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

Past Events

June 25, 2020 - 5:30pm to 7:00pm
Online, Anywhere

NOFA Members: $12/ Non-members: $15 (Scholarship Available)

Are you looking to improve your pasture management and learn more about rotational grazing?  Join NOFA/Mass and Sky View Farm for this online event 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 talk about pasture reclamation with Will and Amelia, discuss fencing systems, stocking density, and grazing plans.  We will speak in depth about creating as small-scale dairy in the basement of their house.

June 18, 2020 - 5:30pm to 7:00pm
Online, Anywhere

NOFA Members: $12/ Non-members: $15 (Scholarships Available)

Join NOFA/Mass and Michael Gallagher of Square Roots Farm to explore his intensively managed livestock systems. By rotating dense herds through temporary paddocks within a pasture, his livestock eat a variety of forage, are more robust, and will 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 answer many questions 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. 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 16, 2020 - 6:30pm to 7:30pm
Online , Anywhere

Free

Growing quality cattle feed from native Massachusetts soils can be challenging.  But there are several tricks that you can employ to increase the health of your soil naturally, all while keeping cattle on the land and producing quality milk for people.

June 12, 2020 - 5:30pm to 6:30pm
Online, Anywhere

Free! Donations accepted with gratitude

If you have always wanted to start a garden but don’t want to do a lot of backbreaking sod-busting or rototilling, come learn a better way! Join Ricky Baruch, the originator of the ‘Cardboard Method’ to learn about how to use three simple tools—cardboard, tarps and cover crops—to open up a new garden and maintain it without fossil fuels and pickaxes. We will cover topics such as: methods build organic matter, promote beneficial soil microbes and mycorrhizal fungi, reduce weeds, conserve water and labor, and respond to climate change by helping to keep carbon in the earth.

June 11, 2020 - 5:30pm to 7:00pm
Online, Anywhere

NOFA Members: $12/ Non-members: $15 (Scholarships Available)

Join NOFA/Mass and Upinngil Farm for an online event, the first of five virtual events focusing on improving your pastures and products with intensive grazing practices. We will learn from Cliff Hatch, veteran farmer and cheese artisan, as he guides us through the process of making farmstead cheeses. Participants will learn to select the right quality milk, proper handling practices and deciding which culture 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. Learn more about the way that seasons, forage and feed quality influence the taste of pastured milk, as well as details about herd selection and grazing practices. 

June 5, 2020 - 6:30pm to 7:30pm
Online, Anywhere

Free! Donations accepted with gratitude

Summer has finally arrived and with it, a bounty of fresh produce! To extend the life of fresh vegetables and fruit, transform them into easy quick pickles and refrigerator jams. In this webinar Afton Cyrus will demonstrate how to make quick-pickled vegetables with a flexible, all-purpose brine, and how to make an easy, small-batch refrigerator jam adaptable to whatever fruit you have on hand all summer long. Afton will discuss the different methods of preserving fruits and vegetables, do's and don'ts for preserving safely at home, and how to customize recipes to incorporate your favorite flavors. Afton will demonstrate and discuss: different methods of preserving, quick pickles and how brine flavors can be adapted, making jam, different ways to thicken/set jam and how to adapt to different kinds of fruit. 

May 29, 2020 - 5:30pm to 6:30pm
Online, Anywhere

Free! Donations accepted with gratitude

Join us for another of our free weekly Resiliency Skills Online Gatherings on Friday, May 22nd, at 5:30pm. We will have an Introduction to Managing Soil Fertility: Understanding Your Lab Soil Test Reports. Getting a soil test done is an important step in creating a successful garden, and nutrient levels can change over the years as some minerals leach or are taken up by plants, while others build with additions of organic matter and fertilizers. In this webinar, Laura Davis and Anna Gilbert-Muhammad will talk about how to identify, address, and respond to mineral imbalances and deficiencies to increase your crop health and improve the quality and nutrient levels of your produce. We will discuss several concepts, such as: what is pH and why does it matter, Cation Exchange Capacity, how much nitrogen does your organic matter provide, Trace elements and why they matter, what is the Albrecht method of soil balancing? 

 

May 22, 2020 - 6:30pm to 7:30pm
Online, Anywhere

Free! Donations accepted with gratitude

Join for this interactive online event with Elise and Tucker Smith of Cedar Rock Gardens, a vegetable farm and seedling nursery open to the public in Gloucester, to learn from about how they are helping pollinators and many other beneficial insects 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 16, 2020 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm
Online, Anywhere

NOFA Members: $25/ Non-members: $35 (Scholarship Available)

Do you want to create a garden that is inviting, and nourishing, for people, and pollinators alike?  In this workshop with Dan Jaffe, co-author of Native Plants for New England Gardens and longtime ecological horticulturist, we will focus on successful methods for creating habitats for pollinators and beneficial insects in the landscapes where we live and work. Join us at Pingree School to learn more about: why designing for pollinator health builds resiliency in our local ecosystem, design components that should be considered in every garden, which flower shapes and colors attract insects and other features that provide a variety of habitats for beneficial insect.  Join us on May 14th and 16th from 6:00pm to 7:30 for this two-part, interactive online event.

May 15, 2020 - 5:30pm to 6:30pm
Online, Anywhere

Free! Donations accepted with gratitude

Make a worm bin: microbial alchemy in a bucket! Whether you live on plenty of land or in a small apartment, you can partner with red wrigglers to turn organic waste into a potent fertilizer and bio-inoculant.

May 8, 2020 - 5:30pm to 6:30pm
Online , Anywhere, MA

Free! Donations accepted with gratitude

If you’re just getting started planning your corona virus victory garden and need some friendly guidance, this webinar is for you! Lydia and Caro built a simple, classic raised bed garden together (while physically distancing!) from lawn to planting seeds in just two and a half hours.

May 1, 2020 - 5:30pm to 6:30pm
Online, Anywhere

Free! Donations accepted with gratitude

Join us for another of our free weekly Resiliency Skills Online Gatherings on Friday, May 1st, at 5:30pm. We will learn more about Getting Started with Backyard Chickens. Adding poultry to your backyard, homestead or farm can build your soil nutrients, control pest populations and even clear land while supplying you with healthy food. Our instructor, Kirby Lecy will present all the things she wished she had known about natural chicken keeping before adding them to their small farm. We will cover all the basics of keeping poultry for eggs, including: a tour of their coop and discussion about shelters, how to feed your chickens and convert food waste into nutritious food, keeping your flock healthy, managing manure as well as ways to use chickens to fertilize your landscape and manage insect pests. 

April 28, 2020 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm
Online, Anywhere

Free

These days plant-based meat and dairy substitutes are being heralded as the answer to our climate and healthcare crisis. But does this tell the whole story? What if dairies are actually part of solving for climate change, food quality declines, and regional food security? Join Jordan Schmidt, Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and Sarah, owner and manager of Chaseholm Farm, for a conversation about regenerative livestock farming and its potential to enhance ecosystem function and human health.

April 24, 2020 - 5:30pm to 6:45pm
Online, Anywhere

Free! Donations accepted with gratitude

Join us for another of our free weekly Resiliency Skills Video Gatherings on Friday April 24th at 5:30pm. We will learn more about Foraging for Tasty Wild Edibles in Your Backyard and Neighborhood. The Bay State is home to over 150 species of edible wild plants, some of which are more nutritious and/or flavorful than their cultivated counterparts. Join naturalist, wild foods enthusiast Russ Cohen, author of Wild Plants I Have Known...and Eaten, for a one-hour webinar featuring two dozen of the tastiest edible weeds, invasive species and common native species the Commonwealth has to offer.  Russ will present information on: identification tips, edible portion(s) and season(s) of availability, preparation methods and guidelines for safe and environmentally-responsible foraging.  

April 14, 2020 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm
Online, Anywhere

Free! Donations accepted with gratitude

With spring at hand and the pandemic keeping families at home, many people are interested in growing food at home for mental health, community resilience and high quality fresh produce. But urban sites and soils offer a range of challenges, including lead or other pollutant contamination, which can make growing food in your backyard uncertain, unsafe or daunting. Compounding on that, the University of Massachusetts Soil Testing Laboratory is temporarily closed due to the pandemic making soil testing difficult for those who want to check for lead or other contaminants before starting a garden. Join us for tips on safely and effectively siting a garden, explore other options on checking for lead, learn how to rapidly build up your soil, and explore a few creative options for dealing with existing contamination. Come away with the confidence you need to start a new garden in your space safely so you can grow the best food possible while building a resilient, thriving soil food web that is good for you and your community, too.

April 10, 2020 - 5:30pm to 6:30pm
Online, Anywhere

Free! Donations accepted with gratitude

Join us for another of our free weekly Resiliency Skills Video Gatherings on Friday April 10th at 5:30pm. We will be Making Sourdough Bread and with Noah and Sophie Courser-Kellerman of Alprilla Farm in Essex, MA. Baking bread is a great way to provide your household with nutritious, economical food. While baking can truly be elevated to the level of art, it is also a flexible and resilient biological process, mainly influenced by time and temperature. We have been determined not to let the perfect be the enemy of the good; over time we have figured out a system for bread baking that works well for our schedules and allows us to enjoy delicious, fortifying bread baked from the wheat we grow on our farm. This workshop is a good opportunity to delve into the rewarding practice of baking bread and maintaining a vigorous sourdough starter. Bring your questions, we will talk about: having bread as a part of our weekly routine, feeding and caring for a sourdough starter culturer, other recipes that we have tried with sourdough starter, and other convenient ways to prepare staple foods. 

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

March 31, 2020 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm
Online, Anywhere

Free

By bringing together a network of Newark-based growers in New Jersey, the Newark Community Food System (NCFS), an innovative collective of local urban agriculture experts, supports the growth of the local food system, amplify community-led initiatives, and develop sustainability around urban agriculture and fresh healthy food access. It is necessary to demonstrate how urban agriculture is essential for community development and health. NCFS takes actionable steps to empower residents to become actively involved in reshaping their food system, while gaining control of their health and environment.

January 28, 2020 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm
Online, Anywhere

Free

Wild pollination systems are degrading rapidly, raising concern over an impending ecological catastrophe. Yet most efforts to create pollinator habitat have only increased common species, rather than the range of wild pollinators needed for ecosystem health and resiliency. In this webinar we will explore the critical role of plant selection in designing and planning for pollinators. We'll break down the science behind crop as well as native plant pollination; explore the crucial role that native pollinators play in food security, ecosystem health and climate resiliency; and take a deep dive into farmscape design for native pollinators.

January 24, 2020 - 6:30pm to 10:00pm
Alprilla Farm, Essex

$175 Single $300 Couple

By Chef Stacey Apple

Join us for a night of delicious food and good company to support the work of the Northeast Organic Farming Association’s Massachusetts chapter, NOFA/Mass, prepared by Chef and Farmer Stacey Apple of Iron Ox Farm.
 
Bonfire, beverages and wood fired pizza appetizers followed by farm to table dinner in the greenhouse.

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