Thursday, Jan. 18- Saturday, Jan. 20 Farm to Conference What started humbly in 1981 as a way for organic farmers to encourage one another in a small, niche market, the EcoFarm conference has grown into a powerful information and networking hub for today’s organic farmers, their advocates, policymakers and industry reps in what is now a $57 billion market in the U.S. alone. Over 1,000 people will be at the Asilomar Conference Grounds for three days of speakers and more than 65 workshops (including some in Spanish) covering everything from soil conditioning to federal farming policies to social media training (for more on the conference, see story, p. 10). A few of the special events include a seed and tuber exchange, wine and cider tasting, and a media panel on amplifying BIPOC voices within the industry. It’s a way for anyone interested in organic agriculture to dig deep and walk away with new insights and network connections. [PM] All day Thursday and Friday, Jan. 18-19, 8:30-11:45am Saturday, Jan. 20, Asilomar Conference Grounds, 800 Asilomar Ave., Pacific Grove. $499/full conference; $230/full day pass; $50/Saturday only. info@eco-farm.org, eco-farm.org. Friday, Jan. 19 Sacred Connections New York-based photographer Lynn H. Butler has been on a 40-plus year mission to document the sacred tribal lands of America’s Indigenous peoples. Her purpose? To raise awareness about the ways in which these places are endangered by modern development, and ultimately save this part of the country’s natural and cultural heritage. In 2022 she published Flames Against the Dark: Saving America’s Sacred Sites, a book that features photos of sacred sites across the country, including some right here in Monterey County. This week, she talks about the book and the photographs at Salinas’ Downtown Book & Sound—join in to hear firsthand about what it was like to visit and document these special places so rarely seen by outsiders. [TCL] 7pm Friday, Jan. 19. Downtown Book & Sound, 213 Main St., Salinas. Free. 477-6700. downtownbookandsound.com. 22 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY january 18-24, 2024 www.montereycountyweekly.com Micheen Levee Micheen Levee is loosely affiliated with the Seaside-based artists collective Open Ground Studios, and her work “Undecided,” above, is part of the group’s ongoing exhibit at the Marjorie Evans Gallery in Carmel. Levee lives in Santa Cruz, where she also works as a marriage and family therapist; she is interested in art therapy. The Open Ground exhibit also includes work by eight other local female artists. While the creations of each artist are quite distinct, the exhibit celebrates areas of commonality—including a sense of freedom to explore and radical acceptance, the same principles that underpin the Open Ground Studios community. The exhibit opened on Friday, Jan. 12 and will be on display until Feb. 28. [AP] 18-24 january HOT PICKS To see more local events, and add your own, visit calendar.montereycountyweekly.com courtesy Open Ground Studios courtesy Venture Gallery VISUALS Susann E. Cate Lynn Susann E. Cate Lynn is the featured artist for January at Monterey’s Venture Gallery. Her exhibit, titled Unpaved Paradise, focuses on natural, undeveloped locales that elicit a peaceful calm and restorative feeling—places that we are lucky to have in abundance here in Monterey County. The work above, for example, is titled “Breathing-In at Garland Park.” Cate Lynn was born and raised in Carmel. A reception for the exhibit happens from 2-4pm on Saturday, Jan. 20. [TCL] Chamber Music Monterey Bay’s artistic chair, Amy Anderson, has been dreaming about getting Maxwell String Quartet to perform in Carmel since 2020. It finally happens this Saturday, Jan. 20. Courtesy Maxwell Quartet The annual EcoFarm conference takes over Asilomar Conference Grounds this weekend, spreading powerful information and networking for organic farmers. Daniel Dreifuss