Upcoming Events

photo credit: Ira Wallace

January 10, 2023 from 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

A Future of Food Security for All
with Special Guest Ira Wallace

Kick off conference season with this free webinar!

The seven chapters of the Northeast Organic Farming Association have been working to develop food security programs and learning opportunities throughout our region. This winter, each chapter will be implementing various workshops at our Winter Conferences that discuss topics to build self resiliency, grow agriculture communities, develop systems for improved access, increase land access, and reduce climate decline. To kick off our Winter Conference season we have invited the NOFA/Mass Keynote Speaker Ira Wallace, of the Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, to share with us the importance of food security and how seed saving continues to play such an important role in feeding our communities. We will also meet representatives of the NOFA chapters to learn more about the food security work being done in our states. 

Ira Wallace is a worker/owner of the cooperatively managed Southern Exposure Seed Exchange (SESE). Ira started saving herb and flower seeds in the 1970’s and became professionally involved in the seed business in 1998. At SESE she coordinates education and outreach as well as co-managing variety selection and new seed grower contracts with SESE’s network of 70+ seed producing farms. Ira also conducts variety trials for SESE and researches and documents the history of varieties offered in the annual catalog. Southern Exposure offers over 700 varieties of open-pollinated heirloom and organic (500+ USDA certified organic) seeds selected for flavor and regional adaptability. It is the oldest company in the southeast focusing on heirloom, organic, open-pollinated seeds. Since 1983 Southern Exposure has been helping people in the southeast get control of their food supply by supporting sustainable home and market gardening, seed saving, and preserving heirloom varieties.

This event is free of charge. If you would like to support our community food security efforts, please donate today to NOFA-NY’s Farm Share Program.

2022 Field Day Season: Past Events

Saturday, June 11 and Sunday, June 12 from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
@ Groundswell Incubator Farm

24 Helens Way, Ithaca, NY 14850

In this two day course, produced by Groundswell, you’ll learn basic carpentry skills under the guidance of two instructors. The small group will work together to build two waist-height raised bed for the Groundswell Incubator Farm. You’ll learn the basics of following a carpentry plan including measuring, cutting, and fastening. You’ll use hand tools and power tools including the following: circular saws, drills, drivers, hand saws, and hammers. No prior carpentry experience is needed! This course is aimed for beginners who want to learn in a collaborative environment with emphasis on sharing skills.

Monday, July 25 from 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Thompson Research Farm
133 Fall Creek Rd., Freeville, NY 13068

Come to the Cornell Organic Research Farm in Freeville to get updates on the latest research in weed management, cover crops, and reduced tillage and interact with researchers and other farmers. Learn about methods that help production while improving soil health and making your farm more climate resilient. Topics will include: new weed control technologies, weeds and climate change, long-term effects of tarping, soil health across different cropping systems, comparison of different mulch types, and cover crop breeding.

This field day is part of the 2022 Soil Health and Climate Resiliency Field Days in partnership with Cornell.

Tuesday, July 26 from 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm
@ Brady Farm

150 Ford Ave., Syracuse, NY 13207

Join us at Brady Farm for a Soil Health Trailer demonstration with Fay Benson of Cornell Cooperative Extension. The Soil Health Trailer is a rolling lab equipped with a simulator that illustrates how rainfall affects various types of soil. This visual presentation will show how certain management practices, such as cover cropping, protect and enhance soil health. Participants will gain a better understanding of why these practices are so effective at preventing runoff, controlling erosion, and locking in the important nutrients that improve crop yield.

After the demonstration, Fay and members of the Brady Farm staff will lead a farm tour to further discuss soil fundamentals and why healthy, properly managed soil is vital to field and land sustainability. The event will take place at Brady Farm which is a six-acre, non-profit vegetable farm, located in the middle of Syracuse. It uses organic and regenerative practices to rebuild its urban soils.

This field day was funded by Mother Cabrini Health Foundation, which supports training for urban farm apprentices and expanding access to healthy produce in the City of Syracuse.

Wednesday, August 24 from 4:30 pm – 7:30 pm
@ Dirt Rich Farm
12318 Springville Boston Rd., Springville, NY 14141

Join NOFA-NY and the Young Farmers Coalition of Western New York at Dirt Rich Farm for a two-part event: an educational presentation about making a living in farming at 4:30 pm, followed by a tomato tasting at 6:00 pm. You’re welcome to attend just one portion of the event or come for the whole thing!

What does it take to make a living from farming? At 4:30, farmers Laura Colligan and Ryan Leggio will talk about the history of Dirt Rich Farm, which Laura started in 2015, and how they grew the farm business to the point where they were finally able to make a living from farming without off-farm jobs by 2021. Dirt Rich Farm is a Certified Organic vegetable farm with two acres in production, growing for a 150 member CSA, a farmers market, a farm stand, and sales to local businesses. You’ll also hear from USDA NRCS about programs that support small and beginning farmers and NOFA-NY Certified Organic, LLC about organic certification.
Dirt Rich Farm grows 20 different varieties of tomatoes, so at 6:00 pm, we’ll do a tomato tasting to try all the different varieties and choose our favorites as a group. If you’re a farmer or gardener, we encourage you to bring some of your top varieties for the group to taste, too! A light meal with Dirt Rich Farm vegetables will also be served.

Tuesday, September 13 from 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm
@ Norwich Meadows Farm
6982 State Highway 12, North Norwich, NY 13815

At 4:00, please join NOFA-NY and Norwich Meadows Farm for light appetizers and networking. Thanks to the generosity of BioSafe Systems.

At 5:00, join Zaid Kurdieh to learn about his 250+ acre vegetable and fruit operation. Norwich Meadows Farm has more than 210 high tunnels in production and 60+ employees. During peak season, Norwich Meadows Farm is present at 12 farmer’s markets each week, has 450+ CSA members and supplies more than 200 high-end restaurants in addition to wholesale customers.

While at the farm, you will get a chance to tour the high tunnels and hear about the benefits and challenges they have had using them. You will also hear from USDA NRCS on their Environmental Quality Incentives Program. Farmers are welcome to come with questions about high tunnel management, crop planning and marketing, financing, or any other details of interest.

Tuesday, September 27 from 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm
@ Stony Creek Farmstead
1738 Freer Hollow Road, Walton, NY 13856

Join Stony Creek Farmstead and the Agricultural Justice Project for a fair farming meetup! This gathering will be potluck style to share more than just a meal. Together we plan to exchange stories on cultivating our social justice values in our farms and build connections to keep supporting each other in this work.

Monday, October 10 from 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm
@ Biophilia Organic Farm
211 Manor Lane, Riverhead, NY 11901

At 4:30, please join NOFA-NY and Phil Barbato for a meet and greet at Biophilia Organic Farm. The farm is a 14-acre NOFA-NY certified operation that has been in production since 2000. Phil grows 12 different varieties of garlic, both soft and hard neck, along with 75 varieties of tomatoes. Biophilia Farm’s mission statement is “We farm organically because we believe in the value of wholesome food grown in harmony with nature. We want to share our good produce with others who also value it.”

At 5:00, NOFA-NY and Phil will lead a tour through the farm that he runs primarily by himself. Phil will be giving a rundown of his garlic planting technique, ranging from the soil he chooses, to location of the crop, to what planting combinations he has found to be successful in his fields.

Monday, October 24 from 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
@ Sang Lee Farms
25180 County Rd 48, Peconic, NY 11958

At 4:00, please join NOFA-NY and Fred Lee for a meet and greet at Sang Lee Farms. The farm is family-run and was founded in the mid-1940s. It relocated to Peconic in 1987. The location has allowed an extended growing season that capitalizes on the fertile, well-drained sandy loam soils of eastern Long Island. In 2002, Sang Lee Farms shifted towards a direct to consumer/retail approach and in 2006 the CSA program was established. Today, the farm is operated by Fred, his son William and his partner Lucy, and staff. 

At 4:30, NOFA-NY and Fred will guide you through Sang Lee Farm’s various season extension techniques, ranging from a variety of different sized hoop houses and high tunnels to the various heating approaches that the farm has tested over the years. Fred is a wealth of knowledge about the intricate details of running a large-scale organic operation.

Sunday, November 13 from 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm
@ Jamesport Farmstead
1192 Main Rd, Riverhead, NY 11901

At 3:30, please join NOFA-NY, Jamesport Farmstead, SOS For Your Soil, and Taking A Lead on Zero Waste (TALZ-LI) for an introductory meet and greet at Jamesport Farmstead.

At 3:45, Ryan Lertora of Jamesport Farmstead will lead us through their two-acre, no-till, no-spray, vegetable production. Ryan’s philosophies are deeply routed in the connection to the soil – with the premise that if you grow and cultivate strong soils the vegetables will thrive.

At 4:00, we will gather in the barn for a discussion on all angles of compost. Shamma Murphy of SOS For Your Soil, will discuss their organic compost operation in Saint James which utilizes an Aerated Static Pile approach on a 22-horse farm. Mark Haubner of the North Fork Environmental Council will discuss his approach on compost from the policy point of view; aiming to redefine the language we use around our food scraps, closing the loop around our farm-to-table system, and a food scraps recovery program to encourage Diversion, Recovery, and Reuse.

The discussion will go until around 5:00 and, weather permitting, we will set up an outdoor fire to have the discussion around. All are welcome and bring your composting questions!

Thank you!

To our 2022 Field Day sponsors, hosts, and participants for a great season.
We look forward to seeing you all at the farm again in 2023.