Until a few centuries ago, we held and managed the vast majority of resources in common: defined groups of people formed evolving agreements about how to share and manage specific resources. Privatization of commons laid the basis for capitalist industrial society–and continues today, to our detriment. How might commoning improve today’s food and agriculture? David Bollier: Director, Reinventing the Commons Program, Schumacher Center for New Economics; author on commoning, independent scholar.
Using all-local photography, this slideshow class presents the amazing world of mushroom hunting and the rules for how to do it safely; then it gives the audience a tour of the edible species of summer in Massachusetts, and traditions brought here from around the world regarding the best ways to prepare them. Ryan T. Bouchard: Author of Gourmet Mushrooms of the Northeast, co-creator of The Mushroom Hunting Foundation. Emily Schmidt: Teacher of safe wild foraging and creative cooking; co-creator of The Mushroom Hunting Foundation
The workshop will demonstrate how to grow ALL you salad greens indoors with NO lights, no special equipment. The freshest salads ever. Peter Burke: Avid gardener, author of Year-Round Indoor Salad Gardening.
Through the Hort’s GreenHouse Program on Rikers Island, participants select and grow culturally significant crops in collaboration with horticultural therapists and instructors. Participants can exercise a level of food autonomy within a highly restrictive setting that offers limited unprocessed food choices. Tiffani Coleman: Greenhouse instructor for HSNY and an advocate for food sovereignty. Pamela Koch: Greenhouse instructor for HSNY and working towards becoming a certified Horticultural Therapist.
Mushroom and humans have been interacting with each other for millions of years. This workshop will explore how mushrooms may have shaped human evolution, the stories we tell and cultures we live in. We will also review a basic history of mushroom cultivation and foraging. Willie Crosby: Owner of Fungi Ally. Student of the Fungi.
Trees and a small forest provide a wide range of benefits and products on our farms. Drawing on 45 years of experience, I will discuss forest succession, low tech management and utilizing local lumber and other products. Focus will be on native species and their uses. Bill Duesing: A lover of trees and soil with 45 years experience managing the Old Solar Farm.
How do farms create models for food assistance that support the dignity of people in need? What does it mean to be guided by the principle of justice rather than charity? Abundance Farm is a collaboration between a synagogue, a school and a Food Pantry: learn about how it strives to be model of food justice. Jacob Fine: Director of Abundance Farm, leader in the field of Jewish environmental and agricultural education. Rose Cherneff: Farm Manager for Abundance Farm.
Cover cropping is a best practice for soil health. Does scientific research prove the benefits of multi-species cover crop mixtures? What kind of challenges do they present? How can we design cover crop mixtures tailored to our specific production system? Local research on mixtures of winter-killed cover crops, including forage radish, will be presented. Julie Fine: MS in Plant Biology. Researches soil health, cover crops and sustainable vegetable production.
In this workshop participants will develop a basic understanding of the incarceration system in the United States, the logistics of running a food production program in a jail, the structures that a jail garden teacher navigates, the importance of trauma informed care and the mutual benefits gained by incarcerated participants and instructors. Tony Hall: Garden Program Coordinator at Franklin County House of Corrections, and owns MA Artisan Foods. Angela Roell: Teaches at University of Massachusetts and Franklin County House of Corrections, owns Yard Birds Farm.
Join Professor Hashemi outside for an introduction to a new static-aerated composting system. After a short introductory lecture he will show, step by step, how to assemble the two composting systems. Attendees can take photos and ask any questions they might have during the assembly. Masoud Hashemi: Extension professor at UMass Amherst Stockbridge School of Agriculture. Alexandra Smychkovich: PhD student in Plant and Soil Sciences, UMass Amherst.
Participants will learn about the farmer in the classroom program that has evolved over 5 years. This program uses stories, taste testing, trivia, cultural information and more to engage students with their food. It can be modified to work for any classroom. Carolyn Llewellyn: Public school “Garbrarian” = librarian and garden educator, a former CSA farmer.
Come and join author, Celeste Longacre, for a Power Point presentation on preserving the harvest. She will show you with over 100 slides how to can, freeze, dry, ferment and sun veggies and fruits. How to build a root cellar and fill it is also explained. Celeste Longacre: Author, “Celeste’s Garden Delights”, blogger, Old Farmer’s Almanac, Mother Earth News.
Lean is a systematic approach that seeks to minimize waste on your farm. Applying lean principles to your farm systems will increase the efficiency of your operations and grow your profit margins. This workshop will introduce lean principles and concepts that are most useful in agricultural systems using examples from farms in the Northeast. Jen Miller: NOFA-VT Farmer Services Director, providing business planning and production technical assistance.
Learn the essentials of bed prep in a no-till, permanent bed system for both direct seeded crops and transplants. Dive deeper into our comprehensive system for successive crop production of carrots and lettuce to learn how to maximize yields while growing nutrient-dense and beautiful food. Jen Salinetti: Co-owns a regenerative, no-till, bio-intensive vegetable farm, CSA and education center in the Berkshires.
Homesteaders live in direct relationship with the natural systems that support our lives. In this case study, learn how we’ve used the permaculture design process to establish a vibrant homestead on one acre in a suburban neighborhood. Learn how we invested in our community and utilized social capital to make it possible. Ashley Schenk: Co-founded Broadfork Permaculture, a landscape design/install company in Western MA. Evelyn Lane: Co-founder and designer for Broadfork Permaculture.
How do you plan a profitable cow/calf business using a 100% grass diet? We will discuss how genetic choices, breeding, management techniques to optimize calf growth and extending the grazing season all result in a more profitable operation. Also how to operate the cow/calf around another job or enterprise by planned grazing. Ridge Shinn: Expert in 100% grass-fed beef production. In 2015, Ridge launched Big Picture Beef.
We will discuss the basics of leasing farmland, including what is possible in a lease, negotiating a good lease agreement, how to protect your interests under a lease, and what steps to take to start your farming venture on leased land. Jason Silverman: MA Field Agent for Land For Good and a first generation farmer on leased land. Kathy Ruhf: Land For Good’s Senior Program Director.
For 300 years, immigration to the United States was dominated by European ethnicities. Over the past 40 years, the majority of immigrants are now from tropical and sub-tropical regions. This workshop will focus on crop production and marketing of specific crops popular among these newer and still growing immigrants. Frank Mangan: Professor of Agriculture with focus on sustainable vegetable production and of traditional and ethnic crops. Heriberto Godoy Hernandez: UMass graduate student working in sustainable vegetable production in greenhouse and ethnic crops.
If you’d like to generate a more robust cut flower operation within your diversified farm operation, join in this workshop to discuss effective management for such. We’ll cover suggested planting schedules, varietal selection and some growing, harvesting and handling techniques. We’ll also address lucrative approaches to marketing and value added floral design. Shannon Algiere Flower, herb grower and farmer educator at Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture
This workshop will characterize a variety of common and uncommon small fruits grown in a diverse permaculture-based edible forest setting. We will discuss the preferred habitat, growth habit, fruit quality, suggested care, pest management, and landscape appeal appropriate for homeowners interested in landscaping with edibles and organic farmers looking for a cutting edge niche. Dani Baker: Co-owner of Cross Island Farms, a highly diversified organic farm in northern NY since 2006.
Join the creators of The Mushroom Hunting Foundation for a first-hand mushroom hunting experience, seeking local spring mushrooms in their natural habitats. Learn about the equipment and techniques for identifying, collecting, and transporting them. If possible, attend the indoor mushroom class first. Ryan T. Bouchard: Author of Gourmet Mushrooms of the Northeast, co-creator of The Mushroom Hunting Foundation. Emily Schmidt: Teacher of safe wild foraging and creative cooking; co-creator of The Mushroom Hunting Foundation
This workshop presents experience with garden scale production of food and fiber crops wheat, flax (linen), field corn, dry beans and rice. The challenges include not only growing but also processing the crop at ultra small scale. Organic crop rotation, soil improvement and weed control methods have been adapted to garden scale. Michael Cohen: Long time gardener in upstate NY. Advocate for human rights for prisoners in the US.
Learn how to use homeopathic remedies to help relieve pain, strengthen the immune system and speed the healing of sunburns, garden strains, diaper rashes, summer colds and coughs, bug bites, skin rashes and more. Join us to learn some of the applications for homeopathy and Rescue Remedy for you, your family and pets. Jeanne Deignan-Kosmides: Homeopath, licensed therapist, yoga/meditation teacher, Bach flower practitioner, beekeeper, biodynamic gardener and grandmother.
We’ll sing for climate and food justice, and we’ll generate inspiration for living out values of solidarity and ecology. I’ll aurally teach songs with rousing choruses or full stanzas in which short lines get substituted each time through – aka “zipper songs”. Bring voices, harmonies, and ideas for integrating singing within today’s food movement. Ben Grosscup: Performs songs of struggle and social critique. Director, People’s Music Network.
This workshop promotes faba bean as a new multi-purpose vegetable crop for the Northeast and how it can be used to extend growing season when it is double cropped with kohlrabi and garlic. The nitrogen contribution of faba bean will be also discussed. Masoud Hashemi: Extension professor at UMass Amherst Stockbridge School of Agriculture. Alexandra Smychkovich: PhD student in Plant and Soil Sciences, UMass Amherst.
Icelandic sheep are an important breed for small and sustainable farms. This workshop provides an overview of the breed and shares stories from 13 years of working with Icelandics. Topics will include flock management and health, nutrition, and lambing. Experiences with marketing fiber, meat, and stock will be shared. Ally Hunter: Biologist, farmer, and educator and has been raising Icelandic sheep for 13 years. Jorge Fernandes: Owner-operator of Kindurfarm which produces natural lamb, mutton, and pork.
“Garden Time-To-Work” is a new garden-based vocational training program piloted at the Rhode Island Adult Correctional Institutions. While acquiring expertise in horticulture, agriculture, and landscaping, students in the program will develop critical 21st-century learning skills and workforce readiness that will benefit them in a broad range of employment situations. Kate Lacouture : Co-founder and Executive Director of Garden Time. Vera Bowen: Co-founder and Board President of Garden Time.
Soils in urban spaces can benefit from the same practice used on larger farms such as cover cropping, micro-nutrients, soil amendments and maintenance of healthy soil biology. Come hear about lessons learned over a three-year study and walk away with practical tips on how to apply these techniques on your small urban plot. Clay Larsen: Landscape professional focused on ecological restoration, creative place making and urban agriculture. Jess Bloomer: Teacher and practitioner of urban farming and community development.
You’ve learned about lean principles, now how can you apply them on your own farm? Topics include: product flow, employee management, record keeping, and identifying waste in your systems. Come away with ideas to implement this season that will reduce overproduction, save time, and positively affect your farm’s bottom line and your quality of life! Jen Miller: NOFA-VT Farmer Services Director, providing business planning and production technical assistance.
What to do when there’s too much lawn. Low-maintenance grass and grass-like lawn alternatives, imaginative uses of native plants that create or enhance quality habitat, sequester more carbon, and add natural beauty. Plant/seed selection, organic site preparation, seeding, plugging and planting methods, short- and long-term maintenance will be discussed. Mike Nadeau: NOFA Organic Landcare Program founder; 50 years landscape ecologist; organic tree-hugging soil worshiper.
This talk seeks to help growers make beneficial fertilization decisions and thus raise abundant, healthful crops. It will present concepts on how to select appropriate fertilization methods and when to apply them. Traditional agronomy, biodynamic principles, and visual assessment all blended together for growers to make their own calls for their field situations. Bryan O’Hara
Using a current and ongoing Agroforestry/Permaculture project, we will walk through considerations in the design process and finish with NRCS CPS practices that are both relevant to Agroforestry and take a look at the COMET planner tool to measure the Carbon sequestration of these practices. Sven Pihl: Regenerative Land Planner operating CT Edible Ecosystems, LLC.
How can we improve the resiliency of riparian areas in the face of climate change while also producing food and salable crops for communities? This workshop outlines the concept of Productive Agricultural Buffers and introduces participants to the site of a SARE-funded experiment establishing 500 elderberry bushes along the Mill River this year. Keith Zaltzberg: Founding principal of Regenerative Design Group and a perennial plant fanatic. Eric DePalo: Ecological landscape designer at RDG, grant writer and budding elderberry enthusiast.
Starting a business can be overwhelming! Entrepreneur Jessie Banhazl of Green City Growers will discuss the steps she took to grow GCG from infancy to a fully grown company with 25 employees, and the lessons she learned along the way. Topics will include org structure, fundraising, staffing, legal considerations, and taking care of yourself. Jessie Banhazl CEO and Founder of Green City Growers, a Somerville based urban farming company.
Come learn about how everyday folks can organize to get their towns to limit the use of pesticides to protect humans, pollinators and more! Mary Jones: Toxics Action Center’s Western Massachusetts and Connecticut Community Organizer. Sadie Stull: Member of Western Mass Pollinator Networks, helped to pass a pollinator-friendly resolution in Plainfield, MA.
There are vital roles that both plant and animal foods play in creating balance, preventing disease and maintaining good health and energy. Learn how to utilize food and supplements according to your lifestyle and personal dietary choice. John Kozinski: Founder, Diagnosis+NutritionTM Health Coach Training, 40 years teacher of Natural Health.
Gardens – and the tasks that come along with them such as cooking, preserving, and seed saving – are best done in community. Learn how to engage your towns, schools, and neighbors in these tasks and how it can be done to heal and promote learning throughout all demographics and abilities. Lisa Millette: Lead Gardener, Turtle Tree Biodynamic Seed Initiative. Janet O’Brien: Director of Operations, Growing Places Garden Project.
Foliar application can be very beneficial to the overall health of crops, and therefore yields and profit. We will cover the basics of various materials, their preparation, identifying which materials may be useful to a specific crop, and when application is appropriate. Herbal extracts, biodynamic preparations, and mineral materials all blended with thought and intention, what fun! Bryan O’Hara
Healing from Lyme requires more than killing pathogens. Learn tools to help modulate your immune system, balance your nervous system, and chelate glyphosate. We’ll discuss herbs for Lyme and co-infections, and I will demonstrate Autonomic Response Testing, an energetic testing system developed by Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt. Diana Phillips: A holistic healer of 15 years, helping people recover their health.
We will introduce participants to the work of The New Garden Society and present the context of why horticultural vocational education and horticultural therapy in correctional facilities is important and transformative for students and educators alike. Renée Portanova: Co-founder of The New Garden Society, professional horticulturist and environmental educator. Erika Rumbley: Co-founder of The New Garden Society, professional horticulturist and environmental educator.
This session provides an overview of three farm animal welfare certification programs–Animal Welfare Approved, Certified Humane and Global Animal Partnership. The ASPCA and local welfare-certified farmers will discuss the benefits of certification, what the certification process looks like and what resources are available to help farmers achieve certification. Kara Shannon: J.D. from Vermont Law School, advocates for a more humane farming system. Katie Amos: Lead farmer and market outreach coordinator for A Greener World.
Presentation about plants that provide nectar and pollen to honeybees and pollinators. Emphasis is on plants that provide quality food for bees and honey production, and on providing a diverse selection of plants through the year. Many original photographs of bees on flowers taken primarily on the presenters’ property. Ed Szymanski: Homesteader and beekeeper, President of Norfolk County Beekeepers Association, amateur bee and flower photographer.
This workshop focuses on the role of fungi in soil health and will share: the results of a SARE research grant comparing different soil fungal inoculants on the yield of five crops, how to cultivate and use Indigenous Microorganisms (IMO), and the role of fungi in plant resistance to diseases like Basil Downy Mildew. Melody Wright: Grows medicinal herbs on her farmlet.
“This spring we planted 575 elderberry bushes at Sawmill Herb Farm in an experiment to transform a tilled flood-prone field into a resilient berry orchard. Interested in low-cost methods of establishing a perennial planting? Come take a tour of our 1-acre trial plot and see what we’re up to. Keith Zaltzberg: Founding principal of Regenerative Design Group and a perennial plant fanatic. Susan Pincus: Head farmer and owner of Sawmill Herb Farm in Florence, MA.