We are honored to be hosting creative activist and artistic visionary Junauda Petrus for a keynote event at this year's QFC, and you & yours are invited to attend via livestream! Follow the link below to learn more about the event and to sign up to attend via Zoom.
Join the QFC Virtually!
Registration for the Iowa QFC is closed for 2022!
Registration for the Virginia gathering in October is almost full, so sign up soon!
To manage high demand, QFC attendance is application based. We reserve at least 1/3 of spaces for BIPOC attendees, and will not be able to accommodate everyone who applies.
Registration is offered on a sliding scale ($25-$150) and free registration & travel stipends are available for BIPOC farmers who would like to attend!
We are committed to fundraising to pay for registration and travel (up to $300) for BIPOC community members, and we hope to make travel stipends available to other folx who need them as well. If you'd like to donate to the BIPOC travel stipend fund, including as an organization or through donating a raffle item, visit our DONATION page or get in touch! Our yearly fundraising goal for this is around $12,000. If funds exceed this number in a given year, they are rolled over to next year's fund.
About the QFC
Humble Hands Harvest (an Iowa-based worker-owned co-op farm) has hosted an annual Queer Farmer Convergence since 2018. It was conceived as a gathering to interrupt racist, capitalist, colonialist, and heteropatriarchal legacies in U.S. agriculture, while building community and alternatives among queer farmers who might experience isolation in those intersecting identities. The gathering is for all queer folk who identify as current, lapsed, or aspiring farmers / agriculturalists of any kind!
The original QFC gathering is in rural Iowa, primarily because it first emerged out of a group of friends who are located here and had capacity to host. However, a second gathering is happening for the first time in Virginia in 2022, and we hope to help seed more convergences in regions around the country in the years to come.
The QFC is a largely outdoor, scrappy on-farm gathering where attendees camp, share food - in Iowa, food made by Blazing Star Eats, a queer Decorah based local food biz - and spend the days attending scheduled sessions including opportunities to make art, get your hands dirty, and offer and participate in workshops.
While the hosts provide structural bones that shape the days, all who attend co-create the space in some way. Our goal is to provide enough structure so that folks feel comfortable and held, and enough spaciousness to match the needs of the specific folks gathered. Attendees help shape the QFC through their presence, contributions to conversations, skill and workshop offerings, and the sheer magic that happens when queers converge.
Some things that happen at the QFC:
SINGING! STRETCHING REST
DATING MOVEMENT BUILDING
ARTS & CRAFTS GARDEN WORK!
PLAYING WITH ANIMALS!
MAKING FRIENDS :-)
Is the convergence accessible for people with mobility issues and other disabilities?
With chagrin, we say maybe-to-no. The accommodation we have is tent camping, and most of the gathering is on grassy sloped ground. We're willing to get creative based on your accessibility needs, and we know that we won't be able to meet them for everybody, based on our context.
How do you travel to Decorah?
We are not close to public transportation. The nearest airports are in La Crosse, Wisconsin, and Rochester, Minnesota, with further but larger airports in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and Minneapolis, Minnesota. An Amtrak line comes through La Crosse. Closer to the convergence we will be sending out a carpool google doc for people to connect about ride sharing.
Is rural Iowa a safe place for BIPOC and trans* folks?
We can vouch for our immediate rural neighborhood as a safe place to be, and to a large extent for the town of Decorah (population 8,000), a liberal arts college town which has hosted a pride festival since 2018. Iowa's demographics are 90% white, which means that a lot of Iowans don't have much experience of racial (or gender) diversity. We as organizers want to support folx in making their way safely to our farm--please contact us directly with concerns.
How much does it cost to attend?
We use a gift economy ethic for this gathering: we want people to contribute in a way that feels affordable and generous for them. To that end we have a wide sliding scale, from $25 to $150 for the weekend, which includes all meals!
Where does the money that's raised by the event go?
It has typically cost around $6000 to run this event--to rent tents and porta potties, to pay for catering, and to compensate our host farm for their preparation efforts. The BIPOC travel stipend fund costs at least $9000. We find the money to run the QFC in part from people's registrations, but also through sponsorships from organizations that want to support our community. Money to support travel for BIPOC attendees is raised in a grassroots way - through calendar sales, individual donations through our website, raffles of art and other things, and more! If you'd like to donate to the fund you can do so here!
What if one has dietary restrictions?
Blazing Star Eats, a queer owned local food business, will be catering the food, mainly serving vegetarian meals with options for those who are vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free.
Do people from not-the-midwest go to this convergence?
Yes! The majority of attendees are from the Midwest, and the gathering is most relevant to people from our bioregion, but we have had attendees from all coasts, and all are welcome!
Are kids welcome at the gathering?
Yes! Let us know if you are bringing young humans, and what kinds of support you need in caring for them and keeping them entertained! We've brought in childcare from outside the convergence in the past, and we've also taken turns as attendees in spending time with the kids there.
Can I bring my dog?