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Organic Intensives 2020

Organic Intensives 2020


Weather Advisory:

We are concerned and appreciate your concern relative to the MOFFA Organic Intensives on Saturday Jan 11, and the prediction for freezing rain developing during the day.  For reasons explained in the following information, the event will not be cancelled or postponed and rescheduled.

The nature of the arrangements for the event does not allow the event to be rescheduled. We have committed to or paid all the costs -- presenters' fees and travel,  a day of organic food, extensive printed materials, staff time in planning, and all the other expenses of putting on an event like this.  Because of this we will not be able to issue full refunds.  Once the event has taken place, we'll review the situation, and do what we can. 

We encourage you to wait until tonight or early tomorrow to make a decision about your travel.  The current prediction is a matter of a few degrees, or a few hours, and as we know, the prediction and weather can change.   We of course want everyone to make a decision based on your safety and ability to travel, and/or stay in the Lansing area if conditions late in the day would make travel home unsafe.   Predictions are for safe travel conditions on Sunday.


We've checked with TownePlace Suites Marriott and they still have rooms available for Saturday night, in case you'd like to have a backup plan.  517-203-1000, and mention MOFFA for the conference rate of $109.


We invite you to join us on Saturday, January 11th, 2020 for a one-day in-depth learning experience. Organic Intensives are an opportunity to acquire practical, detailed information over the course of a day with fellow Michigan farmers and gardeners.

For 2020 we are offering the opportunity to learn from nationally recognized experts in one of three topic areas:

photo of Michael PhilipsSuccessful Biological Orcharding

Fascinating biological connections make for a healthy orchard ecosystem. All insect pests and fruit tree disease – whether fungal or bacterial – have launching points and particular timing. Healthy trees address these challenges first and foremost from within. Growers utilizing an ongoing investment in soil nutrition and biodiversity set the stage for gentler organic sprays to grow a successful fruit crop. The challenges you face at your locale will become far more manageable as you build a holistic system that keeps trees and berry plantings healthy from the get-go. We’ll wrap up this day with important marketing perspective for selling the good fruit.  Our guide for this session will be Michael Phillips of Lost Nation Orchard, author of The Holistic Orchard, The Apple Grower, and most recently Mycorrhizal Planet: How Fungi and Plants Work Together to Create Dynamic Soils.  See the flyer for more information.


photo of Andrew MefferdOrganic No-Till Farming

In recent years we have learned that tilling kills beneficial soil life, burns up organic matter, and releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. If the ground could instead be prepared for planting without tilling, time and energy could be saved, soil organic matter increased, carbon sequestered, and dependence on machinery reduced.  Andrew Mefferd, author of The Organic No-Till Farming Revolution will discuss his experiences in talking with farmers during the development of the book, and will address practical as well as philosophical approaches that can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase efficiency and profitability, and promote soil health.  He will also discuss his experiences working on a no-till research farm, and how he applied the ideas on his own farm.  See the flyer for more information.


photo of jim mcdonald, Alex Rea, and Ben Hicks

Local Organic Herbs for Health

An investment in your diet is an investment in your health and quality of life. Are herbs a part of your diet and/or your farm or garden food and medicine growing? They certainly can and should be. jim mcdonald, one of the country's premier herbal practitioners and educators, will offer a detailed look at several ways herbs that you can grow, harvest or purchase locally can be used in your daily diet for health. jim has been teaching practical herbalism for decades. His website (herbcraft.org) has long been a source of information and a starting point of exploration for budding and blooming herbalists. Focus topics will include bitter herbs as an important dietary health component, gut healing teas, profiles of  a range of easy to grow and harvest plants, and detailed demonstrations of using, extracting (water, alcohol, oil) and preserving methods. See the flyer for more information.

The event will take place on Saturday, January 11th, at the Plant and Soil Sciences building on the MSU campus in East Lansing. 

Thanks to our sponsors, we have been able to keep the cost low at $85 for MOFFA members and $115 for non-members.  The registration fee covers six hours of learning, lunch, breaks, all printed materials, and a great chance to network with fellow farmers and gardeners from across Michigan.  Parking is free at the Plant and Soil Sciences Building.  A limited number of scholarships are available; to apply please email moffaorganic@gmail.com.  Space is limited, so ...

Register Now!

A block of rooms has been reserved at the TownePlace Suites Marriott, 2855 Hannah Blvd., East Lansing, MI  48823, just one mile from the Plant and Soil Sciences building. Room availability was only guaranteed through December 11th, but the conference rate of $109 per night continues to be in effect; mention MOFFA when you call. We suggest you contact the hotel as soon as possible at 517-203-1000 to be sure you get a room if you will need one. 

Please help us publicize the event by downloading the brochure or the flyers (general, orcharding, no-till, or herbs) and distributing them in your community.  If you'd like us to send you pre-printed brochures or flyers, please let us know.

Organic Intensives would not be possible without the sponsorship of companies and foundations who support our work. If you are interested in sponsoring Organic Intensives and our other activities, please see the Sponsorship page. We encourage you to think of these companies when you're in the market for the products and services they provide, and thank them for their support of MOFFA.

MOFFA Sponsors for 2020

Whole Foods North Central SARE logo  Morgan CompostingBlue River Organic Seed OnMark Certification Services GreenStone Farm Credit Services George & Anne BirdPlymouth Orchards Ruesink FarmsThe Fertrell Company