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

Homestead Skills

October 19, 2019 - 10:00am to 5:00pm
Eastfield Mall, Springfield

NOFA Members: $65 / Non-members: $90*

Hemp production is on the rise nationally, as is demand for locally sourced hemp-based products. With that in mind, Massachusetts farmers are diversifying their crop plans. Come learn how hemp fits into your farm. With its broad range of uses, hemp has tremendous potential for cultivation on a large scale as well as for home remedies and value added products. Join NOFA/Mass for this full-day intensive seminar to hear Dr. Heather Darby, lead agronomist on the UVM Industrial Hemp Research Program, present on hemp agronomy, strain genetics, transplant care, soil preparation, fertility needs, pest and disease management, and large scale production techniques. Keith Morris, of Willow Crossing Farm in VT, will focus on how to diversify with hemp and grow for CBD production. He will cover extracting CBD oil on the farm, proper harvest windows and ways to craft a high-quality finished product. Sarah Grubin, MDAR, will provide a thorough overview of the regulations around hemp production in Massachusetts including what farmers need to know to prepare their farms to grow this crop. Stay for a conversation with Marty Dagoberto, NOFA/Mass Policy Director, and other local activists about current advocacy to improve the hemp laws and regulations in Massachusetts and ways to take action.

October 27, 2019 - 1:00pm to 5:00pm
Alprilla Farm, Essex

NOFA Members: $40 / Non-members: $50

Ages 12 and under Free

Are you excited to learn more about the history and practice of fermenting your own fruit to make cider? For about 200 years it was the most common beverage in New England, until its popularity started to decline in the mid-1800s. By the mid-1900s the art and practice of making your own cider had all but vanished into memory.  Join us and our presenter Edgar Foudray for this great hands on experience. Attendees will take turns rinsing, grinding, pressing, pouring, bottling, and of course drinking fresh apple cider.  Our guide Edgar will provide all of the materials for the workshop, including the cider press and grinder, sanitation supplies, food-grade containers, cider fruit, and educational handouts.  Along the way Edgar will speak about the history of cider making in New England, what qualities to look for in the fruit to achieve a good quality finished product, and different approaches and techniques to making hard cider. Participants can bring their own clean bottles if they want to bring home a volume of juice and continue the fermentation process and enjoy their own hard cider. This event is great for people of all ages, so bring the whole family!

November 9, 2019 - 9:00am to 6:00pm
Montague Common Hall, Montague

NOFA Members: $90 / Non-members: $125*

Materials Fee: $65 CASH

Come learn how to make your own short boots from start to finish. Each participant will craft a pair of custom sized leather minimalist style ankle boots. These flat soled boots have no arch support, are very flexible like many barefoot shoes and are great for your next adventure. Our instructor Sarah Shields, will instruct us on the proper use of some simple hand tools during the process of making ‘Farm Shoes’; she says anyone can do it with a little strength (for punching holes) and patience (sewing).  Participants can choose their leather from the available materials, cut their own custom patterns, meet new people and unplug in a creative and relaxed environment. At the end of the day attendees leave with a custom pair handmade leather boots, suggestions for further sourcing of tools and materials, a template for the boots, and the skills to make more.

December 10, 2019 - 6:00pm to 8:30pm
Franklin County Technical School, Turners Falls

NOFA Members: $35/ Non-members: $45 (Full Scholarship Available)

Ghee (clarified butter) is a high heat, lactose-free cooking oil used for centuries to relieve digestive disorders, calm the nervous system, and promote overall vitality. Join NOFA/Mass for this hands on experience with our guide Hannah Jacobson-Hardy, founder of Full Moon Ghee. Hannah is a proponent for keeping healthy fats in our diets.  She explains, They are good for the brain and large intestine. They lubricate the joints. Ghee is cooling in the body and can help to heal heat conditions like ulcers and colitis. Good fats also help you absorb nutrients. We have a lot more cows than coconuts here, therefore ghee can be our local cooking oil of New England. After we transform butter into ghee, we'll take it one step further by infusing it with herbs and spices to make herbal ghee. Handouts, recipes, and taste tests provided! Each participant takes home a jar of what we make in class. Check out this great profile and recipe from Hannah Jacobson-Hardy in NOFA/Mass' Organic Food Guide.

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