August, 2012 
logo header
GLEANINGS: n. 1. That which has been acquired by gleaning. 2. The monthly eNewsletter of CT NOFA. [Glean:v. 1. to gather relevant information or material by patient effort, bit by bit; to find out. 2. to gather grain or other produce (often: left by reapers); to harvest.]


Join Our Mailing List

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

View our photos on flickr
In This Issue
From the ED
Events
Announcements
Featured Members
In the News
From our Blog
Community Board
Winter Food Project
Your Favorite Tool
Go Organic when you Shop!
From the Executive Director

bill duesing Bill is currently finishing up his summer vacation, so he is taking a break from writing this month's editorial, but you can check out a new article from him next month in the September edition of the newsletter.  In the meantime, we want to thank you for being a loyal reader and supporter of Gleanings and CT NOFA. Your dedication is what keeps our mission moving forward.  If you are thinking about getting more involved, you might be interested in the following: 

 

Does your employer have a matching gift program?

Many companies sponsor matching gift programs that will match charitable contributions made by their employees. Some even match gifts made by retirees and/or spouses. If you are considering giving a donation, ask your employer if they offer a matching gift program.  It's a great way to double or even triple your gift, while also getting your company or organization involved.

Check out the schedule for our upcoming Organic Land Care  Advanced Workshop on Compost Tea and Airspading
This exciting Advanced Workshop on August 9 will discuss building and operating a successful organic landscaping business with a focus on compost tea and airspading techniques.  If you are a landscaper or thinking about becoming a landscaper, or if you just want to learn more about compost tea application and airspading, this workshop is a great way to learn.  To be held on the Rye Country Day School campus in Rye, NY, and taught by Almstead Tree and Lawn Care, the workshop will feature live demonstrations and lunch provided by the Boxcar Cantina. To view the full program for the day, including schedule and sponsors, click here.  To register for the workshop, click here.

CT NOFA and OLC Events

Featured Event
Saturday, September 15, 2012
Urban Oaks Organic Farm
New Britain, CT

Our third and final Block Party will be held at Urban Oaks Organic Farm in New Britain.  Relax on a summer's evening and join us for a farm tour and potluck meal! 

  

This event is free with a suggested donation of $7, although no one will be turned away. Please bring a potluck meal to share and we'll supply drinks and dessert. Organic teas will be supplied by steaz, and accordion music will be provided by Adam Matlock of An Historic Music.  

 

Please RSVP here or call 203-888-5146. If you are interested in sponsoring or donating to this event, email us.

 


Want to volunteer?
Come help us set up before and during the party! Contact Melissa for details about how you can get involved. 

  



Other CT NOFA and NOFA Organic Land Care Events
 
Pastured Poultry Workshop
POSTPONED - check ctnofa.org for more information
Terra Firma Farm
Stonington, CT

Organic Land Care Advanced Compost Tea and Air Spading Workshop
August 9, 2012
Rye Country Day School
Rye, NY

The NOFA Summer Conference
August 10-12
UMass, Amherst 

Keynotes: Rep. Chellie Pingree from Maine, and Jeffrey Smith, a leading expert and author on the dangers of genetically modified foods. 

NOFA Summer Conference workshops are here! Check out the great menu of options at UMass Amherst this August, and view a copy of the flyer here.

CT NOFA is offering partial scholarships to the conference through The Beginning Farmer Project of CT NOFA, supported by the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA, Grants #2010-49400-21847 and #2011-49400-30510. Please fill out the scholarship application before August 6.   

 

Compost, Soil Testing, and Soil Fertility Workshop
Monday, August 20, 2012
Community Farm of Simsbury
Simsbury, CT

Seed Saving Workshop
Sunday, August 26, 1-4pm
Comstock Ferre
Wethersfield, CT

Cheese Making Workshop
Monday, September 10, 2012
4:00 - 7:00 pm
Beltane Farm
Lebanon, CT

Organic Land Care Stormwater Management Advanced Workshop
September, 2012

Stay tuned for more information about our 2013 Winter Conference
Late winter, 2013
This year's theme will be climate change and agriculture.

Events we will be Attending     


GMO Public Meeting
August 8, 2012
10am: public meeting at the Capitol with Jeffrey Smith
12pm: Right to Know Coalition meeting
Hartford, CT

For other area events, including additional farmers markets that we will be attending, check our our event listings page.

Announcements & Alerts    

 

Want to Have More Direct Involvement in CT NOFA? 

CT NOFA is looking for board members with Fundraising and Marketing Experience.

Board member will:

  1. Attend in-person meeting every other month
  2. Participate in conference call on the alternate month
  3. Lead the Development/Fundraising Committee of the Board which is responsible for:
    1. Working with staff to create a Fundraising Plan
    2. Leading the Board in their participation in the execution of the Fundraising Plan
    3. Teaching the Board fundraising skills and techniquesjohn_turenne
  4. Attend CT NOFA events, have fun, eat great food and advocate for local, organic food and organic land care. 

Please contact John Turenne, Vice-President of the CT NOFA Board.  

 

Speaking of John Turenne, you can now learn more about his new Sustainable Food-Service Management Program

John Turenne, a Connecticut chef and sustainable food innovator who has worked with culinary celebrities such as Alice Waters and Jamie Oliver, will teach one course in a multi-discipline program designed to prepare students for work in a field that is transforming the food-service industry. More> 

 

Don't Forget: CT NOFA has four other eNewsletters that you might be interested in.

In addition to our Gleanings eNewsletter which you already receive, we also offer other newsletters tailored to homeowners, educators, new farmers, and people interested in GMO alerts and current events.  Our Organic With the Seasons newsletter is released quarterly and is designed with homeowners in mind.  The Growing and Learning newsletter also goes out quarterly and was created to provide educators with news and resources about school gardens.  Our New Farmer eNews provides timely information relevant to beginning farmers, and our GMO alerts provide information and opportunities for action on issues relating to GMOs. Sign up for one or more of our enewsletters here.  If you would like to receive GMO alerts from us, send us an email

 

New Support for CSA Farms 

CT NOFA has a new program to support CSA farms in Connecticut funded by the CT Department of Agriculture through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program of the Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.  In order to provide targeted valuable support to farmers, we ask that any Connecticut farmer, with or without community supported agriculture at their farm, please fill out this survey.  CT NOFA requires greater insight about how many farms have CSAs, how large their CSAs are, common problems with having a CSA , etc.  We really need your feedback, so please complete the survey and send to any farmers you know that might be able to complete it as well! Complete the survey here.  

Featured Members    

   

Fairfield House and Garden 

Fairfield House & Garden Company located in Greenwich, CT and Bedford, NY is the legacy of its  founder, John R. Conte, who in 1937 began work in his chosen field of Arboriculture. Now heading into its third generation of family ownership and management, the company has established itself as a leader in the highly competitive landscape contracting market in Connecticut and New York. With over 75 years of experience in the landscape industry, co-owners Kim & John Conte are committed to continuing this legacy. Fairfield House & Garden Company is interested in having their landscapes flourish naturally, so when possible, chemicals or pesticides are avoided. This company is devoted to creating landscapes which can stand the test of time. Check out their website here

In the News 
 
Tanner Gaucher harvests lettuce at Aiki Farms in Ledyard.

Ledyard - The first crop of pickling cucumbers has been harvested at Aiki Farms and, with that, efforts to feed a community in Mexico are one step closer to being realized. More>

 

Charts on climate change tell a dire tale 

As a followup to last month's "From the ED" essay, here is some additional information on climate change in chart form.  Read more> 


Emerald Ash Borer Found In Connecticut For First Time
A beetle that has killed tens of millions of ash trees in the U.S. has been found in the state for the first time, officials say. The emerald ash borer was found in Prospect on Monday by the staff of the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said on Friday. More>
From our Blog

California is continuing to demand its Right to Know
The right to know is building momentum in California leading up to the November ballot on the issue. Known as the "Yes on 37" campaign as well as the "right to Know Campaign" has received endorsement from the California Labor Legislation and Senator Barbara Boxer and State Senator Mark Leno. More>

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree on the politics and business of organic food
In the 1970s, with a degree in human ecology from the College of the Atlantic, now- Congresswoman Pingree started an organic farm on the island of North Haven, Maine. By selling produce to summer residents and raising sheep for wool, she built a thriving mail-order knitting business that eventually employed 10 people in her small community. More>

CT NOFA Member Farms Spotted at the Coventry Farmers Market!
Running June through October, the Coventry Farmers Market is the largest farmers market in the state of Connecticut, with dozens of vendors, many of whom are members of CT NOFA. Our Board Secretary, Janet Heller, went to visit the market recently and documented many of the CT NOFA member farms that were there to represent local organic farms and food. More>

 

Check out all our blog posts here.
Community Board       

 

Classifieds and community notices are now maintained on our community board. If you have a notice you'd like to add, send it along to the office here. 

   

Here are some examples of a notice you might see on the community board:  

 

Heads Up!  The 3rd Annual Northeast USA Rice Conference

Saturday, August 4th, 2012, 9 am - 4 pm

Akaogi Farm
27 Earthbridge Road
Westminster West, Vermont

Learn more and register here.  

     

Producer Survey on Advocating for Connecticut Agriculture in Local Communities 

The Connecticut Farm Bureau Association (CFBA) with its partner the Connecticut Agricultural Education Foundation (CTAEF), has been awarded an Agriculture Viability Grant from the Connecticut Department of Agriculture for a project: "Advocating for Connecticut Agriculture in Local Communities." A Toolbox for Connecticut Farmers." To assist us with creating this toolbox, please complete this brief survey to help us understand what areas of information would be most useful to you as a farmer.  Take the survey

 

Winter Food Project        

It's August! The bounty of summer is in full swing, and in Connecticut there is no shortage of delicious, fresh, and varied produce to put in our kitchens.  Produce, however, has a pesky habit of going bad over time, especially when you're dealing with highly perishable fruits like berries. This month, when all the tomatoes in your garden are ripening at the same time and you have more access to fresh local produce at the market than you know what to do with, use some of these methods to preserve the harvest so you can enjoy it all year!

 

Drying: Out of the three major food preservation options, drying is the most economical.  It requires the least amount of energy input, and much of the work is done in the background while you're off doing other things. Here's an article by Jean Nick from Rodale that details the process of dehydration, complete with tips and recipes sure to make your mouth water.

 

Canning: Canning takes some time and skill, but it's the only way wet foods can be preserved without refrigeration.  If you want to learn how to can just about anything, peruse this blog by Canning Granny.  She provides a wide variety of recipes and tips from her own kitchen and from readers' submissions.

 

Freezing: Freezing is arguably the easiest food preservation technique, requiring relatively little time or preparation, but it requires a lot of freezer storage space and, therefore, a lot of energy. Good Housekeeping gives a good introduction to freezing, including what not to freeze and how to properly prepare and wrap food for freezing.    

 

And if you want to learn more in depth guidelines and tips, the Cornell Extension has a great webpage about all three food preservation techniques.  Check out our webpage as the summer draws to a close to learn about our fall food preservation workshops as they are scheduled. 

 

Your Favorite Tool        

      

A couple months ago, in the June edition of Gleanings, we featured Kickstarter as our favorite tool for that month.  Kickstarter is an online fundraising platform for creative projects, and is a great way for farmers and businesses to rally their local communities in support of their creative endeavors.  

 

This month, however, we've found a Kickstarter-like tool that's even better tailored to the specific needs of the food and farming community.  It's called Three Revolutions, and it's the world's first crowdfunding platform dedicated to food.  Three Revolutions connects food and farm innovators, their stories and the fruits of their labors with people happy to spend a few bucks to share and enjoy them. You can back one of their innovative food ventures or sign up here to fund your own venture.    

Three Revolutions is a great online marketing tool, but we also have a more physical tool we'd like to share.  Courtesy of our business member Artscape Organic Care, we'd like to point out the benefits of incorporating microclover into your lawn.  Microclover provides all the benefits of standard white clover, but in a smaller more compact size that is more attractive and resistant to close mowing. It's certainly an option to consider if you're looking for a low maintenance, low input, environmentally friendly grass alternative.   

Go Organic when you Shop!  

 

Sign up for a NOFA credit card through Capital One to support NOFA's important policy work to build a strong, regional organic food system. It's easy! Just shop for things you buy every day and NOFA gets a $50 donation upon first use and at least 1% of all purchases. What a great way to buy a gift for Father's Day, June 17th!   
If you have any stories, articles, notices, or suggestions for this newsletter, please send them along.

Many thanks,

Melissa Gabso
Gleanings Editor 

203-888-5146

ctnofa@ctnofa.org