Gleanings ~ August 2016
In This Issue
2016 Farm & Food Guide

Click Below to Find an Accredited Organic Land Care Professional Near You!

Join CT NOFA 



Join our new Golden Carrot Club and Garden Club Club! See our feature article in this newsletter to learn more. 

Join, renew, or donate online today! Join our community of farmers, gardeners, land care professionals, educators, chefs and consumers committed to growing Connecticut organically. 

Click here to learn more about CT NOFA memberships.

Your generous donations fund our work growing an organic Connecticut through education, outreach, advocacy and events. Thank you.

Pumpkin transplants in a "roller-crimped" field

The straight rye cover crop being rolled down.

Silvopasture is the practice of combining forestry and grazing of domesticated animals in a mutually beneficial way.

Let's Stay Connected

Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
 View on Instagram

Every CT NOFA Farmer & Member
Is a Soil Health Hero
From the desk of Jeff Cordulack

It's with great pride that CT NOFA celebrates our 35th year and the NOFA nation celebrates its 46th. We and our member farmers and business owners continue working hard to create a healthy, organic Connecticut founded on ecologically, socially and economically just principles.  
 
I write today to convey the urgency of managing our soils so they can mitigate the effects of climate change. In this letter, I present you good news and bad news - but the short story: It is critical to rapidly promote regenerative agriculture in Connecticut and beyond. With your financial support, CT NOFA is uniquely positioned to do exactly that. 

The Bad News: There's too much carbon in the atmosphere and it's changing weather patterns for the worse.
  • Carbon dioxide levels are at 400 ppm but should be near 280 ppm for a stable climate.
  • Worldwide, agricultural soils are missing 50-80% of vital carbon stores due to industrial practices that harm soil life.
We now have rising seas, stronger storms, and longer periods of drought. These tough facts impact Connecticut farmers, our local food system, and everyone's quality of life.
 
The Good News: The soil can save us! In fact, worldwide organic practices could restore proper carbon dioxide levels in just 5 years.
  • The life underground works with plants in a special way that captures carbon dioxide from the air and restores it to the soil where it belongs.
  • Proper soil-carbon levels greatly improve soil health and its ability to hold water.
Using regenerative farming, we can reverse climate change by letting the soil reabsorb the troublesome atmospheric carbon dioxide. Understood by experts worldwide, the soil is now being celebrated in the New York Times, Washington Post and Modern Farmer as a way to mitigate our weather woes.
This no-till transplanter places pumpkin starts into a freshly roller-crimped field in Woodstock, CT. Throughout winter and spring, the straight rye cover crop protected the soil from erosion, fed sugars to the soil biology and is now an effective water-holding mulch for this year's pumpkins.

CT NOFA has been creating an organic CT since 1982 and is now bringing new regenerative farming practices to our state. Working through our network of organic innovators and agricultural partners, we are teaching cover cropping, silvopasture, mob grazing, green manure, and handy, new low-till and no-till tools that protect soil's complex and living structure.
 
CT NOFA's brings these practices and know-how to Connecticut in many ways including:
  • Year-round workshops for farmers, gardeners, and foodies including CT NOFA's Annual Winter Conference (coming March 2017).
  • By educating consumers about the greatest local sources for fresh, seasonal foods grown by Connecticut's best farmers and businesses.
  • Our internationally-recognized NOFA Standards for Organic Land Care that are constantly updated with the latest information for effective, non-toxic garden and lawn care.
  • Our advocacy for legislation in Hartford and D.C. to protect the environment, our farmers, consumers and hard-working organic land care pros. (This year CT led the nation with the Pollinator Bill that restricts neonicotinoid use, plans for pollinator biodiversity and more!)
Please donate today to help us take the 'Soil Health Hero' message far and wide. Your dollars help CT NOFA grow Connecticut organically and meet the growing demand for organic food, training, supplies, and farming tools that build soils for future generations.

Three Ways to Donate:
Our goal of $50K so each contribution, no matter the size, will make a big difference for the way we can create change.

For those looking to make a greater impact, CT NOFA is also seeking donors to establish a CT NOFA fund to incentivize carbon-friendly agriculture by cost-sharing on no-till tools, cover crop seeds, advanced training and more. Let us know if this initiative interests you.  
 
On behalf of the staff, board, and CT NOFA membership, I thank you for your generous support. Please contact me anytime with questions or suggestions that may help CT NOFA achieve our organic mission.

Sincerely,

Jeff Cordulack,
Executive Director, CT NOFA
jeff@ctnofa.org | 203-613-8813
 

Obama Signs the 'Dark Act', But Do Not Despair 

On Friday,  July 29, 2016, President Obama signed S. 764, the Dark Act, into law. CT NOFA and many other organic leaders around the nation don't agree with the terms of this ineffective GMO labeling law, which among many other things, nullifies Connecticut's & Vermont's groundbreaking GMO labeling laws. But this is politics folks. They won this battle but thanks to the work of advocates, consumers and organic farmers like you, we are winning the war on GMOs.

We encourage you to keep the faith because labeling GMO foods was an important tactic, but not the end game. The end game is to eliminate them from our food supply.

And it is happening here and worldwide. We've seen supermarkets and food manufacturers shift to voluntary GMO and non-GMO labeling in response to our demands and changing consumer tastes. We've also witnessed the largest food manufacturers shift to offer more organic and non-GMO products, creating increasing demand for organic and non-GMO food crops.
With each purchase, you and I continue to fight for the integrity of our food supply.  
 
CT NOFA is proud of our member farmers and businesses who grow and sell non-GMO foods. We encourage you to support their work. Visit our website and tell a friend they can find all the resources needed to shop at organic farms, find a new CSA, farmers' market, or responsible businesses that are listed in the 2016 Farm & Food Guide.

Farm & Food Events by CT NOFA & Partners  

 
Cultivating the Grassroots Organic Movement ~ A Multi-State NOFA Conference: Aug. 12-14


The Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) will hold its 42nd annual Summer Conference on August 12-14, 2016 in Amherst, Massachusetts. The event features three days of organic immersion, with 200 workshops to empower, educate, build skills and confidence. Over 1,000 curious learners, growers, and experienced practitioners gather for inspiration and ideas for organic food, farming, health, activism, and beyond.  CT NOFA Exec. Dir. Jeff Cordulack says, "This life-changing event is not to be missed!"
Click here for speaker, workshop, ticket, and registration info.


Getting Ready for CT Grown for CT Kids Week Twilight Meeting - Tuesday, August 16 from 5-7 pm

Come build business relationships with Hartford, Litchfield, and New Haven county schools at this this free meeting being held at Waterbury Arts Magnet School; a meal including CT Grown ingredients is included free of charge. RSVP MacKenzie White mackenzie.white@uconn.edu. This program is a cooperative effort of UCONN Extension, CT Dept. of Agriculture, Put Local on Your Tray, and USDA/Risk Management Agency. Learn more here. 
   
August 20 (9am-5pm): Nutritionally Dense Orcharding ~ with Master Orchardist Michael Phillips

A day of learning for anyone with an orchard or an interested in starting one. Come learn the nutritional side of holistic orcharding through the lens of healthy plant metabolism with Michael Phillips. This will be a solid introduction to a whole-system based approach for producing nutritionally dense fruits and berries ~ with this nationally recognized guru of holistic orchard management.

Presented by CT NOFA and the Hartford-Area Bionutrient Food Association . Includes a 9-Noon workshop (Rockfall, CT); then a potluck lunch (or BYO); and a afternoon tour of High Hill Orchard (Meriden, CT). Plenty of time for Q&A. Don't wait to place your reservations, as seating capacity is limited! Fee: $50/person for the whole, day-long event. RSVP to:


NOFA Accreditation Course in Organic Land Care - Coming To Portland, Maine This August!

Demand for organic land care professionals is increasing rapidly in Maine and across the country due to a growing concern about the hazards of synthetic pesticides on our health and the environment
. Landscaping professionals in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and other New England states increasingly consider this course a savvy investment in distinguishing themselves as highly trained experts in the growing market for non-toxic and organic landscaping services.

August 15, 16, 22 & 23 (Split Weeks):
This 30-hour, 4-day course is for land care professionals, environmental educators and those seeking a greater understanding organic practices.The course offers a well-rounded curriculum that explores soil health through the lens of organic land care principles, practices, design, and maintenance. Each attendee who passes the accreditation exam with a 70% or higher will earn professional credentials as a NOFA Accredited Organic Land Care Professional  (AOLCP). Held at the University of Southern Maine, Portland, ME. 
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER 

Here are a few of the seasoned instructors teaching at the course this August:


CT Farm-to-Chef Week, The CT Dept. of Agriculture's annual celebration of CT Grown, is scheduled for September 18-24, 2016.
Restaurants, cafes, caterers, cafeterias, food trucks, bakeries, farmers' markets, wineries and other dining establishments are invited to register to participate in this event and partner with Connecticut farms to showcase Connecticut Grown foods on their menus. Visit ctfarmtochef.com to learn more.

Community Board
CT NOFA's Community Board is a
member benefit allowing you to post your classified ads and other announcements (jobs, equipment, land for sale) and is among the most visited pages on our website. 

Q & A with The Coast of Maine

A Q&A with Cameron Bonsey, Director of Marketing for Coast of Maine Organic Products, Inc., sponsors of the NOFA OLC Organic Land Care Accreditation Course being held in Maine this August.
 
Known for its world class, organically-approved compost blends, Coast of Maine Organic Products, Inc was founded in 1996 by Carlos & Jean Quijano. Their focus of distribution is to local independent retailers, providing great customer service and amazing product quality.

What is the state of the organic gardening industry? 
The organic gardening industry is doing extremely well because of education from organizations like NOFA, access to information, and the desire for people to understand where products are sourced and how they are made. 

Where do you see the greatest growth and what's driving it? 
We see the biggest growth with the home gardener because that is our focus. People want to grow their own food with organically approved products. They are truly beginning to understand the impact on their bodies and it is young families with children where we see tremendous growth.  

 Continue reading on the NOFA OLC blog.
CT NOFA Business Members

673 Ridgebury Rd, Ridgefield, CT 06877
Contact: Whitney Freeman
whitney@hennypennyfarmct.com
203-297-5995
hennypennyfarmct.com 
           
Henny Penny farm is a teaching homestead that has been created at the lovingly restored Nehemiah Keeler Tavern and Barn, built in 1725 in Ridgefield, CT. Over the last seven years, Whitney Freeman has worked to create a farm that aims to nurture the soil and wildlife habitats as much as to sustain vegetable and flower gardens and the animals that work there. Chickens, turkeys, goats and sheep work on the two acres to maintain the land, remove invasive plant species, help balance insect and rodent populations and provide an organic source of fertilizer while simultaneously providing eggs, wool and meat.
 
The farm offers workshops and tours catering to people with a wide range of interests from the casual visitor to the first-time livestock owner. The workshops provide practical, thorough information on topics including growing your own cut flowers, starting a vegetable garden, raising chickens, growing and cooking with mushrooms, willow weaving and dyeing yarn with botanical extracts including madder, indigo, walnut hulls and cocchineal.The farm's Romney fleeces are brought to the Still River Mill here in Connecticut to be washed, carded and spun in small batches with minimum processing to
show off the lustre and springiness that Romney fleece is known for.  

Whitney has drawn upon the principles of permaculture, organic gardening and biodynamic farming in everything done and taught at Henny Penny Farm. Excerpted from Henny Penny Farm website.
 
Devon Point Farm 
54 Joy Road, Woodstock, CT 06281
860-974-9004
Erick and Patty Taylor  
devonpointfarm.com
 
Devon Point Farm is a 93-acre family farm specializing in grass-fed beef, al natural chicken and pork, beyond organic vegetable and flower CSA farm shares, farm camp, and apple cider and pick-your-own pumpkins in the fall. Devon Cattle are a heritage breed and the first cattle brought to the Colonies from England when they arrived in Plymouth Colony in 1623. They are a true tri-purpose breed, intelligent for work as oxen and with the ability to efficiently create both milk and meat from grass alone. Devons adapt remarkably well to hot and cold weather alike and are noted for their docility, mothering, fertility, and hardiness.


"What we do... 'beyond organic'... isn't the easy way, or the low-cost way, but we think it's better for the animals, better for the planet, and results in better tasting and healthier products for our customers."   
 

Wholistic Land Care Consulting LLC
Michael Nadeau, AOLCP since 2007
michaelnadeau.org 
 
Michael Nadeau's thirty plus years in the organic landscaping business have positioned him as one of the leading authorities in the field of sustainable, organic and ethical land care strategies in the US.

Michael holds a Master of Science degree
in Plant & Soil Science from the University of Maine, and helped develop
both the Northeast Organic Farming Association's Standards in Organic Land Care, and the NOFA Organic 
Lawn and Turf Course Manual, the only 100% organic manual for the care of athletic fields and home lawns.

He is a founding member of the NOFA Organic Land Care Program, an instructor of the 30-hour NOFA Accreditation Course in Organic Land Care, and a published writer on subjects including ecological, sustainable, and organic land-care topics. 
 
Michael is sought after for creating attractive, sustainable and restorative environments using NOFA-approved organic practices that respect the ecology of the property and reflect the philosophy of the client. Michael's organic and sustainable wholistic land care programs carefully maximize wildlife habitat with specific plantings and techniques, improving the overall health of land, water, and wildlife. Improved functionality controls erosion, and reduces long-term maintenance costs, and environmental degradation, while enhancing natural beauty. Excerpted from Wholistic Land Care Consultant website. 

In the News

State, feds preserve 130-year-old farm, HartfordBusiness.com, July 28, 2016 

USDOA FSA Microloan Program offers small farmers, including those using organic methods, both operating and direct farm ownership loans. 
  
 
CT NOFA Board President, John Turenne of Sustainable Food Systems, is profiled in Local Food Leader on page 61,Connecticut Farm and Food, Summer 2016, Issue 5 
 
Farmgal Patti Popp of Sport Hill Farm is profiled by Georgette Gouveia in Food as Life in WAG magazine, June 30, 2016

Host a Potluck Party Fundraiser
In Honor of An Organic Connecticut!   

We're reviving an old-fashioned tradition - potluck meals -
where friends gather to share the food they make.



Invite your friends to join a Potluck Party Fundraiser where each person shares a meal and makes a small donation to CT NOFA. No matter how simple or grand, it is a wholesome way to show your support for a more organic Connecticut! 


Breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner? 
It's your choice as the host, but no matter the meal, this special way of gathering supports CT NOFA and celebrates the season's bounty growing on local farms across the Nutmeg State.

All Potluck Party hosts receive a signed copy of  
Welcome To Claire's, a cookbook by Claire Criscuolo, co-founder of Claire's Corner Copia in New Haven
&
An opportunity to arrange for an in-person appearance or a Skype call with CT NOFA Executive Director Jeff Cordulack during your Potluck Party fundraising event.

Sign up today to host a Potluck Party fundraiser. Your food celebration will benefit CT NOFA's work to ensure the growth and viability of organic agriculture, organic food, and organic land care in Connecticut.

All your Potluck Party guests will receive the new edition of
Introduction to Organic Lawns and Yards by Sarah Little, Ph.D. 



 
To let us know you want to host an event like this,
Please use this simple form.
Once received, we will email you additional info to get your party started right. If you wish, the staff can call you during the week (b/w 9am-5pm) to answer questions and provide help.

To make a quick donation or to use CrowdRise (our online fundraising platform)
to take your event to the next level, use this link to our
2016 Potluck Party Fundraiser campaign:
https://www.crowdrise.com/potluck-cook-a-thon/fundraiser/CTNOFA

NOFA OLC  Announces Second Edition Release of 
Introduction to Organic Lawns and Yards

Perfect for homeowners, land care professionals, garden centers, garden clubs, environmentalists, educators, and advocates.

Price: $6 each or bulk order of five or more $3.25-4.25 per copy.

NOFA OLC has published this beautiful, 52-page booklet especially for people new to organic landscaping. Printed on 80 lb glossy paper, and saddle stitched into a nice 8.5"x8.5", a booklet for the keeping.

"This is a fantastic primer for organic lawn and garden care that provides the inspiration and scientific guidance to carefully look at our landscaping practices in a wider environmental context." - Cormac Collier, Executive Director, Nantucket Land Council, MA

View bulk order pricing sheet for 2nd edition - available NOW. To order the book and the Organic Lawns and Yards Brochure, click here.
Take NOFA's Carbon Practices Survey  
 
NOFA/MASS is compiling a database about the growing practices of anyone who manages land -- farmers, gardeners, homeowners, professionals, etc. -- in the northeast.

Answer our nine questions about your practices, learning interests, and willingness to be
part of research trials measuring carbon building results.

Thank You to Our Sponsors & Advertisers