MOFFA X ROOTING DC 2021 Virtual Conference

It’s MOFFA’s 30th Anniversary Year!

We’re celebrating by joining together with the dynamic Rooting DC to put on an exciting free virtual farming and gardening conference!

We are excited to release this year’s virtual meeting schedule for MOFFA and Rooting DC! There are 17 Free Workshops covering a variety of topics of interest to farmers and gardeners.  We hope you’re able to make it to at least a few of these great sessions!
Here’s the complete schedule of events:





Visit with old friends. Make new friends.  Talk shop.  Or just catch up.

Hope to see you there!

Saturday’s Presenters:

Keynote: Fred Tutman, Patuxent Riverkeeper

Building A Fresh Legacy On The Land Of Ancestors

Fred TutmanIn 2004 Fred Tutman founded Patuxent Riverkeeper to be a grassroots community advocate for clean water in Maryland’s longest and deepest intrastate waterway.  Through strategic advocacy, restoration and education Patuxent Riverkeeper’s goal is long term sustainability for the ecosystem of the entire Patuxent River basin and the people who rely on its future.  Fred is a recipient of numerous awards and recognitions for his work on behalf of environmental causes and issues in Maryland.  In addition to his work at Patuxent Riverkeeper, Fred currently teaches at Goddard College. Fred’s MOFFA presentation will take us on an odyssey about his multi-generational family farm bordering the Patuxent River outside of Bowie, Maryland.  He’ll explore heritage, sense of place, holding onto the family farm, and efforts to make it organic and resilient. 

The Quick and Dirty on Growing and Marketing Medicinal Herbs

Hillary BanachowskiHillary Banachowski is the owner, farm manager, community herbalist, herb grower, and teacher at Sacred Roots Herbal Sanctuary in Shepherdstown, WV.  She grows over 50 or more varieties of medicinal herbs. Hillary has been immersed in the herbal world for over a decade – studying and practicing in the Western, Ayurvedic, and Folk Herbalism traditions.  Prior to starting Sacred Roots in 2012, Hillary tended the medicinal herb gardens for Dr. Jim Duke at the Green Farmacy Garden.

 MOFFA, The Early Years: History & Remembrance with Nick Maravell & Eric Rice

Eric RiceEric collaborated to write the Maryland state organic regulations as well as helping to found MOFFA.  He has been farming organically since 1986 at Country Pleasures Farm in the Middletown Valley of Maryland. The farm is the state’s first certified organic orchard, with over 1800 apple, cherry, pear, peach, and apricot trees.  It is also the home of Willow Oaks Craft Cidery.  Eric teaches at Johns Hopkins and has a consulting practice. 

Nick Maravell

Nick was an active participant in the development of the legislation and regulations for both the Maryland Organic Program and the National Organic Program.  He has been active in starting and participating in many local, state and national groups, including the founding of MOFFA and Future Harvest-CASA. Nick also served a five-year term on National Organic Standards Board (2011- 2016).  Nick has been farming organically for more than 40 years.  Nick’s Organic Farm in the Frederick Valley produces mainly row crops, forages and livestock feeds, seed stock, and livestock.

Organic Issues & Practices Mini Session

Cleo BravermanCleo Braver is an environmental lawyer and activist turned organic farmer.  Cleo’s Cottingham Farm, one of the few certified organic farms in Talbot County, produces vegetables and herbs, pastured heritage chicken eggs, and pastured heritage pork.  Cleo is a knowledgeable and passionate advocate for organic, regenerative, and other low-input farming and is a frequent presenter at agricultural and environmental forums.

 Resources for Farmers

CRP, FSA, ALC/PLC, NRCS, EQUIP – What do all these acronyms mean?  What services are available to farmers? 

Erroll Mattox, Three Maples Farm, and long-time UMES Farm Management Specialist, VK Holtzendorf of Red Top Farm, and Cleo Braver of Cottingham Farm (see above) will unlock the lingo and valuable resources to help launch your farm or improve your existing operation. 

Erroll Mattox

Erroll Mattox was an early adopter of organic ag practices at his Three Maples Farm, where he grew certified organic vegetables and raised pastured sheep.  Erroll has served as the University of Maryland Eastern Shore’s Farm Management Specialist.  He currently serves as chairman of the Agriculture Committee for the Maryland Pesticide Network.

VK Holtzendorf

VK Holtzendorf grows amazing cool season greens at her Red Top Farm in Anne Arundel County.  She has a deep interest in farming and is a keen student of organic agriculture.  She has built a heritage post and beam barn on her farm, and is currently experimenting with growing grain.


Cooking Demo with Katie Workman

Katie WorkmanAuthor of Dinner Solved! and The Mom 100 Cookbook, Katie writes a regular column for the Associated Press, and her articles have appeared in The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Better Homes and Gardens, Cooking Light, Eating Well, Parents, Rachael Ray Every Day, and various online outlets such as  She has also appeared on the Today Show, Access Hollywood Live, and NPR, among others and posts regularly on her popular blog,

Katie is a fervent advocate for food justice.  She is a board member and active volunteer for City Harvest, New York’s leading food rescue nonprofit, and also the Leadership Council of No Kid Hungry.  

Saving Our Seeds – Preserving the Past to Provide for the Future

Bevin CohenBevin Cohen is an author, herbalist, educator, and owner of Small House Farm in Michigan.  Cohen offers workshops and lectures across the country on the benefits of living closer to the land through seeds, herbs, and locally grown food.  He has published the bestselling Saving Our Seeds and his highly anticipated new book, The Artisan Herbalist (New Society ’21). He serves on the board of the International Herb Association and the advisory council for the Community Seed Network. 

 Farm Scale Pollinator Plantings with USDA

Laura PleasantonLaura Pleasanton works for USDA’s Farm Service Agency in Annapolis.   She is a program specialist who focuses on the administration of the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) in Maryland.  Laura’s presentation will focus on opportunities that the USDA provides to assist farmers in establishing plantings that attract pollinators.

BLISS Meadows & Backyard Basecamp – Farming to Build Community

Atiya WellsAtiya Wells is a pediatric nurse, the Founder/Executive Director of Backyard Basecamp, Inc., and the driving force behind BLISS Meadows – a 10 acre land reclamation project in Northeast Baltimore City. While attending outdoor workshops and classes, she noticed a lack of racial diversity both in attendees and leadership, as well as a lack of cultural relevance in many environmental programs. She founded Backyard Basecamp to address these concerns, and has dedicated her time to highlight connections to nature in urban environments. 

The Nicolo Whimsey Show with Nick Newlin and Joanne Flynn, Imagine Acres, Brandywine

For 35 years this dynamic duo has performed the Nicolo Whimsey Show locally, at Renaissance Fairs around the country, and street-performing in Europe and Asia.  Joanne started The Black Swamp Creek Land Trust and helps young farmers get set up with housing and land.  Nick entertains children, plays in a band Zydeco Jed, and has published the 30-Minute Shakespeare book series.