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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Soil

What the heck is all this science stuff? Can't I just throw seeds at dirt? I will be teaching the basics of soil fertility, including the physical, mineral, and biological components of soil. I'll cover clay, organic matter, exchange capacity, soil testing, and soil microbes and how these things relate to plant growth.

I always look hungrily for Jerry Brunetti’s articles in Acres magazine. He has a thoroughly scientific, while poetic and practical way of discussing soil, soil health, and biological systems. I was not let down with his new book, The Farm as Ecosystem.

There’s a reverberating buzz around composting in Boston! I jumped into my compost career after seeing an overwhelming desire for more composting at the Boston Urban Agriculture Kickoff and Visioning meeting in January 2012. With Article 89, Boston’s urban ag zoning codification, nearing implementation, the time for compost is now.
 
Graeme Sait

Graeme Sait

The 2014 Soil and Nutrition Conference will feature Graeme Sait – one of the world’s leading experts on biological farming. From Sunday to Tuesday, February 2-4, 2014 in Somerville, MA, Sait along with his copresenter, Joel Williams, will present a version of his internationally acclaimed Certificate in Sustainable Agriculture, which many participants have described as life changing.

Soil Eco-Systems are an interwoven web of biochemistry, biology, plant diversity and native geology. When these legs of this stool are appropriately managed, soils become terrestrial coral reefs that allow plants to become protective and resistant to pests. This supra-organism is the benefactor of optimal nutrition for humans and livestock.

This workshop will cover a number of bacterial and fungal species and the best science available on their roles in making minerals available in soil. I’ll also present science regarding their capacities to make minerals that are not already present.

This workshop will cover from basic through more advanced principles of soil microbiology, and the multiple benefits of building soil microbiology for growers and turf care professionals. We will cover the methods for measuring and increasing soil biology (the soil food web) from bio-stimulation to bio-supplementation.

Using the local ecosystem and nature’s processes as a starting place, I’ll teach the most important aspects of soil health: what it is, where it comes from and how to achieve it. I’ll focus especially on the role of leaves in building a healthy soil.

The presenter of this workshop, Derek Christianson, runs Brix Bounty Farm in Dartmouth, Massachusetts and has twelve years of farming experience in the Northeast.  He farms on six acres of leased land, and sells at one market, a successful farm stand, and through a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program.

Throughout the year, we have numerous opportunities for effective covercropping, and a much greater possibility of covercrop species than most Northeast farmers realize. We will discuss different cropping strategies, identify reasonable covercrop goals, and how to develop a year-round covercrop plan for your farm.

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