The Massachusetts chapter of the Northeast Organic Farming Association. NOFA/Mass welcomes everyone who cares about food, where it comes from and how it’s grown

Growing Organically Since 1982

Join NOFA/Mass

Membership is not just for farmers.

 

Farmers

"[Organic farming] ... for anyone who likes to feed others and play in the dirt."

- Julie Rawson
Executive Director, NOFA/Mass

NOFA/Mass offers a tremendous number of resources for farmers and growers of all stripes: the Organic Food Guide, the NOFA Summer Conference, the NOFA/Mass Winter Conference, Advanced Growers' Seminars, a variety of Education Events, the annual Spring Bulk Order, a Beginning Farmer/Journeyperson Program, the Raw Milk Network, and our ongoing Policy work to improve conditions for farming in Massachusetts by supporting appropriate regulations to assure safe access to markets as well as freshness and maximum nutritional value.

The most recognized "father" of organic farming is Sir Albert Howard. Howard was trained in the Justus von Liebig "school" of conventional agriculture in the late 1800's. Von Liebig's paper titled "Chemistry in its Application to Agriculture" in 1843 was the signature event that moved the world into the N-P-K fertility mindset. While working with indigenous farmers in India in the early 1900's, Sir Albert Howard came to realize that traditional methods of farming were necessary to keep crops and people healthy. These passages from The Soil and Health (published in 1947) sum up the organic system quite beautifully.

"Mother earth never attempts to farm without livestock; she always raises mixed crops; great pains are taken to preserve the soil and to prevent erosion; the mixed vegetable and animal wastes are converted into humus; there is no waste; the processes of growth and the processes of decay balance one another; ample provision is made to maintain large reserves of fertility; the greatest care is taken to store the rainfall; both plants and animals are left to protect themselves against disease."

He argued that all farming must not fall pray to the temptation to turn the reserves of humus into a short term profit at the expense of later generations. He saw the variety of life above and below ground as emblematic of the great "Wheel of Life" that through "the successive and repeated processes of birth, growth, maturity, death, and decay" feeds and sustains the life on the planet. In a departure from the conventional thinking of the day, he thought of diseases and insects not as a scourge to be wiped out with poisons, but as teachers and friends that show him where the processes of growth and decay are out of balance.

Events Of Interest

July 25, 2016 -
1:00pm to 5:00pm

Multi-species cover crop cocktails can create synergistic ecological benefits for your farm or garden - enhancing biodiversity, efficiently capturing and recycling nutrients, and sequestering carbon in the soil. This workshop will explore how to select, mix, and establish various cover crop mixtures. We will also discuss assessment and quantifying how your cover crop practices are impacting soil health.

August 3, 2016 -
2:30pm to 4:30pm

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.

August 12, 2016 (All day) to August 14, 2016 (All day)

2016 Keynoters: Andre Leu & Leah Penniman

Early Bird Discount extended to August 6th!

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.