WORCESTER, MA — The soil under our feet is so much more than just “dirt”. It can grow our food and remove carbon from the atmosphere and store it in the soil. Soil regeneration has been getting much attention as one way we can combat the dire effects of climate change.
Growers will learn how to implement these practices and much more at the Northeast Organic Farming Association, Massachusetts Chapter (NOFA/Mass) 31st annual Winter Conference. On Jan. 13, 2018 at Worcester State University, a number of workshops focusing on soil regeneration will take place, as well as a daylong intensive and keynote address by world renowned farmer Gabe Brown.
Gabe Brown, an internationally celebrated regenerative farming pioneer, has managed his pastures without tilling from year to year to keep the disruption to the soil at a minimum since the early 1990’s. His 5,000-acre farm, near Bismark, ND does not use fertilizer and has high yields even in times of flood or drought. For over a decade Brown has been teaching captivated audiences about the power of replenishing the soil for more productive and sustainable farms. He has also been featured in The New York Times as an expert in the field of soil regeneration and no-till techniques. He will be teaching about how attendees can view their farm as an ecosystem and then implement techniques such as keeping the soil covered in a diverse plant life through the seasons. “Nature can heal if we give her the chance,” says Brown.
“Cover. Diversify. Regenerate.”, the theme of the conference, highlights the importance of soil regeneration for the future of agriculture and the world. “We want NOFA conference attendees to embrace these three simple concepts, at whatever scale, and turn their food production into a carbon positive endeavor that builds amazing soil,” says Jason Valcourt, NOFA/Mass Winter Conference Coordinator.
The conference will include 23 workshops on regenerative practices over the course of the day including Climate, Water, Soil & Hope: A Systems Approach to Land Management presented by Didi Pershouse. Pershouse, the Director at the Soil Carbon Coalition, will detail practices that enables land to be flood and drought resilient by retaining more water. Another workshop, Mycoremediation for Urban Soils presented by Alex Dorr, author of the Mycoremediation Handbook, will teach about how fungi can help clean up toxins in soils in urban environments.
Along with the learning from experts on reversing climate change through soil regeneration, conference registration includes an organic lunch and admission to the keynote address.
Workshops will take place throughout the campus of Worcester State University, which is handicap accessible. Parking is available; there is a carpool signup link on the conference registration page. Discounted registration options are available for children, students, groups and NOFA members. Partial work-exchange and scholarships are also available.
Find out more at www.nofamass.org/events/wc.