By Jason Valcourt, NOFA Summer Conference Coordinator

As the Four Tops sang in their epic and iconic song, I’ll be there/Reach Out, the NOFA Summer Conference is planning to be here in spite of this COVID-19 disruption and we are happy to be bringing the conference online. We know it is important that you have access to up-to-the-minute resources this year to keep your self-sufficiency skills tuned up and stay connected throughout the summer.

As you may know, this year’s conference will be held as a series of webinars via Zoom and other platforms. The new Summer Conference dates are July 20 – August 9, 2020 and registration is open at this link. Registration options are available for those who wish to attend live and in person, as well as for those that would like to purchase the video recordings only and watch post-conference, on your own time.

By the way, is your garden growing? Well, actually, I mean expanding. We’ve taken note and are heartened by the increase in growing spaces of all shapes and sizes as a response to COVID-19. So many folks are filling their balconies and patios with containers, digging away at extra space in their yards, putting their old garden tools back in business and many farms have been expanding their fields. We love this trend as well as the trend to invest in a more local food economy, as we are sure you do as well.

We are very happy to again host an amazing collection of talented and experienced farmers and gardeners to support your path of learning this year. The program is rich with talent and topics to keep you growing daily and fill your summer with inspiration and knowledge.

Here is a small sample of the program:

  • Nathan Harman, a regional consultant from John Kempf’s company Advancing Eco Agriculture will present Incorporating Foliar Feeding on YOUR farm.
  • Sebastian Interlandi, from Southside Community Land Trust in Providence, RI will present: Working Toward a Robust Agricultural Land Access System in New England
  • Michael Nadeau, a NOFA lifer and a deep resource for Organic Land Care will present: Storytime: Growing Up in the Organic Landcare Movement
  • Kristen Brennan and Daniel Staub, mavericks of homesteading and all things gardening, bees and bikes will present: Making Homesteading a Lasting, Viable Way of Life
  • Stephanie Boucher, a Vermont-based clinical herbalist and cannabis coach will present: Cannabis & CBD Medicine Making
  • Douglass Decandia, Queer, abolitionist grower of European descent – committed to the work that moves us, collectively, in the direction of freedom will present: Envisioning an Alternative to the Agricultural Industrial Complex
  • Dave Jacke, Coppice student, dabbling practitioner and self proclaimed “wondering woodsman” will present: Fundamentals of Coppice Agroforestry
  • Chuck Currie, Co-Farmer/owner of Freedom Food Farm in Raynham, MA will present:  Regenerative Farming at Freedom Food Farm
  • Mike Bald, founder of “Got Weeds?” from central Vermont will present: Invite Invasive Species to Fund their own Removal
  • Jade Alicandro-Mace, community herbalist at Milk & Honey Herbs will present: Herb-Infused Bone Broth
  • Samantha Glaze-Corcoran, researcher and agronomist at UMass will present: Pasture Math: Developing a Rotational Grazing Plan

See all of the confirmed workshops here.

In addition to the adult workshop program, we will have a children’s program available for your little ones as well as a schedule of game nights, dance parties, Q & A sessions, meetups and other fun things for registrants to engage with.

We hope you’ll join us for your summer studies from July 20 – August 9. Register online here.

Scholarships are available for NOFA members experiencing financial hardship. You can find more information on this page.