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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Summer Conference

Summer Conference 2019 Update

It’s getting warm and Spring has officially sprung here at the NOFA Summer Conference headquarters. We have a fun, educational and exciting weekend in store for you for this coming August. With Sandor Katz as our keynote speaker and offering an intensive workshop on Saturday morning, a deep lineup of talented presenters, and an incredible group of local artisans and musicians, we are in for a very dynamic conference once again. With our new two-day format, the weekend is sure to be a potent experience.

This year you can join us for a mixer on Friday night to kick off the conference weekend, relax with live music and take the opportunity to shake your booty or just have some good ol’ friendly conversation. Our Friday night music will be brought to you by local superstars The Gaslight Tinkers and there will be local adult beverages for your taste buds. Some of you might remember this band from a few years ago as the contradance band. There will not be a formal contradance this year, but no one will stop you from grabbing a partner and spinning around the floor.

2019 summer conference

New two day conference schedule packs a punch

Each year, as the organizer of the NOFA Summer Conference-- the conference that serves the seven chapters of the Northeast Organic Farming Association-- I travel to as many of the NOFA chapter Winter Conferences as I possibly can.

For the last two months I have been lucky to enjoy the amazing education and positive vibes at each of our sister chapters’ winter gatherings. I’ve caught up with many folks that will be presenting at the NOFA Summer Conference this year, had interesting discussions with farmers and food activists and have made many new friends. I had a great conversation with Jim at Land For Good about the serious business of farm transitions and how many in our NOFA community are currently deep into that difficult work on their own farms. I left with the hope that over the years, farmers of all ages will begin to build their farm transition into their farm vision as much as they are building their soil health and production capacities.

I know it is deep winter at the moment, but if you NOFA members think summer for just a moment, you can take advantage of the NOFA Summer Conference’s two-day $99 Super Early Bird Special. The 45th Annual NOFA Summer Conference will celebrate the theme: Nutrition Matters: Soil Health Builds Human Health.Mark your calendar for the weekend of August 10 -11, 2019 at Hampshire College in Amherst.

In 2019, we are condensing the conference schedule into two days, from its typical three days. So, this is effectively your full weekend pass! In the hope that the conference can include more people in the entire event, we are consolidating and intend to make a more potent experience for all. The Friday Intensive Workshops will be mixed into the Saturday and Sunday schedules, with full and half day options. Conference registration will still be required to attend intensives. We are also extending Sunday’s offerings with another workshop slot later in the afternoon.

2019 NOFA Summer Conference keynote speaker, Sandor Katz

2019 NOFA Summer Conference keynote speaker, Sandor Katz

Don’t let our request for proposals pass you by! Make changes in the lives of conference attendees and join our network of talented, inspiring presenters. Workshops on a wide range of topics are welcome: home gardeners, herbalists, green builders, farmers, landscapers, nutritionists and chefs, and all other folks along the homesteading, growing, and food activism spectrum have engaging and important information to share. Proposals can be submitted online here. The deadline to submit workshop proposals is December 31st, 2018.

summer conference workshop

Each year, the NOFA Summer Conference provides a valuable opportunity for farmers, gardeners, homesteaders, land care professionals, cooks, educators, and environmentalists to share resources and ideas in order to grow our vibrant organic community.

We are looking for knowledgeable and enthusiastic presenters to offer workshops in a wide variety of categories. We welcome proposals from beginner to advanced levels, and have a program that includes children and adult workshops. We encourage teens to present workshops for our youth conference.

Summer Conference workshop outside

These are the days we crave. Full sun, full bloom, full baskets. Now that it’s the peak of summer, the days are long and hot, the garden is beginning to reward us with its most precious and beloved fruits, and we begin to see all our hard work paying off, even though we know it will not let up for another few months. The long hours, the constant attention to detail and the myriad projects that fill our notebooks are like the tide, carrying us toward the shore of the fall and winter months. We hope you are taking breaks, staying hydrated and focused on all the wins you are accomplishing along the way.

On August 10-12 we will again welcome the NOFA community back to Hampshire College for a heavy dose of the family we call the organic movement. With over 130 workshop presenters, 70 vendors, our amazing keynote speakers, Rowen White and Eric Holt Gimenez, and 900 of our closest friends, we will celebrate and immerse ourselves in the latest developments of organic agriculture and lifestyle. Our lineup this year is rich and fertile, with expert farmers, teachers, and merrymakers weaving together a weekend on the Hampshire Campus to cap off your summer.

NOFA Summer Conferece

Farm Tour During 2017 Summer Conference

Things are finally warming up. Maybe spring has sprung? It may not look like it should just yet, but the robins are busy, buds are on the trees, and farmers and gardeners all over the Northeast are nurturing their seedlings to health in greenhouses, on window sills, high tunnels and under row cover. A celebration of new life and a renewed sense of wonderment that is another growing season in our NOFA states are awakening.

Another thing to celebrate is that registration for the 44th Annual NOFA Summer Conference is now open! This year’s conference is shaping up to be an amazing weekend with depth and variety. Organizations and individuals alike will find benefit in attending the wide range of workshops held over the three days of August 10-12 in Amherst, MA. Building a successful conference program is not unlike hosting a successful dinner party; there has to be something there for all of your guests to enjoy, and (hopefully) while leaving at the end of the evening craving just one more bite.

Registration for the NOFA Summer Conference has opened and we are delighted to be back at Hampshire College for a second year. Building on last year’s wonderful event, we look forward to welcoming even more sponsors, exhibitors and advertisers in 2018. This year we will not be having a large exhibitor tent as in years past and instead will use the overhang space near Franklin Patterson Hall, and allow exhibitors to set up pop up tents on the grass area, creating a more fair-like atmosphere and improving exhibitor visibility.

2018 Summer Conference

As winter begins to thaw, the fields call us back to tend and cultivate another season of healthful bounty. And as the USDA organic standards degrade even further in the face of the National Organic Standards Board allowing Hydroponics into organic certification and animal welfare regulations taking a huge step backward, the need for conscientious local food producers becomes more necessary than ever. What a time for organic farmers and gardeners to get better at doing their part to infiltrate the food system with the healthiest, most conscientious food possible!

Mark your calendar for August 10-12, 2018 when we will gather on the campus of Hampshire College for the 44th NOFA Summer Conference as a community set on maintaining transparent and upstanding food production methods consumers can rely on in good faith. Each summer the NOFA community looks toward its regional summer gathering to help keep the fabric of healthful organic practices in tact and to learn from the successes of many amazing people doing their part.

Rowen White

Save the date of the 44th Annual NOFA Summer Conference at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA - August 10-12, 2018. August sunshine and harvest season seem both distant and imminent in the midst of food producer’s late winter intensive.

Think ahead for a moment of the coming summer’s warmth, the fully blossoming flowers, the pollinators tirelessly busy at their work, and our plants and trees hanging heavy with fruit. Sooner than we think we will be in the midst of summer, liberated from our heavy winter garments and harvesting, harvesting, harvesting...

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