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

April 27, 2014 - 10:00am to 12:30pm

This hands-on workshop will teach you the techniques necessary to grow edible mushrooms in your landscape, whether a vegetable garden, orchard or ornamental understory. We will discuss and demonstrate companion planting with mushrooms in annual and perennial settings. We'll also explore how to make use of waste materials and neglected spaces through mushroom cultivation. This workshop will primarily focus on Wine Cap, Elm Oyster, and Oyster mushrooms.

April 29, 2014 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Have you ever wanted to make your own yogurt, but just don’t know where to begin? This class will go over the ins and outs of making yogurt, kefir, and creme fraiche in your own home. Culturing makes dairy easy on the digestive system because the “good” bacteria break down the milk sugar and casein, rendering it much more digestible and pleasant to consume than normal dairy products, particularly those that are pasteurized. Bring your questions along with you!

May 3, 2014 - 9:30am to 4:30pm

Korean Natural Farming (KNF) is an agricultural method that encourages self-sustaining, closed loop systems through minimizing 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. This all-day, hands-on workshop will focus on both the philosophies and the practices of KNF.

Who We Are

David, Pam RaymondIMG_2576IMG_0825IMG_0841The NOFA conference 2011IMG_0872IMG_0797IMG_718044730009