Farm Manager Meryl LaTronica, a monthly blogger at PRK, fills us in on what’s new this month in her neck of the woods.
Meryl LaTronica, Guest Contributor
Time for Winter Farming Conferences!
Even thought the snow is still falling (often) and the cold weather is keeping me from the fields, I can feel spring about to burst on the farm! Here at Powisset Farm, January has been filled with busy days of crop planning, seed ordering, tractor shopping, putting together this season’s stellar farm crew and even making it to the local farming conference.
Last week the Massachusetts chapter of the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) held their 23rd annual Winter Conference. Most of Massachusetts’ small farmers and gardeners were in attendance, checking out workshops such as ‘The ins and outs of maple sugaring,’ ‘Raising healthy hogs for direct markets,’ ‘Chemical free beekeeping’ and ‘Cut flowers, from seed to sale.’ There were workshops for a range of growers, from backyard gardeners to large-scale production farmers. I ended up spending most of my time in some of the less glamorous, though informative, workshops, filling notebooks with ideas and methods on hay and pasture production, growing grain on a small scale and which varieties of winter greens do best in our climate. The winter conference is a great time to catch up with all my fellow Massachusetts farmers and gardeners and to get inspired with new ideas and strategies for our upcoming growing season. Oh, and lunch isn’t bad either—a potluck for 800 people—so many delicious options, most of which are grown and raised right here in Massachusetts!
Until the next conference, I’ll be at the farm, finishing up the season’s seed order. The tomato seeds just came in…this year we’ll be growing 39 different varieties! Maybe in my next post I’ll tell you about a few of the favorites I’ll be growing this year.
For more information on Massachusetts NOFA, visit: http://www.nofamass.org