Thursday, May 18 @ 5 pm in person! at Long Lane Farm in Warren

“Maximizing Early Season Profits” 

Ready to elevate your farm’s early season profits? Join us at Long Lane Farm to discover the secrets behind microgreens, interplanting, and techniques to get crops into the field early. Learn from experienced farmers Devin & Camille Abdel-Nabi how to boost your income with a plant sale and sustainable farming methods.

Come together with fellow farmers to exchange ideas and learn valuable strategies for growth on your farm.

During this practical session, we’ll discuss:

  • Microgreens cultivation
  • Interplanting greens and tomatoes in tunnels
  • Techniques for getting crops into the field early
  • Plus, plant sale strategies for additional income.

Location: Long Lane Farm 39 Long Lane, Warren, RI 02885

Why Long Lane Farm?

Long Lane Farm is a small, no-till organic produce farm nestled on a beautiful 5-acre property in Warren, Rhode Island. With a focus on high-quality produce and microgreens year-round, Long Lane Farm prioritizes the surrounding community’s health and the environment.

Learn, Network, & Grow! 🌿

This workshop presents an opportunity to connect with fellow farmers, learn from experienced practitioners, and explore innovative strategies for increasing your farm’s early-season profitability. Let’s work together to build a sustainable and thriving farming community in Rhode Island.

We look forward to seeing you there!

April 26th, 2023 – In-Person! – Planting for the Seasons: Growing flowers in a caterpillar tunnel with Moonrose Farm

Join us on Wednesday, April 26th at 4:30 pm for an on-farm workshop at Moonrose Farm, brought to you by NOFA Rhode Island. Farmer-Florist Jordan Goldsmith will lead the workshop, sharing her expertise on planting for the seasons and growing flowers in a caterpillar tunnel. This one-hour workshop will cover overwintered flowers, and spring flower production, and offer a handout with dates for planting certain crops, plus a three-season planting plan.

Moonrose Farm is a woman-owned, chemical-free farm and apiary, with a mission to harmonize feeding the land and feeding the people. If you’re interested in organic gardening, farming, and flowers, or just want to be around beautiful people, then this workshop is for you! Don’t miss this chance to learn from the experts and explore the beautiful grounds of Moonrose Farm. We look forward to seeing you there!

March 25 & 26 – Online

Soil, Plant, and Farm Methodology Course with John Kenny of Big Train Farm
The twelfth annual (2023) 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/regenerative/sustainable farming methodology.

September 30, 2022, 9:00-11:00am
Racial Equity at the NOFA Interstate Council: Where are we at and how can we grow?
Audience: NOFA Interstate Council and IC Policy Committee Members
This is an introductory conversation to delve deeper into conversations around active racial equity work within the NOFA Interstate Council. Racism impacts our conferences, grant collaborations, and even our budget. In order to actively build a more equitable organization, we aim to draft some community agreements around equity, and discuss: What do we mean when we talk about racial equity? What is racism and white supremacy, and how does it show up at NOFA? How can the IC work to dismantle racism and white supremacy in our work? With each chapter doing their own equity work and growing at their own pace, how can we get on the same page and coordinate as a larger group? 

September 25, 2022 Roots Farm – On-Farm Workshop with owners Kelli & Mike Roberts. Tiverton, RI. Kelly and Mike Roberts of Roots Farm will share their expertise in No-Till farming methods. In addition, the workshop will delve into bed layout and shaping, weed management & cultivation, solarization & occultation, and soil testing & amendments. 

October 3rd, 2022, Wiggle Room @ Hillandale Farm – Join Monique Bosch as she takes us on a deep dive, zooming in 400X magnification, to check out the beneficial microbes that live in our healthy soils. We’ll learn how to identify these microbial critters, and how to increase their numbers in our soils so that we can grow the healthiest plants and most nutritious food.

October 14, 2022, 9:00-11:00am – Racial Equity in Organic Certification – Audience: All NOFA staff and board
As proponents of organic agriculture, we would like organic food and farming to be available to everyone, and our Farm Share program is a helpful start. However, a long history of systemic racism in the food system creates barriers to organic certification and products. This workshop will review racism in the food system, with a focus on organic certification and specifically decision-making around NOFA’s Farm Share program. How are we promoting the Farm Share program to BIPOC communities, and is the program truly accessible? Are we leaving out BIPOC organic farmers if certification is a requirement to participate, and how can we include more BIPOC farmers? What changes can we advocate for in the NOP or in local certification agencies to make organic certification more equitable?

November 18th, 2022, 9:00-11:00am – Racial Equity on your Farm
Audience: NOFA staff and board, Farm Share collaborators, organic farmers
As we plan for the 2023 season with an expanded Farm Share program across the 7 NOFA states, we aim to build racial equity into all aspects of the program. This workshop is an opportunity for farmers to talk with NOFA staff about integrating racial equity into their farm business. Whether customers are coming to the farm site or picking up shares at a dropoff location, each farm will have steps that they can take to make the experience welcoming and inclusive for all. This conversation will also provide tools for farmers to reach out to BIPOC communities in a way that is anti-racist and culturally sensitive.

November 18th, 2022, 9:00-11:00am – Racial Equity on your Farm
Audience: NOFA staff and board, Farm Share collaborators, organic farmers
As we plan for the 2023 season with an expanded Farm Share program across the 7 NOFA states, we aim to build racial equity into all aspects of the program. This workshop is an opportunity for farmers to talk with NOFA staff about integrating racial equity into their farm business. Whether customers are coming to the farm site or picking up shares at a dropoff location, each farm will have steps that they can take to make the experience welcoming and inclusive for all. This conversation will also provide tools for farmers to reach out to BIPOC communities in a way that is anti-racist and culturally sensitive.

September 12, 2022 Big Train Farm – On-Farm Workshop with owner John Kenney. N. Scituate, RI. John Kenney has been owner and manager of Big Train Farm since 2009. With over fifteen years of experience as an organic farmer as well as an academic background in biology and chemistry, John mentors beginning farmers and teaches a Soil, Plant and Farm Methodology course. John will share his expertise gained from transitioning years ago to a no-till approach that focuses on soil health and fertility.

August 23, 2022 Small Wonder Farm – On-Farm Workshop with owners Claire and Patrick Bowen. In this workshop, Claire and Patrick will be speaking about their journey to organic certification, as well as showcasing the process behind building their barn and farm stand.

NOFA Summer Conference August 5-7, 2022 Amherst, Mass

Composting, Worms & Gardening with Monique Bosch
June 28, 2022
5:00 – 6:00 PM
Virtual via Zoom | Wiggle Room, 325 Lafayette St, Bridgeport, CT 06604

Monique Bosch, the owner of Wiggle Room, will give a presentation on the benefits of vermicomposting. The presentation will also compare and contrast other compost practices, and how to know which style to choose. BONUS: Presentation will include under-the-microscope analysis of various forms of compost!

Wiggle Room is a vermicomposting business based in Connecticut.

The workshop was recorded, and you can watch it here.

Growing a Farm to Feed a Restaurant
October 1, 2021 from
4:00 – 6:00 PM
Matunuck Farm | 2236 Comd Oliver Hazard Perry Highway

Perry Ruso, the owner of Matunuck Oyster Bar, will give an introduction about why he started the Matunuck Vegetable Farm to supply his restaurant. Tim Cheng, the farm manager, will also share his expertise during the tour.

The tour will touch on a multitude of subjects ranging from micro green and sunflower shoot production, developing efficient wash-pack systems and summer and winter cover cropping.  Come learn about organic weed control techniques and specific tools used! Tim will also speak about certification, managing your system plan, and navigating the system without fear.

High Quality Compost Production and Tour of Earth Care Farm
September 11, 2021 from 1:00 – 3:00 PM
Earth Care Farm | 89A Country Drive, Charlestown, RI 02813

Living soil is the foundation of our well-being. Learn from Rhode Island’s oldest operating farm composters what it takes to make a high quality, OMRI listed, Merner’s Gold compost. Join farmer/composter Jayne as she demonstrates the system Earth Care has refined over the past 44 years.

Transitioning from Summer to Winter, Efficiencies, and Regenerative Agriculture
August 31, 2021 from 4:30 – 6:30 PM
Little River Farm | 125 William Reynolds Rd, Exeter, RI 02822

In this workshop, Bob will discuss transitioning from summer to winter in a no-till system. He will also touch upon farm efficiencies from high tunnels and putting up greenhouses to wash/pack setup and digital marketing strategy.

The farm’s goal with regenerative agriculture is to mimic nature and disturb the land as little as possible so biological activity can flourish and bring nutrients and flavor to the plants.

Recommendations for the Organic Orchardist and Backyard Grower
August 13, 2021 from 5:00 – 7:00 PM
Elmwood Orchard | 58 Snake Hill Rd, North Scituate, RI 02857

Al and Jean Fuoroli from Elwood Orchard have grown certified organic apples since 2012. Al will discuss and recommend apple varieties that will allow the grower to avoid some of the major apple diseases in southern New England. Also discussed will be how they manage weeds in a perennial planting and insect and disease control.

No-Till Cultivation and Soil Fertility
August 13, 2021 from 5:00 – 7:00 PM

Big Train Farm | 1012 Snake Hill Rd, North Scituate, RI 02857

John has been owner and manager of Big Train Farm since 2009. With over 15 years of experience as an organic farmer as well as an academic background in biology and chemistry, John mentors beginning farmers and teaches a Soil, Plant, and Farm Methodology course. John will share his experience gained from transitioning years ago to a no-till approach that focuses on soil health and fertility.

Farming for Flavor: A Tasting Night with Julia Sweet & Bill Braun at the Gilded Tomato
July 27, 2021 from 5:30 – 7:00 PM

The Gilded Tomato | 2 Peckham St, Rehoboth, MA

Bill Braun from the Freed Seed Federation will join us to discuss vegetable variety selection and the importance of growers selecting, saving, and breeding crops that are better adapted to their locations than what is available commercially. Bill has championed local MA/RI varieties like the Macomber turnip and local corn varieties like the Rhode Island White Cap Flint corn as well as, of course, some exquisite new tomato varieties just ready for taste testing!

A Midsummer Night’s Crop Walk at Brandon Family Farm
July 7, 2021 from 4:30 – 6:30 PM

592 Fairgrounds Road, West Kingston, RI 02892

Take a walk through the fields as we discuss production successes and issues with farmer Alby Brandon, and with Heather Faubert and Andy Radin of URI Cooperative Extension.

Topics include:

  • Pest and Disease Management: ID, Prevention using Cultural Practices and Variety Selection, and Organic Control Options
  • Weed Control
  • Soil Amendments and Fertilization
  • Watering Practices
  • Cover Cropping

Weed Management Without a Tractor
June 27, 2021 from 1:00 – 3:00 PM

Mike and Kelli Roberts of Roots Farm will discuss a holistic approach to managing weeds and demonstrate a variety of weed control tools and techniques for maximizing production without a tractor in a small plot. Innovative techniques include occultation, solarization, flame weeding, and stale seed beds.

Lunchtime Microscope Series with Monique Bosch
April 2021

Week 1 (April 7): Learn about the diversity of organisms that make up the ‘soil food web’. From the tiniest one-celled bacteria, algae, fungi, and protozoa, to the more complex nematodes and micro-arthropods.

Week 2 (April 14): Learn how to keep microbes in your soil ‘alive and well’. In return, these soil organisms will provide nutrients for the plants, build organic matter, aggregate soil particles together, and help plants resist ‘stress’.

Week 3 (April 21): Learn how to make healthy, living compost, compost tea, and extractions, then how to use a microscope to identify the microbes, and quality.

The Road to Organic Certification with Organic Inspector Al Johnson
Workshop Series, Feb-Mar 2021

Session 1 – February 24th, 2021

We will delve into a short history of organic farming and its history as an agricultural movement and how it came to be expressed in the process of certification, whose purpose and components will be explored. We will discuss the applicability of the Federal Regulations including what has to be certified, record keeping requirements and allowed and prohibited substances and methods.

Session 2 – March 3rd, 2021

We will cover production and record-keeping requirements and provide you with resources to develop an “Organic System Plan”, a written record of how you will manage your farm.  Key components include soil and crop management and protecting the organic integrity of your farm and products. We expect to be joined by several certified organic farmers who will tell their stories and answer your questions.

Session 3 – March 10th, 2021

Our discussion will continue by covering the management of greenhouses and buffers. We’ll delve into record-keeping options and the certification process including farm management during the transition process. A guest from a regional certification agency will join our discussion and answer questions.

Soil Health and Fertility, On-Farm Workshop
Tuesday, September 17, 2019
Earth Care Farm, Charlestown, RI 02813

Healthy food starts with healthy soil.  Farm owner, Jayne Merner Senecal will discuss the importance of soil health, as well as share what healthy soil should consist of and how to maintain its health. A ten minute documentary will be shown to share information about the farm and then soil samples will be studied under the microscope. If desired, class members are are able to bring in a small soil sample from their field so we can check it out under the scope too.

Growing to End Food InsecuritiesOn-Farm Workshop
Thursday, August 8, 2019. 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM EDT
Franklin Farm, Cumberland, RI 02864

Franklin Farms has a lot to share: starting with growing and donating over 300,000 pounds of harvest in the last ten years!  Both beginning and experienced grower can benefit from seeing first-hand farm the successful strategies used from planting to irrigation to production yields and harvest.

Reducing Food WasteOn-Farm Workshop
Sat, August 3, 2019. 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM EDT
Big Train Farm, Glocester, RI 02857

This workshop will provide details on how growers can take advantage of Hope’s Harvest services, including what we manage and provide (insurance, equipment, volunteer supervision) and an overview of how farmers can receive stipends for participation.

Raising AlpacasOn-Farm Workshop
Sat, July 27, 2019.  2:00 PM – 4:00 PM EDT
Hope Alpaca Farm, Little Compton, RI 02837

Learn how to care for domesticated ruminants that originally descended from the Andes Mountains in South America. Join farm owners, Bill and Hope, discuss how to care for Huacaya Alpacas through diet, enrichment and health care. Farm owners will also talk about the different roles of alpacas on the farm and why they are great animals to invest in due to their guarding ability, kind temperament and incredible fiber.

Growing and Harvesting Garlic On-Farm Workshop Sat, July 25, 2019.  2:00 PM – 4:00 PM EDT Earth Care Farm, Charlestown, RI

Learn the tips, tricks and steps for successful planting and harvesting garlic, including curing, weed maintenance and how to manage soil fertility and nutrients in the soil. Event was rescheduled from July 20.

Pasture Management, On-Farm Workshop Sun, July 14, 2019 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM Watson Farm, Jamestown, RI 02835

Farm owners, Don and Heather Minto will share strategies about pasture management and livestock grazing. This discussion and tour will feature forage management practices that have evolved and been implemented on Watson Farm’s extensive grasslands.

Livestock Used to Clear Land Wed, June 19, 2019 Wild Harmony Farm, Exeter RI 02822

Organic Strawberry Production On-Farm Workshop
Sun, June 9, 2019
.  Brandon Family Farm,  South Kingstown, RI 02892

Learn techniques for organic strawberry production at Brandon Family Farm. Strawberries are proven to be both a profitable and beneficial crop on small acreage Rhode Island farms because they fit well into vegetable rotations, especially when planted using plastic-culture and can allow for intensive rotations. Host farmers will discuss commercial organic production including planting strategies, fertility, pest management, day neutrals (full season strawberries) and rotation.

Sheep Management, Sun, May 19, 2019 Butterfly Farm 679 Great Road, Lincoln, RI 02865

In this workshop, attendees learned how to care for sheep at all stages of life, whether they are lambs or full-grown ewes or rams. The farmers discussed choosing which breed(s) to raise, how to care for your herd with vaccinations and health care practices to prevent illnesses as well as how to breed them to increase the herd size and presence of certain genetic features.

Meat Processing, Meatworks Facility Tour
Sun, May 5, 2019, Meatworks Facility, Westport, MA
This workshop featured a unique and educational tour of Meatworks, a USDA-inspected meat processing facility in Westport, MA. This is a state of the art facility designed to the highest animal welfare and humane handling standards, food safety standards, and full traceability. This tour was targeted to established and beginning livestock farmers, small scale farmers and consumers interested in learning more about animal handling and meat processing.

Growing in Catepillar Tunnels, On-Farm Workshop
Thur, April 11, 2019
Little River Farm, Exeter, RI 02822

Join us as we learn all about growing in caterpillar tunnels from farm owners, Bob Payne and Camille Abdel-Nabi. Caterpillar tunnels are easy to build structures that provide great protection from rain, wind, hail and snow, allowing for individuals to grow for more months of the year.

Diversified Livestock Farming & MarketingOn-Farm Workshop
Sun, April 7, 2019
Windmist Farm, Jamestown, RI 02835

Martha Neale, Windmist Farm owner and winner of the 2019 Edible Rhody Local Hero Award for Farmer/ Farm, will discuss the importance of diversified livestock farming, or the production of a variety of livestock products.

All About VermicultureOn-Farm Workshop
Sun, March 24, 2019
The Worm Ladies of Charlestown, North Kingstown, RI 02852

Join us as we learn all about the red wiggler worms of Charlestown. Vermiculture is the process of using worms to decompose organic food waste which is then converted into a nutrient-rich material. This method is simple, effective, convenient, and noiseless. It saves water, energy, landfills, and helps rebuild the soil.

Feeding People Year-Round: Winter Growing, Storage Crops & Grain Production.  Advanced Grower’s Seminar.

Saturday, Feb 9, 2019.  1:00-4:00
Hope & Main, 691 Main St. Warren, RI

Interested in extending the season with winter growing on your farm or garden?

Chuck Currie will be sharing different strategies on Winter growing and eating from the farm year-round, from planning, to tools, to preserving.

Farming Organic Panel Discussion – For Advanced Growers
Sunday October 21, 2018.  
South Kingstown Land Trust Barn
South Kingstown, RI

This panel discussion features 4 farmers with over 45 years of combined experience in organic and sustainable farming talking about their insights into the challenges and successes building an organic farm business. Is it a sign of the times that they are all women?

Join Kelli Roberts of Roots Farm, Diana Kushner of Arcadian Fields, Camille Abdel-Nabi of Little River Farm and Sarah Turkus of Sidewalk Ends Farm and the Young Farmer Network as they share their approaches to organic farming with ample time for questions and discussion from the audience.

Organic Strawberry Production On-Farm Workshop
Sun, September 23, 2018.  
Brandon Family Farm,  South Kingstown, RI 02892

Join us as we learn techniques for organic strawberry production at Brandon Family Farm. Over 1.5 acres have been planted with strawberry plants for the 2019 season to prepare for next season. Strawberries are proven to be both a profitable and beneficial crop on small acreage Rhode Island farms because they fit well into vegetable rotations, especially when planted using plastic-culture and can allow for intensive rotations. At this two hour workshop, farmers will discuss commercial organic production including planting strategies, fertility, pest management, day neutrals (full season strawberries) and rotation.

Farming No-till on Leased Land: On-Farm Workshop & Potluck
Wednesday, August 22.  6 – 8 PM
Moonrose Farm. 91 Valley View Dr. Cranston, RI 02921

This workshop discussed 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.
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.

Developing Raised Field Beds: On-Farm Workshop
Sunday, August 19.  10 – 12 PM
Hocus Pocus Farm. 87 Reservoir Road. Glocester, RI 02814

At Hocus Pocus Farm, raised field beds were developed for preventing water runoff and disease transmission. Learn how to develop a raised bed by adding amendments, nutrients and compost and learn how to turn over the beds once a crop is ready to be harvested for the season. Soil health and fertility will also be discussed.

Hocus Pocus is a small, chemical free farm in Chepachet, located on the property of the Listening Tree Cooperative, an organization and host that acts as a cooperative homestead and shares facilities with three farms. Hocus Pocus runs a local farm CSA and also sells their crops, seedlings and flowers directly to nearby restaurants and retail establishments.

Organic Fruit Tree Production: On-Farm Workshop
Sunday, August 5.  Noon – 2 PM
Elwood Orchard, 58 Snake Hill Road.  North Scituate, RI 02857

Interested in starting a home or commercial orchard? Join us as Al and Jean Fuoroli, the owners of Elwood Orchard dive deep into the process of owning and operating an organic orchard. Covered topics will include how to get started, potential challenges that you may face in your orchard as well as the benefits of choosing disease resistant tree varieties. Hope to see you there!

Elwood Orchard is Rhode Island’s only USDA certified organic apple orchard run by Jean and Al Fuoroli. The orchard is home to over 1,000 fruit trees, including apples, peaches, nectarines and Asian pears. The orchard also grows gourmet garlic, pumpkins, winter squash and flowers during the season.

Berry Production On-Farm Workshop
Sunday, July 29.  10 am – 12 noon
Sweet Berry Farm
915 Mitchell’s Lane, Middletown RI 02842.

This workshop gives an overview of berry growing, including blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries and shares tips on selecting fruit varieties that have good flavor and grow well locally. Host farmers Jan and Michelle Eckhart will touch on netting systems, pruning and common diseases. Sweet Berry Farms practices IPM (Integrated Pest Management) and sustainable agriculture techniques. Learn about some of the natural and biological methods used to minimize insects and disease, allowing low or no spray. Jan will share how understanding the behavior of pests and can impact IPM methods.

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.

GarlicGrowing and Harvesting Garlic: On-Farm Workshop
Saturday, July 21, 2018 11:30 am -1:30 pm
Earth Care Farm
89A Country Drive, Charlestown, RI 02813

Learn all about growing and harvesting garlic at Earth Care Farm in Charlestown from the planting and harvesting procedures of garlic, including curing, weed maintenance and how to manage soil fertility and nutrients in the soil.

Bovine Production: On-Farm Workshop
Sunday, July 15, 2018 12-2 PM
Stoney Hill Cattle Farm
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.

Sustainable Flower Production: On-Farm Workshop
Monday, July 9. 5:30- 7:30 PM
Location: Robin Hollow Farm.  North Kingstown, RI 02874

At this on-farm workshop, farm owners, Mike and Polly Hutchison will give an extensive tour of the extravagant flower farm. The tour will include a look inside the greenhouses, flower coolers as well as a walking tour through the colorful farm fields. Hope to see you all there!

Running a Profitable Poultry Operation: On-Farm Workshop
Thursday, June 21 2018. 6 – 8 PM
Location: Pat’s Pastured.  830 South Road, East Greenwich, RI 02818

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.

Pasture Management and Grazing:
On-Farm Workshop
Sunday, June 10, 2018
Location: Watson Farm, 455 North Road, Jamestown RI 02835

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.

Compact Farming: On-Farm Workshop & Potluck:
Sunday, June 3.  3 -5 PM
Location: Roots Farm, 217 East Road, Tiverton, RI 02878

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.
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.

Tour Matunuck Vegetable Farm: On-Farm Workshop
Wednesday, May 16.  5  – 6:30 PM
Location: Matunuck Farm, South Kingstown

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”.

Growing Ground Cherries: On-Farm Workshop
Sunday, May 6.
Location: Little River Farm 125 William Reynolds Rd, Exeter, RI 02822

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.

Diversified Livestock Farming: On-Farm Workshop
CRAFT On-farm. April 15.  2018
Location: Windmist Farm, 71 Weeden Lane, Jamestown, RI 02835
The importance of diversified farming (the production of a variety of crops and livestock products to ensure farm stability) will be discussed.  Windmist Farm, located in Jamestown, grows variety of products, including: flowers, beef cattle, sheep, poultry and pigs. The farm believes in providing the community with a healthy and safe source of food. All meat purchased from the farm is naturally raised on grass.

Winter Growing in Unheated High and Low Tunnels
Craft On-Farm Workshop Location: Roots Farm, Tiverton, RI
Sunday, December 10 2017

Roots Farm is a certified organic, diversified vegetable farm in Tiverton, RI that focuses on year-round growing using an intensive growing style that aims to maximize efficiency on a small plot of land.  Roots farm is committed to organic farming, while also striving to produce the most nutrient-dense and best tasting vegetables possible.  In the Winter Growing workshop, Mike and Kelli Roberts will show the winter crops in their low tunnels and moveable high tunnels and discuss crop selection, rotation, planting schedules, and tunnel logistics.

A Grower’s Seminar with Roger Swain & Lee Reich
Advanced Growers Seminar
December 3, 2017.  Warren, RI

Lee Reich will discuss growing methods and marketing potential for fruit varieties not well known but rich in flavor and good for organic and pesticide-free growing, as well as present best practices for no-till techniques.  Roger Swain, always informative and entertaining, will impart practical advice for backyard and small farms in the larger context of how gardening sustains us, personally and collectively.

Lee Reich, is an avid farmdener (more than a gardener, less than a farmer), and spent years working in plant and soil research with the USDA and Cornell University.   His books include A Northeast Gardener’s YearThe Pruning BookWeedless GardeningUncommon Fruits for Every GardenLandscaping With Fruit, and Grow Fruit Naturally.

Roger Swain, who holds a doctorate from Harvard University, is known to millions from his years of hosting the popular PBS show “The Victory Garden,” and is easily recognized by his trademark red suspenders. He is the author of five books: Earthly PleasuresField DaysThe Practical GardenerSaving Graces, and Groundwork.

Growing Medicinal Herbs for Value Added Product
Craft On-Farm Workshop Location: Farmacy Herbs,
August 3, 2017
lavenderJoin Mary Blue and Glen Cory of Farmacy Herbs on their medicinal herb farm for a presentation about developing high quality value added herbal products. From harvest methods to drying to packaging and distribution, this presentation will cover the in’s and out’s of a small scale value added herbal company.  Farmacy Herbs cultivates and wildcrafts herbs on local farms and on their 5 acre farm in Southern Rhode Island.

Earth Care Farm Compost Tour: Soil Fertility and Garlic Harvesting/Curing
Craft On-Farm Workshop: Earth Care Farm , Charlestown
July 20, 2017
GarlicThis on-farm workshop will focus on soil fertility and garlic harvesting and curing at Earth Care Farm. We’ll see the farm itself and learn about Earth Care’s 17 years of garlic seed saving, as well as their composting operation.

Watson Farm Grasslands Management Forage Production for Grass Based
Livestock On-Farm Watson Farm, Jamestown
July 10, 2017
This twilight Pasture Walk at Historic New England’s Watson Farm in Jamestown will be led by Don Minto and Chris Dvorak, Farm Managers, who have been managing Red Devon Cattle and sheep on these Historic grasslands for well over 35 years.
This discussion and tour will feature forage management practices that have evolved and been implemented on Watson Farm’s extensive grasslands.

High Tunnel Tomato Production
Craft On-Farm Workshop Host: Brandon Family Farm, West Kingstown, RI
Wednesday, June 7, 2017
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.

Evolving Greens Wash Station at Wishing Stone Farm
Craft On Farm Workshop Location: Wishing Stone Farm,
June 19, 2017

With FSMA (Food Safety Modernization Act) and CAPS (community Accreditation for Produce Safety) compliance at our door step, we will analyze our wash room’s pros and cons and discuss food safety issues.

Wishing Stone Farm’s growing methods are committed to sustainable agriculture and the protection of open space, while providing food for local communities.

Power in Your Numbers: Tools for a Profitable Livestock Business
Blackbird Farm, 660 Douglas Pike, Smithfield, RI
June 4, 2017

Rick Hermonot, Farm Credit East Vice President and owner of the Ekonk Hill Turkey Farm, will lead this practical workshop on how to build a profitable livestock farm business. At this CRAFT On-Farm workshop learn some basic tools to organize and simplify your records that help you make sound strategic decisions. The “toolbox” includes: Five Keys to Focus; Five Keys to Profit; Five-Line Income Statement; Five-Year Averages; and “DIRTI Five.”

Growing Sustainable Sod: Soil Fertility through Cover Cropping and Plant Diversity.
Craft On-Farm Workshop Host Location: SODCO 264 Exeter Rd. Slocum, RI
May 17, 2017

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 was co-sponsored by the Rhode Island Nursery and Landscape Association and NOFA/RI via a USDA grant from the RI DEM.  

seedlings in soil blocks

seedlings in soil blocks

On-Farm Craft Workshop: Propagation and Starting the Season in a Heated Greenhouse
April 29, 2017.  Casey Farm 2325 Boston Neck Road, North Kingstown, RI 02874

You’re invited into the greenhouses to see how the growing season at Casey Farms begins.  Learn about planning strategies for the growing season including greenhouse seeding schedule, hardening off, and transplanting dates.

CRAFT On-Farm Workshop:  Season Extension With Caterpillar Tunnels. April 22, 2017
Little River Farm, 125 William Reynolds Rd, Exeter, RI 02822.

This CRAFT on-farm workshop will focus on extending the vegetable growing season with caterpillar tunnels. There will be three segments: first a brief discussion of how Bob makes / uses caterpillar tunnels, and then a lengthy practical segment during which we move a tunnel(s), and finally a lunch potluck to discuss and socialize. We’ll be participating in the spring brassica planting.

Little River Farm is a 3- acre Certified Organic vegetable farm located in Exeter, RI, founded in 2013 and owned and managed by Bob Payne and Camille Abdel-Nabi.

Livestock Workshop: What to Look For When Buying Livestock
April 9, 2017
Location: Wild Harmony Farm, 366 Victory Hwy, Exeter, RI.

Hosted by Ben Coerper & Rachael Slattery of Wild Harmony Farm, this workshop will cover important aspects of an animal’s physical characteristics, management practices, breed selections & relative value while 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.  Registration not required, but encouraged.

Apple Orchard Planting & Care
December 11, 2016 10:00 a.m.
Long Lane Orchard
76 Long Lane, Warren, RI 02885

NOFA/RI at Apple Workshop, Dec 2016

Experienced orchardist, Spencer Morris, will discuss his strategy for planting apple trees at this site – every site is different. Hear how fruit trees are grafted and Spencer’s approach to nursery production. Learn to dig a hole, plant (do not throw the rocks back in!), support, rodent-proof and otherwise provide for the starts. Spencer will discuss his management practices (or lack of) for pruning and fruit production. Participants will hear about organic and traditional approaches and Spencer’s lessons in variety selection.

Participants will plant apple trees. Spencer has planted trees during snow storms, so this workshopcould be even more fun than expected!

Spencer Morris has managed apple orchards for over 10 years. Long Lane Orchard has 450 dwarf and semi-dwarf apple trees per acre. More than 35 apple varieties provide fresh eating, culinary uses and cider.

Mary Blue at Farmacy Herbs

Mary Blue at Farmacy Herbs

Growing and Harvesting Medicinal Roots
Sunday, Oct.16, 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.
Farmacy Herbs,
959 Hopkins Hill Road
West Greenwich, RI

At this free CRAFT Workshop, Mary Blue of Farmacy Herbs discussed cultivation, harvest and curing techniques for medicinal roots. Attendees learned hoe to prepare herb beds for winter’s rest and make nutrient-rich compost.

Organic No-Till and Intensive Vegetable Production: Tools and Techniques
with Bryan O’Hara of Tobacco Road Farm
December 4, 2016 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
South Kingstown Land Trust Barn
17 Matunuck Beach Road, South Kingstown, RI 02879

Part of the Advanced Growers Series, learn techniques for intensively growing vegetables using organic no-till practices on a commercial scale from Bryan O’Hara, owner and farmer at Tobacco Road Farm in Lebanon, CT. During this day-long workshop Bryan will provide mountains of details in the concise, practical and cohesive manner we have come to appreciate from him over the years. He will take participants through his whole production system which has been profitable and sustainable for over 20 years.

Bryan and Anita Johnson have been growing vegetables on 1+ acres in Lebanon, CT for over 20 years. Bryan successfully converted his potato production to no-till methods several years ago. Bryan was named Organic Farmer of the Year at the 2016 NOFA Summer Conference.

Tractor Safety for Women

Tractor Safety for Women

Tractor Safety for Women
July 31, 2016
Breene Hollow Farm
West Greenwich, RI
Co-sponsored by NOFA/RI and the RI Farm Bureau

Greg Breene, agricultural teacher, Future Farmers of America (FFA) Advisor and Breene Acres Farm discussed safe operation and basic maintenance requirements of gas or diesel-powered farm tractors and implements. Training included tractor parts and tools identification such as a torque wrench, open-end wrench, flywheel, piston and starter. Participants learned safe procedures to attach and use common tractor implements including a seeder, harrow, tine weeder or manure spreader.

This workshop was designed specifically for women. Attendees had the opportunity to drive a tractor.

Building Soil Fertility on 2 acres with Reduced Tillage, Cover Crops and Mulches
June 29, 2016
Scratch Farm and Small State Seeds, Cranston, RI
Co-Hosted by Young Farmer Nights

Ben Torpey of Scratch Farm discussed strategies for building organic matter and reducing weed pressure through undersowing cover crops, mulching with leaves and reducing primary tillage. He also touched on Scratch’s crop rotation and integrating small-scale seed production into a highly diversified vegetable farm.

Young Farmer Nights potluck supper followed the workshop.

Scratch Farm is a two-acre farm near Providence, RI. One of seven independent farms on a 35-acre state-owned property managed with the Southside Community Land Trust, Scratch Farm grows a wide variety of sustainably-grown vegetables and fruits each year. Produce is available through CSA shares and to Providence restaurants through Little City Growers.

Little State Flower displayLittle State Flowers Means Business in the Ocean StateLittle State Flowers
June 13, 2016
Little State Flower Company, West Kingston RI
Co-Hosted by Young Farmer Nights
Anna Jane Kocon discussed her experience starting a farm business in Rhode Island. Attendees heard about her search for land and arranging a lease. Anna explained how she markets her flowers Saturdays at the Aquidneck Growers Market in Middletown, how she retains her existing customer base and finds new customers.

Young Farmer Nights potluck supper followed the workshop.

Based in Portsmouth, RI, Little State Flower Company specializes in seasonal, local cut flowers and plants. Anna Jane uses sustainable and organic growing practices to offer premium, specialty cut flowers to the floral design and event industry in Rhode Island and South Eastern Massachusetts as well as local retail consumers. Anna Jane started Little State Flower Company in 2014 with eight years experience growing flowers for other farmers. Anna Jane lives with her husband Bradley, two dogs, one cat and six chickens in West Kingston, RI

RI Governor Gina Raimondo at 2016 RI Ag Day

RI Governor Gina Raimondo

Rhode Island Agricultural Day
May 10, 2016
Rhode Island State House, Providence, RI

Rhode Island farms and farmers were celebrated at Rhode Island’s Agricultural Day. Visitors sampled great food and local products and meet the hard working farmers, producers and other advisors behind Rhode Island’s food system and green industry.

NOFA/RI Exhibit at 2016 RI Ag Day

NOFA/RI Exhibit

RI Governor Gina Raimondo and First Gentleman Andy Moffit, DEM and partners commended state farmers and growers at the 15th Annual Ag Day at the State House. The recipients of the 2016 Local Agriculture & Seafood Act (LASA) grant awards were announced.

Attendees met representatives from the organizations and agencies that support agriculture and food production across our state.

Irrigation and Water Systems
May 8, 2016
Wishing Stone Farm, Little Compton, RI

Trevor Hardy of Brookdale Fruit Farm in Hollis, NH demonstrated setting up a small farm irrigation system using a variety of irrigation components. He discussed systems using commercial wells, surface water and movable pumps. Trevor demonstrated drip and overhead irrigation as well as a hybrid overhead options connected to drip line headers. He taught attendees “how to do the math” for their own farms.

This free CRAFT Workshop was co-sponsored by the Young Farmer Network (YFN) of Southeastern New England’s Farmer Short Course series. See the 2016 YFN event schedule at

Chuck Currie of Freedom Food Farm

Chuck Currie

Tractor Basics with Chuck Currie of Freedom Food Farm
March 20, 2016
Casey Farm
Saunderstown, RI

Chuck Currie, organic grower at Freedom Food Farm and retired NOFA/RI board member described the basics of tractor use, safety considerations, simple maintenance and standard farm operation. He demonstrate safely switching implements. Lindie Markovich, farm manager at Casey Farm demonstrated appropriate techniques for efficient farm tractor use.

Chuck ran Freedom Food Farm in Johnston from 2012 – 2014 then moved to Raynam, MA. The farm offers healthy, nutritious food to members of the community throughout the socioeconomic spectrum. The farm uses organic and biodynamic principles, striving to model natural ecological cycles. Donating produce and offering a sliding scale for CSA shares ensure the whole community access to this nutritious food. Freedom Food Farm also sells at five Farmers Markets and through Farm Fresh Rhode Island’s Market Mobile. The farm produces a wide range of products including vegetables, herbs, flowers, grains, hay, straw, eggs, chicken, pork, bedding plants and value added vegetable products.

Casey Farm raises certified organic vegetables, herbs and flowers for a 175 member Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. On Saturdays from May through October, Casey Farm hosts the Coastal Growers Farmers Market with local meats, seafood, fruit, vegetables, flowers and artisan products.

Casey Farm was established in 1702. This 300-acres property is managed by Historic New England whose mission is to serve the public by preserving and presenting New England heritage.

“This workshop was co-hosted with the Young Farmer Network as part of their Southeastern New England’s Farmer Short Course series. See the 2016 YFN event schedule here.  YFN’s Farmer Short Course series was funded by a partnership with the New England Farmers Union Education Foundation through a Rural Business Development Grant. This organization is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Harry with his vegetable and herb plants by the Blue Begonia Bus
Turn Seeds into Profits
March 8, 2016
Chase Farms
Portsmouth, RI

Participants saw one of the first mechanical seeders in commercial production – still going strong. NOFA/RI Board President, Jan Martin worked the repotting line. participants saw creative solutions to tedious chores like moving hundreds of trays and flats with a plant “trolley” and repurposed golf ball racks. The Chases maximize space efficiency with rolling benches and stack trays for delivery in their Blue Begonia Bus – a repurposed soda delivery truck.

Harry Chase demonstrated that with good seed treated right, growers can produce strong, healthy plants. Participants heard successful propagation techniques from growers Harry and Sam Chase at Chase Farms. This behind-the-scenes tour of a successful wholesale annual and perennial nursery  grows in 25 greenhouses and high tunnels making it the “largest grower in the smallest state.” The Chases and their customers practice environmentally conscious cultivation.

Tractor Safety Training at Casey Farm

Tractor Safety Training at Casey Farm

Tractor Safety
Feb. 29, 2016
Casey Farms
Saunderstown, RI

Participants learned safe procedures to attach and use common tractor implements including a seeder, harrow, tine weeder or manure spreader.

Will Bonsall at 2016 Winter Conference

Will Bonsall at 2016 Winter Conference

Winter Conference: Healthy Soils, Healthy Plants, Healthy People
Feb. 28, 2016
Hope & Main
Warren, RI

Workshop topics included Intensive Growing, Soil Health and Carbon Farming, Composting, Cover Crops, Seed Saving, Nutrient Dense Growing, Community Gardens, GMO Labeling, Macrobiotics and more. This Winter Conference offered sessions for gardeners, farmers and fans of organic foods. Learn more about the conference here.

Thank you to our generous sponsors: Hope & Main, Farm Credit East and the RI DEM, Division of Agriculture via a USDA Specialty Crop Grant.

Glorious greens and edible flowers from Indie Growers

Glorious greens and edible flowers from Indie Growers

Root to Shoot Farming and Creating the Chef’s Garden
Indie Growers at Mount Hope Farm, Bristol, RI January 30, 2016

To squish or not to squish…that is the question! Lee Ann Freitas of Indie Growers shared over ten years experience with greenhouse growing, opening her greenhouse and sharing tips on insect and pest identification. Lee Ann shared her unique and holistic approach to growing she calls “Root to Shoot.” She discussed small space gardening and essential herbs for creating your own unique and flavorful garden. This workshop offered 1 NOFA AOLCP reaccreditation hours

Indie Growers is located in the greenhouse behind the Mount Hope Farmers Market in Bristol, RI. Indie Growers is a purveyor of unique greens, vegetables, herbs and edible blossoms. Find Indie Growers products at James Beard Award winning restaurants and fine food establishments in Boston and Providence. All Indie Growers products are grown sustainably, independent of chemicals.

Jean-Martin Fortier Six-Figure Farming for Small Plots: Essential Tools & Techniques for the Small Scale Organic Vegetable Growers
Jean-Martin Fortier, farmer and author of The Market Gardener
November 21, 2015
Hope & Main, Warren, RI

Jean-Martin Fortier is one of Canada’s most recognized and influential organic growers. He is the author of The Market Gardener: A successful grower’s handbook for small-scale organic farming shared the techniques, tools and appropriate technology that makes his 1.5 acre market garden productive and profitable.

Jean-Martin’s workshop offered in-depth instructions on intensive production methods to optimize a cropping system.

The Market GardenerJean-Martin Fortier is the founder of Les Jardins de la Grelinette, an internationally recognized micro-farm known for its high productivity and profitability using low-tech, high-yield methods of production. A leading practitioner of biologically intensive cropping systems, Jean-Martin has facilitated more than fifty workshops and conferences in Europe, Canada and the US promoting the micro-scale farming as an alternative lifestyle.
The Market Gardener - 1.5 acres of perennial crops

Thank you to the many generous individuals, growers and producers who donated food for our delicious local lunch.

  • Barden Family Farm
  • Bellucchi’s Best Biscotti
  • Ellie’s
  • Fox Point Pickles
  • Freedom Food Farm
  • Good From Grown
  • Groovy Food Folks
  • Hope & Main
  • Just Yummy popcorn snack (and it’s yummy, yummy)
  • Leah’s Recipe
  • Jan & John Martin
  • RI Department of Environmental Management’s Division of Agriculture via a USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Grant.
  • Sacred Cow Granola
  • Scratch Farm
  • We Share Hope
  • Laura Willson
  • Wishing Stone Farm

Thank you to the Providence Career and Technical Academy (PC&TA) for donating our seminar printing and the RI Natural History Survey for sharing their reusable flatware.

RIWPS 2015 Wild Plant Symposium
RIWPS 2015 Wild Plant Symposium
Sept, 19, 2015
Brown University, Providence, RI

NOFA/RI co-promoted the Rhode Island Wild Plant Society’s (RIWPS’s) 2015 Wild Plant Symposium: Growing Awareness: planting biodiverse + resilient landscapes. Nursery and landscape industry professionals, landscape architects, ecologists, land managers and plant enthusiasts attended the full-day conference:

Native plants provide the landscape with a sense of place. Over thousands of years these plants have adapted to the local conditions – in sync with the needs of local wildlife with which they have co-evolved.

Participants learned about:

  • The importance of collecting, saving and propagating genetically diverse local seed to create biodiverse and resilient landscapes.
  • Using native plant communities as a model for ecological horticulture using design examples from the late 19th century and today’s practitioners.
  • Techniques to help landscapes expand and thrive using existing plant material.
  • Regional panelists shared rewards and responses to the challenges, of propagating locally native plants for conservation and design.

2015 Summer Conference Logo

Farm Manager, Lindie Markovich led a CRAFT workshop at Casey Farm.

Farm Manager, Lindie Markovich led a CRAFT workshop at Casey Farm.

Managing Organic Farms for Drought and Weeds
Casey Farm
Saunderstown, RI
July 29, 2015
Free CRAFT Workshop and Young Farmer Nights (YFN) Gathering & Potluck Supper

Farm Manager Lindie Markovich described Casey Farm’s updated irrigation system and how it helps protect the farm against the growing threat of seasonal droughts. The farm crew shared the new cultivation techniques they are testing this season

This event was co-hosted by the Young Farmer Network (YFN). Young Farmer Network of Southeastern New England (YFN) aims to support farmers developing socially, ecologically and economically sustainable farm businesses by cultivating personal and professional relationships across state borders between people of all ages and backgrounds.

YFN has hosted Young Farmer Nights (YFN) on alternate weeks during each growing season since 2010. YFNs are open to people of all ages, experiences, backgrounds, and farm types. YFN are inspired by the agrarian tradition of neighborly collaboration, knowledge sharing, socializing, and community building. See the 2015 YFN event schedule at

Making goat cheese at Simmons Farm

Making goat cheese at Simmons Farm

Artisan Cheesemaking on Aquidneck Island 
July 12, 2015
Simmons Farm
Middletown, RI

Karla offered a walking tour of the farm. Participants learned to make and hang chèvre (goat cheese). Participants learned to flavor chèvre and sampled their cheese with crackers. Afterwards Karla will broughtparticipants to the barn to see her milk the animals. Participants brought home the cheese they made. This workshop was perfect for home-cheese makers, avid cooks, cheese lovers and food enthusiasts!

Simmons Farm is a 120-acre certified organic, family farm in Middletown, RI. The Simmons family uses biodynamic techniques to grow traditional and heirloom produce for a farm stand, Community Supported Agriculture Program (CSA), numerous RI farmer’s markets and wholesale accounts. The farm welcomes visitors at the farm stand and petting zoo. Simmons Farm offers pasture-raised eggs, grass-fed beef, pastured pork and seasonal offerings of lamb and goat meat. Karla and her family make fresh Farmstead Cheeses daily in their RIDOH-licensed certified dairy using their own goat and cow milk.

035Karla Simmons is a RI native, and a longtime lover of cheeses. She studied classes with Peter Dickson in Vermont and learned a lot about cheesemaking on our own. In 2000, Karla and her husband Brian Simmons took over running Simmons Farm. Karla now manages the farm’s cheese production, inventory, marketing and sales.

John Kenny at Big Train Farm

John Kenny at Big Train Farm

Raise better vegetables with chickens in crop rotations
June 30, 2015
Big Train Farm
Cranston, RI
Free CRAFT Workshop

John Kenny explained how rotating over 100 chickens around his 2-acre certified organic farm has improved produce yields at Big Train Farm. Beginning and experienced growers learned how to improve soil biology, fertility and specialty crop yields by including a chicken tractor in their crop rotation plans.

John Kenny of Big Train Farm

John Kenny of Big Train Farm

This 2-acre farm is one of seven small farms at Urban Edge Farm, owned by Southside Community Land Trust. Established in 2008, Big Train Farm sells produce and eggs through a 25-week mix-and-match CSA and wholesale accounts. CSA customers may also purchase weekly shares of fruits, flowers, meats and breads from other growers, producers and restaurants.

John is a NOFA/RI Organic Farm Advisor specializing in tractor operations, soil test interpretation and field planning. Each year John offers a 3-part workshop on Soil Health and Plant Science for farmers and gardeners. His courses include basic soil science, crop science and soil maintenance principles focused on organic growing techniques. He also hosts workshops on agriculture, natural science and field botany.

Bob and Camille at Little River Farm

Bob and Camille at Little River Farm

Start your growing season strong
May 18, 2015
Little River Farm
Exeter, RI
Free CRAFT and Young Farmer Network (YFN) Workshop

Season extension means much more than a long fall season. Visitors learned to develop a crop plan for abundant produce offerings for June CSAs and farmers markets. At Little River Farm, Camille Abdel-Nabi and Bob Payne use high and low tunnels to start spring and summer crops early, giving them a distinct advantage at farmers markets.

2015 Winter Conference

2015 Winter Conference flierHealthy Soils, Healthy Plants, Healthy Ecosystems
March 29, 2015
Hope & Main, Warren, RI

RI Mushroom Company

RI Mushroom Company

Cultivating Exotic Mushrooms
February 10, 2015
RI Mushroom Company
141 Fairgrounds Rd, West Kingston, RI

Participants saw how gourmet mushrooms are grown commercially. Rob DiPietro of RI Mushrooms shared his experience and offered a tour of his commercial mushroom operation.

CRAFT Workshop at RI Mushroom Company

RI Mushroom Company

Participants visited the cool and humid mushroom “grow rooms” and learned about mushroom cultivation and the life cycle of fungi.

The RI Mushroom Company is the largest grower of exotic mushrooms north of Pencylvania. Rob and his team grow several varieties including blue oyster, crimini, golden oyster, king oyster, maitake, portobello and pioppino.

RI Mushroom Company

So many mushrooms…

Read a story in the Warwick Beacon on the RI Mushroom Company and our workshop here.

Growing Your Farm Business 1-2015

Over 40 new and aspiring farmers attend this workshop at URI’s Providence Campus on January, 14, 2015.

Kelli & Mike Roberts at Roots Farm

Kelli & Mike Roberts

Growing for Winter Markets
Roots Farm
Tiverton, RI
January 11, 2015

Attendees saw organic winter growing techniques adapted from Eliot Coleman’s methods for RI winters. Beginning and experienced growers learned when to plant seeds and transplants and tricks for maintaining ideal microclimates in unheated greenhouses. Mike and Kelli Roberts recommended their favorite winter varieties of winter greens, radishes, turnips, bok choi, carrots, and herbs. Hear how the Roberts enhance soil fertility with organic amendments, compost, and crop rotation in their greenhouses and outdoor beds.

Beginning and experienced growers learned about the Roberts’ marketing approach including winter and summer CSAs and farmers markets.

Rally to DC - Dec 10, 2014Rally for Right to Know
Washington, DC
December 10, 2014

A bus brought local participants to Washington D.C. for a Rally to stop the attack on GMO Labeling. Participants rallied to protest HR 4432, a bill aimed at killing states’ rights to label GMOs. An organic lunch was provided in Washington D.C. after the Rally.

Richard Wiswall

Richard Wiswall

Business Planning – Farming Smarter, Not Harder
December 6, 2014
URI, Providence, RI

Richard Wiswall helped new and beginning farmers tune-up their business and increase net profits. In this workshop, farmers learned to identify their farm’s profit centers—which parts of the farm make the most money, and which may be losing money. Wiswall spoke about efficient farm planning and analysis, efficient farm office management, key financial statements, employee management and financial tips for success. The workshop addressed:

  • Planning for Profit: a step by step guide to increase your net profit
  • Making a Profit on YOUR farm: what is making money and what isn’t
  • Your marketing strategies
  • The Efficient Farm Office: humorous skits and demos outline best practices
  • Key farm financial statements: what they are, why they are important, and how they relate to each
  • Employee management
  • Quick business fixes

This workshop was co-sponsored by Young Farmer Network, The Carrot Project and URI Extension.

Dr. Richard Bonanno
Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Impacts RI’s Farms
December 2, 2014
Brown University, Providence, RI

Dr. Richard Bonanno, experienced farmer and business leader explained how the proposed FSMA’s Produce and Preventive Control Rules will affect small farmers.

RI farmers, processors, handlers and distributors will face increased costs and documentation requirements under FSMA’s Produce and Preventive Control Rules as they are phased in over the next two years. Many farmers will find compliance cost prohibitive.

Farmers, producers and consumers can help make the new rules more manageable and less burdensome for RI’s family farmers. NOFA/RI urges everyone to educate themselves on FSMA issues. Please send your comments to the FDA on the proposed regulations before December 15, 2014.

Learn more about FSMA at and

See the Action Alert and sample comment letter by the Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation here. Learn how to submit comments at

Will Bonsall’s Workshop

Will Bonsall
Getting more food from less space & Cultivated crops that don’t need cultivation
November 9, 2014
Brown University, Providence, RI

Author and grower, Will Bonsall of the Scatterseed Project, described a System (as opposed to a single crop) of growing a number of specialty crops in less space, using a combination of companion cropping and intensive spacing. This is Will’s version of the John Jeavons’ Bio-Intensive growing without raised beds. Will also mentioned his less common permacrops including hazelnuts, hardy kiwis, medlars, elderberries and blackberries. View highlights from Will’s Workshop here.

Skip Paul with CoolBot at Wishing Stone farm

Skip Paul with CoolBot

FSMA-Compliant Produce Handling and Building a Cooler with a Coolbot
October 2, 2014
Wishing Stone Farm
Little Compton, RI

Skip Paul discussed his approach to the upcoming produce sanitation protocols of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) using Sanidate in wash water at appropriate stages of greens processing. University of Vermont Extension has produced this educational video: here.

Wishing Stone Farm has set up a second CoolBot this season. Attendees saw and learned about the farm’s first and second Walk-in Cooler. CoolBots override an air conditioner’s temperature gauge and turn an insulated room and standard household air conditioner into a walk-in cooler. Learn more at the CoolBot website and see a list of disadvantages here.

All About Alliums
September 10, 2014
New Urban Farmer
Pawtucket, RI

This family of plants offers many varieties from scallions and leeks to shallots and onions. Alliums naturally resist deer and rodent predation. Farmers Emily Jodka and Bleu Grijalva will discuss when and how to plant French Grey shallots and garlic as well as starting onions from seed. Learn how to care for, harvest, cure and store alliums. See the 2014 harvest and help plant next season’s crop. You may even learn to braid onions!

Green Marketplace FestivalGreen Marketplace Festival
August 10, 2014
The Farmer’s Daughter & Landscape Creations of RI
South Kingstown, RI

NOFA/RI exhibited at this Rhode Island Nursery & Landscape Association event. The Green Marketplace Festival celebrated Rhode Island’s tradition of horticulture, agriculture and landscape stewardship. Visitors helped celebrate our state’s green economy and organic growers.

This year’s event included activities for the whole family: hands-on demonstrations, exhibits, vendors, live music, green businesses, great food, Big Nazo Puppets and story telling. A “Learn from the Experts” included landscape professionals offer workshops on their specialty. BoldrDash, New England’s premiere military-style obstacle course race, tested participants’ strength and stamina with obstacles designed to meet all fitness levels – elite to beginner. There were two courses for adults and children.

NOFA Summer Conf logo 2014NOFA Summer Conference
August 8 – 10, 2014
UMass, Amherst, MA

NOFA held its 40th Annual Summer Conference, featuring over 150 workshops on farming, gardening, land care, nutrition and food politics. Full and half-day preconference workshops were held on Friday, August 8. Over 100 exhibitors shared their products and message. This family-friendly event inluded activities for children and teens, a country fair and organic meals! The keynote speaker was soil scientist and researcher, Elaine Ingham, taught growers to foster microbial life in soils. Learn more here.

Growing and Harvesting Herbs & Making Herbal Medicines
June 10, 2014
Farmacy Herbs, West Greenwich, RI

Herbs can be used to make extracts (tinctures), fluid extracts, infusions, decoctions, syrups as well as salves, infused oils and skin creams. Mary Blue discussed cultivation techniques, harvesting at the optimum growth stage and how to dry and process herbs. She also demonstrated making nutrient-rich compost tea and its application.

Sandywood Farms
How to put up a High Tunnel
May 18, 2014
Sandywoods Farm, Tiverton, RI

Sandywoods Farm hosted an old fashioned  “Barn Raising” to install their NRCS high tunnel. Participants leaned how to assemble a Rimol Northeaster high tunnel and theimportance of level ground. The high tunnel will extend the Community Garden growing season and provide additional agricultural opportunities for Sandywoods Farm’s unique community.

Sandywood Farms Lunch was provided by Church Community Housing. Co-sponsors included:

  • Sandywoods Farm
  • Sandywoods Farm Community Garden Co-op
  • Church Community Housing
  • Eastern RI Conservation District

Jason McCartney at Matunuck Oyster Bar’s Vegetable FarmSeason Extension – Spring growing in High & Low Tunnels
May 14, 2014
Matunuck Oyster Bar’s Vegetable Farm
South Kingston, RI

Jason McCartney at Matunuck Oyster Bar’s Vegetable Farm

Jason McCartney in movable high tunnel

Farm Manager, Jason McCartney discussed the benefits of various season-extension structures (heated greenhouse, moveable high tunnel, low tunnels/field plastic and row covers) and how their use fits into early season production, harvest and marketing schedule. Attendees learned about early field crops (salad mix, pac choi, kale, hakuri turnips, radishes and spinach.) Discussions included variety selection, transplant dates, planting dates, fertility and cover crops for early season production. Learn more about the farm at

URI Spring Festival
URI East Farm Spring Festival
May 10, 2014
URI East Farm, Kingston, RI

Thank you to NOFA/RI Board member, Jan Martin, for running the NOFA/RI exhibit at this event featuring a large selection of plants for sale, activities for children, free soil testing, rain barrel and compost bin sales as well as environmental outreach workshops! Learn more here.

RI Agriculture Day May 1, 2014
RI State House
Providence, RI

Thank you to NOFA/RI Board members, Bleu Grijalva of New Urban Farm and Jan Martin for running the NOFA/RI exhibit. RI Ag. Day highlighted the state’s thriving agriculture industry. Farming is an integral part of the state’s economy and provides a valuable contribution to Rhode Island’s open space and quality of life. Beyond fresh and local produce, meat, nursery stock, sod and Rhode Island’s own Rhody Fresh milk, agriculture contributes to tourism, open space, landscaping businesses, and a variety of food-related industries. The event also featured the statewide “Get Fresh. Buy Local” campaign and farmers’ markets.

Sandie Barden on Fruit Tree Pruning

Sandie Barden

Smart fruit tree management & pruning to prevent disease
April 24, 2014
Barden Family Orchard
North Scituate, RI

Participants learned the principles of fruit tree pruning with an emphasis on pruning peach trees. Sandie Barden of Barden Family Orchard discussed basic pruning theory and the family’s successful pruning techniques. She demonstrated using her favorite tools and offered safety tips. Sandie discussed fruit tree management and disease prevention and demonstrate pruning various types of fruit crops. The Bardens recommended these resources for tree fruit management all season:

Barden Family Orchard grows 15 varieties of peaches, 20 varieties of apples, blueberries and raspberries. This 3-generation, Pick Your Own orchard also has a farm market. The Barden’s also grow and sell pumpkins, winter squash, sweet corn, tomatoes, summer squash, zucchini and eggplant.

Soil Block Making

Soil Block Making

Making and Using Soil Blocks
February 27
URI Greenhouses & Conservatory
Kingston, RI

Meredith and Jason Spitalnik of Island Community Farmsdemonstrated the soil block systems they have used for the past 5 years. Seedlings develop stronger, more resilient root systems when started in soil blocks. They have minimum transplant shock and quickly establish in their new locations. Soil block systems create no plastic waste. Everything is reusable. Attendees mixed media and tried a variety of different blocker makers.
View photos from the event here. View a worksheet from Johnny’s Selected Seeds on soil block making here. View a video on making seed-starting blocks for vigorous root development here.



NOFA/RI Winter Conference & Annual Meeting: The Past, Present & Future of Organics February 16, 2014

Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum, Bristol, RI

The Northeast Organic Farming Association of Rhode Island (NOFA/RI) hosted three NOFA/RI founders and early members who described their reasons for starting this NOFA chapter back in 1990 and the continued relevance of organic farming, gardening and landscaping today.

Mike Merner, Michael Veracka and John O’MalleyWe heard about compost from Mike Merner, owner of Earth Care Farm, edible landscaping from Landscape Architect and former farmer, Michael Veracka and educating our next generation of farmers from high school Agriculture Teacher, John O’Malley. We celebrated our 2013 achievements and announced our program plans for 2014. Everyone enjoyed a delicious potluck meal together.

Brix Bounty Farm
Advanced Grower Workshop – A Late Season Field Walk – Focus on Soil Fertility Through the Fall November 10, 2013
Brix Bounty Farm, Dartmouth, MA

Participants enjoyed a field tour at Brix Bounty Farm and discussed fall fertility work on the farm. Topics included:

  • Biodynamic preps, biological inoculants, & residue digestion
  • Cover crops
  • Soil amendments & mineralization
  • Winter high tunnel fertility management
Robin Hollow Farm Greenhouse

Robin Hollow Farm Greenhouse

Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers (ASCFG) Business School

November 3 & 4, 2013

URI Bay Campus, Narragansett, RI

The conference included both organic and conventional growers. NOFA/RI co-sponsored the conference to promote organic methods. Former NOFA/RI board members, Mike and Polly Hutchison and NOFA/RI member, Suzanne Nolter presented. Workshop topics included:

  • Goal Setting and Business Decision Making
  • Growers’ Seasonal Tour Panel
  • Crop Planning and Record Keeping
  • Update on American Grown program
  • Marketing Strategies and Implementation: Examination of Two Marketing Styles
  • Tricks of the Trade
  • Getting the Most Stems from your Plant Choice
  • USDA and Farm Service Agency Microloans
  • Tour of Robin Hollow Farm

Learn more here. FSMA Speakers Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Impacts on RI Farms
October 29, 2013
Warwick, RI
Co-Sponsored by Farm Fresh RIURI ExtensionNew England Farmers Union and USDA Farm Service Agency.

A panel of experienced farmers and business leaders explained how the proposed FSMA’s Produce and Preventive Control Rules will affect their farms. See Dr. Rich Bonanno’s presentation here or here. RI farmers, processors, handlers and distributors will face increased costs and documentation requirements under FSMA rules. Many farmers incorrectly assume they could be “exempt” from the regulations. Some farmers are concerned they may be forced out of business under FSMA’s potential burdens. Farmers, producers and consumers can help make the new rules manageable, not burdensome, for RI’s family farmers. NOFA/RI urges everyone to educate themselves on FSMA issues and to send comments to the USDA before the comment deadline of November 15, 2013. Learn more in the summer 2013 issue of The Natural Farmer.

Comment Rules

The FSMA Comment rules say all petitions or standardized letters delivered to FDA will only count as ONE comment (even if there are thousands). Unique comments will be counted separately. EVERY voice is important on this important matter. The proposed FSMA is not science-based, but has the authority to greatly impact how farmers’ farm and eaters’ abilities to make localized food choices. Four New England Farmers and professionals explained the proposed FSMA’s Produce and Preventive Control Rules and how they could affect their family farms:

    • Rich Bonanno Dr. Richard Bonanno, farmer and President of Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation. Dr. Bonanno owns and manages his family farm, Pleasant Valley Gardens in Methuen, MA and is an Adjunct Professor at the UMass/Amherst, Plant, Soil and Insect Science Department with responsibilities in food safety issues. Dr. Bonanno is also a Senior Extension Specialist at the University of Massachusetts Extension responsible for vegetable and small fruit weed management.

October 27, 2013
Roots Farm, Tiverton

Roots Farm is one of the few farms in Rhode Island with movable greenhouses. Mike and Kelli Roberts discussed the advantages and uses of movable houses and low tunnels for winter growing. Attendees learned how to and helped move two greenhouses at this certified organic farm.

Derek Christiansen

Derek Christiansen

Soil Fertility In Focus – Moving Beyond N,P,K – Meeting the Nutritional Needs of Crops with Minerals, Microbes, & Management

Brix Bounty Farm

Dartmouth, MA

October 20, 2013

This seminar explored the nutritional needs of different crop families, key minerals needed to support healthy growth and the role of fertility management in achieving optimum yields. See two videos of Derek demonstrating soil structure: Part 1 and Part 2. We looked at five crops in depth, covering the fertility needs of each crop, cost and expense considerations and essential management of their growing seasons. Crops included:

  • Beets (chenopods & roots)
  • Onions (alliums & bulbs)
  • Spring Cabbage (brassicas & leaves)
  • Tomatoes (nightshades & fruits)
  • Winter Squash (cucurbits & fruits)

View Derek’s slides and recommendations.

Freedom Food Farm

Freedom Food Farm

Season Extension and Year-Round Sales
October 10, 2013
Freedom Food Farm, Johnston, RI
Co-Hosted by Young Farmer NightsThis workshop covered growing cool season greens and pest management techniques. Participants will learn about variety selection, planting dates, fertility, bulk harvesting methods, long-term storage for root crops, potential shelf life, crop protection options.

YFN Pizza Party at Freedom Food Farm

Pipe bending for low tunnels

Bending low tunnel hoops

Using Low Tunnels for Season Extension & Pipe Bender Demonstration
September 17, 2013
Island Community Farms,
Middletown, RI

Jason and Meredith Spitalnick shared their experience using low tunnels as a simple, cost effective method for extending the growing season.

Caterpillar low tunnel

Caterpillar low tunnel

Growers and gardeners can start spring plantings earlier, extend harvests past early frosts and overwinter tender plantings safely under low tunnels.  Workshop participants practiced bending low tunnel hoops and created a caterpillar-style low tunnel.

human-powered compost sifter

Compost Sifter

NOFA/RI has a full set of pipe benders available for loan to members and rental to non-members. Learn more here. A young volunteer also demonstrated Jason’s bicycle-powered compost sifter. View a video of the composter in action here. Attendees also toured the farm’s Food Forest.

Seed sorting at Scratch Farm

Seed sorting

Seed Saving and Selling 
August 27, 2013
Scratch Farm and Small State Seeds, Cranston, RI
Co-Hosted by Young Farmer Nights

Katie Miller’s discussed and demonstrated their growing practices as well as their seed harvesting and processing techniques at Scratch Farm and Small State Seeds. A Young Farmer Nights potluck supper followed the workshop. 

What’s Your Favorite Tomato?

August 20, 2013

Blue Skys Farm, Cranston, RI

Learn about and taste the results of the farm’s 2013 Tomato Trials. The Trials were conducted by five RI farms, led by URI Extension and funded by SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education). Christina Dedora and Blue Skys Farm raised over a dozen tomato varieties in a high tunnel. Growers monitored yield, soil analysis and tissue culture.

Mary Blue at Farmacy Herbs

Farmacy Herbs

Herb Production & Herbal Preparations
August 13, 2013
Farmacy Herbs,
Providence, RI

Mary Blue introduced participants to herbal medicine, terminology and herbal formulation. She covered the uses of 20 local medicinal plants. Mary passed around plant, herbal teas, tinctures and salves. She described her processes for turning these plants and herbs into medicinal products.

Sidewalk Ends Farm

Compost techniques

Greens Production & Urban Composting
June 4, 2013
Sidewalk Ends Farm, Providence RI
Co-hosted by Young Farmer Nights (YFN)

Attendees enjoyed a tour of the ‘greens factory’ and learned how to grow a never-ending supply of salad and arugula through biointensive production and succession planting. Sidewalk Ends Farm’s, Fay Strongin, Laura Brown-Lavoie and Tess Brown-Lavoie, shared their seeding, transplanting and direct seeding.

Endless greens production

Greens production

This workshop also covered urban composting practices and fertilizing routines essential to creating and maintaining healthy soils and maximizing production.  The workshop was  followed by a Young Farmer Nights potluck supper and storytelling around the fire.

Lauri Roberts at Farming Turtles

Lauri Roberts in a greenhouse at Farming Turtles

Microgreens & Energy Conservation
May 16
Farming Turtles, Exeter, RI

Participants learned how Farming Turtles produces certified organic crops of micro-greens and baby greens year-round, growing indoors. The farm also grows wheatgrass (for people and pets). All products are sold wholesale or through distributors.

Raising Shitake mushrooms at Farming Turtles

Raising Shitake mushrooms at Farming Turtles

Farm staff also produce shitake mushrooms for restaurant chefs and wholesaler customers.   Lauri Roberts discussed Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) Certification by the American Institute of Baking (AIB), the preeminent organization for auditing food safety.

Reinhard with Workshop participants

Reinhard with Workshop participants

Composting, Vermiculture & Compost Tea April 27, 2013
Warwick, RI

Reinhard Sidor led a hands-on demonstration of hot composting, worm composting (Vermiculture) and making actively aerated compost tea for foliar and soil application. Reinhard explained the benefits of making and using your own compost from yard and kitchen waste.

Compost can be used in container gardening, food and ornamental gardens as mulch and fertilizer, to improve soil quality. Compost increases plant vitality, disease resistance and can reduce pest damage. Use of shredded oak leaves as a landscape mulch will be shown. Also discussed will be the mulching of oak leaves into the lawn rather than composting or bagging them.

Governor Chafee & Heather Faubert

Governor Chafee & Heather Faubert

RI Agriculture Day
April 25
RI State House Rotunda
Providence, RI

NOFA/RI helped celebrate organic and sustainable farmers and growers at RI Agriculture Day with a booth in the RI State House Rotunda. Visitors and volunteers sampled delicious local foods and beverages.

Governor Chafee, Shannon Brawley – Executive Director of RINLA and EDC Board Member, Sandi and Gil Barden of Barden Family Orchards and Senator Susan Sosnowski all made presentations.The RI Fruit Growers Association celebrated its 100th birthday and awarded Heather Faubert an award of Merit and honorary lifetime membership. Read about Heather’s award here. Janet Coit – DEM Director launched the RI Seafood brand.

Geodesic Domes Greenhouses at New Urban Farm

Geodesic Domes Greenhouses at New Urban Farm

Aquaponic Systems & Mushroom Cultivation
April 20, 2013
New Urban Farm
Galego Court, Pawtucket, RI

Participants learned about the successes of this urban farm and how it became part of the Pawtucket community. The farm tour included three geodesic dome greenhouses. Emily Jodka discussed their aquaponic system, the nitrogen cycle and the relationship between the fish and plants.

Mushrooms at New Urban Farm

Mushrooms at New Urban Farm

The tour continued to the ”mushroom room,” an outdoor shelter for mushroom production. Attendees learned about Shiitake mushroom production in oak logs. Emily offered cultivation tips and demonstrate space saving techniques.

Since the spring of 2010, New Urban Farm has operated adjacent to Galego Court, a public housing unit for families. Residents help grow at the one-acre farm; adult and youth programs run all season. The farm has three geodesic dome greenhouses, aqauponic system, raised beds, a fruit orchard and a “mushroom room.” The farm team also grows in Seekonk, MA and Warren, RI on over 20 total acres.

Max & Uli at Hillandale Farm

Max & Uli at Hillandale Farm

Why and How to Grow Organically: Bed Prep, Planting and an Organic Overview
March 25, 2013
Hillandale Farm
Westerly, RI

Attendees learned why organic growing techniques matter with Max and Ulrike Hence. The workshop covered planting bed preparation, seeding, transplanting and an overview of organic practices.

Hillandale Farm and several nearby farms are in a partnership with the AYERS Foundation which works to connect people to fresh, local foods. Living classrooms practice and teach children about sustainable agriculture, holistic nutrition and healthy living.

Rich Pederson at City Farm

Rich Pederson at City Farm

Greenhouse & Seed Starting
March 17, 2013
City Farm
South Providence, RI

Rich Pederson, City Farm grower since 2003, will demonstrate his techniques for starting seeds in a greenhouse. Along with a City Farm Apprentice, High School and College interns and volunteers, Rich seeds, transplants and cares for around 20,000 plants for Southside Community Land Trust’s Annual Plant Sale each May. City Farm is a 3/4-acre Biointensive Urban Farm in Providence that models sustainable growing practices for all levels of growers.

Natural Roots Farm

Natural Roots Farm

Advanced Growers Workshop: Fertility Management in the Bio-Extensive Market Garden
March 3, 2013
URI’s East Farm, Kingston, RI


David Fisher of Natural Roots Farm in Conway, MA discussed his y2-year soil-building and cover cropping cycles. David shared his five-part fertility program, which included extensive cover cropping, compost application, soil testing and a customized mineral-based fertilizer blend, pre-plant fertilization and foliar crop feeding.David also discussed seed inoculantes, side-dressing and drenches for transplanting. Participants learned about weed management techniques and using draft horses for fieldwork.

David Fisher has relied on workhorses to power Natural Roots Farm in Conway, MA since 1997. With his wife, Anna Maclay, and their two children, David raises 3.5 acres of produce for 220 CSA shareholders and another 3.5 acres of soil-building crops. He has modeled many of the farm’s systems on the work of Anne and Eric Nordell. David focuses on weed control, biological fertility and intensive cover cropping. He also manages 15 acres of hay and pastureland to feed his working herd. During winter months, David uses his horses for low-impact logging.

music by "Sundial"

music by “Sundial”

NOFA/RI Annual Meeting & Potluck Supper
January 27, 2013
South Kingstown Land Trust’s Barn

Matunuck, RI

Members and guests learned about Spring Bulk Orders, 2013 Workshops and other organizational plans. Gary Casabona, NRCS State Biologist, spoke about his agency’s Pollinator Habitat programs and potential funding for native plantings. Jan Martin of We Share Hope was elected to join the Board of Directors. A delicious potluck supper was shared over music by “Sundial.”

Skip Paul discussing greens at Wishing Stone Farm

Skip Paul at Wishing Stone Farm

Advanced Grower Workshop November 18, 2012

Wishing Stone Farm
Little Compton, RI

Organic grower, Skip Paul, shared his experience with fertility management, field and greenhouse production of winter greens and grafting tomatoes. To view Skip Paul’s Reference Materials on  Grafted Tomatoes, click here. (His report starts on page 198.)

Mike Roberts & CRAFT workshop moves greenhouses at Roots Farm

Mike Roberts at Roots Farm

Winter Growing with Movable Greenhouses
November 4, 2012
Roots Farm
Tiverton, RI

CRAFT workshop participants learned about growing in low tunnels and unheated greenhouses. Approximately 50 participants helped move two greenhouses.

Brian at Simmons Farm w Sheep

Pig Roast
October 6, 2012
Simmons Farm
Middletown, RI

A delicious meal was prepared by Chef Guy of The Restaurant at AS220 Foo(d). An organically-raised pig from Simmons Farm was served along with fresh, organic produce from RI farms. Live music was performed by “Sundial.” Thank you to sponsors and donors including: Simmons Farm, Chef Guy and The Restaurant at AS220 Foo(d), Arcadian Fields, Scratch Farm, City Farm, Roots Farm, Skinny Dip Farm and Big Train Farm.

Seed Saving
September 19, 2012
Scratch Farm, Cranston, RI

Katie Miller and Ben Torpey explained and demonstrated their techniques for seed saving and offered seed packets for sale or trade.

Farm Tour
September 18, 2012
City Farm
Providence, RI

Rich Pedersen shared the history and success of growing food and training the next generation of urban farmers at City Farm.

Chuck Currie of Freedom Food Farm discussing cover crops

Chuck Currie at Freedom Food Farm

Vegetable Succession Planting and Covercropping 
August 30, 2012
Freedom Food Farm
Johnston, RI

Chuck Currie discussed succession plantings, weed management and cover crops He explained his practices of rotating chickens and vegetables for improving soil fertility and discussed his favorite equipment: tractors, implements and special seedling trays.

Diana Kushner of Arcadian Fields Farm

Diana Kushner at Arcadian Fields Farm

Farm Tour
June 5, 2012
Arcadian Fields Farm
Hope Valley, RI

Diana Kushner discussed farm tools, weed management and preparing for farmers markets.

Winter Growing
November 6, 2011
Roots Farm
Tiverton, RI

Kelli and Mike discussed winter growing in high and low tunnels and their favorite tools.

Katie Miller at Scratch Farm

Katie Miller

Seed Saving and Weed Control
October 25, 2011
Scratch Farm
Cranston, RI

Katie Miller discussed growing in her new hoop house, sowing fall greens, compost use and seed saving. She shared her crop rotation strategies to minimize pests. Karie described her CSA model with sliding fees; her workshare members love being at the farm so much, they often bring friends who volunteers on harvest days.

Rich Pedersen leading workshop at City Farm

Rich Pedersen at City Farm

Farm Tour
October 11, 2011
City Farm
South Providence, RI

Rich Pedersen discussed biointensive growing techniques. City Farm grows nearly 20,000 pounds of greens and produce. They sell food to restaurant chefs and the public at several farmers markets. The staff also teach food production through educational programs, summer camps and apprenticeships training.

NOFA/RI Pig Roast 2011

Pig Roast
October 1, 2011
Simmons Farm
Middletown, RI

Local organic produce and meats were served. This casual event raised funds for NOFA/RI educational and outreach programs.