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

Join NOFA/Mass

Membership is not just for farmers.

 

Homesteaders

"Homesteading is a way for me to fully LIVE the life I love; a joyful immersion in a whole, sustainable system."

- Sharon Gensler
Outreach Coordinator, NOFA/Mass and long-time homesteader

In a world that is becoming increasingly more complex and inaccessible, people are taking charge of their own lives through homesteading. Homesteading represents the utmost expression of self sufficiency and self determination, and is practiced by New Englanders in a wide range of surroundings. Homesteaders across MA are raising chickens and livestock, keeping honeybee hives, planting vegetables and fruit trees, and finding ways of preserving, fermenting, and drying food to keep throughout the year. They are spinning their own fiber, constructing their own homes and furniture, implementing new forms of sustainable energy solutions and finding ways to renew, re-use and recycle natural resources.

At NOFA/Mass, we believe that opting out of an industrial food system by growing food for yourself and for your family is amongst one of the most empowering decisions a person can make; an act which is simultaneously a strong contribution to food security. Our homesteaders are bold dreamers. They step out of societal norms and create intentional communities, where simplicity, self-reliance, and hard work are core values. This is true whether they live on 20 acres of land or in urban apartments. Whether you are a homesteader because you’re not quite ready for the next smartphone, or because you are trying to make a political statement, our classes on cheese-making, lactofermentation, and other DIY workshops are designed for the homesteader or serious hobbyist. At NOFA/Mass you’ll also find a strong homesteading culture among our members – among folks who have been homesteading since the 70’s. If you’re a homesteader, come learn from the generations of MA residents who have successfully transitioned back to a simpler, land-based lifestyle.

Events Of Interest

February 26, 2018 - 1:00pm to 4:30pm

Join NOFA/Mass and Berkshire Agricultural Ventures for this workshop spotlighting innovations in season extension and connect growers with appropriate grants, loans, and technical assistance providers in the Northeast. Topics include planning and installing a Climate Battery (an innovative heat transfer system) under a greenhouse, using renewable fuels to heat greenhouse benches via hot water cycling, and efficient and effective methods for constructing and moving caterpillar tunnels.  Participants will also receive an update from NRCS representatives on application process and status of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and other resources available to support farmers in extending the harvest season.  

March 3, 2018 - 9:00am to 1:00pm, March 10, 2018 - 9:00am to 1:00pm

In this two-part series, seasoned beekeeper Angela Röell will provide a strong grounding in organic beekeeping. From bee anatomy, social structure and nutritional needs to hive equipment and annual tasks, participants will learn everything they need to know to integrate honeybees into their homesteads or farms. Participants may attend one or both sessions.

March 3, 2018 - 9:00am to 1:00pm, March 10, 2018 - 9:00am to 1:00pm

In this two-part series, seasoned beekeeper Angela Röell will provide a strong grounding in organic beekeeping. From bee anatomy, social structure and nutritional needs to hive equipment and annual tasks, participants will learn everything they need to know to integrate honeybees into their homesteads or farms. Participants may attend one or both sessions.

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