February, 2012 Mid-month
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GLEANINGS: n. 1. That which has been acquired by gleaning. 2. The monthly eNewsletter of CT NOFA. [Glean:v. 1. to gather relevant information or material by patient effort, bit by bit; to find out. 2. to gather grain or other produce (often: left by reapers); to harvest.]
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In This Issue
Events
Spotlight
Announcements & Alerts
In the News
GMO Activist Program
From our Blog
Community Board
Volunteer With Us!
Go Organic when you Shop!
Thanks to Our Winter Conference Sponsors!

GOLD 


SILVER 


FRIEND 



Become a sponsor to have your ad posted HERE!

Email us for details.

 
The NOFA Organic Lawn and Turf Handbook details methods for growing and managing beautiful, healthy, organic turfgrass.

 
Are you involved with a conservation organization in your community? Hand out these attractive brochures and get the neighborhood talking! Sold in quantities of 50 or more, $.50 each.

 
Grab your copy of the Standards for Organic Land Care today!


 
Urban & Suburban Meadows addresses the problems caused by the extensive planting of non-native grass lawns across America.

 
Purchase your Introduction to Organic Lawns and Yards booklet to help you maintain a beautiful, healthy, and ecologically sounds lawn or garden!
CT NOFA and OLC Events

Featured Events     

 

Saturday, March 3, 2012
Manchester Community College
Manchester, CT
"Local and Organic since 1982"


Manchester Community College's "Green Team" will again be Co-sponsoring this unique Environmental Education Event at their campus. The Keynote speaker will be Jeffrey Smith, internationally known spokesperson on the health dangers of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). Learn more about Jeffrey Smith here.

 

Click HERE to see how you can spotlight your business by becoming a sponsor and HERE to learn more about advertising opportunities!

 

There will be over 40 educational workshops offered. Stay tuned for a final schedule!  

 

There will be specific tracks for beginning farmers, winter food growers, winter food consumers, CSAs, transition towns, and Organic Land Care. The beginning farmers track is supported by the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA, Grant #2011-49400-30510. 

 

You will be able to shop from a local vendors & farmers market, listen or dance to live music with "Train Wreck Jerry", feast on a delicious "Pot Luck", check out in the Family "Play n Chill" Room", learn from live cooking demonstrations and much more.

 

If you have less than 10 years of farming experience, you may qualify for a scholarship!  Fill out the application form here. 

 

We'd like you to be part of this big day.  If you or anyone you know wants to promote your business by donating to our raffle, contact us here.  Learn more about the Winter Conference here.

 

NEW - Introductory membership - $15 per year. For first time members, you'll get our newsletter, Farm & Food Guide, event notices and discounts, without the quarterly The Natural Farmer. Join now and take the member discount for the Winter Conference. 

   

Additionally, the CT NOFA annual members meeting will be held at the Winter Conference this year.

 

Thanks to our sponsors, the CT Farm Energy Program, Farm Family, The Farmer's Cow, and Nationwide Insurance! 

   

For more info or to give us a hand volunteering contact: Teresa Mucci: teresa@ctnofa.org or 203-888-5146.

 

Our Other Upcoming Events    
Charlestown, RI
February 27-29, March 1-2, 2012
(Snow Date; March 5)

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.      

  

How to Plan For a Bountiful Vegetable Garden
Saturday, February 18, 2012
Common Ground High School
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
   

  

Organic Land Care Homeowner Workshops 

Wednesday,  March 7, 2012

7:00 pm
Hamden Public Library, Hamden, CT   

  

Tues. March 13, 2012
7:00 pm 

Cheshire Public Library, Cheshire, CT

  

Growing Fruit in a Healthy Orchard Ecosystem with Michael Phillips
March 9, 2012
Rockfall, CT

Soils and Compost Workshop
March 10, 2012
Common Ground High School
10:00-12:00pm

Starting Seedlings Workshop
March 17, 2012
Common Ground High School
10:00-12:00pm

Organic Gardening Workshop 
May 5, 2012
Common Ground High School
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Events Where we will be Tabling 

  

CT Flower and Garden Show

February 23-26, 2012

CT Convention Center

Hartford, CT    

   

Ecological Landscaping Association - 18th Annual Conference and Marketplace
March 7-8, 2012
Springfield, MA   

Hamden Earth Day
Saturday, April 21
9-3:30

Girl Scouts 100th Jubilee
May 19, 2012
Durham Fair Grounds
Durham, CT
10:00-7:00pm

For other area events check our our events listing page.

Spotlight

CTNOFA is excited to be partnering with buyCTgrown.com to offer CT NOFA members a $25 discount on buyCTgrown premium listings. buyCTgrown is the website that connects CT agricultural businesses to consumers searching for CT grown products and organizations who support and procure local!   


The Buy Local Campaign
buyCTgrown has an exciting year ahead of them and this spring buyCTgrown will launch a statewide consumer pledge campaign where CT residents will commit to spending a percentage of their existing food and landscape dollars on local goods. This type of campaign has been hugely successful in North Carolina, Michigan, and Maine, where in some cases over $12,000,000 has been spent on locally grown products as a result. As part of this campaign, buyCTgrown will also be highlighting 5 different crop areas including small fruits and berries, late summer and fall PYO, Christmas trees, maple syrup and nursery crops. 

 

2012 is the year to participate in buyCTgrown and we encourage you to create a listing on buyCTgrown.com. CT would benefit from having a resource complete with all businesses providing CT grown goods. So whatever you do, create a listing on buyCTgrown!  You can opt for a free listing that provides basic contact information or choose a premium listing.  A premium listing not only better promotes your business by allowing you to post pictures, a business description and events to the website, but it also supports the program and their efforts to increase consumer spending on local goods.  We hope that you will take advantage of the annual member rate available to CT NOFA members of $50. Wan to become a member?  Go to CT NOFA's membership page here.

 

For more information contact Ashley Kremser by email or at 203-773-3736.

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Calling all Beginning Farmers!

 

The Journeyperson Program gives two years of individualized, targeted support to beginning farmers working to establish a farm.  Support includes free admission to any of CT NOFA's events, including workshops and conferences on farming and business planning.  Journeypeople will be matched with a paid mentor for one year of guidance.  The journeyperson can continue this mentorship for a second year or switch to a new mentor in 2013.  This program is for farmers who have already received training or have been apprentices who are now beginning to farm independently.  Please encourage anyone who might qualify to visit our website for more information or to fill out an application.  

 

Beginning Farmers can also apply for a full scholarship to the Winter Conference.  Beginning Farmers will benefit from a full day of workshops, networking with other beginning farmers and instructors, and will have a great time with fellow farmers and food-lovers!  Apply here for a full scholarship to the Connecticut Winter Conference. 


Both of these opportunities are made possible by the a generous support of National Institute for Food and Agriculture through the USDA's beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program).  

Announcements & Alerts 

Join us!

Do you dream of being a part of an organization that promotes safe, healthy food?  Do you crave an honest and creative working environment? Do you have a great set of accounting and finance skills?  If so, you should apply to be our part time (10hours/week) bookkeeper!  Click here for a full job description.  If interested, please email Deb with a resume and letter of intent.

Additionally, CTNOFA's Board of Directors is seeking a few new board members committed to our mission and purpose, who can offer one or more of the following:  

1) Financial planning and management and/or fundraising skills
2) legal and/or personnel skills
3) Sustainable farming knowledge and experience
4) Enthusiasm and commitment to spreading CTNOFA's mission and purpose.

Board meetings or board conference calls usually occur once a month on a Sunday afternoon or evening at various homes around the state and are followed by a potluck supper (unless meeting by phone). To express interest, recommend someone you know, or just ask for further information, please contact Janet Heller here.

Join a group of committed people volunteering their time and skills

to further the efforts of growing our local organic and sustainable

food system and organic land care!


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2012 2011 farm and food guide cover Farm and Food Guide - Deadline Extended to March 1st
There's still time to send your confirmation form in!  We're getting a head start on this year's CT NOFA Farm & Food Guide, so please send in your confirmation form if you haven't yet. If you are interested in a listing, ad or sponsorship opportunities, email Deb here.





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Announcing HMI's Beginning Women Farmer Conference: Exploring Whole Farm Planning
March 22-23, 2012
University of Massachusetts
Amherst, MA

Whether you're a beginning farmer or have been farming for years... Whether you're a woman or a man... or you just want to learn about Holistic Management Whole Farm Planning from the experts, you'll want to attend our two day conference in Amherst, Massachusetts.  To learn more and to register, click here.

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Are you an aspiring/new farmer looking for a leasing arrangement in Connecticut?  

The Farmland ConneCTions Outreach Service is here to help! 

Do you have an idea in your head of a leasing situation that could

make it possible for you to begin or continue to farm in Connecticut? Please get in touch and let us know! We are currently developing a database of interested farmers.   

Please click here to download the Farmland ConneCTions Guide.

 

Interested? Contact:

Jennifer McTiernan H.

Project Coordinator

Farmland ConneCTions Service

UConn Cooperative Extension System

 

FarmlandConnections@gmail.com

mobile office: 203-909-6411

office/meeting days: Tuesdays and Thursdays

  

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Looking for Equipment?  We're looking for you!
Phase One of the URI Cooperative Extension's Equipment Bank Feasibility Study is underway. The goal of this Study is to identify available equipment, desired but unavailable equipment, and custom operators serving RI, MA, and CT. If you influence the equipment decisions on your farm, please fill out a short on-line survey here. If you are not a farmer but you provide custom operator services, please fill out the survey. If you are a farmer AND you provide custom operator services, please fill out the survey. If you are neither a farmer nor a custom operator but you KNOW a custom operator, please fill out the survey. If you would prefer a paper version, please contact Becca Buckler at 401-934-0842 or by email. This is a much-anticipated project, jointly funded by a USDA Beginning Farmer Grant (awarded to the RI Association of Conservation Districts and URI) and the RI Ag Partnership (through the generosity of the vanBuren Charitable Foundation). Your input will make this a success. Thanks for participating!  

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Sign-Up for Assistance for Conservation Programs
You can help protect animals, soil, water, plants, and the air by working with your local USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) office. If you own or rent land, you may qualify to apply for our programs. These federal programs provide financial and technical assistance to farmers and forest land owners. Programs include the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP), and Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA) Program. Landowners may submit applications any time throughout the year; however this year NRCS offers ranking periods with closing dates of March 30, and June 1, 2012.  To learn more click here.

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Showcase food from your farm at the Culinary Institute of America's Annual Leadership Awards Gala! 
CIA needs crops from local farmers to feature at their Awards Gala March 29, 2012 at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square, New York.  The Institute will pay a fair price for high quality local food, and the menu created from these crops will serve to feed over 600 foodservice movers and shakers.  Call us at 203.888.5146, email us, or read the letter we received to learn more.

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The 30th National Pesticide Forum
Healthy Communities: Green solutions for safe environments

Yale University

New Haven, CT   

School of Forestry & Environmental Studies
March 30-31, 2012

With acclaimed ecologist and Living Downstream author, Sandra Steingraber, PhD  

   

With Connecticut and communities throughout the Northeast facing threats to existing pesticide laws, as well as opportunities for greater protection and increased local control, this conference will have a strong focus on organic land management and protective policies. Join  researchers, authors, beekeepers, organic business leaders, elected officials, activists, and others to discuss the latest science, policy solutions, and grassroots action.

To learn more and register click here .

  

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Department of Agriculture's Farm Reinvestment Grant Program (FRG) The purpose of this program is to insure the viability of agriculture in our state. By providing money for capital enhancement to farms, it is the department's hope to help preserve Connecticut's agricultural base and improve farm production. These competitive matching grants will be awarded on the basis of the quality of their business plan that is a part of their application. The farmer applicant must match or exceed the amount of the grant being requested. These funds must be used for projects that are defined as capital fixed assets and have a life expectancy of 10 years or more. The funds may be used for the expansion of existing agricultural facilities, or diversification-expansion into new production areas and site improvements related to such expansion or diversification. Deadline for applications is April 30. Learn more here.

 

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CT Farmland Restoration Program 

The State of CT recently released the application for the new Farmland Restoration Program, designed to put land back into food production that has not been farmed in recent years. Lots of information on the program can be found here. The fund is a matching grant program with 50% to farmers who have plans to restore land and up to 90% for municipality-owned land to be restored.    

   

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For other event listings please visit our events page.  

 

In the News
New programs are being put into place across the state to address low recycling rates.  The programs give incentive for residents to recycle by charging for bags of trash.
 
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USDA Unveils New Plant Hardiness Zone Map

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released the new version of its Plant Hardiness Zone Map (PHZM), updating a useful tool for gardeners and researchers for the first time since 1990 with greater accuracy and detail. 

 

GMO Activist Program

Calling all GMO Activists!
 

We are building a list of members interested in anti-GMO activism who can help send letters to the FDA or locally organize to advocate for state labeling regulation in which Rep. Roy and the Ledgelight Health District have led the way. Please e-mail Kristiane  if you'd like to be added to the list as we coordinate more GMO activism activities.

  

In the meantime, check out this video from Just Label  just_label_it_logoIt showing the global response to GMO labeling.  Check out Just Label It to learn more about GMOs and the dangers they represent, as well as to learn more about the campaign to label foods that contain them. 

  

If you belong to an organization or business that wants to support the initiative to label genetically modified foods, you can use the sample resolution below to get signatures, then submit it to Kristiane as we compile our list. 

 

RESOLUTION TO SUPPORT LABELING OF GENETICALLY MODIFIED FOODS-

WHEREAS, food is a fundamental prerequisite to human life; and 

WHEREAS, the inalienable right to choose the foods we consume is confounded by the absence of labels identifying Genetically Modified Foods; and WHEREAS, ­­­­­­­­­­­__________________ (organization name) places the highest value on promoting informed, educated and knowledgeable consumers;THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the   ____________________ (organization's) Board of Directors Supports efforts to require that all food products shall be labeled to reflect that the food has been Altered, grown or processed as a "Genetically Modified Food."     

   

You can also ask your federal congress members to sign on to GE labeling:

A Bi-Partisan letter is being circulated in Congress for Senators and Representatives to urge FDA to require the labeling of genetically engineered foods. This letter will support the Legal Petition filed with FDA in October on behalf of over 400 organizations and businesses to require the labeling of GE foods.

TAKE ACTION NOW:
Call your two Senators and Representative.
Call the US Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121 or click here and tell them, "Please sign on to the bi-partisan 'Dear Colleague' Letter to FDA being circulated by Senator Barbara Boxer and Congressman Peter DeFazio to require GE LABELING."  

 

From our Blog

Journeyperson Program


Community Board       

 

There are many new farm and apprenticeship openings posted on our Community Board, so if you are looking for a position check them out today!

 

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. 

Winter Food Project       

 

It may still be winter, but that doesn't mean you have to forgo a fresh salad.  If you think a bit outside of the box, you can come up with all kinds of salad ideas that get around highly seasonal summer greens.  For example, instead of lettuce, try picking up some tender young kale, removing the stems, and mixing it with local winter fruits like apples or pears.  Add a vinaigrette for a bit of flavor and voila! A delicious and refreshing salad even in the heart of winter. You can also peel and grate a raw storage kohlrabi or a raw butternut squash.  Try out a few different vegetables and decide which flavors you like the best. 

 

We Need Your Help!

This spring we have many upcoming events that require volunteer staffing.  We are getting many invitations for Earth Day events in and around April, so if you like meeting great people and helping out in the community, consider volunteering for CT NOFA.  Our 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.

Many thanks,

CT NOFA Staff

203-888-5146

ctnofa@ctnofa.org