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|From the Executive Director|
NOFA is dedicated to a vision of interconnected healthy communities living in ecological balance deeply rooted in a sense of place, grounded in organic care of the land.
In case you missed our Important Annual Appeal last week in the bustle of Thanksgiving preparations, the deluge in your inbox or you just didn't open it, here is another opportunity. We do need your support. If you'd like a donation envelope, click here.
Where else can you find an organization that is bringing such a vision to the table as we work toward a sustainable future? Your support makes our voice stronger and more effective in creating a healthy and sustainable future. Even a small donation
is very helpful.
On behalf of the board and staff of CT NOFA, I wish you a wonderful winter holiday season.
|CT NOFA and OLC Events|
CT NOFA OLC Annual Gathering
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
(Snow Date: December 7, 2011)
University of Connecticut
Join us for the 2011 Annual Gathering, with keynote speaker Tom Wessels, an ecologist and founding director of the master's degree program in Conservation Biology at Antioch University New England. This year's program will focus on trees and woody shrubs in our landscape. The United Nations has declared 2011 the "International Year of Forests" highlighting the environmental, historical and cultural value of trees and forests around the world. Presenters at the Annual Gathering will discuss the role of trees in our natural history, their integration in organic landscaping, threats to New England's woods, and the importance of planting and preserving native trees in the landscape. Despite the tendency to associate trees with the environment, they are a central part of the designed landscape. Trees are an ecological staple, providing habitat, flood and erosion control, carbon sequestration and a host of other natural services to developed areas.
More information and registration can be found here.
Saturday, March 3, 2012
Manchester Community College
Manchester, CT "Local and Organic since 1982"
Keynote - Jeffery Smith - Environmental activist and leading international authority on GMOs and the serious health dangers of GMOs. How we can avoid GMOs and eliminate them from our food supply? Daniel B. Ravicher (Lawyer for NOFA in our court case against Monsanto) will give a workshop on "Why patents on life are dangerous".
CT NOFA's perennial favorite educators will be back giving workshops and sharing their real life experiences. Wayne Hansen, Winter Caplanson, Paul Trubey, Julie Rawson & Jack Kitteredge and Dina Brewster. More presenters to follow....
Our Other Upcoming Events
2012 Getting Started in Organic Farming Conference Saturday, January 28
CT Forest and Park Association
February 15-17, and 21-22, 2012
(Snow Date: February 23, 2012)
CT Agricultural Experiment Station
New Haven, CT
NOFA Chapter Winter Conferences
Six NOFA chapters have Winter Conferences and your membership will get you discounts at all of them. Click here for a pdf with dates and details.
For other area events check our our events listing page.
The NOFA Standards for Organic Land Care Receive International Approval!
Approval of NOFA's Standards is based on an equivalence assessment in which NOFA's Standards are compared with the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM's) standards requirements. IFOAM is the worldwide umbrella organization for the organic movement, uniting more than 750 member organizations in 116 countries. Having the NOFA Standards approved by IFOAM is not only a great honor, but also represents a big step forward for CT NOFA and the Organic Land Care Program. To read more about IFOAM, check out their website. To learn more about the NOFA Standards click here.
Pictured here are some of CT NOFA's office staff holding IFOAM's certificate at the OLC Program's Annual Retreat that was held Saturday, November 19. From left, Clara Buitrago - OLC Accreditation Manager, Kristiane Huber - Event and Outreach coordinator, Jenna Messier - OLC Program Director, Bill Duesing - Executive Director, and Teresa Mucci - Program Coordinator.
Bill Duesing honored with the PACE 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award
PACE (People's Action for Clean Energy, Inc.) has honored our executive director with a lifetime achievement award "for his lifelong commitment to ecological sanity. His understanding of solar energy, organic agriculture, and his use of unique teaching methods mark him as a special Connecticut environmental hero. Bill has turned agriculture into an art form. His commitment becomes action which brings joy, food knowledge, and better health to the people of our state...and beyond."
PACE is the largest totally volunteer organization working for energy efficiency, conservation, and benign renewable energy in Connecticut. Check out their website here.
Celebrating 5 Years with our Office Manager, Deb Legge!
It's hard to imagine what life was like here at CT NOFA before Deb started with us. She has revolutionized life in the office, making our work more efficient, knowledgeable, and just plain fun! Deb does so much for us that it's hard to quantify it all, and her title of Office Manager really doesn't even scratch the surface of everything that she's involved in. We're lucky to have her with us and look forward to working with her into the future.
|Announcements & Alerts |
Spring Bulk Order - Form Available January 1
Do you buy cover crop seed, fertilizers, mineral amendments, compost, potting soil, potato and allium seed? Would you like to save money on those items? If so, the Bulk Order might be perfect for you. Our suppliers include: Organic Growers Supply, Moose Tubers, Ideal Compost, Vermont Compost, Crop Production Services, Fertrell and more! The Spring Bulk Order will be available to download January 1, 2012. You'll only have a month to get your order in, so start planning now! To be prepared, we suggest getting your soil tested, with recommendations.
For more information, click here.
Our board of directors spent a night recently calling members, thanking them for support and encouraging a gift before the end of the year.
On November 30th, six CT NOFA directors gathered to call members, thank them, and encourage a gift
before the end of the year. From the left, Janet Heller, secretary and chair of the development committee, John Turenne, Bettylou Sandy, vice president, Ron Capozzi, Sven Pihl and Jane Maher.
2011 USDA Certified Organic Production Survey
What may seem like just another survey in your mailbox is actually a unique and valuable opportunity for USDA certified organic producers to showcase their contributions to agriculture and help ensure the continued growth and economic sustainability of organic farming in the United States.As part of a cooperative agreement between USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) and Risk Management Agency (RMA), all known USDA certified organic producers are asked to take part in the 2011 USDA Certified Organic Production Survey.
Respond online via NASS's secure Web-based response system
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Your Opinion Matters!
To get things rolling with our School Garden Network, we have compiled a short survey to see where we are starting from and where we need to go. Please take a moment to answer these few questions. Your feedback will help us create a vibrant and strong network.
|In the News|2011 One of the Hottest Years on Record
(Reuters) - The world is getting hotter, with 2011 one of the warmest years on record, and humans are to blame, a report by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said on Tuesday. Check out the article here.
A Plan to Power 100 Percent of the Planet with Renewables
Wind, water and solar technologies can provide 100 percent of the world's energy, eliminating all fossil fuels. Here's how.
Bill Duesing Mentioned in CT Watchdog Ct Eat Well: Ct Trying To Help Farmers With Job Bill. Check out the article here.
Girl Scouts Locavore Badge
As part of the first revamping of badges in 25 years, Girl Scout seniors (grades 9-10) can now earn the new Locavore badge. According to the Girl Scouts of the USA website: "When I've earned this badge, I'll know how to prepare a meal of seasonal and locally grown dishes."
Check out the article here, and the Girl Scouts website here.
3B Ranch - Northford, CT
For 50 years Andrew Bozzuto and his family have owned and operated Refuse and Recycling Companies and have grown a huge appreciation for clean and sustainable living.
One of the companies in particular called GlobalEnvironmental Services (GES) is the first Connecticut recycling company to collect food waste. We take the food waste to be composted into nutrient rich top soil, that is used to make new food and healthier products. These sustainable practices have made our lives and companies become 'full circle.'
We developed 3B Ranch about 7 years ago with a focus of providing fresh, great tasting, organic produce, at an honest value for the local community.
A view of the Ranch
We now grow approximately 10 acres of organic vegetables and fruits on our 70 acres of farm land. Organic food is important for the future of our health and environment. Along with our organic produce, we have grass raised cattle and free range pork and chicken. By summer 2012, we hope to set up a retail store potentially on our farm in Northford, CT.
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|Winter Food Project |
Our recipe of the month this time is roasted root vegetables, a delicious dish that can be reinvented every week as you get different vegetables in your kitchen. Check out the recipe here.
If you are feeling a bit more adventurous, give raw squash a try with this Raw Butternut Squash Salad Recipe by Mark Bittman. You might be surprised at how delicious winter food can taste with a minimum of preparation.
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|My Favorite Tool|
Our Executive Director's favorite tool is the scythe. He writes:
I have long liked to mow with a scythe. For years I've had older wooden handled ones from tag sales. When I discovered and bought an aluminum handle or snath for an old blade, it greatly increased my pleasure in using the scythe. It is easier to adjust and tighten the handles on the aluminum snath and the whole scythe is lighter. Note the sharpening stone resting on the blade. One of those is essential for sharpening the blade before and during the mowing.
Have a favorite tool? Let us know - email Melissa
Classifieds and Community Board notices are now maintained on our website. If you have a notice you'd like to add, send it along to the office here.
Work in Organic and Sustainable Farms in Nepal (along with Bio-dynamic farming introductions). Available to interested students and graduates with agricultural work experience. Nepalese language proficiency is not necessary and English communications skills will dramatically improve your experience. However, you can learn Nepalese during your time at the farm. During your stay, you will live inside the Capital Valley Kathmandu, Nepal, and work alongside Nepalese organic farmers and experts who provide technical and practical assistance to many farms in their area. The days will vary with the needs of their farms, including work in vegetable gardens, dairy and poultry farms, fisheries, on site compost making operations as well as cultural entertainment. Housing will be provided at the organization's farms with other Nepalese young and adult farmers. Interested participants may get involved in trekking and site seeing in and outside of Kathmandu Valley. If you are interested, please contact Surya here.
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|We Need Your Help!|
This fall and winter we have many upcoming events that require volunteer staffing. If you like meeting great people and helping out in the community, consider volunteering for CT NOFA. Our Organic Land Care Accreditation Course, Winter Conference, and many other tabling and outreach events are available and open to volunteers. For more information, and to register as a volunteer, please email us here.
|Go Organic when you Shop!
Sign up for a NOFA credit card 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.
|If you have any stories, articles, notices, or suggestions for this newsletter, please send them along.|