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April 7 and April 9:
NOFA/Mass Statewide Organic Lawn Days
“Organic Lawns for Homeowners” workshops at 12 Locations
Join a NOFA Accredited Organic Land Care Professional at one of 12 locations across Massachusetts to learn about how you can take care of your own lawn or property organically. These three-hour intensive workshops will cover site analysis, transitioning from conventional to organic management, compost, amendments, mowing and watering practices you can implement to have a beautiful, low-cost, synthetic chemical-free lawn. Hands-on component and handouts included. Workshops to be held in Stockbridge, Northampton, Pelham, Boylston, Salem, Newburyport, Natick, Barnstable, Dartmouth, Arlington, Stoneham and Ayer.
See below for more details.
Homeowners from across Massachusetts will learn organic lawn care methods and maintenance by attending one of 12 statewide organic lawn care workshops on Thursday, April 7 and Saturday, April 9, 2011. The workshop series, “NOFA/Mass Statewide Organic Lawn Days” is hosted by The Northeast Organic Farming Association/Massachusetts Chapter, Inc., and funded by the Toxics Use Reduction Institute of the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. Each “Organic Lawns for Homeowners” workshop will be led by a NOFA Accredited Organic Land Care Professional, and in three hours cover all aspects of caring for one’s own lawn organically, including the organic approach to lawn care, soil testing and soil health, growing healthy grass, mowing, seeding, aerating and topdressing techniques and how-to-find organic supplies, compost and materials needed. Most workshops will also include a hands-on component including a demonstration of organic lawn equipment and cultural practices on organically maintained properties. The registration fee is $25 ($5 discount for NOFA / MOFGA members).
“The goal of this workshop series is to educate and empower homeowners to care for their own lawns organically, without the use of toxic or synthetic pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers,” said coordinator Kathy Litchfield, who runs the NOFA/Mass Organic Land Care Program. “Our NOFA Accredited Organic Land Care Professionals will share their knowledge with homeowners, teaching them how to apply what they’ve learned directly onto their own properties.”
The overall project goals are to reduce the use of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers in the management of residential lawns; to educate and demonstrate the benefits of eliminating toxics in lawns (less exposure to toxins, decreased groundwater pollution, increased air quality, cost savings over time, fewer inputs, healthier lawns); and to provide ongoing support to homeowners and groups requesting this information and education.
The NOFA Organic Land Care Program, in its 11th year, has educated over 1,500 landscape professionals, homeowners, municipal employees and others through its intensive courses, workshops and presentations. NOFA wrote the nation’s first Standards for Organic Land Care, now being used as a model by other groups, and still maintains the only organic accreditation program for landscape professionals in the country. Over time, NOFA Accredited Organic Land Care Professionals have demonstrated that organic management techniques offer the same cultural benefits, such as beauty, functionality and cost effectiveness, as synthetic chemical methods, but at a much lower environmental and health cost. Growing public awareness of pesticide use hazards and new legislation mandating least toxic and non-toxic alternatives are fueling homeowners’ concern regarding applying synthetic chemicals. More homeowners are
requesting organic products at garden centers and home stores and NOFA Accredited Organic Land Care Professionals care for more of their client’s properties organically year after year.
NOFA/Mass Statewide Organic Lawn Days will take place at the following locations:
Thursday, April 7th
Stockbridge – Berkshire Botanical Gardens, 5 West Stockbridge Rd., Stockbridge, MA 01262, 6-9 pm, taught by NOFA AOLCP Rich Lassor of Nature Works Landcare.
New Bedford – The Coalition for Buzzards Bay, 114 Front Street, New Bedford, MA 02740, 5:30-8:30 pm, taught by NOFA AOLCP Jessica Duphily Cook of Quintessential Gardens.
Saturday, April 9th
Arlington – Residence at 26 Kensington Pk. Arlington, MA 02476, 1-4 pm, taught by NOFA AOLCP Frank Koll of GreenScapes Lawn & Garden Services.
Ayer – Sandy Pond Recreation Area, corner of Sandy Pond and Snake Hill Roads, Ayer, MA 01432, (afternoon time TBD), taught by NOFA AOLCP John Coppinger of Coppinger Co.
Boylston – Tower Hill Botanic Gardens, 11 French Drive, Boylston, MA 01505, 10 am – 1 pm, taught by NOFA AOLCP John Tycz of Go Organic LLC.
Danvers – Alfalfa Farm Winery, 267 Rowley Bridge Road, Topsfield (hands-on portion to be held at 12 Brentwood Circle, Danvers) 9 am - Noon, taught by NOFA AOLCP Curtis Dragon of Earth Landscape.
Hyannis – Barnstable Senior Center, 825 Falmouth Rd., Hyannis, 1-4 pm, taught by NOFA AOLCP Finbarr Phelan of Old Sod Landscaping.
Natick – Natick Community Organic Farm, 117 Eliot Street, Natick, MA 01760, 11am – 2 pm, taught by NOFA AOLCP Peter DiClemente of Pure Lawns.
Newburyport – Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, 6 Plum Island Tpke., Newburyport, MA 01950, 9 am – Noon, taught by NOFA AOLCP Javier Gil of J.Gil Organic Landscaping.
Northampton – Look Memorial Park, 300 North Main Street, Florence, MA 01062, 1-4 pm, taught by NOFA AOLCP Bernadette Giblin of SafeGround Organic Landcare.
Pelham – Pelham Public Library, 2 South Valley Road, Pelham, MA 01002, Noon – 3 pm, taught by NOFA AOLCP Navid Hatfield of Pioneer Valley Organics.
Stoneham – Stoneham Public Library and Town Common Center Circle,431 Main Street, Stoneham, MA 02180, 11 am – 2 pm, taught by NOFA AOLCP Michael Murray of Organic Soil Solutions, Inc.
The workshop fee is $25 ($5 discount for NOFA/MOFGA members). For more information or to register for any of the workshops, please contact Kathy Litchfield at (413) 773-3830 or Kathy@nofamass.org. Online registration is available at NOFA/mass website.