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

September 20, 2020 - 1:00pm to 4:00pm
Red Shirt Farm, Lanesborough

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

Join us at Red Shirt Farm in Lanesboro, MA to learn from farm manager Jim Schultz and guest presenter Dan Kittredge of the Bionutrient Food Association to learn how their no-till farming practices are improving soil health and the nutritional density of their produce.  Jim will lead a farm tour where we will stop and discuss certain aspects of the farm, including: BCS tillage reduction equipment set up and systems,  Johnson-Su Bioreactor, and permanent bed systems.  Jim will give a demonstration of his BCS-powered transferred mulch system, including mower, rake and mini-baler. This system is used to convert cover crops to mulch that can be used elsewhere on the farm. Dan will talk about the results of the Real Food Campaign work so far and how they are collecting data to link the value of healthy soils and nutritious food to overall human health. Dan will share his insight into how management practices affect nutrient density in crops. We will get a chance to use the Bionutrient Meter in the field to assess the crops in real time. We will close out the day by teaching you a few soil health assessment techniques you can use on your farm to track how your management practices are impacting soil biology, structure, root vigor and more. 

August 27, 2020 - 5:00pm to 6:30pm
Online , Anywhere

Free

In this free workshop, NOFA/Mass Soil Technical Assistance Advisors Laura Davis, Jane Hammer, and Caro Roszell will review and interpret soil tests results for Revision Urban Farm.

July 28, 2020 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Online, Anywhere

Free

Whether you want to save seeds, develop new varieties, or simply increase your fruit yield in wet seasons or where there are few pollinators, knowing how to pollinate your squash by hand is a valuable skill to have. Come learn the techniques and get the checklist to get started!  

July 20, 2020 (All day) to August 9, 2020 (All day)
, Online

$100-125

Climate Solutions Are Grown In Soil – 2020 Keynote speaker Tim LaSalle

We’re mooooving online!  Due to the continued recommendations for physical distancing to control the spread of COVID-19, we have decided to cancel the in-person conference and move to an online experience spread out over three weeks from July 20 – August 9, 2020. 

At this time, we are solving for the best format to host the conference and reorganizing the educational program to fit the new model.  The virtual conference will be a combination of live video conferencing and discussion group opportunities to network with the community in an online digital ecosystem.

July 9, 2020 - 5:30pm to 7:00pm
Online, Anywhere

NOFA Members: $12/ Non-members: $15 (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 answer questions 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 a conversation about the fine points of producing dairy on a primarily grass-fed system.

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.

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