The Hippo


Jul 21, 2019








The NOFA NH winter conference. Courtesy photo.

NOFA Winter Conference 

Where: Rundlett Middle School, 144 South St., Concord 
When: Saturday, Jan. 28, registration and breakfast begin at 7:30 a.m., workshops run from 8:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., keynote event is 4:30 to 6 p.m. 
Cost: Full-day conference tickets are $68 for NOFA members and $85 for non-members and include meals and the keynote event. Tickets for the keynote event only are $16 for NOFA members and $20 for non-members. Purchase tickets in advance online or the day of the event. Admission is free for children age 16 and under. 


All organic
Conference offers workshops for farmers and foodies

By Angie Sykeny

 From the foodies who eat organic food to the farmers who grow it, there will be something for everyone at the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Hampshire winter conference, happening Saturday, Jan. 28, in Concord. The conference will feature more than 40 workshops related to organic and sustainable agriculture, an evening keynote event with a special guest speaker, a Green Market Fair, a growers panel discussion and more. 

“It’s an educational opportunity for farmers and commercial growers, gardeners and homesteaders who are growing food for themselves, and also for food enthusiasts who don’t want to grow but are interested in the topic,” conference coordinator Monica Rico said. 
The day consists of four workshop sessions, each with 10 to 12 workshops led by a variety of presenters, including agriculture researchers and specialists, business and nonprofit leaders, educators, farmers, homesteaders, authors and bloggers. For farmers and people interested in growing and raising food, there will workshops centered around advanced and beginner farming, carbon and soils, livestock and animals, agriculture business and more. Non-farmers and foodies can check out workshops on health and nutrition topics such as seasonal and plant-based eating, fermented fruits and vegetables, fermented dairy products, raw and living plant foods and growing and utilizing herbs.  
“The health and nutrition workshop track is all about recipe ideas and ways to use food, so even if you aren’t interested in growing food but you’re interested in cooking, you can come and learn from those workshops,” Rico said. 
In addition to the workshops, the conference will have an ongoing Green Market Fair featuring local food producers, agriculture-related businesses, nonprofits and other exhibitors. There will also be book signings with the presenting authors and a seed swap where growers can trade their favorite seed varieties with other growers.  
After lunch, between the second and third workshop sessions, there will be a soil carbon panel discussion in which five growers will share their experiences and tips about soil and carbon sequestration. 
The day will come to a close with the evening keynote event shortly after the final workshop session ends. The presenter, Joel Salatin, is a renowned author and farmer of Polyface Farm in Virginia and has been featured in documentary films Food Inc., Fresh, and Polyfaces. His talk will be centered around his book Folks, This Ain’t Normal, which details how people can help to reform the national food system by returning to natural foods and supporting local farms. 
Rico said Salatin is a well-known personality in the New Hampshire agriculture community, and with the recent trend toward natural foods and food awareness, his visit is highly anticipated.  
“Local food systems and organic farming are a growing movement in New Hampshire,” Rico said. “People definitely have had an increased desire to know where their food comes from and to participate in the process.” 
Conference attendees will also enjoy live music and meals and snacks catered by the Crust & Crumb Baking Co. of Concord, which are included in the ticket price. A kids’ activity room with child care will be available during the workshop sessions. 

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