More than 50 workshops on food, farming, and gardening will be offered at the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Jersey (NOFA-NJ) Winter Conference at the Rutgers University Douglass Student Center, 100 George Street, New Brunswick.

The sessions run Jan. 27 and 27, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. They'll include five tracks: crops, livestock, gardening, policy and urban farming. 

Anyone interested in learning about local, organic and sustainable food, permaculture and related policy issues is invited to attend.

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The theme of this year’s conference is “Regenerating Our Communities, Restoring Our Land,” and nationally-recognized speakers are coming in from all over the country. This year’s keynote is Mark Shepard author of Restoration Agriculture, which explains his approach to permaculture, as practiced at his New Forest Farm in Wisconsin.

In his work, Shepard makes the “whys and hows” of permaculture compelling and accessible, including its ability to sequester gigantic amounts of atmospheric carbon. He also explains clearly the tradeoffs between annual and perennial crops. 

Don Huber, PhD, will speak in a double-session about his research on the harms of glyphosate, the world’s most ubiquitous pesticide. Along with the content of his presentations, Huber provides copious references to scholarly and scientific work on the subject. 

Dan Kittredge, lifelong farmer and founder of the Bionutrient Food Association, will reveal his organization’s efforts to democratize testing for food quality in a completely open-source framework. 

For several years, Kittredge has been a leader in efforts to produce more nutrient-dense, high-quality foods, and early successes in the BFA’s food testing strategy suggest exciting possibilities. 

In addition to Mark Shepard, other nationally-recognized, expert permaculturists will be speaking, both individually and on the “PermaPanel.” There will be something for everyone, from topics of general interest to specific practices for experienced farmers. 

For more information, please visit nofanj.org or contact NOFA-NJ at 908-371-1111.