Happy Spring!

After a minimal winter here in central Massachusetts, we are returning to seasonal weather with a combination of wind, cold, sun, clouds, rain, snow and occasional warmth.  As the seasons change, so does the trajectory of the BFA.  Following a sold out conference in February, and a doubling of our staff in the past few months, we are implementing a number of the projects that historically we had only been able to talk about...

A deeper course for growers

For years now, we have heard the request to follow-up our foundational two-day course with an in-season and hands-on event for growers. Well, we are now happy to offer just that -- a three-day workshop on Dan Kittredge's farm in North Brookfield, MA led by MARK FULFORD, one of the most knowledgeable and experienced practitioners in the Northeast. For those looking to follow the growing season with in-field wisdom, practical review and communion, this is not to be missed. For a brief interview with Mark, click here. Learn more about and register for the workshop at http://bionutrient.org/mark-fulford.
a workshop w/ Mark Fulford
Apr 12, June 7 & Aug 23

Register today

Mineral depots up and running

The vision of local chapters around the country coordinating with the BFA to supply growers with a broad spectrum of high quality, inexpensive amendments is now a reality. Available only to BFA members, the mineral depots have already moved truckloads of minerals this spring, and in combination with consulting, this coordinated system promises to help implement the reality we are all hoping to see.  See more below.

Outreach & funding on the agenda

There is a palpable sense of late that an organizational critical mass seems to have been reached, and we are actively beginning to reach out to the larger food movement with an explanation of our raison d'être, and an invitation to engage. Toward that end, a video short, social media campaign and position pieces are currently in development. Stay tuned for further announcements!

NY, VA & MA workshops

The soil is beginning to wake up and the rush of the growing season is almost upon us. But before we are in full swing and too busy to think about much else, there are still spaces available for our remaining courses this season. Participation-based with questions and answers, the workshop is designed for farmers, growers, and gardeners of any type to learn current research and proven methods, and go step-by-step through the processes that will lead to optimum crop health and sustained yield.  Learn more at http://www.bionutrient .org/workshops

Bedford Hills, NY  Apr 2-3
Farmville, VA Apr 16-17
Newbury, MA Apr 30-May 1

Register today

Local chapters meeting across the country

BFA chapters are meeting regularly across the country, coordinating mineral depots, bringing in outside speakers to share insights, organizing seasonally-themed discussions and outings, and generally sharing knowledge, camaraderie and good food! See more information below about upcoming events and meetings to engage with your local group. Don't see one local and want to help start one? Reach out to chapters@bionutrient.org.

May the beginning of the growing season proceed well with you. It feels as though this year will be quite a ride.
Looking for the list of available amendments?  Click here.

The mineral depot is open to BFA members only, so join now if you haven't already!

And if you want some last-minute advice about minerals and what to order, consider joining David for the next Agronomy Conference Call on Tuesday, April 5. Click here for details.

Notes on mineral depots

This is crunch time for everyone involved in spring mineral amendments, and this year, that includes the Bionutrient Food Association!  By now, you are hopefully aware of our efforts to source high quality, reasonably priced, minerals for our members.  What you may not be aware of is how to take advantage of these offerings.  You can find our list of minerals, foliars and soil drench liquids, and biological inoculants online here: bionutrient.org/minerals/MineralDescriptions.html

Take a look at what we have to offer, download a pre-order form and fill out your wish list.  Talk with your neighbors and fellow chapter members to try to get to a pallet of materials.  Once you have your order ready, submit it by email and we'll work with you to get a finalized invoice including shipping, along with an estimated ship date.  

Note: If you are a member of the Connecticut chapter, contact Kris McCue or David Forster to get an invitation to the online ordering system that we are rolling out for "testing" there.
Agronomy Conference Call
Tuesday, April 5, 7pm EST
Click for details

Agronomy questions

with David Forster, BFA soil & farm consultant
The next Agronomy Conference Call with David Forster, our in-house soil and farm consultant, will be held on Tuesday, April 5. These calls are 1-hour calls that are open to members and non-members alike, so tell your friends. Please post your questions ahead of time in the forum to be sure we get to them, and to make our limited time more effective and efficient. Check the Agronomy Consulting page for dial-in numbers and additional details.
Don't miss the upcoming CT chapter event, Monday, April 4, An Evening with Will Bonsall, Seed-Saving Expert, Homesteader & Storyteller.

On April 16, the Amesville, OH chapter is co-sponsoring Biochar & Its Applications: A Workshop for Prospective Users featuring speakers Dale Hendricks, Gary Gilmore, Mark Cohen, & Scott Bagley.

On April 19, join Julie Rawson of Many Hands Organic Farm and the BFA discussion group of Westminster, MA as she shares her experiences with hoop house production: Using Hoop Houses to Extend the Growing Season.

Local chapter highlights

Our chapter network is growing and chapters continue to spread the word about growing (and eating) high quality, nutrient rich food. Recently, there have been lively chapter events and meetings in Colorado, Ohio, New York, Virginia, Connecticut, and New Hampshire, among others. New chapters are in various stages of forming all over the country and we continue to receive inquiries from all over the world.

Many chapters are doing wonderful things to engage their communities. The Hartford, CT chapter has been having a couple meetings each month lately, with special events featuring speakers such as Derek Christianson, Larch Hanson, Will Bonsall and others. See their complete schedule on their chapter blog page: http://bfa.regenerativeag.net/CT/.  And they are also building out a series of informational videos on their YouTube channel - check it out!  Check the sidebar to see what other BFA Chapters have scheduled.

Upcoming chapter meetings:
Central NY April 2
Westminster, MA  April 10
Westchester/NYC  April 20

Fundraising updates

To continue its mission to improve food quality for the grower and the consumer, BFA has begun working on the following projects:
• Establishment of grower and member profile pages on the BFA website
• Development of the Mineral Depot and associated web resources
• Improved course line-up and grower handbook
• Creation of a white paper on how ecological farming ensures soil and food quality
• Translation of observed food quality improvements under biological farming to field trial validation
Maintaining these and general membership programs require sponsorship and support.  In February and March 2016, BFA has been actively writing grants and setting up fundraising documents to ensure that the organization can deliver these products to its supporters.  Learn about BFA program impact through the "BFA one pager" available here. Distribution of this document is the perfect way to acquaint your community with the greater mission of BFA, and to forge new partnerships between BFA and other organizations with complementary objectives.  Personally support 2016 programs and consider donating through the BFA website here: https://bionutrient.org/donate!  

As part of the 2016 fundraising campaign, we are developing a video short to highlight the ways in which BFA is helping to improve food quality for growers and consumers alike.  We want to hear from you! Please click here to take just a moment to list up to five words that you strongly associate with Bionutrient Food Association.  Stay tuned for details on this video feature in future newsletters!

We appreciate your support!
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Bionutrient Food Association  •  24 Hillsville Rd  •  N. Brookfield, MA  01535