Winter Conference Schedule

Thank you to the many skilled presenters who joined us this year!
View or Download the 2017 Workshop Schedule here

Joel Salatin - Keynote Speaker

 

Joel Salatin is a renowned author, lecturer, and third-generation farmer on his family's Polyface Farm in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley. Read Joel's full bio...

 

In addition to his evening Keynote event, Joel will offer the following four conference workshops.

Pastured Poultry Profits 8:30 - 9:45 am

(LA, BF, AG) Joel Salatin

Perhaps the most doable pastured-based livestock enterprise is poultry. The reasons are numerous: lowest up-front investment, quick cash turnaround, marketability, easily differentiated, child-friendly, simple and portable infrastructure, and on-farm processing. In this mature Polyface model, Salatin walks you through broilers, egg layers, and turkeys. They all have distinctive needs for diet, shelter, marketing, and processing. This talk is hard core how-to, going into the intricate details from brooding to processing. This is still the centerpiece enterprise at Polyface Farm.


Salad Bar Beef 10:00 - 11:15 am

(LA, BF, AG) Joel Salatin

This is the term Salatin coined to describe his pasture-finished cattle: fresh daily paddocks and lots of forage species variety. A hard core how-to talk, this one walks the audience through electric fencing, water systems, breeding, movement logistics, forage growth and rest cycles, stockpiling for dormant seasons, and processing. A permutation on the theme is mob stocking herbivorous solar conversion lignified carbon sequestration fertilization. Whew! And it’s all here to see.

 

Relationship Marketing 2:00 - 3:00 pm

(AB) Joel Salatin with co-presenters Lane & Meryl Nevins, and Chef Evan Mallett

For nearly half a century, Polyface Farm’s patron base has morphed and expanded with the culture and new food awareness. As a 10-year-old with a backyard flock of laying hens, Salatin pedaled eggs around his rural neighborhood in the basket of his bicycle. Mixing humorous stories with passionate “aha’s”, this presentation draws from a host of marketing venues to educate and entertain. Currently, Polyface supplies some 400 families from an on-farm store, 1,600 families in Metropolitan Buying Clubs, 30 restaurants, and 10 retail venues. Each has assets and liabilities, and Salatin freely discusses all the nuances. Heavy on hilarious stories, this talk empowers otherwise reluctant marketers to go for it.

Prospect Farm is a diversified livestock farm dedicated to raising heritage breeds humanely and in harmony with nature. Husband-and-wife team, Lane and Meryl Nevins use rotational and multi-specie grazing practices to raise pigs, chickens, turkeys and cattle on a 115 acres in Northern NH. Prospect Farm offers a modern Meat CSA with multiple pickup frequencies and locations, a monthly payment option and customized shares that are selected through an online system. Their honest meat is also available through regional restaurants and stores, along with farmers' markets.

Chef Evan Mallett’s path to professional cooking was a sinuous one, wending its way from Washington, D.C. up the coast to Boston and ultimately the small seaport city of Portsmouth, New Hampshire.  In 2007 Evan and his wife Denise bought what would become the Black Trumpet, becoming stewards of an historic restaurant location—an old ship’s chandlery that in 1970 first opened as the legendary Blue Strawberry, a pioneer of New American cuisine. Evan is a three-time James Beard semi-finalist for Best Chef, Northeast. He is actively involved and sits on the boards of Chef's Collaborative, Slow Food Seacoast, and the Heirloom Harvest Project, an initiative that brings together farmers, chefs, and educators to identify and restore a food system native to the greater New England Seacoast region.

Fields of Farmers 3:15 - 4:15 pm
(AB) Joel Salatin with co-presenter Kristen Kilfoyle
The 
actuarials are in:  the average farmer is nearly 60 years old;  half of America’s farmland will change hands in the next 20 years;  medium-sized farms are being squeezed out faster than either small or large farms.  Abandoned farmland now accounts for more converted acreage than developed farmland.  All of this reflects a basic principle:  when impediments to entry in any economic sector keep young people from entering–if young people can’t get in–then old people can’t get out.  And yet we see a tsunami of interest in local food, young people ready to farm.  How do we transition with working cross-generational successional farming enterprises?  Bearing the same title as his 2013 book,  in this talk Salatin bears his soul in practical and heart-felt stories to provide templates of success.

Kristen Kilfoyle, along with her husband Dan, owns and operates Sugar River Farm in Newport, NH. Together, they raise pastured chicken, turkey, pork, laying ducks and chickens and grass fed raw milk. Kristen interned with Joel Salatin at Polyface Farm in 2014 and blogs for Mother Earth News.

KEYNOTE ADDRESS: "Folks, This Ain’t Normal" 4:30 - 6:00 pm

Joel Salatin


Based on his book by the same title, this whimsical performance is filled with history, satire, and prophecy. While most Americans seem to think our techno-glitzy disconnected celebrity-worshipping culture will be the first to sail off into a Star Trek future unencumbered by ecological umbilicals, Salatin bets that the future will instead incorporate more tried and true realities from the past.
Ours is the first culture with no chores for children, cheap energy, heavy mechanization, computers, supermarkets, TV dinners and unpronounceable food.  Although he doesn’t believe that we will return to horses and buggies, wash boards, and hoop skirts, Salatin believes we will go back in order to go forward, using technology to re-establish historical normalcy.
 

Conference Schedule - Saturday, January 28, 2017

WORKSHOP TRACKS

Advanced Growers (AG)

Agricultural Business (AB)

Beginning Farmers (BF)

Carbon/Soils (CS)

Gardening/Homesteading (GH)

Health/Nutrition (HN)

Livestock/Animals (LA)

Policy/Advocacy (PA)

School Gardens (SG)

Registration, Breakfast, Green Market Fair

Session 1 Workshops

Break

Session 2 Workshops

Green Market Fair, book signing, seed swap

Lunch, NOFA-NH Annual Meeting, Awards Ceremony

Soil Carbon Panel Discussion

Green Market Fair, book signing, seed swap

Session 3 Workshops

Break

Session 4 Workshops

Keynote Event - Joel Salatin

7:30 - 8:30 am

8:30 - 9:45 am

9:45 - 10:00 am

10:00 - 11:15 am

11:15 - 11:45 am

11:45 am - 12:30 pm 12:30 - 1:30 pm

1:30 - 2:00 pm

2:00 - 3:00 pm

3:00 - 3:15 pm

3:15 - 4:15 pm

4:30 - 6:00 pm

Soil Carbon Panel Discussion 12:30 - 1:30 pm

Will Bonsall, Dan Holmes, Jack Kittredge, Bryan O'Hara, Julie Rawson

 

Growers who are experimenting with farming to build their soil carbon will discuss what works and what doesn't. Jack Kittredge and Julie Rawson of Many Hands Organic Farm in Massachusetts will moderate. Anyone who wants to learn more about how to enhance the life in their soil, build resilience, and sequester carbon is welcome.

 

Will Bonsall is a subsistence farmer and author from Maine. He has written an eco-novel Through the Eyes of a Stranger, and the recently-released Will Bonsall Essential Guide to Radical Self-Reliant Gardening. He is the director of the Scatterseed Project and co-founder of the Grassroots Seed Network.

Dan Holmes has over 26 years of experience grazing beef and dairy cattle, and sheep in New Hampshire. His ruminant animals have been 100% grain-free for the last 15 years.

 

Jack Kittredge is the Carbon Analyst for NOFA/Mass and the author of the 16-page white paper “Soil Carbon Restoration: Can Biology Do the Job”. Before this he was the Policy Direct for NOFA/Mass for 15 years.

Bryan O'Hara has been growing vegetables for a livelihood for more than 25 years at Tobacco Road Farm in Lebanon, CT. He speaks throughout the Northeast on vegetable production techniques and is known for providing "mountains of details in a concise, practical, and cohesive manner." 

 

Julie Rawson is Executive Director of NOFA/Mass and has been employed by NOFA/Mass since 1985. She is co-owner of Many Hands Organic Farm, in Barre, Massachusetts, a certified organic mixed operation with animals, vegetables, and fruits, and president of Many Hands Sustainability Center.

Session 1 Workshops

8:30 - 9:45 am

Adding Resiliency- the role of solar power in strengthening the small farm economy

(AB) Jeff Cantara

An exploration of the potential for solar power to decrease overhead costs while increasing operational sustainability on the small NH farm.

 

Jeff Cantara studied Natural Resources Management at the University of Vermont and worked as a wildlife biologist and wildland firefighter in the Pacific Northwest. In 2001 he returned to NH and leased a small, organic farm where his passion for sustainable agriculture was born. The farm eventually grew into 70 acres of dynamic and diversified, permanently conserved land in the Great Bay watershed. In 2014 Jeff shifted his focus to the use of cutting edge technology in solar energy.

Implementing Permanent Raised Bed Systems

(BF, AG) Stacey Cooper

 

An introduction of permanent raised bed systems as inspired by Jean Martin Fortier. This workshop will focus on the theory behind raised bed systems, which focuses on deep, loose organic soils. We will then cover techniques for building and maintaining the beds in field conditions. Shaker Organic Gardens has implemented this system on half their land and would love to share our trials, successes and ideas with other farmers and gardeners who are interested in implementing this system.

 

Stacey Cooper became involved in organic farming in 2007 and is delighted to manage the small scale organic vegetable farm at Canterbury Shaker Village, sustained by the Concord Food Co-op. As a small one person operation, Stacey strives to implement sustainable practices, experiments with labor saving techniques and enjoys connecting with the community and history of the site.

Carbon Farming - Principles, Practice and Measurement

(CS) Jack Kittredge & Julie Rawson

 

We will discuss the principles behind carbon sequestration and the crucial to both soil health and environmental sustainability. We will discuss carbon sequestering principles being used on our farm and others in the Northeast including cover crops, no/low till, maximizing photosynthesis throughout the year, animals in rotation, compost and other natural materials, along with maximum nutrition through mineralization. We will discuss the NOFA/Mass carbon testing proxy program.

 

Jack Kittredge is the Carbon Analyst for NOFA/Mass and the author of the 16-page white paper “Soil Carbon Restoration: Can Biology Do the Job”. Before this he was the Policy Direct for NOFA/Mass for 15 years.

 

Julie Rawson is Executive Director of NOFA/Mass and has been employed by NOFA/Mass since 1985. She is co-owner of Many Hands Organic Farm, in Barre, Massachusetts, a certified organic mixed operation with animals, vegetables, and fruits, and president of Many Hands Sustainability Center.

Ferments, Ferments, Ferments!

(HN) Celeste Longacre

 

For tens of thousands of years, our ancestors ate fermented foods. They did this to preserve their food, but, as it turns out, ferments provided incredible benefits for gut health. They are loaded with probiotics and digestive enzymes and they make all of the vitamins and minerals present much more bio-available. Some are easy to make--Celeste can make a Fruit Kvass in less than three minutes. She will show us how to make Fruit Kvass, Beet Kvass, & fermented mayo and ketchup. Samples available.

 

Celeste Longacre is the author of "Celeste's Garden Delights" as well as a blogger for "The Old Farmer's Almanac" and "Mother Earth News." She and her husband, Bob, have been living organically and sustainably for nearly 40 years. She grows most of her family's vegetables for the entire year which she freezes, cans, ferments, dries and puts in a home made root cellar. She also has backyard chickens.

Battling Drought and Disease with Grafted Vegetables

(BF, AG) Janel Martin

​​

In this modern time of crazy weather patterns and unknown, hard to identify diseases, it can be hard to produce a healthy crop organically and in a sustainable way. Vegetative grafting is one way to increase the tolerance of vegetable plants like tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and melons to disease and even drought. Learn what, why and how of grafting, along with tips and tricks to get a successful vegetable crop with less water, and stress- for you and the plants.

 

Life-long farmer and graduate student, Janel Martin researches vegetative grafting focusing on field grown melons. Asking why, how, and what if are the ways she hopes to get to the answer of a sustainable future for all. Her research takes a broad, integrative approach to solutions, realizing that the outcome should bring about a balance of ecology, community, and economy for our biosphere. At the end of the day, it is the positive impact on others that drives her forward, and keeps her hands dirty.

School and Youth Gardens 101

(SG) Lorrie O'Connor, Stacey Purslow

 

This informative workshop is for those interested in developing a school garden program.  Where to begin, what kind of garden should we build, getting administrative support, options for what to do with the food we grow, what should we plant, teacher engagement, garden activities and curricular connections, funding sources….

 

Lorrie O’Connor is a retired teacher and Rockingham County Master Gardener who serves as a school garden mentor to numerous school districts in the county and around the state.


Stacey Purslow is the NH Farm to School program coordinator and a Strafford County Master Gardener.
 

No-Till Intensive Vegetable Growing

(BF, AG, CS) Bryan O'Hara 

​​

This workshop will present the details for growing large volumes of high-quality crops out of any given area without the use of tillage. The methods utilized in this system have demonstrated tremendous levels of weed control and irrigation reduction, as well as excellent soil improvement. Techniques include solarization, composted mulches, multi-cropping, cover-cropping, broadcast seeding, and so much more...

 

Bryan O'Hara has been growing vegetables for a livelihood for more than 25 years at Tobacco Road Farm in Lebanon, CT. He speaks throughout the Northeast on vegetable production techniques and is known for providing "mountains of details in a concise, practical, and cohesive manner." 

Fundamentals of Organic Lawn Care

(GH) Britt Phillips

 

Learn the basics of transitioning from chemical lawn care or the "we do nothing approach" to organic lawn management. We will cover why soil testing is so important and why it's the first step to having a more beautiful and natural lawn. We will also cover proper cultural practices, basic soil biology (because soil microbes are awesome!), fertilizing, soil amendments, and mechanical options like core aeration, compost topdressing, and how to brew your own compost tea!

 

Britt Phillips is a NOFA accredited organic land care professional who works with home owners, businesses, and organizations to build and maintain healthy, safe, lawns naturally. She has a passion for soil regeneration as it applies to the care of lawns and pastures. She's worked in all aspects of the landscape industry and has been focusing on organic lawn care since 2009. Complete Land Organics offers science based, chemical free, and fully customized organic turf management programs.

NOFA-NH Policy & Advocacy Round Table

(PA) Alexis Simpson, Kent Lawrence, Rob Werner

 

This participatory policy workshop will present conference-goers with a snapshot of the major policy issues facing sustainable and organic agriculture in the upcoming year. Those who attend will get a glimpse of what's on the table and where we are headed. We will also talk about how to get our voices heard effectively by the newly elected and appointed government officials at the state and federal levels.

Alexis Simpson, Chair of NOFA-NH Policy and Advocacy Committee, will facilitate the roundtable. Rob Werner from the League of Conservation Voters will be joining us and sharing their agriculture-related priorities as well. We truly hope there will be conversation, coalition-building, and cross-pollination of ideas as attendees introduce themselves and become a part of the roundtable.

 

Alexis Simpson serves as Chair of the NOFA-NH Policy & Advocacy Committee, and is a State Representative from Exeter and a member of the NH House Environment and Agriculture Committee. 

 

Kent Lawrence is a raw foods enthusiast and Certified Health Educator by Hippocrates Health Institute. He also serves on the NOFA-NH Policy & Advocacy Committee.

 

Rob Werner is NH State Director of the League of Conservation Voters, and previously served as the National Field Director of Americans for Campaign Reform. Rob is serving his fifth term on the Concord, NH City Council and is Chair of the Energy and Environment Committee.

Session 2 Workshops

10:00 - 11:15 am

School Garden Connections to Art, Nature, Nutrition and Community

(SG) Edith Couchman, Hannah Bissex, Jessica Ferenc, Tony Ferenc, Peggie Hart, Kasey Meisner, Tracy Martin

 

Arts as an integral framework for the learning experience: infusing authentic expression and creativity into garden studies.

 

Edith Couchman is a NH certified El. Ed. and Middle Level Science teacher (5-9) who has been teaching integrated visual arts and science programs in a variety of settings for over 20 years. She is currently the K-6 STREAM teacher for Infant Jesus School in Nashua. 

 

The Farm to Fork Fellowship is a student entrepreneurship and agricultural program which empowers students to do real work, and gain life skills, to become valuable partners in our local food systems. High school Fellows commit to a three-year work commitment where they run a small year round vegetable operation, develop and implement the business plan for a sustainable small business that occupies a unique niche in the local food system.

 

Hannah Bissex is the coordinator of the Farm to Fork program of the Cornucopia Project in Peterborough. She has pursued a number of educational models that combine math and science with the natural world and has recognized that farming is alive with problem-solving opportunities.

 

Peter Woodbury School Community Garden

The garden provides educational programming related to horticulture, art, music, writing and environmental science. Learn ways students engage with the garden including maintenance, garden club, tasting and cooking demonstrations and other classroom curricular connections. The garden also provides opportunities for community engagement. The garden coordinators, Jessica and Tony Ferenc, Peggie Hart and Kasey Meisner have used Growing Wild, Nature Explored and Project Learning Tree programs with students.

 

Maple Street School, Contoocook

The Maple Gardens provides a multitude of learning opportunities for our students.  We are teaching lifelong skills. Currently we have students involved in data collection on egg production, pre-vocational activities in the daily care and maintenance of the gardens and chickens. Everything we grow in our gardens and the eggs the chickens produce are served in our cafeteria. The 6th grade students have designed an 8x12 greenhouse we will be building in the spring. We’ll be starting our own vegetables for our raised beds and students will be bringing home plants to start their own gardens with their families. Tracy Martin is the office manager at Maple Street School and brings her love of gardening to the students.

Growing & Using Peaceful Herbs

(HN) Maria Noël Groves

 

Learn how to grow wonderful and beautiful herbs in your garden that promote peace ~ aiding sleep, boosting mood, quelling anxiety, and encouraging calm energy. We'll discuss some of Maria's favorite peaceful herbs for the temperate garden, including several appropriate for container gardening. We'll focus on favorites including holy basil, ashwagandha, gotu kola, milky oat seed, roses, lemon balm, blue vervain, skullcap, California poppy, valerian, and motherwort and touch on the many other great herbs that you can grow locally. You’ll learn the specific indications for using each herb medicinally, how to grow and harvest each one, and some of the best methods of preparation.

 

Maria Noël Groves, RH (AHG), registered clinical herbalist, runs Wintergreen Botanicals, nestled in the pine forests New Hampshire. She more than 20 years of experience with herbs, is certified by Michael Moore’s Southwest School of Botanical Medicine, a registered professional herbalist with the American Herbalists Guild, and founder of the NH Herbal Network She is the author of Body into Balance: An Herbal Guide to Holistic Self Care, teaches nationally, and offers health consultations.

How & Why To Keep Bees in Top Bar Hive

(BF, GH) Christy Hemenway

Top bar hives make sense for bees AND for beekeepers! Learn why natural beeswax - made by bees, for bees - is a very good idea for all of us, and why we like to say - "It's All About the Wax!" This workshop will lay the groundwork for those considering getting started with this natural beekeeping method. There will be a discussion of equipment, methods, philosophy. Plenty of Q&A included!

Christy Hemenway is the founder of Gold Star Honeybees, a TED speaker, and the author of the "Thinking Beekeeper" beekeeping series - two books on top bar hive beekeeping, and a soon to be released online training class. Gold Star Honeybees supports top bar beekeepers around the globe through our sponsored Facebook groups, and by traveling to teach this natural method.

Principles of Biological Systems & Implications

(CS, BF, AG) Dan Kittredge


We will cover the dynamics by which plants evolved to flourish, and management practices that support the environment for that to occur. Strategies for soil aeration, hydration, mineral balancing, inoculation, and feeding through the liquid carbon pathway will be presented. We will also cover broader implications for soil carbon sequestration, increases in pest and disease resistance, along with nutritive value, flavor, aroma, and shelf life. The lay of the land as it pertains to consumer education, marketing and the food movement will also be discussed.

 

Dan Kittredge has been farming organically for 30 years, and biologically for the last 10. He and his wife manage a 24 acre mixed farm in central Massachusetts with 2.5 acres of intensive vegetable, 8 hoop houses, pastured poultry, grass fed beef, and perennials in development. He is the founder and Executive Director of the Bionutrient Food Association, which is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to increasing quality in the food supply. He presents courses for growers regularly across North America.

THE WOODCHUCK RETURNS TO GARDENING

(GH) Ron Krupp

​​

The new book is a sister companion to my first book - THE WOODCHUCK'S GUIDE TO GARDENING. In the power-point presentation, I will follow the year through the seasons with garden stories, information, poetry and wit. A character called the "Chuckster", follows me around the garden path giving me a hard time and I respond in kind. I also include information on climate change. The presentation focuses on vegetables, fruits and berries.

 

Ron Krupp is the author of three books - THE WOODCHUCK'S GUIDE TO GARDENING, THE WOODCHUCK RETURNS TO GARDENING AND LIFTING THE YOKE - LOCAL SOLUTIONS TO AMERICA'S FARM AND GOOD CRISIS. He started one of the first farmers' markets in Vermont in Brattleboro and was the coordinator of the three-acre Tommy Thompson Community Garden in Burlington for 15 years. He has doing gardening and farm talks at libraries for the past 15 years.

Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA): Are you ready?

(PA) Roger Noonan, Vickie Smith 
​​
Participants will learn about the FSMA Act, upcoming implementation, appropriate resources to guide business decisions and training opportunities. The session will be focused on the Produce Rule with a brief review of the Preventive Controls Rule. 

 

Roger Noonan farms with his family in New Boston, NH. Middle Branch Farm is a diversified operation with Certified organic vegetable, fruit, and hay production. They also produce maple syrup and other value added products. Noonan serves as the President of the New England Farmers Union and works on Federal farm and food policy as well as serving on numerous state committees representing agricultural interests. He is also a nationally recognized expert on the Food Safety Modernization Act and its implications.

 

Vickie Smith is a recently retired NHDMAF inspector, well known and respected for her work in NH's Organic program and the implementation of the USDA National Organic Program. Vickie also performed USDA Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) Audits. Vickie has been hired by NEFU to assist in the education and outreach to the farm community. Vickie has recently completed FDA's Produce Safety Alliance Training and qualified as a PSA trainer.

Korean Natural Farming

(BF, AG, CS) Bryan O'Hara 
​​
Korean Natural Farming (KNF) is an agricultural methodology developed by Cho Han-Kyu. The methods are based on solid understanding of modern agricultural techniques, combined with traditional Korean agriculture. KNF is most renowned for its use of Indigenous Microorganisms (IMO). IMO is a biological culture of local origin, usually nearby forest, which is brought up to a high level of activity through various culture steps on the farm. KNF is also rich in understanding of fertilizer usage including the use of home-produced foliar materials of excellent quality. 

 

Bryan O'Hara has been growing vegetables for a livelihood for more than 25 years at Tobacco Road Farm in Lebanon, CT. He speaks throughout the Northeast on vegetable production techniques and is known for providing "mountains of details in a concise, practical, and cohesive manner." 

Finding Funding for your Farm: Writing a Business Plan and Raising Private Capital

(AB) Anastasia Cole Plakias

 

Whether finding funds to start a farm or expand an existing one, raising private capital requires a strong business plan and a bit of acumen. Anastasia Cole Plakias takes a frank approach to the subject, sharing the lessons she's learned over the course of three fundraising rounds. This workshop will cover how to put together a professional, compelling business plan to woo investors and lenders, as well as exploring non-traditional solutions like crowd-funding campaigns. 

 

As Founding Partner of Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm, the leading green roof farming business in the US, Anastasia Cole Plakias has spent the last seven years growing the farm from a tiny, grassroots organization to a thriving and diversified business. Focused on creating strong and meaningful connections between the farm and the communities it serves, Anastasia co-founded the farm's educational non-profit arm, and wrote The Farm on the Roof, a book about the team's experiences, published in April 2016.

 

Soil Organic Matter Uncovered

(AG, CS) Olivia Saunders

 

As an organic farmer, you test your soil annually and see that you’re maintaining your soils organic matter level. But what exactly does that number on your soil test result mean, why is organic matter important for production, or for the pool of soil microbes doing the hard work on your behalf. This session will dive into how to manage & grow your own soil organic matter and what inputs will have the biggest impact on soil tilth & microbial diversity.

 

Olivia Saunders has worked for UNH Cooperative Extension in the Food & Agriculture Program since January 2013 as a Field Specialist in Fruit & Vegetable Production. Olivia manages the Soil Testing Program, the Master Gardener program in Carroll County and is the SARE State Coordinator. Her interests lie in organic production, diversified farming, soil & organic matter management, seed saving and getting new & beginner farmers networked with agricultural resources in NH.

Planning for the Future of Farmland: A Case Study

(AB) Gretchen Siegchrist & Ben Kurtzman
 

We’ll show The Barber Farm Project, a 30-minute documentary that follows four generations of a Vermont farm family, whose land seems doomed to development until organic farming changes the landscape. After the film, we’ll lead an hour-long discussion about the practical, financial and emotional considerations families face when planning for the future of farmland.

 

Gretchen Siegchrist is a filmmaker who grew up on a farm in Jericho, Vermont. Her work focuses on environmental and sustainability issues. Gretchen's recent documentary, The Barber Farm Project, traces the history of her family's farm as it moves into an uncertain future.

 

Ben Kurtzman is a co-producer of The Barber Farm Project, and is also an attorney specializing in farmland protection projects.

Growing Breakfast

(BF, AG) George Wright

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Learn how to make a living cash crop farming cereal grains on as little as 44 acres. George Wright of Canada will freely share all he has learned in direct marketing his grains direct to the consumer. See why local food must be more than just veg. George takes $3 per bushel oats and transforms it into $200 a bushel breakfast, his daughter transforms it into $400 a bushel mixes and his son makes $2000 a bushel selling grilled cheese sandwiches. He will reveal how he grows, cleans and processes.

 

George Wright grew his first crop of oats in 4H at 13. His family farms near Ottawa, Ontario. He has sold all his farm products direct to the consumer at local farmers' markets and his farm store for ten years. He grinds flour at the market and is best known for his freshly rolled and steel cut oats. Only interested in his local market, he freely shares all his has learned.

Session 3 Workshops

2:00 - 3:00 pm

Permaculture Soil Building​​

(BF, CS) Amy Antonucci

Healthy soil is the key to resilient plants that are resistant to pests and diseases. However, many farming and gardening practices are destructive to soil. Looking through the lens of permaculture to work with and learn from nature we can build more soil, inches at a time. In this workshop, we’ll talk about how to create, nurture and protect this amazing ecosystem with simple techniques such as sheet mulching, and look at my latest soil test results to see how it’s working for me.

Amy Antonucci worked on an organic farm & CSA for 10 years before becoming a certified permaculture designer and focusing on her own homestead for the following decade. She keeps bees, poultry, goats and gardens at Living Land Permaculture Homestead in Barrington, NH.

Managing the soil food web: Opportunities and Unintended Consequences 

(AG, CS) Lesley Atwood

Soil food webs contribute to desirable agroecosystem services including nutrient cycling and pest suppression; however, their populations and abilities to function can be negatively impacted by the intense disturbances that are characteristic of many cropping systems. We will provide general principles for encouraging functionally diverse soil food webs. Then more detailed results on how ridge-tillage, cover crops, and pesticide seed treatments affect the soil food web will be presented.

Lesley Atwood's research focuses on the interface between agriculture, soil ecology and community ecology. Broadly, her dissertation research explores the influence agricultural management practices have on the composition, function, and dynamics of the soil food web. She is a Doctoral Candidate at the University of New Hampshire. 

Nanoparticles in Food: The News GMOs

(PA) Darryl Benjamin

 

“Release into the food supply first, assess risks later.” Just as GMOs quietly entered the market place, so too did nanoparticles in food. Now there is a groundswell of critical attention on GMOs questioning their health and value. Similarly, will there be grassroots resistance against nanotech which is already in food? What is the truth behind the use of this microscopic technology? Where does the FDA stand? What are its implications for health and welfare of the public?

 

Author Darryl Benjamin is a passionate writer, educator, and advocate for sustainable food. Benjamin’s new book, "Farm to Table: The Essential Guide to Sustainable Food Systems for Students, Professionals, and Consumers," is co­authored with Chef Lyndon Virkler. Benjamin teaches in the MS in Sustainable Food Systems program at Green Mountain College in Vermont. He offers seminars, workshops, and events in sustainable food through his company, Real Food Seminars.

Growing More in the Same Space

(BF, AG, CS) Will Bonsall

 

Any system that produces more food from a smaller area reduces our carbon footprint while making more efficient use of all inputs.

 

Will Bonsall is a subsistence farmer and author from Maine. He has written an eco-novel Through the Eyes of a Stranger, and the recently-released Will Bonsall Essential Guide to Radical Self-Reliant Gardening. He is the director of the Scatterseed Project and co-founder of the Grassroots Seed Network.

Year-Round Indoor Salad Gardening: How to Grow Nutrient-Dense, Soil-Sprouted Greens in Less Than 10 Days

(GH) Peter Burke

 

In a few simple steps you can grow all the fresh salad greens you need for the winter months or throughout the entire year without a lot of special equipment. No lights, no pumps, no greenhouse needed. I will demonstrate the technique, show pictures of my Indoor Salad Garden and serve a salad to everyone to try. If you are a localvore in need of winter greens, a Southern gardener looking for greens in the hot summer, a gardener wanting to extend the garden season this is for you.

 

An avid gardener himself, author Peter Burke has been teaching garden classes since 2006 when he started presenting workshops on Indoor Salad Gardening, Square Foot Gardening, Extending the Garden Season, Salad Gardens, Herb Garden, Growing Wheatgrass, Fall Garden, Food Dehydrator, Recipe Gardens. He also started thedailygardener.com website to supply organic seeds for Indoor Salad Gardening. He became a Certified Square Foot Garden Teacher by the SFG Foundation in 2010.

School-based Aquaponics, Hydroponics and Greenhouse Programs

(SG) Heather Fabbri, Denise Rock, Darcy O'Hara

 

Dover High School: Topics covered will include history of hydroponics and aquaponics at the high school, set-up and maintenance of the ebb and flow systems currently in use, student tasks, organic versus synthetic nutrients, and current projects.

Heather Fabbri is currently in her 10th year at Dover High School where she teaches elective classes that are a combination of horticulture and aquaculture. She also teaches Biology. Prior to coming to DHS, she taught science classes at the middle and high school levels in Texas and Oregon for 11 years.

 

Elm St Middle School, Nashua: Learn about the solar heated greenhouse that’s growing lettuce hydroponically for the cafeteria.

 

Denise Rock and Darcy O’Hara are both teachers at Elm St School and started the greenhouse project a couple of years ago.

Bringing It Home

(BF, GH) Ben Hewitt

 

This workshop will focus on the intersection of homesteading and home education. For the past 20 years, Ben and Penny Hewitt have produced more than 90% of their family’s food, along with raising their two sons, ages 12 and 15 in an “unschooling” environment. Ben will discuss both the joys and challenges of this life, and take any specific homesteading and home education questions you have. 

 

Ben Hewitt is the author of five books including The Town That Food Saved, Homegrown, and The Nourishing Homestead. He and his wife, Penny, run a small-scale diversified hill farm on 40 acres in Cabot, Vermont, with their two sons, Finlay and Rye. They live in a self-built home that is powered by a windmill and solar photovoltaic panels, and tend a menagerie of animals, including cows, pigs, sheep, and chickens. They also have copious gardens, a small orchard, and a pick-your-own blueberry patch. Their focus is producing nutrient dense foods from vibrant, mineralized soils for themselves and the immediate community.

Group Therapy for NH Graziers

(LA, AG) Dan Holmes

What are the challenges of grazing livestock in New Hampshire? What are we doing to get quality, grass-fed products to our customers in this region? In this discussion, we will discuss mob grazing and other principles we are practicing in our pastures. Hopefully we can work together to share all of our experiences among workshop participants. 


Dan Holmes has over 26 years of experience grazing beef and dairy cattle, and sheep on his farm in New Hampshire. His ruminant animals have been 100% grain-free for the last 15 years. 

Living Plant Food

(HN) Kent Lawrence

 

A discussion on foods with all life-force intact. Will talk about not cooking and food prep. Will brouse many recipe books and cover the basic process to maintain life in food.

 

Kent Lawrence is a raw foods enthusiast and Certified Health Educator by Hippocrates Health Institute. He also serves on the NOFA-NH Policy & Advocacy Committee.

A Natural Connection: Farm to School and Next Generation Science Standards

(SG) Beth Roy
With limited instruction time and so many standards to meet, teachers rightfully limit the number of new things added to their instructional plates. This workshop will demonstrate how many Farm to School activities create a natural, place-based opportunity to meet the Next Generation Science Standards.


Farm to School is a nationwide movement to enrich the connections schools have with fresh, healthy and local food. This movement cannot operate in isolation in the cafeteria, but rather, must be reinforced in the classroom and throughout our communities if we are to raise the Next Generation  (pun intended) to lead healthy lives. Teaching kids where their food comes from, especially in an agricultural state like New Hampshire, can be fun, easy and standards-linked.


Beth Roy is the Manager of the Valley Food & Farm Program and coordinates the Upper Valley Farm to School Network for Vital Communities. Beth has a background in education receiving her teaching certificate and a BS in biology from Southampton College. Beth also has an MS in environmental science and policy from Plymouth State University where she researched the ties between sense of place and environmental stewardship.

Session 4 Workshops

3:15 - 4:15 pm

Seed Saving for Uncertain Times

(BF, AG) Will Bonsall

 

How can we be truly sustainable without having control over our basic inputs, and what's more basic than seeds? Here's how.

 

Will Bonsall is a subsistence farmer and author from Maine. He has written an eco-novel Through the Eyes of a Stranger, and the recently-released Will Bonsall Essential Guide to Radical Self-Reliant Gardening. He is the director of the Scatterseed Project and co-founder of the Grassroots Seed Network.

Organic 101

(BF, AB) Janis Connor

 

Learn the basics of Organic Certification from Inspector Janis Connor, of NH Department of Agriculture, Markets, and Food (NHDAMF) Division of Regulatory Services.

 

Janis Connor holds a B.S. degree in Animal Science from University of NH and began working for the state in 1987 as a Lab Scientist for the state veterinarian in the NHDAMF Brucellosis Laboratory. From there she went on to work as a Lab Scientist in the Pari-Mutuel Racing Lab until returning to NHDAMF in 1998 as an inspector with the Division of Regulatory Services. She enjoys the diversity of her job responsibilities and working with producers all around the state who produce various commodities.

Honey Bee & Hive Choices For Our Northern Climate

(BF, GH) Athena Contus

 

This class presents a close look at over-wintering strategies used by the instructor and her mentors over the past several years to raise treatment free honey bees in Wonalancet, New Hampshire. The emphasis will be on applying sound logic in response to the northern climate challenges of beekeeping in a woodland and farming community, including hive component choices for increasing colony survival odds.

 

Athena Contus is a 9th season beekeeper who has navigated her way to developing a hive management plan allowing her to over-winter northern strains of honey bees into summer with success over the past several years without treatments or antibiotics of any kind. In 2015 she opened Wonalancet Honey Bee Co in Center Ossipee, New Hampshire in order to provide sustainably harvested, locally crafted, woodenware and instruction to area beekeepers.

Oxen in the Field & Woodlot

(BF, LA) Sophie Courser

Ever thought of working alongside a thousand-pound pet capable of massive strength? How about a pair of them? This workshop is an introduction to oxen and the draft power they can provide. We’ll go over starting out with a pair of calves, some basic equipment, and the potential applications of a full-grown team. It’s estimated 400 million people work with oxen worldwide. We’ll talk about the benefits these large bovines could bring to your farm, woodlot, homestead and life.

 

Sophie Courser has been an ox teamster since she was seven years old. She grew up raising oxen in the rigorous NH 4-H working steer program. Now she's a farmer on Cape Ann in Massachusetts, where she raises veggies, grains and a small herd of beef cattle. She has a pair of oxen and is building upon the skills she learned as a kid by applying their draft power in real farm applications.

Seed to Table: A Model for School Sustainability and Service Learning

(SG) Kelly Dwyer, Traci Bisson

Looking for experiential learning opportunities to incorporate sustainability practices into your school community, while building students’ academic, leadership and citizenship skills?

In this workshop, we will examine Barrington Elementary School’s (BES) Seed to Table project as a successful model for a learning garden where students also explore math, teamwork and community service engagement. Through the sale of the produce they grew, students at BES raised funds to plan, shop for and deliver over 150 items to their local food pantry. Come hear about the next phase of their Seed to Table project!

We will also explore the opportunities available through National Wildlife Federation’s Eco-Schools USA program. This free, internationally-acclaimed program, administered in New Hampshire by NH Audubon, offers guidance, curriculum resources and Action Grant funds to help support sustainability initiatives, like the Learning Garden at Barrington Elementary School.

 

Kelly Dwyer: Eco-Schools USA NH Coordinator and Education Specialist with New Hampshire Audubon.

Traci Bisson: Founder of Change Starts With Me, offers outreach, education and support to communities looking to make a change. Learn more at www.ChangeStartsWithMe.org.

Seasonal, Plant-Based Foods for a Healthy Life!

(HN) Christine Fletcher

 

Learn about the many benefits of eating seasonally (even through the long winter!). Christine will prepare several nutritious, colorful vegan dishes that are simple and sustainable. Featuring produce grown by our beloved local farmers, the recipes and techniques she will share are certain to keep your winter plate fresh and exotic. She will also offer a few easy plant-based substitutions for regular favorites and tips for those thinking about transitioning to a plant-based diet.

 

Christine Fletcher is a professional chef who has worked and traveled all over the world learning how to create unique, exotic and flavorful dishes. Nearly three years ago, she began her own catering/personal chef business with special attention to local, organic, plant-based gourmet. She is also the chef at Bethel Farm Yoga Retreat Center. Christine will be preparing vegan delicacies and feels her dharma is to inspire plant-based diets and the joys of eating with the seasons.

 

How I Eat Something From My Garden Every Day of the Year

(GH) Henry Homeyer

 

This is a demonstration of techniques I use to freeze, store, juice and dehydrate food from my garden all year long. I bring a dehydrator or two so participants can see them in use, and I show how to get air out of zipper bags for freezing. The talk explains which veggies need cool storage with low humidity, and which need high humidity. A simple root cellar made of cement blocks in a cool location is also explained. No more canning tomatoes! I'll explain how to freeze them.

 

For the past 18 years Henry Homeyer has been writing a weekly organic gardening column for newspapers around New England. He is the author of 4 gardening books including "The New Hampshire Gardener's Companion" (Globe-Pequot Press) which is now in a new, expanded second edition, and "Organic Gardening (not just) in the Northeast: A Hands-On Month-by-Month Guide" (Bunker Hill Publishing). Henry has taught courses in sustainable gardening at local colleges and is a lifetime UNH master gardener.

What Farming is Allowed in Wetlands

(PA) Amy Manzelli

Farmers and other growers often wonder just what can be done in and to wetlands. Learn the answer in a dynamic workshop with lawyer Amy Manzelli.

Amy Manzelli serves as the President of the Board of the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Hampshire. Amy is also the Managing Member and a part owner of the law firm of BCM Environmental & Land Law, PLLC in Concord, NH, where she practices environmental, conservation, and land law across northern New England. 

Ag Policy - Current Affairs

(PA) Roger Noonan

​​
An overview of emerging federal issues impacting organic small and midsized farms.
From the NOP's animal welfare rule, the Transitional Organic Certification,  Organic Check-off proposal, conservation programs, disaster assistance programs, crop insurance and risk management and issues in the upcoming farm bill debate.

 

There will be a review of the current policy landscape and the opportunity for lively discussion of issues important to the community. 

 

Roger Noonan farms with his family in New Boston, NH. Middle Branch Farm is a diversified operation with Certified organic vegetable, fruit, and hay production. They also produce maple syrup and other value added products. Noonan serves as the President of the New England Farmers Union and works on Federal farm and food policy as well as serving on numerous state committees representing agricultural interests. He is also a nationally recognized expert on the Food Safety Modernization Act and its implications.

Delicious Dairy Ferments: Yoghurt, Kefir, Cream Cheese

(HN) Rivka Schwartz

If you are curious about how to make probiotic filled yoghurt, kefir and cream cheese in your own kitchen be sure to take this class. Studies show that eating 2 servings of probiotic filled dairy ferments a day improves your immune response. Yoghurt is easy to make and can be turned into a delicious spread, plain or with herbs. Kefir is even easier to make and has more varieties of probiotic bacteria then yoghurt. Take home knowledge, an information packet and recipes.

Rivka Schwartz works as a clinical herbalist and teaches healthy cooking, fermenting and herbal classes. Her kitchen has a constant supply of homemade, fermented vegetable and dairy foods. She is a certified herbalist and graduate from the Mayo Clinic’s Wellness Coaching Program. Rivka runs Health and Hearth in Nashua as well as teaching school field trips at the Beaver Brook Nature Association. She works with clients individually on health programs including diet, cooking, lifestyle and herbs.

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A Voice for Organic Agriculture in NH

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Northeast Organic Farming Association of NH (NOFA-NH)

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