6th Annual Dry Farming Collaborative Winter Meeting (Archive)

February 25, 2021

10am – 5pm

FREE to Attend

Agenda for Dry Farming Collaborative Meeting: 

Program (PDF)

10:00am –  Welcome and Introduction to the Dry Farming Collaborative – Amy Garrett (Recorded Introduction and Slides)

Roots of Dry Farming in the Western U.S (sponsored by the Dry Farming Institute)

10:15am – Hopi Dry Farming: 2000 Years of Resiliency - Michael Kotutwa Johnson (Native American Agriculture Fund) RECORDED PRESENTATION

Dr. Michael Kotutwa Johnson, a member of the Hopi Tribe in Northern Arizona, serves as the Native American Agriculture Fund’s (NAAF) Research Associate. Dr. Johnson received his PhD from the University of Arizona’s School of Natural Resources and the Environment. Dr. Johnson is a traditional Hopi farmer and practitioner and has given extensive lectures on the topic of Hopi dryland farming – a practice of his people for over two millennia – throughout his academic and professional career.  Dr. Johnson’s work focuses on Indigenous Agriculture Knowledge (IAK), as it relates the areas of conservation and subsistence farming. His most recent work, Barriers to PES programs in Indigenous communities: A lesson in land tenure insecurity from the Hopi Indian reservation has been published in Ecosystem Services. Presentation Slides (pdf)


10:55am – Gardening Without Irrigation--Or Not Much Anyway – Steve Solomon. RECORDED PRESENTATION

Steve's BIO:  In 1978 I sold a printing-industry related business in Los Angeles to homestead in Oregon. I soon realized that Cascadia needed a vegetable garden seed company that specialized in varieties adapted to its climate. In January, 1980  I sent out Territorial Seed Company's first mail order catalog. The business quickly became much larger than I wished to be responsible for and made much more money than I needed, so in 1986 I sold the seed business and semi-retired at the age of 44. Since then I authored several gardening books and did the research that led to writing Water-Wise Vegetables, the book that led to this Dry Farming conversation. In 1996 my wife Isabelle Moser passed away.  A year later I moved to Australia. I now live in the state of Tasmania, a remote temperate South Pacific island about half the size of western Oregon with a climate quite similar to western Oregon with a culture similar to how Oregon was in the 1960s. I self publish a book for Tasmanians called Growing Vegetables South of Australia, became a soil analyst and wrote The Intelligent Gardener, a book that instructs amateur food growers about how to read a laboratory soil test, amend the soil accordingly and thereby produce highly nutrient-dense food. Since writing that book I have served the people of Tasmania as a "neighbourhood soil analyst." I am 78 years old, married to Anne, live on 11 hillside acres near the small community of Chudleigh in northern Tasmania. I am still growing the majority of the food we eat year round.


11:35am – Freedom through Dryland Farming – The Story of New Mexico’s First Black Settlement, Blackdom - Maya Allen (University of New Mexico) RECORDED PRESENTATION

In cultivating her passion for plants and algae, Ms. Allen’s research took root at the University of Alabama as an undergraduate studying algal systematics . She went on to obtain a Master of Science degree at Northern Arizona University where she resolved previously unknown evolutionary relationships of the genus Glossopetalon, a small genus of flowering shrubs native to southwestern North America. While travelling across the range of Glossopetalon, her intimate experience and observations of the subtle climatic and topological changes in habitat magnified her interest in species range distributions. As such, her Ph.D. work at the University of New Mexico focuses on how plants cope with environmental heterogeneity and a particular underlying mechanism, phenotypic plasticity - the ability for a single genotype to differentially express alternative phenotypes based on the environment. In returning to her home state of New Mexico, Ms. Allen has also researched the history of Blackdom, the first all-Black settlement in the state, in an effort to rectify the erasure of the Black botanical contributions and highlight the Black botanical experience. Ms. Allen continues this advocacy as one of the co-founders of #BlackBotanistsWeek, a social media campaign that “promotes, encourages, creates a safe space for, and finds more Black people who love plants.” Presentation Slides (pdf)

12:15pm – Break

Farmer Innovation

12:30pm - Methods for Dry-Farming Carrots in Willow Creek, CA - Jacques Neukom RECORDED PRESENTATION

1:00pm - Lunch Break

1:30pm – OSU Dry Farming Project Research Updates (15 - 20 min each) 

Research Projects Presenter(s)
Site Suitability (handout) (Recorded Presentation)

Alex Stone & Matt Davis

Soil Management Study (Recorded Presentation)

Tomato Variety Trials (Report) (Recorded Presentation)

Potato Variety Trials (handout) (Recorded Presentation)

Chris Homanics & Amy Garrett

Squash Variety Trials (handout) (Recorded Presentation)

Amy Garrett & Lucas Nebert

Bean Variety Trials (handout) (Recorded Presentation)

Lucas Nebert

Corn Breeding Project (handout) (Recorded Presentation)

Lucas Nebert

3:45pm – Break

4:00pm – Grower Focus Groups -  Breakout rooms, assign moderator & notetaker

Tomatoes (Alex Stone)

  • Varieties and management

Soil and Site Suitability (Andy Gallagher & Matt Davis)

  • What information or guidance have you used to help select a site for dry farming?  
  • What would you like to have to improve or aid your site selection?
  • Do you have a site that dry-farmed crops have performed really well or poorly on?

Beans, Corn & other field crops (Lucas Nebert)

  • What are the costs and benefits of dry farming vs. irrigating field crops?
  • Which bean and corn varieties are most suitable for dry farming in the Pacific Northwest?
  • How can we ensure that drought tolerant field crop seed is accessible into the future?

School Garden Educators/Dry Farming Demos (Cassandra Waterman) - notes

  • What are the goals or mission for your dry farming demonstration site/garden? 
  • What level of support can the OSU Dry Farming Project provide to help you achieve them? 
  • Would you be interested in being a part of a working group that collaborates in building a dry farming curriculum for school gardens and demonstration sites? 

Marketing Dry-Farmed Produce (Anne Berblinger & Amy Garrett) - notes

  • Discuss plan for launching new ‘dry-farmed’ logo to help farmers market
  • How might the Dry Farming Institute help? (e.g. printing costs for labels and signage covered for ‘Grower Membership’)
  • Define dry farming (e.g. irrigated once or not at all?) and how logo should be used


5:00pm - Adjourn