Learn tips for managing rotational grazing and balancing the needs of a healthy heard with the demands of a diversified vegetable farm.
Northeast farmers who want to maximize production in the shoulder season and serve their markets year round are increasingly relying on high tunnels to extend the growing season. The techniques for successful long term high tunnel production differ greatly from field crops. In this day-long workshop we will discuss common high tunnel production challenges and how to address them.
Reducing tillage on your farm can preserve and enhance the microbial ecosystem, improving soil tilth, moisture retention and nutrient availability for your crops. Learn tips for managing a no-till, one acre garden from Liz, who has been managing her market garden with no-till and hand-tillage systems for five years.
Lynda Simkins, Executive Director of Natick Community Organic Farm and long-time organic flower grower, and Deena Kanopkin, Flower Manager at Natick Community Organic, will welcome participants to the farm to learn about all aspects of organic flower production. This first workshop will walk participants through crop planning, record keeping, seeding, transplanting, marketing and selling. This is will be a comprehensive learning experience, perfect for those who are just starting or those who would like to ramp up their commercial flower production.
The key to preventing disease and pest problems in your crops is making sure they have access to key nutrients needed for healthy growth. Learn the role of nitrogen and potassium in plant growth and tips for increasing nitrogen availability in cool spring soils.
Korean Natural Farming (KNF) is an agricultural method that encourages self-sustaining, closed loop systems that minimize external inputs. Developed by Master Han Kyu Cho in South Korea, KNF echoes many of the principles central to Masanobu Fukuoka’s Natural Farming technique as well as Permaculture.
Learn to identify edible wild plants and medicinal herbs with Hannah Jacobson-Hardy, holistic health coach and community herbalist of Sweet Birch Herbals. Participants will learn how to respectively harvest each plant and use them for making salads, soups, and skin care products. We’ll be identifying spring ephemerals such as ramps, dandelion, Japanese knotweed shoots, burdock root, and nettles, which are deliciously pungent and bitter treats that promote spring cleansing. After a winter of eating a dense, heavier diet, are you craving more fresh green foods? Join Hannah for an educational walk that includes recipes and tastings.
Sometimes less is more. Learn organization strategies from Ben Hartman, an experienced farmer who has improved his farm management based on Lean principals, originally designed by the Japanese auto industry. Lean allows him to cut waste, increase profit and make his farm more environmentally sustainable.
Join long time orchardists Pru Smith and Sharon Gensler for an afternoon workshop on small-scale homestead orcharding. They’ll demonstrate overall orchard planning, building diversity into plantings, breed selection, practical fruit growing techniques, and soil and plant health. Pru and Sharon will lead participants in an informative and experiential process, using their property, Wild Browse Farm, to demonstrate the importance of a holistic approach to orchard care.
When growing on small acreage is it critical to maximize yields of high value crops to create a profitable business. This workshop will include some growing techniques and some business strategies used by Curtis on his farm, Green City Acres, which grows $80,000 worth of produce on less than an acre of land each year.
Join Lynda Simkins, Executive Director of Natick Community Organic Farm, and long-time organic flower grower, and Deena Kanopkin, Flower Manager at Natick Community Organic, out in their beautiful flower beds for this mid-summer workshop. Participants will learn about weed and water management, the tricks to properly dead head and pick, arrangement strategies, season extension, and many other harvest and post-harvest techniques. This is will be a comprehensive learning experience, perfect for those who are just starting or those who would like to ramp up their commercial flower production.
2016 Keynoters: Dr. Christine Jones & Leah Penniman
The Northeast Organic Farming Association’s Summer Conference is the community learning hub of the NOFA universe. We learn, we play, and we enjoy a weekend of skill building, inspiration and entertainment. It is our opportunity to get together and inspire one another during a family friendly weekend with people living the same lifestyle, holding the same vision and working respectively in many ways toward the same goals.