Friday, Nov. 6th Saturday, Nov. 7th
9-9:30am Registration 9am-9:30am




Carol Harris – “The Rationale for a Revised Rural Curriculum”
World Café Forum
9:30-11am Introduction and “Why are we here?”
11:00-11:45am Norbert Kungl – Selwood Green Organic Farm
11:45-1:00pm Lunch / Av Singh – “Systems Overhaul – Redesigning Academia to Support Sustainable
12:30-2:30pm “Great Food for a Change” presented by Edith Callaghan, Alan Warner and Cate Trueman


130-5pm Presentations and Workshops

(see below for speakers and topics)


Bring Your Own Knowledge Farmer’s Almanac making workshop (AT ROSS CREEK)


Friday Workshop Sessions:

Keynote Speaker: Norbert Kungl – Selwood Green Organic Farm, Bramber, NS

Lunch Speaker: Dr. Av SinghAgriPoint – “Systems Overhaul – redesigning academia to support sustainable agriculture”

A “new” academia that is holistic or systems based that is designed to avoid problems rather than solve them involves a “new” way of thinking. Education that is based on experiential learning, farmer-to-farmer knowledge transfer, critical thinking, and reflection are integral components of transformative agricultural education that need to be reflected in the curricula of academic institutions addressing issues of food production.

All presentations and workshops will be held in the Michener Lounge (upstairs) in the Student Union Building (SUB) at Acadia University in Wolfville.

Panel 1: Integrating the Farm in Curriculum (1:30-3:00pm)

Kathy Aldous – Hants Shore Community Health Centre

The story of the school vegetable garden at Dr. Arthur Hines Elementary School in Summerville, Hants County, is one of partnerships, cooperation and growth. Initiated as a health promotion program in 2004, the aim is to nurture in our young people the knowledge and skills required to produce vegetables, along with the satisfaction of growing their own food. The vegetables are used in the healthy lunch program, with grade 6 students taking turns in the kitchen to create nutritious meals for sale to students and staff, while learning the life skills of preparing and cooking fresh produce. This session will explore the development of the school garden and, time permitting, present a portion of Slow Food Nova Scotia’s “The Edible Schoolyard”.

Zanne Handley

Handley will present on a unit she has designed for high school level French. This unit explores food by looking at the culture of local eating, organic agriculture, and Fair Trade. Students learn pertinent vocabulary, but also how to eat in an environmentally sustainable and local manner. The material in this unit is flexible allowing the interests of the students to direct the bulk of the activities; students experiment with role-play, creative writing, personal reflections, and hands-on work (such as cooking). Oral comprehension and fluidity, followed by written comprehension and fluidity, are the outcomes French language instructors seek. This unit plan aims to address these outcomes, while presenting the skills in a more interesting and relevant way.

Dr. Leo Elshof – Acadia University School of Education – “Agribusiness and Climate Change, a Dysfunctional Relationship”

This presentation will examine the connections between our food production systems, neoliberalism and climate change. Education has an important role in helping young people apply the tools of critical systems thinking, political ecology and social media in order to transform our high carbon footprint industrial agricultural systems toward ones that are more sustainable, socially just and local.

Panel 2: Localities and Localizing of Agriculture in Research (1:30-3:00pm)

Stefan Morales – Acadia Community Farm

Dr. Greg Cameron – Rural Research Centre, Nova Scotia Agricultural College – “Thinking Strategically About a (Re)Localization Transition in the West”

Despite strong growth indices in the national economies of the West (Europe, North America, Australasia), 30 years of market-led policies have contributed to a widening of the gap between rich and poor, ecological degradation and climate change, great power militarism, and a corporate-controlled economic model that accelerates high reliance on long distance trade, peak oil, and global commodity chains. These sobering trends are well known among community development theorists and practitioners. Indeed there are critical counter-currents to these trends premised on the ‘localisation’ of government, industry, services, food production and distribution systems, micro-finance, and other community forms, and which speaks to the critical role that an inward-orientated model may play in framing a scaled-up community economic development (CED) sector in the West.

My presentation tentatively seeks to lay the groundwork for combining an alternative model of self-reliant development based on a convergence model with the daunting yet very real possibilities of actualizing it politically. The focus of my presentation is therefore on the strategic implications of a localisation strategy. I start with a simple outline of the principles of the original convergence model and its application in the ‘Global South’. I then make the case for switching the application of the convergence model to Western countries. I then tentatively identify areas of a scaled-up CED from the Atlantic Canadian context, stressing the need to think through the inter-connections of an alternative CED. Finally, I try to identify areas that might further the theoretical and programmatic content of the convergence model.

Dr. Janet Eaton

Globalized export- led industrial economic policies favour large corporations in general and particularly in agriculture where the so-called Agribiz model is leading to breakdowns in the food system, the loss of family farms, and a major threat to food security on a world wide basis. Dr Eaton will look at the evolution of this economic model through the lens of dominant paradigm shifts throughout history to the present period between paradigms where we find ourselves in a state of systems collapse – the global financial and economic systems, ecosystems, climate change, peak oil, etc signify the flaws and failures of the dominant industrial mechanistic paradigm and possibly of civilization as we have known it. There is now an imperative for understanding and the rescinding policies which have lead us to this impasse, while reframing our world view, using interrelated systemic thinking, wisdom and global perspectives, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary study programs, and new principle centred design strategies. Universities, community colleges and schools as well as the media and informal learning environments and sites must play an important role in fostering new paradigm learning and design and assist with the agricultural shift that will be required -especially in a world where peak oil’s impact on the food system will ultimately and imminently lead to the need for 50 million farmers in the US alone, according to peak oil experts.


Panel 3: Agriculture in Alternative Settings (3:30-5:00pm)

Dr. Soren Bondrup-Nielsen – Acadia University, Department of Biology

Garity Chapman – Ecology Action Centre – Putting Food in Our Cities and Community in our Food”

There is an important thing that happens when a project focused on a specific goal, such as growing or selling food, ends up working on the wellbeing of its entire community. It is a success both in what is being done, as well as how it is being done, giving equal importance to the goals of the project and to the relationships and progression the project inevitably creates.

While working for the Urban Garden project in Halifax over the past three years I have learned a lot about building new projects, building capacity and working in collaboration. This year I had the opportunity to travel to New York, Philadelphia, Toronto and Montreal to meet people working on a wide range of urban food and garden projects. The combination of working closely with my local community and travelling to see what is happening elsewhere has both inspired me with new models, and reinforced foundational principals about working within your community. In this talk I will offer highlights of my research on community food and garden project from these cities and look at what makes a strong foundation and working principals for any community project.

Alex Redfield and Hillary Barter – The Acadia Community Farm“The Potential of Campus Farms”

This workshop will introduce and discuss the processes and potentialities of the Acadia Farm in Wolfville, NS to highlight some of the productive roles that campus farms and gardens might adopt in the effort to reinvigorate a sustainable food system in the institutional context.

Panel 4: Significant (Re)connections – (3:30-5:00pm)

Patricia BishopTaproot Farms – “What are we doing?”

A look at what is happening, what is missing, where we need to go and the disconnect! Thoughts from a farmer, mother and educator.

Jen Scott – Ecology Action Centre / Heliotrust -“Paying a Fair Price for Harvest Benefits”

Price tags on food items do not accurately reflect the various costs and benefits associated with that food. How can we change the price so that farmers can make a living? How can we stop making food choices that lead to public costs? How can we build a food system where everyone benefits?

David Greenberg – Black River Farm / Entering the Stream – “Patterns of life, what living on the land can teach us”

In this presentation we will explore the personal experience of farming and it’s social implications. We will look at the place intellectually empowered people can take in this work, on campus and beyond.

back to The Farm in Education

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The Acadia Community Farm began in the spring of 2008 with the vision of providing local, organic produce to the dining hall at Acadia University, while also serving as a community garden. The Farm has grown to become an educational community centre for the exchange of knowledge surrounding gardening, food, and sustainable agriculture. Explore the site to find out more or stop by the Farm for a visit!


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