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

April 3, 2020 - 5:30pm to 6:30pm
Online , Anywhere

Free! Donations accepted with gratitude

In response to an outpouring of requests for skills-building and information, NOFA/Mass is working quickly to organize our generous community of independent farmers, gardeners, horticulturalists and land managers to share their self-reliance and community resiliency skills. We will be offering a

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 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.

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.

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.

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. 

Donate to NOFA/Mass

Become a Member

Subcribe to the Newsletter

-A A +A