The 2014 NOFA Summer Conference is just around the corner. We’ve gathered the brightest growers, thinkers and activists in the organic movement for this weekend of captivating workshops, enlivening speakers, farm tours and fun.
Aaron Englander has developed a large body of knowledge regarding Korean Natural Farming. KNF looks very holistically at the entire farm system, including the people in it, and uses inputs that are generally close at hand and relatively inexpensive.
It’s an exciting time. Everything is greening, the fruit trees are about to flower, and early crops are planted. Last month I wrote that my 2014 focus would be on SRI (wide spacing of plants) gardening, and now I’m going to expand that focus to include carbon sequestration (CS). I believe these go hand in hand, not only to secure my personal “food security,” but also to actually do something positive to negate climate change.
The beginning of spring marks the time for lambs, kids, and baby animals of all kinds to enter the world. With dairy-production animals, the arrival of the newborns also marks the arrival of the rich spring milk. It is a time of year that is heavy with anticipation, wonder, and excitement. For farmers or homesteaders who are just entering the world of dairy production, it is especially thrilling and joyful to watch their animals get ready for giving birth and then welcoming the new little ones. Lionel Zupan works in higher education, but is getting his feet wet in goat production.
A lot of folks buying local meat, milk, and eggs are also among the consumers who are most concerned about GMOs in our diet. Many of them have not yet made the connection that most GMOs are not in processed foods in the grocery store. The bulk of GMOs are made into animal feed. In fact, it is difficult to buy feed which is not made almost entirely of GMOs -- unless you buy organic feed. And everyone knows that organic feed is about twice as expensive as conventional, GMO feed.
On March 17, 2014, the joint legislative committee on Agriculture favorably reported out a redrafted bill calling for mandatory labeling of food or seeds containing GMOs! We are grateful to the legislators on the committee for listening to the growing concern about GMOs.
Please take a minute to give NOFA/Mass your input for our strategic plan. Your opinions will help us plan for the future of organic farming in Massachusetts.
The Boston Globe just launched the Globe Readers and Non-profits Together (GRANT) program. This week, the Globe mailed vouchers (like the one pictured) to all subscribers, that can be designated to any certified 501( c ) (3) non-profit (meaning organizations like the Northeast Organic Farming Association/Massachusetts Chapter, Inc.!).
Mark Shepard, perennial agriculture and permaculture design expert, presents the 2014 NOFA/Mass Winter Conference keynote speech.
NOFA/Mass is supporting two petitions started by David Chapman, organic tomato grower in Vermont, urging the National Organic Program to adopt a recommendation of the National Organic Standards Board and refuse to allow hydroponic growing to be considered “organic”.
If you are a certified organic farm, or can affirm our sustainability pledge (see below) , you can list in our searchable online guide of local, organic and sustainable products at theorganicfoodguide.com. Click this link and fill out the short survey. Questions? Contact Rebecca at Rebecca@nofamass.org.
Great news! Thanks to the generosity and vision of many, the initial $7000 Fall
Appeal Matching Fund has already been reached! But the largesse of the season has
not ended! Inspired by the tremendous response to this appeal, several additional
NOFA/Mass members have stepped forward to expand this awesome opportunity for
Organic Food and Farming in Massachusetts by offering $3000 more to the Matching
Fund. With 3 weeks left to go in the Challenge, donations still have at least twice
the impact, up to the $10,000 match!
Off-loading supplies at New England Small Farm Ins
Baystate Organic Certifiers
Source for certified organic food
Buy fresh, unpasteurized milk from a local farm.
August 8-10, 2014, UMass, Amherst, MA