What’s new at NOFA/Mass
Winter Conference Early Bird Deadline is 12/15! Join us on Jan 14, 2017 to tap into the resources of more than 70 popular workshops and experts from the field on organic farming, gardening, landscaping, homesteading, DIY skill building and soil/human/animal health.
Recent newsletter stories
November was a time of fevered distraction for most of us, as we watched an administration change take place in our country that is expected to call into question all current national efforts toward climate mitigation.
We must now refocus. We must redouble our efforts on a personal and community level to reduce carbon emissions, sequester carbon, and support sequestration efforts.
There are many things we can and should all be doing, such as carpooling or taking transportation alternatives, eating lower on the food chain, avoiding industrial meat entirely, air-drying clothes, composting – the list goes on.
But a critically important part of addressing climate change is soil carbon sequestration, or “carbon farming”, which is increasingly attracting the attention and support of organizations in the US and across the world.
For those of us dedicated to healthy eating and ecological-minded food systems, the last eight years have been a time of great optimism. The White House turned a portion of its lawn into an organic vegetable garden for the first time since World War II. The 2008 Farm Bill finally did away with direct subsidy payments and created funding for grants to encourage beginning farmers and ranchers, specialty crops (aka vegetables and fruits), and increased funding for conservation programs that pay farmers to nurture their land’s resources.
But that bubble burst wide open on November 8 with the election of our 45th president, Donald J. Trump. While many of us remain confused and shocked by the results, we also need to prepare for what the next four years of policy might look like. Trump himself mostly steered clear of food and farm policy talk on the campaign trail. But clues abound as to what we as farmers and eaters can expect to change over the next four (or eight) years.
The long, sweaty, stressful days of summer feel miles behind us, our hours now being spent in front of the fire with crop plans and financial spreadsheets rather than under the blazing hot sun with harvest knives and weeding maps. The 2017 growing season couldn’t be farther away; with any luck, mountains of snow stand between those very first seedlings and us. Now is the time to sleep in a little longer, do a little more yoga, and catch up on the New York Times bestseller list.
We at NOFA, however, are spending our days looking ahead to next summer with vigor; August is at the forefront of our minds, and with it the 43rd annual Summer Conference on August 11-13. Fall and winter provide us with the opportunity to build the best conference program possible. Our Summer Conference Committee has already been putting their heads together, brainstorming new ways to add depth to this annual event. Exciting changes have already taken place! A long awaited move back to Hampshire College has made the books, which we know will bring great joy to attendees, presenters, vendors and staff. Hampshire’s compact, quiet and earthy site (not to mention their onsite farm! Oh, the opportunities!) will provide a relaxing and enjoyable conference experience.
Beginning Farmer Program
Free Monthly Phone/Web Workshop Series
Buy fresh, unpasteurized milk from a local farm.
Read our Soil Carbon Restoration white paper
30th annual Winter Conference January 14, 2017