Newsletter2021-06-02T18:55:00-04:00

Newsletter

Welcome to the NOFA/Mass newsletter series

Each week we publish original articles on the topics we care about most.

Read about the latest policy issues affecting Massachusetts farmers and consumers in our “Policy and Advocacy” newsletter, get insider farming and gardening tips from expert growers in our “Be a Better Grower” newsletter, learn to do it yourself, from food preservation to building fences, in our “Practical Self-Sufficiency” newsletter and see how our community is working to improve the food system in our “Food Justice” newsletter.

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2021 June

3 Ways to Preserve Garlic Scapes

June 17th, 2021|Categories: Newsletters|Tags: , , , |

Garlic scapes ready to be harvested By Christy Bassett, Homesteader at Barefoot All Natural Farm Garlic scapes come but once per year, but that doesn’t mean that their flavor needs to escape you once the harvest [...]

2021 May

New Bill to Address Eagle Poisoning… (Keep) Calling Legislators

May 4th, 2021|Categories: Action Alert, Newsletters|Tags: , , |

By Marty Dagoberto, NOFA/Mass Policy Director Our April Policy Newsletter is still in effect - please keep calling for legislators to ask them to cosponsor our priority bills.  We were successful in securing the [...]

Pepo, Maxima, and Moschata: Know your Cucurbits!

May 12th, 2021|Categories: Newsletters|Tags: , , , |

By Richard Robinson, Farmer at Hopestill Farm  When you choose your winter squash, pay attention to the species. Some are easier to grow than others! As I write this in May of 2021, I am roasting [...]

Ethically Foraging Wild & Medicinal Plants

May 20th, 2021|Categories: Newsletters|Tags: , , |

By Hannah Jacobson-Hardy, Herbalist at Sweet Birch Herbals Hannah Jacobson-Hardy, Community Herbalist The sounds and sights of spring unfurling renew a sense of hope. Wild edibles and spring ephemerals are shooting up [...]

Setting Up Your Brooder and Caring for Juvenile Poultry

May 21st, 2021|Categories: Newsletters|Tags: , , , |

By Christy Bassett, Homesteader at Barefoot All Natural Farm  Last month we talked about the process of hatching chicks at home. If you decided to take on the adventure of incubating eggs and hatching out chicks without [...]

2021 April

Call legislators to cosponsor NOFA/Mass priorities

April 7th, 2021|Categories: Newsletters|Tags: , , |

By Marty Dagoberto, NOFA/Mass Policy Director Now is the time: we need all NOFA/Mass members and supporters to contact their state legislators to ask them to cosponsor our legislative priorities for the 2021-22 legislative [...]

Field Corn and Dry Beans in the Garden: Staple crops to feed your family and community

April 14th, 2021|Categories: Newsletters|Tags: , , , |

By Noah Courser-Kellerman, Farmer at Alprilla Farm Photos by Paul Cary Goldberg and Sophie Courser-Kellerman Garland Flint Corn in the field at Alprilla Farm A perfect early fall meal from the garden: [...]

Hatching Chicks at Home

April 23rd, 2021|Categories: Newsletters|Tags: , , , , |

By Christy Bassett, NOFA/Mass Communications Director and Homesteader at Barefoot All Natural Farm  Nothing signals spring quite like the chirps of baby chicks. As soon as the year turns the corner into March, with warmer weather [...]

Arise for Social Justice Links Up with the Open Pantry Community Garden

April 28th, 2021|Categories: Newsletters|Tags: , , |

By Anna Gilbert-Muhammad, NOFA/Mass Food Access Coordinator  Everyone is looking forward to spring and the fresh air that the season brings.  The smell of compost and soil is in the air seems to bring [...]

Introduction to the NOFA/Mass Bioremediation Project

April 28th, 2021|Categories: Newsletters|Tags: , , , |

Healing the Soil ~ Healing the Community ~ Feeding the Community by Anna Gilbert-Muhammad, NOFA/Mass Food Access Coordinator Growing food in urban areas like Boston, Newark or Springfield where soils are depleted and contaminated with lead and/or other heavy metals can be [...]

2021 March

Victory for Pollinators! Retail stores to stop selling neonic pesticides in Massachusetts

March 2nd, 2021|Categories: Newsletters|Tags: , , , |

By Marty Dagoberto, NOFA/Mass Policy Director On  March 1st 2021 the Mass. Pesticide Board Subcommittee passed a motion to protect pollinators by restricting the use of neonicotinoid pesticides (“neonics”). The new regulations, which go [...]

Three 2020 Garden Successes I’m Growing Again in 2021

March 17th, 2021|Categories: Newsletters|Tags: , , , |

By Richard Robinson, Farmer at Hopestill Farm  Tokyo Bekana, collards, and Panisse lettuce were the standout new additions to my garden in 2020. I’m looking forward to growing more, and selling more, of each this season.  One [...]

Key Insights from the Climate Adaptation Fellowship: Part 2

March 17th, 2021|Categories: Newsletters|Tags: , , , , , |

We Need to Talk About Nitrous Oxide Emissions By Caro Roszell, NOFA/Mass Education Director and Soil Carbon Program Coordinator  In our February newsletter, I shared some takeaways and resources around Massachusetts and New England [...]

2021 February

Key Insights from the Climate Adaptation Fellowship: Part 1

February 4th, 2021|Categories: Newsletters|Tags: , , , , |

By Caro Roszell, NOFA/Mass Education Director  In the second week of January, I was fortunate to participate in a week-long training as a part of the first cohort of the Climate Adaptation Fellowship, a peer-to-peer learning program [...]

Three Legume Cover Crops for Nitrogen, Better Tilth and More

February 4th, 2021|Categories: Newsletters|Tags: , , , , , |

By Noah Courser-Kellerman, Farmer at Alprilla Farm Cover crops are the backbone of our soil building strategy at Alprilla Farm. Most of our land is a heavy silt loam tending towards clay, laid down by the shallow [...]

Online Resilient Garden Series Begins February 16, 2021

February 4th, 2021|Categories: Newsletters|Tags: , , |

By Doug Cook, NOFA/Mass Educational Events Coordinator Gardening is a great way to grow our own healthy food. For many of us, this is the first reason we start a garden, but the practice of gardening is [...]

Healthy Soils Bill is Now Law! Action Needed on Pesticides

February 4th, 2021|Categories: Newsletters|Tags: , , , |

By Marty Dagoberto, NOFA/Mass Policy Director We have some great news about the Healthy Soils Bill in this issue. Take a moment to celebrate, but not too long: we need to get calling legislators to [...]

Virtual NOFA/Mass Winter Conference an Immersive Experience

February 4th, 2021|Categories: Newsletters|Tags: , |

By Jason Valcourt, NOFA/Mass Conference Coordinator Our first virtual NOFA/Mass Winter Conference was a great success and an amazing learning experience. Thank you to all who attended and supported the 34th annual event. Even though we [...]

Home City Housing Youth Leaders Give Instruction on Canning Salsa for the Winter Conference

February 4th, 2021|Categories: Newsletters|Tags: , , |

By Anna Gilbert-Muhammad, NOFA/Mass Food Access Coordinator On Saturday January 9, 2021, youth leaders from Home City Housing in Springfield, MA started the new year giving instruction on hot water bath canning at the 2021 virtual NOFA/Mass Winter Conference. Youth leaders had learned about food preservation themselves during the growing [...]

NOFA/Mass Welcomes New Development Director

February 4th, 2021|Categories: Newsletters|Tags: , |

By Jocelyn Langer, NOFA/Mass Executive Director Mike Rice, our new Development Director at NOFA/Mass, joins our leadership team with an already strong track record of raising funds for the organization. Over the past year in his role as [...]

47th Annual NOFA Summer Conference Survey & Request for Workshop Proposals

February 4th, 2021|Categories: Newsletters|Tags: , |

Presenter from the 2016 NOFA Summer Conference By Jason Valcourt, NOFA Summer Conference Coordinator With such uncertainty of what the world will look like in summer 2021, we have begun tentatively planning a [...]

2021 January

Picking Up Momentum to Rein in Pesticides in 2021

January 6th, 2021|Categories: Newsletters|Tags: , , |

Picking Up Momentum to Reign in Pesticides in 2021 By Marty Dagoberto, NOFA/Mass Policy Director It goes without saying that 2020 didn’t go as anyone had hoped. That being said, while our legislative efforts on Beacon Hill were [...]

The Time Is Now! Register for the NOFA/Mass Winter Conference

January 6th, 2021|Categories: Newsletters|Tags: , , |

By Jason Valcourt, NOFA/Mass Winter Conference Coordinator Livestream Event - January 8-10, 2021  Join us this weekend! It’s time. See and be seen with farmers and food system reformers for the 34th annual NOFA/Mass Winter Conference. Food Security [...]

NOFA/Mass, CT NOFA and NOFA-NY to Expand Soil Carbon Proxy Testing with SARE and Farmer Support

January 6th, 2021|Categories: Newsletters|Tags: , , , |

By Caro Roszell, NOFA/Mass Education Director Farmers manage about 37% of the world’s land mass. As NOFA/Mass followers well know, a significant proportion of the excess carbon in the atmosphere has been lost from the world’s soils [...]

Five Things Gardeners Might Want in This Year’s Bulk Order

January 6th, 2021|Categories: Newsletters|Tags: , , , |

By Richard Robinson, Farmer at Hopestill Farm I love the NOFA bulk order, for its one-stop-shop convenience, for its good prices, and for how it knits together our far-flung community of gardeners, homesteaders and farmers—we all find something [...]

Planning the Tapley Garden and Planning for Jellies and Jams

January 6th, 2021|Categories: Newsletters|Tags: , , , |

By Anna Gilbert-Muhammad, NOFA/Mass Food Access Coordinator As 2020 is placed in the rear-view mirror, the youth leaders at Tapley Court Apartments/Home City Housing look forward to planning the next round of plantings for the [...]

2020 December

“Plan Bee” to Restrict Neonics: Virtual Public Hearing December 10, 2020

December 3rd, 2020|Categories: Newsletters|Tags: , , |

By Marty Dagoberto, NOFA/Mass Policy Director One thing we have to be grateful for this year is that the state government is finally updating its science on the impacts of neonicotinoid pesticides on pollinators. [...]

Soil Studies: NOFA/Mass Completes 3-Year Soil Tech Grant for Soil Health and Fertility

December 3rd, 2020|Categories: Newsletters|Tags: , , |

By Caro Roszell and Laura Davis, NOFA/Mass Soil Technical Advisors  This fall, NOFA/Mass completed a three-year grant project exploring the management practices and soil health outcomes on six farms and gardens that use a diverse array of [...]

Save the date: NOFA Tri-State Bulk Order Opens January 1st!

December 3rd, 2020|Categories: Newsletters|Tags: , |

By Nora Weaver, NOFA Tri-State Bulk Order Coordinator Mark your calendars! The annual NOFA Tri-State Bulk Order will open on January 1st, 2021. Plan to shop our great selection of supplies for growers of all [...]

Youth-Led Cooking Demonstrations at Home City Housing

December 3rd, 2020|Categories: Newsletters|Tags: , |

Anna Gilbert-Muhammad, Equity Director and Food Access Program Coordinator for NOFA/Mass speaks to Youth Leaders in the Tapley Garden in Springfield, MA on July 30, 2020.. The topics for the day were cover crops [...]

For Community Gardeners, the NOFA Bulk Order is a “One-stop Shop”

December 3rd, 2020|Categories: Newsletters|Tags: , , |

By Richard Robinson, Farmer at Hopestill Farm   A garden plot should be “big enough to be interesting, but not so big it becomes a burden,” according to Mark Hanson, who helps run a community garden in Concord, [...]

Greg Watson on Our Local Food System: Planning for a Post-COVID, Climate Changing World: A Winter Conference Preview

December 3rd, 2020|Categories: Newsletters|Tags: , , , |

Article by Greg Watson with Introductory Text by Jason Valcourt, NOFA/Mass Winter Conference Coordinator The flaws in our industrial food system revealed under the stressors of 2020’s intersecting ecological, public health, and racial justice crises were [...]

Eric Toensmeier on Perennial Cropping Systems & Carbon Sequestration: A Winter Conference Preview

December 3rd, 2020|Categories: Newsletters|Tags: , , , |

Excerpt by Eric Toensmeier, Introductory text by Caro Roszell Small farmers have been at the heart of food systems resilience throughout the most disrupted times of the pandemic here in the Northeast in 2020, in many cases [...]

2020 November

Winter Project: Cutworm Collars that Last Forever

November 1st, 2020|Categories: Newsletters|Tags: , , |

By Richard Robinson, Farmer at Hopestill Farm  As the season winds down, I look forward to winding down with it, working shorter days and taking Cutworms are moth larvae that live in the leaf litter. [...]

Diverse Workshops Signal a Robust 2021 Winter Conference

November 1st, 2020|Categories: Newsletters|Tags: , , |

By Ashley Kenney, NOFA Conference Workshop Coordinator  Building networks and infrastructure to survive and thrive in difficult times is on the forefront of many people’s minds this year.  At the virtual 2021 NOFA/Mass Winter Conference, a [...]

2021 NOFA Tri-State Bulk Order: Affordable prices on great supplies for growers of all sizes!

November 1st, 2020|Categories: Newsletters|Tags: , |

By Nora Weaver, NOFA Tri-State Bulk Order Coordinator  Greetings from your new Bulk Order Coordinator! As we turn the corner into fall, I’m reaching out to you with thoughts about planning for next season [...]

Soil Testing and the Bulk Order Go Hand in Hand

November 1st, 2020|Categories: Newsletters|Tags: , , , , , |

By Laura Davis, NOFA/Mass Soil Technical Assistance Coordinator  Fall soil testing can get you set up to succeed next growing season. Don’t shoot in the dark - find out what your soil’s limiting factors are now. Fall soil testing will [...]

Harvest Time at Home City Housing

November 1st, 2020|Categories: Newsletters|Tags: , , , |

By Anna Gilbert-Muhammad, NOFA/Mass Food Access Coordinator  Each year of the garden at Tapley Court Apartments (Home City Housing, HCH) has been significant in the amount and variety of vegetables grown. This year, with a growing worldwide [...]

Cranberries— Surpass the Sauce with this Native Local Superfood

November 1st, 2020|Categories: Newsletters|Tags: , , |

By Caro Roszell, NOFA/Mass Education Director  One of my favorite things about Thanksgiving* is my dad’s homemade cranberry sauce. When we were Californians in the late 80’s, we’d get out the can opener and serve [...]

Open Pantry’s First Season Harvest: an oasis in the community

November 1st, 2020|Categories: Newsletters|Tags: , , , |

By Anna Gilbert-Muhammad, NOFA/Mass Food Access Coordinator  The garden space at Open Pantry provides an opening for community members to access healthier food. The Community Garden at Open Pantry is in its first season [...]

What is the National Day of Mourning and Why are we Talking About It?

November 1st, 2020|Categories: Newsletters|Tags: |

By Christy Bassett, NOFA/Mass Communications Director  Late November is a time of harvest festivals, family gatherings and the unofficial start of a time of rest for farmers. But it’s not a time of happy celebration for everyone.  Traditionally, Thanksgiving is modeled [...]

2020 October

Accelerating Healthy Soils Practices on Small-to-Midsized Organic Farms: Early Insights from the Natural and Organic Farmer Community

October 1st, 2020|Categories: Newsletters|Tags: , , , |

By Caro Roszell, NOFA/Mass Education Director There is not yet a significant body of research on barriers to adoption of healthy soils practices in agriculture, but initial investigations reveal that the primary barrier to adoption [...]

Help Us Welcome Three New Staff Members to NOFA/Mass

October 1st, 2020|Categories: Newsletters|Tags: , , , |

By Christy Bassett, Caro Roszell and Jason Valcourt This month we welcomed Pampi, Ashley Kenney and Nora Weaver to the NOFA/Mass team. Pampi, Public Relations Coordinator Pampi, NOFA/Mass Public Relations Coordinator Pampi joins [...]

Woven Roots Farm Case Study; Accelerating Healthy Soils Practices

October 1st, 2020|Categories: Newsletters|Tags: , , , |

By Caro Roszell, NOFA/Mass Education Director Co-farmers Pete and Jen Salinetti and family,photo credit: Matt Boudreau Woven Roots Farm in Tyringham Massachusetts is a diversified organic vegetable CSA farm run by a small farm [...]

NOFA/Mass 2021 Virtual Winter Conference Takes Aim at Feeding the Commonwealth

October 1st, 2020|Categories: Newsletters|Tags: , , |

By Jason Valcourt and Ashley Kenney, NOFA/Mass Conference Coordinators In this era of a global pandemic, the strength of our local food system has become glaringly apparent and the opportunities for further solutions have been [...]

Do the Largest Garlic Cloves Make the Largest Heads? One NOFA/Mass Farmer’s Quest to Find Out

October 1st, 2020|Categories: Newsletters|Tags: , , , |

By Richard Robinson, Farmer at Hopestill Farm Autumn is garlic planting season. If you save your own bulbs for planting (and I heartily recommend you do), you will need to decide what part of your [...]

Members Hit the Ground Running with Human Health and Climate Action Challenge

October 1st, 2020|Categories: Newsletters|Tags: , , |

By Jocelyn Langer, NOFA/Mass Executive Director On September 22, NOFA/Mass Communications Director and Fundraising Coordinator Christy Bassett sent out a link to her Human Health and Climate Action Challenge crowdfunding page to our whole staff and board. [...]

2020 September

Healthy Soils Amendment One Step from Passage, Help Needed!

September 1st, 2020|Categories: Newsletters|Tags: , |

By Marty Dagoberto, NOFA/Mass Policy Director In these novel times (COVID-19), the State Legislature has extended its formal session beyond the July 31 2020 deadline. While this technically means that all of our current priority [...]

Food Access Program: A Conversation with Two Neighborhood Gardeners Part Two, Backyard Growers in Old Hill

September 1st, 2020|Categories: Newsletters|Tags: , , , , |

By Anna Gilbert-Muhammad, NOFA/Mass Food Access Coordinator (Continued from part one, highlighting two backyard growers in the Mason Square area of Springfield, MA) It is wonderful to speak to the elders of a community. A husband [...]

Successful 46th Annual NOFA Summer Conference carries on tradition in a new virtual format

September 1st, 2020|Categories: Newsletters|Tags: , , |

By Caro Roszell and Jocelyn Langer *originally published in the Fall 2020 issue of The Natural Farmer What do you get when you put over 400 farmers and gardeners into an online learning forum for three [...]

2020 August

Practical Approaches to Establishing No-Till Systems: Reflections from Winter Street Farm (Part 2)

August 1st, 2020|Categories: Newsletters|Tags: , , , , , |

By Caro Roszell, NOFA/Mass Education Director Last month you learned about Abby and Jonathan’s experience starting a first year CSA during a pandemic. This month, we’ll talk about the farming practices that Abby and Jonathan have [...]

Policy update August 2020: Governor signs mosquito control law, creates “21st Century Task Force”

August 1st, 2020|Categories: Newsletters|Tags: , |

By Marty Dagoberto, NOFA/Mass Policy Director At the time of writing (7/29/20) we are in the final days of the formal legislative session - too soon to update you all on the fate of [...]

Food Access Program: A Conversation with Two Neighborhood Gardeners

August 1st, 2020|Categories: Newsletters|Tags: , , , |

By Anna Gilbert-Muhammad, NOFA/Mass Food Access Coordinator During the earliest days of the outbreak of COVID-19, many families, particularly families of color, started incorporating gardening into their quarantine routine.  Many families desired to have fresher [...]

It’s August: Where are all my Weeds? And what are all these slugs doing in my garden?

August 1st, 2020|Categories: Newsletters|Tags: , |

By Richard Robinson, Farmer at Hopestill Farm If you had looked for my onion patch a few years back, it would have been hard to find at this time of year—overgrown with endless amounts of [...]

2020 July

Reaching Out Like a Tree: The Expanding Reach of NOFA/Mass Under Julie Rawson’s Stewardship over 36 Years

July 1st, 2020|Categories: Newsletters|Tags: , |

By Caro Roszell, NOFA/Mass Education DirectorThe roots of NOFA/Mass are sunk deep in the collective realization of a generation: that the institutionalized drive for domination and power is inimical to a peaceful and happy society. [...]

The Time is Now! NOFA Summer Conference July 20 – August 9, 2020 Three Weeks of Farming, Food and System Change

July 1st, 2020|Categories: Newsletters|Tags: , |

By Jason Valcourt, NOFA Summer Conference Coordinator The time is now for a three-week journey into the mind of our NOFA community. Beginning Monday, July 20th, the 46th Annual NOFA Summer Conference will roll out [...]

Starting a Farm in a Pandemic: Reflections from Winter Street Farm

July 1st, 2020|Categories: Newsletters|Tags: , , , |

By Caro Roszell, NOFA/Mass Education Director Nestled in the Upper Connecticut River Valley of New Hampshire, in former Pennacook and Sokoki lands, is a town called Claremont, which just got its first organic CSA farm. Jonathan [...]

Final weeks for state legislature: Take action for JUSTICE

July 1st, 2020|Categories: Newsletters|Tags: , |

By Marty Dagoberto, NOFA/Mass Policy Director As the 2019-20 state legislative session draws to a close, we look back at the progress we’ve made advocating for issues at the heart of the organic movement and [...]

2020 June

2020 May

2020 April

2020 March

2020 February

2020 January

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