Apple juggling
Events: February 2014

Winter Day Retreat

Saturday, February 8 | 8:30AM - 2:00PM | Providence, RI | directions | website

Join us in the Roger Williams Park Botanical Center to melt away your winter woes! Take a tour through tropical plant biomes and indulge in a "sweet" discussion about the health benefits of pure maple syrup. Warm up with a talk on herbs, followed by a make-your-own salve workshop! We'll have you armed with all the natural remedy knowledge you need to get you through the rest of the winter.

What We'll Do

-Guided Tour of the Roger Williams Park Botanical Center BC

-The Latest on Maple Syrup: Sweeter Than You Think

Discover exciting new research highlighting previously unknown information about the key role maple syrup plays in improving human health.

-Introduction to Herbalism and Therapeutic Salve Workshop

Part 1: Herbal 101 ~ Learn about the many uses of medicinal plants, basic terminology, and how to get going on using them for preventative health care or to address specific imbalances for you and your family.

Part 2: Salves ~ Make a salve yourself! Salves are crucial for skin health, cuts and scrapes, wrinkles, excema or just to treat yourself to something nice. We will make a salve using local ingredients that can easily be replicated at home to take with you at the end of the day.

Hosted by URI Outreach Center at the Roger Williams Park Botanical Center: 1000 Elmwood Ave, Providence, RI.

Contact Mamie Chen at (401) 874-2900 or by e-mail for more information.

Winter Day Retreat

Saturday, February 8 | 8:30AM - 2:00PM | Providence, RI | directions | website

Join us in the Roger Williams Park Botanical Center to melt away your winter woes! Take a tour through tropical plant biomes and indulge in a "sweet" discussion about the health benefits of pure maple syrup. Warm up with a talk on herbs, followed by a make-your-own salve workshop! We'll have you armed with all the natural remedy knowledge you need to get you through the rest of the winter.

What We'll Do

-Guided Tour of the Roger Williams Park Botanical Center BC

-The Latest on Maple Syrup: Sweeter Than You Think

Discover exciting new research highlighting previously unknown information about the key role maple syrup plays in improving human health.

-Introduction to Herbalism and Therapeutic Salve Workshop

Part 1: Herbal 101 ~ Learn about the many uses of medicinal plants, basic terminology, and how to get going on using them for preventative health care or to address specific imbalances for you and your family.

Part 2: Salves ~ Make a salve yourself! Salves are crucial for skin health, cuts and scrapes, wrinkles, excema or just to treat yourself to something nice. We will make a salve using local ingredients that can easily be replicated at home to take with you at the end of the day.

Hosted by URI Outreach Center at the Roger Williams Park Botanical Center: 1000 Elmwood Ave, Providence, RI.

Contact Mamie Chen at (401) 874-2900 or by e-mail for more information.

Winterfest 2014

Saturday, February 8 | 1:00PM - 6:00PM | North Amherst, MA | directions | website

Indoor and outdoor activites for children, families, and adults. Chili cook-off, live music, sledding hill, long drive contest, bird watching, cross country skiing, Cardboard Classic Box Race, Fireworks,and more!

Popping up Pioneer Valley Popcorn to fill your tummies after a day packed full of sledding and fun!

Hosted by Winterfest at the North Amherst: 323 Montague Road, North Amherst, MA.

Contact Winterfest Amherst for more information.

NOFA/RI Winter Conference & Annual Meeting

Sunday, February 16 | 10:30AM - 3:00PM | Bristol, RI | directions | website

The Past, Present & Future of Organics

Join Northeast Organic Farming Association of Rhode Island (NOFA/RI) for our Winter Mini-Conference and Annual Meeting. Three NOFA/RI founders and early members will describe their reasons for starting this NOFA chapter back in 1990 and the continued relevance of organic farming, gardening and landscaping today. We will hear about edible landscaping from Landscape Architect and former farmer, Michael Veracka, compost from Mike Merner, owner of Earth Care Farm and educating our next generation of farmers from high school Agriculture Teacher, John O’Malley.

Our Annual Meeting will celebrate our 2013 achievements and announce our program plans for 2014. Enjoy a delicious potluck meal with fellow NOFA/RI members. Afterward, join a breakout session with one of our speakers to hear about their organic specialty.

Presenters:
Founding NOFA/RI member Michael Veracka is an edible landscape architect, organic farmer and avid home gardener. A Providence College and RISD graduate, he is now a teacher and as Department Chairman of Ornamental Horticulture at the State University of New York @ Farmingdale on Long Island. Veracka is helping the University incorporate organic practices into the curriculum and campus landscaping.

Veracka will describe his shift from an organic farmer to an edible landscape designer. His presentation will be on incorporating food-producing plants in home and business landscapes.”

Founding NOFA/RI member, Mike Merner of Earth Care Farm has been producing compost since 1972 on his 27-acre farm in Charlestown, RI. He had a composting epiphany while daydreaming in his garden. Merner recognized that to grow healthy plants, raise healthy animals and live in a sustainable environment we just need to mindfully participate in Nature’s composting process.

Merner says following a few simple guidelines, anyone can make great compost. Mike’s presentation will cover the composting basics and discuss his evolving composting business.

Longtime NOFA/RI member and organic grower, John O’Malley teaches at South Kingstown High School. He created and has run the school’s garden program for nearly 20 years. The school recently added a course called “A Survey of Agriculture.” They utilize a greenhouse, a post-and-beam tool shed and numerous garden beds. The school cafeteria receives any surplus food.

Founding member, Sandy Parsons, will moderate our panel of growers, farmers and edible garden designers. She learned organic growing with Southside Community Land Trust.

Who should attend?
Everyone who grows food, wants to grow food or likes to eat is welcome to attend the NOFA/RI Winter Conference and Annual Meeting. NOFA/RI Membership is not required.

Please bring a potluck item to share.

Attendees are welcome to tour the grounds and first floor of Blithewold’s historic mansion on the day of the event.

Preregistration is encouraged but not required. Direct questions to Sanne Kure-Jensen at GreenThumbs62@cox.net or call 401-369-3303.

Hosted by NOFA-RI at the Blithewold: 101 Ferry Road, Bristol, RI.

Contact Sanne Kure-Jensen at (401) 369-3303 or by e-mail for more information.

Making and Using Soil Blocks

Thursday, February 27 | 5:30PM - 7:00PM | Kingston, RI | directions | website

Seedlings develop stronger, more resilient root systems when started in soil blocks. They have minimum transplant shock and quickly establish in their new locations. Soil block systems create no waste. Everything is reusable.
Have you considering using soil blocks instead of flats and pots? Learn about the successful block making systems that Meredith and Jason Spitalnik of Island Community Farms have used for the past 5 years.
Hear which block sizes work well for various crops and potting on techniques. See tray systems to hold the blocks. See and try a variety of different Blockers. Learn different media recipes for various sized blocks and how to use blockers efficiently.
Learn more about soil block making at our events page.

Hosted by NOFA-RI at the URI Greenhouses & Conservatory: 6 Greenhouse Road, Kingston, RI.

Contact Sanne Kure-Jensen at (401) 369-3303 or by e-mail for more information.