agriculture was ignorant about the nutrient density of food, and what practices could be employed to grow food that was good for you. I decided to immerse myself in the library, and find out what we knew about manipulating food quality in agriculture. Now, some of you will know about Blue Ocean Strategies (Kim and Maugborgne, 2004). It turns out that I was swimming out in the middle of the blue scientific ocean, and with a very limited amount of information that I could use to form a strategy. That meant it was time to experiment.

That was all 15 years ago. There have been research trials, frustrations, and encouragement from key people such as Dr. Ross Welch, and now we know that we can use plants and cropping strategies to influence nutrient density in wheat, and some other crops. There is still a long way to go – but at least there are a whole lot of people interested, especially now with "regenerative agriculture" becoming a food movement.

Currently, there is a lot of interest in food quality, food as medicine, and farmacy to name a few. So, what does that mean for farmers? How can we influence food companies to segregate and pay more for food that is nutritionally dense, and what is nutritionally dense? Will consumers actually benefit?

Join me on my quest to discover the ways to grow and then measure nutrient dense food. Let me introduce you to some of the research scientists, physicians and farmers who are actively asking nutrient density questions, learn about their results, and ponder the way forward. Along the way we will discuss Disturbance Hypothesis, Influence Theory, and how to "Pitch Anything" (Oren Klaff, 2014). Then try to figure out how to use these techniques to have and sell "Real Food" that can nurture our minds and bodies. Now, as Miss Frizzle would say: "To the Bus!"

Mark Cohen

Regenerative Systems for Sovereignty and Resilient Living

In this workshop we will explore a list of ideas, practices and tools toward the goal of creating a regenerative, interdependent, and self-sustaining system. By integrating insights from nature observation, indigenous land management, regenerative agriculture, conservation biology, renewable energy and holistic medicine we will be better equipped for adaptation to challenges facing us.

  • In the landscape, how me manage our forests, an important source of food and medicine to reduce competition, and open the canopy to support the understory.
  • How the genetic selection of plants and trees that are more productive, nut bearing, support wildlife grazing, and medicinals.
  • How do we restore our biodiversity, below and above ground and in our guts, and orient carbon back into the earth?
  • With surges of productivity, how do we store the abundance?
  • Discover new technologies that allow growing seasons to be extended, provide electricity for heat and hot water, create biochar, and store the excess.
  • Explore strategies to allow farmers to age in place and provide working lands for the next generation of farmers.
  • The regenerative design of our open landscapes includes creating a soil sponge, interplanting trees, restoration of riparian zones, alley cropping, resilient wood sources, fodder plants, row planting on contour and water management through the use of swales, ponds, and keyline design.

Climate mitigation, ecological restoration, and carbon sequestration are the pathways to a more resilient future. Bring your ideas and let's build decentralized habitats and networks from the soil up.

Mark Shepard

Optimizing Your Land's Relationship to Water

Where do you begin with transitioning degraded lands into sustainable ecological systems? It all starts with water. Learn from certified permaculture designer and author of the book, Restoration Agriculture, Mark Shepard, about his NRCS-compatible adaptations to keyline design and practical ways for you to apply them to your land. Along with learning earthworks strategies that can slow, spread and sink water for storage, soil improvement and ground infiltration, this workshop will expand your understanding of how water behaves within landscapes. Mark will teach you terminology to help you identify the contours on your land that will be most suitable for implementing a water management system as well as communicate these water management concepts more clearly and effectively between government agency officials and farmers.

Olivier Husson

The Role of Redox Potential and Reduction-Oxidation Reactions

"What drives life is a little electric current, kept up by the sunshine" was the elegant summary of Albert Szent-Györgyi, a Nobel Laureate in Physiology. Together with proton exchanges (acid-base reactions), electron exchanges (reduction/oxidation reactions) regulate the functioning of soil, plant, and microorganism systems, and largely impact soil, plant and animal nutrition and health. pH( measuring the availability of protons) and Eh (redox potential, measuring the availability of electrons) can be used as indicators of both soil, plant and animal health. In this workshop, we will "follow the electrons" in a "one health" approach to show how the cropping practices impact soil Eh-pH, which in cascade impacts microbial activity and plant nutrition, which impacts plant health and fodder quality, and as a consequence, impacts animal nutrition and health.

Peter McCoy

Mushroom Cultivation

In this workshop, learn of the fungal evolution in our ecology and their important role in today's environment. Following a brief history of mushroom and fungi cultivation, Peter will provide practical knowledge about fungal growth. You will come away with the understanding of the saprotrophic basidiomycete lifecycle and their basic needs for life, commonly cultivated species of mushrooms, the fermenting substrate options for growing, and implementing tools and techniques.

Saturday/Sunday Workshops

Beverly Rubik

Wireless Radiation, 5G, the Environment, and Our Health

The 5th generation of wireless communication radiation for cell phones, WiFi modems, and related technology called "5G" is upon us, with the rollout beginning in 2019. The wireless telecom industry wants to install so-called "small-cell" antennas and their power supplies everywhere, including residential neighborhoods, every 200-1000 feet, and also plans to launch 20,000 satellites into orbit to deliver the new higher frequency bands of 5G. This includes frequencies corresponding to millimeter waves in the gigahertz range, previously used only for military radar and weaponry. These frequencies require a new type of phased array antennae that produce powerful but narrow digitally pulsed beams that will be beamed-steered through our bodies and the environment incessantly. There are many issues and concerns about this technology and its potential impact on human health, animals, plants, and the environment. Some of the issues are:

  • Lack of clear safety standards for these frequencies based on independent research;
  • The new syndrome of electro-sensitivity associated with wireless radiation exposure, detrimental to our health, that is escalating;
  • Microwave exposure as a causal factor in cancer;
  • Exposure of pregnant women and children who are most vulnerable;
  • Lack of inexpensive instrumentation to monitor our exposure to 5G radiation; and
  • Use of 5G waves by the military in a weapon called "Active Denial."

The Federal Communications Commission has mandated a rapid rollout of 5G technology, while local communities are rising up against it. Dr. Rubik will present both sides of the story – that of the wireless telecom industry and concerned citizens regarding these issues. The science underlying 5G waves and their biological and environmental effects from the peer-reviewed scientific literature will be presented, including the declassified military literature. Consideration will be given to how best to mitigate our exposure to wireless radiation in daily life, and what some environmental solutions might be. Finally, Dr. Rubik will explore what is required to move forward safely with a new generation of communication frequencies.

Note: An expanded version of this talk will be presented on Friday morning.

Cathryn Couch

Food as Medicine: Soil, Community & Policy

Learn how Ceres Community Project is creating health for people, communities and the planet through an integrated model that ranges from healthy soil to policy change. Founder and CEO Cathryn Couch will share an in-depth overview of Ceres' community based model that engages youth as organic gardeners and chefs providing 110,000 organic medically tailored meals a year for mostly low-income community members who are struggling because of a serious illness like cancer or heart disease. As a member of two national, two statewide, and three regional coalitions working on food as medicine, Cathryn will also share insight into the rapid innovation happening in the food as medicine ecosystem, the vital importance of food quality standards, and the work she and Ceres are doing to raise awareness about the impact of food choices on public, community and environmental health.

Dan Young

How Solar Energy Imparts Character to Soils and Their Occupants

Energy provides not only an acceptable thermal environment for biological growth, but an entire organizational paradigm for ecosystems to grow in. Thermal conditions for growth are provided by energy balances that are the premise of the First Law of thermodynamics. All other environmental conditions are the premise of the Second Law of thermodynamics. The entire structure of soils and the ecosystems they create is dependent on the quality and quantity of the energy that they receive. This workshop will examine the difference between these two laws and identify the role each plays in maximizing the productivity of natural and agricultural systems.

Doug DeCandia

Healing in the Food System: Building Equity, Increasing Quality

For 500 years, colonization has spread across this continent like a sickness, bringing with it ideologies of duality, exploitation and war that have seeped into the core of how we, as people, relate to each other and to the land. These ideologies have become the oppressive systems and institutions that surround us, none of which existed on this continent prior to European colonization.

The food system of the United States is a product of this colonization, and for centuries has relied on the extraction of resources and exploitation of human labor, to meet the desires of a few rather than the needs of the many. It has not broken over time, but has been broken since the beginning. The imbalance of this system and its legacy, can be seen manifesting today in many ways – from the existential threat of climate breakdown to land theft, malnutrition and deforestation.

To restore balance in this country and in the world, a change in how we grow food, and how we relate to each other and to the land, is necessary. This change not only necessitates a transformation in our systems, but also a transformation within ourselves, and within our movements.

Join a discussion on what this transformation can look like, and how the BFA community can support those who have been most marginalized by the long history of colonialism and white supremacy in this country. Through consideration of our own lived experiences, we will discuss how issues of class, race, gender, and ability must be central in any attempt to increase quality in the food supply, and how building Equity – as a framework of self-determination and balancing power – is vitally necessary for healing.

Ellen Brown

Funding the Green Transition with Public Banks

The public banking movement has been gaining momentum across the country, with dozens of bills being actively pursued in various cities and states, and hundreds of organizations endorsing the concept. The US movement began a century ago, when the Bank of North Dakota was founded in 1919 by farmers who were losing their farms to big out-of-state banks. The movement reached the national level last year, when a resolution for a select committee on a Green New Deal submitted by U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Sunshine Movement included funding by the Federal Reserve, a national public bank, or a network of public banks. Public banks are also resurging globally, triggered by the failure of private finance to address pressing climate problems without first feeding insatiable private investors. Twenty percent of bank assets world-wide are still publicly owned and controlled, in addition to the bottomless resources of central banks. Contrary to the prevailing narrative, we have and can build massive public capacity nationally and globally to finance climate and agricultural initiatives.

Ellen Brown

A Deep Dive into Money and Banking

After the banking crisis of 2008-09, even former Fed Chairs were admitting they had gotten it wrong. Economic policies are not working because the underlying theories are wrong. This workshop will take a deep dive into what is really going on with our money and banking system, how misguided policies are making it worse, and how system upgrades could underwrite an economy providing abundance for all.

Glen Rein

Rare Earth Minerals and Quantum Healing of Plants

Rare earth elements are a key component in soil health, although their mechanism of action is largely unknown. This presentation offers a novel mechanism involving the exotic quantum properties of rare earth elements, in particular Lanthanum. Lanthanum often combines with more common minerals. Lanthanum-copper complexes, for example, have unique symmetrical or coherent electronic structures, exhibit complex geometries and emit visible light much more efficiently.

The presence of these complexes in soil offers an additional source of light for seed germination and root health. The light emitted from these complexes is also special because the light they emit is so coherent. This coherent light is believed to create symmetry and order within the plants at the chemical and atomic levels. In fact, there are many different types of coherence which have been studied in plants. These include electronic coherence, phase coherence, coherent resonance and quantum coherence. Here we propose that plant (food) coherence can be used to describe vitality. Eating coherent food creates coherence and health within our bodies.

Jordan Schmidt

Nature's Facilitators: Micronutrient keys to health and healing

We ​know​ that nutrition is important to health but do we ​really ​know why? In this session we will explore how vitamins, minerals and other nutrients work as biological facilitators and why it matters! Why might zinc facilitate digestive function and why, ​really​, should you care about B vitamins? This talk will illustrate nutrient pathways in a way that is engaging, accessible and useful. Most importantly we will explore thinking about nutrition in a way that frees us from dietary dogma and opens up the world of using nutrients to facilitate health, reverse disease and best adapt to a changing physical environment. Returning nutrient density to our food supply​ is really important. Let's think about why!

Judith Schwartz

The Story of Climate Is the Story of Water

While concern over climate change commands an increasing amount of attention, the narrative remains focused on greenhouse gas emissions. However, a broader look reveals the role of water in driving climate; indeed, if we ask how the planet manages heat we see that it is largely via hydrological processes. This workshop explores opportunities to work with the water cycle to promote cooling, where this is already happening, and how soil plays an important part.

Mark Shepard

Nutrient Density of Ecological Food Systems

Are you designing your food system for maximum calories, or maximum nutrition? Mark Shepard, author of the award-winning book, Restoration Agriculture, will open the conversation around the sheer impact of nutrient density contained in diverse restorative agricultural systems compared to other types of cropping systems. Mark will also share ways to incorporate the most nutrition per acre, and the implications this has for Agroforestry, organic agriculture and regenerative agriculture systems.

Nate Kleinman

Plant Breeding for the Public Good

Crop plants are incredibly diverse. Around the world people consume millions of unique varieties of thousands of different plant species. This "agrobiodiversity" is key to our food security, but unfortunately it has been terribly degraded over the past century with the rise of corporate agribusiness and consolidation, along with hybrids and genetic engineering. Habitat loss and environmental destruction further reduce agrobiodiversity through the loss of crop wild relatives and pollinators. And climate change looms over all of it — already changing the way farmers farm, but sure to threaten the food supply itself in the not-too-distant future.

Plant breeding is the only way we humans have to expand agrobiodiversity, and it's not something that requires a PhD or a neat-and-tidy research farm. In this workshop, Nate will discuss some of the basics of plant breeding, crop biodiversity preservation, and what kind of new crop plants farmers of the future will need. There will be a strong focus on breeding new perennial crop plants for climate change mitigation. He will also discuss ways to get involved in participatory plant breeding projects, regardless of your skill or experience.

In the context of an agricultural system rooted in proprietary seeds, this presentation will detail ways that plant breeders are developing varieties and new crops intended to benefit the public — whether through carbon sequestration ability, nutritional content, taste, resilience, or some other beneficial trait — rather than just a single corporation. Given the specter of climate change, it is imperative that more and more people start breeding crop plants, both to adapt them to our changing world, and to put them to use stabilizing the climate.

Nate will also take part in the panel discussion, Seed: Where It All Begins.

Olivier Husson

The Role of Redox Potential and Reduction-Oxidation Reactions

“What drives life is a little electric current, kept up by the sunshine” was the elegant summary of Albert Szent-Györgyi, a Nobel Laureate in Physiology. Together with proton exchanges (acid-base reactions), electron exchanges (reduction/oxidation reactions) regulate the functioning of soil, plant, and microorganism systems, and largely impact soil, plant and animal nutrition and health. pH( measuring the availability of protons) and Eh (redox potential, measuring the availability of electrons) can be used as indicators of both soil, plant and animal health. In this workshop, we will "follow the electrons" in a "one health" approach to show how the cropping practices impact soil Eh-pH, which in cascade impacts microbial activity and plant nutrition, which impacts plant health and fodder quality, and as a consequence, impacts animal nutrition and health.
(Note: This workshop will be a less detailed version of Friday's presentation)

Peter Bane

From Grassroots to Tree Crowns: Organizing to Cool the Climate

Earth repair requires both micro- and macro-level tools. We will look at what is required to reverse heat build-up in the atmosphere, explore models for community and civic action to increase green growth and water absorption in soils, and lay the foundation for a new carbon economy.

Pius Floris

Plants as Soil Improvers

We already know so much about soil, fertility, use of compost, and increasing the mineral density of plants as a food source for mankind and animals. What if one realizes that plant roots will never use more than 4-7% of the total available bulk soil? Does that mean that we over-fertilize? Do we really lose 50-70% of the applied nitrogen, and do we settle for the fact that most of the phosphate that is applied will not be used by plants?

We will take a close look at how plants actually determine what they need and when they need it. Plant root exudates change the pH of the rhizosphere to make sure the right elements are being absorbed. All this, of course, with the help of mycorrhizal fungi and specific rhizobacteria. In this workshop, Pius will explain how plant roots and their true symbionts will increase the soil quality and how important the rhizosphere is for both the plant and the soil. After this workshop, you will know why plants and plants only are the best soil quality improvers.

Sande Beddoe

A Few Secrets for your Health in Reams' Biological Theory of Ionization

For this talk, Sande will share a wide range of critical and lesser known "secrets" about your health, as understood through Reams' Biological Theory of Ionization (RBTI). Do you know what is the most vital mineral that your body requires? Learn what it is, and just as importantly, what form your body requires. Learn about your most critical "nutritional" organ, and the proper way to feed and care for it.

A lot of nutritional information is not based on fact. Are you following a health fad or health fact? Learn how to tell the difference, and how RBTI is a real reference point, and how it can be a predictor of your health "before it happens". Is there a chemical reason for why you feel the way you do? Where does mental and emotional well-being start? Sande will share Reams' secrets of Vitamin C so that you might gain new insight in what role it plays in your body chemistry - a nuanced understanding that recognizes there are many different "kinds" (chemically speaking), and no one size or type that fits all. Do you know what is special about "steam distilled" water? Or why water must be really pure and really "wet" to properly support body chemistry? Don't miss this eye-opening discussion that will surely be food for thought!

Sande Beddoe

In Your Garden: Reams' Biological Theory of Ionization

In this presentation about how the principles of Reams' Biological Theory of Ionization is relevant to your garden, we will start at the beginning with the truth about seeds so that we might gain a new appreciation for the "lowly" vegetable seed, and what it needs to perform to it's fullest potential in your garden. We will look at how natural plant sugars deliver nutrients, and why they are so critical to human and animal health. We will explore what type of growth you might be seeing in your garden - growth "by default" or "purpose" - what the difference between these growth patterns is, and how it can be regulated to produce nutrient density. There are vital principles to understand in raising high quality produce - if not properly understood or practiced, your garden might be an accident waiting to happen! Critical to your success in the garden is the soil your plants are growing in and the nutrients available to them. We will dig into the basic steps of getting your soil mineralization program started, and why they are essential for optimum results and the healthiest food to put on your plate.

Panel Discussions

Dan Kittredge and Guido Masé

Where Intention and Quality Meet the Market

Kris Hubbard, Lisa Bloodnick, and Nate Kleinman

Seeds: Where It All Begins

Mark Cohen, Mark Shepard, and Peter Bane

Systemic Solutions: Bringing the Circle Together

Kathleen DiChiara and Jordan Schmidt

Nutrition: Health that Starts on Your Plate

and more…

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