Intensives

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Click here to download the workshop schedule. (pdf)

Four intensive workshops on Friday and one on Sunday offer a deep dive into five fascinating topic for you to explore. These intensives provide three back to back sessions on a particular subject so you can immerse yourself and explore one topic extensively. Please note that Friday intensives happen before the main conference begins, are not included in the main event registration fees.

Friday 8/11

"The Full Skinny on Healthy Orcharding," with Keynote Speaker Michael Phillips

"Profitable Agroforestry for Northeast Farms" with Connor Stedman

"The Impact of GMOs and Glyphosate on Soil, Crop, Animal and Human Health," with Keynote Speaker Dr. Don Huber

"On-Farm Seed Production," with Hannah Traggis and Bill Braun

Third Annual Northeast Gathering on Domestic Fair Trade

Sunday* 8/13

Global Knowledge/Local Production - Innovating Open Source Technology for Improved Soil Health! with Dorn Cox.

*Sunday’s Intensive with Dorn Cox is included in Sunday registration fees but requires an RSVP during the registration process. Please check the appropriate box when registering.

See full workshop descriptions, below.


Friday, August 11, 9am-3:30pm

The Full Skinny on Healthy Orcharding with Michael Phillips

Session 1: Orchard Health

Our primary role as orchardists is to build system health. Understory management that embraces forest edge ecology is critical when it comes to getting a leg up on fruit tree diseases. Equally telling is the nutrient density—and flavor!—of the apples we then harvest for our families and communities. Come learn about fungal allies, root relationships, fertility considerations, and the biodiversity that makes good fruit possible no matter what your level of experience.

Session 2: Holistic Disease Management

Fruit tree diseases, unchecked by holistic understanding, can wreak havoc in the orchard. We’ll take an in-depth look at how the organic grower can keep apple scab, rusts and rots from developing on the fruit to a reasonable minimum. Utilizing pure neem oil, liquid fish, effective microbes, and fermented herbal brews allows us to leave behind the mineral fungicides of “Old School Organics” for the most part. These are exciting times to be growing healthy fruit!

Session 3: Walk through the Orchard Year

Understanding the timing and underlying principles for growing healthy fruit becomes clear when set within the framework of the orchard calendar. Major insect challenges can be resolved safely and organically when you perceive who, what and when. Dealing with disease from a holistic perspective requires an in-depth understanding of nutritional cause-and-effect. Biodiversity brings in untold connections. Appreciating such subtleties makes our time on this precious planet all the more fascinating. Tweaking the “systems approach” learned today means taking responsibility to match the challenges you face at your locale.

Michael Phillips: known across the country for helping people grow healthy fruit. The “community orchard movement” that he helped found provides a full immersion into the holistic approach to orcharding. His Lost Nation Orchard is part of a medicinal herb farm in northern New Hampshire. Michael’s newest book, Mycorrhizal Planet: How Symbiotic Fungi Work with Roots to Support Plant Health and Build Soil Fertility, became available in March.

Friday, August 11, 9am-3:30pm  

Profitable Agroforestry for Northeast Farms with Connor Stedman

Agroforestry, or the intentional integration of trees into agriculture, is a key carbon farming and climate adaptation strategy for farms worldwide.  In the Northeast US, agroforestry systems can diversify farm production, mitigate flooding and nutrient runoff, reduce heat and wind stress on crops and animals, and play a role in stabilizing the climate through carbon sequestration.  This intensive, interactive workshop will explore how to profitably apply agroforestry systems and practices on Northeast farms.  We will particularly focus on silvopasture, multifunctional buffers, tree intercropping, and diversified orchard systems.  

Connor Stedman: ecological designer, farm planner, and educator based in the Hudson River Valley of New York.  As lead designer at AppleSeed Permaculture, Connor specializes in applying carbon farming practices to grow resilience and profitability in working landscapes.  As an educator and facilitator Connor works to help organizations and communities prepare for and adapt to climate change.  He organized the internationally recognized Carbon Farming Course and holds an M.S. in Ecological Planning from the University of Vermont.

Friday, August 11, 9am-3:30pm  

The Impact of GMOs and Glyphosate on Soil, Crop, Animal and Human Health with Dr. Don Huber

The indiscriminate use of glyphosate and GMO crops are precipitating a major chronic health and environmental crisis. Rather than the way to feed the world, current genetic engineering is a disaster in the making and is not a sustainable strategy! Opinions touting the benefits of genetically modified food need correcting. Future historians may well look back upon our time and write, not about how many pounds of pesticides we did or did not apply, but about how willing we are to sacrifice our children and jeopardize future generations for this massive experiment we call genetic engineering that is based on failed promises and flawed science, just to benefit the bottom line of a commercial enterprise.

Dr. Don M. Huber: Emeritus Professor, Purdue University; COL AUS (Ret, Medical Intelligence); Former Chairman, USDA National Plant Disease Recovery Program; member, US Threat Pathogens Committee; former member of the Advisory Board, Office of Technology Assessment, US Congress; and Office of The Surgeon General (OTSG) Global Epidemiology Working Group.

Friday, August 11, 9am-3:30pm  

On-Farm Seed Production with Hannah Traggis & Bill Braun

A region's ability to adapt genetically resilient crops to it's environment is critical to food security. Across the 13,000 year history of agriculture, that has been the solemn vocation of farmers. In the past 100 years, farmers have lost control of their seed to the massive centralization of global seed systems. The organic farming movement has provided the safest haven for seed diversity in American agriculture, often favoring workhorse open pollinated varieties, over modern hybrids. Our climate is changing, however, and those varieties need careful stewardship and improvement to continue to serve our needs and remain productive in our diversified organic farming systems. This workshop will cover essential seed biology, on-farm considerations for producing seed crops suitable for New England, and introduce the concepts necessary for robust varietal maintenance and development. Introductory on-farm variety trialing and participatory plant breeding will also be discussed.

Hannah Traggis: Educator at Massachusetts Horticultural Society.

Friday August 11, 2017 8:30 a.m. – 12 noon

Third Annual Northeast Gathering on Domestic Fair Trade

Location: Library Gallery

At the summer’s Free Open Meeting, held in conjunction with the annual NOFA Summer Conference, we invite all activists from the Northeast Region who are engaged in projects and organizing efforts that come under the broad heading of Domestic Fair Trade. Please join us to share your work and ideas and discuss possible collaboration for the immediate future.

The all-morning meeting is free though it is listed on Friday’s Intensive Track.

Pre-registration appreciated, so please contact Liz Henderson elizabethhenderson13@gmail.com or Louis Battalen louis@topoftheforest.com.

Sunday, August 13, 9am-3:30pm

Global Knowledge/Local Production - Innovating Open Source Technology for Improved Soil Health! With Dorn Cox.

Session 1: Overview of soil health principles, followed by an introduction to local, regional, and global tools for use on your farm. In a world where collaboration is increasingly accessible, we will also discuss the different mechanisms (such as the farmOS and Farm Hack platforms) for collaboration and how to approach building on the efforts of others while also monitoring, improving, and sharing your own agricultural knowledge.

Session 2: Let’s take a look at what’s happening in the on-farm research world for improving mechanized soil health, including data from farmer-to-farmer participation.

Session 3: Bring your laptop! We will spend some time working directly with representatives from farmOS and Farm Hack to get attendees set up on both online platforms, as well as demonstrate how to share and document your own innovations. Time will also be spent looking at live Farm Hack innovations and tools. You are encouraged to bring one of your own innovations to share!

Dorn Cox: Founding member of the Farm Hack community, executive director for GreenStart, co-founder of farmOS and a farmer working a 250-acre a multigenerational family farm.

Pricing for Intensivesby 7/25after 7/25
Friday Intensive NOFA member rate$90$100
Friday Intensive non-member rate$108$120
Friday Intensive with Saturday NOFA member$160$199
Friday Intensive with Saturday non-member$192$239
Friday Intensive with Sat/Sun NOFA member$170$209
Friday Intensive with Sat/Sun non-member$204$250

Register Now Online!

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