10:00-11:15 am – Workshop Session II


  • Political Pathways to Pesticide-Free Communities - Phillip Ackerman-Leist

  • Growing Perennial Small Fruits in a Diverse Edible Forest Setting - Dani Baker

  • Seed Saving - Will Bonsall

  • Berries, Berries & More Berries: Blueberries Part II - Ron Christie

  • Using the Lean System to Manage Your Farm: Part II - Ben Hartman

  • Fencing Components and Design for an Efficient Grazing System - David Kennard

  • Principles to Produce Nutrient Dense Food - Dan Kittredge

  • Getting Started on a Homestead Apple Orchard - Jack Mastrianni

  • Biodynamic Principles and Practices - Anthony Mecca

  • Tools and Equipment for the Organic Farm - Andy Pressman

  • Prioritizing Soil Health in a No Till System - Julie Rawson

  • School Gardens - Dig Into a New Tool for Teaching - Ruth Smith

  • Quantifying the Sustainability Benefits of Small-Scale and Urban Agricultural Operations - Dr. John Zahina-Ramos

Political Pathways to Pesticide-Free Communities: A Suite of Stories & Approaches for Activists

Phillip Ackerman-Leist

The town of Mals in the Italian Alps became the first town in the world to ban all pesticides. Growing from a group of accidental activists into savvy advocates for a ground-breaking public referendum, the citizens of Mals used the precautionary principle, direct democracy, and collective action to become an international model for pesticide-free communities. Hear this fascinating story, get inspired and find out what strategies other communities around the US and abroad are using to pursue a pesticide-free future.


Philip Ackerman-Leist is the new Dean of the School of the New American Farmstead at Sterling College. He is also a farmer and the author of "A Precautionary Tale: How One Small Town Banned Pesticides, Preserved its Food Heritage, and Inspired a Movement"; "Rebuilding the Foodshed: How to Create Local, Sustainable, and Secure Food Systems"; and "Up Tunket Road: The Education of a Modern Homesteader."  With interests in digital storytelling and supporting environmental activists, he and his collaborators at the Lexicon of Sustainability partner created the “Toppling Goliath” multimedia project, www.topplinggoliath.org, focused on the first town in the world to pass a binding referendum calling for the elimination of all synthetic pesticides.

Growing Perennial Small Fruits in a Diverse Edible Forest Setting

Dani Baker


This workshop will characterize a variety of common and uncommon small fruits grown in a diverse permaculture-based edible forest setting. The preferred habitat, growth habit, fruit quality, suggested care, pest management and landscape appeal and marketing channels will be described for each plant based on the presenter's experience.   Appropriate for homeowners interested in edible  landscaping and organic farmers looking for a cutting edge niche.

Dani Baker is Co-Owner and full time farmer at Cross Island Farms in Northern NY State since 2006. She began the "Enchanted Edible Forest Garden" in 2013.

Seed Saving

Will Bonsall

Why save your own seeds? There are many reasons, more control over what you grow, more varieties available, to preserve rare varieties, cultivate cold hardy varieties, economics… or an act of resistance against an increasingly aggressive industrial agriculture system. Join Will to learn more about the importance of crop diversity, and how to save your own seeds.

Will Bonsall, director of the Scatterseed Project, is best known for his work in preserving crop diversity. His past occupations are as varied as his seed collection and includes draftsman, prospector, hobo, gravedigger, logger, musician, language teacher, and artist, among others. In addition to farming and seed saving, Bonsall is currently an active author. His works include Through the Eyes of a Stranger and Will Bonsall’s Guide to Radical, Self-Reliant Gardening.

Berries, Berries & More Berries: Blueberries Part II

Ron Christie

Blueberries are delicious, nutritious and easy to grow.  We will cover all aspects of growing berries including soil & fertility, variety selection, pests & diseases, and pruning techniques.

Ron Christie is passionate about teaching people how to grow their own nutritious food for better health and well-being.  He is an avid four-season grower and orchardist and loves sharing his experiences as a winter gardener and farmer. Ron worked for 16 years in the financial services industry before returning to New Hampshire in 2005 with his family.  Living Earth Farm, a “certified organic” micro farm, was created three years later.  Winter greens and salad mixes became a specialty.  Over time, the farm expanded into berries, vines and fruit trees (especially apples).
Ron became a Master Gardener Volunteer in the spring of 2009.  In 2010, he joined UNH Cooperative Extension as the Rockingham County Agricultural Resources Program Coordinator and directed the activities of the Master Gardener Volunteers in Rockingham. Research and experimentation was a big part of what went on at Living Earth Farm.  With a bit of imagination and some creativity Ron developed processes for growing that improved quality, yields and efficiencies on the farm.  All without the use of any pesticides, herbicides of fungicides (not even organic ones). Ron lives with his wife Mary and their two college-age children Steven and Julie in Stratham, NH.

Using the Lean System to Manage Your Farm: Part II

Ben Hartman

Lean is both a production system and a management system. In this session, Ben Hartman, author of The Lean Farm, will explain why lean is the most powerful management system in use today, and how it works on a farm. The session will cover the lean method for setting prices, managing workers, long-range planning, and accounting and recordkeeping. He will also cover the concepts of heijunka (load-leveling) and VSM (visual system management)--all with plenty of examples of how Clay Bottom Farm employs each lean practice.

Ben Hartman grew up on a corn and soybean farm in Indiana and graduated college with degrees in English and philosophy. He and his wife, Rachel Hershberger, own and operate Clay Bottom Farm in Goshen, Indiana, where they make their living growing and selling specialty crops on less than one acre. Their food is sold locally to restaurants and cafeterias, at a farmers market, and through a community-supported-agriculture (CSA) program. The farm has twice won Edible Michiana’s Reader’s Choice award. The Lean Farm, Ben’s first book, won the Shingo Institute’s prestigious Research and Professional Publication Award. In 2017, Ben was named one of fifty emerging green leaders in the United States by Grist, and published a companion guide to The Lean Farm titled The Lean Farm Guide to Growing Vegetables. Clay Bottom Farm has developed an online course in lean farming, which can be found at theleanfarmschool.com.

Fencing Components and Design for an Efficient Grazing System
David Kennard

David Kennard of Wellscroft Fence Systems will review how to design a grazing system to optimize your
pasture for various types of livestock. He will discuss the costs, labor requirements and fencing options
for each.

David Kennard of Wellscroft Farm in Harrisville NH has been farming sheep for over forty years and during that time has had over 12,000 lambs born in the winter. David is a regular speaker at NOFA conferences and farm shows, and hosts popular educational workshops such as Lambing Clinics, Fence Clinics and Grazing Workshops.  Along with his son, Colin, and their hard-working border collies, he also delights audiences with his informative and entertaining herding demonstrations at county fairs, sheep festivals, and farm days throughout New England.

Principles to Produce Nutrient Dense Food

Dan Kittredge

Nutrient Dense crops are the byproducts of well functioning biological systems. This workshop will cover a number of critical environmental conditions and management practices necessary for the production of these more flavorful, aromatic, nutritious, pest and disease resistant harvests. The foundational paradigm of how plants have evolved to operate in relation to their environments will be covered, along with practical suggestions having to do with seed quality, mineralization, minimal soil disturbance, inoculation, in season monitoring, integrating cover crops, managing for soil aeration and hydration, and intention.

Dan Kittredge has been an organic farmer for more than 30 years, and is the founder and executive director of the Bionutrient Food Association, a non-profit educational organization whose mission is to “increase quality in the food supply”. Known as one of the leading proponents of nutrient density, Dan has worked to demonstrate the connections between plant health, soil health, carbon sequestration, crop nutritional value, flavor and human health. Out of these efforts was born the Real Food Campaign, which has engineered the prototype of a hand-held consumer spectrometer that is designed to test nutrient density at point of purchase, thereby empowering the consumer to choose for nutrient quality. Via this tool, the deeper goal is to connect the economic incentives of consumers to growers to drive full system regeneration.

Getting Started on a Homestead Apple Orchard
Jack Mastrianni

Learn how to site, prep, plant and nourish apple trees using holistic organic methods. My bias is on low maintenance techniques and heirloom varieties. Also, will cover how to convert inherited trees back to a healthier state. Learn the basics about varieties, tree sources, rootstocks and basic pruning and grafting techniques.

Jack Mastrianni, Card carrying member of AAA (Apple Addicts Anonymous). Homestead orchardman following holistic, organic principles.

Biodynamic Principles and Practices

Anthony Mecca

Founded on agroecology, biodynamics takes a deep look at the dynamic activities of life, bringing each practitioner into an individual relationship with their landscape. This connection supports the healthy organization and management of a full array of 'organs' of a farm organism, including soil, plants, animals, and human communities, fruit trees and bushes, forests, wild spaces, water features, and the celestial realms relationship to life on earth.

Anthony Mecca has been farming and practicing biodynamics for 15 years, including managing a diversified CSA farm, Great Song Farm, for 8 years. He is currently working at Churchtown Dairy and coordinates Farmer Training with the Biodynamic Association.

Tools and Equipment for the Organic Farm
Andy Pressman

Organic farmers often face challenges in utilizing the right tools to meet their production needs. This workshop will explore the relationship between tools and equipment at different scales of production and the impact this can have on decision-making processes. It will feature appropriately-scaled tools and equipment for the small farm as a means of increasing production efficiencies. Information regarding equipment lending and rental programs in NH will be provided.

Andy Pressman is an Agriculture Specialist with the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). His background is in small-scale intensive farming systems. Through NCAT's ATTRA Program, Andy works with farmers by providing technical assistance and education in the fields of organic crop production, tools and equipment for the small farm, and whole-farm planning. Andy and his family live in Jaffrey, NH where they operate Foggy Hill Farm; a small diversified farm, CSA, and apiary.

Prioritizing Soil Health in a No Till System

Julie Rawson

After 4 years in various stages of tillage reduction (after tilling for 33 years) on 2 ½ acres vegetable crops) integrated with animal rotations and perennial fruit crops we are still learning. This workshop will discuss some basic principles around maximum fertility and go into some detail around our no till system and our continuing evolution toward more efficient practices.

Julie Rawson is a lifelong farmer, certified organic at Many Hands Organic Farm, Barre, MA since 1987, focusing on carbon sequestration and ultimate fertility and food quality.

School Gardens - Dig Into a New Tool for Teaching
Ruth Smith


Teachers don't need one more subject to teach about, but having a new tool to engage students in STEM, Language Arts, or Social Studies can make teaching and learning even more meaningful. Discover some of the steps for getting started with an educational garden, how to integrate garden activities with existing curriculum and methods for making a school garden manageable. Learn how NH Master Gardener volunteers can educate about gardening and help create a sustainable teaching garden.

Ruth Smith has worked with educators and youth for nearly 30 years as Program and Camp Director for NH Audubon, statewide Coordinator of NH Agriculture in the Classroom and now as the statewide Master Gardener Coordinator for UNH Cooperative Extension. In addition to helping teachers explore ways to use gardens to teach nearly any topic, Ruth enjoys helping children and adults connect with and become stewards of the earth through gardening.

Quantifying the Sustainability Benefits of Small-Scale and Urban Agricultural Operations
Dr. John Zahina-Ramos


Local and sustainably-raised food is a good idea, but how good is it? How do you know if a food-growing operation is truly sustainable? How can the sustainability benefits of food-growing operations be objectively measured? Dr. Z will present an enlightening tale of how he turned an urban food garden into a research study that demonstrates how the economic, environmental and social aspects of sustainability can be measured. He will present methods that will benefit both growers and policy-makers

Dr. John Zahina-Ramos has been featured on the PBS series Victory Garden's Edible Feast and is an award-winning author of two books on food sustainability. Dr. Z has taught at Loyola University Chicago and community colleges on the topics of environmental sustainability, sustainable agriculture and environmental issues. He is an avid backyard food grower and founded the Just One Backyard Web Resource (www.justonebackyard.com) to promote the practice of sustainable food growing.

Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Hampshire

A Voice for Organic Agriculture in NH

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