By Christine Manuck, NOFA/Mass Soil Health Projects Manager
At NOFA, we love being a resource for fellow farmers and gardeners, through education and outreach, supporting pollinators and sustainable agriculture policy, and by making healthy food available to everyone. One of our favorite ways to work within our community is to make it easier for farmers and gardeners to do what they love: farm and garden! In this vein, we are gearing up for another exciting opportunity to help our community save money while targeting each grower’s specific needs through the 2022 NOFA Tri-State Bulk Order.
Yes, it’s that time of year again: as the days get shorter and the nights get longer, we’re all starting to think about the best way to rouse your soil and prep your beds once the spring sun starts shining warmly. Will it be with some compost from Earth Care Farm or Vermont Compost, some AEA Rejuvenate to feed your hungry microbes after the long winter, or possibly some amendments to target any deficiencies indicated on your recent soil test?
But wait! The Bulk Order doesn’t just offer soil amendments. We also have tools, cover crops, tubers, equipment, and, new this year, certified organic seedlings. The best part is that everything we offer through the Bulk Order is approved for organic use by Baystate Organic Certifiers, and, by purchasing as a part of the NOFA community, everyone is able to save money on the things they need most.
In case you’ve forgotten how it works, the 2022 Bulk Order website will open for ordering on January 1, 2022. It’s there, at www.nofabulkorder.org, where, with Auld Lang Syne still ringing in your ears, you can order everything you need for next year’s growing space. You can then rest easy, knowing that NOFA will be working to have your order ready for you to pick up from one of our convenient bulk order pickup locations in March and April. Orders can be picked up from any of our locations of your choosing (more info on this, below); just select the location most convenient to you during checkout.
Finally, to encourage all of you to be NOFA members so you can benefit from our learning community year-round, NOFA members pay 10% less than non-members (prices shown in the catalog are member prices). The more you purchase, the more you save! We’re once again offering the following additional volume discounts: 2% discount on orders greater than $500, 3% discount on orders greater than $1,000, and 4% discount on orders greater than $1,500.
What’s Different this Year?
This year, we’re trying to better serve the entire tri-state NOFA community by:
- Increasing our number of bulk order pickup sites, including potential urban sites
- Offering new products, such as certified organic seedlings to jumpstart your spring planting, and kelp so you can try something different to manage your soil fertility;
- Increasing connections to community gardens, to maximize ordering and pickup efficiency within entire communities, as well as offering an additional 10% discount for first-time orders by community, large family, and neighborhood gardens;
- Updating our Bulk Order website and ordering page to make it more convenient to browse and place orders, including better product images and pictures; and
- Offering an opportunity to Pay it Forward and add an equity donation to your order to help NOFA better serve communities in need by providing additional funds for bulk order items and direct programming for marginalized communities.
What Does the Bulk Order Have to Offer?
Do you want to try to build organic matter while supporting microbes and protecting the soil? We have cover crops! Did your tomatoes flop over this summer? Check out our tomato stakes! Need a versatile tool for a quick dig down into the soil to peek in on your earthworms? Try the Hori Hori Weeding Knife. These and other popular favorites, including 1020 Trays with Holes for your greenhouse seedling needs and the DeWitt Floating Crop Cover for crop protection, are all back again for this year’s sale.
Soil, compost, and soil amendments are traditionally some of our most popular Bulk Order products. Particularly in combination with our soil test analysis service (see below), our soil, compost, and amendments are valuable tools in establishing and maintaining well-balanced, healthy soils. Products include certified organic amendments, such as Pro-Gro 5-3-4, which provides nutrients in both immediate and slow-release forms, organic molasses, to use as a biostimulant and source of trace minerals, and AEA’s SeaCrop, an amazing source of micronutrients and enzyme cofactors to help enhance soil microbes. The Bulk Order offers soil-building amendments including compost, buckwheat hulls, and raw biochar products to give you many options if you’re looking to add organic matter.
We are excited to offer certified organic seedlings this year for the first time. We are still working out the details on these, but we expect to be able to offer a range of spring cold crop seedlings for pickup in late March and warm-season seedlings for pickup in late April. Stay tuned for additional information on the Bulk Order site for those as we develop this fantastic new addition to our selection. Is there something else you’d really like to see us offer? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll look into adding it to our product list!
Combine Your Bulk Order with a Soil Test to Benefit Your Soil and Save Even More!
Ever feel like you know you should test your soil, but you don’t know what to do with the report once you get it? Just like you wouldn’t put 40 gallons of gas into your truck when the tank only holds 25 gallons, you don’t want to put more nutrients onto your soil than it needs or can hold, either (both waste money and pollute the environment!). Thankfully there’s a solution.
The NOFA/Mass Soil Technical Services team excels at using the results from your Logan Labs soil test report to help you decide what organic amendment you should use to address deficiencies, how much to apply, and when to apply it. Even better, we’re so committed to making sure you have the most appropriate organic amendments for your soil, at the greatest savings, that we’re offering a $10 coupon to use on the 2022 NOFA Tri-State Bulk Order for individuals who use NOFA/Mass Technical Services team for soil test result analysis. Now is the time to test your soil so you can be prepared with the right amendments in the spring to help all your crops grow strong next year.
In combination with recommendations from the NOFA/Mass Soil Tech Team, and armed with a $10 coupon to use on the Bulk Order, you’ll be well-prepared for the 2022 growing season. Note this offer is only available until January 24, 2022, to allow the Soil Technical Services team enough time to analyze your test report. Please see this page for more information on this offer and find instructions on how to complete your soil test analysis through NOFA/Mass.
Calling All Community Gardens, Large Family Gardens, and Neighborhood Gardens!
At NOFA, we recognize the valuable role community gardens, large families and neighborhood gardens play within communities. We want to make it easy for gardeners within these shared spaces to get the products they need to support their growing spaces, both individually and as a part of the community. We greatly value the role you play in your communities and we are offering an additional 10% discount on your first purchase through the NOFA Tri-State Bulk Order. We realize that not all gardens that are used by communities are set up as traditional “community gardens”, so we are extending this offer to purchases made by many people working on a shared site, including large families and neighborhoods. To help facilitate ordering for your community garden, we have developed a Community and Shared Garden Order Template; please complete the survey at https://forms.gle/23sQYJV2K38J5bkv6 to provide us with your shared garden space information, obtain the Order Template, and receive your 10% Bulk Order discount code.
How to Place an Order Through the NOFA Tri-State Bulk Order
Ordering: Place your order at www.nofabulkorder.org between January 1 – 31, 2022. There, you can choose from our designated locations to pick up your purchases in the spring.
Pick up Locations: 2022 Massachusetts pick up locations are conveniently located in Barre, Belchertown, Dalton, Seekonk, Sherborn, Springfield, and West Wareham. We also offer a Connecticut pickup location in Meriden and a Rhode Island pickup location in Charlestown.
Pick up Dates: Saturday, March 12, 2022 (General Items – excludes Tuber and Onion Sets) & Saturday, April 16, 2022 (Tuber and Onion Sets). Pickup dates to be determined for seedlings.
We’re excited about the start of the 2022 NOFA Tri-State Bulk Order! Please contact us at email@example.com with any questions or suggestions as we put the finishing touches on the upcoming sale.