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

Events by Location

Northeast

May 3, 2020 - 1:00pm to 5:00pm
Cedar Rock Gardens, Lanesborough

NOFA Members: $25/ Non-members: $35 (Scholarship Available)

COVID-19 update: We are cautiously optimistic that we will be ready to host group events by the first week in May.  Cedar Rock Gardens is a beautiful location with plenty of space for physical distancing practices if necessary. Attendance will be limited based on current state recommendations.

Join us at Cedar Rock Gardens, a vegetable farm and seedling nursery open to the public in Gloucester, to learn from Elise and Tucker Smith about how they are helping pollinators flourish on their farm,we will: 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 and learn more about low-till and no-till farming practices.

May 31, 2020 - 1:00pm to 4:00pm
Lillooet Farm, Boxford

NOFA Members: $25/ Non-members: $35 (Scholarship Available)

Join us at Lillooet Farm to learn how they are using rotational grazing to enhance their pastures and provide their sheep with healthy forage while minimizing inputs and improving soil health. During this event attendees will walk the pastures with Nathaniel and other members of the Lillooet team, and along the way will: discuss their grazing plan, fencing systems and ways to save labor, speak about choosing livestock that fits the farm and maintaining a healthy flock, learn about the benefits to soil and biodiversity and how they are measuring the results of their regenerative farming practices. We will conclude with a tour through the main barn and view the dairy facility for a discussion session with Erin Bligh about: milking and storage systems, effects of forage and feed on the quality of cheese, creamery procedures and aging techniques.

Lillooet Farm is comprised of 100 acres of fields and forest in the town of Boxford, Massachusetts. The land has been used for homesteading and farming since 1688. Owners Gillian Marino and Nathaniel Higley have been working for four years to reclaim pastures that had been left fallow for 80 years. They raise sheep year-round in order to provide wool and meat for their farm store, local restaurants, and community.

Berkshires

May 17, 2020 - 2:00pm to 5:00pm
Sky View Farm, Sheffield

NOFA Members: $25/ Non-members: $35 (Scholarship Available)

Are you looking to improve your pasture management and learn more about rotational grazing?  Join us at Sky View Farm for a tour and discussion of how rotational grazing provides their livestock with healthy forage while minimizing inputs and improving soil health. Rotational grazing is a system that mimics the ecology of natural grasslands. By rotating densely stocked herds through fenced-off portions of your pastures, your cattle will eat a variety of forage, gain more weight faster, and sequester considerable amounts of carbon in the soil. During this event attendees will walk the pastures with Will and Amelia, and along the way we will stop for discussion of fencing systems, stocking density, and grazing plans.  We will conclude with a visit to the recently-added small-scale dairy.

June 8, 2020 - 1:00pm to 4:00pm
Square Roots Farm, Lanesborough

NOFA Members: $25/ Non-members: $35 (Scholarship Available)

Join us at Square Roots Farm for a tour and discussion of how they apply rotational high density grazing to provide their livestock with healthy forage, minimize inputs, and improve soil health. By rotating dense herds through temporary paddocks within a pasture, livestock will eat a variety of forage, are more robust, and can sequester considerable amounts of carbon in the soil. Square Roots Farm comprises about 185 acres of hilly fields and forest in Lanesborough, Massachusetts. They raise 1000 laying hens, 4000 meat birds, 30 cattle , 12-24 pigs, turkeys and a diversity of vegetables for their CSA customers and market. Michael will lead our tour through his farm and we will, learn about the fencing and shelters they use to keep their flocks and herds moving over the landscape, grazing density and practices. Our guest Connor Stedman will explain the principles and practices of further developing pastures into silvopasture systems through functional tree planting here in New England.  Then we will use Square Roots Farm to provide context in a discussion about specific practices and tree species that can add additional value to a diversified grazing system.

June 15, 2020 - 1:00pm to 4:00pm
Cricket Creek Dairy, Williamstown

NOFA Members: $25/ Non-members: $35 (Scholarship Available)

Cricket Creek Farm is a small grass-based cow dairy producing a variety of products including raw-milk, grass-fed meat and seven varieties of artisanal farmstead cheeses.  They use high density groups of cows rotated through temporary paddocks within their pastures, allowing for the most efficient use of available forage and maximizing the benefit to livestock and soil. Topher Sabot, Owner and Manager, will lead our tour of the farm to learn about how they use a combination of high-tech and low-tech fencing to to manage the cows and maximize efficiency. We will discuss grazing density and practices that provide superior nourishment for the animals while building nutrient rich and microbially diverse soil.  We will have the opportunity to see their dairy facilities and barns to have a conversation about the fine points of producing dairy on a primarily grass-fed system.

Pioneer Valley

August 7, 2020 (All day) to August 9, 2020 (All day)
Hampshire College, Amherst

TBA

Climate Solutions Are Grown In Soil 

2020 Keynote speaker Tim LaSalle

Super Early Bird Special – Register Online till Jan 31st

The time is now for soil health to be relied upon for carbon drawdown on an equal plane as renewable energy so the two can work hand in hand to mitigate the crisis earth is facing. When Tim LaSalle says, “We’ve been farming the carbon out of our soils”, we can be inspired to learn how to increase our abilities to farm the carbon back into our soil and regenerate the living conditions on earth. 

March 28, 2021 - 10:00am to 4:00pm
Big River Chestnuts, Sunderland

NOFA Members: $60/ Non-members: $75 (Scholarship Available)

Join NOFA/Mass at Big River Chestnuts in Sunderland, MA with Buzz Ferver from Perfect Circle Farm for a nutty day focused on how to propagate nut trees (and more) for your farm and homestead. Spend the morning learning everything about starting nuts and woody fruit from seed and the afternoon discussing clonal propagation and practicing some grafting techniques. At the end of the day Jono Neiger will give us a tour of his farm where, since 2018, he has developed a diversified agroforestry system with blight-resistant chinese chestnuts, heartnuts, elderberries, aronia, and other crops. 

Southeast, Cape Cod & Islands

May 23, 2020 - 9:00am to 5:00pm
Aurora Farms, Rehoboth

NOFA Members: $95/ Non-members: $120 (Scholarship Available)

Ready to learn more about Korean Natural Farming amendments and start making your own?  Join us as we learn from Benjamin Morgan-Dillon how to use locally-sourced plants and fruits to create amendments and supplements that are tailored to our geographic environment. Korean Natural Farming retrains our focus from looking at what the plant needs now to anticipating what the plant is going to need in the coming weeks. Learn how to harvest plants from the farm and learn to look for indicators of plant health, capture indigenous bacteria, fungi, and microarthropods, culture beneficial microorganisms, practice making amendments and use them to enhance your plants.

Online

April 10, 2020 - 5:30pm to 6:30pm
Online, Anywhere

Free! Donations accepted with gratitude

Join us for another of our free weekly Resiliency Skills Video Gatherings on Friday April 10th at 5:30pm. We will be Making Sourdough Bread and with Noah and Sophie Courser-Kellerman of Alprilla Farm in Essex, MA. Baking bread is a great way to provide your household with nutritious, economical food. While baking can truly be elevated to the level of art, it is also a flexible and resilient biological process, mainly influenced by time and temperature. We have been determined not to let the perfect be the enemy of the good; over time we have figured out a system for bread baking that works well for our schedules and allows us to enjoy delicious, fortifying bread baked from the wheat we grow on our farm. This workshop is a good opportunity to delve into the rewarding practice of baking bread and maintaining a vigorous sourdough starter. Bring your questions, we will talk about: having bread as a part of our weekly routine, feeding and caring for a sourdough starter culturer, other recipes that we have tried with sourdough starter, and other convenient ways to prepare staple foods. 

April 14, 2020 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm
Online, Anywhere

Free! Donations accepted with gratitude

With spring at hand and the pandemic keeping families at home, many people are interested in growing food at home for mental health, community resilience and high quality fresh produce. But urban sites and soils offer a range of challenges, including lead or other pollutant contamination, which can make growing food in your backyard uncertain, unsafe or daunting. Compounding on that, the University of Massachusetts Soil Testing Laboratory is temporarily closed due to the pandemic making soil testing difficult for those who want to check for lead or other contaminants before starting a garden. Join us for tips on safely and effectively siting a garden, explore other options on checking for lead, learn how to rapidly build up your soil, and explore a few creative options for dealing with existing contamination. Come away with the confidence you need to start a new garden in your space safely so you can grow the best food possible while building a resilient, thriving soil food web that is good for you and your community, too.

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