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

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Butterflies enjoying native flowers Photo credit: Caro Roszell

Communities across Massachusetts are standing up and taking action against toxic biocides and the dangers they pose to all living things-- from the smallest insect to those of us at the top of the food chain. Local leaders and concerned citizens are mounting a defense of the vulnerable members of our ecosystems, from the Statehouse to the schoolyard. 

With a raft of bills on pesticide reduction and pollinator protection before the state legislature (Pollinator Protection Act (Neonic Restrictions), Neonic Ban, Local Option on Pesticides, Protect Schoolchildren from Pesticides, Restrict Glyphosate use on Public Lands, Glyphosate Ban, Protect Groundwater from Pesticides) and with 29 Massachusetts communities that have already established some level of municipal action on pesticide reduction/pollinator protection, there is no better time to join the movement to protect our ecosystems and our health!

Register now and save $10 off walk-in rates!

What’s in store for the most amazing conference of the New Year?

One amazing keynote speaker. 

Award winning journalist, Carey Gillam’s daily actions to expose the corruption of the Bayer/Monsanto conglomerate are so astoundingly brave and forthright we can’t wait to hear from her at our keynote address. If by chance you don’t approve of the Bayer/Monsanto behemoth, you’ll be glad to know that Carey is a relentless watchdog, calling out the lies and deception at every turn. Her Twitter feed is stacked with fact checking and general calling out of the barrage of misinformation Bayer/Monsanto has continuously promoted in the face overwhelming public health concerns and a growing line of illnesses and lawsuits. We hope you’ll join us for the latest insights from Carey’s work!

If you are a farmer, you have probably looked down an endless row of weeding to be done and sighed. Never-ending and daunting tasks pop up all over the farm and garden. As a matter of fact, they pop up in everyone’s life, no matter if you have an apartment in the city or 30 acres in the country. Washing dishes, folding laundry, putting up cans of tomatoes- heck, even long drives can leave us feeling lonely. Now think of the times that you have set out to finish a chore or a drive and had a few good friends along. When you are talking and laughing, sharing stories and knowledge, it can make the time you are elbow deep in the dishwater or at the beginning of a long row of weedy onions fly by. Well, guess what? If you subscribe to the NOFA/Mass Podcast you will have fabulous farmy friends in your headphones whenever you want!

Listening to a podcast is a great way to pass the time when you are working solo, and if you choose to listen to the NOFA/Mass podcast you will get to hang out with some of our favorite people as they chat about all sorts of farmy topics. 

Dan Kittredge, Founder of the Bionutrient Food Association, will give a short keynote speech at the Food for Thought Dinner

As an organic farmer that grew up in the organic movement, Dan Kittredge is well-versed in growing food without the use of chemical pesticides and biocides.  But is food that is grown organically inherently healthier than conventional food?  Dan’s on a mission to find out.

“When I started trying to make a living farming, I realized that one of the reasons we [as farmers] were struggling was that our plants were unhealthy.” recalled Kittredge.  Unhealthy plants produce a limited quantity of edible food and the quality of the food from these unhealthy plants does nothing to inspire consumers to buy more of it.  But what deems plants “healthy” and what causes them to be that way? 

Gratitude 

As we all strive to create a vibrant future in which our food, medicine, and necessities are crafted in harmony with-- instead of at the expense of-- our living environment,  we look to those in our communities who carry the skills and knowledge to help us on this path. It is with deep gratitude that we turn to our Winter Conference presenters, who serve in so many ways: as watchdogs leading the charge against Monsanto/Bayer; as experienced farmers with intimate knowledge of soil, water, and the changing seasons; as medicine-makers and medicine growers; as foragers and wild plant knowledge-keepers; as scientists and change-makers; as landscape planners and nut growers and grass growers and tree planters; as tenders of our soils and our souls. We are grateful for the burgeoning understanding of the connections between the soil and the gut, between the earth and the atmosphere, and for our collective work restoring the health our families, ecosystems, and ourselves.

Join NOFA/Mass, Toxics Action Center, Regeneration Massachusetts and Carey Gillam on Friday, January 10, 2020 for a Full-Day Activist Training on Glyphosate Reduction at Worcester State University. 

Have you heard the success stories of entire communities banning the use Glyphosate on their public lands? The list is surprisingly long: Seattle, WA, Miami, FL, Austin, TX, and towns across California are just the beginning of a powerful trend of public empowerment. Closer to home, Warwick, MA has a ban in effect and other Massachusetts towns such as Falmouth, Chatham, Wellesley, and Eastham have strong restrictions in place. 

 

 

Manage your landscape organically to have an impact on your wellbeing and our larger environment.

Manage your landscape organically to have an impact on your wellbeing and our larger environment. 

Accreditation Course in Organic Landcare, Amherst, MA, January 6-9, 2020

As we go about our daily lives, we might not consider the myriad functions of the landscapes we inhabit.  The way that the landscapes that surround us are managed have an impact on our wellbeing and the function of our larger environment. How a landscape is managed impacts our air and water quality, our exposure to systemic toxins, the insect, bird, and other wildlife the landscape supports, the amount of water the landscape absorbs and the amount of carbon that the landscape emits or absorbs and stores, along with many other functions.

Climate Change Mitigation

With mornings now increasingly rimed with frost, we are looking ahead to the 33d NOFA/Mass Winter Conference! All through the hot months we have been reaching out and organizing this program for our January winter gathering, and we are proud to tell you about all the knowledge that lies in store!

As always we will have a wide array of farming, gardening, animal husbandry, self-reliance, herbalism and permaculture workshops (over 60 classes!)—and, as always, we have organized some special tracks for those who want to dig into a specific topic.

In particular, our program will focus in detail on farming and food production practices that offer climate change mitigation and adaptation solutions.

2019 run

We are an organization that survives and thrives because of our community. This past weekend a group of NOFA/Mass staff and board members came together for our annual walk/run event in Lexington, Massachusetts. We collectively raised $18,303 for the organization thanks to all of you: our supporters and our members.

That $18,303 didn't come from 1, 2, 5, or even 10 donors. It came from over 150 generous people who each gave a modest gift. That is the power of community. 

Winter’s chill is just around the corner which naturally means our community of farmers and gardeners are about to go into hibernation to review the season’s notes and process the past year’s successes and failures in order to greet Springtime with renewed energy and enthusiasm. Maybe that means lots and lots of reading, or many group conversations or maybe it means a whole season’s worth of contemplation and reflection.

Whatever your style of winter study is, we hope the NOFA/Mass Winter Conference is part of your curriculum. This year’s conference will be held on Saturday January 11, 2020 on the campus of Worcester State University. It is our 33rd annual Winter Conference.  Save the date, mark your calendar to register early and make plans to bring your inquisitive nature, wisdom and joyfulness to celebrate your community of earthy, progressive, soil loving, like-minded friends and neighbors. Everyone is welcome and we hope the program suits your needs.

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