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

Bulk Order Program

Off-loading supplies at New England Small Farm Institute, Belchertown, MA

 Thank you to all the volunteers, site coordinators & suppliers for a great round of distributions.  Happy growing & see you next year! 

 

Do you buy cover crop seed, fertilizers, mineral amendments, compost, potting soil, potato and allium seed?   Would you like to save money on those items? If so, the bulk order might be perfect for you.  Prior to the spring growing season, NOFA/Mass organizes a bulk order with popular suppliers, for distribution at sites around MA/CT/RI.  Take advantage of significant savings through group purchasing power and collective shipping, while helping NOFA support organic practices throughout the region. The order is open to both members and non-members & no order is too small or minimum order required!  Items available: fertilizers, mineral amendments, pest control, feed-grade supplements, useful tools for the farm/garden, compost, potting soil, cover crop seed, potato and allium seed.

Order period is open for 1 month only, so mark the date on your calendar now!  To be prepared, we suggest getting your soil tested, with recommendations. Most results are available within 2-3 days via e-mail.

How do you participate? Download order form, mail it in or turn in at NOFA/Mass Winter Conference.  See order form examples & product descriptions below.

When does the order arrive?  All items, with the exception of tuber & allium seed, arrives mid March.  Allium & tuber seed arrives early April.   

Where do I pick up my order? Orders are delivered to various sites throughout MA, CT, RI.  Distribution sites in 2013 were at the following locations

Belchertown, MA: New England Small Farm Institute, 275 Jackson St.

Barre, MA: Many Hands Organic Farm, 411 Sheldon Rd.

Dalton, MA: Holiday Farm, 100 Holiday Cottage Rd.

East Freetown, MA: Jonathan Sprouts Organics, 170 Middleboro Rd.

Ipswich, MA: Appleton Farms, 219 County Rd.

Waltham, MA: Waltham Fields Community Farm, 240 Beaver St.

Cranston, RI: Urban Edge Farm, 35 Pippin Orchard Rd.

Meriden, CT: High Hill Orchard, 86 Fleming Rd.

Which suppliers do you work with?

Organic Growers Supply, ME: mineral amendments, fertilizers, cover crop seeds - www.fedcoseeds.com

Moose Tubers (division of FEDCO): potato & allium seed – www.fedcoseeds.com or (207) 873-7333

Fertrell, PA: - mineral amendments, fertilizers, animal care products - www.fertrell.com

Vermont Compost Company, VT: compost & potting soil - www.vermontcompost.com

Crop Production Services, MA: mineral amendments - (413-665-2115)

North Country Organics, VT: mineral amendments & fertilizers – www.norganics.com

Ideal Compost Company, NH: compost, potting soil, wooden stakes – www.idealcompost.com

Looking for something in particular or have any questions? Contact Cathleen O’Keefe, Bulk Order Coordinator, bulkorder@nofamass.org.

Why use cover crops?

In addition to reducing soil compaction & erosion, cover crops take up and store nutrients needed by subsequent crops, suppress weeds, host beneficial insects, improve the structure and arability of the soil, and can even break up clay and hardpan. Most of all, when they are turned into the soil, they provide food and energy for the real farmers, the organisms that live and thrive in a healthy soil, feeding and caring for the plants.  More information at: http://www.fedcoseeds.com/ogs/covercrop_chart.htm

Where does your tuber seed come from & how is it certified?

All seed is certified by the state in which it’s grown.  The following details Maine’s Certification Program.   Check out Colorado Department of Ag & Cornell University’s website for other state programs. 

Field Inspections:

Each seed lot is visited by inspectors twice, a month apart, with a third inspection for Bacterial Ring Rot.  Here are Maximum Tolerances:

 

1st inspection

2nd inspection

Leaf Roll

2%

1%

Mosaic

3%

2%

Total Virus

3%

3%

Varietal Mix

1%

¼%


Post Harvest Florida Test: Every grower sends 400 tubers from each seed lot of no more than 40 acres to the ME Potato Board’s Certification farm in Dade Co., FL.  The seed is grown out in the field & tested for virus.   Only lots scoring 95% clean or better with successful seasonal field readings qualify for the certified standard.  

 Late Blight: If late blight is found in a field visit, the farmer is responsible to clear it up.  Testing in a lab is required in bad years.  A visual shipping point inspection allows www.mainelegislature.org/legis/statutes/7/title7ch401seco.html

Allowable defects at shipping point inspection:

10% of the surface of the spud may be scab & 10% “waste cut” of Fusarium dry rot allowed.

Seed with either of these defects won’t grow defective tubers. 

Good practices to reduce spud pains

  • Covercrops – Follow harvest with a hardy winter grain: rye, triticale, winter wheat.
  • Crop Rotation- Rotate crop families to reduce accumulation of crop specific pests/diseases.
  • Draw up a Nutrient Management Plan
  • Keep a Keen Eye- Watch for awkward looking plants & rogue as you scout your fields. 

 

Forms

NOFA/Mass Membership

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