Tag Archives: NOFA-NH

Farm Picnic Recap



The consensus is that the 4th Annual Slow Food Seacoast Down-on-the-Farm Picnic was a great success! More than 80 people—singles, couples, and families—joined Slow Food Seacoast at Dalton’s Pasture, the Rowells’ homestead in Nottingham, NH, to learn about permaculture, homesteading, and living simply and to enjoy a lovely summer afternoon with like-minded people.

Host canines Finnegan and Sparky greeted each arriving party at the Welcome tent. On Saturday, Peter Rowell had prepared a pot of baked beans and cooked it in a fire pit overnight, so just after 12 noon, he unearthed it with a crowd watching to see whether they were going to be edible. Luckily for us, they were very much so, and they joined the rest of the delicious dishes on the potluck table!


After lunch, Lauren Chase-Rowell led her largest tour group ever around her farm, introducing them to permaculture principles along the way—how to not disrupt the site’s ecology, work efficiently, and use resources wisely. Next, John Forti led a wild and medicinal edibles walk on the property while Peter simultaneously showed a group his “chicken tractor” designs for keeping his pastured chickens safe in the field.

This event could not have taken place, never mind have been successful, without the planning and communications expertise of the Slow Food Seacoast board: Alison Magill, John Forti, Jenny Isler, Amy Pollard, Erin Jenkins, Pam Angulo, and Laura Spelke. (A few years of farm picnic experience doesn’t hurt!) In addition, the board extends a heartfelt and humongous thank-you to everyone else who helped make the event a success:


  • Our most gracious and hospitable hosts, Lauren Chase-Rowell and Peter Rowell, who allowed us to march on their mulch, trample their thyme, and cackle with their chickens.
  • All of the Slow Food Seacoast board members, chapter members, and other volunteers who collectively performed as planners, site-scouting crew, event-day signage team, set-up crew, sound engineers, food tent crew, kid’s activities director, event photographer, and clean-up crew.
  • Daryl and Douglas, who staffed the Northeast Organic Farming Association, New Hampshire Chapter (NOFA-NH) table.
  • Jenny Isler, who staffed the Seacoast Community Garden Network (SCGN) table.
  • Heather Fernald, who staffed the Seacoast Eat Local table.
  • Amy Antonucci and Steve Dimond, who staffed the Greater Seacoast Permaculture Group table.
  • One of Peter's homemade "chicken tractor" designs.

  • Amy Winans and Dan Winans, who organized the UNH EcoGastronomy table and Italian food tasting.
  • Ali, who helped staff the Renewing America’s Food Traditions (RAFT) heirloom and wild edibles info and tasting table.
  • Michael Sterling—who never appears in photos because he’s always behind the camera!—for taking pictures at the event. Check out our latest Flickr photo sets when you have a chance.
  • Deb Locke of Sugarmomma’s Maple Farm, who donated the cutest and most delicious maple candies as prizes for the children’s activities.
  • Everyone who talked up the event, handed out flyers, forwarded emails, or shared Facebook updates with people who otherwise might not know about Slow Food Seacoast and this wonderful annual event. (Thanks for getting the word out!)
  • All the attendees who dared to venture out of Portsmouth … and drive down 3 miles of sometimes washboard dirt road to get to the property. (Wasn’t it so worth it?)
Scusi, but wasn't tug-o-war supposed to be a children's activity?!

This is tug-o-war!

NOFA NHHN Spring Herb and Garden Conference, May 22, 2010

Illustration donated by Brenda Drew Designs, www.brendadrewdesigns.com

Illustration donated by Brenda Drew Designs, www.brendadrewdesigns.com

The Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) New Hampshire Herbal Network (NHHN) 1st Annual Spring Herb and Garden Conference will be held on Saturday, May 22, 2010, at Pine Hill Waldorf School in Wilton, NH.

The conference, entitled Beautiful Earth, “will feature some of New Hampshire’s top herbalists, gardeners, farmers, retailers, crafters, artisans and trades people who support organic growing methods, ecologically friendly products, local food, sustainable agriculture, natural medicine, and community awareness.”

Check out the NOFA–NHHN link for details!

Attend GMO hearings today, Thursday, Feb. 11

On Monday, we posted about Your chance to speak out against GMOs in NH. Today, we’re forwarding an action alert from Northeast Organic Farming Association, NH Chapter (NOFA-NH), requesting your presence or written testimony at tomorrow’s hearings. (Note: A link to democracyinaction.org in the original newsletter from NOFA-NH did not work, so it was deleted; we will post an update ASAP if we get a working link!)

GMO Action Alert

We need your support at the public hearings

Thursday, February 11

in the Legislative Office Building (LOB)
33 North State St., Concord NH
Room 308

11 am for the GMO liability bill
1 pm for the GMO seed labeling bill

Monsanto is coming with their expensive propaganda and expensive lobbyists.  There is nothing locally grown or heirloom about biotech – show the legislature that traditional and organic agriculture and gardening is our choice.

Or, email NOFA for two handouts info@nofanh.org that can help you compose testimony – the more people that speak the better.  Or just come with friends and colleagues and sign in to support the bill, and stay to hear both sides.

We believe consumer-farmers and consumer-gardeners have a legal right-to- know if their seeds contain GMOs.  And we want to protect traditional, organic and small farmers from cross-contamination that occurs with GMO crops.

Please forward this alert to all your networks and get promises to attend the hearings.
And to make it even better, please email Elizabeth at NOFA-NH info@nofanh.org with your RSVP that you or others will be offering testimony.

More people than ever are growing food for their own families, or for sale.  Organic agriculture continues to grow.

Did you know that there are at least six transgenic varieties of yellow summer squash, crookneck and zucchini that are available to consumers, and are not labeled?

Did you know that a farmer can buy transgenic seed without knowing it? It has happened!

Biotech is only getting bolder with their plans to own all seed in the world.  And to pollute our soils with pesticides and herbicides while creating super weeds and super pests.

No state has yet been able to get seeds labeled for GMOs.  Aren’t we still first in the nation?  Let’s be the leader!

Recommended websites for info and for studies to support your statements:

http://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/PDF/geneticeng.pdf is an excellent (32 pg) summary of all that has been happening with transgenic crops. http://www.responsibletechnology.org/GMFree/Home/index.cfm is the website of the author of Seeds of Deception and other books on GMOs, Jeffrey Smith. http://sustainableagriculture.net/blog/usda-releases-organic-production-survey-results/

You can also write Op Ed pieces about this issue.

How to testify: You will sign in at the hearing and wait till you are called. You will have only 3 minutes, maybe much less depending on the number of people who are signed up to testify.  Written and oral testimony do not have to be diatribes. Keep it simple, polite and to the point.  Thank the committee when you are done. Short statements about complex points are more memorable than long dissertations.

Please try to arrive by 10:45 am for the GMO liability bill (HB 1388) and 12:45 pm for the GMO seed labeling bill (HB 1172).  And plan to spend some time.

Thank you!

NOFA-NH recognizes that farmers, gardeners, and consumers of organic products share a “community of interests:” a common need to grow and consume safe, healthy, nutritious, great-tasting food; and a common interest in preserving a healthy environment that nurtures all of us. In an age of industrial agriculture, we’re working to re-establish a shared sense of pride and participation in a community-based food system that links local farmers with local consumers, and rewards them both equally.

Contact: Elizabeth Obelenus, Program Coordinator
(603) 224-5022

8th Annual NOFA-NH Winter Conference, March 6


The theme of this year’s Northeast Organic Farming Association, New Hampshire Chapter (NOFA-NH), Winter Conference is “A Place at the Table”. It encourages everybody to become involved in shaping an organic farming and food future. There is a place at the table for everyone at the NOFA Winter conference, but we are especially encouraged by the prospect of young voices participating in the discussion. Keynote speaker Sharon Astyk will offer a special family-centered workshop on the topic of creating a viable way of life. The conference has many informational sessions that would be relevant to future farmers and consumers interested in organic food and farming. In addition, there is a special track for youth presented by youth.

Early registration discounts are available through February 26.

WHEN: Saturday March 6, 2010

WHERE: Rundlett Middle School, Concord, NH

CONTACT: Winter Conference Coordinator Scott Morrison, (603) 226-9434, WinterConference@nofanh.org, NOFA-NH website

Your chance to speak out against GMOs in NH

The ramifications of the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in agriculture are varied—some have slowly become evident over time, and some remain unknown. Hearings for HB 1172 “GMO Labeling Bill” and HB 1388 “GMO Liability Bill” are scheduled to be held this Thursday in Concord, NH, and the Northeast Organic Farming Association–NH Chapter (NOFA-NH) invites the public to help build support for these bills. If you can describe why GMOs are bad for our health, are concerned about GMO seeds contaminating organic crops, or simply believe in the right-to-know in seed labeling, then your oral testimony—or written statement—is requested!

WHAT: Public hearings for HB 1172 “GMO Labeling Bill” and HB 1388 “GMO Liability Bill” (read more in ADDITIONAL INFO below and in links)

WHEN: Thursday, 2/11/2010, at 11 am (HB 1388) and 1 pm (HB 1172)

WHERE: Legislative Office Building (LOB), Room 308, 22 North State Street, Concord, NH

WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW: If you can’t attend the hearings on Thursday, submit your written statement for the record. Comments to the House received by email are not included in the permanent record, so please email statements to Elizabeth Obelenus of NOFA-NH (info@nofanh.org), and she will print out the required copies and submit them in person at the hearings on Feb. 11 as official testimony.


  • HB 1172 (GMO Labeling Bill) “defines genetically modified seeds and organisms and requires that genetically modified seeds be labeled as such.” (More and more people raise their own food in NH to ensure quality and purity—and to save money. How do they know if their seeds contain GMOs if the seeds they buy are not labeled? This bill asks that the time-honored consumer’s right-to-know be extended to seed labeling.)
  • HB 1388 (GMO Liability Bill) “defines genetically modified seed or organism” and “establishes a cause of action for farmers sustaining damage from the use of mislabeled or genetically modified seeds or organisms.” (Genetic drift is proving to be a huge problem for farmers that do not purposefully raise GMO crops. If a farmer’s crop becomes contaminated with GMOs through pollen drift, this bill gives the farmer the right to seek damages.)
  • If you wish to testify in person or want more information about how you can participate, contact Elizabeth Obelenus of NOFA-NH at 603-224-5022 or info@nofanh.org.
  • Slow Food Seacoast posted about a February 3 meeting related to these bills.
  • Read an interesting recent article about GMO policy in NH in Front Door Politics.
  • The House Environment & Agriculture Committee is set to make recommendations 1 week later, on Feb. 18.