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Welcome to the 35th annual California Small Farm Conference, a week of learning, inspiration and movement-building. Our hybrid conference features over 50 online workshops, videos, and interactive forums, as well as in-person gatherings around the state. Admission is on a sliding scale. Please pay what you can to help make this event possible and accessible to everyone. All events are virtual except those listed "Gathering" towards the end of the week.
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Tuesday, February 28 • 1:00pm - 2:30pm
Dry farming practices and perspectives

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As we confront the fragility of California’s water system, a crucial question emerges: how can we adapt to water scarcity without jeopardizing farmer livelihoods? Innovative farmers have turned to dry farming, a method of growing high quality produce with little to no external water inputs, and a radical departure from irrigated agriculture. Learnings from research conducted on seven such farms in the Central Coast region will be discussed along with experts from the Dry Farming Collaborative in a workshop designed to answer the following questions:

1. What is dry farming?
2. Is your site suitable for dry farming?
3. What varieties are best suited to dry farming?
4. What soil management techniques are beneficial in dry farm contexts, and how can you manage soils to encourage a healthy microbial community?
5. What are the economics of dry farming? How might it fit in with your farm's business model?

avatar for Yvonne Socolar

Yvonne Socolar

PhD Candidate, UC Berkeley
Yvonne's research interests lie at the nexus of agriculture and climate resilience. She studies how diversified management practices influence plant-soil-microbe interactions to promote farms’ ecological and economic well-being, particularly in the face of water limitations.
avatar for Jared Zystro

Jared Zystro

Assistant Director of Research and Education, Organic Seed Alliance
Jared Zystro is Organic Seed Alliance’s research and education assistant director. He has an M.S. and Ph.D. in plant breeding and plant genetics from the University of Wisconsin - Madison, where he studied efficient methods of developing new organic sweet corn varieties. Jared has... Read More →

avatar for Amy Garrett

Amy Garrett

Assistant Professor of Practice, Oregon State University
Amy currently works part-time with OSU Extension Small Farms Program in the Southern Willamette Valley. As an Assistant Professor of Practice, she is devoted to learning and teaching others about ways to improve the economic and environmental sustainability of our food production... Read More →

Amy and Jacques Neukom

Neukom Family Farms
avatar for Silas Sarvinski

Silas Sarvinski

Farm Manager, College of the Redwoods
Silas has been the Farm Manager for College of the Redwoods since 2018. The CR Shively Farm is located along the Eel river flood plain, nestled amongst coastal redwoods. The farm grows a multitude of crops for its CSA program and campus farm stand. Many of the vegetable crops are... Read More →

Blake Richard

Wild Rose Farm

Jim Leap

School Road Farm

Tuesday February 28, 2023 1:00pm - 2:30pm PST