NOFA/RI logoThank you to our members, attendees, speakers and sponsors for a wonderful 2017 Winter Conference.

For more information on the presenters and sponsors see our Winter Conference page here.

What’s New For Spring at NOFA /RI

NOFA /RI On-Farm Workshops

Sophie Soloway, Hocus Pocus Farms

NOFA/ RI continues offering a wide range of On-farm workshops designed to increase knowledge, practices, and guidance on specialty crops issues as well as our new livestock program.  These on-farm workshops share experience and best practices between farmers.

NOFA/RI invites Rhode Island farmers to host these on-farm workshops. Host farmers receive a stipend for their program.  These programs are made possible by grants from the USDA grant from the RI DEM, Division of Agriculture.

Interested in hosting an On-farm workshop, please contact Sophie Soloway at

Spring NOFA Events

Sunday, April 9.  1-3 PM

Livestock Workshop: What to Look For When Buying Livestock
Location: Wild Harmony Farm, 366 Victory Hwy, Exeter, RI

Workshop is FREE, but please,  Register here to reserve a spot.

Hosted by Ben Coerper & Rachael Slattery of Wild Harmony Farm, this workshop will cover important aspects to consider when purchasing poultry, sheep, pigs, & cattle.  This workshop brought to you by NOFA/ RI thanks to a USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program grant, in partnership with Southside Community Land Trust.  As with all our on-farm workshops, dress for the weather, and before heading out to the farm check our site for any updates or cancelations.

Saturday, April 22. 9:30 – Noon

On-Farm Workshop: Season Extension With Caterpillar Tunnels
Potluck Lunch to follow
Host: Little River Farm, Camille Abdel-Nabi And Bob Payne
Little River Farm, 125 William Reynolds Rd, Exeter, RI 02822

Free.  Register to save your spot.

This workshop will focus on extending the vegetable growing season with caterpillar tunnels.  This CRAFT on-farm workshop made possible thanks to a generous Farm Viability grant though the RI Department of Environmental Management’s Division of Agriculture. Everyone is welcome.  Registration is not required.

Saturday, April 29,  1-3pm

On-Farm Workshop: Propagation and Starting the Season in a Heated Greenhouse
Farm Host: Casey Farm, Farm Manager: Lindie Markovich and Assist. Manager Emily Cotter
Casey Farm 2325 Boston Neck Road, North Kingstown, RI 02874

Free Registration Here.  Learn how the growing season begins in the greenhouses at Casey Farms including planning strategies for the growing season, greenhouse seeding schedules, hardening off, transplanting dates, and the answer to that nagging question asked of all farmers “what do you do all winter?”

Casey Farm is a 300 acre property owned by the non-profit organization Historic New England. The property has been continually farmed, using organic practices, for hundreds of years. The farm currently runs a 150 member CSA program, hosts a summertime farmers market, and a Spring Seedling Sale on Mother’s Day weekend.

Wednesday, May 17.  5:30 – 7 PM

On-Farm Workshop: Growing Sustainable Sod:
Soil Fertility through Cover Cropping and Plant Diversity.
Location: SODCO 264 Exeter Rd. Slocum, RI
Potluck barbecue to follow.

Workshop is FREE, but please  Resister Here to reserve a spot.

At this CRAFT On-Farm workshop, attendees will tour Sodco’s acreage of Microclover Black Beauty and learn about methods in sustainable sod farming. We use eco-friendly soil fertility methods such as cover cropping and plant diversity to help our fields thrive. Learn how these methods can be applied on your farms and landscapes.

This workshop is co-sponsored by the Rhode Island Nursery and Landscape Association. It is free and open to the public.

Wednesday, June 7, 5:30 -7 PM

On-Farm Workshop: High Tunnel Tomato Production
Host: Brandon Family
Brandon Family Farm, 592 Fairgrounds Rd, West Kingstown, RI

Workshop is FREE.  Registration is not required, but we do encourage it as a courtesy to our host farmers.  Please take a moment to Register here.

High Tunnel tomato production is one of most profitable and important crops for small diversified farming operations. High tunnels extend the growing season and increase marketable yields. This workshop is open to all but is geared to commercial production, it will briefly cover the basics and focus more on advanced management. Experienced growers are welcome to share information so we can all improve our production systems.

Brandon Family Farm is a certified organic produce farm started in 2015.  In 2017 we will be growing about 4 acres of vegetables and strawberries and have ¼ acre in high tunnel production. Produce is marketed through farmer’s markets, restaurants and local supermarkets.

Thursday, July 20th, 5:30pm

On-Farm Workshop: Farm Compost Tour: Soil Fertility and Garlic Harvesting/Curing
Location: Earth Care Farm 89 A Country Drive Charlestown, RI 02813

This on-farm workshop will focus on soil fertility and garlic harvesting and curing at Earth Care Farm.

For more 40 years Earth Care Farm has been producing high quality farm-made compost that gardeners and landscapers, big & small have come to rely upon to enrich their soil naturally. The mission of Earth Care Farm is to joyfully help bring out the best & highest from within the earth by consciously returning the best to the earth.

This on-farm workshop made possible thanks to a generous Farm Viability grant though the RI Department of Environmental Management’s Division of Agriculture.

Everyone is welcome.  Registration is not required, but encouraged.  Please, Register FREE Here.

Please consider becoming a member or renewing your membership to help support our programs!  


Balancing Farm & Life at Winter Conference

David Hambleton, Sister's Hill Farm, NY

David Hambleton,
Sister’s Hill Farm, NY


SUNDAY, MARCH 5th, 2017
at Hope & Main, Warren, RI


NOFA/ RI’s annual conference for Rhode Island Organic Farmers offers all day workshops and a potluck lunch.

Classes on Balanced Farming; Livestock workshops; Beekeeping 101; Growing for a Winter CSA; Marketing Your Farm; Farm Accounting Basics and Investment.

This year’s Winter Conference has something for everyone, be they a gardener, farmer or fan of organic foods.

Special registration rates for Students, Seniors, and
New Farmers (farming less than 10 years) 


David Hambleton

David Hambleton

Learn innovative practices, share ideas, catch up with old friends, develop new connections, and enjoy our fabulous potluck lunch.  Do you often find farming overwhelming? Is your life a little lopsided? David Hambleton, a veteran CSA grower, will share what he has done to grow a farm business that promotes a life of balance.  He’ll share what he has learned through research and practice so that you too can find balance on your farm and in your life!

David Hambleton is a farmer and farm consultant from NY’s Mid Hudson Valley.  He’s a big proponent of strategic farm planning in order to attain not just a profitable farm, but a balanced life!


To restore organic matter to soils and stabilize it is not only beneficial to those who manage land and crops but is also vital to our society.  Farmers, gardeners, homeowners, landscapers — anyone who owns or manages land — can follow these simple principles and not only restore carbon to the soil but help rebuild the marvelous system that nature has put in place to renew our atmosphere while providing food, beauty and health for all creation.

  • Jack Kittredge and Julie Rawson, of Many Hands Organic Farm, MA and John Kenny, of Big Train Farm, Cranston, RI  lead a Round Table on Techniques For Carbon Restoration – the discussion will center on techniques to farm so that your soil continually builds while also producing quality and yield.


The Conference features notable speakers in organic and sustainable agriculture from across Rhode Island, New England and New York, networking sessions, our annual meeting and a delicious potluck meal.

  • Local Rhode Island Farmers Pat McNiff, Pat’s Pastured Farms, and
  • Ben Coerper, Wild Harmony Farms,
  • Lining Peng, Beekeeper, P& L Bayside Apiary
  • Presentation by the RI DEM on Organic
    Have you wondered about Organic Certification but were afraid to ask?… Or more likely too overwhelmed by the mere thought of it all?   Learn how to navigate the the process, it’s easier, more manageable, less expensive, and more rewarding than you ever thought.  Make the leap towards organically certified crops and livestock.
  • Ashley Loer, Planning a Winter CSA
  • Author and Farm Consultant Julia Shanks.   Julia, an entrepreneur, author, chef, and urban gardener herself, helps other food and agricultural entrepreneurs achieve and maintain financial sustainability.  Let Julia show you how to plan for profit.


NOFA/ RI Winter Conference brought to you by our generous sponsors: USDASpecialty Crop Block Program grant for farm viability via the RI Department of Environmental Management’s Division of Agriculture, Our conference host: Hope & Main, Clif Bar Family Foundation, Southside Community Land Trust, and Farm Credit East.

2017 N O F A / RI Livestock Program News

Thanks to a USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program grant, and a partnership with Southside Community Land Trust, NOFA/RI will offer livestock trainings and technical assistance beginning with two Livestock programs at our Annual Winter Conference on Sunday, March 5th.

  • 10988557_10152720488056943_2213617722942244607_oRegenerative farming: How a diverse group of livestock can improve your farm’s eco-system, Ben Coerper & Rachael Slattery, Owners, Wild Harmony Farm, Exeter,  and
  • Pastured Poultry – How to improve your land while making a profit with laying hens, meat chickens, turkeys, and ducks.  Pat McNiff of Pat’s Pastured Farms, RI.