Connecticut's Beginning & Experienced Organic Farmers,
contracts experienced organic farmers from around the state to provide short-term technical assistance to Connecticut's beginning farmers.
More about the program HERE
From the Executive Director and the President
Moving Ahead in 2015
CT NOFA Friends,
Another successful year is unfolding for CT NOFA! We were in a strong position as we entered 2015 and the first quarter of the new year was jam packed with activity. We successfully implemented our:
- 10th Annual Getting Started in Organic Farming Conference - January
- Accreditation Course for Organic Land Care Professionals - February
- Green Stormwater Infrastructure Project start - February
- 33rd Annual Winter Conference - March
- 2015-2016 Farm & Food Guide publication - March
- First days of spring Greenhouse Workshop - March
- Permaculture Design Workshop - March
- 2015 board recruitment, adding several new dynamic board members
The rest of 2015 promises to be as full of activity and we look forward to you joining us. Please look out for our emails and social media and check ctnofa.org for upcoming events.
It is with mixed emotion that I am announcing that I have accepted a position with a former employer, the March of Dimes, as Director of March for Babies in New York City. I have thoroughly enjoyed the last two years as Executive Director of CT NOFA and was not seeking another role, but life has its ways of presenting surprising opportunities! I will miss CT NOFA and all of you, our loyal supporters. I believe our paths will cross, as I will remain an engaged member of this vital organization and bring the message of the importance of healthy food and farming to a major health organization.
Thank you for being part of the CT NOFA family and for your support of local and organic food, farming, gardening and land care,
Dear CT NOFA Family,
With both sadness and gratitude, I wish Eileen the very best in her new endeavors. I believe I speak for all of CT NOFA when I say the March of Dimes has gained a wonderful leader and an even better person.
Two years ago, Eileen stepped into our founder, Bill Duesing's big shoes. Not only did she maintain an organization-wide focus on our core values and vision, she steered us onto a whole new path. A path that has grown membership, programs and partnerships. CT NOFA has always been a well-respected resource in the state. Under her leadership, we have now become a leader in the advancement of organic agriculture, land care and food policy throughout the northeast. I can't help but to be excited to dream of where the next phase will take us.
Eileen, we wish you the very best. We are a better organization because of you.
President - Board of Directors
PS: If you are interested in the position of Executive Director of CT NOFA (or know someone who should be) please see the Job Announcement below. We have begun the search process. The future is upon us.
Executive Director Job Announcement
Welcome Tiffany Torres!
Tiffany joins us as our new Agricultural Program and Events Manager. She is currently transitioning from her role as a FoodCorps Service Member managing the Connecticut School Garden Resource Center at Common Ground High School in New Haven, CT.
She brings great passion and enthusiasm for creating a just and sustainable food system and already has connections with many of our partners throughout the state. We look forward to her carrying on CT NOFA's Beginning Farmer education programs, including our Journeyperson program, Technical Assistance program, on-farm workshops and Getting Started in Organic Farming Conference.
Glyphosate News Round Up
By Bill Duesing
Our current, conventional food system is based on the use of glyphosate, an herbicide which is designed to kill all green plants. (Remember for a minute that all of our oxygen and food comes from green plants. Then consider a business plan that depends on selling more of this green-plant-killing chemical every year.)
In 1970, a Monsanto scientist discovered that glyphosate killed plants. The company started marketing it as Roundup® in 1973 and held exclusive rights in this country until its patents expired in 2000. Now glyphosate and its formulations are made by many other toxic chemical companies all over the world. Over 100 million pounds of this herbicide are applied in this country alone; about half a billion pounds are applied worldwide, every year!
Organic Land Care Program Taking Action to Protect LI Sound
Our CT NOFA Organic Land Care Program is implementing its third consecutive project funded by the Long Island Sound Future Fund! "Demonstrating Green Stormwater Infrastructure at Two Community Colleges" will install landscape features such as rain gardens which will capture, store and treat 181,518 gallons of stormwater annually at Naugatuck Valley Community College in Waterbury and Three Rivers Community College in Norwich.
In addition, the project will enhance 100 students' training in GSI techniques and then engage student volunteers in installing rain gardens, a meadow, and rain barrels. The project ends with public education on site which includes signage and an open house to the public.
To follow the project as it unfolds, go to our dedicated blog page.
CT NOFA will also be participating in the 24th Annual Long Island Sound Citizens Summit on April 10, 2015 in Bridgeport, CT where Jenna Messier, OLC Program Director, will be on a panel discussing, "Taking Action for the Future: Alternative Technologies and Innovative Solutions," based upon our previous 2 grant projects which provided organic lawn care education to 159 students.
The OLC Program held a Permaculture Design Charrette last week in West Haven, using a .11 acre lot as the template for their landscape designs. If you would like to read more about it and view the designs click here.
2015 Suburban Homesteading Workshop
Saturday, May 30, 2015
(rain date 5/31)
Check out this short video from last October's workshop and register today.
for more info~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
August 14 - 16, 2015
Whole Foods 5% Donation Day
at all Whole Foods stores in Connecticut
*Save the Date*
5% of that day's net sales will be donated to CT NOFA!
More details to come!
New Business Member Profiles
Since 1893 the Hindinger family has been farming this land in Hamden, Connecticut, and now the family invites you to share with them this spectacular scenery, friendly atmosphere, and farm-fresh fruits and vegetables.
We are committed to the concept of offering our customers the freshest home-grown produce available in a clean, friendly environment. The Hindinger Farm practices Integrated Pest Management, allowing us to prevent pest damage to our fruits and vegetables while curbing pesticide usage.
Our Retail stand is open from May through December, and we offer a 23 week CSA. Visit our website for more info.
Laura Sinaguglia is the President and facilitator of Wise Seeds of Learning. She is also an Organic Master Gardener, Horticultural Specialist and Consultant-Designer. Wise Seeds of Learning's sole purpose is to educate those willing to observe and listen; the plants and soil have much to teach us. Wise Seeds of Learning is an Educational Partner with Gaia College of B.C. Canada, facilitating their "Organic Master Gardener" course in the USA. This is a science-based course, with hands-on learning. For more information please visit our website. "Ask the plants of the Earth and they will teach you..."
Henrietta House Bed & Breakfast is a beautifully renovated 1700's house located on the 3-acre Red House Farm, owned by Marian Matthews, a CT NOFA member and graduate of the Beginning Women Farmers 2013-2014 class. She provides locally and organically grown food, her own and that of her neighbor's, for a delicious gourmet breakfast. Three lovingly decorated rooms provide all the comfort you can wish for a great night's sleep and a base for the many adventures that await you in the "Quiet Corner" of Connecticut. Enjoy the warmth of the down duvets on each bed. One special room is a suite with its own bathroom, balcony, and separate entrance. Visit our website for more information.
In the News
School Garden Network News
Growing and Learning
Workshop: Seed Starting for Your School Garden
Join Common Ground High School
on April 11, 2015 for a day of starting seeds and celebrating spring! This workshop will offer planting plans suitable for a spring school garden and planting activities that can be done with students of any age, including DIY containers, using grow lights, making seed tape and more. Includes a flat of seeds to take back to your school garden! More details and registration here.
Torrington School Gardens Receives Funding
This past December, Fit Together and Litchfield Hills Food Systems presented East and Forbes Schools in Torrington with a $3,000 donation for the schools' Edible School Gardens Program. Their objective is to lay the foundation for sustainable health & wellness programs in Torrington's public schools. Read more here. Park Seed Partners with Katie's Crops
This season Park Seed is partnering with Katie's Krops, a nonprofit organization devoted to feeding the hungry with good, nutritious produce grown in local gardens. Started by a child several years ago, Katie's Krops currently has a goal of starting public gardens in all 50 states. Park Seed is donating a portion of proceeds from the sale of select vegetable varieties to Katie's Krops. More details here.
We'd love to share your school garden with our readers! Feel free to send me any articles, news, photos or any questions you may have.