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

Summer Conference Program Heating Up!

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This article comes from the NOFA/Massachusetts 2018 June Issue Newsletter

By Hannah Blackmer and Michelle Cruz, Summer Conference Committee Members

Event, Summer Conference

April might have been a cold, slow month, but May came running in like a freight train! Here we are in June, summer upon us, trying to make heads or tails of what happened this spring. Unpredictable weather patterns – from record temperature lows to record temperature highs, from droughts to freak wind storms – raise the difficulty level of farming a notch every year. It’s easy to feel isolated in these challenges; it seems that every farm has its own individual micro-climate throwing us all into our own siloed chaos.

The good news is that there are folks out there, from every corner of the Northeast, willing to share their experiences in battling this chaos. New techniques are debuted, and old techniques are also demonstrated to be tried and true. Resilience comes from building soils through regenerative farming practice, dedicated cover cropping, and an improved knowledge of what happens beneath our feet. You can learn all of this, and much, much, much more, from our presenters at the NOFA Summer Conference!

Our regular program workshops are ninety minutes long, enough time to pump you full of information and get you enthusiastic about a topic, with room for dialogue and discussion at the end. At this length you can attend a grand total of eight workshops over the course of the three-day weekend, sampling from different topics or sticking to a particular track. In addition to the regular weekend program are our pre-conference intensive workshops which start on Friday morning. These intensive workshops allow participants to take a deeper dive, offering six hours of focused learning. Intensive workshops do require you to register for them, and by doing so you allow yourself an incredible opportunity to gain direct knowledge. For 2018 we have four intensive workshops lined up:

  • Homesteading 101 with NOFA legend Sharon Gensler
  • Seed Sovereignty with indigenous seed and food sovereignty activist Rowen White
  • The World of Putting Up with Rosa Galeno, artisanal chef and food educator
  • Food Systems Making Change in Prisons and Jails, lead by food justice educators Abrah Dresdale and Angela Roell.

Full workshop descriptions are available on the NOFA Summer Conference website!

More Programming

In addition to the amazing workshop program we have in store for you, we are preparing a lively and entertaining weekend that just keeps getting better. We are happy to welcome Sidy Magai, a master djembe player from Mali, West Africa, to join us for our Saturday evening entertainment and drum circle! His various recordings include Africa United which join musicians from across the world. Sidy loves to share his culture. He has produced the annual West African Dance and Drum Festival: Afrika Nyaga, since 2009, to large crowds.

Sidy is a regular on the music scene, playing not only traditional Malian music, but also a fusion of Malian music with Latin, Blues, Brazilian as well as alongside house music DJs for events throughout New England and around the world. He has a regular stint with Uhuru Afrika which was dubbed a "Unique and powerful intersection of art and nightlife that challenges distinctions between the two,” by Boston Dig.

In addition to performing, Sidy teaches djembe and dundun drumming to students at schools and universities throughout the country. Come jam with one of the country's master drummers on Saturday of this year’s conference!

Early Bird Discounts are available through June 27th!

Register by June 27th to take advantage of our Early Bird Discounts and save up to 20% off registration fees.

You may also want to look into our scholarship opportunities that are available for those needing a financial lift.

Register now and check out the plentiful and inspiring Summer Conference program at www.nofasummerconference.org.

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