Organic Intensives

OI Info

Organic Intensives 2024

We invite you to join us on Saturday, January 6th, 2024 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 2024 we are offering the opportunity to learn from experienced experts and producers in one of three topic areas:

Innovative Ecological Farming and Growing

Do not miss this great opportunity – using the power and fundamentals of ecology to enliven soils, support healthy crops, and boost life systems on your farm or garden. Helen Atthowe, author of The Ecological Farm: A Minimalist No-Till, No-Spray, Selective-Weeding, Grow-Your-Own-Fertilizer System for Organic Agriculture, will share her profound insights from 35 years of farming and land stewardship. Local presenters Brittney Rooney of Beaverland Farm in Detroit and Nate Lada of Green Things Collective Farm in Ann Arbor, will build on Helen’s concepts and practical techniques with their own real-life examples. You’ll walk out of the session with a new understanding of growing spaces as living systems and a list of DIY techniques to implement in your own unique environment. One of MOFFA’s most highly anticipated sessions ever!

Photo Credit: Book Cover, Chelsea Green Publishing

Building a Just and Equitable Seed Community

This intensive will offer some basic hands on skills to the beginner and enhance the tool kit for more advanced seed savers and growers. Shiloh Maples, an Anishinaabe community organizer, seed keeper and story teller, will present on seed rematriation and seed ethics. Amy Newday, with support from others, will focus on beginning and advanced seed saving techniques. Erica Kempter and Mike Levine of Nature and Nurture Seeds, will share about their breeding projects and the need for high quality organic seed. They will navigate us through the process of growing seed for them or other small seed companies. Michael Lordon, Midwest organizer and educator, for the Organic Seed Alliance, will speak to the OSA’s ongoing efforts to breed open pollinated varieties suited for low input organic growing systems. The day will also include a session on best practice seed cleaning techniques and a panel roundtable discussion on enhancing the seed community.

Locally Sourced and Manufactured Fibers: An Important Part of Sustainable Living

We all look for locally produced food to make dinner, but what about locally produced animal or plant fiber to make clothes? In this session we will look at some of the possibilities in the world of local fiber production. On Happy Goat Lucky Ewe Fiber Farm and Michigan Merinos (in Mason), Bridget Kavanaugh has gained considerable experience raising Angora goats and Merino sheep (currently 50) for fiber on a large scale. Her talk will range from field rotations and breeding to working with a local sweater company (Fair Enough) and managing retail sales. Natural Cycles Farm of Allegan is where Lori Evesque practices true integration, managing a homestead with components for vegetable, “protein,” and fiber production. With a diversity of sheep flocks and a dye garden, her passions can truly combine in her love of fiber.  Knowledgeable on harvesting and processing wool (as well as retailing the finished items), she can take you from sheep to clothing. Come learn about this often-neglected aspect of “local” living, fiber!

Farm Land Irrigation

The event will take place on Saturday, January 6th, at the Plant and Soil Sciences building on the MSU campus in East Lansing. 

Registration is $110 for MOFFA members and $140 for non-members.  The registration fee covers six hours of learning, an organic lunch and snack 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.  Scholarships are available; if interested please email a request for scholarship information to [email protected]

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 15th, 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, innovative, seeds, or fiber) 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.