Apple juggling
Events: February 2016

5th Annual 2016 Soil & Nutrition Conference

Monday, February 8 8:30AM - Tuesday, February 9 6:00PM | Stockbridge, MA | directions | website

A Conference that is gathering Farmers, Researchers, Nutritionists, and Food Activists, bringing forward the interrelatedness of Soil Health, Plant Health, Human Health, and farming best practices for improved crop quality. The 2016 Soil and Nutrition Conference will begin by asking the important question of, "What is Quality," where the open panel discussion will include perspectives from a farmer, a chef, a hospital food systems specialist, an agriculture extension specialist and a produce supply chain expert to frame our conference dialog. This open panel discussion will be facilitated by Craftsmanship Magazine Founder & Publisher Todd Oppenheimer.

There are 10 plenary sessions and 16 workshops, over two jam-packed days of February 8 & 9, 2016, with a pre-conference on February 7, 2016.

Highlights of what one will experience at the 2016 Soil & Nutrition Conference are:
• Farmer as Healer: High Quality Food as a Game Changer in Healthcare
• Mid-Season “Corrections”: A Guide to Foliar Spraying
• Epigenetics and the Science of Nutrition and Lifestyle Change
• Regenerative Biological Farming on a Shoestring Budget
• The Pre-Harvest Quality Equation: The Roles of Genetics, Environment & Management
• Flavor as Nutritional Guide – What Your Body Knows That You Don’t!
• A Phytochemical Primer: Role of Plant Secondary Compounds in Plant and Human Health
• Optimizing Nutrient Intake Through Cultivation of the Gut Microbiome

To learn more and register, please visit the Soil and Nutrition Conference webpage:

2016 Soil & Nutrition Conference Programming:

Early Bird Discount ends December 31, 2015. Thank you very much and wishing all a wonderful Holiday!

"This conference offers one of the best opportunities I've seen to explore taking organic farming to the next level. Examining the nexus of soil, plant and human health with rigorous science is clearly the next frontier, and biological farming seems to be a promising candidate to lead the way."
- Todd Oppenheimer, Food System Journalist and Publisher, Craftsmanship Magazine

"There are millions of people without jobs in the United States, yet the future requires that we regenerate millions of acres of soil to combat climate change. The greatest potential to improve the quality of the harvest is more people learning how to grow biologically supported, nutrient rich food, and at the same time gaining the dignity that comes with good work. This conference is a critical resource for empowering the farmers of today and tomorrow."
- Jonathan Bates, SN2016 Speaker and Owner, Food Forest Farm

Hosted by Bionutrient Food Association at the Kripalu: 57 Interlaken Road, Stockbridge, MA.

Contact Gary Neves at (774) 573-6804 or by e-mail for more information.

Conservation Biological Control Short Course

Thursday, February 11 | 9:00AM - 4:30PM | Kingston, RI | directions | website

Learn how to attract beneficial insects to farms and orchards for natural pest control. This workshop will cover:
- The importance of beneficial insects – predators and parasitoids that attack insect pests.
- Overview of conservation biological control and Integrated Pest Management (IPM).
- How to identify beneficial insects and distinguish them from other insects.
- How to recognize the habitat needs of beneficial insects and identify habitat deficiencies.
- The design and implementation of habitat improvements, including site preparation, insectary strip plantings, hedgerows, beetle banks, and more.
- The current best management practices that minimize land-use impacts on beneficial insects and mitigate exposure to insecticides.
- How to access USDA conservation programs for financial and technical support.

This full-day training will provide you with the latest science-based approaches to pest management strategies that seeks to integrate beneficial insects back into cropping systems for natural pest control, ultimately reducing and in some cases eliminating the need for insecticides. This strategy is based upon ongoing research that continues to demonstrate a link between the conservation of natural habitat and reduced pest problems on farms, orchards, and gardens.

Registration is $20 per person. Course registration includes the Xerces Society’s Conservation Biological Control Toolkit. Copies of "Farming with Native Beneficial Insects" will be available for purchase on site.

Please bring your own lunch.

Hosted by NOFA/RI, URI, Xerces Society, NRCS, USDA at the Building 75: URI East Farm, Kingston, RI.

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

Little Brook Farm Camp

Monday, February 15 9:00AM - Friday, February 19 3:00PM | Sunderland, MA | directions | website

FARM CAMP Little Brook Farm in Sunderland, will be offering a camp during school vacation week this year. The February week will focus on getting the animals ready for lambing, kidding and calving. Sheep Shearing will occur during this camp week and there will be an emphasis on wool and fiber. Camp is limited to children ages 6 - 13 and space is very limited. For more information please contact Kristen Whittle at 413-665-3802, email her at or go online to to download a registration form.

Hosted by Little Brook Farm at the Little Brook Farm: 334 Russell st, Sunderland, MA.

Contact Kristen Whittle at (413) 665-3802 or by e-mail for more information.

How to start a community garden

Thursday, February 25 | 3:00PM - 5:00PM | Providence, RI | directions | website

Have you ever wondered about starting a community garden? This workshop is your chance to learn from our experts in community garden development! We'll cover topics including: infrastructure needs, safety issues, funding and more.

Register here:

Hosted by Southside Community land Trust at the RI Community Food Bank: 200 Niantic Ave., Providence, RI.

Contact Rob Booz at (401) 273-9419 or by e-mail for more information.

NOFA/RI Winter Conference: Healthy Soils, Healthy Plants, Healthy People

Sunday, February 28 | 8:30AM - 4:30PM | Warren, RI | directions | website

The Northeast Organic Farming Association of RI (N O F A / R I) Winter Conference will feature a full day of workshops with nationally recognized speakers in organic and sustainable agriculture as well as influential speakers from across Rhode Island and southeast New England. With workshops on Soil Health and Carbon Farming, Compost, Cover Crops, Seed Saving, Nutrient Dense Growing, Raising Backyard Chickens, GMO Labeling and Macrobiotics, this Winter Conference has something for everyone, be they a gardener, farmer or fan of organic foods.

About the Conference
The Winter Conference is N O F A / R I’s largest educational and fundraising event. Proceeds will support educational programs for farmers, landscapers, designers, gardeners and consumers all year long. These constituents will be joined by agricultural professionals, university educators and extension specialists for a full day of workshops, networking sessions, our annual meeting and a delicious potluck meal. Thank you to our generous sponsors, Hope & Main, Farm Credit East and the RI Department of Environmental Management (RI DEM) Division of Agriculture.

Hope & Main is a value-added, commercial kitchen incubator with a large meeting space for 150+ attendees and smaller rooms for concurrent sessions. A generous lobby will hold a trade show with vendors and exhibitors. Morning and mid-day coffee and tea will be provided. Conference participants are invited to bring a food or beverage item to share for our potluck lunch.

Conference Goals
The goal of this conference is to facilitate learning and sharing of information on organic growing practices with an emphasis on soils, plants and ecosystems (above and below soil surfaces).

N O F A / R I is dedicated to supporting organic and sustainable food, farming, and gardening in Rhode Island through education, technical assistance and policy advocacy. N O F A / R I is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. For more information, visit

We look forward to seeing you at the Winter Conference.

Hosted by Northeast Organic Farming Assoc. of RI (NOFA/RI) at the Hope & Main: 691 Main Street, Warren, RI.

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