COLUMBUS—The 19th Annual Georgia Organics Conference takes place at the Columbus Trade and Convention Center on Feb. 26-27, culminating with a keynote speech from Joan Gussow, followed by the famous Farmers Feast.
The Georgia Organics Farmers Feast is a legendary event that highlights food from some of our favorite farmers and artisans, prepared by a collaboration of chefs from our host city, Columbus, and friends from around the state.
“The Farmers Feast is a great celebration of good food,” said Georgia Organics Culinary Coordinator Crystal Leach. “It’s amazing to bring folks together to create a meal featuring local, organic food prepared by some of the best chefs in town.”
This year, the meal will feature chefs from in and around Columbus, GA, including Meritage, Epic Cuisine, 11th and Bay, JWT Catering, and White Oak Pastures. (Find the full list of chefs and farms below)
“Although it’s quite the challenge to bring together food from around the state and coordinate with eight different chefs, the outcome is certainly worth the effort,” said Leach. “It’s such a privilege to work with these generous chefs who give of their time and talent to prepare a meal that nourishes both the body and the soul. Their support of Georgia Organics and their commitment to good food is an inspiration.”
Additionally, attendees of the Farmers Feast will enjoy a keynote speech from Gussow, the author, co-author or editor of five books including The Feeding Web: Issues in Nutritional Ecology, This Organic Life and her latest book, published in November, 2010, Growing, Older: A Chronicle of Death, Life and Vegetables. Gussow will speak at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 27.
“Hope is the lesson Nature keeps teaching me,” Gussow wrote in Growing, Older: A Chronicle of Death, Life, and Vegetables. “She keeps producing. She recovers. She creates beauty out of loss. She forgives us our impatience and frustration and insistence that things turn out the way we planned.”
One of the leaders in the organic food movement, Gussow is universally respected.
“Once in a while, I think I’ve had an original thought, then I look and read around and realize Joan said it first,” said author and filmmaker Michael Pollan.
Interested parties do not need to purchase tickets to the entire conference to attend the Farmers Feast — or the Expo Reception, which will feature exhibitors from across the country and includes beer, provided by Omaha Brewing Co. and Maltitude, fresh oysters, King of Pops, and popcorn. Tickets for the Expo reception are $10.
The two-day conference is one of the largest sustainable agriculture expos in the South, attracting farmers, health advocates, gardeners, parents, DIYers, and everyone in-between who cares about healthy foods, farms and families.
This year the Georgia Organics Annual Conference will feature seven Farm Tours, eight In-depth Workshops, 36 Educational Sessions, a Grits & Vigor Expo, Joan Gussow keynote, and the famous Farmers Feast, featuring local, organically produced food.
Additionally, Georgia’s organic agriculture community honors two of the state’s foremost leaders every year at the Georgia Organics conference.
The Land Stewardship Award honors an individual or individuals who have contributed greatly towards the organic agriculture movement in Georgia.
The Barbara Petit Pollinator Award acknowledges exceptional success in advancing Georgia Organics’ mission by spreading—pollinating—the movement throughout community life, such as the food industry, faith communities, public agencies, schools and institutions.
This year’s conference is dedicated to Petit, who passed away in 2015.
For tickets and additional information, visit conference.georgiaorganics.org and click “Attendees: Register Here”. Registration ends on Feb. 12.
Farmers Feast would not be possible without the support of these chefs and farms:
White Oak Pastures
Phickles Phun Foods
Chef Jeffrey Tucker, JWT Catering
Cathy Conway and Jenn Robbins, Avalon Catering
Faye Simmons, Meritage
Jamie Keating, Epic and JK Culinary, Inc.
Phil McCoy, 11th and Bay
James Jolly, Historic Columbus Iron Works