This year at the 2018 NOFA/Mass Winter Conference (January 13th, 2018 at Worcester State University) we will be offering several in-conference full-day intensive programs designed for attendees who would benefit from a more concentrated and in-depth learning experience.
Edible Forest Gardening: Theory Design and Implementation
9:00 am – 5:30 pm
Regenerative designer Aaron Guman of Montpelier Vermont will provide a comprehensive workshop on the design and implementation of functional agroecological systems, grounded in the theories of permaculture. Attendees will leave this course with a strong grasp of the steps involved in developing and establishing resilient and regenerative edible forest gardens at multiple design scales.
Session 1: Theory + Design + Polyculture Players
Learn how to build edible forest gardens by arranging useful plants into communities (polycultures) which support one another’s healthy functioning while providing food and other products, building soil, providing ecosystem services and sequestering carbon. In the first session, we will ground ourselves in how to create gardens which mimic the structure and function of natural ecosystems. Topics will include designing for self-maintenance, succession, resilience and a diversity of yields; ecological theory; and the various roles of plants in polycultures, such as edible plants, mulch plants, mineral accumulators, groundcovers, invertebrate insect shelters and nectar sources for pollinators.
Session 2: Pattern Language + Species
In this session, we will explore patterns for home and farm-scale systems, and begin to learn about the top species utilized in northeast agroforestry systems. We will discuss how the plants yield products for human use such as food, medicine, fiber and animal fodder, while also serving as specific examples of polyculture roles and ecosystem services outlined in the first session. We will cover some examples each of fruits, berries, nuts, medicinal plants, mineral accumulators, mulch sources and perennial vegetables.
Session 3: Implementation + Ecological Imperative
In the final session, we will finish learning about the top species and discuss planting practices and care of newly established food forests. We will cover our favorite tools for installation, what to look for in site selection, and how we go about soil and site preparation. We will finish out the day with a discussion of why our ecosystems need active human participation and why edible forest gardens are a key part of our future.
NOTE: To participate in this intensive program, *attendees must register in advance* (select All-Day Seminar). In addition to this intensive program, registrants will also attend our keynote address by celebrated North Dakotan regenerative rancher Gabe Brown, and will have access all other between-session aspects of the conference such as lunch, Annual Meeting, raffle and trade show. Registration and more info at http://nofamass.org/wc
Cover. Diversify. Regenerate! 31st NOFA/Mass Winter Conference
January 13, 2018 at Worcester State University
(main event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/142692902999749/)
Growers of all levels and land sizes will gather at this year’s NOFA/Mass Winter Conference to embark on regenerative practices that produce robust nutritious food, rebuild soils, keep healthier animals and create healthier humans! 60+ workshops on everything from biological insect control, soil carbon sequestration and multi-species cover cropping to fermentation, food justice, and holistic wellness.
Keynote speech by celebrated regenerative farming pioneer Gabe Brown, with organic networking meals and a trade show with 80+ vendors and organizations.
For more information, complete workshop listings and registration info, please visit www.nofamass.org/wc
*** Early Bird Rate ends December 15th ***
Register now: www.nofamass.org/wc
Read an interview with Derek about the workshop: https://www.nofamass.org/articles/2017/11/interview-derek-christianson-presenter-nofamass-winter-conference-intensive-january
Read about the other intensives offered at the conference: https://www.nofamass.org/content/intensives
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