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

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Farmer-member, Christy Raymond of White Barn Farm in Wrentham (pictured right)

Thank you to everyone who has continued to answer our calls to action: writing letters, making phone calls, sharing stories and “memes,” and to all of our yearly members who support our policy work and give us strength in numbers. If you’d like to receive more frequent policy updates as well as volunteer requests, feel free to contact marty@nofamass.org.

Please note: this policy update was written on June 15th, with some updates a few days later. Given the end of the state legislative session at the end of July, things will likely have changed by the time this is posted. You can always check our Facebook page for big announcements.

Marty Update

This is the first policy update from our new Policy Director, Marty Dagoberto. Marty has been the Outreach Coordinator since January 2017 and now also wears the Policy Director hat (and sometimes a suit). While he’s still getting oriented on the policy work for NOFA, Marty does have significant experience in the State House, having served as the Campaign Coordinator for MA Right to Know GMOs. Want to get involved in policy work? Have a tip or suggestion? Marty can be reached at marty@nofamass.org

By the time you read this, the annual “Ag Day” will have just happened at the State House (check our Facebook for pictures!), and the state legislature will soon be focused on the budget (and nothing else). Now is the time to contact your state legislators to push for active legislation. NOFA’s current top priorities are broken down for you, below.

Photo by beauconsidine, available under a Creative Commons license.

While we sit and wait for our legislators to move forward with the agricultural omnibus bill, the GMO labeling bill, and much else, let’s take a moment to zoom out, scan the horizons, and find inspiration in some unexpected places.

Massachusetts tends to pride itself on being first in the nation on a number of landmark pieces of legislation. First on health care reform, first on gay marriage, etc. But there is much we can learn from the efforts of other states too.

As allergy sufferers will attest, this year has been a great year for pollen, and area bees and beekeepers alike have had their work cut out for them. Early summer is the most energy intensive time for beekeepers according to Stephanie Elson, urban organic beekeeper who along with her husband runs the Benevolent Bee, based in Boston’s Jamaica Plain neighborhood. Stephanie shares some tips for what to expect and how to be prepared this summer.

Start beekeeping on the right foot for a sustainable natural system in the time of mites, Colony Collapse Disorder, and multiple pests. Material, set-up, low-input & low-labor system of apiculture, and natural management. There will be time to discuss issues you are interested to bring up within the topic.

Addicted to Bugs

Addicted to Bugs

Aspiring beekeepers, watch out! Bees can be a ‘gateway bug’ leading to a serious bug addiction.

We set up our first bee hive in our backyard four years
ago, and spent much of that first summer squatting by the
hive, watching the bees fly in and out.

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