From Eileen Hochberg
Hard at work this summer
CT NOFA friends,
Summer is a busy time at CT NOFA!
We are in the midst of our on-farm workshop series, and also hard at work on a $20,000 fundraising campaign, and planning activities for the rest of this year and for 2014.
Out in the field or garden, this can be an absolutely fantastic time of year, and it can also be a vexing time of year. It is not uncommon right about now to walk out in the morning and find that our crops are not quite as healthy as they were the day before. Our frustration mounts when we don't know what is wrong or what to do about it. Needing to know what to do about it as organic farmers and gardeners further complicates the situation!
Help is on the way - if you would like to find out more about how to manage your vegetables organically in late summer, please join us this Monday, August 5th, from 5 to 7 pm at the Community Farm of Simsbury, 73 Wolcott Rd, Simsbury.
Joan Allen of UConn's Home and Garden Education Center will show us examples of vegetable plant diseases in the field and tell us what to do about them. While part of the evening's program will take place indoors, a bonus of the evening will be getting a look at the Community Farm of Simsbury, a beautiful, certified organic farm with many great programs, including supporting families in need with donations of over 14,000 pounds of certified organic produce a year. Community Farm of Simsbury is a member of CT NOFA and a great partner in our shared missions.
You can register for this and other workshops here.
These workshops are perfect for you whether you are a gardener, beginning farmer, seasoned farmer, or just plain interested! They are made possible by a grant from the National Institute for Food and Agriculture through the USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program.
One of CT NOFA's newest members and partners is Winvian, an extraordinary resort, restaurant and spa in Morris, CT. Winvian's Executive Chef Chris Eddy is passionate about sustainable and non-GMO farming and creates fantastic culinary experiences from Winivian's own garden and other local farms, many of which are CT NOFA member farms. Winvian has taken the CT NOFA's Farmers Pledge and is supporting CT NOFA at a very special event on September 29 - A Special Culinary Fundraiser. If you would like a sneak peek at Winvian and to support CT NOFA at the same time, please go to ctnofa.org/winvian or call the CT NOFA office at 203-888-5146 to reserve your tickets.
Thank you to all of you who responded to our special appeal to keep our programs running at full capacity. Because of you we are at 25% of our $20,000 goal. Please donate if you haven't done so already.
And thank you for spreading the organic message and supporting organic food, farming, gardening and land care in Connecticut!
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From CT NOFA's Organic Advocate
By Bill Duesing,
I have been enjoying this summer working on Old Solar Farm and also vacationing down south. I look forward to checking back in with you in the September Gleanings.
CT NOFA's Organic Advocate, Bill Duesing, is available to share his expert opinion as a long time organic farmer, founder of CT NOFA, and president of the NOFA Interstate Council. He can come to speak at your event for $300 plus mileage from Oxford, CT. To book Bill Duesing as a speaker, call us at 203.888.5146 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
CT NOFA Farming and Organic Land Care (OLC) Events
NOFA Summer Conference
August 9-11, 2013
With 200+ workshops on organic farming, gardening, land care, draft animals, homesteading, sustainability, nutrition, food politics, activism, and more, there's something for everyone, including special workshops designed for kids and teens. There's also entertainment for the whole family: Music and dance, an old-fashioned Country Fair, farmer's market, games and fun. Modest registration, inexpensive dorm rooms, camping and delicious, wholesome organic meals. After August 2nd online and walk-in registrations will be full price. Learn more about the Conference and register here.
For the following on-farm workshops, click on the title for details and HERE for registration. You can also call 203-888-5146 to register.
August 5, 2013, 5:00 - 7:00 pm
Joan Allen is a Diagnostician at UConn's Home and Garden Education Center out of the UConn cooperative extension system. Joan will be teaching about pest and disease identification in the late summer months.
ON-FARM WORKSHOP: Cover Cropping and Crop Rotation
August 29, 2013 ~ 5:00 to 7:00 pm
Community Farm of Simsbury
Eero Ruutilla, the Technical Assistance and Incubator Farm Site Coordinator at New Entry Sustainable Farming Project in Massachusetts and one of CT NOFA's Journeyperson mentors, will teach about cover cropping and rotation to promote soil fertility.
ON-FARM WORKSHOP: Permaculture
Monday, September 9, 2013 ~ 5:00 to 8:00 pm
The Hidden Garden & Connsoil
Join business owners Cynthia and Stuart Rabinowitz, where they are transitioning from a conventional greenhouse operation and home garden to a homestead designed according to permaculture principles.
ON-FARM WORKSHOP: Business Management
September 12, 2013 ~ 4:00 - 7:00pm
Community Farm of Simsbury
Presenter: Erin Pirro, a Farm Credit East Business Consultant
The Business Management workshop with be followed by a CSA Roundtable / Light Potluck. If you have a CSA, or are considering starting a CSA, bring a light dish and come with questions, stories from experience and advice. If you are interested in leading the roundtable or being a facilitator, please let us know!
We are looking for inspiration for additional on-farm workshops! Fill out the online form here.
Accreditation Course in Organic Land Care
February 10-13, 2014
Three Rivers Community College
Save the date!
Getting Started in Organic Farming
January 18, 2014
East Hartford, CT
CT NOFA Winter Conference
March 8, 2014
Two Great workshops from UCONN in August:
Twilight Meeting for the Green Industry, August 12, Lebanon, CT, 3-7pm. You will have presentations first and then a visit to Prides Corner Nursery. 3 AOLCP credits. Details>
Best Management Practices for Pesticide-Free Athletic Field Management, August 15th, East Haddam, CT, 7:30am- 1:15 pm 4 AOLCP credits available.
Contact Vickie Wallace to register for both workshops. Victoria.Wallace@uconn.edu or 860-885-2826
For other area events, check our event listings page
Want to Get More Involved with CT NOFA?
CT NOFA Board Members Sought!
CT NOFA is looking for board members with fundraising or financial experience.
The Board members will:
- Attend in-person meetings approximately every other month
- Participate in conference call meetings on the alternate months
- Participate and chair the appropriate committee of the Board, with separate meetings for this committee
- 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. You can learn more about the current CT NOFA board here.
Heritage Gardens is a small (1/2 acre) market garden located on a 60 acre private property and horse farm atop scenic Platt Hill in Winchester, CT. Founded in 2011, our principal mission is to help meet the food security needs of our community by providing high-quality, organically grown fresh produce to area food banks and soup kitchens. This will be our third season of operation and we continue to expand in order to meet the need of local service organizations and the demand of our retail outlets and CSA supporters.
We grow a diversified crop portfolio with over 40 types of vegetables, herbs, and flowers encompassing nearly 100 different varieties (many of them heirloom) using an intensive raised-bed system. Our cultural practices do not necessitate, nor provide for, the extensive use of power equipment; therefore most work is done by hand. In order to help finance the Food Bank Farm project we operate a small CSA membership featuring a 20-week market-style distribution, an annual vegetable and herb plant sale fundraiser, and market to several retail outlets.
For more information contact John at heritagegardenscsaATyahoo.com or check them out on Facebook.
Growing and Learning
School Garden Network News
Available Grants for School Gardens
Green Thumb Challenge Grant
The Green Education Fund and Gardener's Supply have teamed up to offer a funding opportunity for established youth garden projects. Schools and youth groups can submit chronicles of their garden projects in a competition to win a $1,000 prize. The award is designed to support the continued sustainability of an exceptional youth garden program that has demonstrated success, and has impacted the lives of kids and their community. Visit GEF's website for details and registration. The deadline is September 30, 2013
Project Learning Tree
Would you like your students to implement a habitat restoration plan, a recycling program, a school or community garden, or a water or energy conservation project? Or, maybe you have another idea for an environmental improvement project? Let Project Learning Tree help kick start your project with a GreenWorks! grant.
This year, Project Learning Tree has grants available in two award levels. For more information and details of the grant program, visit their webpage. Deadline for submission is September 30, 2013.
Farm to School Webinar
October is National Farm to School Month, a time to celebrate the connections that are happening all over the country between schools and local food. In recognition of and preparation for this, the National Farm to School Network is joining with edWeb.net to present a webinar on August 13, 2013, 4PM to 5PM. Learn how communities across the country are celebrating Farm to School Month and get ideas you can take to your own school or program. The webinar will also offer an overview of the Farm to School Month resources and initiatives offered by the National Farm to School Network. Register through the Farm to School Network, or sign up (for free!) to become a member of edWeb.net, and register through them.
School Lunch Programs Hot Topic in the News
School lunch programs have been receiving some attention in the press lately. At the end of June, the USDA released its Interim Final Rules for competitive foods, which are the snacks and sodas sold from vending machines and carts outside of federally-supported school lunches. The USDA issued nutrition standards for school meals early in 2012, but it's taken till now to issue the guidelines for competitive foods. For more on these interim rules, read Marion Nestle's opinion piece at Food Safety News.
Also at Food Safety News, an article by editor Dan Flynn addresses what he calls fissures in the School Nutrition Association (SNA), the organization that oversees state and local school lunch programs. Mr. Flynn attributes these fissures to the new federal nutritional policies. Check out this very interesting take on school lunch programs.
Davenport Ridge Garden, Stamford, CT
Gleanings reader Pam Sloane, of G.I.V.E. (Green Initiative for Vegetables in Education) sent this story about Davenport Ridge Elementary School and their Stamford garden. Maintained by art teacher Phyllis Lodato-Suppa, the garden is also cared for during the summer by parent volunteers. Read and see more 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.
News, Announcements & Alerts
The GMO labeling fight is far from over
Recently in the New York Times - "Seeking Support, Biotech Food Companies Pledge Transparency". More>
What do the new proposed Food Safety Modernization Act rules mean for farmers, on-farm processors, and food businesses? The deadline for public comment has been extended to November 13, 2013. Get involved today! Learn more here.
Farmers Engaged in Gleaning- Please Answer the Following Survey!
Our friends at the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection are conducting a short survey among farmers to understand the potential of gleaning as a means of reducing food waste and recovering edible food in Connecticut.
They want to collect data from farmers who are engaged in gleaning, the practice of going over a field and harvesting by hand the crops that remain after a farmer has harvested what he or she plans to use and sell. Gleaning can be done in large organized groups, who may transport the food to a food bank or other donation center, or it can exist on a more informal basis-for example, when a farmer has a relationship with a neighbor who picks leftover crops for personal use.
Here's the link to the short survey.
ChopChopKids - a new website and magazine for cooking with kids.
Attention Farmers! Help Inform CT NOFA's Farm Support Programs
CT NOFA is in the second year of a CSA Support Program for CSA farmers throughout the state. CT NOFA works to promote connections between individual CSA farmers, facilitate farmer-to-farmer education and educate consumers about CSAs and how to join. This CSA support is a program we hope to grow in the future and in order to do so we'd like to know which of our present activities are most important to you, and what activities you think are valuable to add. Please let us know online by clicking here
Love our blog? Want a chance to get more involved?
We are now accepting guest articles to feature on our blog. If you have expertise and passion for organic and sustainable food issues, and experience with writing either on a blog or in another journalistic outlet, you can become a guest blogger for CT NOFA! Interested? Send us an email detailing your relevant experience with writing and sustainable food and, if our needs match, we'll set you up as either a one-time blogger, or a scheduled guest writer.
From our Blog
Piglets, chickens, and kittens OH MYThis past Sunday CT NOFA held its second On-Farm Workshop of the summer, Pasture-Raised Pigs on a Diversified Organic Farm, led by Greg Hazleton, CT NOFA board member and the owner of Copper Hill Farm in West Suffield, CT. It was the perfect day to tour Greg's farm and listen to him eloquently speak about his experience raising pigs, chickens and growing produce as a one man operation at Copper Hill for the past four and half years. More>
Check out other recent posts here>
|Go Organic when you Shop!
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|If you have any stories, articles, notices, or suggestions for this newsletter, please send them along. Please also note that classifieds and community notices are maintained on our community board. If you have a notice you'd like to add, send it along to the office here.|