Local Chapters

Rhode Island

This local chapter is located in Rhode Island.
To contact/join this chapter, please see the contact info on the left.

Chapter Benefits & Projects: 

Meredith’s interests in the connections between food and health go back to the 1980s. Jump ahead to 2006, Meredith and family planted their first garden and began to notice the connection between soil health, plant health, and flavor, which they intuitively connected to nutrition. Powdery mildew and late blight were huge problems in their first years of gardening, and in 2011 Meredith found the BFA’s 2-Day course, Dan Kittredge’s workshop on “Principles of Biological Systems”, which she took in the Spring of 2012.

Meredith proved out Dan Kittredge's theories in a 5 year experiment using two fixed 50' rows of tomatoes out at the community gardens/microfarms which were founded also in 2012 under the name of the nonprofit, Sustainable Aquidneck. In the first year, the truth was borne out, as 2012 was a terrible year for late blight in tomatoes, and many local farms lost their entire crops early in the season. In the row treated to the maximum per year of mineral applications according to BFA teachings, the late blight hit, and the plants suffered - but they continued to produce bushels of saleable tomatoes for 3 more weeks before they gave out. The row treated according to conventional organic practices, when the late blight hit, the plants and tomatoes were hit evenly, and they were only able to harvest a single tomato in the first week that the blight hit, and none after that. Both rows were planted with the same varieties from the same seed packets started in the same flat, the only difference was the soil treatment before planting. Meredith was able to continue the experiment for 4 more years, and the remineralized row continued to improve year on year until those tomatoes were nearly immune to late blight, with only minor leaf blemishes and they produced excellent tomatoes until the frost hit. Meredith closed out the experiment when Sustainable Aquidneck reorganized into Aquidneck Community Table and that portion of the field was leased to one of their micro-farmers, Garman Organic Farms. Unfortunately, that particular spot has been in cover crops ever since, so Meredith has been unable to observe any difference in those crops from the soil amendments. Meredith has also watched pest problems decrease over time in their home gardens as they have improved the soil fertility and nutrition. Meredith says she hasn't seen powdery mildew in years, and has stopped buying seeds with specific resistance to it.

Contact Meredith to join this group: merryj@gmail.com or by cell 401-374-1853

Upcoming Events & Meetings: 

Inaugural Meeting!
When: Saturday, December 8, 2018 from 4-5:00 PM
When: Portsmouth Free Public Library, 2658 E Main Road, Portsmouth, Rhode Island
Map: https://goo.gl/maps/T2TFL5Lqvnq

Come join us at our inaugural meeting of the RI Area BFA Discussion Group.

As this is our first meeting, we will focus on introductions, and on deciding the format and direction of future gatherings, which may include potlucks, special topic discussions, book discussions, farm and garden tours, workshops, and will always focus on healthy soils, healthy food, and healthy people.

For more information or to register contact Meredith Spitalnik at merryj@gmail.com
Or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/BFA.RI/