"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.
Lynda Simkins, Executive Director of Natick Community Organic Farm and long-time organic flower grower, and Deena Kanopkin, Flower Manager at Natick Community Organic, will welcome participants to the farm to learn about all aspects of organic flower production. This first workshop will walk participants through crop planning, record keeping, seeding, transplanting, marketing and selling. 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.
Korean Natural Farming (KNF) is an agricultural method that encourages self-sustaining, closed loop systems that minimize 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.
Learn to identify edible wild plants and medicinal herbs with Hannah Jacobson-Hardy, holistic health coach and community herbalist of Sweet Birch Herbals. Participants will learn how to respectively harvest each plant and use them for making salads, soups, and skin care products. We’ll be identifying spring ephemerals such as ramps, dandelion, Japanese knotweed shoots, burdock root, and nettles, which are deliciously pungent and bitter treats that promote spring cleansing. After a winter of eating a dense, heavier diet, are you craving more fresh green foods? Join Hannah for an educational walk that includes recipes and tastings.