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Growing Organically Since 1982

Prepping NOFA Summer Conference’s return to Hampshire College

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This article comes from the NOFA/Massachusetts 2017 April Issue Newsletter

By Jason Valcourt

2016 Summer Conference farm tour at Fungi Ally

The coming of spring brings the NOFA Summer Conference one step closer to its return to Hampshire College after 10 years at the University of Massachusetts. Fond memories of the exciting summers of the early organic movement, when organic labeling was not standardized and organic certification had not been legislated by the federal government, are still fresh in the minds of some long time NOFA members. The community was growing and establishing its roots, and the conferences were an annual celebration of the collective energy of the small and large actions of many passionate growers.

At this year’s conference we will celebrate our interconnectedness: from the biological interactions of fungi and roots to the effect those relationships have on human health. We will be sharing ideas and honoring natural methods that are gentle on the earth, cultivate sustainably and responsibly, and consider the equity of all people involved.

We are excited to host Master Organic Orchardist Michael Phillips from Groveton, NH as our Friday evening keynote speaker. He will draw from his upcoming book Mycorrhizal Planet, published Spring 2017. Michael’s commitment to achieving a balance between production and the natural ecosystem is evidenced in his commitment to the natural world and achieving harmony with it.

We are also excited to host Emeritus Professor Dr. Don Huber from Purdue University. Dr. Huber is the nation’s leading Glyphosate researcher and has been a major thorn in Monsanto’s side for many years. Dr. Huber has dedicated himself to researching Glyphosate in an attempt to fully educate consumers about its dangers and the extent of its prominence in food production and household application. He has been under attack by Monsanto’s minions for decades but has unwaveringly focused on revealing the dangers of Glyphosate.

We have intensive workshops scheduled on Friday, August 11 from 9am-3:30pm. Intensive instructors/workshops include:

  • Michael Phillips: Holistic Orchard Management
  • Dr. Don Huber: The Impact of GMOs & Glyphosate on Soil, Crop, Animal and Human Health
  • Connor Stedman: Carbon Farming: Regenerative Agriculture for Climate Stabilization
  • Hannah Traggis and Bill Braun: On-Farm Seed Production

We are also offering a Sunday intensive with Dorn Cox from Tuckaway Farm in Lee, NH. Dorn will be discussing the numerous farm hacks that he has fabricated over the years, from altering tools and equipment to creating unique implements he couldn’t find elsewhere.

A new addition to the Saturday afternoon Country Fair this year will be maker demos. Fair goers will be able to stroll around the tents watching wool spinning, fiber soap making, farm hacks, and more! Stop and watch for a bit, ask questions, and continue on to the next demo. Don’t forget to pat the animals on the way, since with the abundance of shady trees at Hampshire, we are able to have more alpacas, sheep, goats, and horses. Make a Splash water games are returning to the Fair this year as well, which will be a wonderful way to cool off during a hot summer day.

Please visit the website to review the program or register for the conference – www.nofasummerconference.org!

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