NOFA has a summer bounty of its very own! It includes everything from harvesting potatoes bought as seed from the NOFA Bulk order way back in January to the 40th annual NOFA Summer Conference taking place next week from August 8 - August 10 at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. Both have their joys - how great it was to harvest the potatoes I planted with a 3 year old and 5 year old who said, "We can make these into french fries!" Wholesome french fries at that - imagine. If you haven't yet considered going to next week's Summer Conference click here - it looks fantastic.
Our NOFA bounty includes this year's CT NOFA Farm & Food Guide flying off our shelves and into consumers' hands at farmers markets all over the state faster than ever before. And great on-farm workshops that are receiving rave reviews. Pasture Raised Piglets to Feeders is this Sunday, August 3 at the Community Farm of Simsbury from 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm. Click here to join us and find out how CT NOFA board member and farmer, Greg Hazleton of Copper Hill Farm, raises his pigs - great workshop for farmers, eaters and anyone interested in sustainably raised livestock. And the venue could not be better.
We are proud to announce that in collaboration with Three Rivers Community College, CT NOFA's Organic Land Care program is offering its first ever online course - a 9 subject area, non-college credit Online NOFA Organic Lawn Care Certificate Course that will be held throughout the year on an open enrollment basis. This introduction to managing grass organically is perfect for lawn care professionals, landscape architects, environmental educators, and even homeowners who are serious about eliminating pesticides on their lawns.
Although I'm a firm believer that everyone, from city apartment dweller to country dweller can and should grow at least some of their own food, and as nice as it is when people tell me how happy they are to be growing tomatoes for the first time, I cringe when they're doing it alongside their pesticide laden lawns and ornamental garden beds. In that case they'd be better off not growing their own food. So education, and education to as broad an audience as possible, is a critical part of CT NOFA's bounty.
And of course we can't talk about this summer's bounty without a huge thank you to our incredible venue and generous host, Winvian resort and farm in the Litchfield Hills, and to everyone who helped plan, attend and donated to our two July events - A Special Culinary Fundraiser and Award Presentation and A Summer Gathering: Growing Food, Farms & Community. Congratulations to Claire Criscuolo of Claire's Corner Copia, recipient of our Organic Leadership Recognition Award. Please click here for photos and video clips of the events, and the opportunity to purchase an autographed copy of Claire's latest book, as well as select auction prizes. The bounty of the events included keynote speakers Joan Gussow, mini farmer, food activist, author and professor emeritus and Richard McCarthy, national director of Slow Food USA, and presenters Taylor Cocalic Suarez of Good Food Jobs and Beth Beisel of ConnFact, among others. We are thankful for Commissioner of Agriculture Steve Reviczky for spending Saturday with us.
Thank you for being part of the CT NOFA family and for your support of local and organic food, farming, gardening and land care,
Congratulations Claire Criscuolo!
Claire Criscuolo, of Claire's Corner Copia in New Haven, received our 2014 Organic Leadership Recognition Award on July 18th at our Special Culinary Fundraiser & Award Ceremony at Winvian.
Once an active small dairy farm, our land encompasses 150 acres of wooded hills, grassy fields, streams, and a two acre pond which provides sanctuary to many species of flora & fauna. Join us for a guided hike every Sunday at 1:00 or a full-moon hike once a month. Organic gardening plots are available to rent for a nominal fee. We offer a full complement of public programs for children and adults year-round as well as nature-based day camps. Visit us on Saturdays at noon for our popular free Creature Feature program with our resident animals.
We create and maintain a regional hub where real farmers connect with real consumers over real food. In facilitating these interactions, the Westport Farmers' Market strives to help food producers and food consumers forge lasting relationships that celebrate education, sustainability, healthy living, and just plain delicious food!
Sloane Farm This is the first year of commercial production for Sloane Farm, a small farm in
Washington CT. The farm has a CSA and is also in several farmers markets and local stores with the Farm2Jars gluten-free, vegan and paleo-friendly granola product. The farm supplies strawberries, peaches, pumpkin, sunflower and pumpkin seeds for this delicious, healthy product which appears to please many taste buds! I am a CT NOFA Farmers Pledge farm with the intention of going for Organic Certification in 2015.
CT NOFA's Organic Advocate
The Big Picture
by Bill Duesing
We've been traveling around our beautiful country this summer. Aside from the wonderful natural places, we've seen evidence of incredible wealth and of some big messes we've made and abandoned.
From Texas west, the drought has dried up lakes, closed parks and seriously impacted forest health and agriculture. There are so many decaying small towns. Yet the supermarkets are well stocked, most even with a widening organic selection, and the container ships keep coming from Asia to fill store shelves, homes and the burgeoning number of self-storage facilities.
As part of the Growing City Seeds project to develop gardens as centers of learning, and to support gardeners and educators with workshops and technical assistance, the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies is collaborating with the Poughkeepsie Farm Project and other organizations to offer professional development workshops designed to help educators integrate gardens into their teaching.
Join the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies and the Poughkeepsie Farm Project for three days of hands-on learning on how to integrate gardens in the classroom. Covered topics include math, science, literacy, and nutrition, as well as building upon knowledge about the benefits of sustainable agriculture and ecological gardening principals. The program takes place August 6 through August 8, 2014. Visit their webpage for details and registration.
Webinar: Raising Funds & Friends for Your School Garden
Join edWeb.net on Tuesday, August 5, 2014 at 4pm for
"Raising Funds & Friends for Your School Garden: Hard-Learned Lessons from Granny's Garden School" with Roberta Paolo, Founder and Executive Director of Granny's Garden School. Roberta (A.K.A. Granny) will share a range of fund-raising and friend-raising tips based on her experience running Granny's Garden School since 2002.
Learn how to increase volunteer support, secure in-kind donations, and fund-raise effectively. All of the key aspects of school garden fund-raising and friend-raising, including communication, sharing, community relationships, business relationships, direct revenue generation, as well as grants and foundations, will be covered. Join edWeb.net on August 5th to learn proven strategies for securing the money and people you need to take your school garden to the next level!