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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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.

Interested in growing hemp?  Check out our upcoming event: Hemp Cultivation: Seed to Salve on October 19, 2019 in Springfield, MA.

Hemp cultivation in Massachusetts is still in its infancy; many entrepreneurs and farmers are looking for a way to profit from this niche crop. The prospects for generating on-farm products diminished following the U.S. Food and Drug Administration statement in June of this year that CBD cannot be added to food and dietary supplements. The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources and state Department of Public Health released new guidelines that also prohibit the sale of any product containing CBD oils derived from hemp. Many farmers are now wondering if their plans to add new revenue streams through value-added products will ever come to fruition. 

2020 run

On November 3rd, 2019 a cohort of NOFA/Mass staff, board members, and supporters, will join together in Lexington Massachusetts to walk and run for the climate, our health, and the health of our land. We have done this run/walk every year for the past 7 years, and each time it is a little different.  Some years we have a slightly different group of people join us. Some years a few participants decide to run instead of walk—running a 5k and 10k are options in addition to walking the 5k. Some years the sky is blue and the sun is warm, some years it is grey and the air reminds you that it is indeed already November. The constant through all these years is that the purpose of the run/walk is to bring attention and funds to the important work that NOFA/Mass engages in all year. Each year we ask all participants to do a bit of fundraising for the organization in advance of the event, we are all doing our part in helping to sustain the organization that is addressing some of our most pressing societal needs of food production and soil/climate/human health.

the power of small

Being a small nonprofit gives us many strengths. Our small staff allows us to know each other well and build meaningful relationships with our collaborators. Our small central infrastructure (an office at Many Hands Organic Farm) and remote staff gives us flexibility and connections to all parts of the state. Our fearless Executive Director, Julie Rawson, is able to be involved in all facets of our work from on-farm workshops to policy and communications. We are nimble, can respond to farmers' needs quickly and efficiently, and can operate a lean yet effective organization. We would never want to grow into a big clunky organization.

 

Increasing Production by reducing tillage

On July 14, NOFA/Mass held a Soil Health Field Day in collaboration with Gaining Ground in Concord Mass. It was the first of six on-farm workshops to be held over the next three years as part of a project entitled “Organic No-Till on Northeast Farms: A Practical Exploration of Successful Methods.” This project is funded by a grant from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Conservation Innovation Grant Project. Led by NOFA/Mass in partnership with CT NOFA and NOFA-NJ, the project involves 9 farmer-innovators in three states who are working assiduously to trial and establish effective, scale-appropriate tillage reduction methods on their certified organic farms. (For more information about the project and the other farmers involved, check out the Project Webpage).

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