Thursday, October 25, 2012

The 2012 Annual Gathering is going to be Great!

Eric T. Fleisher

The 2012 Organic Land Care Annual Gathering on December 5, 2012 in Sturbridge, MA is a full day program with presentations by leaders in the sustainable landscaping movement about new practices in organic land care.  The Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) Organic Land Care Program hosts the event to provide education and networking opportunities for the northeast’s sustainable landscapers and is open to the public.

The 2012 Annual Gathering is titled “Success with the Organic Land Care Market” and the keynote speaker will be Eric T. Fleisher, the Director of Horticulture at Battery Park City Parks Conservancy in lower Manhattan.  Fleisher is a national leader in the field of sustainable horticulture, and has transitioned 37-acres of parkland on the Hudson River to be maintained organically.  Fleisher will discuss the results-driven approach to organic land care in order to build credibility for yourself and your business. 

Bernadette Giblin will share her experience educating citizens, municipalities and institutions about organic land care, drawing on her work transitioning four municipal parks departments in western Massachusetts from conventional management to organic.  Dave Alba, the Program Manager of Oregon Tilth’s Organic Land Care Program will offer a unified approach for professionals to maintain consistent practices and messaging across North America.

Dave Alba from Oregon Tilth
Chip Osborne of Osborne Organics will present his studies about compost and compost tea application in response new regulations about nitrogen and phosphorus applications.  Lee Corte-Real, the Director of the Division of Crop and Pest Services at the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, will discuss new laws that affect land care professionals and the requirements for using organic pesticides in Massachusetts.

Cheryl Smith, an educator with the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension, will teach about organic management and treatment of plant disease.  Cynthia Rabinowitz, a professional soil scientist and certified permaculture design consultant, will outline permaculture principles and their application to organic land care.

The Annual Gathering is on December 5 from 9:00am to 5:30pm at the Sturbridge Host Hotel in Sturbridge, MA.  During break periods and lunch, attendees are welcome to visit with exhibitors and to visit with the NOFA Organic Land Care staff to learn about accreditation.  Registration for the general public is $115 ($100 for NOFA Members or Accredited Professionals).  For more information or to register, please visit or call the NOFA Organic Land Care office at 203-888-5146.