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

Donate to NOFA/Mass

become member

NOFA/Mass Enews

Bulk Order

A farm worker sprays a foliar application on a freshly hoed bed

A farm worker sprays a foliar application on a freshly hoed bed

No matter how early I think about adding fall amendments, this job always falls to the bottom of the to-do list below some bigger priorities. Harvesting crops remaining in the field prior to frost, bagging up all the row covers, and removing all the poles and trellises, for example, all take precedence over the spreading of fall amendments.

Fortunately, this year I sent my soil test into Logan Labs in October, so after receiving the results, all I had to do was calculate the amendments I needed to order, order them, pick them up, and broadcast them on the fields.  If you have a Logan Labs soil test result, NOFA/Mass will analyze it and give you soil recommendations. You can see the details of that program here or check out this article to calculate your own amendment needs.  You can order a variety of soil amendments through the annual NOFA Bulk Order.

 

 

weed large garden bed

Soil test results are the key to planning your soil fertility program. Adding the right amendments in the right amount can dramatically improve your plants’ health and your garden’s productivity. But once you have your test results, it can sometimes feel daunting to figure out how much of a particular amendment you need to add to get to your goal--and I say that as a former math and chemistry teacher!

In this article, I will try to greatly simplify that process with a few conversion factors and formulas. With these, you should be able to use your results to easily figure out what you need to order—from the NOFA bulk order or elsewhere—and apply your findings to fine tune your garden’s fertility.

Ellena discusses the oats and peas cover crop

While spring planting of cover crops is not an uncommon practice on organic farms and gardens, many farmers and market gardeners are experimenting with extending cover crop overlaps with cash crops through the creative use of easy-to-manage species (field peas, buckwheat and oats, all of which can be ordered through the annual NOFA Bulk Order) and leaving them in the ground until just prior to bed planting, or even allowing them to share bed space with cash crops or new perennial plantings.

Emerging research on soil microbiology and soil carbon sequestration shows that the number of days/year that soil has living roots in the ground with photosynthesis happening (i.e. “days in living cover”), the density of living plant roots, and the diversity of species of plants present are all contributing factors in increasing soil health and building soil organic matter / soil organic carbon.

These insights from the scientific community and healthy soils movement have spurred growers to start experimenting with ways to increase living root density and species diversity on as many beds and fields as possible.  

Meg Galeucia

Meg Galeucia, NOFA/Mass Bulk Order Coordinator

I am excited to welcome Meg Galeucia to the team as the NOFA Tri-State Bulk Order Coordinator.  Meg brings a wealth of experience, both with farming and food access, to the position and NOFA/Mass is excited to have her on staff.

Meg works at Abode Farm in New Lebanon, New York (right over the Massachusetts border), a draft-powered, organic vegetable farm that utilizes organic and biodynamic practices.  She is also a member of a goat dairy collective, manages the gardens and grounds at the Abode of the Message community, and runs a small medicinal herb business, Shaker Mountain Herbals, with her partner. 

Meg’s experience with food access and food justice work spans several years and a variety of avenues: she was a researcher for the NYC Food Policy Center, managed the Healthy Schools Brooklyn Program at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and has been involved with organizing with migrant farmworkers, biodynamic farmers, and food access groups in addition to her current role as a farmer at Abode Farm.

As the changing seasons conduct the activity of growers across the United States, the low hum of machines running on biofuel, the calls and cackles of chickens, and the occasional donkey song can be heard emanating from the south facing hillsides of Vermont Compost Company in Montpelier, Vermont. Karl Hammer started operations on this land in the capital city after decades spent in the fields, learning from elders and landcrafters, using their traditional wisdoms to fuel new innovations.

Karl began farming full time in his youth, and his passion for connecting culture back to its roots in the soil has aged into a dedicated team of people running a company focused on making products aimed to support the efforts of professional growers. Everything from material sourcing to daily operations have been refined down to a sort of alchemy where science, lab testing, customer feedback, and intuition are combined to create soil media that is reliable, productive, and ethically produced.

Volunteers help to unload a delivery truck at the NOFA Tri-State Bulk Order

Volunteers help to unload a delivery truck at the NOFA Tri-State Bulk Order

As of January 1st, the 2019 NOFA Tri-State Bulk Order is officially open for business.  The Bulk Order team has been working diligently to bring you a great selection of farming and gardening supplies for your growing season; we have potting soil, cover crop seeds, soil amendments, packing supplies, tools, tubers, onion sets, and more.  Here are some particularly exciting things about the 2019 NOFA Tri-State Bulk Order:

bulk order bags

Save money on shipping while also supporting your local NOFA chapter.

2019 is right around the corner, which means it’s almost time for the NOFA Tri-State Bulk Order.  The Bulk Order opens for business for on January 1st – participants will have 1 month to place their orders; the deadline is January 31.  Orders can be placed online at www.nofabulkorder.org (which goes live on New Year’s Day) or via print-out pdf (available at www.nofamass.org/bulk-order-program). 

We’ve been working diligently for the last few months, trying to figure out ways to increase efficiency, streamline the entire Bulk Order and, consequently, save you money, and I believe we have a great plan in place for 2019.

Bulk order

With chilly nights, crisp days, and a frost already here, fall has firmly landed. As we busy ourselves wrapping up this season’s work and harvests, it’s also time to start planning for next year. With next season’s promises whirling in our heads, let me introduce myself as the new Bulk Order Coordinator.

The NOFA Tri-State Bulk Order, of course, is a long-standing NOFA/Mass tradition, established in 1985 to serve farmers, homesteaders, and gardeners across Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. NOFA/Mass works directly with a number of suppliers to offer a selection of cover crop seed, hand tools, livestock supplies, seed potatoes, mineral amendments, onion sets, inoculants, packing supplies, and more at a lower price to customers, while also helping fund critical NOFA/Mass programs and activities, such as food access and soil carbon sequestration education. We have a diverse roster of suppliers involved – Progressive Grower, Earthcare Farm, Fertrell, Ideal Compost Co., North Country Organics, Vermont Compost Company, it’s a great list!

Unloading the bulk order in 2016

Unloading the bulk order in 2016

NOFA’s Bulk Order opens again on January 1st for the 33rd year in a row! Now the Tri-State Bulk Order, this annual tradition brings together farmers, homesteaders and gardeners across MA, RI and CT to take advantage of bulk prices and shipping costs on cover crop seed, hand tools, livestock supplies, seed potatoes, mineral amendments, onion sets, inoculants, packing supplies and more!

We have been working hard for the last several years to cut costs and lower prices on items, while still being able to use a portion of the proceeds from the Bulk Order to fund critical activities like food access, soil carbon sequestration education, and policy work on behalf of small farmers, organic consumers, and other important constituents like our native bees! Thank you in advance for supporting the NOFA Bulk Order and helping to fund your local NOFA Chapter.

Mark your calendars! The annual NOFA Tri-State Bulk Order will open for 2018 on January 1st. Participants will have one month to place their orders; the deadline is February 1st. orders can be placed via print-out pdf form (available on the NOFA/Mass website) or www.nofabulkorder.org, which will go live on New Year’s Day.

We are excited this year to be returning to Northeast Massachusetts and to Rhode Island with new pickup sites at Alprilla Farm in Essex, MA and Earth Care Farm in Charlestown, RI. We hope that this new geographical distribution of pickup sites will shorten drives for many of our members.

Pages

Subscribe to Bulk Order

Donate to NOFA/Mass

Become a Member

Subcribe to the Newsletter

-A A +A