"Homesteading is a way for me to fully LIVE the life I love; a joyful immersion in a whole, sustainable system."
- Sharon Gensler Outreach Coordinator, NOFA/Mass and long-time homesteader
In a world that is becoming increasingly more complex and inaccessible, people are taking charge of their own lives through homesteading. Homesteading represents the utmost expression of self sufficiency and self determination, and is practiced by New Englanders in a wide range of surroundings. Homesteaders across MA are raising chickens and livestock, keeping honeybee hives, planting vegetables and fruit trees, and finding ways of preserving, fermenting, and drying food to keep throughout the year. They are spinning their own fiber, constructing their own homes and furniture, implementing new forms of sustainable energy solutions and finding ways to renew, re-use and recycle natural resources.
At NOFA/Mass, we believe that opting out of an industrial food system by growing food for yourself and for your family is amongst one of the most empowering decisions a person can make; an act which is simultaneously a strong contribution to food security. Our homesteaders are bold dreamers. They step out of societal norms and create intentional communities, where simplicity, self-reliance, and hard work are core values. This is true whether they live on 20 acres of land or in urban apartments. Whether you are a homesteader because you’re not quite ready for the next smartphone, or because you are trying to make a political statement, our classes on cheese-making, lactofermentation, and other DIY workshops are designed for the homesteader or serious hobbyist. At NOFA/Mass you’ll also find a strong homesteading culture among our members – among folks who have been homesteading since the 70’s. If you’re a homesteader, come learn from the generations of MA residents who have successfully transitioned back to a simpler, land-based lifestyle.
Learn how to use local vegetables, herbs, and spices to make your own version of kimchi, a traditional Korean method of vegetable fermentation. Use these methods to develop your own signature recipes and eat farm fresh food throughout the winter months!
Learn techniques for intensively growing vegetables using organic no-till practices on a commercial scale from Bryan O’Hara, owner and farmer at Tobacco Road Farm in Lebanon, CT. Liz Joseph, Heifer Farm garden manager and host for our workshop, will provide a tour of the Heifer Farm organic gardens where she has implemented intensive no-till vegetable production techniques over the last five years.