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

2018 NOFA/Mass Winter Conference features regenerative farming pioneer Gabe Brown “Cover. Diversify. Regenerate” Saturday, January 13, 2018 Worcester State University, Worcester, MA

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This article comes from the NOFA/Massachusetts 2017 October Issue Newsletter

Jason Valcourt, NOFA/Mass Winter Conference Coordinator

2018 Keynote Speaker Gabe Brown and his son on their ranch (Photo credit Gabe)

Implementing practices that protect and improve soil health is a commitment NOFA/Mass has held for over 30 years. Healthy soil, healthy food, and healthy people are indivisible goals. This basic premise has been the foundation of NOFA’s work for decades and many farmers and gardeners have achieved increased fertility from their land and nutrition from their food for decades by coming together each year -- sometimes, many times each year-- to skill-share at NOFA/Mass events. The Winter Conference has been a mainstay of this NOFA/Mass community learning, bringing together people from across food production, preparation, and policy sectors to propel the organic food movement forward.

Facing the multifaceted challenges that climate change will bring to food production, farmers and gardeners are faced with an opportunity to deepen their impact on the world. We are tasked to produce high-quality, healthy food while mitigating climate change. Ideally, growers have the opportunity to protect and improve soil resources while making an impact on our atmosphere through regenerative soil practices that reduce damage to the ecosystem and sequester carbon.

This year’s NOFA/Mass Winter Conference keynote speaker, Gabe Brown, is a celebrated regenerative farming pioneer, having managed his pastures with no-till methods since the early 1990’s. Since then, he has steadily been reducing his chemical inputs and increasing his land’s biological diversity with great effect-- higher yields, healthier crops and livestock, improved water management, and increased soil carbon gains. Gabe’s pioneering work with cover crops and land management have taken him to the national and international stage, promoting no till practices and cover crop cocktails to diverse audiences across the globe.

In a September 6 article with renowned health and wellness guru Dr. Joseph Mercola interviews Gabe Brown to get his perspective on the state of affairs today’s food producers are facing. Gabe says, “...We had four devastating years of crop failure in a row (from hail) and I tell people that’s the best thing that could’ve happened to me, because it taught me that I had to learn how to take care of the resource (the soil itself)”.

A this year’s keynote address, Gabe Brown will bring us up to speed on how to embrace soil enhancing practices that utilize natural diversity to protect and improve our soil resource. Gabe will also present an all-day seminar, taking attendees deeper into his philosophy, techniques and his cover crop practices.

There will also be two additional all day seminars at this year’s conference. One of the all day seminars will be led by former NOFA/Mass vice-president Derek Christianson who will provide an advanced workshop on soil chemistry for practitioners who are seeking to deepen their soil mineral balancing ability. Participants can bring their own soil test results which may be used as case examples in the workshop.

With over 60 workshops ranging from animal husbandry, soil health, food sovereignty, fruit production and more, farmers, homesteaders, gardeners and land care professionals should get prepared for a day of learning and inspiration.

Registration opens October 15th. Continuously updated information can be found here - http://www.nofamass.org/events/wc. We have a number of early bird discounts, work in exchange for registration and scholarship opportunities. So don’t tarry to register. 

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