Welcome to NOFA-NJ


Winter Conference

The NOFA NJ Winter Conference is not just for farmers and gardeners… our community and audience also includes students, educators, ag industry professionals, chefs, land stewards, conservationists, foodies, brewers, and more. In our 34th year of this event, we hope to provide a space for all communities to come together to share, grow, learn, and connect. Join us in celebration of NJ food & agriculture and Help Us Grow the Garden State Together!

Event Details

Time: 8AM – 5PM
Location: Rutgers University Douglass Student Center, 100 George St, New Brunswick, NJ 
Parking: Attendees are required to register their vehicle to park in Lot 70 or the Douglass Parking Deck. Reminder emails will be sent to all registrants.
Post-Conference: Guests are encouraged to join NOFA NJ for a post-conference social hour with a live band open-mic, small bites and local libations

Keynote Speaker

Will Brinton, Ph. D.

Founder, Woods End Soil Lab & W B Foundation, Inc.

Will Brinton founded Woods End Laboratory in 1974 while working on a biodynamic farm in Down East Maine and while beginning studies for his bachelors in agronomy at University of Maine. Will spent time studying and researching for his masters under Nobel Laureate Albert Schatz (formerly of Rutgers) and interned at international organic research centers, including the Research Institute for Biological Husbandry in Switzerland, the Institute for Biodynamic Research in Germany and the Nordic Research Circle, in Sweden. Later, back in Maine he was awarded a doctorate in Environmental Science from Unity Environmental University for his research on plant response to compost. Will sees the early work on soil biology in Europe as having created the base for what today is called soil health – a movement and a science which Will believes rightfully belongs to the organic farming community. 

After Will’s retirement, the lab continues  to offer Solvita Nexus, an integrated soil health test and also manufactures the Solvita test which Will invented  in 1994 to enable anyone outside a lab to self-test microbial output in compost and soil. Will presently serves as Faculty Associate at University Maine and curates his non-profit research institute, W B Foundation Inc, exploring issues of carbon cycling in farming. 

Featured Speakers

Lyla June Johnston, Ph. D.

Lyla June is an Indigenous musician, scholar and community organizer of Diné (Navajo), Tsétsêhéstâhese (Cheyenne) and European lineages. Her dynamic, multi-genre presentation style has engaged audiences across the globe towards personal, collective and ecological healing.

She blends studies in Human Ecology at Stanford, graduate work in Indigenous Pedagogy, and the traditional worldview she grew up with to inform her music, perspectives and solutions. Her current doctoral research focuses on Indigenous food systems revitalization. Learn More

Danny Childs

Danny Childs is the author of the book Slow Drinks and the founder of the company by the same name. Danny is a trained ethnobotanist whose botanical approach to creating beverages embodies the flavors of the mid-Atlantic, using ingredients foraged from the wild, picked from his cocktail garden, and sourced from local farms.

Childs teaches others how to create drinks in this manner through his consulting business, educational courses, and his role on the Slow Food Ark of Taste committee.

Follow along @slowdrinks

Ayesha Dolasa & Jacob Tulius

After experimenting for two years, husband and wife team Ayesha Dolasa and Jacob Tulius founded Noble Mushrooms in 2017.  They sell fresh organic mushrooms at farmers markets, direct to customers from the farm and to wholesale accounts. Since 2019, Noble Mushrooms expanded from producing fresh mushrooms into providing mycological laboratory services. Their lab work includes the isolation of mushroom mycelium from contaminants starting from tissue and spores, the expansion of the mycelium into spawn, and the inoculation of bulk substrate which is then sold to other mushroom farmers.  Learn More

Tomia MacQueen

Tomia MacQueen is an Educator, Farmer and Master Gardener specializing in edible gardens. She is the owner of Wildflower Farm and a Board member of NOFA NJ and Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space. Tomia is a Founder of the Healing Waters Farming Project and is a seed grower and a governing member for the Ujamaa Cooperative Farming Alliance.

Wildflower Farm sustainably produces organically and ethically raised pastured and free range poultry, lamb, vegetables with a truly unique focus on humane animal husbandry policies and conservation practices. Learn More

Conference Extras

Post-Conference Celebration

Community Open Mic with a live band. Mixology demonstration with Danny Childs. Local food and craft beverages. Mingle, network, or just be with us as we celebrate our amazing community!

Local Short Film Screenings

More of a visual learner? Be sure to grab a seat for two film screenings at this year’s conference: Sugar House Yantra and Fields of Devotion. Both are powerfully told and worth your full attention.

Farmer Wellness Activities

Farms can’t flourish without healthy farmers! Try out some farmer wellness tools and tips between sessions and carry them with you throughout the season. Short sessions on stretching, self-massage, breathing techniques, lyme prevention, and more…

Local Makers' Market

Value-added products shine in this year’s Makers’ Market, where local farm goods and food products will be on display to sample and purchase. From hot sauce to honey sticks and herbal teas, check how NJ producers are making the most of what they grow.

Virtual Conference Add-On

All seven NOFA Chapters are collaborating for two days of online education and community building. If you register for any NOFA Winter Conference, you will receive an access code for free registration to the NOFA Winter Symposium March 29-30, 2024!

Many Thanks to Our 2024 Conference Sponsors!

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