Friday, December 12, 2008

Great Lakes Fruit and Vegetable Expo

We got back today from the Great Lakes Fruit and Vegetable Expo in Grand Rapids. We spent three very informative days learning lots of stuff.

We got into the city around 1:00 on Tuesday afternoon and went right to the expo. As we were walking from our car in the parking garage to go register we over heard the conversation of a couple in front of us. They were talking about a couple they had met who were talking about grass fed beef. They were doubtful of the economics of the system and the women said "I think they were ORGANIC PEOPLE." The husband nodded and the conversation was over, that explained all the strange ideas.

That about sums up our experience. We were "organic people." When you sign up they asked you to identify the type of farming you do and one of the checks was for organic. So our name tags said "ORG," and we were out of the closet as we walked around. Salesmen did not want to talk to us, people sitting near us at workshops ignored us, and we had a pretty strange experience all around.

We attended a lot of educational sessions and were able to glean a lot of information amongst the workshops geared at conventional farmers. The exhibit hall closed at 1:00 Thursday and all the organic sessions were held from 1:00 to 3:00 the last day when most of the people were gone. And that session was interesting! I will post more about that later. Right now we have hundreds of ideas swirling in our heads and it will take a couple weeks to process it all and integrate into our plans for next year!

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