"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.
This workshop provides a general understanding of how milk is made into cheese and what to look for when selecting milk for cheese-making. The workshop is primarily hands-on, demonstrating what the milk and curds and cheese look like at each step of the process. Learn to diagnose and fix problems during the process to produce delicious cheeses, even if things don't come out precisely as intended.
Natural Roots Farm relies exclusively on horse-power to run a 200-member CSA and to harvest hay and timber. Participants will see live horse-power demonstrations on a variety of traditional and recently innovated horse-drawn implements and will learn how these practices are used in the farm’s vegetable production systems.
Participants will learn to select breeds; set up a brooder; raise day-old chicks; deal with predator pressure; improve pasture grass and forbs; and provide adequate housing, feed, and supplementation. Discussion will include how the animals are integral to the farm and how all parts of the farm depend on the others.