Holistic Orchard Workshop with Michael Phillips HolisticOrchardWksp
NOFA-NH and Canterbury Shaker Village are delighted to have Michael Phillips, widely acclaimed author of "The Apple Grower" and "The Holistic Orchard," conduct a workshop on holistic orchard health on Saturday, May 21, from 10am to 5pm at Canturbury Shaker Village.
This hands-on, day-long workshop will introduce participants to the concept of holistic orchard care by examining the subtleties of the biodiverse ecosystem that makes organic fruit-growing possible. After a morning of concept-based instruction in the historic North Shop on topics ranging from varietal and rootstock choices to spraying for systemic health, attendees will spend the afternoon in Canterbury's historic apple orchard. In the orchard, the class will explore the insect and disease dynamics faced by New England growers through firsthand examination of an orchard in the spring bloom or early post bloom period.

Enrollment for this workshop will be limited to keep it interactive and engaging. In the past, all of Michael's workshops fill up quickly, so reserve your space now!

The cost of this comprehensive workshop is $60 for members of NOFA-NH, Canterbury Shaker Village, and Concord Food Co-op and $75 for the general public Lunch is not provided, though food will be available for purchase at the Shaker Box Lunch & Farm Stand and participants may bring a packed lunch.
Michael Phillips of Lost Nation Orchard
Michael Phillips of Lost Nation Orchard

Michael Phillips is well known across the country for helping people grow healthy fruit. The "community orchard movement" that he helped found (www.GrowOrganicApples.com provides a full immersion into the holistic approach to orcharding. His Lost Nation Orchard is part of a medicinal herb farm in northern New Hampshire. Michael's most recent book, "The Holistic Orchard: Tree Fruits and Berries the Biological Way," received Garden Book of the Year honors from the American Horticultural Society in 2012.

2016 Summer Conference Set for Amherst, MA
The  Northeast Organic Farming Association's Summer Conference will be held August 12-14, 2016, in Amherst, MA.  At the NOFA Summer Conference, you may learn as much across a lunch table as you will at workshops--solve your most pressing challenge in a chance discussion with a stranger, or create the spark that is going to be your next big idea! Children and teens also have their own conference experience with a parade, workshops and activities that build their organic vision for the future.

Fore more information, visit the website http://nofasummerconference.org 
2017 Winter Conference in Planning Mode
We are so pleased and excited to announce that Joel Salatin will join us as Keynote Speaker for our 2017 Winter Conference (January 28, 2017)!
If you are interested in presenting, sponsoring, vending, or volunteering at next year's Winter Conference, or joining the Winter Conference planning committee, please email   winterconference@nofanh.org

2017 Winter Conference keynote speaker
2017 Winter Conference keynote speaker

Take NOFA Soil Carbon Practices Survey
NOFA/Mass is compiling a database about the growing practices of anyone who manages land--farmers, gardeners, homeowners, professionals, etc.--in the northeast. Please use this link (https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/B98BTTT) to answer their 9-question survey about yourpractices, learning interests, and willingness to be part of research trials measuring carbon building results. Questions: contact Jack Kittredge, Mass Carbon Analyst for NOFA/Mass.

NH Gleans Gearing Up for 2016 with New Website and Resources
NH Gleans, an initiative of NH Farm to School, is getting ready to begin another year of gleaning thanks to the continued funding support from the You Have Our Trust Fund of the NH Charitable Foundation. NOFA-NH is one of seven partner organizations involved with the program which is entering it's fourth year. We had a fantastic year last season, gleaning almost 110,000 lbs of produce collectively from 89 farms, which was distributed to 59 recipient organizations around the state. Shelly Smith is NOFA-NH's gleaning coordinator and most of her work is in the seacoast region. She and her husband own White Cedar Farm in Kingston. To contact Shelly about a gleaning opportunity or to volunteer in the Seacoast region, e-mail her at shelly@seacoasteatlocal.org .

NH Gleans is also launching a new website this year that will enable all coordinators to schedule gleans, register volunteers and have farmers fill out crop donation forms. The contact information for all of the coordinators and the regions they work in can be found on the site:  http://nhgleans.org/index.php. If you are a farmer with produce to donate or are interested in being a volunteer gleaner, please visit the website and sign up!

NOFA-NH is also included in the National Gleaning Project, a resource developed at UVM's Law School intended to be a clearinghouse for gleaning and food recovery related information from across the country  http://forms.vermontlaw.edu/farmgleaning/GleaningOrgs.cfm   The website lists all NH organizations involved with gleaning as well as Federal and state laws and regulations associated with gleaning. 

For more information about any of the gleaning programs, contact: Stacey.Purslow@unh.edu

Organic Farmers & Advocates in Vermont Call for a Moratorium on "Organic Hydroponics"
A movement that began in Vermont has spread across the Northeast and beyond. The movement to "keep the soil in organic" has taken root, because organic farmers understand that healthy, biologically active soils are the foundation of organic growing. Many  feel that hydroponic operations (which rely on nutrient solutions and soil-less mediums) do not fit into the soil-based paradigm of organic. 

After years of effort, including a demonstration at the Fall 2015 National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting in Stowe, VT, it appears the voices of organic farmers are being heard. At this year's NOFA-VT Winter Conference in Burlington, Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy announced that he would ask Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to place a moratorium on new hydroponic organic certifications. In February, Senator Leahy (who drafted the Organic Foods Production Act in 1990) penned a letter to Secretary Vilsack in defense of keeping the soil in organic. To learn more, get updates, and sign the petition for a moratorium on hydroponic organic certification, visit    keepthesoilinorganic.org

Thanks to NOFA-VT for sharing this update with us at NOFA-NH. For more background on the origins of the movement, please visit  nofavt.org/blog/keeping-soil-certified-organic  for an interview with farmer Dave Chapman. 

Grow-A-Row Program to Benefit NH Food Bank
Volunteers help Concord Food Co-op's Food Manager Stacey Cooper plant a row of veggies
Concord Food Co-op announced that in 2016 they are partnering with the NH Food Bank to pilot a program with the aim to get more organic, fresh produce into the hands of those who depend on local food banks. 

The Co-op is trying to assess the level of interest farms may have in participating this season and to get commitments to this program.  The basic format will be as follows:
  1. Generate interest and commitments from 4-6 certified organic vegetable growers
  2. Farms grow either carrots or onions (or both) for target dates
  3. Farms deliver harvested produce in bags to either Generation Farm or the Concord Food Coop in the target week, topped carrots (don't need to be washed) or cured onions (don't need to be topped )
  4. The Coop along with Generation Farm and hopefully some volunteers will take responsibility for washing carrots and topping the onions
  5. NH Food Bank will pick up the produce from Generation Farm on the target dates, package the produce into individual servings and distribute it to local food banks
For the target dates and full details, please contact Greg Lessard at the Concord Food Co-op:   

Agricultural Justice Project's Food Justice Certification
click image to see Steps to Certification document
Fairness--in payments to farmers for their products, in pay and working conditions for farmworkers--is included in the four principles of Organic Agriculture, though left out of the National Organic Program. The Agricultural Justice Project's  Food Justice Certification  is one way to make sure fairness is happening on and for organic farms. 

Food Justice Certification is a domestic fair trade label created by the Agricultural Justice Project (AJP). Read the standards and full policy manual on the AJP website:   www.agriculturaljusticeproject.org

Also on the  AJP website, in the section for farmers, is a Tool-kit that includes a long list of resources:
  1. A self-assessment check list so a farmer can evaluate readiness for FJC
  2. A self-assessment check list for fair pricing
  3. A downloadable template for labor policies so that a farmer can quickly create a set of employee guidelines that are FJC compliant
  4. Intern learning contract examples
  5. Resources on calculating production costs as basis for pricing that fully covers these costs
  6. A guide to fair contracts

$26 Million in Funding Available through Farmers Market & Local Food Promotion Program
Excerpt from National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition blog

Local and regional food systems are expanding nationwide. These systems create new economic opportunities for small and mid-sized family farmers, increase consumer access to fresh and healthy food, and improve rural livelihoods.

USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS)  is now accepting applications for over $26 million in grant funding to strengthen local and regional food systems through the  Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program  (FMLFPP).

Growing Organics? USDA's Farm Service Agency Can Help
Excerpt from USDA news release by Val Dolcini, USDA Farm Service Agency administrator

For farmers and ranchers growing organics, the USDA Farm Service Agency offers (FSA) several programs that can help. We recently announced that we'll be providing financial assistance to organic producers to establish up to 20,000 acres of conservation buffer zones, which are protective natural borders along fields that produce organic crops. Through our Conservation Reserve Program, funds can be used to establish shrubs and trees, or support pollinating species that can be planted in blocks or strips, helping to improve soil and water quality while also providing more wildlife habitat. Interested organic producers can offer eligible land for enrollment in the program at any time.

FSA also provides risk protection for organic crop losses due to natural disasters through our Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program, which can cover 55 to 100 percent of the average market price for organic crop losses of 50 to 65 percent of expected production due to a natural disaster. 

We offer several different types of low-interest financing as well, from traditional loans to help with operating costs, or to purchase farmland, and a microloan option with a streamlined application process. We also provide loans that can be used to build or upgrade storage for organic commodities, including cold storage, grain bins, bulk tanks and drying and handling equipment. 

We even offer services such as mapping farm and field boundaries and reporting organic acreage that can be provided to a farm's organic certifier or crop insurance agent.

To learn more about these FSA programs, visit www.fsa.usda.gov/organic or visit a local FSA office. 

To find your local office, visit http://offices.usda.gov

And to learn more about other USDA programs that can help organic producers, visit www.usda.gov/organic .

Safety Awareness in the Food Environment
Friday, April 1, 10am-12pm
The Community Kitchen, Keene
S.A.F.E. reviews critical food safety and sanitation concepts such as personal hygiene, preventing cross contamination, and controlling time and temperature. S.A.F.E. workshops provide food safety training for new employees and refresher information for more experienced staff. The 2 hour workshop uses practical discussion and hands-on demonstrations to help participants apply safe food handling practices in the workplace. SAFE participants receive fact sheets and a certificate of attendance. See flyer for more information:  http://extension.unh.edu/events/files/BDB66D77-5056-A432-4F27040035F21176.pdf

Fruit Pruning Demonstration: Grapevines
Friday, April 1, 5:30pm-7pm
Brookdale Fruit Farm, Hollis
UNH Cooperative Extension Food and Agriculture Field Specialist George Hamilton will demonstrate pruning techniques for grapevines.  All pruning demos are outside and rain or shine. Please be prepared for weather and snow!  See flyer for more information: http://extension.unh.edu/events/files/30E1B06E-5056-A432-4F4EABEE92328A95.pdf

Open House at UNH's Macfarlane Research Greenhouse
Friday, & Saturday, April 1 & 2
UNH Durham
Learn about creating pollinator gardens, natural pest control, permaculture, and incorporating more greens into your diet.  A facility of the  NH Agricultural Experiment Station , the  UNH Macfarlane Research Greenhouses  provide a venue for UNH faculty, staff and students to present colorful displays and educational lectures of interest to home gardeners and landscapers. Garden show-quality displays will showcase the landscape of Winnie the Pooh. Poster displays will detail the latest in UNH research on vegetable and fruit breeding, aquaponics and more. http://colsa.unh.edu/nhaes/article/2016/03/greenhouseopenhouse .

Fruit Pruning Demonstration: Apple & Blueberry
Saturday, April 2, 10am-1pm
Riverview Farm, Plainfield
UNH Cooperative Extension Food and Agriculture Field Specialist George Hamilton will demonstrate pruning techniques for grapevines. All pruning demos are outside and rain or shine. Please be prepared for weather and snow! See flyer for more information:   http://extension.unh.edu/events/files/89807577-5056-A432-4F3ED239C47FB9FA.pdf

Blueberry Pruning Workshop
Saturday, April 2, 10am-12pm
Picnic Rock Farm, Meredith
Belknap County Food & Agriculture Field Specialist Kelly McAdam will demonstrate pruning techniques to keep your backyard blueberry bushes healthy. Maintaining existing plantings, particularly older plantings, will be the focus.  Bring your questions!  This event will be held rain/snow or shine! Please come dressed for the weather. See flyer for more information:  http://extension.unh.edu/events/files/C9675482-5056-A432-4FEF4BE2E3D91484.pdf

Backyard Chicken Basics
Monday, April 4, 6:30-8pm
Plaistow Public Library, Plaistow
Facts and practical tips about raising egg-laying chickens and broilers. This workshop is appropriate for those interested in obtaining chickens, or those who already own backyard chickens and want to learn more about their proper care. Youth are welcome! See flyer for more information: http://extension.unh.edu/resources/files/Resource005804_Rep8204.pdf

Initial Pesticide Certification Training
Tuesday, April 5 & 12, 6-9pm [Testing Date: Tuesday, April 19]
Pease Public Library, Plymouth
This educational program is designed to provide introductory training so that New Hampshire growers may obtain the knowledge, skills and confidence to take the state certification exam and pass. This training is also to help individuals learn the safe practices of applying pesticides while producing a high quality crop and protecting themselves and the environment.  If you are looking for instruction for first-time certification or if you would like to receive recertification credits in 2016 to use or purchase restricted-use pesticides this training is for you. Six recertification credits will be offered. Advance registration is required for all and space is limited. Cost of the program is $50 per two night session. The testing is an additional fee of $20.00 (covers the application fee for the test) plus there is an additional $5.00 fee for the category. There are required study materials for initial training and the price ranges from $120.00 to $165.00 per set, depending on category. The study materials need to be ordered before class begins and are available at the Education Center, 329 Mast Road, Goffstown, NH 03045. Questions? Call: 351-3831 or 1-877-398-4769. Training combined with individual study has the best track record in preparing someone to take the state pesticide license exams.

Container & Raised Bed Gardening
Wednesday, April 6, 7-9pm
Massabesic Audubon Center, Auburn
Growing fruits and veggies in containers is a great way to save space and improve the efficiency of your garden. Instructor Ron Christie, of UNH Cooperative Extension and Living Earth Farm [also NOFA-NH board member] will show you all the tricks to growing healthy, bountiful plants in small spaces. Check out the full list of spring gardening workshops at:  http://extension.unh.edu/resources/files/Resource005822_Rep8164.pdf

A Fungus Among Us
Wednesday, April 13, 7-9pm
Massabesic Audubon Center, Auburn
Do you have sickly plants or tons of gnarly weeds in your garden? Let Instructor Ron Christie, of UNH Cooperative Extension and Living Earth Farm [also NOFA-NH board member] provide you with strategies and solutions to reduce diseases and manage weed pressures in your garden. Check out the full list of spring gardening workshops at:  http://extension.unh.edu/resources/files/Resource005822_Rep8164.pdf

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
Wednesday, April 20, 7-9pm
Massabesic Audubon Center, Auburn
Squash bugs and potato beetles. Mice and ground hogs. Deer, bear, DRAGONS! They're all in my garden! Instructor Ron Christie, of UNH Cooperative Extension and Living Earth Farm [also NOFA-NH board member] will teach you how to attract and keep the good guys around while scaring the bad guys away. Check out the full list of spring gardening workshops at 

Introduction to Permaculture Weekend
Saturday & Sunday, April 23 & 24, 9am to 4pm
[Reservation deadline: April 9]
Cite Ecologique Learning Center, Colebrook
Have you heard about Permaculture and want to learn more? Then this is the course for you! This short introduction to Permaculture will build a strong foundation for understanding and applying Permaculture ethics and design principles. You will gain a framework and a process to approach a residential property with permaculture eye. You will gain confidence about taking strides on your own property, and will dispel that feeling of not knowing "where to start." You will understand much more about Permaculture as a design approach and get a new lens for viewing the landscape. Meals and lodging options available for a small fee. To see the program visit: www.citelc.org. For more information, contact: 331-1669; leonie@citeecologiquenh.org

A Four Season Harvest
Wednesday, April 27, 7-9pm
Massabesic Audubon Center, Auburn
Yes! You can harvest fresh veggies all year long, even in New Hampshire! Instructor Ron Christie, of UNH Cooperative Extension and Living Earth Farm [also NOFA-NH board member] will teach you the strategies and techniques for year-round vegetabe production. He will even show you how to build an inexpensive greenhouse. Check out the full list of spring gardening workshops at:  http://extension.unh.edu/resources/files/Resource005822_Rep8164.pdf

Growing Your Favorite Veggies
Wednesday, May 4, 7-9pm
Massabesic Audubon Center, Auburn
Beans, the magical fruit . . . Carrots and onions, cucumber and squash, lettuce, broccoli, spinach, tomatoes; they are all magical! Instructor Ron Christie, of UNH Cooperative Extension and Living Earth Farm [also NOFA-NH board member] will show you some nifty tricks for greater success and improved yields. Check out the full list of spring gardening workshops at:  http://extension.unh.edu/resources/files/Resource005822_Rep8164.pdf

Farm Visit: Living Earth Farm
Saturday, May 7, 10am-12pm
Living Earth Farm, Brookline
Tour Living Earth Farm, a certified organic micro-farm in Brookline , to see how they put principles into practice. For more information, visit:

Permaculture Through the Seasons Design Certification Course
starts May 14; meets one weekend a month for seven months
D Acres, Dorchester
Internationally recognized 72 hour design course instructed by Steve Whitman, Chris Skoglund, Molly Messenger, Josh Arnold, Dave Wichland, Bryan Felice, Marylena Sevigney & Josh Trought. This curriculum based course introduces the ethics, principles and practices of permaculture. This course is designed to maximize practical learning by following the annual flow of the seasons. Participants will gain exposure to the rthymn of the seasons and activities at the farm from planting to harvest & preservation. The course culminates with a permaculture design presented by each student for a location of their choice. Course graduates will receive a Permaculture design certificate. For full details, visit:

Holistic Orchard Workshop with Michael Phillips
Saturday, May 21, from 10am-5pm
Canterbury Shaker Village, Canterbury 
See article above. Discount available for NOFA-NH members. Enrollment is limited, register today!   https://www.eventbrite.com/e/holistic-orchard-workshop-tickets-23054850679

What's happening in neighboring states?
NOFA-NH's Mission
 We actively promote regenerative, ecologically sound gardening, farming and land care practices for healthy communities. 
We help people build local, sustainable, healthy food systems.

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Office Hours
9am to 2pm

Contact Info
84 Silk Farm Road 
(inside Audubon Center)
Concord, NH 03301
(603) 224-5022

Board of Directors
Amy Manzelli, president
Reagan Bissonnette, vice presidnet
Larry Brigden, treasurer
John Martin, secretary
Ron Christie
Joan O'Connor
Stacey Purslow

Renee Ciulla,
SCBG/enterprise analysis grant coordinator

Monica Rico, winter conference coordinator

Eve Scarcello, office administrator

Cheryl Walenty, finance coordinator

Seeking Board Members
NOFA-NH is seeking enthusiastic individuals experienced and skilled in financial management and development to join its dynamic volunteer board of directors.  
  • Would you like to support the local and organic food movement in New Hampshire?
  • Do you have experience in financial management, such as accounting, tax or financial planning?
  • Do you have experience in development or sales, such as real estate or business development?  
If so, we would like to hear from you!  
Please contact Amy Manzelli, NOFA-NH president, at   manzelli@nhlandlaw.com


Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Hampshire
84 Silk Farm Road,  Concord, NH 03301