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

Winter Conference

2016 Winter Conference Workshop

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.

Paul and Elizabeth Kaiser of Singing Frogs Farm in Sebastapol, CA have been called “drought fighters,” and “leading innovators,” in the field of regenerative agriculture. Their agro-ecological growing practices (and the results thereof) have commended as “sustainability on steroids,”’ and “transformative.”

Rapidly growing in renown to near Elliot Coleman levels, the Kaisers have recently attracted national attention from soil scientists, government agencies, agricultural organizations, journalists and the farming community for their unconventional farming practices. Their methods allow them to grow up to seven crops per year per bed, gross $100,000 per acre, raise soil organic matter 400% in six years, achieve Bee Friendly Certification, offer year-round positions to several employees at $15/hour, and use absolutely no sprays, even organic ones.

Elizabeth and Paul Kaiser (Photo by Saxton Holt)

Don’t miss the upcoming NOFA/Mass Winter Conference on January 14th, 2017. Our full program of adult, teen and children’s courses will fill your winter study sessions with energy and enthusiasm.

Speaking of study... what can degrees in nursing, public health, agroforestry, sustainable development and natural resources management get you? Answer: Two expert farmers and one NOFA/Mass Winter Conference keynote speaker - Paul Kaiser.

Paul and his wife Elizabeth own and operate Singing Frogs Farm, where they also raise their two children. This vegetable farm is not just sustainable - it’s also regenerative. Based in Sonoma County, California, it is a living experiment in no-till, ecologically beneficial, and highly profitable farm - producing 5-7 harvest per year.

There is less than one month remaining until the workshop proposal deadline! We are currently seeking knowledgeable practitioners to submit workshop proposals for the 2017 NOFA/Mass Winter Conference on January 14th at Worcester State University. Whether you are a seasoned presenter or have never taught a workshop before, whether you manage a small urban homestead, a commercial organic livestock operation, a landscaping firm, an apiary – if you have experience to share about working with living, organic systems, we want to hear from you!

Group gathered at 2016 Winter Conference

This year NOFA/Mass’s Winter Conference convened the first ever summit of grassroots activists and organizers to discuss Massachusetts’s pending GMO labeling bill (H3242). The gathering brought together a consortium of farmers, consumer advocates, and interested citizens who are concerned about the risks and lack of transparency associated with genetic engineering of our foods.

Children's Conference

Thanks to the more than 900 of you who attended our Winter Conference. Enjoy this photo slideshow of photos from the event.

 

 

Greens grown in mid-January in unheated greenhouse at Clay Bottom Farm

Our new online workshop series, “Inspiring Ideas from Experts in the Field,” attempts to make quality education easily accessible to all. On the last Tuesday of every month anyone can call or go online to join a one-hour workshop focused on farm management issues. Remote learning will never surpass the value of on-farm, in-person workshops, but our online series removes the added burdens of travel time and cost, increasing the likelihood of participation from beginning and experienced farmers alike.

Worcester’s YouthGROW leads Gentrification in the Food System workshop in 2015

We hope the whole family will join us for our 29th annual Winter Conference on January 16, 2016 at Worcester State University. This 1000 person conference features over 80 workshops for adults, children and teens, a broad array of exhibits, and an all-day seminar and keynote by Ben Burkett, fourth generation family farmer and cooperative business advocate. All workshops are approved for Accredited Organic Land Care Professional (AOLCP) credit and a select number of workshops are also approved for Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) credit.

Tara Whitsitt presents ‘Fermenting by Season’ at 2015 Winter Conference

January 16 is fast approaching, but you still have time to register for all of the fun. Register by the December 15 early bird deadline to save on your registration price at www.nofamass.org/events/wc!

Bring your kids for the day and together the whole family can learn how to be part of a smarter, healthier planet. We’ve added lots of great presenters to the children’s and teen conference line-up, so children of all ages will learn how to be better stewards of our planet.  

Christine McClusky leads a workshop in 2014

Now that it's fall, it's time to get you registered for the 29th annual Winter Conference. Click here to register now. This year's workshop line-up will be better than ever, with 70 workshops to choose from throughout the day. Scholarships are available for beginning farmers. Discounts apply for all adult registrations purchased before the December 15th early bird deadline. The Winter Conference takes place at Worcester State University, on Saturday, January 16, 2016.

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