Julia Asherman, of Rag and Frass Farm located in Jeffersonville, has been a strong advocate for Middle Georgia’s sustainable agriculture community for years. She’s bringing her passion and penchant for out-of-the-box thinking to two Education Sessions at the Georgia Organics 20th Anniversary Conference on Feb. 18.
Both sessions, Holistic Crop Rotation and Farm Generated Innovation, are two of the sessions we are most excited to present.
Georgia Organics: You’re speaking at two educational sessions this year—Holistic Crop Rotation and Farm Generated Innovation. Why did you feel these two subjects were important for Georgia’s farming community?
Julia Asherman: It’s not that I think these topics are more important than others, but both topics are part of what continually excites me about farming: innovating, getting insight, finding solutions– essentially finding your farm’s ‘voice’ and by extension coming into your farming practice. Fine-tuning and finding the middle ground between what you have to work with and what you need is what makes a farm most dynamic, successful, productive, and uniquely sustainable.
In regards to your session on Farm Generated Innovation, do you have a favorite “farm hack”?
Yes, a few, but no spoilers. I have simple seemingly insignificant hacks that have revolutionized the way I do something, and larger ‘designed’ projects that have really transformed a part of the farm operation. Some hacks we use daily, others just once a year. There are some I am more proud of, but only because they challenged me more. Ultimately, if they work I love them for what they do!
How has an intentional and holistic crop rotation benefited your operation?
Crop rotation is the heartbeat of my whole farm. It has made me more organized, helped me make decisions, relieved stress, set boundaries, forced me to experiment, forced me to yield, introduced crops, helped me understand my soil and my season, showed me my strengths and weaknesses, forced me to innovate, and pushed me to meet challenges creatively. It is how I taught myself to farm and is my most fundamental trust, the most stable and constant variable of my system.
What do you hope attendees will take away from each session?
I go to conferences looking to glean a single gem- an speck of an idea or inspiration– that I can translate and apply to my farm for the better, even indirectly. It refreshes me and pushes me when I need both. I hope attendees leave empowered and excited to meet their individual farm challenges.