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Bulk Order

Fall soil testing can get you set up to succeed next growing season. Don’t shoot in the dark - find out what your soil’s limiting factors are now. Fall soil testing will also enable you to order the amendments you need via the 2021 Tri-State Bulk Order  – a NOFA tradition that helps growers of all sizes get affordable prices on farm and garden supplies while helping fund critical programming and activities at participating NOFA chapters.

As a thank you for soil testing with NOFA/Mass, you will receive a $10 coupon code to use when you place your order via the Tri-State Bulk Order in January.

Greetings from your new Bulk Order Coordinator! As we turn the corner into fall, I’m reaching out to you with thoughts about planning for next season – specifically, to encourage you to source next year’s growing supplies through the 2021 NOFA Tri-State Bulk Order.

The NOFA Tri-State Bulk Order is a long-standing NOFA/Mass tradition, established in 1985 to serve farmers, homesteaders, and gardeners across Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. Today, we work directly with a number of suppliers to offer a great selection of supplies for growers of all sizes and skill levels. By ordering with us, you’ll get affordable prices on what you need to set yourself up for growing success while helping fund critical programming and activities at participating NOFA chapters. Talk about a win-win!

This month we welcomed Pampi, Ashley Kenney and Nora Weaver to the NOFA/Mass team.

Pampi, Public Relations Coordinator

Pampi joins the NOFA/Mass communications team with 20 years of experience in publications, social media and event management.

A 20+ year newcomer-settler of Turtle Island (currently in residency on Pennacook / Sokoki territory), Pampi is a nonbinary second-genx casteD-Bengali culture worker who plays at the intersection of healing and popular education.

For me, the arrival of the NOFA bulk order is, like the arrival of the seed catalogs, a harbinger of spring, and an opportunity to stock up on things I know I will use all season long. The bulk order also appeals to the Yankee in me, because I know I will get great prices, especially with the member discount, and loading up my pick-up with a season’s worth of soil amendments feels like thrift rewarded. There are hundreds of items to choose from, for the back yard or the back 40. Here are some favorites of NOFA farmers this year:

A farm worker sprays a foliar application on a freshly hoed bed

A farm worker sprays a foliar application on a freshly hoed bed

No matter how early I think about adding fall amendments, this job always falls to the bottom of the to-do list below some bigger priorities. Harvesting crops remaining in the field prior to frost, bagging up all the row covers, and removing all the poles and trellises, for example, all take precedence over the spreading of fall amendments.

Fortunately, this year I sent my soil test into Logan Labs in October, so after receiving the results, all I had to do was calculate the amendments I needed to order, order them, pick them up, and broadcast them on the fields.  If you have a Logan Labs soil test result, NOFA/Mass will analyze it and give you soil recommendations. You can see the details of that program here or check out this article to calculate your own amendment needs.  You can order a variety of soil amendments through the annual NOFA Bulk Order.



weed large garden bed

Soil test results are the key to planning your soil fertility program. Adding the right amendments in the right amount can dramatically improve your plants’ health and your garden’s productivity. But once you have your test results, it can sometimes feel daunting to figure out how much of a particular amendment you need to add to get to your goal--and I say that as a former math and chemistry teacher!

In this article, I will try to greatly simplify that process with a few conversion factors and formulas. With these, you should be able to use your results to easily figure out what you need to order—from the NOFA bulk order or elsewhere—and apply your findings to fine tune your garden’s fertility.

Ellena discusses the oats and peas cover crop

While spring planting of cover crops is not an uncommon practice on organic farms and gardens, many farmers and market gardeners are experimenting with extending cover crop overlaps with cash crops through the creative use of easy-to-manage species (field peas, buckwheat and oats, all of which can be ordered through the annual NOFA Bulk Order) and leaving them in the ground until just prior to bed planting, or even allowing them to share bed space with cash crops or new perennial plantings.

Emerging research on soil microbiology and soil carbon sequestration shows that the number of days/year that soil has living roots in the ground with photosynthesis happening (i.e. “days in living cover”), the density of living plant roots, and the diversity of species of plants present are all contributing factors in increasing soil health and building soil organic matter / soil organic carbon.

These insights from the scientific community and healthy soils movement have spurred growers to start experimenting with ways to increase living root density and species diversity on as many beds and fields as possible.  

Meg Galeucia

Meg Galeucia, NOFA/Mass Bulk Order Coordinator

I am excited to welcome Meg Galeucia to the team as the NOFA Tri-State Bulk Order Coordinator.  Meg brings a wealth of experience, both with farming and food access, to the position and NOFA/Mass is excited to have her on staff.

Meg works at Abode Farm in New Lebanon, New York (right over the Massachusetts border), a draft-powered, organic vegetable farm that utilizes organic and biodynamic practices.  She is also a member of a goat dairy collective, manages the gardens and grounds at the Abode of the Message community, and runs a small medicinal herb business, Shaker Mountain Herbals, with her partner. 

Meg’s experience with food access and food justice work spans several years and a variety of avenues: she was a researcher for the NYC Food Policy Center, managed the Healthy Schools Brooklyn Program at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and has been involved with organizing with migrant farmworkers, biodynamic farmers, and food access groups in addition to her current role as a farmer at Abode Farm.

As the changing seasons conduct the activity of growers across the United States, the low hum of machines running on biofuel, the calls and cackles of chickens, and the occasional donkey song can be heard emanating from the south facing hillsides of Vermont Compost Company in Montpelier, Vermont. Karl Hammer started operations on this land in the capital city after decades spent in the fields, learning from elders and landcrafters, using their traditional wisdoms to fuel new innovations.

Karl began farming full time in his youth, and his passion for connecting culture back to its roots in the soil has aged into a dedicated team of people running a company focused on making products aimed to support the efforts of professional growers. Everything from material sourcing to daily operations have been refined down to a sort of alchemy where science, lab testing, customer feedback, and intuition are combined to create soil media that is reliable, productive, and ethically produced.

Volunteers help to unload a delivery truck at the NOFA Tri-State Bulk Order

Volunteers help to unload a delivery truck at the NOFA Tri-State Bulk Order

As of January 1st, the 2019 NOFA Tri-State Bulk Order is officially open for business.  The Bulk Order team has been working diligently to bring you a great selection of farming and gardening supplies for your growing season; we have potting soil, cover crop seeds, soil amendments, packing supplies, tools, tubers, onion sets, and more.  Here are some particularly exciting things about the 2019 NOFA Tri-State Bulk Order:


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