NOFA/RI Winter Conference: Healthy Soils, Healthy Plants, Healthy People

Winter Conference flier Sunday, February 28, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
Hope & Main, 691 Hope Street, Warren, RI

Our 2016 Winter Conference will feature a full day of workshops with regionally and nationally recognized speakers in organic and sustainable agriculture as well as influential speakers from across southeast New England. With workshops on Soil Health and Carbon Farming, Compost, Cover Crops, Seed Saving, Nutrient Dense Growing, Raising Backyard Chickens, Community Gardens, GMO Labeling and Macrobiotics, this Winter Conference has something for everyone, be they a gardener, farmer or fan of organic foods. Learn more and register here.

About the Conference
The Winter Conference is N O F A / R I’s largest educational and fundraising event. Proceeds will support educational programs for farmers, landscapers, designers, gardeners and consumers all year long. These constituents will be joined by agricultural professionals, university educators and extension specialists for a full day of workshops, networking sessions, our annual meeting and a delicious potluck meal. Learn more and register here.

Sponsors
Thank you to our generous sponsors, Hope & Main, Farm Credit East and the RI Department of Environmental Management (RI DEM) Division of Agriculture. Additional sponsorships are available. Learn more here.

RI DEM & Hope & Main logos

Farm Credit East logoVenue, Exhibitors, Potluck Lunch
Hope & Main is a value-added, commercial kitchen incubator with a large meeting space for 150+ attendees and smaller rooms for concurrent sessions. A generous lobby will hold a trade show with vendors and exhibitors. Morning and mid-day coffee and tea will be provided. Conference participants are invited to bring a food or beverage item to share for our potluck lunch.

Conference Goals
The goal of this conference is to facilitate learning and sharing of information on organic growing practices with an emphasis on soils, plants and ecosystems (above and below soil surfaces).

N O F A / R I is dedicated to supporting organic and sustainable food, farming, and gardening in Rhode Island through education, technical assistance and policy advocacy. N O F A / R I is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

We look forward to seeing you at the Winter Conference.

Contact Sanne Kure-Jensen at (401) 369-3303 or by e-mail for more information.

It’s Time for the Annual Bulk Order

NOFA Spring Bulk OrderFarmers, gardeners and land care professionals are invited to 
save on growing supplies 
with NOFA’s annual Bulk Order. We host a Spring Bulk Order in a partnership with our sister chapters in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Learn more here.

Orders are accepted through January 31 each year. 

The annual NOFA Bulk Order offers group discounts on a wide variety of organically certifiable farm, garden and lawn care products while supporting NOFA state chapters.

The first Bulk Order took place in 1985 with Julie Rawson (now the Executive Director of NOFA/Mass) as its coordinator. “The Bulk Order is an opportunity for growers to get together and share their excitement about the year ahead,” says Rawson. “It’s a social event where growers share knowledge grounded in years of successes and failures as well as ideas for what to try this coming season. To me, it has always signaled the onset of spring.

Prices

  • All shipping costs are included in our Bulk Order prices offering savings of $85 – $115 per pallet. 
  • All companies price products to make a profit. Our Bulk Order is a fundraiser for three NOFA chapters. Bulk Order participants help support our organic growing education and advocacy efforts.
  • The more people participate in the Bulk Order, the better pricing we are able to negotiate with our suppliers and pass on to Bulk Order participants.

The 2016 Bulk Order offers many new items including cover cocktail seed mixes and liquid micronutrient blends. Popular favorites are back including high quality amendments, compost, potting soil, pest controls, animal health/feed supplements, potato and allium seed as well as farm and garden tools. Gardeners, homesteaders, land managers and commercial farmers are all invited to share the discounts. There is no minimum or maximum order.

N O F A Membership is not required but chapter members are eligible for a discount. Learn more and download an order form here. View all the benefits of membershiop and become a N O F A / R I member here.

2016 Pick-Up Sites

  • Little Compton, RI: Wishing Stone Farm, 25 Shaw Rd.
  • Belchertown, MA: NESFI, 275 Jackson St.
  • Barre, MA: Many Hands Organic Farm, 411 Sheldon Rd.
  • Dalton, MA: Holiday Farm, 100 Holiday Cottage Rd.
  • Beverly, MA: Moraine Farm, 733 Cabot St.
  • Winchester, MA: Wright Locke Farm, 78 Ridge St.
  • West Wareham, MA: Progressive Grower, 81 Charlotte Furnace Rd.
  • Meriden, CT: High Hill Orchard, 86 Fleming Rd.

Orders will be available for pick-up on Saturday, March 12 (with a smaller, second pickup day for seed potato and allium sets on Saturday, April 9).

Vermont Compost - Bulk Order - smallParticipating Suppliers

  • Organic Growers Supply, ME: mineral amendments, fertilizers, cover crop seeds – fedcoseeds.com
  • Moose Tubers, ME (division of FEDCO): potato & allium seed – fedcoseeds.com
  • Fertrell, PA: – mineral amendments, fertilizers, animal care products – fertrell.com
  • Vermont Compost Company, VT: compost & potting soil – vermontcompost.com
  • Crop Production Services, MA: fertilizers & amendments – (413) 665-2115
  • North Country Organics, VT: mineral amendments & fertilizers – norganics.com
  • Ideal Compost Company, NH: compost, potting soil, wooden stakes – idealcompost.com
  • Lancaster Agriculture, PA: mineral amendments & cover crop cocktails – lancasterag.com

NOFA Bulk Orders will ONLY be accepted through January. Orders must be postmarked by January 31. Late orders can NOT be processed.

Delivery,  Pick-Up and Volunteers
NOFA Bulk Orders are community events coordinated by NOFA staff, pick-up site host farmers, site coordinators and volunteers. Many volunteers are needed to help sort and distribute orders. Site coordinators need help unloading delivery trucks as well as organizing and breaking down orders.

Supplier orders will arrive (weather permitting) Tuesday, March 8 and (for seed potatoes and alliums) Tuesday, April 5. Upon arrival, each order has to unloaded from the truck and broken down into individual participants’ orders. “It’s like a mini Amazon dot com on delivery day, without the bots and drones,” says Caro Roszell, NOFA’s Bulk Order Coordinator, “If you want low prices and free shipping, you can either go with mega warehouses populated by robots or with real people working together. Everyone needs to lend a hand.”

Volunteer to lend your hands by circling “I can be there on these days” on your order form and come to a nearby pick-up site to work on the agreed date. (Those unable to lift heavy items can help in other ways.) Delivery-day volunteers may take their orders home early. Volunteering is a great way to meet other NOFA members and organic growers.

Send questions on the Bulk Order to Caro Roszell, Bulk Order Coordinator at bulkorder@nofamass.org or call (508) 360-0874.