Harrisonburg: Sustainable agriculture focus of EMU seminar

Story by Jim Bishop

A leading spokesperson for sustainable agricultural systems will address the next Suter Science Seminar at Eastern Mennonite University.

John Jeavons, Willits, Calif., will speak on “Food and Our Future: Hope and Solutions through Biointensive Farming” 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in EMU’s Lehman Auditorium.

Jeavons has directed Ecology Action’s Mini-Farming program since 1972. His primary responsibilities include directing field and library research and GROW BIOINTENSIVE® education in food raising. The nonprofit organization seeks to train people worldwide to better feed themselves while conserving resources. GROW BIOINTENSIVE® is a high-yielding, sustainable agricultural system that emphasizes local food production based on intensive gardening systems.

Jeavons is the author of How to Grow More Vegetables, Fruits, Nuts, Berries, Grains and Other Crops, the textbook of the GROW BIOINTENSIVE Sustainable Mini-Farming system and is the author, co-author and/or editor of over 30 other Ecology Action publications. He advises biologically-intensive projects in Mexico, Kenya, Ecuador, Russia, Uzbekistan and Afghanistan as well as all parts of the U.S.

Jeavons holds a BA degree in political science from Yale University. Before coming to Ecology Action, he worked as a systems analyst in business, government and university settings.

He has received the Boise Peace Quilt, Santa Fe Living Treasure, Giraffe, and Steward of Sustainable Agriculture awards for public service.

Time will be provided for audience questions and answers concerning Northwest small-scale farming, long-term sustainable soil fertility, climate and market challenges.

“With formation of the produce auction at Rushville and the rise of retail farmers’ markets in the Shenandoah Valley, small area farmers are diversifying their operations by raising produce,” said Roman J. Miller, Suter Endowed Professor of Biology at EMU. “The insights of John Jeavons will provide practical tips that will enhance the operations of both small farmers who want to market produce commercially and the home gardener who wants to raise a supply of fresh produce for the dinner table,” Dr. Miller added.

The seminar is open to the public free of charge. For more information, contact Roman Miller at 540.432.4412 or e-mail millerrj@emu.edu.

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