The Organic Intensives are held each January and are an opportunity to acquire practical, detailed information over the course of a day with fellow Michigan farmers and gardeners. Three separate sessions are presented, providing a day long opportunity for the attendees to hear experts speak on a subject. Past subjects presented at the OI have been cut flowers for profit and diversification, seed saving, organic certification of field crops, organic weed, insect and disease management for diversified vegetable farms, small to medium scale livestock for integrated farm, diverse grain options for farms and homesteads and organic mushroom cultivation. This event also includes an organic lunch, breaks, a few booths to browse and time to meet up with old friends and make new ones.
During the Michigan growing season, MOFFA hosts 3 or 4 Farm Tours, giving participants a chance to see an operations up close. In 2018 and 2019 we hosted the Farm Tours in collaboration with OEFFA's collection of more than 30 farm tours, workshops, and special events in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and Kentucky, attracting participants from outside of Michigan. Past farm tours have taken people to orchards, vegetable farms, mushroom productions and livestock farms.
Organic Gardening Program
As a result of Covid in our lives, we were forced to cancel the OI in January of 2021. We then started to think of another event/resource we could provide to our followers and as many people have decided to start raising their own nutritious food, MOFFA is using this unique opportunity to welcome and develop a rookie cohort of new organic gardeners to the movement. Organic gardening can cultivate human and planetary health and resilience. With the tools of the time we are developing online presentations and downloadable documents to provide a low cost option to support beginning organic gardeners. A full program will take time to develop but for 2021 we’re starting with the basics to help you get started.
In addition to our newsletter and Farm guide, MOFFA has also published The Organic Movement in Michigan, edited by Maynard Kaufman, who was present at the creation of both Organic Growers of Michigan (1973) and MOFFA (1992). The book about the history of the organic movement in Michigan contains contributions from fifteen of those who were involved in the movement over the past 45 years. More information about the book, including capsule reviews, is available at michiganorganic.org/the-book/.
We also publish fact sheets which are distributed at conferences and other places where people gather to share their interest in growing and eating in ways that are healthy for people and for the earth. They are formatted to be printed on letter size paper and folded in thirds like a brochure. Anyone is welcome to download them and distribute them wherever it seems appropriate, as long as you print them in color and do not make any changes or additions.
Our quarterly e-newsletter, Michigan Organic Connections, is now in it's 27th volume and is a space where we update members about what is happening in the world of organics and beyond. A timely topic or theme is chosen for each calendar year and we present articles written by board members or solicited from other sources to provide an educational and hopefully entertaining read for our subscribers. You can join our mailing list here so you don't miss the next issue or view our past newsletters are here.
To aid in the search for locally produced food, MOFFA maintains the Guide to Michigan's Organic and Ecologically Sustainable Growers and Farms. The farm guide
is available as an electronic version on-line, indexed by farm name, county, region, and products. The guide currently has 143 listings for farmers and growers, including 87 Certified Organic farms. USDA Organic Certification is not required, but we do ask that growers confirm that they are growing in a sustainable manner by signing the Michigan Farmer's Pledge. Because we know people are looking for quality foods grown or raised without toxic chemicals, hormones or antibiotics, in ways that protect the earth and support local communities, we have included notes from farms or businesses that describe their approach and philosophy.
The guide is also available on paper at moffa.net/farm-guide-book.html
. The most recent paper version represents a snapshot of the guide as of May 11, 2020. As always, the most recent farm information will be found in the online version.
MOFFA's Facebook page is another way to connect with or organization. Here you will find posts concerning more timely events such as important policy, action alerts and grant submission deadlines and also links to our newsletters when they are published.