Newsletter2020-11-19T09:30:10-05:00

Newsletter

Welcome to the NOFA/Mass monthly newsletter!

Read the latest policy issues, upcoming workshops, growing tips, and updates on the NOFA/Mass and organic growing community. Many months in the making, September 2015 marks the launch of our new newsletter format. Easier to search, view, and browse the archives, we hope you like the new format!

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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

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 [...]

Accelerating Healthy Soils Practices on Small-to-Midsize Organic Farms: early insights from the regional small-to-midsized natural 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 [...]

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 used [...]

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 [...]

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 most [...]

2020 July

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 [...]

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 Director The 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 [...]

2020 June

June is National Dairy Month

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

By Christy Bassett, NOFA/Mass Dairy Program Coordinator In celebration of the Massachusetts dairy farmers who dedicate their early mornings to milking, spend the hottest days of the year in the hay field, and slip their mud boots on at midnight [...]

Open Pantry Community Garden – An Oasis in The Neighborhood

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

By Anna Gilbert- Muhammad, NOFA/Mass Equity Director and Food Access Coordinator The beginning of the 2020 growing season has come with new twists and sudden changes due to COVID-19.  But it has also brought new [...]

When Waste is not Wasted: Dairy Farmers Leading the Way on Responsible Manure Management

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

By Christy Bassett, NOFA/Mass Dairy Program Coordinator As more and more people discover the importance of healthy soil in relation to healthy plants, pastures and gardens, many are also discovering that manure is one of a farm’s most valuable resources.  Cows, in particular, are extremely efficient converters [...]

Celebrate Pollinator Week with NOFA/Mass

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

By Caro Roszell and Marty Dagoberto June 22-28 is Pollinator Week! Organized by the Pollinator Partnership, Pollinator Week is a national celebration of the thousands of insect species that are essential to flowering plants—including the food crops that we depend on [...]

Everyone Has a Role in Julie Rawson’s Vision: A Biography of NOFA/Mass’s Matriarchal Activist, Part 2

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

By Caro Roszell, NOFA/Mass Education Director Tucked into a home on Stockton Street in Codman Square, Dorchester, Julie sat on the bed with three-month old Dan and leveled with Jack: she wanted to move back [...]

2020 May

Solidarity Action with Food Workers and the Mashpee Wampanoag

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

By Marty Dagoberto, NOFA/Mass Policy Director As the national industrial food supply chain faces incredible threats during this pandemic and we continue to support local, organic and sustainable agriculture, we must also use our voices to act in [...]

NOFA Summer Conference: Transforming for You

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

By Jason Valcourt, NOFA Summer Conference Coordinator We see you physical distancing, with your mask on, encouraging each other on social media, in listservs and showing the resilient nature of this community. We take to [...]

Massachusetts Dairy Farmer Will Rogers Uses Regenerative Farming Practices to Enhance Soil Health

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

By Christy Bassett, NOFA/Mass Dairy Program Coordinator If there was a way to nurture natural systems, reverse environmental damage, and increase the health of people and animals around us, wouldn’t you want to support it?  If so, maybe you [...]

Julie Rawson’s Healthy Past and Future: A Biography of NOFA/Mass’s Matriarchal Activist, Part 1

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

By Caro Roszell, NOFA/Mass Education Director Julie Rawson’s memories of her Milledgeville, Illinois, childhood include pulling weeds in the garden with her mother, canning and preserving vegetables for the winter, and slipping in a pile [...]

Harvest Great Lettuce All Season with Succession Planting

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

By Richard Robinson, Farmer at Hopestill Farm farm@hopestill.com When I started gardening, I thought everything got planted only once; when it was harvested, you waited until next year to get more. But over time I [...]

Communities of Color Growing Food During COVID-19

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

By Anna Gilbert-Muhammad, NOFA/Mass Equity Director and Food Access Coordinator After several weeks of physical distancing and sheltering in place, I started a research project for NOFA/Mass’s partners, Home City Housing.  We wanted to find [...]

2020 April

Helping Families Grow Food in Difficult Times

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

By Anna Gilbert-Muhammad, NOFA/Mass Food Access Coordinator During the health pandemic that we are all currently facing, the need to procure healthy, nutritious food has become more apparent than ever.  An even more immediate need [...]

The Importance of The Organic Food Guide in a Time of Quarantine

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

By Lydia Irons NOFA/Mass Public Relations Coordinator The world has dramatically shifted in the past month. A tiny virus has changed everything. COVID-19 went from being the butt of social media jokes about the CDC [...]

Food Activism in the Time of Pandemic, April 2020

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

By Marty Dagoberto, NOFA/Mass Policy Director We’re all still adjusting to this new and rapidly evolving “normal,” and just like everything else, the world of food policy has been tossed up in the air and [...]

The Healthy Future Fund to Honor the Legacy of Julie Rawson

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

By Laura Davis, NOFA/Mass President of the Board We at NOFA/Mass are so fortunate to have had the strong leadership of Julie Rawson for 36 years.  How does one run an amazing farm, produce nutritious [...]

2020 February

New and Archived Webinars

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

By Anna Gilbert-Muhammad, NOFA/Mass Webinar Coordinator Inspiring Ideas from Experts in The Field is entering its 4th season.  This year, the education menu for our viewers continues to grow and bring new presenters and exciting topics.  [...]

The Carcinogenic Threat to Children from the Massachusetts Pesticide Law

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

By Donald Sutherland UPDATE from NOFA/Mass Policy Director, Marty Dagoberto: On January 31st, 2020 the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture passed H.791, mentioned below! Supporters should contact and THANK legislators and ask them [...]

2020 NOFA Summer Conference Taking Shape

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

By Jason Valcourt, NOFA Summer Conference Coordinator Looking ahead to August 7-9, 2020- at the 46th Annual NOFA Summer Conference we will celebrate the theme “Climate Solutions are Grown in Soil” with keynote speaker Tim LaSalle. Tim is [...]

Nutrition, Diabetes Management and Organic Gardening

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

By Anna Gilbert-Muhammad, Food Access Program Coordinator Friends of the Homeless, located at the Worthington Street Homeless Shelter in Springfield, Massachusetts, held their Diabetes Initiative Workshops for shelter members every Tuesday at 755 Worthington Street [...]

New and Archived Webinars

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

By Anna Gilbert-Muhammad, NOFA/Mass Webinar Coordinator Inspiring Ideas from Experts in The Field is entering its 4th season.  This year, the education menu for our viewers continues to grow and bring new presenters and exciting topics.  [...]

The Carcinogenic Threat to Children from the Massachusetts Pesticide Law

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

By Donald Sutherland UPDATE from NOFA/Mass Policy Director, Marty Dagoberto: On January 31st, 2020 the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture passed H.791, mentioned below! Supporters should contact and THANK legislators and ask them [...]

2020 NOFA Summer Conference Taking Shape

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

By Jason Valcourt, NOFA Summer Conference Coordinator Looking ahead to August 7-9, 2020- at the 46th Annual NOFA Summer Conference we will celebrate the theme “Climate Solutions are Grown in Soil” with keynote speaker Tim LaSalle. Tim is [...]

Nutrition, Diabetes Management and Organic Gardening

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

By Anna Gilbert-Muhammad, Food Access Program Coordinator Friends of the Homeless, located at the Worthington Street Homeless Shelter in Springfield, Massachusetts, held their Diabetes Initiative Workshops for shelter members every Tuesday at 755 Worthington Street [...]

Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture passes two bills restricting the use of glyphosate in Massachusetts

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

By Marty Dagoberto, NOFA/Mass Policy Director H.791 eliminates the use of toxic pesticides on playgrounds and anywhere that children learn and play! H.792 takes all glyphosate-containing herbicides (including Monsanto's Roundup) off hardware store shelves and [...]

Finding Your Way in the Modern Dairy Market with Pam and Ray Robinson of Robinson Farm

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

By Christy Bassett, Dairy Program Coordinator for NOFA/Mass Dairy cows have been dubbed “the heart of the homestead” throughout American history because of their high productivity and ability to provide sustenance for so many other [...]

Know, and Test, the Viability of Your Seed

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

By Richard Robinson, Farmer at Hopestill Farm For the ambitious gardener, there is nothing quite as frustrating as planting seeds that never come up. You watch and wait, and wait some more, and wait some [...]

The Real Climate Change Mitigating Diet

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

The Real Climate Change Mitigating Diet By Caro Roszell, NOFA/Mass Education Director Lately there has been a lively discussion about what diet best combats climate change across a range of mainstream and social media platforms. Every major [...]

2020 January

Say Hi to Mike, our New Marketing Associate and Membership Coordinator

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

By Christy Bassett, NOFA/Mass Marketing Director January 2020 Mike Rice, NOFA/Mass Marketing Associate and Membership Coordinator We’ve added a new superstar to our team here at NOFA/Mass- say Hi to Mike! Michael Rice is passionate [...]

Eight Bulk Order Items NOFA Farmers Love

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

By Richard Robinson, Farmer at Hopestill Farm January 2020 For me, the arrival of the NOFA bulk order is, like the arrival of the seed catalogs, a harbinger of spring, and an opportunity to stock up on [...]

January is Pollinator Protection & Organic Solutions Month at NOFA/Mass!

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

By Caro Roszell, NOFA/Mass Education Director January 2020 Communities across Massachusetts are standing up and taking action against toxic biocides and the dangers they pose to all living things-- from the smallest insect to those [...]

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