Abstract: Final Session Where do we go from here?


Each speaker presented his or her own view of the conference and where we need to go from here.

Aaron Gabriel, an extension agent from New York, noted the many methods that could be applied to help organic farmers grow sweet corn. He said that he presents degree-days, weather information, and first appearances of pests in his newsletter, but that he needs to add information about how to look for beneficial insects, and he needs to look at trees to find the first potato leafhoppers.

Elizabeth Henderson, an organic farmer from New York, expressed a need to understand how to replicate the best conditions found on organic farms, so that we learn to maximize plant and soil health. She also pointed out that often less intervention is needed, rather than more.

Bill Duesing, an organic farmer from Connecticut, also advocated leaving things alone as much as possible, while watching carefully in order to understand what is going on. He also emphasized the importance of understanding the soil ecosystem and the role of livestock in creating a balanced farm.

A discussion followed about the best ways for farmers to communicate with each other around the world, and about the need for local conferences, too.