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Summer Conference 2019 Update: Music, Intensives and the All New Teen Summit

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This article comes from the NOFA/Massachusetts 2019 April Issue Newsletter

By Jason Valcourt, NOFA Summer Conference Coordinator

It’s getting warm and Spring has officially sprung here at the NOFA Summer Conference headquarters. We have a fun, educational and exciting weekend in store for you for this coming August. With Sandor Katz as our keynote speaker and offering an intensive workshop on Saturday morning, a deep lineup of talented presenters, and an incredible group of local artisans and musicians, we are in for a very dynamic conference once again. With our new two-day format, the weekend is sure to be a potent experience.

This year you can join us for a mixer on Friday night to kick off the conference weekend, relax with live music and take the opportunity to shake your booty or just have some good ol’ friendly conversation. Our Friday night music will be brought to you by local superstars The Gaslight Tinkers and there will be local adult beverages for your taste buds. Some of you might remember this band from a few years ago as the contradance band. There will not be a formal contradance this year, but no one will stop you from grabbing a partner and spinning around the floor.

Beginning on Saturday morning you can feast on the amazing workshop program and drop into sessions from talented presenters such as Alice Percy, Dan Kittredge, Connor Stedman, Liz Henderson, and many more. A wide range of topics including seed saving, regenerative farming practices, healthy pigs, and measuring nutrient density fill out a robust program. So much to choose from!

Kids enjoy the interactive workshops at the NOFA Summer ConferenceFor those of you interested in immersion on a particular topic, on both Saturday and Sunday we are offering intensive options. On Saturday, you can choose between two half-day intensives: fermentation with Sandor Katz, or flower farming with Luke and Jenny of Tiny Hearts Farm in New York state. On Sunday, your options are for full day, deep dives into growing hemp with Brendan Beer of Vermont or herbalism with renowned herbalist Guido Mase, also of Vermont!  See Guido’s personal introduction to his intensive here.

Once again our youth conference has an amazing lineup and fun educational activities for your young farmers in training - ages 5 to 12. Valerie Walton and her own long time NOFA family are your host for the weekend and will keep the kids enthralled with hands on workshops and a Sunday morning visit to the Hampshire Farm to harvest and prepare a farm lunch!

Teen Summit - Our latest addition to the conference.

This summer will bring a new addition to the summer conference schedule. NOFA will be

sponsoring our first Teen Summit on Food Justice and Urban Agriculture. It will take place on Sunday, August 11th at Hampshire College.

The Teen Summit is a collaboration with several agricultural youth groups from across the Northeast. Founding groups of this year’s Teen Summit are Groundwork Somerville, Garden the Community, Mill City Grows, Grow Hartford, and Urban Farming Institute.

The collaboration has been initiated in order to discuss challenges and accomplishments in urban agriculture/food justice and racial equity. The Teen Summit will also give youth a chance to experience different career paths in agriculture and a tour of a Hampshire College’s Farm. All participating youth will be able to attend NOFA Summer Conference Workshops.

Here’s Anna introducing the Teen Summit via video. For more information and for group registration info please contact anna@nofamass.org,

Would you like to host a Meetup at the conference?

If you’d be interested in hosting a Meetup gathering at the Summer Conference fair on Saturday afternoon 8/10 please email: nofafern@gmail.com to inquire.

Registration opens on May 1st!

Members receive a 20% discount and there are scholarships available.

Read more Summer Conference updates from last month’s article here.

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