nofanh header border
Organic  Connection
M o n t h l y   E - N e w s l e t t e r

Winter Conference Success
The 14th Annual NOFA-NH Winter Conference was a huge success! Held at Rundlett Middle School in Concord, NH on Saturday, January 30th, the conference drew crowds from near and far. NOFA-NH was proud to host Dr. Wes Jackson as the keynote speaker and offer more than 35 workshops spanning a diverse array of topics. Some well-known authors and presenters joined us including Ben Hewitt, discussing topics from his latest book The Nourishing Homestead; Peter Burke, author of Year-Round Indoor Salad Gardening; and Russ Cohen, author of Wild Plants I have Known...And Eaten.

Other conference highlights included our first annual Seed Swap table, sponsored by High Mowing Organic Seeds; a bustling Green Market Fair; delicious meals made with local and organic ingredients by The Crust and Crumb Baking Company; live music performances by the DoBros; our annual awards ceremony; book signing with the authors hosted by MainStreet BookEnds; and a lovely mixer after-party, hosted once again by Arnie Arneson.

Joshua Trought of D Acres presented
Farming is the Answer:
Community-Scale Permaculture Farm
We are looking ahead to the 15th Annual NOFA-NH Winter Conference on Saturday, January 28, 2017. We are so pleased and excited to announce that Joel Salatin will join us as Keynote Speaker next year! Thanks to all who helped make this year's Winter Conference a success, especially our generous sponsors, exhibitors, presenters, and volunteers - we could not do it without you. See you next year!
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

GMO Labeling Bill Activity
On February 10th, the New Hampshire State House voted down a bill that would have mandated labeling on products produced with genetic engineering. The GMO Labeling bill, HB 1674, was a similar bill to the ones already passed in Maine and Connecticut and the one set to go into effect July 1, 2016, in Vermont. We were disappointed, but not surprised. To those who were able to call their legislators, thank you!

The fight continues in Washington, D.C. The biotech industry and the Grocery Manufacturers Association are very anxious about the upcoming implementation of Vermont's labeling law and are continuing to pursue a federal solution. Senator Pat Roberts from Kansas has introduced a trimmed down version of the Pompeo Bill (the DARK act) passed in the house last summer. The Senate Agriculture Committee was marking up his bill on Thursday, February 25. 

Please stay tuned for more information via a possible action alert. If Sen. Roberts bill makes it out of committee, we will need to make sure that our New Hampshire Senators help keep it off the floor!

Consumer Demand Bolstering Organic Production and Markets in U.S.
Excerpted from USDA blog post by Catherine Greene

Organic food sales in the United States have shown double-digit growth during most years since the 1990s, and this trend shows no sign of slowing.  The Nutrition Business Journal reports annual growth in the nation's organic food sales has generally exceeded 10 percent since the downturn in the American economy in 2008.  U.S. organic food sales approached an estimated $37 billion in 2015, up 12 percent from the previous year.  The country's top food retailers, including Costco, Kroger, Walmart and Target, have expanded their organic food offerings in recent years, and have announced initiatives which could further boost demand.

Although organic sales have been increasing from a small base, the Organic Trade Association estimates that U.S. organic food purchases accounted for nearly 5 percent of the total food market in 2014.  In addition, U.S. sales of organic personal care products, linens, and other nonfood items were in excess of an estimated $3 billion in 2014.  Certified organic farmland has also expanded, while not as fast as organic sales.

The top two organic food categories-fresh fruits and vegetables and dairy products-have been increasing rapidly, along with sales of organic bread, packaged foods, snacks, beverages, poultry, meat and condiments.   Read the full article . . .

Find out more about the USDA 2016 Agriculture Outlook Forum at 

National Ag Day Event Planning Resources
Tuesday, March 15, 2016, is National Ag Day, a day organized by the Agriculture Council of America (ACA) to celebrate the abundance provided by American agriculture. The ACA encourages producers, agricultural associations, corporations, universities, government agencies, and others, to organize events to increase the public awareness of how food is produced, the value or agriculture in our economy, the abundance of safe and affordable products, and the career opportunities in the agricultural industry. If you're considering planning an Ag Day event, here are links to some helpful resources from the ACA:

Sunday, March 6, 2016, 10am-1pm (Raindate: Sunday, March 13th) 
Hackleboro Orchards, Canterbury
Harry Weiser of Hackleboro Orchards will be using over 30 years of pruning expertise to demonstrate pruning of standard, semi-dwarf and dwarf apple trees. This event is free and open to everyone. The event is outdoors, so please dress accordingly. Free hot coffee, fresh cider donuts, and apples will be available. Questions can be directed to Harry Weiser at: Sponsored by UNH Cooperative Extension.  Visit  UNH's Cooperative Extension website  to learn more about the other great agricultural workshops and events for farmers, homesteaders, and gardeners. 
Monday, March 7, 2016, 6:30pm 
Boscawen Municipal Complex,  Boscawen
The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is the most destructive non-native insect in North America. Over the past few years, it has been found infesting and killing ash trees in forests and landscapes throughout central and southern New Hampshire. Experiences in other states tell us we can't eradicate EAB from New Hampshire, but we can protect high-value trees and slow the spread of the ash mortality. Come learn the facts and get your questions answered by UNH Cooperative Extension Field Specialists, Tim Fleury, Natural Resources and Amy Papineau, Food & Agriculture. Register on-line at: or contact Mary West at 796-2151 or Co-sponsored by UNH Cooperative Extension and the Boscawen Agricultural Commission.  Visit  UNH's Cooperative Extension website  to learn more about the other great agricultural workshops and events for farmers, homesteaders, and gardeners. 

Workshop & Potluck Dinner with Monadnock Farm & Community Coalition
Tuesday, March 8, 4:30pm-7pm
Alyson's Orchard, Walpole
Workshop topics include Marketing Your Farm Business, Estate Planning: Caring for the Future of Your Farm and Infrastructure Needs Planning for Our Region. Click to learn more and register.
Gardening for Wildlife: Natural Landscaping for a Better Backyard
Wednesday, March 9, 2016, 6:30pm  
Hooksett Public Library, Hooksett
Donna Miller, UNHCE Speaking for Wildlife presenter and Master Gardener, will talk about how anyone with a backyard, garden, or landscaped area can help wildlife by altering their landscaping and gardening practices. Includes discussion of wildlife and habitats, plant choices, use of native plants, nest boxes and feeders, and issues such as invasive plants. To register for this free talk, contact the Hooksett Library at 485-6092. 

Annie's Project
Thursday, March 10, 9am-3pm
Best Western, Keene
Annie's Project is a series of weekly classes on a variety of agricultural business and risk management topics.  The goal of the education program is to empower farm women who want to be even more knowledgeable about their agricultural enterprises.  Annie's Project creates a comfortable and supportive learning environment focused on the best farm business management practices.  This enables women to be even stronger business partners in their farming operation. Cost: $60 ($90 per farm).  Learn more and register.

Raspberry School
Friday, March 11, 9:30am-3:30pm
This workshop is designed to give new raspberry growers the tools they need to be successful and to serve as a refresher for experienced growers. For details, see flyer.

Permaculture Through the Seasons Design Certification Course
starts May 14; meets one weekend a month for seven months
[Early Bird Registration ends March 15]
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:

Social Media 101
Tuesday, March 15, 12pm-1:30pm
Hannah Grimes Center, Keene
This free workshop will give you a basic understanding of today's major social media platforms and teach you how to use them to achieve your personal and professional goals. You'll learn how to get set up, share meaningful content, and build and engage an audience across all the top social platforms--as well as some key emerging ones. View event details.

Maine Grass Farmers Network Annual Grazing Conference
Saturday, March 19, 8:30am-3:30pm
Kennebec Valley Community College, Hinckley, ME
For more information, visit:

Raspberry School
Tuesday, March 22, 9:30am-3:30pm
North Haverhill
This workshop is designed to give new raspberry growers the tools they need to be successful and to serve as a refresher for experienced growers. For details, see flyer.

Birds, Bats and Butterflies: Keeping Common Wildlife Common
Saturday, March 26, 2016, 2pm
Webster Town Hall, 945 Battle Street, Webster
Master Gardener Ruth Axelrod will be giving a Speaking for Wildlife talk on "Birds, Bats and Butterflies: Keeping Common Wildlife Common," sponsored by the Webster Free Public Library. This talk highlights a dozen wildlife species commonly seen in New Hampshire. Learn cool animal facts and find out about how the diverse mix of habitats in our region support these species. To register for this free talk, contact the Webster Library at 648-2706.

What's happening in neighboring states?
Our 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.

Like us on Facebook    Find us on Pinterest   

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

Monica Rico, winter conference coordinator

Eve Scarcello, office administrator

Cheryl Walenty, finance coordinator


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