The 2017 Food & Farm Forum will take place Friday and Saturday December 8-9 at Camp McDowell in Nauvoo, AL.  The event will start Friday morning and conclude Saturday evening, so participants traveling from farther parts of the state are encouraged to arrive Thursday evening and depart Sunday morning.

We’ll be posting more information here in the weeks to come — so please check back to learn more about the schedule, lodging/accommodations, registration, sponsorship and exhibits, and more!


The schedule of events will run as follows (subject to change):

6:30-9:00 Pickup box dinners (for those who order them), check-in, social time

8:00-8:45  Breakfast
9:00-11:15  Concurrent sessions I (workshops)
11:40-12:40  Lunch
1:00-2:15  Concurrent sessions II
2:30-3:45  Concurrent sessions III
3:45-4:45  Break
4:45-6:15  “Market Fair” social / expo / seed swap (see below)
6:30-7:45  Dinner
7:45-9:00  Fireside story circle/community gathering
8:00-8:45  Breakfast
9:00-10:15  Concurrent sessions IV
10:35-11:50  Plenary session – year in review and vision for 2018 and beyond
12:10-1:10  Lunch
1:10-2:10  Break
2:10-3:25  Concurrent sessions V
3:40-4:55  Concurrent sessions VI
5:30-7:00  Feast



Friday 9:00-11:15am:

  • Wholesale Readiness – Lee McBride (Crotovina), Kristin Woods (Food Safety Alliance), Darrell McGuire (Deep South Food Alliance)
  • Practical Permaculture Solutions for Farm & Garden – Alan Booker (Eldenbridge Institute)
  • Grow Your Own Herbs for Medicine or Market– Phyllis Light (Appalachian Center for Natural Health)
  • Organic Seed Saving Fundamentals – Ira Wallace (Southern Exposure Seed Exchange)

Friday 1:00-2:15pm:

  • Soil Health for Sustainable Agriculture — Tibor Horvath (NRCS)
  • Growing Winter Greens – Ira Wallace (Southern Exposure Seed Exchange)
  • Fermentation – Lindsay Whiteaker (Harvest Roots Ferments)
  • BEEHIVE – Farmers Markets – Sagdrina Jalal (Georgia Farmers Market Association)
  • BEEHIVE – Land ownership, land access, and land retention – M. Dominique Villanueva (Fountain Heights Farms)
  • TOUR: Livestock – James Walawender (McDowell Farm School)

Friday 2:30-3:45pm:

  • Organic and Low-Impact Approaches to Pest Management – Ayanava Majumdar (ACES)
  • Growing Elderberry for Health and Profit – Terry Durham (River Hills Harvest Elderberries)
  • The Fresh Stop Market Movement:  a community driven approach to achieving food justice and sovereignty – Sagdrina Jalal (Georgia Farmers Market Association)
  • Farm Bill 101 – Marty Mesh (Florida Organic Growers)
  • Composting — Staff of West End Community Garden
  • BEEHIVE: LGBTQ Folks in Agriculture – Katie Willis

Saturday 9:00-10:15am:

  • Starting Your Farm Business – Karen Wynne (Crotovina), Lindsay Whiteaker (Harvest Roots Ferments), and Matthew Lawrence (Marble Creek Farmstead)
  • Organic Certification 101 – Marty Mesh (Florida Organic Growers) and Margaret Ann Snow (Snow’s Bend Farm)
  • Gardens that Engage: strategies for robust and effective gardens in schools and/or communities – Panel featuring WE Gardens, Jones Valley Teaching Farm, Prichard Housing garden, and Schoolyard Roots, moderated by Beth Anne Dunagan (EAT South)
  • Our Story: Cooperative Jackson — Brandon King and Fasanya Kneice (Cooperation Jackson)
  • Functional Foods and Food as the Foundation for Health – Yawah Awolowo (Mahalah Farms)
  • BEEHIVE: Grassfed beef – Collins Davis (Bluewater Creek Farm)

Saturday 2:10-3:25pm:

  • Native Herbs 101 – Phyllis Light (Appalachian Center for Natural Health)
  • Working Well with Chefs and Restaurants — David Snow (Snow’s Bend Farm)
  • Meat Processing – Needs, Challenges, and Opportunities
  • BEEHIVE: People of Color in the food movement – M. Dominique Villanueva (Fountain Heights Farms)
  • TOUR: General interest + educational programs and outreach – Kelsey Evans (McDowell Farm School)
  • TOUR: Foraging – Andrew Shea (McDowell Farm School)

Saturday 3:40-4:55pm:

  • Farmland for the Next Generation and State of America’s Farmland: Farms Under Threat – Billy Van Pelt (American Farmland Trust)
  • Hydroponics: History, Methods, and a Case Study — Dale and Angela Speetjens (Shipshape Urban Farms)
  • Decolonize Your Diet – Sehoy Thrower (Poarch Band of Creek Indians)
  • BEEHIVE: Farming as a Family – Margaret Ann Snow (Snow’s Bend Farm)
  • BEEHIVE: Better together: how for-profit farms and nonprofit-operated farms can work together to grow our local food economy — Caylor Roling (E.A.T. South)
  • TOUR: Natural resources and land use – Andrew Shea (McDowell Farm School)



On Friday evening before dinner, we will gather for drinks, snacks, a seed swap (and giveaway), and a market featuring Alabama artisans of food, crafts, and more… just in time for the holidays!  Be sure to bring seeds to share, cash, and your shopping list!

If you are a producer of craft products (food-based or not) and would like to be a part of the market fair, please contact Meagan ([email protected])!


One reason we chose to hold the Forum at Camp McDowell is that we could offer multiple lodging options to fit a variety of budgets.


These are hotel-style rooms with two double beds and an attached, private bathroom.  These rooms can accommodate up to FOUR people max and cost $135/night, regardless of the number of occupants.  Children 5 and under do not count towards the four-person limit.

A somewhat limited number of these rooms are available, so if availability becomes an issue, priority will be given to those sharing a private room, those with mobility issues or needing other special accommodations, and those staying for three nights.

You may share your room with other participants who are registering separately.  Just be sure to communicate among yourselves as to who is reserving and paying for the room (so as not to double-book), and be sure that you list one another in the section designated for roommates.


These are cabin-style accommodations, twin beds in groupings of 4 to 18 (depending on the cabin or lodge).  Each grouping shares a bathroom located inside the cabin/lodge.  Linens are provided.  All cabins are heated and insulated.  The cost for this lodging option is $25/person/night.  You do not need to reserve lodging for children 5 and under.

You may request in your registration to be housed with certain friends or family members – we will make every effort but cannot guarantee that we’ll be able to accommodate every request.

If you have trouble sleeping please bring earplugs or even a sound machine (use with permission from your roommates) to ensure you are able to sleep well.


Meals from Friday breakfast through Saturday dinner are included in the cost of registration.  Meals will be vegetarian and vegan friendly.  Participants are encouraged to bring their own food for snacks throughout the weekend and/or to accommodate special dietary needs.

We will be working with Camp McDowell to incorporate local farm products into every one of the meals – including many from their own on-site farm, the McDowell Farm School.  If you are a farmer interested in selling or donating product, please contact [email protected]!

Optional Thursday night box dinners will be available for an additional charge (please reserve a dinner when you register), for those arriving Thursday evening.



Scholarships are available to cover registration and/or lodging at the Forum.  Scholarships will be granted based on a combination of factors, accounting for need, potential food system development/benefit, and overall diversity (racial, geographic, professional, and otherwise) of Forum participants.

Click here to apply for a scholarship.

Application deadline is Monday, November 13.  If you have any questions, please contact [email protected] or 256-743-0742.

ASAN is committed to doing as much as we possibly can, with the limited resources we have.  Please contribute all that you can towards the overall cost of your Forum participation — doing so will free up funds for us to assist more participants to attend!

Scholarship applicants are also encouraged to explore other forms of community support:  will your organization, business, faith community, or a local civic group sponsor you to attend, if you offer to share what you learn with the group when you return?  Get creative!

We are crowdfunding additional funds to be able to offer additional scholarships.  Please share the fundraiser to your networks and help us maximize the assistance we’re able to provide!!



Child care will be available and provided free of charge, though donations are welcome to help us offset the cost!

Packing suggestions:

  • Flashlight and/or headlamp
  • Shoes and clothes suitable for light hiking and walking outdoors
  • Warm clothes and LAYERS! Lodging and meeting spaces are mostly heated but we will be outdoors more than at most conferences, so bring clothes for December weather (whatever that means!)
  • Raincoat or poncho and rain-appropriate footwear
  • Notebook and pen for taking notes
  • Business cards or contact info for sharing
  • Water bottle and/or travel mug
  • Food/snacks and beverages for personal needs
  • Ear plugs, breathe-right strips, anything needed for comfortable sleep
  • Seeds for sharing at the seed swap!
  • Cash and your holiday shopping list for the market fair Friday night

You do not have to attend the entire Forum if you register, however unfortunately we are unable to offer single-day registration or partial payment options.  Thank you for your understanding.


Thanks to the following sponsors for their generous support for the 2017 Food & Farm Forum!



      Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama                      




If you are interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at the Food & Farm Forum, please contact Meagan at [email protected] or 205-538-3249.



Registration covers all Forum materials and supplies, and all meals from Friday breakfast through Saturday dinner (feast).  Participants are encouraged to bring snacks and other food/drink items for their own comfort.

  • Adults: $80
  • Youth 15-21: $60
  • Children 6-14: $40
  • Children 5 and under: free

Click here to register!

Registration deadline has been EXTENDED to 11:59pm central on Sunday, December 3.  Note that there will be NO WALK-UP REGISTRATION at the Forum, so be sure and register before the deadline in order to attend!

If you have any questions or issues, please contact [email protected] or [email protected], or call 256-743-0742.