We invite you to be a part of the Northeast Organic Farming Association of NJ’s (NOFA-NJ’s) 31st Annual Winter Conference, New Jersey’s largest organic food and agricultural conference. This year’s conference features two full days of classes and workshops with nationally and locally recognized speakers sustainable, local organic agriculture in New Jersey. We are so excited to announce some of our speakers for 2021. We’ve assembled a wonderful range of local, regional, and international experts to stimulate this year’s conversation about the social, economic, and environmental challenges to farming in New Jersey.
Day 1, we will focus our local food system. Charles Rosen, founder of Ironbound Cider will begin our day, speaking about his experience with our local food system. Next, we will be joined by Sierra Seeds founder Rowen White. Rowen is a farmer, seed keeper, garden mentor, published author, creative intuitive, mother, wife, orator and storyteller, facilitator and strategic leadership guide, and lifelong learner. She is from the Mohawk community of Akwesasne and a passionate activist for indigenous seed and food sovereignty. Nate Kleinman, the founder of the Experimental Farm Network, will then lead a roundtable discussing the challenges of growing in our Urban Centers. We will be joined by Justin Allen of Isles, Sonya Harris of Bullock Gardens, and Paige Vaccaro of CROPS. Finally, Kendyra Close will be sharing the Foodshed Alliance’s work establishing a Food Hub in Newark as well as their Local Share program. We finish up Day 1 with our Annual Seed Swap as well as some news from our friends at the organic seed companies.
Day 2 will be a look at our changing climate in New Jersey and strategies for protecting our local crops. Prof. Dave Robinson, NJ’s State Climatologist will kick things off, followed by Prof. Jacqueline Ricotta who will speak about Climate Smart Farming. Chris Smaje who works on a small farm in Somerset, Southwest England, will talk about the importance of small farms. Chris goes into detail of his small farm knowledge within his book “A Small Farm Future.” Dan Mays from Frith Farm will speak about building soil, increasing biodiversity and strengthening the community through their unique farming practices. Frith Farm is a no-till organic farm on 14 acres of colonized Abenaki land in what is now called Scarborough, Maine. Dan is the author of the newly released book, “The No-Till Organic Vegetable Farm”. Finally, our keynote for Day 2 will be Eric Toensmeier, the award-winning author of “Paradise Lot and Perennial Vegetables,” and the co-author of “Edible Forest Gardens.” He is an appointed lecturer at Yale University. Eric will speak about the power of Carbon Farming. We’ll end the day with a happy hour and roundtable discussion of NJ Farming Challenges and potential solutions, led by NOFA-NJ’s Board President, Mike Rassweiler.