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

August 29, 2014 - 10:00am to 12:00pm

Workshop Overview August 29: In part 2 of this two-part workshop we will explore harvest and post harvest of certified organic cut flowers, weed management, marketing and selling, and strategies for season exten

September 1, 2014 - 10:00am to 4:00pm

Spend the day with Dr. Christine Jones. Dr. Christine Jones is an internationally-acclaimed agricultural consultant with a specific message regarding sequestration of carbon and humus development through appropriate agricultural practices. According to Dr. Jones, photosynthesis operating at full capacity is the critical element in soil humification. Among the many benefits of high-humus soils are an abundance of soil micro-organisms which manage and make available to the plants a broad range of minerals; more effective water management; and more vibrant plant health through improved plant immunity. Dr. Jones’ work focuses on how to maximize photosynthesis through biological processes. Her message is appropriate for anyone who raises food, for those who focus on conserving our natural resources, and for climate activists.

September 2, 2014 - 9:00am to 3:00pm

Spend the day with Dr. Christine Jones. Dr. Christine Jones is an internationally-acclaimed agricultural consultant with a specific message regarding sequestration of carbon and humus development through appropriate agricultural practices. According to Dr. Jones, photosynthesis operating at full capacity is the critical element in soil humification. Among the many benefits of high-humus soils are an abundance of soil micro-organisms which manage and make available to the plants a broad range of minerals; more effective water management; and more vibrant plant health through improved plant immunity. Dr. Jones’ work focuses on how to maximize photosynthesis through biological processes. Her message is appropriate for anyone who raises food, for those who focus on conserving our natural resources, and for climate activists.