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.

 

Homesteaders

"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.

Events Of Interest

May 21, 2016 -
1:30pm to 3:30pm

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 respectfully 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.

June 12, 2016 -
1:30pm to 4:00pm

Join long time orchardists Pru Smith and Sharon Gensler for an afternoon workshop on small-scale homestead orcharding. They’ll demonstrate overall orchard planning, building diversity into plantings, breed selection, practical fruit growing techniques, and soil and plant health. Pru and Sharon will lead participants in an informative and experiential process, using their property, Wild Browse Farm, to demonstrate the importance of a holistic approach to orchard care.

June 26, 2016 -
1:00pm to 4:00pm

Learn the ins and outs of commercial medicinal herb production, from field to drying room. Participants will get an overview of the production and planning methodologies that Full Kettle Farm uses. The workshop will also focus on post production handling and herb drying for teas, oils, and other value added products.