Sustainable food conference will be held at Wilton High School

The move to get healthier food on the table and how that food is created will be on display at a conference at Wilton High School on Saturday, March 2. The conference, presented by the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Connecticut, will focus on adjusting to climate change on the farm, in the garden and at home.

“We will have over 500 people at the workshop, including farmers, gardeners, landscaping professionals, chefs, and consumers,” said Bill Duesing, executive director of the farming association.

Featuring more than 50 workshops, the conference includes a keynote speech by David W. Wolfe Ph.D., the faculty fellow and chair of the climate change focus group at Cornell University. Dr. Wolfe will discuss farm and landscape management for a changing climate.

The impact of climate change on food has been immeasurable, according to Mr. Duesing.

“The enormous storms of the past few years have wiped some things out, and that’s a part of the climate change,” he said.

Many of the various workshops and displays will have a Connecticut connection to them, while a few others are from just outside the area. While the conference has a serious edge with climate change and sustainable food, there will be a family play area with music and storytelling. A workshop hosted by Nick Mancini will be all about worms, which is expected to appeal to children.

Still, the star of the show is the food. The workshops will run the gamut, from “Chickens as Gateway Drug (watch out — they’re addictive!”) to the basics of “Beginning a Garden” to “Maple Sugaring.” If it can be planted, and eaten, Mr. Duesing said, it will be found at the conference.

“There is a growing interest in organic food,” added Mr. Duesing. “More and more people are discovering that organic food is critical to our health, and the health of the Earth.”

“Food is our most important connection to the planet,” he said, “except for air and water.”

For those who do not take what they eat seriously, Mr. Duesing had a serious message.

“So much of the food that is available these days is not healthy for us to eat,” he said. “It actually causes disease.”

The conference will run from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Admission is $35 for students and seniors, $50 for members, $60 for non-members. Children 12 and under are admitted free. Those who volunteer at the conference may deduct $10 from their admission charge.