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

March 23, 2019 - 9:00am to 5:00pm
Farm Shoes Handmade , Shutesbury

$65 + materials fee* NOFA/Mass Members / $78 + materials fee* General Public

*$50 material fee due at the workshop

*This event is sold out. We are currently considering dates for a fall class; please check back for details.*

Come learn how to make your own shoes from raw materials in a bright, sunny, solar- powered home & farm! Each participant will learn to make a pair of beautiful leather "barefoot" or "minimalist" sneakers, from start (tracing our feet) to finish (wearing them home). Choose your color (or color combination), personalize your shoes, meet new people and unplug in a creative and relaxed environment.

March 25, 2019 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm
Ivory Silo Farm, Westport

NOFA Members: $12 / Non-members: $15

 

Bill Braun and Dee Levanti grow in two unheated high tunnels in the winter, also utilizing two unheated low tunnels and a new heated, MDAR-funded propogation house for seedling production. In this 2-hour farm tour, Bill and Dee will share what they have learned about the most efficient and effective way to use their season extension structures within their operation. They will review their winter greens (primarily kale, chard, and cold-hardy asian greens) production strategy-- including timing and varieties for planting. The hoophouses are not used for aggressive summer production but rather are rested in summer to maximize winter production. Dee and Bill will also explain how they use their tunnels for seed breeding and saving to increase the self-reliance of their operation and the regional adaptability of their seed supply. Dee, who works for MDAR, will also give a brief overview of the grant program that funded their greenhouse for those who are interested in applying to expand their farm infrastructure.

March 26, 2019 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm
Online, Anywhere

Free

You’ve heard of compost, but what about humic acids, hyphae, and boron? We are going to "dig" deeper and explore: the unique benefit of compost over chemical/mineralized fertilizers, how it introduces biology (making nutrients more available), and promotes the symbiotic relationship of microbes and root systems. Compost lab results will be reviewed to show what nutrients are provided beyond organic matter, and how this translates into lb/acre (& oz/sqft) recommendations.

April 6, 2019 - 9:45am to 4:00pm
American Legion Dudley-Gendron Post, Sutton

NOFA Members: $60 / Non-members: $75*

Have you considered growing hemp commercially but you really need some more information? NOFA/Mass is presenting a full-day intensive workshop on growing agricultural hemp in the Northeast. The focus will be on cultivating a hemp crop for CBD production and will cover genetics, transplant care, soil preparation, fertility needs, pest and disease management, harvesting and extracting CBD oil on the farm, proper harvest windows and crop quality for a legal and marketable product. Our region is known for its unique niche crops and Organic Certified Hemp is the newest addition to that list. Presenters will help you understand the regulations and the permitting process to start growing hemp on your farm.

April 14, 2019 - 9:00am to 5:00pm
Allyn Cox Reservation, Essex

NOFA Members: $72 / Non-members: $90*

Soil is an often underappreciated and abused natural resource, yet it is critical for our survival as a species-- and, moreover, is an ecosystem in its own right. The interplay of micro- and macro-organisms with the physical and chemical processes of a healthy soil are more aptly compared to a tropical rainforest or coral reef than to the inert media commonly used in sterilized potting mixes. Yet for decades, soil was thought of as little more than a medium for receiving amendments and holding up plants.

April 28, 2019 - 9:00am to 5:00pm
Bay Area Neighborhood Resident Resource Center, Springfield

NOFA Members: $80 / Non-members: $100*

Over the course of this full-day seminar, Angela will provide an overview of the anatomy, physiology, and social structure of honeybees and their hives. Participants will learn about the tasks and activities of an organic beekeeper's year and with consideration for honeybee nutritional needs — reflect on how to plan for bringing bees into their lives. Angela will review the various types, components, and appropriate equipment for different styles of hive honeybee hives and provide guidance on non-toxic approaches to mite prevention and treatment. Participants in will be guided through the process of designing and creating an action plan for their scale and circumstance. Everyone will leave this workshop with a deeper understanding of honeybees, the annual cycle of healthy hive care, and a vision of what beekeeping would look like integrated into their own daily life.

May 11, 2019 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm
Brooks Bend Farm, Montague

NOFA Members: $12/ Non-members: $15

Growing mushrooms is a great way to diversify the food production systems on your farm or garden. While fresh specialty mushrooms can cost nearly twenty dollars per pound at the store, many mushroom varieties can actually be grown in a way that integrates into your landscape while using minimal tools and inputs-- and even produces a desirable by-product for gardeners in the form of fungal mulch! In this two-hour, beginner-friendly workshop, you will learn the basics of how to grow mushrooms at home.

May 18, 2019 - 9:00am to 5:00pm
Upinngill Farm, Gill

NOFA Members: $85 / Non-members: $105*

This all-day, hands-on workshop is ideal for the beginning cheese maker. Using fresh grass-fed pastured raw milk from Upinngil farm, Cliff Hatch, veteran farmer and cheese artisan, will guide you through the process of making a number of simple cheeses such as Camembert, Chevre, Brie, and Blue cheese. Participants will learn to select the right quality milk, discern what kinds of milk are appropriate for soft cheeses and choose what kind of bacteria to use as a starter. Along the way, we’ll talk about the process and history of cheese making and how different cheeses are made. Participants will be given samples of cheese to take home and practice aging. Cliff invites those wanting to learn more about working with the milk of their own animals to bring two gallons of milk to make into cheese. With your palette sharpened and techniques honed, you’ll be ready to make your own artisanal cheese.

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