by Angie Lavezzo, CFSA Communications Coordinator | Monday, Nov. 1, 2021 –

Pink Oyster Mushrooms in Grow Bag

There are so many great reasons to grow mushrooms for yourself, your family, and your customers that it’s hard to choose just five. Mushrooms are relatively easy to grow. So much so that mushroom farms exist in all 50 states. While you don’t have to become a full-fledged mushroom farm, they can be an excellent addition to diversify your garden crops or farm income.

Growing enough mushrooms to feed your family and extra to sell at a farmers market or to restaurants will take very little of your time. In fact, after the initial setup, mushrooms may end up being your best-yielding crop when you compare the time spent caring for your logs and bags to the amount of food you get in return.

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By CFSA | Monday, Sept. 9, 2019 –
Three women attending the 2018 Sustainable Agriculture Conference

The Who’s Who of the Sustainable Agriculture Conference

Whether you are an advanced farmer who has attended countless conferences or a beginner who recently became interested in sustainable farming, the Sustainable Agriculture Conference (SAC) is the place to deepen your connection to community, learn new skills, and find the inspiration needed to propel you forward.

We spoke with beginning farmers, advanced farmers, marketing specialists, and more to hear why attending SAC is valuable regardless of skill set. Here’s what they shared.

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by CFSA | Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019 –

Kris Reid

A true advocate for local food, Kris Reid walks the walk. She keeps backyard chickens, tends a garden, makes her vinegars and pasta from scratch, and is currently fermenting ginger ale and sauerkrauts. Always devoted to the task at hand, Kris even started having contractions while working a catering job. She made it to the hospital in time. Two days later, she was back in the kitchen.

Since 2009, Kris has worked on-and-off as the food coordinator for the Sustainable Agriculture Conference (SAC). In the face of many changes and challenges, she always rises to the occasion to bring fresh, delicious local food to conference attendees—which is no small feat! 

We recently caught up with Kris to hear about her experience as SAC’s food coordinator and to find out what it’s really like to cook local foods for hundreds of people.

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by CFSA | Monday, Oct. 21, 2019 – 

Mbarara visit to Parental Care Ministires school and farm. Photo via Rhyne Cureton

When swine specialist Rhyne Cureton first worked with pigs he found them frustrating. No matter what he tried, the pigs kept breaking out of their enclosures. It took a dramatic escape by a 500-pound sow named Louise to eventually shift Cureton’s perspective and help him develop his “farmer’s eye.”

Since that experience, Cureton (also known as “Pork” Rhyne) has become a small farms swine specialist and advocate in the United States and abroad. For the last three years, Cureton has traveled to East Africa to train rural pig farmers on how proper livestock husbandry and health correlate to farm profitability.

We recently caught up with Cureton to talk about his interest in agriculture, his experience in East Africa, and his future goals.

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by CFSA | Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019 –

An Interview with 2019 SAC Keynote, Dr. Allen Williams

Dr. Allen Williams is a sixth-generation family farmer and expert on regenerative agriculture and grazing, soil health, adaptive foraging, pasture-based meat production, the grass-fed market, and alternative marketing systems, among other subjects. He personally pioneered many of the first grass-fed protocols and forage finishing techniques. For these reasons and more, we are thrilled to bring Dr. Williams as the keynote speaker of our 2019 Sustainable Agriculture Conference.

Though he currently lives in Mississippi, where he owns a grass-fed beef operation, Dr. Williams has deep roots in the Carolinas. His ancestors first started their family farm in South Carolina in the year 1842. He began his education at Clemson, where he earned his BS and MS in Animal Science. He later went on to earn his Ph.D. in Livestock Genetics from LSU. He is also a longtime partner and Chief Ranching Officer of Joyce Farms in Winston-Salem. A respected researcher, (self-described) “recovering” academic, and writer, Dr. Williams has published over 400 articles and the book Before You Have a Cow. We recently sat down for an in-depth conversation with Dr. Williams about all things regenerative and adaptive in the Carolinas and beyond.

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