Gardening for Resilience - 2020

    Feeding our Soil, Seeds, Habitats, and Communities

    In this challenging year, Vermont needs resilient gardeners more than ever. Resilient gardeners are empowered people who grow food, create beautiful and therapeutic places, and support resilient ecosystems. Resilient gardeners are vital to the web of interdependence that helps sustain the Vermont way of life.

    Not everyone can be a farmer or an environmental scientist, but anyone can become a resilient gardener!!

    2020 Conference Program 

    THURSDAY NOVEMBER 5

    12:00-12:05

    WELCOME AND LOGISTICS

    Beret Halverson, Program Outreach & Education Coordinator & Marcus Tracy, Extension Media Team

    12:05-12:35                                   

     

    SEED SAVING, EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW TO GET STARTED FILMED IN THE GARDEN

    Sylvia Davatz

    12:35-12:50

     QUESTION AND ANSWER SESSION

    12:50-1:45

    SOIL HEALTH AND COMMUNITY COMPOSTING

    Natasha Duarte and Cat Buxton

    1:45-2:00                         

    QUESTIONS AND ANSWER SESSION


    Friday November 6

    12:00-12:05

    WELCOME AND LOGISTICS


    Beret Halverson, State Coordinator & Media Team

    12:05-12:50

    DAN JAFFE WILDER

    Building A Resilient Landscape             

    12:50 -1:05

    QUESTION AND ANSWER SESSION

    1:05-1:50

    JAMAICA KINCAID

    Gardening: Sustaining the Body and Soul

    1:50-2:05

    QUESTION AND ANSWER SESSION

    2:05-2:15

    CLOSING and DOOR PRIZES ANNOUNCED

    Beret Halverson, and Cindy Heath

     

    Cat Buxton

    Cat Buxton is a busy cross-pollinator from the White River watershed in VT focused on ecosystem resilience. Her business, Grow More, Waste Less, is empowering and connecting communities to affect positive change from the ground up. A self-described microbe geek, Cat loves to talk about bugs, soil, gardening, and composting, pretty much wherever she goes. She manages the edible schoolyard at Thetford Elementary School, weaving it into K-6 project based learning, and is a technical guide for school compost systems. She leads Land Listener workshops with the Soil Carbon Coalition, and organizes the Upper Valley Apple Corps and a host of other projects including the Vermont Healthy Soils Coalition. She is also a member of the Agroecology Team at The Center for Grassroots Organizing in Marshfield, Vermont (grassrootscenter.net). She consults, teaches, and presents about soil and ecosystem health to individuals of all ages and groups of all sizes. email: cat@growmorewasteless.com

    Sylvia Davatz

    Sylvia has been gardening organically for over 25 years. About 20 years ago she began to notice a decline in the number of varieties available through commercial seed catalogues, and this alarming situation inspired her to begin seed saving. Her interests focus on preserving rare varieties, selecting and adapting regionally appropriate crops to support a local, year-round food system, in working on season-extending crops, trialing a range of varieties for their ability to thrive in the Northeast, and increasing the range of staple foods, such as grains, grown in the Upper Valley. Sylvia is a member of the Seed Savers Exchange (SSE) in Decorah, Iowa and a member of the Swiss seed savers organization ProSpecieRara. Sylvia offers over 140 varieties of open-pollinated seed to fellow SSE members through their annual yearbook, and an additional 50 or so varieties are maintained in her garden for personal use and trialing.

    Natasha Duarte

    Natasha Duarte is the Director of the Composting Association of Vermont (CAV). She represents CAV in policy initiatives, develops and leads outreach and education initiatives, and promotes the production and use of compost as vital to soil health through practices that contribute to water quality, plant vigor, and environmental resilience. Community scale composting was the cornerstone of Natasha’s Peace Corps work in Senegal, West Africa, where she helped farmers reclaim land from termite mounds and turn the poorest areas of their fields into the most productive. She is currently contributing to a USDA Rural Utilities Services funded project – “Implementing Rural Community Composting in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont.” She has been a backyard composter for over 20 years and has helped family members and friends begin composting. She has an M.S. in Soil Science from N.C. State University and a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Vermont.

    Dan Jaffe Wilder

    Photographer and author Dan Jaffe earned a degree in botany from the University of Maine, Orono, an advanced certificate in Native Plant Horticulture and Design from Native Plant Trust (formally New England Wild Flower Society), and has years of nursery management and plant sales experience. He is passionate about ecological horticulture, building both sustainability and wildlife value into every landscape, and the foraging and cultivation of wild edible plants. He is the Horticulturalist and Propagator for Norcross Wildlife Sanctuary and the staff photographer. His book Native Plants for New England Gardens was released spring of 2018.

    Jamaica Kincaid

    Jamaica Kincaid is an avid gardener, writer, novelist, and professor who lives in Vermont. Her works include My Garden (Book), Annie John, Lucy, The Autobiography of My Mother, and Mr. Potter, as well as her classic history of her Antigua, A Small Place and memoir My Brother. Her first book, the collection of stories At the Bottom of the River, won the Morton Dauwen Zabel Award from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and was nominated for the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. Kincaid’s last novel, See Now Then, was published in 2013. Professor of African and African American Studies in Residence at Harvard University, Kincaid was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2004. She has received a Guggenheim Award, the Lannan Literary Award for Fiction, the Prix Femina Étranger, Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, the Clifton Fadiman Medal, and the Dan David Prize for Literature in 2017. 

    Feedback from 2019 Participants:

    "This was an amazing conference. I was so inspired by all the speakers and am already planning in my head things to change in my garden and yard for next year. There were so many options I had never thought of before. I can't wait to learn more."

    "It was inspirational to learn the important role gardeners play in supporting biodiversity. Every garden counts!"

    "The topics were all important and relevant, and each speaker offered loads of inspiration and new ways of thinking alongside practical, useful information."

    "Having an annual conference like this allows you to bulk up on your personal encyclopedia and not only benefits you, the gardener, but also all the other gardeners you come into contact with."

    "I learned that beauty, functionality, and community capacity building are integral to gardening and are necessary components of a healthier tomorrow."

    "Equal parts eye-opening and inspirational. Excellent variety of topics and speakers, very well organized and in a gorgeous location."

     

     

    2020 Conference Committee

    • Margaret (Peg) Solon, (Co-Chair)
    • Susan Still, (Co-Chair)
    • Bob Kesner, Chittenden County (Marketing)
    • Cindy Heath
    • Beret Halverson

    To request a disability-related accommodation to participate contact:

    beret.halverson@uvm.edu or 802-656-1777 prior to Oct 13 2020

    Thanks to our sponsors!

    • Rutland Chapter 
    • NW Chapter 
    • Bennington Chapter
     

    Date:

    November 5 & 6, 2020

    12-2 pm each day

    Location:

    Online via Zoom due to COVID-19. Recordings will be available.

    Registration is now Closed!

    To cancel attendance, by November 3, contact: noncredit@uvm.edu or (802) 656-8407, for a full refund.

    Special Online Pricing!

    $40 (for all 4 sessions, includes access to the recording and a 10% discount to Northshire Bookstore)

    Help us raise funds for the conference!

    Donate here

    Scholarships available!

    Click here for application