Healthy Soils, Healthy Plants, Healthy People

February 28, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

with Potluck Lunch

Hope & Main691 Main Street, Warren, RI

Directions here.



Will BonsallWill Bonsall of Khadighar Farm in Industry, Maine will share highlights from his newest book, “Will Bonsall’s Essential Guide to Radical, Self-Reliant Gardening: Innovative Techniques for Growing Vegetables, Grains, and Perennial Food Crops with Minimal Fossil Fuel and Animal Inputs.”

Saving Your Own Crop Seeds
By propagating and saving your own seeds, you can reduce expense plus guarantee a dependable supply for your own use, regardless of whether your favorite variety disappears from the marketplace. You get to select and improve varieties for better adaptation to your local environment or needs.

Will Bonsall is a subsistence farmer in the western Maine foothills. For four decades Will has been preserving and sharing seeds of several thousand varieties of crop plants, many of them in danger of being lost or inaccessible by the general public. Will is the author of recently released “Will Bonsall’s Essential Guide to Radical Self-Reliant Gardening” from Chelsea Green Publishing, and an earlier eco-novel called “Through the Eyes of a Stranger.” Will’s focus is on eco-efficiency: producing food on the least area with the fewest off-site inputs.

Julie Rawson & Jack Kitrredge

Julie Rawson & Jack Kittredge of Many Hands Organic Farm & NOFA/Mass

Restoring Carbon to Soil for Farm and Planet
Jack Kittredge and Julie Rawson of Many Hands Organic Farm and NOFA/Mass will discuss how to farm so that your soil continually builds carbon while also producing quality and yield. Practical tools and systems for growing will be covered, as well as a short summary of how carbon is built by soil biology.
Jack and Julie have been certified organic farmers in Massachusetts since 1987 and are active in NOFA/Mass. They edit The Natural Farmer, the quarterly regional newspaper of NOFA.

Sam Fox of Earth Care Farm

Sam Fox of Earth Care Farm

Compost and Living Soil: A Cooperative Effort with Sam Fox

Composting methods for large and small-scale, changing DEM regulations, feedstock diversity to create an inviting environment for our decomposing allies, macro and micro-nutrient availability for plants in healthy, living soil.

Sam Fox has been farming and landscaping for 14 years from Guatemala to Washington State. He has worked at Earth Care Farm for the past 5 years. Sam started out leasing land for a CSA and now works in the compost and field operations at Earth Care Farm.

Dr. Rebecca Brown

Dr. Rebecca Brown of URI

Cover Crops and Organic Carbon for Soil Health with Dr. Rebecca Brown

This workshop will present results from recent research at URI on expanding use of cover crops on peri-urban farms. It will also present information on using urban/suburban waste materials as carbon sources to build soil organic matter levels.

Dr. Rebecca Brown is a professor in the department of Plant Sciences and Entomology at URI. She leads the vegetable teaching and research program, is part of the leadership team for the undergraduate and graduate programs in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems, and is the faculty member in charge of URI’s Gardiner Crops Research Center.

Dan Kittredge of the Bionutrient Food Association

Dan Kittredge of the Bionutrient Food Association

Principles of Biological Systems
Dan Kittredge, Executive Director of the Bionutrient Food Association 

What are the things that we can do, that we control, to increase the genetic potential of our crops, yield, flavor, nutritional content, while in the midst of significant climatic events, such as droughts, extreme weather, and the like? The goal is improving quality, where some of the side benefits are increased yield, building of organic matter, carbon sequestration, and more. Discussion will include Limiting factors to genetic potential, Soil testing and Mineral balancing, Inoculation, Nutritional drenches and Foliar sprays, Tools for in-field monitoring, Cover Crops, Visual Plant Parameters, while also connecting the dots between soil health, plant health, and human health.

Executive Director of the Bionutrient Food Association, Dan is the son of prominent leaders in the organic movement, and has been an organic farmer since childhood. His experience managing organic farms and developing sustainable agriculture techniques has connected him to farmers in Central America, Russia, India and the United States. Dan is passionate about raising the quality of nutrition in our food supply through collaboration with committed individuals, businesses, and organizations that support the value of people growing and eating really good food.

John Kozinski

John Kozinski of

Open Macrobiotics: A New Approach to Health and Healing for the 21st Century with John Kozinski

Learn about a new, progressive and contemporary version of macrobiotics that is inclusive of a wide variety of dietary practices with a focus on local and natural foods such as grains, vegetables, fruits, grass-fed meats, pastured poultry, dairy products from old breed natural cows and other whole foods. Open macrobiotics is an approach to health that includes a deeper understanding of the balancing effects of diet, nutrition, lifestyle practices, healing methods, herbs, supplements, and the mind, based on a blend of traditional and modern understandings of the body and mind – and health and sickness. Dietary adjustments will be discussed for those who wish to be vegan, vegetarian or include animal foods in their diet.

John has been a natural health and self-healing Integrative Diagnosis teacher, counselor, and researcher since 1976 at John was on the faculty of the Kushi Institute for 27 years until resigning in 2013 for ethical reasons. As part of his curriculum, John also teaches qigong and shiatsu, and is a great natural foods cook.

Dan Christina

Dan Christina of Green Animals

Fresh from the Field: An Ornamental (and Productive) Vegetable Garden with Dan Christina, Horticultural Director and Patricia Bailey, Vegetable Gardener of Green Animals Topiary Garden in Portsmouth, RI. This workshop will look at the planning and creation of highly productive vegetable garden space while holding onto a valuable, peaceful aesthetic in a historic setting. Learn how this garden space works as a school teaching tool and community resource.


Patricia Baily

Patricia Bailey of Green Animals

RI Certified Horticulturist (RICH) Patricia Bailey has managed the Green Animals Vegetable Garden for three years and helped create a recent 2,000 sq. ft. expansion. Having a deep appreciation for the quality of life a healthy, productive garden brings to those in need, Patricia spearheads school programs, volunteer drives and provides local charities with fresh organic vegetables.

Dan Christina, Horticultural Director of Green Animals Topiary Garden in Portsmouth, RI and former Asststant Grounds Manager at Blithewold, in Bristol, RI came to Green Animals in late 2014 and is focused on the continued restoration of this great property. With the same strong sense of community benefit and love of Vegetable Gardens, it’s no wonder the edible aspects of Green Animals have grown more important.

Liz Guardia, Citizens For GMO Labeling Activist

Liz Guardia, Citizens For GMO Labeling

Update on GMO Labeling Efforts in Rhode Island, the Northeast and across the Nation

Liz Guardia will offer an update on the progress of the federal GMO Labeling bill as well as state level work in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. She will also re-familiarize us with what is going on in the bio-tech industry.

Liz is an activist, yoga teacher and business owner in Rhode Island. She is working towards state and federal GMO-labeling bills.

Winter Conference Schedule Feb 28, 2016


This conference is made possible by our generous sponsors: the RI Department of Environmental Management’s Division of Agriculture via a USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant,our conference host Hope & Main and Farm Credit East.

Become a sponsor and see your logo here.
RI DEM & Hope & Main logos Farm Credit East logoFreedom Food Farm Logo RI Organic Farm Market Logo 2-2016

Scratch FarmThe Good Earth LogoWishing Stone Farm

NOFA AOLCP Continuing Education Credits

Four reaccreditation Credits have been approved for NOFA Accredited Organic Land Care Professionals (AOLCP). Print and bring your reaccreditation form for speaker signatures, available here.


Please help us welcome our 2016 Exhibitors.

All Exhibitor spaces have been sold. Exhibitor booths include Conference admission for one person with the company or organization as well as a table and chair. Exhibitors are invited to bring a potluck item to share for lunch.

Potluck Lunch 

Share a delicious potluck meal. Please bring 5-8 servings to share. Limited refrigeration will be available. Suggested offerings by last name:

  • A – E  Snack/Appetizer
  • F – L  Salad/Side
  • M – R  Hot or Cold Entrée
  • S – Z  Dessert

NOFA/RI Annual Meeting

Join us for our Annual Meeting. Hear about our programs and efforts in 2015 and our plans for the coming year.


Early registration discounts and volunteer workshares make this conference affordable for farmers, gardeners and consumers.


Volunteers are needed for set-up and break down, parking, check-in, lunch and miscellaneous chores during the event. Volunteers seeking reduced admission must be current NOFA/RI members. Offer your help by contacting Bleu Grijalva at or call (401) 338-8163.