Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Hampshire
A Voice for Organic Agriculture in NH
It's Time to Mark Your Calendar and Sign-Up
at Kearsarge Regional High School in North Sutton, NH.
The day will be packed with over 40 workshops and a captivating keynote address by
Gabriel’s Keynote address will discuss the vital role silvopasture can play in reversing climate change, and he will offer a series of technical, intensive workshops throughout the day as well. This vibrant gathering will also feature the NOFA-NH Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony, ample opportunities for networking with local farmers, gardeners and presenters, and a robust Green Market Fair, where attendees can buy and have books signed and taste, smell, see, and buy local wares.
The day’s lineup also includes a midday panel discussion on herbicide and pesticide use. Join nearly 500 supporters of the local, organic movement as we learn from the experts and we all look towards celebrating the arrival of spring and our next growing season.
Check out all the Workshops (being added daily) and SIGN-UP NOW!
MainStreet BookEnds is proud to be the bookseller for this wonderful annual event.
For details & registration click here.
Walk-in registrations welcome.
Register by December 27th to receive 20% off ticket prices with the early bird discount!
A system for regenerating land, storing carbon, and creating climate resilience
The concept of silvopasture challenges our notions of both modern agriculture and land use. For centuries, European settlers of North America have engaged in practices that separate the field from the forest, and even the food from the animal. Silvopasture systems integrate trees, animals, and forages in a whole-system approach that offers a number of benefits to the farmer and the environment. Such a system not only offers the promise of ecological regeneration of the land, but also an economical livelihood and even the ability to farm extensively while buffering the effects of a changing climate: increased rainfall, longer droughts, and more intense storm events.
Silvopasture, however, involves more than just allowing animals into the woodlot. It is intentional, steeped in careful observation skills and flexible to the dynamics of such a complex ecology. It requires a farmer who understands grassland ecology, forestry, and animal husbandry. The farmer needn't be an expert in all of these disciplines, but familiar enough with them to make decisions on a wide variety of time scales. A silvopasture system will inevitably look different from year to year, and careful design coupled with creativity and visioning for the future are all part of the equation.
In the eyes of many people, the practices of forestry and farming are mutually exclusive, because in the modern world, agriculture involves open fields, straight rows, and machinery to grow crops, while forests are primarily reserved for timber and firewood harvesting. Farming the Woods invites a remarkably different perspective: that a healthy forest can be maintained while growing a wide range of food, medicinal, and other non-timber products. While this concept of "forest farming" may seem like an obscure practice, history indicates that much of humanity lived and sustained itself from tree-based systems in the past; only recently have people traded the forest for the field. The good news is that this is not an either-or scenario; forest farms can be most productive in places where the plow is not: on steep slopes, and in shallow soils. It is an invaluable practice to integrate into any farm or homestead, especially as the need for unique value-added products and supplemental income becomes more and more important for farmers.
Farming the Woods covers in detail how to cultivate, harvest, and market high-value non-timber forest crops such as American ginseng, shiitake mushrooms, ramps (wild leeks), maple syrup, fruit and nut trees, ornamental ferns, and more. Comprehensive information is also offered on historical perspectives of forest farming; mimicking the forest in a changing climate; cultivation of medicinal crops; creating a forest nursery; harvesting and utilizing wood products; the role of animals in the forest farm; and how to design and manage your forest farm once it's set up. This book is a must-read for farmers and gardeners interested in incorporating aspects of agroforestry, permaculture, forest gardening, and sustainable woodlot management into the concept of a whole-farm organism.