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

May 18, 2019 - 9:00am to 5:00pm
Upinngill Farm, Gill

NOFA Members: $85 / Non-members: $105*

This all-day, hands-on workshop is ideal for the beginning cheese maker. Using fresh grass-fed pastured raw milk from Upinngil farm, Cliff Hatch, veteran farmer and cheese artisan, will guide you through the process of making a number of simple cheeses such as Camembert, Chevre, Brie, and Blue cheese. Participants will learn to select the right quality milk, discern what kinds of milk are appropriate for soft cheeses and choose what kind of bacteria 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. Participants will be given samples of cheese to take home and practice aging. Cliff invites those wanting to learn more about working with the milk of their own animals to bring two gallons of milk to make into cheese. With your palette sharpened and techniques honed, you’ll be ready to make your own artisanal cheese.

May 11, 2019 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm
Brooks Bend Farm, Montague

NOFA Members: $24/ Non-members: $30 (Full Scholarship Available)

This program has received grant funding and and we are excited to offer FULL SCHOLARSHIP to anyone who would like to attend.

Growing mushrooms is a great way to diversify the food production systems on your farm or garden. While fresh specialty mushrooms can cost nearly twenty dollars per pound at the store, many mushroom varieties can actually be grown in a way that integrates into your landscape while using minimal tools and inputs-- and even produces a desirable by-product for gardeners in the form of fungal mulch! In this two-hour, beginner-friendly workshop, you will learn the basics of how to grow mushrooms at home.

May 8, 2019 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm
Lathrop Community Center, Easthampton

Maintaining living plant cover is one of the essential practices of building soil health. This workshop provides practical guidance on using cover crops in a small-scale, non-mechanized, no-till context to improve soil health both for growing more nutritious food and for sequestering atmospheric carbon into the soil.

May 6, 2019 - 7:00pm to 9:00pm
First Churches, Northampton, Northampton

$20; Full scholarships available*, Walk-ins Welcome; Free admittance to anyone 18 years old & under

In her current Northeast Earth Journey, Dr. Shiva will share her pledge and the story of her initiative to bring together communities around the world toward poison-free, climate-change mitigating, food and farming systems. She will be collaborating and sharing her story and aspirations with individuals and organizations interested in working collectively to advance a common international agenda, rooted in local communities. NOFA/Mass is proud to be Dr. Shiva’s Massachusetts host. Dr. Shiva will be introduced by Bill Braun, NOFA/Mass Board member, organic farmer, and founder of the Freed Seed Federation, an organization dedicated to involving farmers in the restoration and development of regionally adapted and farmer-controlled seed stocks.

May 3, 2019 - 10:00am to 12:00pm
Bard College - Ward Manor House room 107, Annandale-On-Hudson

Free: RSVP EUS@bard.edu

In this short workshop, NOFA/Mass Education Director and no-till farmer Caro Roszell will dig in — literally — to a patch of the Bard Farm’s soil and explain what measurable features to look for to assess that soil's capacity for building and storing organic carbon. The healthier a soil is, the more organic carbon it will hold (up to a saturation point). Soils with greater levels of carbon are more resilient to weather extremes, produce healthier crops, hold water more effectively, and can remove CO2 from the atmosphere when there are healthy plants growing there.

April 30, 2019 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm
Online, Anywhere

Free

Flats Mentor Farm is a program of World Farmers that started in the early 80s when a refugee farmer sought access to land to farm and grow cultural crops familiar to her family and her community. Land was then offered by an immigrant farmer who acknowledge the land access issues facing refugees, and the Flats Mentor Farm Program was founded. The program supports immigrant and refugee farmers with access to the land, agricultural infrastructure, and marketing assistance needed for small-scale vegetable farmers to grow and market their produce. Join this webinar to hear from World Farmers staff about this unique farming program, some of the ethnic crops being grown for communities in the region, successful marketing techniques Flats Mentor farmers have developed for their businesses, and other ways World Farmers supports the development of immigrant-led food enterprises.

April 28, 2019 - 9:00am to 5:00pm
Bay Area Neighborhood Resident Resource Center, Springfield

NOFA Members: $80 / Non-members: $100*

Over the course of this full-day seminar, Angela will provide an overview of the anatomy, physiology, and social structure of honeybees and their hives. Participants will learn about the tasks and activities of an organic beekeeper's year and with consideration for honeybee nutritional needs — reflect on how to plan for bringing bees into their lives. Angela will review the various types, components, and appropriate equipment for different styles of hive honeybee hives and provide guidance on non-toxic approaches to mite prevention and treatment. Participants in will be guided through the process of designing and creating an action plan for their scale and circumstance. Everyone will leave this workshop with a deeper understanding of honeybees, the annual cycle of healthy hive care, and a vision of what beekeeping would look like integrated into their own daily life.

April 26, 2019 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm
Ware Grange, Ware

Free and open to all

Maintaining living plant cover is one of the essential practices of building soil health. This workshop provides practical guidance on using cover crops in a small-scale, non-mechanized, no-till context to improve soil health both for growing more nutritious food and for sequestering atmospheric carbon into the soil.

April 13, 2019 - 10:00am to 11:00am
Berkshire Botanical Gardens, Stockbridge

$15 member (Berkshire Bot. member) & $25 non-member

Maintaining living plant cover is one of the essential practices of building soil health. This workshop provides practical guidance on using cover crops in a small-scale, non-mechanized, no-till context to improve soil health both for growing more nutritious food and for sequestering atmospheric carbon into the soil.

April 13, 2019 - 9:00am to 5:00pm
Allyn Cox Reservation, Essex

NOFA Members: $72 / Non-members: $90*

Soil is an often underappreciated and abused natural resource, yet it is critical for our survival as a species-- and, moreover, is an ecosystem in its own right. The interplay of micro- and macro-organisms with the physical and chemical processes of a healthy soil are more aptly compared to a tropical rainforest or coral reef than to the inert media commonly used in sterilized potting mixes. Yet for decades, soil was thought of as little more than a medium for receiving amendments and holding up plants.

April 6, 2019 - 9:45am to 4:00pm
American Legion Dudley-Gendron Post, Sutton

NOFA Members: $60 / Non-members: $75*

Have you considered growing hemp commercially but you really need some more information? NOFA/Mass is presenting a full-day intensive workshop on growing agricultural hemp in the Northeast. The focus will be on cultivating a hemp crop for CBD production and will cover genetics, transplant care, soil preparation, fertility needs, pest and disease management, harvesting and extracting CBD oil on the farm, proper harvest windows and crop quality for a legal and marketable product. Our region is known for its unique niche crops and Organic Certified Hemp is the newest addition to that list. Presenters will help you understand the regulations and the permitting process to start growing hemp on your farm.

March 26, 2019 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm
Online, Anywhere

Free

You’ve heard of compost, but what about humic acids, hyphae, and boron? We are going to "dig" deeper and explore: the unique benefit of compost over chemical/mineralized fertilizers, how it introduces biology (making nutrients more available), and promotes the symbiotic relationship of microbes and root systems. Compost lab results will be reviewed to show what nutrients are provided beyond organic matter, and how this translates into lb/acre (& oz/sqft) recommendations.

March 25, 2019 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm
Ivory Silo Farm, Westport

NOFA Members: $12 / Non-members: $15

 

Bill Braun and Dee Levanti grow in two unheated high tunnels in the winter, also utilizing two unheated low tunnels and a new heated, MDAR-funded propogation house for seedling production. In this 2-hour farm tour, Bill and Dee will share what they have learned about the most efficient and effective way to use their season extension structures within their operation. They will review their winter greens (primarily kale, chard, and cold-hardy asian greens) production strategy-- including timing and varieties for planting. The hoophouses are not used for aggressive summer production but rather are rested in summer to maximize winter production. Dee and Bill will also explain how they use their tunnels for seed breeding and saving to increase the self-reliance of their operation and the regional adaptability of their seed supply. Dee, who works for MDAR, will also give a brief overview of the grant program that funded their greenhouse for those who are interested in applying to expand their farm infrastructure.

March 23, 2019 - 9:00am to 5:00pm
Farm Shoes Handmade , Shutesbury

$65 + materials fee* NOFA/Mass Members / $78 + materials fee* General Public

*$50 material fee due at the workshop

*This event is sold out. We are currently considering dates for a fall class; please check back for details.*

Come learn how to make your own shoes from raw materials in a bright, sunny, solar- powered home & farm! Each participant will learn to make a pair of beautiful leather "barefoot" or "minimalist" sneakers, from start (tracing our feet) to finish (wearing them home). Choose your color (or color combination), personalize your shoes, meet new people and unplug in a creative and relaxed environment.

March 23, 2019 - 8:45am to 9:45am
Western Mass Master Gardener Association's Spring Gardening Symposium, South Deerfield

Free and open to all

Maintaining living plant cover is one of the essential practices of building soil health. This workshop provides practical guidance on using cover crops in a small-scale, non-mechanized, no-till context to improve soil health both for growing more nutritious food and for sequestering atmospheric carbon into the soil.

March 10, 2019 - 9:00am to 5:00pm
Republican Masonic Lodge, Greenfield

NOFA Members: $80 / Non-members: $100*

THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED

This one-day advanced seminar will show how small-scale organic farming practices can be used to make a profitable livelihood throughout the year. Learn about efficient farm systems, innovative techniques of growing and crop storage for extending the season for profit, winter greens production in tunnels, intuitive methods for tracking farm productivity, and marketing techniques for success.

February 26, 2019 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm
Online, Anywhere

Free

For most of civilization - until the last 100 years or so - farmer and plant breeder were the same thing. If we are to ensure true food security and fortify a resilient agriculture, we must do it from the ground up. That means restoring the farmer's role as participant in our co-evolution with food and medicinal plants, rather than mere recipient. It is no longer appropriate to simply outsource this responsibility to 'the experts'; we must work together to tackle climate disruption and its implications for our foodshed

February 9, 2019 - 10:00am to 4:00pm
Round the Bend Farm , South Dartmouth

NOFA and YFN Members: $35 / Non-members: $45

“Without seed security, there is no food security.” – Vandana Shiva 

    Seeds are not merely an input among inputs on our farms or in our gardens; they are the heart and soul, the very blueprints of life.  How seeds are grown and selected, and who controls their growth and distribution, determine how we are able to feed ourselves.

    With the massive consolidation in the previous decades of the seed industry, a handful of multinational corporations control a majority of the world’s seed through various forms of intellectual property.  Consequently, there has been an unprecedented loss of diversity within seed world, as companies are bought out and varieties are replaced or dropped altogether. Further, seed that is bioregionally adapted to particular locations, and varieties with robust genetic diversity – two crucial components for resilience amidst climate chaos – have declined dramatically, supplanted in large part by a one-size-fits-most approach to plant breeding.  Seed has lost its place, and the public commons has undergone a startling erosion of public-domain germplasm – the very poems handed down by previous generations through tireless observation and selection for the current generations to expand upon.

January 29, 2019 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm
Online, Anywhere

Free

Most of us are familiar with the CSA model: Customers pay farmers in the spring, then pick up their "share" of the harvest throughout the growing season. After six seasons of running an 80 share CSA farm, Noah and Sophie Courser-Kellerman of Alprilla Farm shifted their "CSA Season" from June-October to October-February. In essence, they are now able to focus on growing all summer and then marketing all winter.

January 12, 2019 (All day)
Worcester State University, Worcester

$99 - $145 | Walk-in rates add $10 | All Youth $10/child

Plant nutrition, personal health and soil restoration take a front seat at this year’s annual NOFA/Mass Winter Conference as we explore the theme Food As Medicine on January 12, 2019. We will dig deep knowledge and experience of the amazing community of NOFA farmers, gardeners, foodies and health practitioners with three all-day intensives, 60+ workshops and 70 experienced and knowledgeable exhibitors. This year’s Winter Conference unifies our community with connection and camaraderie, carrying on the tradition of sharing experience, enthusiasm and passion for good food, good soil and good health.

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