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In This Issue
Punxsutawney Phil
Winter Conference
Organic Advocate
CT NOFA Events
News, Announcements and Alert
Growing and Learning
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From the Director
Punxsutawney Phil

CT NOFA Friends,

According to Punxsutawney Phil we have 6 more weeks to dream about and plan for spring.

So, how can foodies, farmers, gardeners and land care professionals beat the winter doldrums?
  • Sign up for a CSA share at a local farm. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a terrific program that links consumers to their local farmers by having the consumer buy a share of the seasonal harvest and receive local produce and other products from the farm all season long. To learn more and find a local CSA farm, click here.
  • Volunteer at the CT NOFA table at the CT Flower & Garden Show in Hartford for a half day, and receive a free day pass to the show. Contact to let her know if you can take a shift from Thursday, February 20 - Sunday, February 23.
  • Come to CT NOFA's 32nd Annual Winter Conference on Saturday, March 1 at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury AND let us know if your company would like to sponsor the conference. Many companies only sponsor organizations their employees are involved in.
  • Take a gardening class at Common Ground High School in New Haven or at Cranberry Hill Farm in Ashford. Go to to find out more and to register.
  • Expand your organic lifestyle by using a land care professional who has taken a NOFA Accreditation Course in Organic Land Care, or our Organic Lawn Care Certificate Course. If your landscaper has not taken these courses, let them know that the next Accreditation Course is Monday to Thursday February 10-13, at Three Rivers Community College in Norwich and the next Lawn Care Course is Thursday March 27, at Connecticut College's Crozier-Williams College Center in New London. See 
  • Order your seeds and prepare to sow them

Yes, there's much to keep us happy during this especially beautiful, cold and snowy winter!


I look forward to seeing you at Winter Conference on Saturday, March 1st. In the meantime, stay warm and enjoy,
Eileen Hochberg
Executive Director
Winter conference
Saturday, March 1, 2014

Early Registration ends February 8
Register here

Sponsorships are available for high visibility.
Details here.
Signup form here

Exhibiting spaces are still available.
Encouraging all farmers to exhibit at a discounted fee!
Signup here

Donate a raffle item, bring it the morning of March 1
From CT NOFA's Organic Advocate 

The End of Nature: Climate Change, Organic Agriculture and Local Food

bill duesing
By Bill Duesing

Over seven billion of us live on the only habitable real estate in the known universe. The living things that have evolved on this planet over billions of years provide our life support systems.

The Earth's ecosystems produce clean air, clean water, fertile soil and most importantly, a stable climate.

There is a beauty and integrity to nature that is rarely found elsewhere. We are putting that all at risk by the way we live. 

CT NOFA Events



CT NOFA Winter Conference

Click here to register

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Western Connecticut State University

Danbury, CT


Accreditation Course in Organic Land Care

New England Regional

Click here to register

Monday to Thursday February 10-13

Three Rivers Community College, Norwich, CT


Organic Lawn Care Certificate Course

Click here to register

Thursday, March 27

Connecticut College

Crozier-Williams College Center, New London


Save the Date!

Planning your Garden

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Common Ground Garden Workshop Clinic

New Haven, CT

Details and registration coming soon.


Save the Date!

Soils, Compost and Mulching

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Common Ground Garden Workshop Clinic

New Haven, CT

Details and registration coming soon.


News, Announcements and Alerts 

FREE pass for the Hartford Flower Show when you volunteer!  

Volunteers needed 2/20-2/23 at various times!

Click here for more information

Click to sign up here  

Interns wanted at CT NOFA.    

Sign up here   

NOFA publishes quarterly The Natural Farmer. We would like to gain more information about this paper and its readership. Even if you've never seen this publication, your input is helpful. Please take 5 minutes to fill out this short online survey.   


The new farm bill is a big win for innovative sustainable agriculture programs.

For a good comprehensive Farm Bill overview by NSAC's Ferd Hoefner for Civil Eats  

Click here 


Applications for NRCS Organic Initiative is Fast Approaching

Click here  


Federal Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program Application Due Soon

Click here  


Next Batching Date for Conservation Programs Fast Approaching

Click here  


USDA is accepting applications

for Value-Added Producer Grants until February 24, 2014. See also NSAC's Farmers' Guide to Value-Added Producer Grant Funding for help with the application process.
Click here  


Soil health information via "govdelivery" 


Supreme Court hands Monsanto victory over farmers on GMO seed patents, ability to sue

Click here  


FoodCorps opens its 4th annual class for service members

They are a national organization that connects children in underserved communities to real food.

Applications here

School Garden Network News 

Growing and Learning


Organic Gardening Offers Garden Curriculum Help

Organic Gardening Magazine has a new, free, downloadable guide to planning your own garden curriculum.  With "Dig, Plant, Grow!" the magazine hopes that the ideas contained within will inspire educators and parents to bring an understanding of gardening and food systems to young people, who in turn will build a sustainable future.


Each section of the guide includes:

an introduction section featuring background info on the topic

lesson plans and ideas

hands-on garden learning tips

a "Classroom Library List" of youth resources for further reading.


Download your free copy and start growing!



Common Core in the Garden Webinar 
An upcoming webinar, Common Core in the Garden, is cohosted by, The Edible Schoolyard Project, the National Farm to School Network, and Life Lab. The free webinar takes place on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 4pm EST, and features presenter Whitney Cohen, Education Director at Life Lab.  The webinar will include specific ideas for garden-based activities that align with Common Core standards.  Register here.


Mass Ag in the Classroom Annual Winter Conference 

Mass Ag in the ClassroomMassachusetts Agriculture in the Classroom is holding its 13th annual "Growing Minds Through Massachusetts (and Connecticut) Agriculture" Conference for Educators on Saturday, March 8, 2014 at the Paul R. Baird Middle School in Ludlow, MA.  For the second year, they are collaborating with the Connecticut Agricultural Education Foundation to offer educational and networking resources, and activity ideas and framework connections that can facilitate and enhance pre-K through 12th-grade classroom teachers, and help bring agriculture to the classroom. Many fun and informative workshops are planned, including Making Cheese in the Classroom, Wildlife in the Schoolyard, Popcorn Production, Worm Composting in the Classroom, and lots more! For more details, workshop brochure, scholarship info, and online registration, visit the MassAg webpage.

Why Teach Outside in the Winter?
Project Learning Tree offers this great essay in their newsletter this month. With much of the U.S. in winter's grip, two educators from Maine, Olivia Griset and Corie Scribner, show how teaching outside in winter can be an outstanding educational opportunity for students of all ages. You'll be inspired by their tips for making outdoor learning safe and fun this season. Read the article here.  
Call for Presenters for School Garden Conference
The Connecticut Outdoor & Environmental Education Association and the Connecticut School Garden Resource Center are partnering on a joint conference, upcoming in March in Bridgeport, CT, focused on school gardens and outdoor environmental education.  They invite you to submit your proposal for a workshop using this form.  There are limited workshop slots available. They are seeking workshops which will focus on school gardens, diversity, food and environmental justice, although all submissions are welcome. Decisions on workshops will be made by February 15, 2014.

We'd love to share your school garden with our readers!  Feel free to send me any articles, news, photos or any questions you may have.


Debbie Semonich 

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Go Organic when you Shop!  


Sign up for a NOFA credit card through Capital One 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.

Linda Goldsmith
Gleanings Editor