Charlie Hong Kong attended  the 31st Ecological Farming Conference at Aslomar, in Monterey.  We were invited to be on a panel for organic cafe/restaurants. We are the end users of the product that come from the dedication of organic farmers.  The focus of the conference is on sustainable farming.  It is the biggest event of its kind in the western US.

Sitting around the table at meals, all donated foods & were fantastic, including wines and sodas, it was a treat to listen in on the conversations of the participants.  I heard about pollinating, by hand if need be, fruit trees. I sat next to the man responsible for growing the blueberries I enjoy.  Those same blueberries are protected from being devoured by birds, by the innovated act of bringing in a falcon to scare them away.  I was entertained by tales of using snakes, captured from surrounding mountains in eastern WA, then transported to live under the ground cloth to manage the moles eating the roots of strawberries.  The big excitement among the participants was a method called bokashi.  A form of composting, that turns food scraps quickly into a liquid “tea” enriched compost.  I plan on researching it for my backyard compost that’s piling up.

It was reassuring to see so many young (in their 20s) aspiring farmers attending the conference.  I ran into Liz Milazzo, a friend, who runs the famous UCSC farm where so many of these young folks were educated.  I’ve already received an e-mail from a farmer interested in picking up the organic food waste from Charlie Hong Kong that currently is going into the landfill.

It was inspiring to be in the company of this group of innovative, knowledgeable, dedicated men and women.  The blue waters, warm days and long beach walk were an added plus to the experience.