Tag Archives: gardening

Kids in the NOFA Garden

Summer is here and the produce is  rolling in! Here at the NOFA office in Richmond, we have a raised bed vegetable garden in the backyard. The garden is used primarily as a learning space for several groups of local kids, who come by to help plant seeds, do garden-based activities, and, of course, taste-test whatever is ready to eat.

GraemeWhen the kids don’t eat all of the produce (which is rare so far) we take whatever we have left to the Richmond Food Shelf, which is right across the street. Thanks in large part to donations from Red Wagon Plants and Green Mountain Compost, our plants are thriving. It’s always fun to see kids devouring cucumbers, greens, herbs, and more!

Advertisements

NOFA Summer Conference!

The Northeast Organic Farming Association’s (NOFA) 40th annual Summer Conference takes place August 8-10, 2014 at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Appealing to a wide range of interests, 1400 consumers, gardeners, farmers, food policy experts, and urban agriculturalists travel from across the northeast and beyond to participate in 150+ workshops, pre-conference events, farms tours, and much more. This conference is a collaborative project of all seven NOFA chapters.

This is a family-friendly event, with special conference tracks for children 5-12 and teens 13-17. While parents attend great educational workshops on gardening, farming, nutrition, and ecological sustainability, children experience age-appropriate and fun workshops about these same topics with other youth. Childcare is available for children 2-4.

Affordable accommodations (like camping and dorms) are available, as are scholarships, group discounts, work exchange, and other creative financing options.

“At the heart of NOFA as an organization is the NOFA Summer Conference. A place of inspiration, awakening, reconnecting, and practical education, it is the event that for 40 years has brought the brightest, best, and most collaborative farming game-changers together for one packed weekend celebration of life and farming,” says farmer, former NOFA Summer Conference Coordinator, and current NOFA/Mass Executive Director, Julie Rawson.

Trained as a microbiologist, Dr. Elaine Ingham, this year’s keynote speaker, brings a unique perspective to her work with farmers. Her goal is to develop soils that foster thriving microbial communities. Her simple approaches to building soil biology require less labor and off-farm inputs and ultimately help save farmers money, while reducing adverse ecological effects of conventional farming. She maintains that by building soils teeming with the right kind of biology, growers can mitigate plant pests and diseases.

In addition to her Friday all-day pre-conference seminar titled “Changing Dirt into Soil: Specific Approaches for Different Soil Types and Crops”, Ingham will lead three workshops during the conference. Three half-day pre-conferences will also take place on Friday, including “Tools for Resilient Urban Ecosystems” with Scott Kellogg; “Healing the Gut and the Body through Nutrition” with Dr. Chris Decker; and “Bioregional Herbalism: Stocking the Home Apothecary with Locally Abundant Herbs” with Jade Alicandro Mace.

Saturday and Sunday’s workshops are geared to many skill levels and interests. Knowledgeable and experienced instructors will offer workshops on topics such as nutrition and health, food politics, land access, crop production, cooperative economies, urban and international agriculture, gardening, animal husbandry, farm economics, food preservation and cooking, permaculture, and mitigating climate change through agriculture.

There will be a sing-along event on Friday evening called “Singing for Food and Freedom: Carrying on the Legacy of Pete Seeger” (free for conference registrants and open to the public with a $5-$10 suggested donation). The weekend also features films (such as The Queen of the Sun, Out Here, and Food for Change), meet-ups for participants from a variety of interests, organic meals, a country fair, a contra dance, 100+ exhibitors, and more.

Learn more and register at www.nofasummerconference.org!

Bulk Order Leftovers for Sale

These items were left over from NOFA-VT’s annual Bulk Order. The Bulk Order gives NOFA-VT members and the general public the chance to purchase quality farm and garden products that meet the National Organic Standards at volume discounts. All income generated from the Bulk Order goes to support NOFA Vermont’s Farm to Community Mentor Program.

To place an order please contact NOFA at 802-434-4122, or info@nofavt.org. All products are sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Smaller items can be mailed; shipping will be added to cost. Large items must be picked up at our Richmond office. We will update this list as items are sold.

Cover crops

  • 50# Organic Triticale – $38
  • 50# Organic Tritilege (50% triticale, 50% 4010 field peas) – $43.50
  • 50# Organic 4010 field peas – $43.50
  • 10# Organic Barley from Butterworks – $8.50
  • 10# Dutch white clover – $56
  • 2# Organic winter rye/hairy vetch mix – $4.50
  • 3 – peas/vetch inoculant, treats 50# – $4.77 each

Fertilizers, amendments, and potting soil

  • 50# bonechar/greensand – $23.32
  • 50# pro-holly – $21.73
  • 5# K-mag $5.30
  • 5# Greensand – $4.24
  • 2 – 5# Bone char- $5.30
  • 1 – 5# Bloodmeal – $14.84
  • 5# Azomite slow release – $6.36
  • 1 gallon OGS liquid kelp – $19.61
  • 2 – 5 gallon OGS liquid kelp – $87.45
  • 2 – 1 gallon liquid fish/kelp – $20.14
  • 2 – 22 qt McEnroe Premium potting mix – $6.36
  • 22 qt McEnroe Premium lite potting mix – $6.50

Other items

  • 1 wooden display bushel box, hand held – $11.13
  • 2 row covers 50’x 83” – $13.25 each
  • 4 bundles of 12” garden stakes (untreated), 25 per bundle – $14.84
  • 1 bundle of 18” field stakes (untreated), 25 per bundle – $8.48
  • 4.5” round peat pots, 50 count -$10.60
  • 2 sets of – 3” round peat pots, 50 count – $4.77
  • Serenade 32 oz. -$22.26
  • Hemp twine – 265 ft. – $6.00
  • 2 boxes of rubber bands – $6.36
  • 9 – red ball traps, $5.30 each

Homesteaders and Gardeners at the Winter Conference

The Winter Conference isn’t just for farmers – there are over 20 workshops this year designed with homesteaders and gardeners in mind! So whether you’re interested in getting the most produce possible out of your raised bed, or getting more fruit from your apple trees, the Winter Conference has you covered.

Saturday Workshop Spotlight: Hardy Nuts for Farms and Yards

Black WalnutsKeith Morris will be on hand to guide you through the ecology and mythology of nut trees suited to growing on Vermont’s farms and in our neighborhoods. Morris will focus on hardy proven nuts, and introduce the breeding and trialing happening at Willow Crossing Farm in Johnson, VT to help migrate some important nuts typically grown in slightly warmer regions.

Sunday Workshop Spotlight: Poultry Breeds and Brooder Set Up for the Backyard Producer

chickens2 It’s time to order those chirping wonders! Yet, those colorful, descriptive and plentiful poultry catalogs can be quite daunting. Join Bay Hammond, Farm Manager at Cerridwen Farm at Green Mountain College in Poultney, VT, and co-manager of Doolittle Farm in Shoreham VT to learn all about the different breed types, their benefits and shortcomings.

There are additional workshops and networking opportunities for cooks, activists, educators, and more. See the complete list of conference workshops here, and stay tuned for more workshop spotlights in the coming week!

Community and School Gardens at the Winter Conference

The NOFA-VT Winter Conference brings together organic growers and eaters from across the food system. One of the ways the Winter Conference attracts this diversity is through a Community and School Garden Track for garden organizers and educators, presented by the Vermont Community Garden Network, and happening this year on Sunday, February 16th.

NOFA, VCGN, NOFA-VT Winter ConferenceIn its 3rd year, this special track features interactive workshops throughout the day and a networking session over lunch time, bringing together the state’s community and school garden leaders to learn from each other as well as from local and regional experts.

This year’s workshops will focus on a range of topics requested by garden leaders from across the state.  Included among these are:

Over lunchtime, 1:00-2:00pm, participants are encouraged to attend the Vermont Community Garden Network Gathering and Garden Showcase.  This is an opportunity for garden leaders to connect, swap ideas, see innovative work from around the state, and learn more about upcoming Network opportunities.  Detailed information on track workshops and the networking session are available at http://vcgn.org/what-we-do/winterconference.

Vermont Community Garden Network logoVCGN’s partnership with NOFA Vermont supports an effort to reach community and school garden leaders from around the state and support the growth of successful garden projects.  The Community and School Garden Track at the Winter Conference is VCGN’s state-wide gathering of garden leaders, complimented by the VCGN Grow It! workshop series in regional Vermont locations in the spring and fall.  Year-round, VCGN offers technical support and online resources for garden organizers and educators.

The Vermont Community Garden Network is a non-profit organization that helps community and school groups all over Vermont start, sustain, and grow gardens, building strong local food systems and vibrant educational sites. To learn more about VCGN visit www.vcgn.org.

[Guest post by Libby Weiland of VCGN]