top
January, 2012 
logo header
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.]
In This Issue
From the ED
Events
Spotlight
Announcements & Alerts
In the News
GMO Activist Program
Featured Members
Winter Food Project
From our Blog
Your Favorite Tool
Community Board
Volunteer With Us!
Go Organic when you Shop!
blog_logo_gif

Join Our Mailing List

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

View our photos on flickr
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!
back to CT NOFA home
From the Executive Director

bill duesingDear friends,

What exciting, and challenging, times we're in.

We need to get real serious, real soon, about learning to live in ways which demand many fewer resources and which restore ecosystems and ecological functions. Organic care of the land and local organic food are important to that effort. Very important, likely critical to it. And more and more people recognize that.

Almost every day I talk to someone who is just starting to farm, or looking for a farm or farming opportunity. There is so much talent and enthusiasm in the next generation of farmers. If we want good food and a sustainable food system, we need to find ways to get these farmers connected with the land in a way that produces a good living - a return that reflects the critical work they are doing.

Food is our most important energy source. We need to put the kinds of resources into this effort that show we know that feeding ourselves sustainably is one of our most important goals.

CT NOFA is embarking on a three year project to nourish beginning farmers, (with less than 10 years experience) with support and connections. Land which isn't growing food needs to be cared for in ways which restore ecosystems. The NOFA Standards for Organic Land Care are THE standard for that care. Organizations as diverse as Groundwork Lawrence in Massachusetts, Three Rivers Community College in Norwich, CT and Rutgers University in New Jersey want to offer our NOFA Accreditation in Organic Land Care through their programs. A colleague described being in our line of work at this time as like "being in front of a stampeding herd of buffalo."

Thanks to those readers who have joined, volunteered for and/or contributed to CT NOFA this year.

Your support is critical. If you haven't joined or contributed yet, there is still time this year. See the whole Annual Appeal here. Click here to join. Here to donate. Or send it to:

PO Box 164
Stevenson, CT06491

I hope you had wonderful holidays with family and friends. Best wishes for a happy New Year. We appreciate your interest and support.
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.

 

There will be over 40 educational workshops offered. Take a peek at a few:

-Organic Seed vs. Monsanto: The Lawsuit Challenging -Patents on Seed - Attorney Daniel Ravicher, NYC

-Certified Organic Nutrient Dense Small Fruit  - Julie Rawson

  & Jack Kitteredge,  Many Hands Organic Farm, MA

-Wild Bees and Pollination - Dr. Kim Stoner of CT Ag Experiment

  Station

-Root Cellars & Food Storage - Chris Chaisson, Whole Farm

  Services, VT

-Nitrogen Management on Farms - Tom Morris, UConn Plant

  Scientist

-Science and Principles of Soil Microbiology - Joe Maggazi,

  Green Earth Agriculture

-Chickens - Brianne Casadei, Exec. Director Terra Firma Farm

-Better Choices in Rx, Cosmetics, Household Products - 

  Valerie Cookson-Botto

-Raising Garlic - Farmer Wayne Hansen, Wayne's Organic

  Gardens

-Honey Bees - Marina Marchese, Red Bee Honey

-Mushroom Growing on a Small Scale - Carol Brzozowy & Jim

  Peppin, Maggie's Farm

-Public Act 490 - Joan Nichols, CT Farm Bureau.   

 

There will be specific tracks for beginning farmers, growers, and eaters. 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.

 

We'd like you to be part of this big day.  Learn more about the Winter Conference here.   

 

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

   

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

 

Our Other Upcoming Events

2012 Getting Started in Organic Farming Conference

Saturday, January 28
CT Forest and Park Association
Rockfall, CT      

Worcester, MA
January 9-13, 2012
(Snow Date: January 15)

New Haven, CT
February 15-17, and 21-22, 2012
(Snow Date:  February 23, 2012)

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.  

 

Events Where we will be Tabling 

 

CT Nursery and Landscape Association Winter Symposium and Expo

 January 4-5, 2012 

Manchester Community College

Manchester, CT

 

NY Turf and Landscape Conference

January 11, 2012

White Plains, NY

 

RI Nursery and Landscape Annual Winter Meeting

 January 24-25, 2012

Warwick, RI

 

CT Groundskeepers Association 2012 Turf Conference 

January 24, 2012

Cromwell, CT

 

New England Grows

February 1-3, 2012

Boston, MA

 

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

For other area events check our our events listing page.

Spotlight 

   

Farmer and seed expert Bryan O'Hara was featured in the newest edition of the Natural Farmer, NOFA's quarterly newspaper.  In his article, Bryan describes his thought process behind selective breeding, seed saving, and soil fertility in relation to his farm, Tobacco Road Farm.  He writes a particularly compelling segment on the relationship between a crop's natural growth cycle and the proliferation of beneficial insects: "Seed production

Bryan O'Hara at Tobacco Road Farm

has...resulted in an increase in beneficial insects and therefore a reduction in insect pests.  This occurs because the production cycle of crops to seed often results in a food source and habitat for these insects...This relationship of the crop's full growth cycle providing both the necessary habitat and nectar source for the proliferation of the appropriate beneficial insects led to a new understanding of crop production."   

 

Become a NOFA member to receive a free copy of the Natural Farmer every quarter - join here.  Join today and we'll also retroactively send you the current edition of the newspaper, complete with a supplement on organic seeds.  If you'd like to receive the Natural Farmer independent of becoming a member, you can subscribe here.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

A Great Day at the Annual Gathering   

 

The Organic Land Care Program's Annual Gathering, Trees: Landscaping for Future Generations was on December 6th, 2011. We had an engaging lineup of ecologists, landscape architects, tree care professionals, and forest pathologists.  

 

Peter Wild, CEO of Arborjet Inc. and Todd Harrington, an OLC Committee Member, started off the day by speaking about pioneering the organic tree care trend when nobody was listening. Our keynote, Tom Wessels, followed. Tom discuss

 
Keynote Tom Wessels 

ed scientific principles, mainly entropy and the law of self-organization to discuss how these principles govern nature and have supported life on earth for billions of years. He then discussed how these ideas can support human systems, (in order to stop endangering all the other life on earth) citing Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations to discuss the limits of economic growth. Diane Devore discussed the arranging of trees in landscaping, incorporating natives along the periphery of properties. Diane explained that a large element of organic landscaping is thinking about the landscape in 50 years, and planting trees for that landscape. Dr. Claire Rutledge updated the audience on the Emerald Ash Borer's spread throughout the United States and what it means for New England forests and trees in residential areas. Dr. Kevin Smith discussed tree care based on the biology of trees, and then how tree disease disrupts the bark or trunk of the tree, and how some trees are able to protect themselves from diseases while others are more vulnerable. Dr. Bob Marra followed up on this explanation of tree health and care with a description of a new technology called Tomography used to measure the internal decay of wood. Dr. Jim Conroy and Basia Alexander described some

Panel discussion

more spiritual approaches to tree healing, specifically their work Tree Whispering. We closed out the day with a panel presenting business solutions for organic land care providers to keep businesses profitable in the recession. Our panelists were Todd Harrington, Aiken Tompkins and Mike Nadeau.

 

Overall it was a good day; we hope our attendees came away from the presentations with some insight on tree science and some new ideas about organic tree care! Here are more wonderful resources on trees and tree care: Tree Owner's Manual for the Northeastern and Midwestern United States.  Urban Tree Selection Manual. A Guide for Selecting Trees for the Urban Environment. University of CT, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Connecticut Tree Laws. We have just a few copies of this book are in our office, offered at no cost. Contact Clara to order.     

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

IC Council retreat - Bettylou Sandy pictured in middle back row; Bill Duesing shown second from left in middle row.

NOFA Interstate Council Retreat 

CT NOFA Vice President Bettylou Sandy and Executive Director Bill Duesing represented Connecticut at the NOFA Interstate Council retreat earlier in December.  During the retreat, the council discussed support for beginning farmers, NOFA's response to agriculture and climate change, agricultural justice, and helping farmers who have been affected by recent climate disasters.  

   

Announcements & Alerts 

 

Join us!
We're are looking for a congenial, cat-tolerant part-time bookkeeper here at the CT NOFA office in Oxford, CT. Please email Deb for details.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

2012 2011 farm and food guide cover Farm and Food Guide
We're getting a head start on next 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.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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! 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A Proposal For Growing Connecticut Farms, Food, and Jobs by the Farms, Food, and Jobs Working Group
This proposal is intended to inform food system advocacy, elevate opportunities in community food initiatives, and guide research on food systems in the region, as well as to provide stakeholder input to the Governor's Council for Agricultural Development (Public Act 11-189). The Council's charge includes making recommendations on ways to increase the percentage of consumer dollars spent on Connecticut-grown fresh produce and farm products.  Check out the proposal here

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 

Sustainable Food Service Management Course 

Manchester Community College (CT) is promoting a brand new course offering Sustainable Food Service Management designed by John Turenne, founder of Sustainable Food Systems, LLC.   

 

This course, one of the first of its kind in the nation, will be taught by John Turenne and assisted by Molly Devanney and will provide managers of restaurants, business cafeterias and school foodservice operations with the tools and techniques to become proficient in turning food programs into sustainable enterprises.  

 

Thursdays, 4 p.m.-6:50 p.m.  

January 19-May 14, 2012
3 credits; $466 plus course materials

 

To register or for additional information, contact Jayne Pearson

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

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 .

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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.

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Announces Signup Period for Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) 
USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced that the ranking period cutoff date for the CSP is January 13, 2012. CSP provides many conservation benefits including improvement of water and soil quality, wildlife habitat enhancements, and adoption of conservation activities that address the effects of climate change.  Eligible lands include cropland, pastureland, rangeland, nonindustrial private forest land, and agricultural land under the jurisdiction of an Indian tribe.

To view a CSP self-screening checklist to determine if the CSP is suitable for your operation, click here.  For more information, contact your nearest USDA field office: Danielson - 860.779.0557, Hamden - 203.287.8038, Norwich - 860.887.3604, Torrington - 860.626.8258, Windsor - 860.688.7725 
 
In the News

Keep Claire and Frank Criscuolo in Your Thoughts
Frank and Claire Criscuolo
Frank Criscuolo, co-owner of Claire's Corner Copia and Basta Trattoria in New Haven, and the husband of one of our members, Claire Criscuolo, died on 12/14/11 at the age of 62.  As New Haven's Mayor John DeStefano so eloquently put it, "Through his successful restaurants, his dedication to the public schools, and his support for the greater New Haven community, Frank was an embodiment of what it means to nourish both the body and the soul." Frank was truly an amazing person, and he will be greatly missed.  All of us here at CT NOFA offer Claire our deepest condolences, and want to recognize and thank Claire for all the wonderful collaborative work she has done with us over the years. Both she and Frank have been so willing to help us in the past, so please keep them in your thoughts during this time of need.

Read more about Frank and Claire and everything they have done for the community here.

You can also view the menu Claire and Frank generously provided for one of our CT NOFA fundraisers here.
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

260-acre Tulmeadow Farm in Simsbury protected 

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental

Tulmeadow Farm

Protection (DEEP), the U.S. Forest Service, the Simsbury Land Trust (SLT) and Town of Simsbury have announced completion of a Forest Legacy Conservation Easement on 73-acres of Tulmeadow Farm, Simsbury.  The easement, acquired for $2.8 million, is the final phase of an effort to protect 260 acres of farmland and working forest through a series of conservation easements. Read more here.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 


Connecticut Farmland Trust preserves Lebanon farm 
Lebanon - The 32-acre Skaats Farm at 420 Clubhouse Road has been preserved by the Connecticut Farmland Trust in conjunction with the Natural Resource Conservation Service's Farm and Ranchland Protection Program.

Documents were signed this week that ensure there will be no future development at the farm, a mix of woodland and field that is currently being leased by a local dairy farmer. Read more here.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Jill Keating recognized as the 2011 Farm-Based Educator of the Year
On November 5, Common Ground High School's Jill Keating was recognized as the Farm-Based Education Conference's Farm-Based Educator of the Year.  Her invaluable work both with the school curriculum and with Common Ground's school-year and summer camp programs made Jill really stand out as an excellent candidate for the award.  Check out the full article here.  Learn more about the Farm-Based Education Association here.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Get Involved!  Support the Local Farms, Food, and Jobs Act  The Local Farms, Food, and Jobs Act will improve federal farm bill programs that support local and regional farm and food systems. This legislation will help farmers and ranchers engaged in local and regional agriculture by addressing production, aggregation, processing, marketing, and distribution needs and will also assist consumers by improving access to healthy food and direct and retail markets.  And of utmost importance, this legislation will provide more secure funding for critically important programs that support family farms, expand new farming opportunities, and invest in the local agriculture economy.  CT NOFA was one of the organizations in Connecticut that signed on to fully endorse the bill.  Learn more about the bill and how you can get involved here.

GMO Activist Program

Calling all GMO Activists!
 
Rep. Roy

Back in July the USDA announced its decision to not regulate a "Roundup Ready" strain of Kentucky bluegrass. Scotts Miracle Gro, the grass seed developer, is now free to sell it anywhere. GMO grass seed will add to the tens of millions of acres of US farmland already covered with roundup-ready corn, soy and cotton. These crops have caused new resistant (also Roundup Ready) strains of "superweeds" to develop. The USDA has ruled that Roundup Ready Kentucky Bluegrass is legally the same as regular Kentucky Bluegrass. The FDA, similarly, has rejected mandatory labeling laws deciding that GMO foods are the same

 
Dan Ravicher

as non-GMO foods. The dangers of widespread GMO use - especially Round Up Ready strains, are laid out in this.

 

 
Jeffrey Smith, the Keynote at our upcoming Winter Conference on March 3

The Northeast Organic Farming Association Chapters have signed on as plaintiffs in a lawsuit against Monsanto to protect organic producers from the ramifications of GMO contamination. The NOFA Interstate Council, NOFA RI, NOFA-VT, NOFA-NY and CT NOFA have joined the Just Label It Campaign calling for mandatory labeling of GMO ingredients.

 

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.

 
 
Featured Members

Business Member - The Graduate Institute

171 Amity Road

Bethany, CT 06524 

 

203-874-4252

Email: cahill@learn.edu; brinkerhoff@learn.edu 

Website 

 

The Graduate Institute is an accredited, not-for-profit institution of higher education offering Masters degrees and Certificate programs in emerging fields of study. Founded in 1999, it is dedicated to creating learning environments that enable colleagues (i.e. students) to pursue their passions and affect changes in their lives and work. Its programs are designed to meet the intellectual and spiritual needs of contemporary thinkers on their paths of personal and professional evolution. New programs include the Certificate in Ecotherapy and Cultural Sustainability, which focuses on transforming humankinds' relationship to the natural world from one of indifference and exploitation to that of appreciation and partnership. A distinguished international faculty comprised of leading researchers, practitioners, and educators, facilitates interactive learning events at The Institute.   

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

Massaro Community Farm - Woodbridge, CT

Massaro Community Farm is a non profit farm on a 57 acre parcel of land in Woodbridge, Connecticut, 10 minutes northwest of New Haven. Their mission is to keep farming, feed people, and build community. Their vision is to enhance the quality of life for  generations to come.

Steve Munno, the Farm Manager, is originally from Long Island, and is a graduate of Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT.  After graduation in 2001, Steve's work in field science and wilderness skills education took him to California, where he lived for five years.  During this time, Steve began to hone his skills in agriculture.   Always a food lover, and a long time supporter of local farms, Steve found his work in the wilderness continually pointed to the importance of healthy food and the connections of healthy communities, and healthy land.  Inspired to be more involved with food and farming, he volunteered with a local farmer for two years, before enrolling in the UC Santa Cruz Apprenticeship in Ecological Horticulture.  Upon completion of this Apprenticeship, Steve stayed on for second year at UC Santa Cruz, serving as a teacher and assistant manager in a 2+ acre market garden growing a tremendous variety of vegetables, flowers, fruit and perennials.  He then returned to the east coast to work for The Food Project in Lincoln, MA.  Steve managed the greenhouse on this 30-acre farm, and helped provide for a 400-member CSA, supply food to farm stands in Boston, donate produce to hunger relief organizations and offer educational opportunities to youth and community of the greater Boston area.   Steve came to Massaro Farm in December of 2009.
 

Farmer Steve Munno, on "how I got into farming":

I have always been a food lover, and I discovered the importance of fresh, local food as I began to cook more while in college.   After graduating, I worked as an educator in field science and wilderness skills, started to support local farms, created my own garden, and volunteered with a farmer for a couple of years.   Eventually I began farming full time, as I found it to be a great fit for my love of food and wilderness, combined with my interest in work that is integral to creating and maintaining healthy land and healthy communities.  Before coming to Massaro Community Farm, I am very fortunate to have had great training and experience working and studying at UC Santa Cruz in the Apprenticeship in Ecological Horticulture, followed by work with The Food Project in Lincoln, MA. 

 
Visit Massaro Farm's website here to check out upcoming farm events, their CSA program, and membership information.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 

 

Featured Volunteers 

 
Tom and Joan Kemble at the 2011 NOFA Summer Conference.
 
In honor of CT NOFA's 30th anniversary year, over the next year, we'll be featuring some of the people whose volunteer work has been key to CT NOFA's success.

Joan and Tom Kemble farmed in Glastonbury and were involved with CT NOFA for a long time. Tom served for years as a board member and for some of those was a CT NOFA representative on the NOFA Interstate Council, serving as treasurer.

Joan took the lead for many years in the CT NOFA presence at Ag Day at the Capitol.

Tom and Joan operated Udderly Wooly Acres in Glastonbury, raising sheep and other animals, operating a pick your own raspberry enterprise and a CSA.  They opened their  Bed and Breakfast  to many keynote speakers for our conferences.

This year they sold their house and farm and moved to be near family in Madison, Wisconsin.  This quote from their Christmas Letter provides just a hint of their commitment political commitment- to democracy, music, justice, peace, single payer health care and the environment.   "We have landed in a cauldron of injustice here in Wisconsin; there is much to do. Unbelievable laws and rules being passed. We are helping with the petition drive to Recall the Governor, tabulating signatures each weekday after we join the Solidarity Singers for an hour in the Rotunda of the Capitol.  Tom is thrilled to be in a New Horizons Band for seniors, and is practicing for the upcoming concert." 

We miss them, but they do visit New England to see family and friends.

If you'd like to keep in touch, you can email them here, write them at 4217 School Rd. Madison, WI 53704 or call 860 796-8746.  Next year they will move next door to 4211 School Rd.  I'm sure they'd like to hear from CT NOFA friends.

Back to Top

Winter Food Project

This month's theme is Kale!  Kale is a versatile winter green that can be used in a variety of recipes, from beans to mashed potatoes.  Here are some recipes from some of our members:
 
Living kale in the garden
 















Dutch Kale Dish - From Johan van Achterberg, a longtime farmer and board member from Easton.  He writes that this was the way his mother made kale.

-Peel and boil 4 good size potatoes for mashing with some butter and milk; add salt before cooking.
-Remove the leaf part from the kale stem (about 12 stems) and shred the greens.  Cook the greens for about 15 to 20 minutes so it is tender.
-After draining the water add the kale to the mashed potatoes; mix well and season to taste.
-For real flavor fry bacon, cut into small pieces and add the bacon and some fat to the mix.
-Ring Belogna (PA Dutch) or sliced Kilbasa are a great supplement.
-For the best flavor kale should not be used until it has had some frost.

Kale and Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes - From Wild Carrot Farm LLC, a CT NOFA organic farm

For this recipe, be sure to wash the kale well - dirt and grit hides in the leaves.  Chop the kale finely to avoid floppiness in the potatoes, and avoid over mixing the kale into the potatoes as that will add a green tinge to the dish.  You can use either peeled or unpeeled potatoes for this recipe.

-3 lbs potatoes, cut into large chunks
-sea salt
-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
-4 cloves garlic, minced
-1 bunch kale, large stems stripped and discarded, leaves chopped
-1/2+ cup warm milk or cream
-freshly ground black pepper
-5 scallions, white and tender green parts, chopped
-1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan, for garnish (opt)
-fried shallots, for garnish (opt)

Put the potatoes in a large pot and cover with water.  Add a pinch of salt.  Bring the water to a boil and continue boiling for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan or skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the garlic, chopped kale, a big pinch of salt, and saute just until tender - about a minute.  Set aside.

Mash the potatoes with a potato masher or fork.  Slowly stir in the milk a few big splashes at a time.  You are after a thick creamy texture, so if your potatoes are on the dry side keep adding milk until the texture is right.  Season with salt and pepper.

Dump the kale on top of the potatoes and give a quick stir.  Transfer to a serving bowl, make a well in the center of the potatoes, and pour the remaining olive oil.  Sprinkle with the scallions, Parmesan cheese, and shallots.

Serves 6. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sharing Shares at the Office!


This winter some of our CT NOFA office staff have signed up for a winter CSA from High Hill Orchard in Meriden, CT.  You can find a CSA program, farmer's market, or farm near you by checking out our community farm page here.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The following articles relate to BPA, an endocrine disruptor, that has been found in many canned foods and plastics.  In the case of canned foods, BPA can be found in the liners many processing facilities use to line their cans and bottles during production.  The best way to avoid consuming BPA is to grow or buy local produce and store, dry, freeze or can it using glass jars whenever possible.

NY Times Article
Fox News Article

Back to Top
From our Blog


Your Favorite Tool

The AgBag.
This month's featured tool is the AgBag from the AgBag Project, a company that started in response to the large amount of plastic waste associated with today's agricultural system. The AgBag Project re-purposes drip irrigation into durable, functional, and stylish products. All AgBag products are hand woven to ensure quality as well as supply meaningful and creative jobs for people within the United States. Thanks for supporting products made sustainably.

Check out the AgBag Project here.

Have a favorite tool? Let us know - email us
Community Board       

 

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. 

We Need Your Help!

This 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.

Many thanks,

CT NOFA Staff

203-888-5146

ctnofa@ctnofa.org