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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NOFA/Mass Enews



Photo by Shane Rounce on Unsplash

The second annual spring Membership Drive at NOFA/Mass came in with record numbers. Fifty three new members joined our community of conscientious growers and consumers between April 1 and May 15, 2019. This number is over 50% higher than the number of new members that found us last year at this time, confirming that NOFA/Mass is continuing to grow and thrive.

Our membership now consists of over 1100 individuals, families, farms and businesses that have united with a common interest in organic agriculture in our home state. This community has functioned as the heart of the organic movement in Massachusetts for over 35 years and with this renewed collective energy we continue to educate and empower everyone who seeks to engage in the charge.

April is membership month.

Spring returns to Massachusetts this month and as we gear up for the busy growing season, we are also ramping up our annual Membership Drive at NOFA/Mass. Last year you enthusiastically answered our call to make the commitment to become members for the first time, to renew your membership that may have lapsed, or to share the gift of membership with someone who could benefit from a relationship with the Northeast Organic Farming Association/Massachusetts Chapter. We added 33 new members to our community last April, bringing our community to a total of over 1,000 farmers, gardeners, homesteaders, landscapers, conscious consumers and food activists.

We are grateful for your support and inspired by the rising number of citizens who are concerned with the health of the soil, our communities and the planet. Perhaps even more of you will choose to join us as official members, sustaining donors, and/or active participants in our work this April.

Sustain NOFA/Mass

Are you a NOFA/Mass Member? A donor? Someone who comes to NOFA/Mass educational events or Conferences and enjoys them? If you answered yes to any of the above, or even if this is your first time hearing about NOFA/Mass, please consider becoming a sustaining donor.

What is a sustaining donor? A sustaining donor is someone who commits to giving a monthly donation (as little as $5/month) to NOFA/Mass. This reliable monthly income helps NOFA/Mass better budget for ongoing expenses and allows you to support NOFA/Mass’ mission at a monthly amount that is comfortable for you.

the gift of membership

What do you buy for a minimalist? If you’re like many of us, the farmers on your holiday shopping list are not looking for more “things”, which can make it tricky to show your appreciation for them this time of the year.

Farmers and homesteaders are notorious for following the old adage of “make do or do without.” We’re Do It Yourselfers who would rather fix up our trusty old tools than spend the money for new ones. We’re not the type to be impressed by the latest trends or must haves. What we want is knowledge. Community. Clean food. A healthier planet.

crops in field

Rows of crops at Woven Roots Farm.

On November 4 NOFA/Mass folks of all sorts will be gathering to walk, run, cheer each other on, and share in a delicious farm food potluck to raise money for our high-quality organic food and farming educational programming and policy work. We are looking for team members and hope you will join us!

Your support will help us continue to bring in experts in agronomy, herbalism, nutrition, and food preservation and preparation, as we work to further our organizational literacy around soil carbon sequestration and its relationship to human and planetary health , all accomplished in our unique grass-roots, each one, teach one way.

books under a tent

Like it or not, money can make a real difference in the world. How we choose to use it can be more important than we think.

For every dollar that a business takes in, it is given an opportunity to grow and expand its reach. If it is a successful business, that dollar is multiplied, and its mission is advanced. We, as consumers and fellow business owners, have a real opportunity to affect change in a positive way when we look more closely at which businesses we’d like to see progress.

organic apple orchard

Few things are as magical as when you first discover that food actually does grow on trees (… and on bushes, in dirt and amongst leaves). The edge of the New England woods in many of our backyards is home to wild raspberries and thorny tangles of blackberry brambles. I’m sure I’m not the only one who as a child first recognized the familiar fruits from the refrigerator, but took a minute to place them when seen on the vine. When my mom placed one in her mouth, and then told me it was okay for me to do the same, I broke out in a giddy smile, immediately storing the vital information in a part of my brain that was reserved for survival skills. This is where food comes from.

protect the bees

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

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.

Farmers farming.

Photo credit Suzy Konecky

In April we asked you to help us build our community of committed members. We asked you to share the reasons why you are a member of NOFA/Mass with others that might be inspired to join our ranks. And my, oh my, did you answer that calling.

During the course of the Membership Drive we gained 33 new members. That’s 33 people who previously hadn’t heard of NOFA or who hadn’t realized that membership with NOFA/Mass came with so many benefits. If you are one of those new members, we hope that you will take the time to peruse our website and give your new membership status a try. With registration for the Summer Conference now open, you can save 20% off the already discounted membership price of admission by registering before June 27. Also, you can post up to eight free ads on the classifieds page of our website, sign up for free or discounted mentoring on your organic certification process, and look forward to the next issue of The Natural Farmer that will grace your mailbox in the coming weeks.

Members at NOFA/Mass Winter Conference

Not so long ago, I was a member of NOFA/Mass, and not a staff member. It was the first NOFA conference that I attended in 2016 that convinced me to join. It was raining that weekend in January when I left our small homestead, seed catalogs scattered on the table, and loaded our family of four into the car to quell our impatience for spring.

We had made the decision to take more control of our food supply, but didn’t have the knowledge or experience to implement a strategy that had any hope of succeeding. So off we went, seeking education. As we perused the catalog of workshops being offered that day, it seemed that every single one offered an opportunity for advancement. Beekeeping, raw milk production, biomass heating, farmers market development, soil nutrition, increasing yield in a small garden…we wanted to know it all.


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