Join over 50 presenters to soak up the wisdom of another fantastic Summer Conference lineup! Participants in a typical NOFA Conference can count on a range of topics, offering practical skills and inspiring ideas. This year’s online conference will offer the same abundance of workshops to choose from. Want to focus on sprouts or worm compost in your home kitchen? We’ve got you covered! Or are you a farmer thinking of improving your drip irrigation system? And have you ever thought of growing saffron for market? The NOFA Summer Conference will cover all the topics you could hope for, and even some you’ve never imagined!
Year after year, many NOFA members tell us that they’re looking for workshops that zoom in on specific topics. This year, you can dig deep into the details of “Understanding Asparagus” with Christie Higginbottom, or explore the “Feasibility of Growing Saffron to Enhance Farm Profitability and Sustainability” with Masoud Hashemi. For those looking for an in-depth focus on animals, NOFA’s own Christy Bassett offers a workshop on Keeping a Family Cow, and Kirby Lecy will offer practical advice on chicken coop design.
As always, we draw on the talent of presenters from across the region. From the heart of Massachusetts, Christy Bassett owns a small homestead in Barre, where she milks goats and a cow and makes cheese for her family and soap for market. Ridge Shinn, owner of Big Picture Beef, also hails from Central Mass, and is known as a speaker and consultant nationally and internationally. Joining us from a bit farther south, Nigel Palmer of West Granby, CT, is the author of The Regenerative Grower’s Guide to Garden Amendments. Also from CT is Sefra Alexandra, an ethnobotanist currently leading CT NOFA’s Pollinator Health Initiative, The Ecotype Project.
Thanks to the online format of this year’s conference, we’re able to include speakers from outside the region as well. Gerald Pollack, author of “The Fourth Phase of Water” joins us virtually from Seattle, Washington.
New this year, the NOFA Summer Conference will offer a track of workshops presented entirely in Spanish, featuring workshops on food and nutrition, as well as soil health. Maria Rodrigues will be presenting “Por que es importante germinar” in which participants can join in sprouting seeds and creating recipes from sprouted seeds in a two part series. New NOFA/Mass Soil Technical Assistance Coordinator, Ruben Parrilla, will hold our first soil health workshop taught directly in Spanish, while a handful of workshops on soil health in English will be translated into Spanish.
Also new this year, NOFA will partner with the Pocasset Pokanoket Land Trust to offer a special workshop track, “Indigenous Roots Forever”, sharing experiences and information regarding Indigenous land stewardship. This track offers five workshops, including: Stories of Sovereignty, offering a historical look at the Pocasset Wampanoag Tribe of the Pokanoket Nation and Original Sovereignty; a skill share workshop providing discussion and demonstration of practices in community building, seed saving, and root remembering; Building Capacity through Organizing and Partnerships, featuring a conversation about building regional partnerships and working with the USDA-NRCS; and Seeds of Transformation, a conversation about the future of farming, food justice, conservation, and sovereignty.
We hope you can join us to participate in the diverse and engaging conversations that will take place in this year’s program! Find more information about theses presenters and more at nofasummerconference.org.