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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Marketing is not a passive process. Market research starts long before the seed is in the ground. Learn how to actively seek buyers, negotiate contracts, build relationships with wholesalers, consumers, and other farmers. This workshop provides general guidance on strategies for marketing organic vegetables. Topics covered are: marketing methods, production decisions, pricing strategies, and merchandising.

Learn about the possibilities of non-GMO sugar beets, fodder beets, and mangels as a high energy stock feed and about potential value-added use. I will detail three years of beet field trials at Boundbrook Farm and our experiments in value-added applications.

Brian O’Hara has been growing vegetables at his one-plus acre farm, Tobacco Road Farm, in Lebanon, Connecticut for 22 years. In those years he has applied many techniques toward growing potatoes.  Recently, he moved from rough tilled fields toward no-till methods.  During the 2013 NOFA Summer Conference, Brian outlined Tobacco Road’s potato production techniques. Starting with soil fertility, he went on to identify his best practices for planning, seed selection, planting, hand and tractor tools and management techniques.

Atina Diffley is an organic farmer, consultant and author. She stresses that, “Marketing is about bringing the right product, at the right price, to the right customer.” After farming for more than 20 years, Atina has come to learn that incorporating one’s values into the branding and sale of farm products and finding one’s competitive advantage among one’s peers is essential to the success of any farm marketing plan.

At the outset of her talk Atina Diffley steered the audience to the farmer’s resource page of her website,  There you can find links to many helpful sites and publications covering all aspects of organic farming. 

Five or so years ago, I was gifted some beautiful  blue flour corn seeds grown for generations by a  people living in the southwest. Since then those  seeds have flourished in the very different 
climate here in New England and fed my family well in so many ways.
Abóbora híbrida on a farm in Minas Gerais, Brazil. Photo: Frank Mangan

Abóbora híbrida on a farm in Minas Gerais, Brazil.
Photo: Frank Mangan

Winter squash are traditional in New England for their ornamental and culinary uses. They are also a staple crop for vegetable growers in our region. Butternut squash (Cucurbita moschata) and buttercup, hubbard, and kabocha squash (Cucurbita maxima) are familiar to Northeastern consumers and farmers.

I will discuss how to successfully grow and sell local products to restaurants and other wholesale customers. From production to marketing, this workshop will cover variety selection, planting schedules and best harvest and washing practices, plus pricing, communication, and logistics.

Vertical integration for small farms means producing the raw materials and processing them into a form that yields increased income. Small farms need to creatively make the most of what they produce. We will discuss key considerations for small farms in producing value-added meat and vegetable products.

A small garden is no impediment to fruit growing. Lowbush blueberries, currants, gooseberries, and super dwarf apples are among fruits that fit well into small gardens. I’ll present the fruits and techniques needed to reap delectable rewards from spaces as small as a balcony to as “large” as a small, suburban yard.


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