Community Agriculture Conference

Community Agriculture Conference Sunday, February 23, 2020, 12:00 – 5:00 pm 

The conference will be held at the same location as last year at the International Institute.
International Institute, 3401 Arsenal Street, St. Louis, MO 63118

For the 2020 Community Agriculture Conference, we welcome Katherine Kelly as our Keynote Speaker. Katherine is the Executive Director of Cultivate KC, a nonprofit working to grow food, farms, and community in support of a sustainable and healthy local food system for all. The Community Agriculture Conference is an annual gathering for those from the gardening and urban agriculture communities. People of all ages and abilities are welcome to attend!

Registration: Registration: $15 per person, $20 day of event.  Many school districts offer Continuing Education credit for attending. Email for more information.

Keynote Presentation
Growing Food for the Future
Katherine Kelly, Cultivate KC
Katherine will share a powerful vision for local food- from backyard gardening to sustainable farming- that looks to the massive changes we will see in our climate, in our urban communities, and in our growing methods as opportunities for positive developments in our relationship to food. More than ever, people who grow food will need to be educators, community leaders, and climate and environmental advocates. She will invite us to join her in envisioning the future and call on all of us to grow a healthy and sustainable community.

Breakout Sessions Block #1: 2:15 – 3:25 PM

The Impact of Climate Change on Gardening & Farming
Katherine Kelly, Cultivate KC
Audience: All
The keynote speaker, Katherine Kelly, will give an overview of how rising temperatures and CO2 levels will affect us as gardeners, farmers, and food suppliers and some strategies for managing the impacts.

How to Create an Inclusive Community Garden
Ro Kicker, Feed the People Community Garden
Audience: Educators, Community Gardeners
Any program that brings the community together should do its best to center inclusion. Creating a space where all are welcome and appreciated across race, class, gender, ability status, sexual orientation, religion, and age makes all the difference. This session will give some tips and tricks and provide an opportunity to work with others to think through some action steps you can take.

Permaculture Design for Humankind
Jason Gerhardt, Director, The Permaculture Institute
Audience: All
Permaculture is a design practice that provides for human need by regenerating ecosystems, creating justice and peace, and thereby increasing permanence in human culture. In this session, we will learn about examples of successful Permaculture Design in the urban context around the country. We will discuss urban agriculture, neighborhood revitalization, watershed management, and the principles and ethics of Permaculture as applied to social and community needs.

Funding Your Garden Panel
Mary Anne Pikrone, Garden Leader, Tower Grove East Community Garden; Kathy Beezley, Teacher/Garden Leader, Rogers Middle School; Jodi Smedley, Community Outreach and Garden Manager, YMCA Wildwood, Wild West Garden
Audience: Educators, Community Gardeners
This panel of garden leaders will discuss the different types of funding they have raised, including grants, holding events and more, the work needed and the challenges they faced. The panel will include representatives from a school garden and two community gardens.

Focusing on Natives with Naturescaping
Cory Knoblach, Community Forester, Forest ReLeaf of Missouri
Audience: All
Naturescaping is a landscaping method that uses native plants to attract beneficial insects, birds and more. Forest ReLeaf, a tree-planting non-profit in St. Louis, is trying to increase St. Louis’s urban tree canopy, reduce the urban heat island effect, and beautify the St. Louis region. Learn more about how you can utilize naturescaping in your own garden.

Breakout Sessions Block #2: 3:50 – 5:00 PM


Growing for Every Season
Jackson Hambrick, Community Education Manager, Gateway Greening
Audience: All
Learn how to have your garden produce food all year-long. We will cover using your garden space effectively, how best to use planting calendars, spring and fall season extension, annual crop rotations, plant spacing and more. There will be multiple examples of bed plantings for all seasons to get the most out of your garden for both community and school gardeners.

Local Food & Food Justice Work in St. Louis
Jenn DeRose, Missouri Coaltion for the Environment; Tyrean Lewis. Heru’s Urban Farming
Known & Grown STL, a program of the Missouri Coalition for the Environment, is a regional brand for local, environmentally responsible farms within 150 miles of St. Louis. In this session, participants will learn about what Known & Grown does to promote farmers and educate consumers about their choices. They will also hear from one of the Known & Grown farmers, Tyrean Lewis of Heru’s Urban Farming & Garden. Tyrean will discuss how his work farming in urban areas addresses food apartheid and uplifts the community. 

Wildlife in the Garden: Slowing Down & Looking Closer with Young Audiences
Cara Murphy-Smith, Director, In The Field
Audience: Educators, Community Gardeners
The bounty of a garden can extend beyond the harvest! There are so many points of entry to engage children around plants. In this session we will delve into wildlife observation in gardens with young learners. We will discuss animal sightings as opportunities for scientific study, mindfulness, empathy, curiosity, inspiration, conversation, and more.

Branching Out in the Orchard
Dean Gunderson, Community Projects Manager, Gateway Greening
Audience: All
Apples, pears, peaches, and plums maybe the most popular fruit people grow in St. Louis but did you know there are a lot more types of fruits and nuts you can grow here that are delicious and many are easier to grow. Once you get out of that small group of plants there are generally fewer pests and diseases to worry about as well as less pruning needed. Come and learn about some of the great fruits and nuts you can grow here and some of the best varieties of those crops for our areas and increase the diversity of your community or backyard orchard.

Fresh Food for All: Growing for Pantries
Karen Flotte, Co-Chair, Central Reform Congregation Mitzvah Farm
Audience: Educators, Community Gardeners
Addressing food insecurity in our region is critical and more and more community gardens are electing to grow specifically for food pantries or donate a portion of their harvest. Karen Flotte co-chair of the Central Reform Congregation Mitzvah Farm created a food pantry program to aggregate and distribute produce to help simplify the process. Learn about the state of hunger and food justice in our region, the art of growing for pantries, and creating a strong pantry partnership.

More sessions will be added as they are available.

Click here to apply for a Community Agriculture Conference Scholarship

Sign Up for our ENews! For Email Marketing you can trust.