Jeff Poppen, also known as the Barefoot Farmer, is the owner and operator of one of the oldest and largest organic farms in Tennessee. For the past 15 years Poppen has appeared on Nashville PBS’ television program Volunteer Gardener, for over 20 years he has written a gardening column for the Macon County Chronicle, and he is the author of two books, The Best of the Barefoot Farmer Vol. 1 & Vol. 2. Poppen runs a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program with the food he grows using about 8 acres of his farmland and about 40 head of cattle.
This CSA delivers fresh produce to about 150 patrons in the Nashville area, but does not account for all of the food grown at the Barefoot Farmer’s farm. Poppen is always sure to have extra for neighbors, friends, and the surrounding community. While he has only been making and utilizing biodynamic preparations in his farming and gardening for a little over 25 years, he is very proud to have spent the last 40 years providing his own food for himself from what he is able to grow.
Poppen currently runs an apprenticeship program on his farm, and when he is away from the farm he spends his time doing consulting for other farms, lecturing for schools and organized events, and starting new farms using organic and biodynamic methods.
This workshop will focus on biodynamics and exploring the world of compost.
In 2016, Against the Grain Farm (Holly Whitesides & Andy Bryant) became certified Biodynamic. Against the Grain's approach to soil fertility involves on-farm composting, cover cropping, under-sowing and crop rotation. In 2013, Against the Grain was introduced to biodynamic farming practices, which immediately resonated with them as a holistic approach to farming. A biodynamic approach involves creating a diverse and balanced farm ecosystem through on-farm fertility cycling, working with natural and cosmic rhythms, and utilizing preparations consisting of fermented manure, herbs and minerals.
This workshop is made possible through additional support from Appalachian State University's Sustainable Development Department, Against the Grain Farm, and our biodynamic community.