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

Inviting Beneficial Insects to Your Farm and Garden (Resiliency Skills Webinar Series)

Cedar Rock Garden Bouquet
May 22, 2020 - 6:30pm to 7:30pm
Anywhere, MA

Free! Donations accepted with gratitude

Click Here To Register Online

Please note the start time has changed to 6:30pm 

Join for this interactive online event with Elise and Tucker Smith of Cedar Rock Gardens, a vegetable farm and seedling nursery open to the public in Gloucester, to learn from about how they are helping pollinators and many other beneficial insects flourish on their farm, we will:

  • Virtually tour the farm and see how they provide a variety of habitats for beneficial insects
  • Learn about perennial plants for cut flowers
  • Discuss the value of intercropping and which crops they are planting together
  • Learn more about low-till and no-till farming practices

Cedar Rock Gardens comprises 13.5 acres in Gloucester, Massachusetts where they grow a large variety of vegetables on 2.5 acres of land utilizing crop rotation schedules and cover crops to ensure good soil practices. They operate a retail stand on the farm, sell directly to local restaurants and have an 80 member CSA. Additionally, they currently have about 7,300 square feet of heated greenhouse space where they grow herbs, vegetables, and a variety of annual and perennial flower seedlings. They practice shallow-till and no-till farming practices to preserve habitat for beneficial insects and maintain biological diversity in their fields. 

When we design for increased pollinator habitat we also increase the overall resilience of the farm, specifically with the addition of native perennial plants that add both above-ground and below-ground (rhizosphere) diversity, which increases the carbon sequestration capacity of the landscape. With many populations of pollinator species on the decline, it is important to build buffers and organic landscapes that can provide refuge for a variety of organisms. With a bit of knowledge and design you can have a biodiverse farm that utilizes marginal areas of your farm to grow new crops for your market.


Elise Smith was raised on the north shore in Ipswich, MA. She graduated from Umass Amherst in 2011 with a degree in corporate finance. She made a trip to Guatemala in college and realized the entire culture there was built on local agriculture...and what a terrific culture it was. Elise began working outside in the dirt alongside a knowledgable gardener doing annual and perennial flower garden design and maintenance. Learning about many different flower types and having a blast. She was inspired to plant a small plot of cutting flowers and began selling bunches, realizing the importance of growing local flowers and teaching the community about how fresh local flowers are. She was taught about wedding arrangements, bridal party pieces and bridal consultations by an experienced florist in the area. She has been growing produce and flowers since 2013. Elise and Tucker began Cedar Rock Gardens as a flower farm in 2014 and have molded it into a diverse vegetable, flower and herb farm since then. The seedling nursery was added in 2016 with a high demand from the community for seedlings grown locally with good growing practices.

Ford Tucker Smith was born and raised on Cedar Rock Farm in West Gloucester. His working career has always involved hands on outdoor labor, split between farming and different trades. Over the course of the last ten years he has apprenticed on many farms around the country and world. Throughout his travels he has always been drawn back to Cape Ann and in 2009, finally accepted that there is no other place that he would rather settle. In 2010, he started working alongside Noah Kellerman building and managing Alprilla Farm to produce grain, hay, flowers, herbs and veggies. In 2013, he graduated from the Stockbridge School of Agriculture at UMass Amherst with a degree in Fruit and Vegetable Crop Production. The garden and farm have always provided a space for him to slow down and face the needs of life directly while producing delicious food for himself and others. Tucker believes that gardening is an important dynamic to a strong community.


Special thanks to the New England Biolabs Foundation for their generous support for this event. For additional educational resources related to pollinators habitat, also made with support from NEBF, check out Episode 4 of our Podcast, "Native Plants for Pollinators" and our recent webinar, Farming for Biodiversity


These Video Gatherings are offered as a service to our community to respond to the current needs for home-based food production/ preparation skills. As we have postponed or cancelled many of our on-farm and in-person education events, we are using our available time as an organization to put together this series. If you learned something of value, please consider making a donation to help keep our organization going during this difficult time. Thank you so much. 

Click to Donate


Click Here To Register Online

More Info

For information on our refund and inclement weather policy, click here.

We want to make sure your accessibility needs are met during the event. Please share with us your needs regarding (but not limited to): physical accessibility, allergies, noise, scent, gender; intellectual accessibility, and any instructions or tips to help you fully participate.

For questions contact Doug Cook, Education Events Coordinator, at or (603) 969-8195.

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