it was a gloomy sunday morning, I was sort of wallowing in a bit of exhausted self pity. sundays during market season are hard, coming down from an over caffeinated, highly stimulating, definitively sleep deprived 24 hours, we all kind of wake up on sunday morning not quite knowing which way to turn. as usual, i grabbed a cup of tea hoping for clarity. none. i headed out for morning chores and was stopped in my tracks by a copperhead in the wood pile. things were not taking a turn for the better. alas, instead of begrudgingly tackling my to do list, i stopped at the computer and am i glad i did. there was a simple yet powerful email from a new friend steering me towards the latest on the website for the 2014 North American Biodynamic Conference.
i have been dabbling in biodynamics for as long as i have been farming. when it was announced that the national conference would be held in my home state, my mind whirled and thrilled at the number of old friends that would gather and at the opportunity to meet an amazing collection of folks doing this significant work so attached to my life. when i was asked to sit on the steering committee for this conference, i was honored and perplexed at what i could possibly offer. monthly calls ensued and often i sat silent as others suggested potential speakers and themes. i am not often quiet, but i have not attended many conferences of this type and had little insight. it is not that i wouldn’t love to attend, i cried in 2012 when i realized i simply could not. truth is i farm and i have children and the combination of these two keeps me and so many farming mamas away from these amazing events.
this year, the conference is a mere 2 hours away and the farmwives and i are fully engaging in the event. we will join together, my dear friends and i, and offer to the conference goers our first professional, public appearance (i can not divulge any more until the full conference schedule comes out). this alone is monumental and incredibly exciting, but now, let us return to this sunday morning and the aforementioned email from my new friend. in our last conference call just a few short weeks ago, a topic close to my heart was brought up: children. here i found my voice. i feel strongly that events such as these often push women and children to the margins. we speak to the beauty and the significance of the small family farms, but how can we carry this vision if there is no place at these conferences for the kiddos or the mamas nursing them? if we don’t support the whole family, offer learning opportunities to all of us, how can we possibly address the age and gender imbalances in agriculture?
my friend’s email directed me to the newly added children at the conference. tears spilled from my eyes as i read the words. children’s activities and child care will be available all day, every day of this conference. families are welcome and will be cared for as we all share knowledge, experience, and insight. this most definitely changed the course of my previously gloomy sunday morning and will most hopefully alter the path for conferences and events for a long time to come. hip hip hooray for the Biodynamic Association.
so friends, why not join us? we will be there. all three of us farmwives. with our husbands and our children. our families will be joining so many others in learning and sharing. i know it will be a place of high level education and the wonderful mingling of a large community. i should warn you though, you might not want to have a room near us at the hotel, we can get a little excited when we’re all together.