WALNUT CREEK TOWNSHIP — The Food Independence Summit is a gathering of people concerned about food sustainability and preservation, or what organic farming expert Joel Salatin calls a tsunami homesteading.
Salatin and other key influencers will address thousands of DIY farmers on how to grow and preserve food June 21-22 during the summit at Timbercrest Campground and RV Park, 5552 State Route 515.
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According to the event coordinators, the intent of the festival is to encourage and provide the tools and information to take another step toward discovering the freedom that comes with homegrown and local food. This is done through inspiring speakers, hands-on learning opportunities along with some entertainment.
Home-grown food is making a major resurgence, in part due to inflation and supply-chain disruptions. For a growing number of Americans, gardening brings peace of mind and healthy food to their homes.
Joel Salatin, self-styled ‘lunatic farmer’
The Food Independence Summit brings together a diversity of people concerned with issues related to food shortages and preservation, from tech-savvy social media influencers to conservative farmers and Amish.
Salatin says an essential part of our food 401k is being or knowing someone who grows, fixes or builds things. The Amish community is an excellent example of a group that flourished through times of crisis and concern like Y2K or COVID by being self-sufficient, using the earth and growing their own food.
“If there is one group that is resilient and able to overcome a glitch in the food chain, it is the Amish,” he said. “Many don’t want to wear the uniform and follow the rules, but we can appreciate what they are doing and share the desire to live a kind of life.”
He is excited to return to Holmes County and share what he has experienced from his presentations around the world.
Salatin said he really enjoyed the inaugural Food Independence Festival in 2022 and looks forward to being here again.
From seed to spoon
The Food Independence Summit is hosted by Superb Sealing Solutions and Berlin Seeds. Berlin Seeds provides seeds to 30,000 Amish families nationwide.
Superb is a high-tech manufacturer of parts for the auto industry, including support for emerging electric vehicle development. Due to a shortage of canning supplies, along with manufacturing issues that occurred during the COVID-19 shutdowns, John Miller, owner of Superb, was challenged to manufacture high-quality canning lids at his factory in Sugarcreek, where they make around a 100 million lids a year.
Miller explained how his company got involved with the event. In 2022, Superb partnered with Walnut Creek Foods and Lehman’s to bring a new solution to the canning lid market. In their discussions, they thought it would be nice to hold a canning festival.
Marcus Wengerd of Berlin Seeds told Miller he was thinking too small.
“He said what we ought to do was bring together a panel of experts to help people become independent food all the way from seed to spoon,” Miller said. “We held the event in September, and it turned out fabulously. We brought in Joel Salatin, Justin Rhodes, Sarah Thrush from Peelies N Petals. Together they have 5 million followers on social media.”
The premiere event brought nearly 4,000 attendees from across the United States to Walnut Creek. Attendance is expected to triple this year.
There will again be a lineup of expert speakers including Salatin, Rhodes and Thrush, as well as many others. There will also be workshops, where you can learn how to can, make rope, do timber framing, gardening and more.
“It’s just a fun event, and we hope to bring value to people who are interested in becoming a little bit more self-sufficient,” he said.
Exhibits at the summit
Four tents of exhibitors include
raising shiitake mushrooms;
sourdough bread simplified;
make your own latte syrup;
foods of the world, and
demonstrations at the Canning Extravaganza.
Seed and Soil attendees will learn about fertilizer, herbs, seed saving, soil recovery, freeze drying and composting.
An Amish Country category will feature timber framing, quilting, and rope making, along with other heritage crafts. Attendees will be treated to Amish-style meals, including a wedding feast and barn-raising meal with a local food caterer. Numerous activities for children will also be provided.
Rory Feek concerts
A rare appearance by storyteller and musician Rory Feek, half of the Grammy award-winning duo Joey+Rory, is June 21 at 6 pm at Timbercrest. This concert is a fundraiser for Juneberry Hill School near Winesburg.
Many festival visitors will stay on the grounds at Timbercrest Campground and RV Park, an 80-acre facility.
For information, tickets and registration, visit www.foodindependence.life, email [email protected] or call 855-654-2002.
This article originally appeared on The Daily Record: Food Independence Summit encourages homegrown production