LEARN ORGANIC LANDSCAPING METHODS AT INTENSIVE NOFA COURSE 10th annual NOFA 5-day Course in Organic Land Care: JAN. 12, 13, 14, 18, 19 in Newburyport, MA
NEWBURYPORT, MA - The 10th annual Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) Course in Organic Land Care will be held on January 12, 13, 14, 18, 19, 2011 (snow date Jan. 20) at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge in Newburyport, Massachusetts, a sustainably-constructed “green” building with a state-of-the-art theater and multi-purpose classroom where the course will be held. The refuge was established in 1942 to provide feeding, resting and nesting habitat for migratory birds, and is of special significance to waterfowl and shorebirds.
Sponsored and organized by the NOFA Organic Land Care Program, this five-day, (accreditation optional) intensive courseStandards for Organic Land Care: Practices for Design and Maintenance of Ecological Landscapes, written by NOFA’s Organic Land Care Committee. These Standards, first published in 2001, are the first of their kind in the country.
Course faculty include respected scientists and experienced organic land care practitioners, who instruct the following classes: Principles and Procedures; Site Analysis, Design, and Maintenance; Rain Gardens/Storm Water Infiltration; Soil Health; the Soil Foodweb; Fertilizer and Soil Amendments; Composting; Lawns; Lawn Alternatives; Planting and Plant Care; Wetlands; Pest Management; Wildlife Management; Disease Control; Mulches; Invasive Plants; Client Relations and Running a Business. Four hands-on case studies are also included in the course.
At the end of the course, attendees will be able to incorporate methods and materials that respect natural ecology and the long-term health of the environment into the care of their own landscapes or ones that they manage. Those who pass the optional exam offered at the conclusion of the course can become NOFA Accredited Organic Land Care Professionals (AOLCPs), able to use the NOFA Organic Land Care AOLCP logo, be listed in the new AOLCP Online Searchable Database at www.organiclandcare.net and have the opportunity to represent NOFA at organic land care events.
Over 1,200 land care professionals from 22 states have taken NOFA’s course. These professionals include landscapers from large and small firms, landscape architects, garden center employees, municipal groundskeepers and property managers. Small business owners, entrepreneurs, homeowners, land trust and conservation organization staff and many others have also found the course extremely valuable.
For more information or to receive registration brochures, contact Kathy Litchfield, NOFA/Mass Organic Land Care Course Coordinator, at (413) 773-3830, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.organiclandcare.net to register online.
24th ANNUAL NOFA/MASS WINTER CONFERENCE TO BE HELD IN WORCESTER
“Celebration of Sustainability”
Over 900 people from central New England are expected to attend the Northeast Organic Farming Association/Massachusetts Chapter, Inc. (NOFA/Mass) 24th Annual Winter Conference on Saturday, January 15, at the Worcester Technical High School on Skyline Drive. The conference has doubled in size over the past five years, indicative of a growing interest in regional food systems. Everyone from beginning to advanced farmers, gardeners and anyone interested in sustainability can participate in seminars or workshops, a lively exhibit area, a delicious potluck lunch, and a children’s program.
Michael Phillips,of Heartsong Farm and Lost Nation Orchard, in Groveton, New Hampshire, will keynote the conference. Michael Phillips and his wife, Nancy, grow 65-80 varieties of organic apples in their orchard and direct-market their products to local consumers who can purchase apples on the farm or through an apple-share buying program. Nancy is a well-known herbalist and educator who manages the family farm’s production of medicinal herbs. Michael will lead an all-day seminar on Organic Orcharding. Nancy will lead an all-day seminar on Herbs for Family Health. Participants can register for either of the all-day seminars or choose to attend any of 60 workshops.
For beginning gardeners there are workshops on soil fertility, gardening in small spaces, and seed saving. Livestock workshops include raising cows, poultry, dairy goats and bees. For more advanced farmers there are workshops covering weed management, cardboard mulch, draft animals and income taxes. For those interested in raising and preparing their own food there are workshops on food preservation, making condiments at home and making naturally fermented non-alcoholic drinks.
Somerville resident and Slow Money board member Eric Becker attended the NOFA/Mass Winter Conference in 2009. After attending a workshop on beekeeping by Jean-Claude Bourrut of Natick Community Organic Farm, Eric fell in love with bees and installed a beehive on his front porch. “Raising bees has been such a rewarding activity for me and my kids. My kids have learned how to handle them and care for our hive. The NOFA conference was a turning point for my family. It’s definitely possible to live an urban lifestyle and raise your own food.”
Conference registration is $65 per person with discounts available for NOFA members, certified farmers, students, teens and children; seminar registration is $120. Complete conference information is available at www.nofamass.org.
The conference is sponsored by Whole Foods Markets, Stonyfield, Farm Family, Greenleaf Foundation, Clements Law Office, Boston Organics, Green Fields Market, Suzanne’s Specialties, Nature’s Best Organic Feeds, Groton Wellness, Harris Seeds, Vermont Compost, Groundscapes Express, Fertrell, Bejo Organic, Lancaster Agricultural Products and Neighboring Food Coop.