Our Events

2018 Winter Conference

NOFA/RI Welcomes a new season of On-Farm Workshops.

Our new workshop coordinator, Kate Goodson has been busy lining up local farms to host and share tips and techniques on a range of topics.

These NOFA/RI workshops are free and open to the public.  As a courtesy, please pre-register at the link provided as it helps us plan for the event, but registration is not required. Last minute attendees are welcome!
Be sure to check the weather before joining us on farm, and dress accordingly.  Check this page or nofari.org for potential cancelations.  Photographs may be taken at the event to be used for NOFA RI promotional material and appear on the webpage.

On Farm workshops funded through USDA grants via the RI DEM and USDA grants via Southside Community Land Trust.

Growing Ground Cherries:
On-Farm Workshop
Sunday, May 6.  9-11 AM
Location: Little River Farm 125 William Reynolds Rd, Exeter, RI 02822
Registration Free at this Eventbrite link.

Bob Payne and Camille Abdel-Nabi of Little River Farm will be discussing how to grow organic ground cherries. Ground cherries are fruits that grow on low hanging, bushy plants. These fruits are said to have a taste that combines pineapple, vanilla and cherry tomatoes. Yum! Each ground cherry plant produces hundreds of marble-sized ground cherries from the midsummer season until the autumn frost.

Little River Farm is a sustainable three acre farm in Exeter, RI that produces a variety of crops, herbs and flowers.

Tour Matunuck Vegetable Farm: On-Farm Workshop
Wednesday, May 16.  5  – 6:30 PM
Location: Matunuck Farm.  2236 Commodore Perry Highway, South Kingstown
Registration is REQUIRED for this Free at this Eventbrite link as space is limited.

This on-farm workshop consists of a behind-the-scenes tour of the USDA Organic Farm.  The Farm to Table mission statement comes full circle with fresh vegetables grown on Perry Raso’s own vegetable farm on Potter Pond in Matunuck, RI.  The vegetable farm received organic certification in 2015.

Matunuck Vegetable Farm is an organically certified vegetable farm in South Kingstown that uses various sustainable practices to grow an extensive assortment of crops.  Some of the highlighted practices include raised beds, row covers, and drip irrigation. During the winter months crops are grown in the greenhouse and under knee-high “low tunnels”.

In addition to growing fields of delicious organic produce, Matunuck Vegetable Farm is also known for their production of nutrient dense microgreens, or young vegetable greens, which are served on various dishes at Matunuck Oyster Bar.  Registration is required for this free event as space is limited.

Compact Farming: On-Farm Workshop & Potluck:
Sunday, June 3.  3 -5 PM
Location: Roots Farm, 217 East Road, Tiverton, RI 02878
Registration is Free at this Eventbrite link.

Mike and Kelli Roberts of Roots Farm will demonstrate tools and techniques for maximum production in an intensive small plot. The workshop will cover preparation of 30 inch beds, improving soil health for increased crop health as well as planting dates and spacing.

POTLUCK DINNER after the workshop!
Plan to stay and join in the fun. Bring your favorite dish to share with the farming community!

Roots Farm is a 1.3 acre certified organic vegetable farm run by Mike and Kelli Roberts in Tiverton. This diversified farm uses an intensive, year-round growing style with high tunnels and low tunnels that allows for maximum efficiency of the land acreage, while making a variety of nutrient dense crops available throughout the year.

Pasture Management and Grazing:
On-Farm Workshop
Sunday, June 10.  10 AM-12 PM
Location: Watson Farm, 455 North Road, Jamestown RI 02835
Registration is Free at this Eventbrite link.

This Pasture Walk at Historic New England’s Watson Farm in Jamestown will be led by Don Minto, Farm Manager, who has been managing Red Devon Cattle and sheep on these Historic grasslands for well over 35 years.  Don will discuss a range of issues with pasture management and livestock grazing.

Watson Farm is a historical 265 acre property that has been utilized as farmland since 1789. The farm is home to 100-heritage breed Red Devon Cattle, pigs, sheep, as well as various types of poultry.

Running a Profitable Poultry Operation: On-Farm Workshop
Thursday, June 21. 5- 7 PM
Location: Pat’s Pastured.  830 South Road, East Greenwich, RI 02818
Registration Free at this Eventbrite link.

This workshop will consist of a tour of the Pat’s Pastured poultry operation from the brooder and field shelter to the farm processing facility. Farm owner, Patrick McNiff will also describe how his farm systems have evolved over time and give advice to those who are just starting out and experienced growers on how to improve their operations and profitability.

Pat’s Pastured is a pasture-raised and free-range poultry and livestock farm run by Patrick McNiff in East Greenwich. The farm was founded in 2002 and is home to a variety of livestock and poultry, including: pigs, cattle, ducks, turkeys and chickens. Hope to see you there!

Bovine Production: On-Farm Workshop
Wednesday, July 18, 2018 5-7 PM

Stoney Hill Cattle Farm
460 Shumankanuc Hill Road, Charlestown, RI 02813

An extensive tour of the livestock and poultry facility to see how the farm operates. After the tour, farm owner, Kim Coulter will be teaching the ins and outs of raising beef cattle. The lesson will include bovine diet and health, breeding and genetics, and cattle processing. In addition to this, product marketing and business techniques will be discussed.  Click here to register for this free event.

Crop Rotation & Cover Crops On-Farm Workshop
Wednesday, July 25.  5-7 PM
Scratch Farm
35 Pippin Orchard Road.  Cranston, RI 02921

Learn about the importance of crop rotation as well as a number of reasons why you should be planing cover crops. Crop rotation is a systematic approach to deciding where to plant each crop in the garden from one year to the next. A crop rotation system helps manage soil fertility and is used to avoid or reduce problems with soil-dwelling insects as well as soil-borne diseases.  Planting cover crops can help address a number of troublesome problems.  Click here to register.

Farming No-till on Leased Land: On-Farm Workshop & Potluck
Wednesday, August 22.  5 – 7 PM
Location: Moonrose Farm.  684 Natick Avenue. Cranston, RI 02921
Registration Free at this Eventbrite link.

This two hour workshop will discuss the pros and cons of leasing land as well as advise others on how to grow diversified crops on a no-till farm.
This event sponsored with The Young Farmer Network.

POTLUCK DINNER after the workshop!
Plan to stay and join in the fun. What makes Young FarmerNights unique is that the focus of the events is on having fun and getting to know each other. Bring your favorite dish to share with the farming community!

Moonrose Farm is a chemical free farm and apiary that strives to feed the land and people while fostering nurturing relationships with the community through food, education and health. The farm is developed on leased land and encompasses a diversity of crops, flowers and honey bees that are hard at work.

March 31 & April 7
Soil, Plant, and Farm Methodology Course


Presented by John Kenny, Big Train Farm

The seventh annual (2018) spring course for farmers, gardeners, and others interested in the world of soil and plant health and function. This course covers foundational and current soil science, crop science, and soil maintenance principles with a focus on organic-farming methodology.

For Who? This material will be accessible and stimulating for any kind of grower from any background (farming, gardening, etc). Although the material may be challenging for the beginner it will be presented with an introductory focus.

Bell Street Chapel, 5 Bell Street, Providence RI.
This course is 2 sessions and participants should plan to attend both sessions.
3 pm – 7 pm.

This course is sponsored by NOFA/RI.  To learn more and register, visit Big Train Farm.

Related Training, Webinars, Conferences & Special Events

March 18, 2018.  9-1 pm
Wash Station Design and FSMA Produce Safety

At the Community Collaborative, 339 Eddy St, Providence RI
Sunday, March 18th, 9am-1pm.  Registration is now open here ( https://washstationdesign.eventbrite.com) for this important event for produce growers!

Join Cara Fraver of the National Young Farmers Coalition, along with a panel of your farming peers, to learn about and discuss wash station design.

This workshop is designed to serve BOTH farmers who will be subject to the new FSMA produce safety regulations, AND farmers who will be qualified exempt.

March 15, 2018.  Free on-line class by Jean-Martinfortier
How to be Productive in 5 Strategies.


See an international list of horticultural conferences at hortcalendar.com and local events at semaponline.org/events.

On-line Organic Lawn Care Certificate Course
Consumer demand is increasing for organic lawn care. Boost your skills and reduce toxins in the environment. This 9-unit, non-college credit course is a complete introduction to managing grass and lawns organically and will cover how pesticide and fertilizer runoff harms water quality, provide technical training on organic lawn care practices, and discuss successful business and marketing strategies. Learn more at here or call 203-308-2584. Register here.

Farm Commons – Farm Business Law Webinars
Plan for a stable, resilient farm business with 13 free Farm Law Webinars in 2015. There are 8 Farm Law Basics webinars and 5 Advanced Farm Law webinars. Learn, create and converse with farmers from across the country while applying the law to your specific situation. Learn more and register at Farm Commons.

Small Business Training
The Center for Women in Enterprise and the Small Business Administration offer classroom and on-line training. Learn more here.

NOFA/RI logoNOFA/RI Organic Farm Advisor
Organic Farm Advisors assist beginning or transitioning farmers with sustainable and organic growing, harvesting, processing and sales techniques, business planning or organic certification. Learn more about this free service here.

Young Farmer NetworkYoung Farmer Nights (YFN) Schedule
YFN connects farmers, aspiring farmers and farm allies from all backgrounds. This regional network and open to young and old. On-farm events often include a potluck supper and bonfire. Learn more and view the season’s schedule here.

NOFA/Mass Growing Webinars
View free webinars offered by NOFA/Mass on the final Tuesday of each month from 7 – 8 p.m. See future webinar topics and view past webinars here.

Plant and Gardening Fairs and Events
See the All Things Plants events calendar.

Organic and Sustainable Agriculture Webinar Series 
Oregon Tilth and NRCS offer webinars on the first Tuesday of every month at 3 p.m Eastern Time. Learn more here.

Conservation Webinars
See a variety of resource conservation webinars for free, Topics include Soil Health, Cropping Systems, Bioenergy, Energy, Biomass, Energy Policy, FOTG & Planning, Fish & Wildlife, Forestry, Forest Management and Wildlife. Learn more here.

URI Master Gardeners
Learn more here.

URI Master Composters
Learn more here.

Learn about other related training events, farmers markets and more at our web calendar here