On Saturday 9th June and Sunday 10th June the Deep Winter Agrarian Gathering took place and I attended representing Friends of Ecovillages.
Saturday 9th June
On Saturday the program started at 8:30 am where participants arrive and had time for a cuppa. From 9-10 am was the welcoming and socio-metrics, then at 10:30 am we had Dan Palmer's Keynote talk on Holistic Decision making. Using the tools of meditation, visualization and positive result the participants were taken into a journey of learning holistic decision making where attention, intention and focus are tools used to deal with competing priorities, finishing with a group meditation. A very impressive opening.
In the afternoon we had parallel sessions running 45 minutes each:
Room 1 - Grow Your Ethics by Tammi Jonas
- community supportive agriculture, evidence base to formulate ethical values: if it does not work - modify or change value
- maintain direct relationship with customers
- regenerative agriculture advocacy
- proven track record helps, transparency, communication and reputation deliver results
- understand your risk before involving other people in your project
Room 2 - The power of Good Marketing by Kirsten Bradley & Kate Walsh
- be inclusive and open to differences
- deep profile of audience
- build up social media
- provide service
- solve problem
- customer focus
- collaboration as acquisition strategy
Room 1 - The Future for Niche Meat Processing Big River Highland Beef by Bec and Bec
- very difficult to set up - lots of bureaucratic red tape with government to set up - many farms going through the same problem - cooperative set up to overcome problem was discussed
Room 2 - Homo Grown (queer farming) by Jaclyn Wypler
- talked about the experience of been a lesbian farmer in the USA - the issue of the invisible farmer - the non un-knowledge farmer
Room 1 - How to Not Burn Out When Farming
- step back, pause, look at the big picture, see what you are doing
- stay connected with others for mental health
Room 2 - Whole Landscape Management Beyond Private Ownership
- ways to manage land beyond private ownership
- Food Sovereignty Aliance
- how to get land for free
- appealing to the benevolence of people in the Evening dinner party at local farm
Sunday 10th June
At 9:30 am, Tony Shearer was the guest speaker for the whole group in the main room. He talked about Frogmore Creek, a Pacific Rim joint venture with the owners being Tony Scherer of Tasmania and Jack Kidwiler of California.
The business has grown very substantially, first establishing its own organically managed vineyard, and thereafter by a series of acquisitions. First was the purchase of the Hood/Wellington Wines business; next was the purchase of the large Roslyn Vineyard near Campania; and finally (in Oct 2010), the acquisition of Meadowbank Estate, where the cellar door is now located.
In December 2012, the original Frogmore Creek vineyard was sold to the Hill-Smith Family Vineyards. There are exports to the US, Japan, NZ and China.
From 10:30 am - 12:00 there were open space sessions.
From 12.00 - 12.30 pm there was a debrief and goodbye.
As part of Friends of Ecovillages I connected and networked with many different groups and advocated to consider Ecovillages part of the solutions to the problems with face in society.