NOFA Harvest Happenings

The Great Pumpkin Is Here.  

Frerichs Farms is known for its giant pumpkins!  They’ve made national news! Who would have thought Warren, the smallest town in the smallest state, would be known for something so large? Since 2000 Frerichs has hosted the Southern New England Giant Pumpkin Grower’s Annual Weigh-off on Columbus Day Weekend.

This year, on October 7, thousands of people will come to see the pumpkins and enjoy the festivities and NOFA/RI will be there too.  Stop by and say hello!

Rain dates October 8 or 9.

Enjoy the flavors of the season with Apples

Food and Wine Magazine calls this simple, classic rustic apple tart “a virtually fail-safe recipe that is completely hassle free.”  But don’t limit your apples to tarts, pies, cakes, fritters, crips or turnovers.  Slice into salads, spice up a grilled cheese with ham and apples, or savor a bowl of apple and winter squash soup.  Simply bake them or eat them fresh off the tree.

You can find apples from these orchards around the State that are certified organic, like Elwood Orchard in North Scituate, or listed as chemical-free or using integrated pest management (IPM).  IPM seeks to control pests with sustainable methods without relying solely on pesticides:
Old Stone Orchard, Little Compton
Appleland Orchard, Smithfield
Barden Family Orchard, North Scituate
Fraser Orchard, Green
Hill Orchards, Johnston
Leach Farm & Orchard, Greenville
Pippin Orchard, Cranston
Steere Orchard, Greenville

Farm Succession School

The Farm Succession School is a three-session program designed for farmers looking for a bit of structure and motivation to tackle succession planning. The program will bring you from thinking about the future to doing active planning. Your commitment of three winter days will help to guide you toward a successful planning outcome for you, your family and your farm.  The first season is December 8, 2018 in Warwick, RI.

To learn more or to register for this program, view New England Farm Succession School.

NOFA/RI Celebrates Board Members in the News

 NOFA Board Members Making A Difference


NOFA/RI congratulates Laura Bozzi, a 40 Under Forty 2017 honoree by Providence Business News.  Each year PBN recognizes 40 men and women who are successful in their careers and involved in their community.  Laura is active working to make a difference as the Food and Youth Program Director for the Southside Community Land Trust, as well as a NOFA/RI Board Member.

Sarah Turkus, Sidewalk Ends Farm. MacLellanImages.com

Fellow NOFA/RI Board Member, Sarah Turkus, featured in the Summer 2017 EdibleRHODY, shares lessons learned on her urban farm, Sidewalk Ends Farm, in “Farmers Put Down Roots in City Plots.”  The chemical-free farm sells at farmers markets and to neighbors through a CSA.  Over the years the farm has also grown as an educational space hosting preschools, high schools, summer camps, and more. For more information see Sidewalk Ends Farm.

Fruits of the Season at Elwood Orchard

One of Rhode Island’s few certified organic orchards, Elwood Orchard in North Scituate is open for the season.  The orchard is certified organic including apples, garlic, shallots, tomatoes and winter squash. They also offer certified organic apple cider in season.  Elwood Orchard has grown steadily over the last couple of decades to their current level of over 1,000 fruit trees.  They grow nectarines, asian pears, apples, gourmet garlic, pumpkins, winter squash, flowers for cutting and more. They also tend honey bees and offer their own honey.  Open every day, check hours here and directions here.

All the trees are dwarft or semi-dwarft trees and the perfect size for small children who can pick their own fruit.

If you don’t recognize the names of some of the apples it’s because they grow many pest resistant apple varieties. This has allowed them to grow great looking and tasting apples with less inputs and to be able to offer certified organic apples. These apples were created the old fashion way…by cross pollination.

Lt. Governor’s 39 Farm Tour Wraps Up with Panel Discussion

RI Lt. Governor McKee at Hillandale Farm, one of the organic farms on the tour

Now that Lt. Governor McKee has completed his 39 Farms Tour, he is teaming up with the Cranston Chamber of Commerce to host the 1st televised Advance RI Farm Forum to highlight some of the great things happening on our local farms and to document some of the major concerns voiced by the farming community during our visits.

The evening will begin with networking from 5:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. followed by a 30-minute panel discussion. The panel is made up of farmers from across the state who will share their stories with a live audience. The event will wrap up with a 30-minute open forum during which audience members are invited to give feedback and ask questions related to Rhode Island’s small business climate, particularly farms.

The event is free and open to the public!

Date: Wednesday, September 13, 2017
Time: 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Place: Confreda Greenhouses & Farms, 2150 Scituate Ave, Hope (Cranston), RI 02831

Please RSVP to Andrea.Palagi@ltgov.ri.gov. We hope to see you there!


Keep Soil Organic Rallies 

A series of Organic Rallies to protest approval of hydroponic organic production by the National Organic program are being organized across the country before the Jacksonville National Organic Standards Board meeting October 31 – November 2.  There are 16 Rallies committed so far, with more coming in every week.  

Things you can do to make an impact:

Sign up ASAP to testify to the NOSB. Sign up NOW!
Take 5 minutes and write a letter to NOSB to prohibit hydroponics as organic!  Your written comments matter.  Past efforts have stopped irradiated and GMO food and sewage sludge as certifiable organic practices. The written comments should be submitted at: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=AMS_FRDOC_0001-1600
When you get to the page, go to the top right corner, and click on the blue “Comment Now!” button. For more information visit the Keep The Soil In Organics campaign. 


December 3, 2017
Advanced Growers Seminar

NOFA /RI offers Advanced Growers seminars twice per year and are given by farmers sharing their expertise in raising specialty crops, greenhouse management, soil fertility or other topics. The intended audience is farmers, farm workers, apprentices and gardeners. Everyone is welcome.

N O F A/RI Winter Conference March 4, 2018
Currently Accepting Proposals

Jean-Martin Fortier

Jean-Martin Fortier

Winter Conference is our largest educational and fundraising event of the year.  Save the date for Sunday March 4, 2018 and a full day of workshops with nationally recognized speakers in organic and sustainable agriculture as well as influential speakers from across Rhode Island and southeast New England.

We are currently accepting proposals for the NOFA/RI 2018 Annual Winter Conference.  Your workshop should address some aspect of local, organic production, marketing, policy, and/or hands-on skill. Proposals can be submitted to NOFARI@live.com.

NOFA /RI at Summer Conference
Thanks to all who stopped by to say hello.