Gleanings Newsletter December 2015
In This Issue
Renew or Join Today! Join our community of farmers, gardeners, land care professionals, educators, chefs and consumers committed to growing Connecticut organically. Click to learn about CT NOFA membership benefits.
 

New: Give to specific projects online! View our current CT NOFA funding initiatives on the crowd-sourced funding website CrowdRise. 
 
Donate (at no cost to you) via Amazon Smile & GoodSearch! 
Start shopping at smile.amazon.com, select CT NOFA as your charity, and Amazon will give donate 0.5% of the purchase price to us - at no cost to you! To start, simply visit the site, log in, and designate us as your charity and Amazon does the rest.

Simply designate CT NOFA as your your favorite charity and use GoodSearch as your search engine (or Goodshop to find the best deals at thousands of stores). Each time you do, we will receive a donation for each time you search or shop!
CT NOFA Resources Online 
    
online lawn care certification
 
 
It's Farmer's Pledge Time! 

CT NOFA farmers, please complete and return Farmer's Pledge renewal forms by December 15 so we can list your farm in the 2016 Farm and Food Guide.  Renewal forms were sent by mail. For a copy or to add your farm today, contact Debbie Semonich at: debsem@ctnofa.org.

FARMS, BUSINESSES, & VENDORS: ADVERTISE IN THE 2016 GUIDE
We print 12,500 copies of the 2016 Farm and Food Guide for mailing to members, distribution at CT NOFA events and community events throughout the year, and posting as a full color guide on our website. Ads begin at $200 and are a fantastic opportunity for you to build brand awareness among consumers who rely on this CT NOFA guide to local foods, farms, and businesses. For rates and our complete list of advertising packages, click here.
Join the CT NOFA Board!

Are you a farmer? Have marketing or fundraising skills? Or do you simply want to lend your talents to organic initiatives in our state? If so, we want to meet you.

Please contact CT NOFA Board President John Turenne for an exploratory conversation at: 
Growing Connecticut Organically 

Jeff Cordulack
Executive Director
As the Climate Change talks in Paris unfold, we are reminded that our mission has never been more relevant. Organic agriculture is now being looked at as one of the most practical ways to combat climate change globally.

CT NOFA is excited to be a part of this solution and to help make Connecticut a better, safer place to live.
We imagine a state where all the food is grown organically and our communities are resilient to the challenges presented by climate change.

In 2016, we will work with thousands of farmers, land care professionals, gardeners and consumers who are embracing the wholesome flavors and clear benefits of organic foods, farms, and practices. We will also work to stop the short-sighted installation of synthetic grass sports fields, especially where children play. These fields are costly and an unacceptable health risk that is endangering young athletes nationwide.

That said and with December's giving season upon us, I kindly ask you to make a donation to CT NOFA (of any amount) in support of our important 2016 initiatives. Your donation will help us to continue to ensure the growth and viability of organic foods and farming in our state.

Thank you for your support throughout the year. The CT NOFA Staff & Board wish you all a very happy holiday season and success for the New Year!
A Season to Be Grateful

By Bill Duesing

I took this month off from writing to plant garlic, harvest the bountiful vegetables growing on the Old Solar Farm this beautiful and mild fall, finish the new root cellar and assist with planning CT NOFA's exciting Winter Conference.

I am so grateful to see the progress being made on many fronts toward a more local and organic food system. 

Consumers are demanding more local and organic and less processed and industrial food.

Happy Holidays!
2016 Multi-State Bulk Order 
Save on Organic Farm & Garden Supplies

The Northeast Organic Farming Association is pleased to announce the 2016 Bulk Order program. Bulk orders offers discounts on organic farm, garden and lawn care products while supporting NOFA state chapters. In 2016 there will be six participating order pick up sites in Massachusetts, one site in Rhode Island and one site in Connecticut.
  
New Cover Crop Blends: This year's Bulk Order will include pre-mixed cover crop cocktail blends for your cover cropping regimen. Whether on-farm or in your backyard garden, this simple method can
suppress weeds, restore carbon, and improve soil health overall.

The 2016 NOFA Bulk Order is ONLY OPEN:
January 1 through January 31
.
In the News
  • Pioneering sustainable agriculturist Eero Ruuttila has recently joined Johnny's Selected Seeds in the role of Research Station Manager. (Click here to read more) 
  • Three young farmers from The Hickories in Ridgefield are profiled in Three Young Farmers Learn the Ropes. (Click here to read more) 
CT NOFA Events

Dec. 14, 2015: "Innovations in Organic Land Care" (Sturbridge, MA) ~  An annual gathering of NOFA accredited professionals and organic land care fans featuring keynote speaker, James Urban, FASLA; and other top experts in the field.

Feb. 22-25, 2016: NOFA's Organic Land Care Accreditation Course (Norwich, CT) ~ Get educated in the latest non-toxic garden & landscaping methods. This 4-day, 30 hour course fills fast so reserve your seats today!

Featured Business Members:

The Hidden Garden & Connsoil, LLC
Cynthia & Stuart Rabinowitz
P.O. Box 365, Bethlehem, Ct 06751
Phone: (203) 982-1884 
hgconnsoil.com               
 
Specializing in permaculture design, organic land care, edible landscaping, and ecological and wetland consulting services.

Cynthia Rabinowitz established Hidden Garden & ConnSoil in 1986 after several years working as County Agriculture Agent with the University of Connecticut Cooperative Extension System. Since then HGConnSoil has evolved into a collaborative of professionals with a variety of science-based expertise. Cynthia and Stuart Rabinowitz are Certified Permaculture Design Consultants whose clients range from homeowners and farmers to institutions. Stuart is a NOFA Accredited Organic Land Care Professional (AOLCP). View a gallery of their landscape designs here. Cynthia's informative article "A Primer on Permaculture" was published in the Spring 2015 edition of Connecticut Gardener magazine and can be read online here.

Connecticut Gardener
Anne and Will Rowlands              
P.O. Box 248
Greens Farms, CT 06838
203.292.0711
info@conngardener.com
 
For more than twenty years
Connecticut Gardener magazine has been the definitive resource on gardening in Connecticut, written by local gardeners for local gardeners.
Connecticut Gardener is published in print and digital form four times a year during the growing season: March/April, May/June, July/August and September/October, plus a fifth digital-only issue in November/December. Subscribers can now choose from digital only ($18), print only ($22) or print plus digital subscriptions ($27).
 
Anne Rowlands is a UConn Master Gardener; a board member of the Experiment Station Associates; a friends group for The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station; and a volunteer citizen-scientist for Wasp Watchers. Will Rowlands is a UConn Advanced Master Gardener, president of The Experiment Station Associates and a volunteer for the Connecticut Invasive Plant Working Group. He has completed NOFA's Organic Lawn Care training and received his degree in Geology from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Jones Family Farms
Terry and Jean Jones
606 Walnut Tree Hill Rd, Shelton, CT 06484 
(203) 929-8425
 
 From picking-your-own strawberries in the summer and pumpkins in the fall, to harvesting your own Christmas trees in the winter, Jones Family Farms is a destination for creating treasured memories and family traditions. The farm is particularly busy this time of year as shoppers search for the perfect tree to grace the living room, wreaths and garland to decorate the house, award-winning Jones wines to serve with holiday meals, and carefully curated gifts for friends. Connecticut Magazine in 2010, 2011 and 2012 named the Jones Winery to have the Best Connecticut Wine and 2013 Best Connecticut Vineyard.
 
Jones Family Farm is a third generation, 400-acre working farm that hosts a farmers' market in July and August and offers year-round culinary events in The Harvest Kitchen. The Harvest Kitchen is a Farm-to-Table Cooking Studio that features farm-style cooking classes, wine and food pairing classes, and children's farm education programs. The philosophy of the Harvest Kitchen is that meals featuring local and seasonal ingredients are wonderfully delicious, exceptionally healthy, and environmentally sustainable.
 
The Harvest Kitchen was founded by Jean Jones - a farmer, a registered dietitian, an educator and a wonderful cook. Jean hopes to rekindle in all of us the great joy we experience when sharing in a meal that features the freshest foods of the season.

Would you like to see your business featured here? Upgrade to a business membership today! 
 

34th Annual Winter Conference
Saturday, March 12, 2016

8:30 am - 5:00 pm
and
Sunday, March 13, 2016
9:00 am - 3:30 pm
Western Connecticut State University
Danbury, CT
  

Featuring 50+ workshops, dozens of exhibits, unique vendors,
and a lunch catered by Connecticut's finest restaurants.



Now Accepting Presenter Applications
CT NOFA members are experts in their fields and generously give of their time each year to educate guests at our annual conference. Do you or someone you know have expertise in organic food and farming to share with the CT NOFA community? Please apply to be a conference presenter here using our online form.

Vendor Sign-up Now Open
 
Farmers, artisan food producers, seed companies, garden supply companies, craftsman, and others businesses are invited to exhibit at our 34th annual Winter Conference. More than 800 farmers and consumers passionate about organic living attended last year's conference! Click here for Vendor Registration Info. 
 
2016 Advertising & Sponsorship Opportunities 
Elevate your brand awareness with CT NOFA members - people who are passionate about organic food, gardening, farming and land care. CT NOFA sponsorship and ad packages bundle admission and exhibiting expenses with low-cost advertising and sponsorship opportunities at the event, in print, and online year-round. Choose from a variety of options starting at $150. Click here to review our package options.

NEW: CONFERENCE VISITOR SURVEY
: What do you want to learn about this year? Please take our brief survey to let us know what presentations and workshops you'd like to see at the conference.