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 Workshops by time

Click the Session to see the workshops

Download a .pdf of the workshop program here to search the program by keyword.

Certified Organic Nutrient Dense Carbon Friendly Fruit (All Levels)

For 35 years we have been trying to get as much tasty fruit as possible from as many fruit varieties as possible (tree and bush). We balance fertility, carbon friendly management and animal agriculture. We are continually surprised by nature's latest challenge - this year gypsy moths. 

Julie Rawson: NOFA/Mass Exec. Director & certified organic farmer at Many Hands Organic Farm since 1982

Jack Kittredge: The pruner, thinner, winer and manager of the farm’s esoteric fruit.


Guerrilla Propagation Tactics for the Backyard Farm or Garden (Intermediate)

Gardeners often feel compelled to copy conventional wisdom regarding planting dates, seeding protocols, and transplanting routines. But what happens when you re-consider all the rules? Dan will describe his low-tech and opportunistic propagation and season extension tactics for growing quality year-round food from marginal space with little machinery, capital or fossil fuel.

Daniel Botkin: Owner/operator of Laughing Dog Farm, a community-oriented permaculture backyard farm and teaching space in Gill, MA.


Mushroom Cultivation for the Backyard (Introductory)

We will discuss three accessible methods of growing mushrooms at home for your own supply or a small commercial operation. The three methods discussed will be log cultivation, Wine caps on woodchips, and oyster mushrooms on straw. We will explore how these methods of cultivation fit into your homestead or agricultural business.

Willie Crosby: Willie has been growing shiitake, oyster, and lions mane mushrooms indoors and outdoors for 5 years.


Season-Extended, Intensively-Planted Spring & Early Summer Gardens (Intermediate)

High productivity depends on getting an early start and choosing crops compatible with seasonal weather patterns.  Seedling care, intensive planting, permanent growing beds, fertility inputs and crop varieties also play a key role.  In 2016, our school garden yielded 8637 pounds of produce — without a "greenhouse" — on a 30 x 130 ft plot.

Steve Walach: Steve Walach has been teaching middle school organic gardening for 18 years.


Community-Scale Composting: Diverting Waste & Creating Green Jobs (Introductory)

Offbeet Compost is a small company dedicated to growing the green economy, empowering community members to be land stewards, and supporting an ecologically sustainable and JUST landscape in Greater Lowell. Come learn about the trials and tribulations of building a community composting program and the science of converting neighborhood waste streams into a valuable product.

Kesiah Bascom: Founder/Owner of OffBeet Compost, a food scrap collection & composting service in the Merrimack Valley Region.

Guy Stuecek: Holds a Ph.D. in Plant Physiology, was a professor of biology for 34 years and has been farming in MA and NH for over two decades.


No-Till Cover Crops For The Home Garden (Introductory )

Maintaining living plant cover is one of the essential practices of building soil health. This workshop provides practical guidance on using cover crops in a small-scale, non-mechanized, no-till context to improve soil health both for growing more nutritious food and for sequestering atmospheric carbon into the soil.

Sharon Gensler:  Homesteader/organic grower/educator 38 yrs. Using no-till & cover crops soil building practices on small scale.



Preparing Your Farm for the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) (All Levels)

Massachusetts' new Produce Inspection Program to implement FSMA's Produce Rule integrates with existing food safety audit programs, supporting farms of all sizes with technical assistance, education and grant funds to prevent foodborne illness and expand market access. Learn what to expect from an audit or inspection and get tools to help with recordkeeping and training. 

Lisa McKeag: Educator at UMass Extension Vegetable Program. She works with vegetable growers on topics such as IPM and Food Safety.

Michael Botelho: Coordinator for the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources' (MDAR) Commonwealth Quality Program (CQP).


Climate, Water, Soil & Hope: A Systems Approach to Land Management (All Levels)

How does soil biology influence watershed function? How does soil carbon accumulate, and what is its relationship to atmospheric carbon, lakes, oceans, and public health? Didi will describe the biological principles involved in creating 'spongy' landscapes that soak up, store, filter, and slowly release water, providing resiliency in the face of flooding and drought.

Didi Pershouse : Author of The Ecology of Care and Understanding Soil Health and Watershed Function, Director at the Soil Carbon Coalition.


Carbon Sequestration Agroforestry in Temperate New England (Advanced)

Using a current and ongoing Agroforestry/Permaculture project, we will walk through considerations in the design process and finish with NRCS CPS practices that are both relevant to Agroforestry and take a look at the COMET planner tool to measure the Carbon sequestration of these practices.

Sven Pihl: Sven is a Regenerative Land Planner operating CT Edible Ecosystems, LLC.


A Cooperative Homestead Permaculture Charette (Introductory )

Last July, Listening Tree Cooperative held a permaculture charette—a facilitated collaborative design workshop—with co-op members and other interested stakeholders. This workshop, co-presented by the Coop’s vegetable farmer and its co-founder, will describe the homesteading intentional community process, planning ideas generated, and how the community is moving forward to apply its collective learning.

Karina Lutz: Karina Lutz is a co-founder of an intentional community, Listening Tree Co-op.
Sophie Soloway Annual vegetable grower leasing land from Listening Tree Coop.


Hearing from Beginning and Successful Immigrant & Refugee Farmers (Introductory)

Flats Mentor Farm, started in the early 80s, supports immigrant and refugee farmers with access to the land, infrastructure and marketing assistance needed to promote farming enterprises in this country. Hear from Flats Mentor farmers about how they built out their markets, and from World Farmers staff about the kind of individualized support systems the program provides.

Jessy Gill: Before World Farmers, Jessy worked with an NGO in Kenya, on a farm in VT, and in advocacy at a Coalition in CA.

Txong Yang: Txong recently returned to farming, starting with supporting his parents at FMF while also building his own path.


Innovating the Farmer Lease for Ecological & Social Justice 

Grow Food Northampton's 121-acre community farm is mostly leased to private farmers. As a non-profit, we use innovative lease agreements to support farmers and achieve broader goals. Avoiding synthetics and selling locally are a start, but what about incentives for carbon sequestration and food donation? Help us evolve the farm lease as a tool for a better food system.

Ellena Baum: TerraCorps Land Stewardship Coordinator at Grow Food Northampton.


Prison Gardens: Strategies for Therapy and Job Training (Introductory)

In this interactive workshop, one of The New Garden Society's Co-Founders will explore the root causes of the incarceration epidemic in the United States, and how horticultural training programs are at the forefront of addressing recidivism rates, while providing therapeutic activities for prisoners. Participation is highly encouraged!

Renée Portanova: Director and Co-Founder of The New Garden Society.


CanceledReinventing the CSA as a Health Intervention Model (Introductory )

Learn what it takes to reinvent your CSA program into one that builds health for your membership, increases access to low income markets and boosts retention.  Just Roots has the largest SNAP enrolled CSA in MA. Is a more inclusive CSA program right for your farm? Learn how low-income markets might make your CSA more successful.

Jessica Van Steensburg: Executive Director of Just Roots, Jessica has more than a dozen years in non-profit management/leadership experience.

Rochelle Bellin: Associate Director of Just Roots, Rochelle brings a blend of farming and administrative leadership to food access work.


Questioning the Invasive Species Paradigm (All Levels)

Jono will examine the basics tenets of exotic species concerns and the explosion of “nativism.” Are all “exotic” species bad? Why are they here, and hat should be done about them? We'll take a look at some specific species and talk about succession, disturbance, and dispersal theory as well as land stewardship in a time of rapid landscape change. All viewpoints welcome!

Jono Neiger: Principle at Regenerative Design Group, Faculty at Conway School & Author of The Permaculture Promise


Conservation of Swallows that Nest in Agricultural Settings (Intermediate)

Two species, Cliff Swallows and Barn Swallows, breed in agricultural settings and are declining in the Northeast. But farmers are uniquely poised to directly help in the conservation of these native swallow species! This workshop will consist of a presentation of simple techniques developed over the past 25 years to encourage nesting success of these swallows on the farm.

Mara Silver: Northeast Swallow Conservation; Mara Silver is an independent researcher focused on swallow conservation.


Pasture Health and Management for Ruminant Producers (All Levels)

We will discuss topics that target the many aspects that contribute to productive pastures including soil, bacteria, animal, and plant health.  This discussion will focus on ruminant species but the theme of holistic management of pastures is applicable to any producer wishing to increase the overall health and quality of their perennial pastures. 

Jason Detzel: Cattle ranching in the morning, livestock education in the day, farm visits in the evening.



How to Get Started in Beekeeping (Introductory)

Beekeeping is a fascinating and rewarding hobby. One third of the food we eat is a result of the honeybees' pollination, and they are environmentally threatened. Learn how to have them work for you and give you honey too. We will cover equipment needed and how to get started.

Roland Sevigny: Roland Sevigny: Gardener, fruit grower, winemaker, MA Beekeeper of the Year: 2000.


The High Cost of Cheap Food: Pesticide Residues (All Levels)

Pesticides lower the quality of the American food supply while impacting the environment and our health. This multimedia workshop will discuss the 3 major pesticides found in conventional foods and how they can be avoided. Knowing about pesticides and spreading the word to people you love are critical.

Ed Stockman: Biologist, 4th generation farmer, organic farmer (45 years), cofounder Regeneration Massachusetts.


Nutritional Deficiencies that Cause Disease and Low Energy   (All Levels)

Meat eaters, vegans and vegetarians have been diagnosed with serious nutritional deficiencies. These dietary enigmas have taught us that what is good for me may not necessarily be good for you. Learn about the warning signs. Gain insights into your individualized needs for adequate nutrition to help you meet the energy demands of your daily life and to avoid disease. 

John Kozinski: Health teacher, counselor, researcher, author for 40 years.

Cooking with Ghee for Health & Vitality (Introductory)

Ghee (clarified butter) is a high heat, lactose-free cooking oil used for centuries in India to relieve digestive disorders, calm the nervous system, and promote overall vitality. After we transform butter into ghee, we'll take it one step further by infusing it with herbs and spices to make medicinal ghee and treats. Handouts, recipes, and taste tests provided!

Hannah Jacobson-Hardy: Owner of Full Moon Ghee and Sweet Birch Herbals.

Colette Garrigues: Creator of Coco's Sweets without the Sugar, Yoga Teacher, and Full Moon Ghee recipe developer

Holistic Apple Orchard Fertility: Tips and Techniques (Intermediate)

Learn what you need to do to establish the right environment for your apple trees to create and sustain overall health and fertility. Topics discussed will include using wood chip mulch for fungal dominance, achieving the right blend of macro and micronutrients, integrating small livestock, and managing diverse understory plantings.

Jack Mastrianni: Orchardman. Growing apples holistically, organically, since 1999 using the "fungal duff' approach. 


Small-scale Propagation of Native Plants from Seed (Introductory)

Learn the basics as well as get introduced to some of the complexities of growing native plants from seed. For the home-owner or small farmer looking for inexpensive and gratifying ways to add native plants to their landscape.

Adam Kohl: Owner of Kohl Gardens; ecological design, native plant nursery, & fine gardening.


Mycoremediation for Urban Soils (All Levels)

From oil spills, heavy metals, pesticides, plastic, to cigarette butts. Discover the history of this field, the progress it's making and the future ahead. Learn powerful bioremediation tools for the earth repair tool belt. Sign yourself up to be a mycowarrior and learn how to use fungi to remediate toxic waste!

Alex Dorr: Author of the book "Mycoremediation Handbook: Grassroots Guide to Growing Mushrooms and Cleaning up Toxic Waste with Fungi.


Traditional Four-Square Kitchen Garden Design (Intermediate)

Gardeners have praised the four-square garden design for centuries and with good reason. Christie will demonstrate how this design can create an attractive garden that incorporates vegetables, herbs and fruits. The program will cover crop rotation, succession sowing, inter-planting and techniques for crop spacing and support

Christie Higginbottom: Christie lectures and consults on historic gardens and teaches home gardening classes.



Just Growing - Food Justice in Diverse Communities (Introductory)

In our workshop we will discuss our experience and strategies growing for market in a diverse urban setting. How do concepts of Food Justice inform and intersect with our work at the Urban Farming Institute and our farmers markets in Mattapan and Dorchester.

Tristram Keefe: Farm Manager at the Urban Farming Institute (UFI).

Bobby Walker: Farm Training Manager, Urban Farming Institute (UFI).




The Science of Assessing and Improving the Health of Your Soil (Introductory)

Science has evolved to recognize soil as a dynamic, living resource that requires proper care to maintain and improve.  This presentation will cover some basics of how a healthy soil functions, how to assess the health of your soil, and methods of improving soil health on various types of land, along with information on federal and local programs that can help you.

Maggie Payne: USDA NRCS Resource Soil Scientist

Kate Gervais: MACD Soil Conservationist


Developing Local Food Production/Education Programs at Jails (All Levels)

This session explores the Jail-to-Farm-to-College & Employment program at the Franklin County House of Corrections in Greenfield, as a model program that can be adapted at other correctional facilities. We'll drill down into one of the program's college courses & share ways of adapting academic requirements for a trauma-informed environment within a food equity framework.

Abrah Dresdale: Abrah Dresdale, MA, is an Educational Consultant in food systems and social permaculture. She teaches at UMass Amherst.

Angela Roell: Angela Roell, MS is an educator in the Food Systems programs at the FCHOC, UMass Amherst and GCC.


Balancing Fair Wages, Farm Viability and Affordable Prices (Intermediate)

When worker advocates propose raising the minimum wage for farm workers, farmers howl "and how about us too?" When farmers, hard pressed to cover expenses, demand higher prices to pay increased wages, food justice advocates warn -“Unfair: low-income people can’t afford more for food!”  How to balance these just demands? Bring your ideas to this crucial discussion!

Elizabeth Henderson: Organic farmer, author of Sharing the Harvest and other writings on CSA and social justice.

Louis Battalen: Louis homesteads in western MA, on NOFA's Domestic Fair Trade Committee, NE Regional Organizer for AJP.


Raising Alpacas in the Northeast for Food, Fiber, and Fertility (Introductory)

Alpacas are a docile, multipurpose livestock animal which fit in well with the integrated Northeast farm. This workshop will provide an overview of alpaca husbandry, including reproduction, meat and fiber production, and their use as teaching animals.

StevePurdy DVM: President Nunoa Project Peru working in southern Andes. Director North American Camelid Studies Program in the US.


Managing Organic Records & Multi-Species Grazing via Mobile Devices (Intermediate)

Keeping the proper records can be a challenge and a pain, but it can also make you a more successful farm manager.  Using customizable forms on a smartphone or tablet linked to a desktop or laptop pc, this system is simple but powerful, allowing recordkeeping & data access in the field and office.

David Belding: Co-owner of Cross Island Farms, a diversified Certified Organic (NOFA-NY) veg, fruit, grass-based livestock farm.


Climate Adaptation: Preparing Farms, Communities, and Regions for Climate Disruption (All Levels) By observing, mimicking, and intensifying ecosystem patterns and processes, our farms and landscapes can be designed for resilience in the face of climate disruption. This interactive workshop will explore ecological design solutions for New England, including on-farm water management, productive buffers and corridors, and new warm-climate crops for the region.  

Connor Stedman: Lead Designer & Ecologist, Appleseed Permaculture.


Ten Month Salad Greens on a Small Piece of Land (Intermediate)

Salad greens can be a high-value, low-cost crop. Dan will explain how he uses simple, inexpensive equipment and infrastructure to produce a valuable final product while also building soil health on a small parcel of land. He will discuss broadcast planting method, season extension, pest prevention, fertility strategy, harvesting, washing, packing, and wholesale marketing.

Dan Kittredge : Dan is the Founder and Executive Director of the Bionutrient Food Association.


Designing a Suburban Permaculture Homestead (Introductory )

By living simply, and in community, you can play a vital role in modeling regenerative land stewardship. In this case study, learn how we've used the permaculture design process to establish a vibrant homestead on one acre in a suburban neighborhood. Learn how we invested in relationships with our community and utilized social capital to make it possible.

Ashley Schenk:  Co-founded Broadfork Permaculture, a co-operative landscape design company in Western Mass. He also builds earthen ovens.


Transitioning to a No-Till Farm (Intermediate)

There is a distinct transition phase when a farm is taken from a tillage regime to a no-till management system. Bryan will share his own farm's transition process, prepare other growers for challenges that will arise, and offer guidance on best responses to those challenges. 

Bryan O'Hara: Over twenty years of experience with both traditional and no-till organic production methods.


Regenerative and resilient crop storage systems (Intermediate)

Crop storage is a key ingredient on any successful farm. In this workshop we will share a commercial scale model using only ice to keep a 20'x 32' space under 38f year round. We will show how this works with crop rotations, overall building costs, molding your own ice, and how this compares with other non conventional root cellar models that use mechanical systems.

Christopher Chaisson: Christopher is a farmer, designer, and builder living in Charlotte, Vermont at Eleven Acre Farm.

Zach Loeks: Zach Loeks is an educator, designer/consultant, farmer, and author of the Permaculture Market Garden, living in Ontario.



Edge Silvopasturing - start to use your woods for your animals (Introductory )

Most farmers has woods along the edgea of pastures. Silvopasturing is an agroforestry practice that combines tree farming and animal grazing in a managed way to benefit both. Joan will cover the easiest way to start a Silvopasture practice on your farm – using woodland edges and discuss planning, animal participation, fencing and management for success.

Joan Walker: Farmer/owner & speaker on Animal Welfare, Silvopasturing & other pasture based agricultural practices in New England.


Organic Approaches to Controlling Mites in the Hive (Intermediate)

Mites are an unfortunately inevitable part of beekeeping, and varoamite is the most aggressive mite currently affecting hives. Learn the life cycle of the varoamite and the various viruses that it vectors, ways of supporting hive health for bee immunity, methods for assessing infestations, and the various organic methods currently available for controlling mite populations.

Roland Sevigny: Roland Sevigny: Gardener, fruit grower, winemaker, MA Beekeeper of the Year: 2000.



Fertilizer from Urine: Clean water, Sustainable Farms (Introductory)

Rich Earth holds the country's first permit from the VT Department of Environmental Conservation to produce legally-approved urine derived fertilizer. Currently funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), and private donations, Rich Earth collects, transports, treats and land applies human urine; turning it into an effective agricultural fertilizer.

Abraham Noe-Hays: Abe is the Research Director and has been working with dry sanitation systems since 1990.



Can We Trust The USDA To Protect The Organic Movement? (Introductory)

The National Organic Program has been recently rocked by scandals that include enormous CAFO feedlot dairy and egg operations, huge imports of falsely certified grain, and widespread hydroponic production being certified as organic. We will learn about how the NOP is being twisted, the reaction, and the resistance. We will also touch on the new “Regenerative Organic” label.

Dave Chapman: Organic farmer. Owner of Long Wind Farm. Member of USDA Hydroponic Task Force.


Experience the Joy and Challenge of WWOOFing over 60! (All Levels)

Organic farms all over the world welcome willing workers to take part in labor, farm, family, and community life. Take a photo tour of my three successful WWOOFing experiences in Italy and New Zealand as we discuss memberships, choosing a farm, understanding responsibilities, and talk honestly about potential challenges. Opportunities exist for everyone, even in your 60s!

Amy LeBlanc: Maine organic farmer, world traveler, and enthusiastic cook. Owner of Whitehill Farm.


Medicinal Soups & Nourishing Broths (Introductory)

Winter is a great time to start cooking-up nourishing and medicinal foods, and broths and soups lend themselves incredibly well to herbal additions! We'll go beyond just basic bone broth, and learn the best herbs to include in our cooking, how to combine them for different flavor profiles, and learn about the medicinal benefits of these herbs as we go.

Jade Alicandro: Community Herbalist at Milk & Honey Herbs in Shutesbury, MA.


Growing Perennial Small Fruits in a Diverse Edible Forest Setting (All Levels)

This workshop will  characterize a variety of common and uncommon small fruits grown in a highly diverse permaculture-based edible forest setting. The preferred habitat, growth habit, fruit quality, suggested care, pest management,  aesthetic appeal, and current and  potential marketing channels will be described for each plant based on the presenter's experience.

Dani Baker: Co-Owner and full time farmer at Cross Island Farms since 2006.  Began the "Enchanted Edible Forest Garden" in 2013. 


Intensive Food Production in the Integrated Urban Homestead (Introductory)

Homesteading in the city is a complex and beautiful adventure. We have 14 years of experience with growing in small spaces, foraging through the urban wilds, keeping animals and bees, living nearly off the grid (including no-till and no-car!), running a small CSA, teaching our 3 children the skills to do this all while learning from our urban community.

Kristin Brennan: Kristin is an urban homesteader, farmer, beekeeper and homebirth midwife in Springfield, MA. 

Daniel Staub: Daniel Staub is an urban homesteader that grows, forages, taps, and preserves food while homeschooling his 3 children.


Gardening Like A Farmer (Intermediate)

Want to ramp up your garden's yields this season while also using your time in the garden more efficiently? This workshop will apply many of the hard-won lessons of market farming to the garden environment. We'll take about crop plans, varietal choices, garden design, appropriate tools, and more.

Dan Bensonoff: NOFA/Mass Education Events Organizer/ Policy Director, vegetable and fruit grower.


Advanced Seed Saving for the Farm and Garden (Advanced)

This workshop will cover ways to integrate seed saving and amateur plant breeding into the market farm or home garden. We will quickly brushstroke over the politics behind the state of seed to emphasize the need to reincorporate this lost art into our growing. Areas of focus will include brassicas, cucurbits, lettuce/chicories and corn.

Bill Braun: Farmer and seed grower at Ivory Silo Farm in Westport, MA.


Native Plants: Form, Function & Habitat (All Levels)

Native plants supply essential habitat to pollinators and other wildlife, but they also play an important role in designing attractive landscapes that don’t require irrigation and fertilization. Learn about some of the best northeast native plants for use in the varied growing conditions found across the region, including shady areas under trees, wet or seasonally wet ground, and plants for high, dry and exposed spots.

Ellen Sousa: Native plant nursery owner, garden coach/designer, author at Turkey Hill Brook Farm, Spencer MA.


Cover Crop Mixtures for Soil Health (Intermediate)

Cover cropping is a best practice for soil health. Does scientific research prove the benefits of multi-species cover crop mixtures? How can we design cover crop mixtures tailored to our specific production system? What kind of challenges do they present? Local research on mixtures of winter-killed cover crops, including forage radish, will be presented.

Julie Fine: Graduate Student, UMass Amherst, Stockbridge School of Ag. Julie's research is focused on cover crops and soil health.


Carbon Farming: Regenerative Agriculture for Climate Stabilization (Introductory)

As climate change disrupts agriculture and communities worldwide, farms can sequester carbon to help mitigate climate change. We'll discuss current climate science and both policy and industry efforts to incentivize and support carbon farming. We'll then explore a global range of carbon farming systems, focusing on those most ready and profitable for New England farms.

Connor Stedman: Lead Designer & Ecologist, Appleseed Permaculture.


Farming in Somalia and Burma (Myanmar) (All Levels)

Hassan and Saw share their experiences subsistence farming in Somalia and Burma (Myanmar). They share what techniques they used and important crops to their families.

Hassan Aden: Executive Director of NFCFPA, Somali Bantu farmer who farmed in a refugee camp in Kenya.

Saw Than: Saw Than is a farmer from Burma (Myanmar). He moved to the United States in 2004.


Urban Farming and Healthcare (Introductory)

Boston Medical Center(BMC) has the largest rooftop farm in Boston and is pushing the envelope of what Environmental stewardship and holistic, food based health can look like in an urban setting. Topics that will be covered:  The ins & outs of rooftop farming, food access, food justice, Urban farming partnerships w/large institutions and the future of Urban Farming.

Lindsay Allen: Lindsay Allen part of Higher ground farm in Boston and is the Rooftop Farm Manager at Boston Medical Center


So you think your apprenticeship is legal? (Intermediate)

An interactive "legal 101" for mentor farmers who offer hands on learning opportunities on their farms and ranches. Drawing on an Agricultural Labor Law booklet developed by New Entry and the Conservation Law Foundation, the session will cover federal and state laws that apply to farmers as employers, and will include case study activities.

Sara Dewey: Sara is a legal fellow with the Conservation Law Foundation's Legal Food Hub.


Community Scale Ecosystem Design (Intermediate)

Expanding on the many voluntary solutions implemented on private properties across New England, this workshop will explore how to leverage the existing planning and regulatory process to promote community resilience.  Learn how to engage with others to expand the role of social capital, green infrastructure, and other strategies to protect and restore ecosystem services.

Steve Whitman: Steven Whitman is a professional planner, designer, practioner, and educator based in Plymouth, New Hampshire.



Advanced No-Till Farming (Advanced)

A no-till farm has a different set of benefits and challenges than a tilled farm. Bryan will present his unique set of practices for maximizing soil health and combating pest and disease pressures in a no-till management regime. Topics include bed prep, fertility strategy, specialized no-till equipment, and indigenous microorganisms.

Bryan O'Hara: Over twenty years of experience with both traditional and no-till organic production methods.


The Power of Poultry: The Basics and Beyond (Introductory)

Chickens and other poultry provide much more than eggs and meat. We will cover the basics of keeping poultry for eggs and meat, but will also discuss how adding poultry to your backyard, homestead or farm can build soil nutrients, convert food waste, control pest populations and clear land.

Kirby Lecy: Small farmer & chicken wrangler, 15+ years working on food access, farming advocacy, and rural challenges.
Joey Baldic: Realism Officer, in charge of Mechanics & mathematics for J&K Good Thyme Farm.


Profit with 100% Grass-Fed Beef (Advanced)

Raising 100% grass-fed beef profitably requires minimizing inputs, extending the grazing season and breeding to optimize growth on grass-only diet. As well as generating profit these methods sequester carbon and fix the water cycle on your farm. What you need to succeed and how to do it.

Ridge Shinn: Ridge Shinn, is the founder of Big Picture Beef, that markets beef raised on forage – no grain, ever.


Small Scale Queen Rearing for the Backyard Beekeeper (Advanced)

Learn how and why to use the Miller Method for small scale queen rearing in order to expand your apiary and manage for optimal apiary health and vitality. Reflect upon how to best integrate small scale queen rearing skills into your current apiary practice.  

Angela Roell : Angela Roell, MS is a beetender & educator, she owns Yard Birds Farm in and teaches beekeeping at UMass Amherst.


Staying Healthy while Farming - at 65 (All Levels)

We will cover nutrition, exercise, things like yoga, healthy relationships with ourselves and others, balance, attitude, setting limits to work, and all the tricks I have learned while farming for the past 35 years and often out-performing people half my age.

Julie Rawson: Farmer and Executive Director who strives for physical, emotional, spiritual and intellectual balance.



Herbal Antivirals & Antibiotics: Nature's Alternatives (All Levels)

Plant-based alternatives for treating viruses and drug-resistant bacteria.  Superbugs have moved out of the hospital and into our homes.  An overview of how to prevent and treat bacterial and viral infections with powerful plant medicines, as suggested in Stephen Harrod Buhner's books, including for cold and flu season (starting with ginger juice!  We'll try some).

Sarah Stockwell-Arthen: Herbalist for 25 years, grows and prepares plant medicines at Hilltown Herbals. Follower of Stephen Harrod Buhner. 



Resilient Leadership for the Regenerative & Organic Movement (All Levels)

How do we extend and deepen the connections we have at these gatherings in order to effectively grow the soil health movement? Didi will discuss effective ways to build strong, dynamic networks of support that know how to “lead from behind” as well as out front. Topics include: preventing burn out, growing diverse leadership, and facilitating deep listening.

Didi Pershouse : Author of The Ecology of Care: Medicine, Agriculture, Money, and the Quiet Power of Human and Microbial Communities.



The Bionutrient Meter and a Strategy for the Movement (All Levels)

Come to hear the latest news on the Bionutrient Meter and the Real Food Campaign. We understand the connection between crop quality, plant, human, and ecosystem health. Now we can organize and apply real economic pressure to support the world we want to see. Come for a deep dive into the strategy and science.

Dan Kittredge : Dan is the Founder and Executive Director of the Bionutrient Food Association.

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