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

September 27, 2016 -
7:00pm to 8:00pm

You shouldn’t have to struggle with selling your product or communicating with your customers. Join farmer and marketer Michael Kilpatrick who will share simple principles, tips, and techniques to connect with your customers and sell more product. Michael will talk about the power of developing your farm story and branding your farm, figuring out who your customer is, and connecting with them through simple social media strategies.

October 2, 2016 -
10:00am to 4:00pm

Do you raise your own pigs, goats, sheep? Want to gain independence from the slaughterhouse while learning how to humanely and skillfully harvest your own livestock? Come learn with The Roving Butcher, aka Jake Levin, as he leads us through whole hog processing. Starting with dispatching, bleeding, scalding, evisceration, Jake will then break down the pig into various pork cuts along with your help. He will also share tips and tricks on how to use the odd bits and respectfully make best use of the entire animal.

October 16, 2016 -
1:00pm to 4:00pm

Are you interested in or already raising grass-fed cattle? Come learn with organic grass-fed cattle farmer Matt Koziol.

Matt will discuss what farmers need to know to keep their animals healthy and productive. Starting with the nutritional requirements for livestock, particular attention will be paid to reading and responding to cattle behavior in order to reduce stress for both cow and farmer.