CT NOFA eNewsletter
February 2009
CT NOFA is the Connecticut Chapter of the
Northeast Organic Farming Association

CT NOFA is an independent non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening the practices of ecologically sound farming and gardening, and to the development of local sustainable agriculture. Our efforts give consumers increased access to safe and healthy food. CT NOFA is a growing community of farmers, gardeners, land care professionals, businesses and consumers that encourages a healthy relationship to the natural world.

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Notes & Reminders

The 2009 NOFA/MassBulk Order deadline is February 8th. Online ordering is unavailable this year, so orders do have to be mailed in.  You can print forms from the NOFA/Mass site, or call the office at 203-888-5146 to have one mailed to you.

Early bird registration for the Cultivating an Organic Connecticut Conference ends February 7th.  Register now and save $5.00!

Notices for the 2009 CT NOFA Farm & Food Guide have been mailed to the farms & businesses listed in last year's Guide. If you'd like to be listed in this year's Guide, or need more information about advertising opportunites, just call the office. To see a copy of the Guide and more about CT NOFA member farms, click here.

We have a new page on our website: Resources for Gardeners.  If you have a favorite book, website or any other resource to recommend, please email it to us.

Organic Garden Tours - we have tentatively scheduled June 13, 2009 for a series of organic garden tours throughout the state.  Ideally, we'd like to have 5 gardens in every county. We would like to feature real gardens of all sizes and types.  They don't have to be picture-perfect, just examples of organically cared for flower, vegetable and herb gardens. If you would like to host your garden - PLEASE - call the office!
Upcoming CT NOFA Events
NOFA Organic Land Care 5-day course
We've had 70 people attending both the Connecticut and Massachusetts courses.  There  are still openings in the Rhode Island and New York courses if you are considering becoming a NOFA Accredited Organic Land Care Professional. Check the site for dates and locations.

Cultivating an Organic Connecticut Conference
Closing Connecticut's Food Gap with Urban Agriculture, Small Farms and Gardens. February 21, 2009 in Windsor, CT.  Register before February 7th and save $5.00! Come and join us for more than 30 workshops on organic farming, gardening, landscaping and sustainable living. There is a lively exhibit area, a keynote speech, a delicious potluck lunch, a children's program, and a series of hands-on cooking demonstrations.

Organic Farm Tours
June, 2009

Taste! Organic Connecticut
September 20, 2009 - Manchester Community College, Manchester, CT

Community Farming Conference
October 31, 2009 - New Haven, CT
Other Upcoming Events (*indicates new notice this month)
 Elizabeth Park Lecture Series - Beginning January 14, 2009. Go to their website for dates and details.

NOFA/Mass Advanced Growers' Winter Seminar - February 5-7, 2009, in Barre, MA. Seminar on Soil Mineral Nutrition with Arden Andersen.  More>

2009 Buy CT Grown Marketing Workshop Series - This collaborative workshop series presents strategies to diversify marketing efforts for farms and related businesses. The series is brought to you by CitySeed & the Buy CT Grown Advisory Team with key support from CT Farm Bureau, CT NOFA and RMA and with funding from NECRME and CSREES. Workshops will be held at the Augusta Curtis Cultural Center in Meriden, CT. 
February 9, 2009: Telling the story of the "Face Behind the Food": Direct-to-Consumer Marketing.
February 23, 2009 Tapping into Distribution Networks: Developing
Strategies to Reach New Markets.
For more information about the Financial Planning workshop, please contact
Norman Bender at or visit For any other information, please contact
Elise Cusano at or visit

*One-On-One Consultation Sessions with Agricultural Professionals
Wednesday, February 18, 2009 at Wamogo Regional High School, Litchfield, CT
Thursday, February 19, 2009 at Suffield High School, Agri-Science Center, West Suffield, CT
Wednesday, March 4, 2009 at Middlesex County Extension Center, Haddam, CT
Thursday, March 5, 2009 at the New London County Extension Center, Norwich, CT
For a complete list of speakers and topics, contact Norman Bender at 860-887-1608.

*Bedding Plants Program for Greenhouse Growers - Sponsored by the University of Connecticut Integrated Pest Management.  Three dates and locations:
Tuesday, February 10, 2009 - Vernon, CT
Friday, February 20, 2009 - New Haven, CT
Wednesday, February 25, 2009 - Torrington, CT
Check here for registration.

*Turf Nutrient Management Workshops - Presented by UCONN Dept of Plant Science/Dr. Karl Guillard.  Two locations:
February 24, 2009, at the Nathaniel B. Greene Community Center (Quonnipaug Room), 32 Church St., Guilford, CT. 9 am - 11 am 
February 26,  2009, East Lyme Library and Community Center (Parks and Recreation Meeting Room) 41 Society Rd., Niantic, CT, 12 noon- 2 pm.
Contact Rich Fitzpatrick - phone: 203-457-0578, email:

*Organic Lawn & Turf Care for Professionals - Thursday, February 26
(snow date February 27). 8:15 AM Registration and breakfast, 8:30 to 11:30 AM Presentation with Chip Osborne, Expert, Speaker, and Consultant on Organic Lawns & Turf. Audubon Greenwich, 613 Riversville Road, Greenwich, CT. More>

Ecological Landscaping Association's 2009 Conference & Eco-Marketplace - February 26-28, 2009, MassMutual Center, 1277 Main Street, Springfield, MA. "Digging In: The Theory & Practice of Ecological Landscaping".  For details and registration, go to their site.

2009 Harvest New England Agricultural Marketing Conference & Trade Show - February 24 to 26, 2009, Sturbridge Host Hotel, Sturbridge.  More>

*2009 Community Tree Conference - Saving Our Trees: A Conference for Arborists, Foresters, Tree Wardens, Sugar Bush Owners and Anyone Who Loves Trees
March 10, 2009, 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Stockbridge Hall, UMass Amherst. For a registration form or to register online, go to

*HerbFest 2009 - Sponsored by Connecticut Herb Association, Inc.
Saturday, June 6, 2009, 9 am to 4 pm, rain or shine. Pleasant View Farms, 452 South Road, Route 83, Somers, CT. A day of celebration and education honoring the many gifts provided by herbs. Workshops and weedwalks, activities for children, demonstrations, information tables, bake sale, food vendors, over 30 craft and herbal vendors. For more information see  or  Phone: 860-763-5206
Community Board

Lease wanted - Looking to lease 1 to 2 acres of land for this season in the North Haven area (Wallingford, Hamden, Cheshire would work).   It would mostly be longer-term crops (potatoes, winter squash) that don't need much irrigation, but access to water (I would pay for it) for my drip system would be great.  I can be reached at or at 978-809-7154.

Farm Site Sought - All Waste, Inc., which delivers vegetable waste from the Whole Foods store in Glastonbury to Old Maids Farm as a compost ingredient, is looking for an organic farm or other place near the coming Whole Foods store in Milford to take 15 yards of material once a month or so.  If you are interested, contact Russ Lallier at 860-724-4575.

Trade rototilling for compost, wool or Labor! -  I am starting up a CSA and have more customers than I expected!  Can I barter with someone with a rototiller or plow to increase my garden area?  I have Composted sheep and horse manure to trade, black and white wool fleeces, or would be happy to offer my labor in exchange for yours!  Please call Maureen at Phoenix Hill Farm, Hebron, CT  860 228-4018.

Dried Beans Wanted -  Is anyone growing dry beans in commercial quantities?  Fiddleheads Food Coop in New London, CT needs some for our bulk foods department.  We have beans from Maine, the midwest and Europe.  Connecticut would be great! Contact Ellen at:

For sale - Diesel Driven Irrigation Pumps for sale...4",6". & 10". To the right individual and set of circumstances these will prove to be instrumental..engine(s) need TLC  Ideally, these can be converted over to PTO Driven - call for more details/pic...Jim 802-353-2486  or

Terra Firma Farm Vacation Camps 2009 - On farm camps and activities for kids of all ages. Click here to find out more.

Positions available at New Pond Farm - West Redding, CT. Summer camp counselor and assistant director.  More>

Other NOFA/MOFGA Chapter News:
NOFA-NY is seeking an Executive Director.
MOFGA has two new articles for reprinting.
NOFA Vermont Winter Conference, February 14-16, 2009

Farm Sought - Friends of Autistic People (FAP) is a non profit, all-volunteer-based organization that advocates and educates about autism and grown children/adults  with autism. FAP are looking for a farm of about 20 usable acres in the Fairfield County, CT area where grown children with autism can live, learn, work and do organic farming. Possibilities include donation of a farm as a tax deduction or as a legacy with naming opportunity. For further information contact Brita Darany von Regensburg at 203-661-8510 or by email at

Vendors Sought - The Spring Glen Farmers' Market in Hamden, CT is seeking organic vendors: produce, meat, and/or dairy vendors for its 2009 season.  The market is held Tuesdays from 3-6 at Spring Glen Church, 1825 Whitney Avenue.  For further information, please contact Gwen Nagy-Benson at (203)281-1529 or at

NOFA Website hosts NOFA Interstate Farmer to Farmer Exchange - A free forum for the exchange of information, products and services. Go to to see job postings and follow the links at the bottom to post your own job announcement.
Organic Gardening Workshops, Talks and Courses

NEW! If you are taking, teaching or know of an organic gardening talk, workshop or course, let us know!  We will post them here and on our website.

Garden Planning - Sat, Feb 14, 11 AM,  UU Society, 608 Whitney Ave, New Haven.
Whether you want to join us and work on the Bioregional Community Garden at
612 Whitney Ave, or you want to plan and work on your own garden, come and
join us.  We will be looking through seed books, talking about steps to start seedlings, and planning what to plant. Bring your lunch, we will have tea. For more info contact

CT NOFA Cultivating an Organic Connecticut Conference
February 21, 2009 - Windsor High School, Windsor, CT 8:30 am to 4:45 pm.  Workshops of interest to gardeners include: "Organic Gardening Basics", "Hills and Valleys - Raised Bed Gardening at Roby's Organic", "Gardens In A Box, The Growing Connection", " Soil Health: the foundation of successful farming and gardening", "Chickens In The City", and many more. More>

- February 24, 2009, 7:00 pm at the Southington Library, 255 Main Street, Southington, CT 06489. Featuring Bill Duesing, sponsored by the Southington Land Trust.

Manchester Community College - Bettylou Sandy, a CT NOFA Board member, is teaching a series of classes covering topics such as "Preparing Your Lawn and Garden for Spring", "Organic Vegetable Gardening", "Shade gardening", and many more. See page 42 of this linked course brochure and click here for a link to Manchester Community College.
Thyme & Season Natural Food Market in Hamden is planning a series of talks this spring that will include organic food gardening. Check  here for details when finalized.

2009 Conference for the Home Gardener - March 13, 2009. At the Lewis B. Rome Commons, Storrs campus, Storrs, CT. More>

Basics of Organic Gardening - March 21, 2009. 10:00 - 1:00pm. $15. Wallingford Park & Recreation, 203-294-2120

Organic Lawn Care Workshop - Saturday, April 4, 2009, 9 am to 12 pm, Mansfield Town Hall Council Chambers. Registration fee - $10. More>

Pfeiffer Center in Chestnut Ridge, NY - offering a series of workshops, including organic beekeeping, Beginning an Vegetable Garden and many more. More>
Outreach Opportunities
 The following are events to which we have been invited to attend.  If you would like to help promote CT NOFA at any of these events, please contact the office at 203-888-5146. 

19th Annual Long Island Sound Citizens Summit - Friday, March 6, 2009, 8:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. Holiday Inn Hotel & Conference Center, Bridgeport, CT. Investing in Clean Water: for Sound health, jobs and the economy.

Earthstock Connecticut at Tunxis Community College - Sunday, April 19, 2009-10:00AM until 4:00PM, Farmington, CT.  More>

Earth Day Festival at Taft School in Watertown - Sunday, April 19th from 11-4.
Spring Fling Event.

20th Annual Earth Fair at the CT Audubon Society Center  -  April 25, 2009, from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m in Glastonbury. More>

Arbor Day Event - April  25, 2009, Ridgefield, CT.

New Morning Earth Day - Saturday, April 25, 2009, Woodbury, CT. More>

Spring Fling Event at Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo - May 2, 2009. More>

Fairfield Earth Day - May 9, 2009, 9:30AM-3:00PM, Fairfield Warde High School, 755 Melville Avenue, Fairfield, CT. 

Middlefield/Rockfall Old Home Days - June 6, 2009, 10 am to 5 pm. This year's theme is "A Happy and Healthy Community ".

CT NOFA will also have a table at the following events:
New England Grows - February 4-6, 2009 in Boston, MA
Ecological Landscape Association Conference - February 27-28, 2009, Springfield, MA
Stop by and say hello! 
Credit opportunities for NOFA Accredited Land Care Professionals at these conferences; more>
Legislative & Support News

The Connecticut General Assembly is in session and lots is happening that could affect Connecticut farmers & consumers. 

Some items of interest:

Proposal for an "improved" bottle bill with a ten cent deposit on water, tea and juice
containers as well as on beer and soda. More information here.

Proposal to tax plastic bags, which could include the bags farmers use at the farmers
markets. Links for more info here, here and here.

Proposal to limit sales of raw milk and raw milk cheeses to the farms where they are
produced. This blog contains links and more information

When the Governor releases her budget proposal, there are indications that we may need to
fight to keep funding for institutions and programs such as the Connecticut Agricultural
Experiment Station, the Department of Agriculture and the Community Investment Act (CIA) which provides farm viability grants.   Those grants have helped farmers and towns build infrastructure such as market structures, greenhouses, on farm processing kitchens and
many other things.  Funding from the CIA also helps to preserve open space and farmland,
historic properties and build affordable housing. Contact your representative to learn more.

Other Items of Interest
Farm to Chef Connecticut Forum

Backyard chickens in the news.

Branford, CT Finds Success with Organic Playing Fields

The Role of Home Gardens in Feeding the World & Sequestering Carbon - the second article in the "Newsletters and Articles" section
If you have any stories, articles, notices or suggestions for this  newsletter, please let us know!
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CT NOFA | PO Box 164 | Stevenson | CT | 06491