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In This Issue
Bulk Order Opens January 1
CT NOFA's Organic Advocate
Board Members Sought
News, Announcements, and Alerts
Growing and Learning
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From the Director
Happy New Year

CT NOFA Friends,

Best wishes to all of you for a happy and healthy 2014!

A key ingredient of our good health is the healthy food we eat thanks to our USDA Certified Organic and CT NOFA Farmer's Pledge farmers and our own sustainable gardens. And the 2014 growing season kicks off TODAY with the start of the bulk order that we partner on with NOFA/MASS.

The bulk order prices are terrific and are even better with a 10 % discount for CT NOFA members. If you are not already a CT NOFA member click here to join. To place your bulk order, click here to order seeds, fertilizers, mineral amendments, compost, potting soil, and more. You'll be able to pick up your order at High Hill Orchard in Meriden - a CT NOFA Farmer's Pledge farm, where Wayne Young has been a CT NOFA member since 1996.

While we get ready to sow our first seeds, we are busier than ever at the office preparing for our major winter educational events. We hope to see you at one or more of these events, and hope you pass the word along to friends and family. Our conferences and courses are not just great learning experiences, they also give us the opportunity to see one another and share experiences with each other:
Just as our personal health is the most important ingredient for our individual well-being, organizational health is the most important ingredient for the well-being of CT NOFA. Thankfully, we are entering 2014 on solid ground as an organization.

In 2013 we had many important victories for our mission as outlined in Bill Duesing's article below.

It was also an important year of transition in both board and staff leadership, and we have come through it even stronger than we were before. We had our challenges, but concluded the year having accomplished much and with plans for an exciting 2014.

Thank you for all you do to support CT NOFA and keep our organization growing.

Happy seed ordering and we look forward to seeing you soon in the new year,
Eileen Hochberg
Executive Director
Bulk Order Opens January 1
CT NOFA Members get a discount  

Open for one month

How do you participate? Click here.

Where do I pick up my order? At High Hill Orchard in Meriden and other sites throughout MA and RI. 
From CT NOFA's Organic Advocate

GMO Report and our Successes
By Bill Duesing
Above: Some of the people who got GMO Labeling passed in Connecticut, just after it was announced that the Senate version would be passed in the House and signed by the Governor.
Our organizing work has paid off with the first GMO labeling law in the country, with FDA's admission of problems with the very flawed rules for the Food Safety Modernization Act and with the possibility of the Supreme Court hearing the case against Monsanto brought by the Organic Seed Growers and Traders Association et al, including CT NOFA. 

Connecticut is the first state in the nation to have a law requiring labeling of GMOs.  The first state!  That "Still Revolutionary" slogan is apt. This success made a number of top ten lists in the food world.

CT NOFA was an important partner in making that happen.

~ More

CT NOFA Events


Getting Started in Organic Farming Conference

Click here to register

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Bad weather date: January 19

Goodwin College

East Hartford, CT


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.


Want to Get More Involved with CT NOFA?

CT NOFA Board Members Sought!
CT NOFA is looking for board members with a variety of skills, including technology, fundraising, marketing and finance.

The Board members will:
  • Attend in-person meetings approximately every other month
  • Participate in conference call meetings on the alternate months
  • Participate in or chair the appropriate committee of the Board, with separate meetings for this committee
  • Attend CT NOFA events, have fun, eat great food and advocate for local, organic food and organic land care

Please contact Debra Sloane, Vice-President of the CT NOFA Board. 
You can learn more about the current CT NOFA board here.
News, Announcements and Alerts

Sow It Forward Food Garden Grants:
Application Deadline January 5th
There are no geographic restrictions as to which groups can apply.
~ More

GO NOFA Forum prizes for students with plans for changing the food system!
Drawing entries from across all disciplines within US universities, the competition is seeking students to develop innovative plans to address social and agricultural challenges within food systems, improving the standard of living and quality of life for the world's population, with $215,000 in prize money.
~ More

A Vision for The Future of Shellfish in Connecticut
Monday, February 24, 2014 
9:00 am - 6:00 pm 
Courtyard Marriott, Shelton, Connecticut 
~ More 

Organic Farmers Bash FDA Restrictions On Manure Use
~ More

UConn Garden Master Classes (open to all) 

Classes require registration. Fee.

Gardening to Attract Birds. Tues. Jan 14. 1 - 3 pm. Fairfield County Extension Center, Bethel, CT

Terrarium Workshop, Weds. Jan 15. 10 am to noon, New Haven County Extension Center, North Haven, CT 

~ More

Think Before You Drink!
Unregulated Chemicals Found in Drinking Water
~ More

Natural Label Should Not Include GMO Foods
~ More

School Garden Network News 

Growing and Learning



New Book Integrates the Classroom and the Garden

Books in Bloom by Valerie Bang-Jensen and Mark Lubkowitz, is a new resource for educators that offers a curriculum which explores the interconnectedness of nature through literature and botany.  Each chapter features a popular children's book and includes lesson plans, hands-on activities, and related readings, as well as connections to Common Core State Standards.   Suitable for grades pre-K through 5, the book is published by Gardening With Kids, an arm of the National Gardening Association, which provides funding and resources for gardening programs in schools and communities.


You can see an interview with the authors, pre-order the book, and download a free sample lesson plan here.




G.I.V.E. Keeps Going Despite End of Gardening Season 
G.I.V.E (Green Initiative for Vegetables in Education) hasn't stopped their work in Stamford-area schools just because the gardening season has ended. After getting the school garden beds cleaned up and prepped for the upcoming cold season, G.I.V.E.'s winter activities revolve around cooking with vegetables, mindful of the ones they grew in their school gardens. Recently they worked with students at Dolan Middle School to prepare, cook and enjoy a meal together. Visit the G.I.V.E. website for more on this project and all the other great work they do in the Stamford-area schools.  
January Webinars:
Tools to Create Social Change Through Youth Farming and Gardening is hosting a webinar, Tools to Create Social Change Through Youth Farming and Gardening, on Tuesday, January 7th at 4:00pm. The presenters are Greg Gale, Associate Director of Programs, VISIONS and Training Consultant, The Food Project, and Johanna Gilligan, Founder and Executive Director, Grow Dat Youth Farm.  Farm- and garden-based learning serve as ideal environments for students of all ages to learn self-awareness, and tackle issues around diversity, oppression and equity.  Register to join for free to view the webinar.  Check out their school garden community as well while you are there; it offers resources and communication with others involved in school gardens. 


Best Practices for 21st-Century Problem Solvers
Greening Forward presents this webinar featuring best practices for 21st-century environmental problem solvers on Tuesday, January 7, 2014 at 6:00pm.  Presented by students, including a 10-year-old and a 12-year-old, the webinar discusses ways youth can create meaningful change in environmental areas.  Adults are welcome to attend to learn more about how the co-presenters leveraged effective adult-youth partnerships.  Register here.

Muhammad Ali Center Peace Garden Grant
In an effort to help schools sow the seeds of respect, the Muhammad Ali Center Peace Garden Grant is designed to teach lessons of peace and hunger awareness through garden activities. As a global initiative, national and international youth gardening programs are eligible to participate.  Application deadline is January 17, 2014.  Details and registration info can be found here.

Workshop for Educators:  Cycles Through the Garden
A professional development workshop for educators grade levels 1-10 will take place at Earthplace in Westport, CT, on January 24, 2014.  The workshop is hands-on, using the Project Food, Land and People (FLP) educational curriculum.  Join in on a day of illustrated use of integrated teaching for science, math, and language arts using school garden.  For more information and registration details contact

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