The MOSES Organic Farming Conference was, once again, inspiring! It was wonderful to hear from so many experienced and insightful presenters, to catch up with old friends and make some new ones. On the last day, I was chatting with a farmer friend and we commented on how everyone looked both exhausted and extremely happy – which is exactly how both of us looked and felt.
Before the conference I attended the Organic Agriculture Research Symposium, a 2 day meeting of organic researchers from across the US. We heard some of the latest research into organic systems, including breeding for locally adapted varieties. There were presentations on carrot and sweet corn breeding projects, and I had the opportunity to present my work on potato variety selection for organic systems. The presentations will be made available online at eOrganic. At the conference there was a lot of discussion of farmer-led breeding of crop and vegetable varieties for organic systems. Theresa Podoll of Prairie Road Organic Seed gave a wonderful presentation covering the efforts of many farmer-led and farmer-researcher partnerships, including their own on-farm breeding. Greg Reynolds of Riverbend Farm, the MOSES Organic Farmer of the Year, encouraged farmers to start selecting locally adapted varieties on their own farm, saying “you don’t have to be serious about it – it’s fun!” I came away inspired, encouraged, and even more committed to the task of preserving and sharing the genetic diversity of our crop plants.
For those of you who are newly visiting the Organic Potato blog after the potato production workshop that Doug Rouse and I gave – welcome! Please look around in the sidebars for links to resources and read through the blog archives. Consider this an open invitation to leave comments, questions and suggestions below. Or use the “Contact us” link to send me an inquiry. I am taking a few days of rest, but will be back later in the week to respond. In the meanwhile, welcome! And please join the conversation.
This article was posted in Blog Posts, Opportunities, Research News and tagged MOSES, on-farm crop breeding, organic farming conference, organic potato.