Farmers interested in improving organic methods may benefit from free technical assistance from The NOFA/RI Farm Advisors Program.
Camille is owner / manager on a 3 acre certified organic vegetable farm in Exeter, RI. She and co-owner Bob Payne use organic and sustainable practices to grow a variety of greens herbs and vegetables and sell through a 40-member CSA, farmers markets and wholesale to food cooperatives and restaurants. Within their first year of business, they met their financial goals.
Camille trained in organic production, marketing and sales as an apprentice at Greenview Farm before branching out in 2013 to start Little River Farm, where they use conservation tillage, high tunnels and other season extension practices that allow for harvest and selling throughout the winter. Camille can advise on whole farming planning, cover crops, post harvest handling and seedling production.
Christina has experience growing and selling vegetables, herbs, and ornamental crops.
Favorite crops: vegetables, cut flowers and herbs
Special skills: seedling production and field growing of cut flowers and herbs; marketing at Farmer’s Markets.
John has been owner and manager of Big Train Farm since 2009 and the farm has been certified organic for several years now. John has over 15 years of experience as an organic farmer as well as an academic background in biology and chemistry. When not farming, or advising for NOFA/RI, John periodically teaches a Soil, Plant, and Farm Methodology course. John has experience working with antique and modern tractors. He teaches tractor operations to farmers.
Special Skills: soil test interpretation and field planning
Monique is a soil health technician focused on the study of soil biology through microscopy. In addition to founding a worm composting business, Wiggle Room, Monique has designed and built over 40 edible school and community gardens and farms throughout New England, including a 2-acre urban farm in Bridgeport CT.
Monique teaches ‘How to Grow Your Own Food’ classes and speaks on healthy soil and community gardening, sharing her knowledge of regenerative agriculture practices, microscopy, and community building.
Arcadian Fields is a three acre certified organic farm nestled in the middle of Arcadia State Park. Diana been growing certified organic crops since 1999. Specialties include greens, herbs and heirloom tomatoes, but there are a lot of other crops she loves to grow as well.
Diana can provide consultations on crop production, CSAs, and share-harvest farming.
Our NOFA/RI Certification Consultant is Laura Davis. Laura is a NOFA/Mass Board Member, Certification Assistance Coordinator, and owner/farmer at Long Life Farm in Hopkinton, MA – a diversified vegetable farm that was certified organic in April 2013 by Baystate Organic Certifiers.
“I have gained a view into the inter-workings of a for-profit vegetable farm.”
“There are always people around who will answer questions, but it is good to have the formal relationship with someone who you know you can call, especially during the busy time of year.”
“We talk about the nitty gritty sort of details”
“Even though it is a loose structure, it is a structure. So, I don’t have to feel apologetic about sending him emails.”
Experienced organic farmers are paired with aspiring, new, or transitioning farmers to provide assistance in many areas.
A Sampling of Possible Program Topics or Goals:
- Develop a season extension plan for your farm
- Deepen understanding of soil fertility management
- Improved seedling production and greenhouse management
- Develop a business plan for a new farm
- Explore the farm set up of their mentor farmer
- Farm and/or ranch planning
- Marketing, business planning, or record keeping
- Soil health
- Raised bed production
- Cover crops and crop rotation
- Pest and disease management
- Greenhouse and high tunnel growing
- Safe tractor, tool and implement use
- Salad green production
- Cut flower production
- Growing herbs and producing herbal products
- Livestock production and marketing
- Fencing, rotational grazing
- Pasture, forage health
- Weed control
- Post-harvest handling and marketing
- Value added production and marketing
- Marketing at Farmer’s Markets
- Organic certification and NRCS assistance applications
How it works
How the Advisors Program works:
- Click on the link at the top of this page to submit a request for a FREE consultation.
- Your request form will be read and paired with an NOFA/RI Advisor. If you want to request a particular advisor, please do!
- The Advisor will contact you directly and you can both set up a time to work together.
- Once goals, time, and any visits are completed, each advisee commits to participating in an “exit survey” for the betterment of the program.
- It’s as simple as that.
Funding has been provided by the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program of the Agricultural Marketing Service, US Dept of Agriculture, awarded and administered by the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management