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

2020 Winter Conference Intensives

Farming in the BalanceFarming in the Balance: Farmer Resilience for the Long Haul​

With Ricky Baruch and Deb Habib, Seeds of Solidarity

9am - 5:30pm with a break for keynote address and lunch.

Most farmers hear the term ‘you must be really busy’ numerous times from well-meaning customers or strangers. Is this a promising image to perpetuate, let alone live? Reverence for the land is a unifying value among small farmers, but practices that promote a sacred connection to soil, self, and relationships can get pushed to the back burner amid financial and weather stresses, and the issues of the times. How do we keep our core farming values forefront and fresh, and stay personally centered as we nourish our customers and communities well? Loving, healthy relationships are critical to self-care, resilience, and success. Leading with the heart helps to decolonize our minds and resulting farming practices. As we do so, our awareness towards loving, sacred ways of farming and being expands, and capacity to be changemakers in our lives and communities increases.

In this full-day intensive during winter--a great time to recalibrate--we invite participants to a well-spent day that will enhance their relationships with self, partner, family, community, and farming practice. We will learn techniques to prioritize values and quality of life, practices to honor the land, and wellbeing strategies that are both do-able and essential to sustain a balanced farming livelihood and be of service over the long haul.

Ricky Baruch and Deb Habib are three decade plus farmers and educators. They run Seeds of Solidarity in Orange MA. Their solar-powered family farm uses all no-till, regenerative methods. The non-profit wing innovates programs that awaken the power among people of all ages--from toddlers to teens to people who are incarcerated-- to Grow Food Everywhere to transform hunger to health, and create resilient lives and communities. They are co-founders of the North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival that they organize with their neighbors. Ricky and Deb are authors of the new book, Making Love While Farming: A Field Guide to a Life of Passion and Purpose. Levellers Press, 2019

Follow this link to Register Now.

Beliefs Behaviors and bacteriaBeliefs, Behaviors and Bacteria: An Ecosystem Approach to Healing 

With Kathleen DiChiara, FDN, INHC, BNI-P

9am - 5:30pm with a break for keynote address and lunch.

Why is it that some people overcome illness and achieve wellness, while others stay in the vulnerable state of compromised health despite their best efforts? Initially motivated by the pressing need to save her own life, Kathleen spent over a decade researching the impact of food and lifestyle on chronic disease to answer this question. She uncovered that our health is shaped by a cycle that follows this pattern: Our beliefs create our reality which drives our daily behaviors. Our behaviors - for better or worse - become our lifestyle which determine the quality and diversity of our gut bacteria.  Collectively, the bacteria become our microbiome and influence every aspect of our health. 

Our bodies each have a unique microbiology shaped over time by our lifestyle patterns - the foods we consume, life events, our daily habits, our local environment and more.  In turn, our microbiology subtly influences our behaviors and even our beliefs. It’s a cyclical pattern with each component linking to the next in a continuous loop.

Examining each of these influence points — the quality of our thoughts, the consistency of our habits, and diversity of microbes — helps inform a wholistic understanding of our own bodies and the sources of chronic illness. Kathleen strongly believes we need less fixing and disease management. Instead, she invites us to cultivate optimal health through mastering the art and science of living in accordance with our body’s true nature - one that honors our inner ecology and Mother Nature. 

In this day-long session, nutritionist, researcher and author, Kathleen DiChiara will take participants on a scientifically-grounded journey through the key strategies that impact the three driving forces of optimal health - beliefs, behaviors and bacteria. With interactive lessons, she will help participants identify and reflect on critical points of influence in their own lives where personalized change can occur. 

Kathleen DiChiara, FDN, INHC, BNI-P

As a nutrition educator and researcher, Kathleen has dedicated her work to increase the public’s knowledge about the connection between nutrition and patterns of disease. Her practices aim to address the health of the whole by taking into account the physiology and biochemistry of the human body and our connection to our nature. Kathleen is a Functional Nutrition Practitioner, BioIndividual Nutrition Practitioner, and Certified Integrative Health & Nutrition Coach with training in the biochemistry and specialized diets for autism, allergies, autoimmune and other chronic conditions. She consults clients all over the world.

Kathleen is the President and Founder of Rhode to Health, Inc., Nutritional Intelligence Academy and Nourished2Learn.™  She serves as a Nutrition Advisor for the Bionutrient Food Association. She is a Board member on the Rhode Island Department of Health’s Board of Chiropractic Examiners and also serves as an Advisor for Social Enterprise Greenhouse and their Health and Wellness Initiative.  Kathleen is a well-respected national speaker and has been featured on a wide range of media outlets including International broadcasts. In 2014, Kathleen became a best-selling author with her first book, The Hidden Connection, and will soon release her next book End Chronic Disease: The Healing Power of Beliefs, Behaviors and Bacteria with Hay House, Inc. on February 18, 2020. Her personal journey back to health and her son’s autism recovery serve as the inspiration for her work and a reminder of our innate capacity to heal, which she shares in the award-winning documentary film Secret Ingredients (   To learn more about Kathleen, visit:

Follow this link to Register Now.

You can learn more about Kathleen by visiting her website, viewing her 2017 Soil & Nutrition Conference lecture, How to Heal the Gut & Restore Your Vitality With Nutrition or by checking out the documentary about her journey, Secret Ingredients.

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