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

Farming

May 29, 2020 - 5:30pm to 6:30pm
Online, Anywhere

Free! Donations accepted with gratitude

Join us for another of our free weekly Resiliency Skills Online Gatherings on Friday, May 22nd, at 5:30pm. We will have an Introduction to Managing Soil Fertility: Understanding Your Lab Soil Test Reports. Getting a soil test done is an important step in creating a successful garden, and nutrient levels can change over the years as some minerals leach or are taken up by plants, while others build with additions of organic matter and fertilizers. In this webinar, Laura Davis and Anna Gilbert-Muhammad will talk about how to identify, address, and respond to mineral imbalances and deficiencies to increase your crop health and improve the quality and nutrient levels of your produce. We will discuss several concepts, such as: what is pH and why does it matter, Cation Exchange Capacity, how much nitrogen does your organic matter provide, Trace elements and why they matter, what is the Albrecht method of soil balancing? 

 

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

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

In response to COVID-19 we will be moving this workshop online. 

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.

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.

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. 

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