CT NOFA eNewsletter
July 3, 2007
v.3 no.6

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Ashley Kremser picture

NOFA Organic Land Care Program announces a new Program Manager

The NOFA Organic Land Care Program is pleased to announce the addition of Ashley Kremser to its staff as Program Manager.  The seven-year-old NOFA Program is a collaboration of the Connecticut and Massachusetts chapters of the Northeast Organic Farming Association.  It is the nation’s leading organic educational and accreditation program for land care professionals. 

Originally from San Juan, PR, Ashley moved to Bronxville, NY in 1997 to attend Sarah Lawrence College, graduating with a B.A. in Social Sciences. Ashley has been involved with a variety of non-profit organizations and worked for a number of years with the Connecticut Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (CT ACORN) where she was a community organizer. Ashley is fluent in Spanish, currently resides in New Haven, CT and volunteers for CitySeed at their farmers' market in Wooster Square.

NOFA’s new Program Manager will serve as the central communication point for the Organic Land Care Program, respond to inquiries, and run the day-to-day operations of the program.  Ashley will also be responsible for the organic land care accreditation course in Connecticut and for bringing the NOFA courses and program to other states.  The accreditation course will be also be offered next winter in Massachusetts (coordinated by Kathy  Litchfield) and Rhode Island (coordinated by Frank Crandall).  In its six years, the course has educated over 500 professionals.  Of these, 275 from 11 states are currently NOFA Accredited Organic Land Care Professionals.  A list of these professionals and more information about the course and program can be found at www.organiclandcare.net. Ashley will be playing a major role in the coordination of the upcoming NOFA Lawn and Turf Course.  

For more information please contact Ashley Kremser or Bill Duesing, CT NOFA Executive Director,  at ctnofa@ctnofa.org or at (203) 888-5146.

In this Issue:

Upcoming CT NOFA Events
August 5, 2007 - Year Round Farming on a Low Budget, Ledyard, CT
August 10 to 12- NOFA Summer Conference, Amherst, MA
August 16, 2007- NOFA Organic Lawn and Turf Course, Manchester, CT
September 9, 2007 - Taste! Organic Connecticut, Topmost Herb Farm, Coventry, CT

November 3, 2007 - Organic Harvest Celebration and Annual Meeting, New Haven, CT

Other Upcoming Events
August 1-Plant Science Day 2007 at The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station at the research farm, Lockwood Farm, in Hamden, CT
Women in Food & Farming
NODPA (Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance) Field Days, August 17 - 18
NOFA MASS Pasture Walks
Honeybee Class
2nd National Conference on Facilitating Sustainable Agriculture Education, July 11-14, 2007

Community Board
Hamden Farmers' Market
Manchester Farmers' Market
Food Safety Courses
The Natural Farmer Needs Your Help!
NOFA Website hosts NOFA Interstate Farmer to Farmer Exchange
Volunteer for CT NOFA
Work for CT NOFA

Connecticut News and Stories
CT passes pesticide ban for school grounds
Synthetic Athletic Field Installation Moratorium
Invasive plant legislation in Connecticut

National and International News and Stories
Stop the agrofuel craze!
Locally Grown Foods Niche Cooks Up at $5 Billion as America Chows Down on Fresh!
Maine Passes Phosphorus Fertilizer Ban

Other Items of Interest
Organic Farmer¹s Market Cuisine cooking class
New England Small Farm Institute
Farm Energy Search Tool
Organic Mom Magazine

Upcoming CT NOFA Events

August 5, 2007
Year Round Farming on a Low Budget

An Educational and Culinary Event  
 "Year round farming on a low budget" is the theme of an educational and culinary event to be held on Aiki Farm in Ledyard on Sunday, August 5, 2007, from 11 to 4.  The event, co-sponsored by Aiki Farm and CT NOFA will involve a tour and demonstration of Aiki Farm¹s sprouting operation that provides nutritious food and income all year, and of the composting and biointensive vegetable production areas that produce vegetables in season.  The sprouts, including pea shoots, corn, buckwheat and sunflower sprouts and the vegetables are sold to restaurants, markets and at a farmers' market.
Farmer Robert Burns has operated Aiki Farm in Ledyard for 5 years.  From 11 to 2, he will teach attendees the way he grows a variety of sprouts, also including lentils and wheatgrass, for retail sales and for sale to chefs.
At 2 pm, chefs from area restaurants and markets including Water Street Café, Go Fish, Riverwalk, Flood Tide and Blue Door Restaurants, Puritan and Genesta Natural Foods, the Willimantic Food Coop and Noank Universal store will offer delicious samples of their food using produce from the farm.
Robert Burns sells his farm's produce to five restaurants, three markets and a farmers market. He studied bio-intensive agriculture with John Jeavons who wrote "How to Grow more Vegetables".   He uses organic and bio-intensive techniques and has signed the Farmer¹s Pledge.
There is a charge of $30 for the educational program and the food and $10 to attend just the educational program. Purchase tickets before July 20 for only $25. This event will benefit CT NOFA, the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Connecticut and is part of its farmer education program.
For tickets or more information, contact Aiki Farm at 860-536-6407 or CT NOFA at 203-888-5146 or www.ctnofa.org

August 10 to 12, 2007

NOFA Summer Conference - Amherst, MA. Early bird registration ends July 9th. Pre-register now!

August 16, 2007
NOFA Organic Lawn and Turf Course - Manchester Community College, Manchester, CT. Details here.

September 9, 2007
Taste! Organic Connecticut - Topmost Herb Farm, Coventry, CT. Learn more here.

November 3, 2007
Organic Harvest Celebration and Annual Meeting - Jones Auditorium at the CT Agricultural Experiment Station in New Haven, CT.

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Other Upcoming Events

August 1- Plant Science Day 2007 at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station research farm, Lockwood Farm, in Hamden, CT. CT NOFA will have a booth at this event. For upcoming details and information about pesticide credits, check their site.

Women in Food & Farming: A Program Series Celebrating Northeast Farms and the Women Who Sustain Them. This series of discussions brings an incredible group of women at Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture in Pocantico Hills, NY 10591 this month. Farmers from places as close as up the road and as far as Northern New York & Vermont will join us to tell stories about how and why they came to farming, as well as share presentations about their varied and beautiful properties. Several CT NOFA friends and members are involved - Annie Farrell, Melina Shannon-DiPietro and Sherri Brooks Vinton.  Karma Glos wrote the the NOFA Poultry Handbook. For more information on dates and times, check here.

NODPA (Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance) Field Days, August 17 - 18
Hosted by Rick Segalla and Morvan Allen
East Canaan, CT
Click here for more information

NOFA Mass Pasture Walks:
for more information, go to their site

Honeybee Class - Once again, this summer we will be doing a day of honeybee classes in Southbury, CT on Saturday July 14th.  I am attaching a flyer in the hopes that you
can pass on the info to people who might be interested.  Our website is not yet updated but should be by next week. 
Bee Happy,  Grai

2nd National Conference on Facilitating Sustainable Agriculture Education, July 11-14, 2007

Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. To learn more, check out their site.

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Community Board

Hamden Farmers' Market: The Spring Glen Church, UCC in Hamden (1825 Whitney Avenue) is hosting a farmers' market beginning this summer. There are 3 NOFA members participating (Northfordy Farm, Two Guys from Woodbridge, and Starlight Gardens).  The market is Tuesdays, 9 am to 1 pm, beginning July 10 and running through October 30.   For more information, contact Gwen Nagy-Benson, Market Manager at 203- 281-1529

Manchester Community Farmer's Market
: Supporting local farmers and artisans
This community market will be open to the public weekly until October 31. Items such as fresh vegetables, fruits, herbs, honey, goat's milk and goat's cheese will be available. There will also be artisan creations such as hand made soaps, jewelry, and handbags Location: Village Courtyard, Manchester Community College From I-84 East or West take Exit 59 to I-384 East, Take Exit 1 and follow the signs to the college campus. Vendors welcome! Join us each Wednesday from 2p.m. to 5p.m. E-mail mccfarmersmarket@hotmail.com Our contact number is 512-2708

Food Safety Courses:
What You Don't Know CAN Hurt You - A Look at What's Hidden in Your Food and How It Affects Human Health, Agriculture, and the environment
Recently, food safety issues have been headline news -- E. coli in spinach, Salmonella in peanut butter, and tainted pet food -- fed to 20 million chickens.  Approximately 70 - 75 percent of processed foods contain genetically modified ingredients, without the proper labels to inform consumers.  This poses significant risk to children, as their bodies are still developing.  Awareness is the first step toward change.
Using a "film and group discussion" format, controversial topics such as genetic engineering in food, the use of growth hormones (rBGH) and antibiotics in meat and dairy products, and problematic practices in the meat industry will be examined.  Learn which products to avoid, while discovering food and shopping alternatives to protect your family.
Phone:  860-404-0290
8 sessions:  9/25 - 11/13
Tuesdays,  6:30 - 8:30 PM
Phone:  860-343-6044
8 sessions:  9/19 - 11/14 (no class on 10/31)
Wednesdays,  6:30 - 8:30 PM

The Natural Farmer Needs Your Help!
Dear NOFA friends,
We are writing about the next four issues of the Natural Farmer. The fall issue is going to be about Climate Change and Agriculture. For this issue we need contact info for people who are:
* actively studying the impact of climate change on growing practices
* experimenting with cultural practices on the farm to ameliorate its impacts
* developing products to sell that involve appropriate technologies for meeting its challenges
* organizing folks to take appropriate action to slow it
* developing consumer/farmer connections to promote local economies
* supporting reforestation projects and other earth healing work
* availing themselves of carbon credits
So there are our ideas. If you are interested in writing one of these articles or know of good resource people in your chapter or elsewhere that you can suggest to us, we would appreciate hearing from you as soon as possible.

Do you know of appropriate books on the topic that are worth reviewing? Articles are due on July 31 for a September1 publication/mailing date.
Upcoming issues for which we would also appreciate a response:
Winter 07-08: Labor on Organic Farms
Spring 08: Manure in Organic Ag
Summer 08: On-line Marketing
This is the time of year that Jack does summer interviews for a year ahead because it is a good time of year for pictures.
 For the Labor Issue (winter 07-08) we would like to write about creative practices that farmers have used to deal with their labor needs.
* Apprenticeships and apprentice programs
* Community service and rehab programs
* Sustainable Family labor arrangements
* Immigrant and migrant labor
* Local teens and short term seasonal
* Encouraging long term labor relationships on your farm with key and valuable people
* Meeting needs for specialized skills (machine maintenance, staff management, fiscal/legal, marketing)
* Alternative compensation arrangements
* School, community and college programs
* Utilizing training programs and skill building opportunities
* Retaining labor on your farm
* Appropriate pay structure/legal requirements
For the Manure Issue (Spring 2008) we would like to discuss:
* The impact on farming of USDA certification vis a vis manure use (90 and 120 day rule)
* Problems based on manure management with neighbors or town officials
* Good techniques for storing and composting manure ­ for best fertility results, for best environmental practices
* The pros and cons of the use of non-organic manure on certified organic farms
* The various benefits and characteristics of each kind of animal manure
* Case studies of use of manure as an energy source (bio-digesters, etc.)
* Comparison of American manure use practices with that in Third World countries
* On farm businesses based on composting of animal (particularly bovine) manure
* A scientific explication of manure and why it is such a good aid to fertility
For On-line Marketing (Summer 2008)
We would like to interview organic growers who have been successful at it
  *Computer skills necessary for it
· *Best shipping companies, packaging companies
· *Dealing with perishable items
· *Website development and creative website enhancements
· *Book reviews on the topic
Finally, let us know what topics you would like the TNF to cover in the future. Thanks as always for making this paper happen. Send your ideas to jack@mhof.net
The Natural Farmer
Jack Kittredge and Julie Rawson
411Sheldon Road
Barre,  MA 01005
(978) 355-2853

NOFA Website hosts NOFA Interstate Farmer to Farmer Exchange
A free forum for the exchange of information, products and services. Go to http://www.nofa.org/exchange/index.php to see job postings and follow the links at the bottom to post your own job announcement.

Volunteer for CT NOFA

  • CT NOFA Event Help:
    Next CT NOFA event is the Lawn and Turf Course on August 16th. Working members pay only $20 a year if they commit to volunteering at CT NOFA events for 5 hours. Find out more here. Contact Deb Legge for more information at deb@ctnofa.org
  • News Watch: Reads the newspapers, watches TV and listens to the radio for mention of CT NOFA or its members. Clips articles and records shows and archives them. Formatting to digital files would be ideal for website and permanent saving. This can be done by the same or different volunteer. Contact Deb Legge for more information at deb@ctnofa.org
  • Volunteer outreach coordinator Research events that we can display at, Contact them for permission to display, Develop outreach materials Go to events or help schedule other volunteers to go to event. Contact Deb Legge for more information at deb@ctnofa.org
  • Reporter Goes to CT NOFA events with camera and takes pictures, Gets people’s names that are in pictures and permission to use pictures, Writes stories for Gleanings/ press releases/ website. Contact Deb Legge for more information at deb@ctnofa.org
  • Distribution Coordinator: Annual guide distribution - April through July - coordinates other volunteers statewide. Periodic checking in of distribution points to see if they need more materials. Contact Deb Legge for more information at deb@ctnofa.org
  • Join a committee:
    Taste! Organic Connecticut - contact Jim Roby at jroby7088@sbcglobal.net
    Fundraising - contact Janet Heller at janet.heller@snet.net
    Organic Land Care - contact Kim Stoner at kimberly.stoner@po.state.ct.us

Work for CT NOFA
No current job opportunities

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Connecticut News and Stories

CT passes pesticide ban for school grounds -
to see the bill that becomes effective October 1, 2007, click here.

Synthetic Athletic Field Installation Moratorium
: Environment and Human Health, Inc. (EHHI) is recommending a moratorium on installing any new synthetic fields until testing has been completed. Read more here.

Invasive plant legislation in Connecticut: Bill No. 1500 - June Special Session
Section relating to Invasive Plants:
Sec. 8. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2007) There is established an account known as the invasive species detection and control account, which shall be a separate, nonlapsing account within the Conservation Fund. Said account shall contain any moneys required by law to be deposited therein. Moneys in the account shall be expended by the Commissioner of Environmental Protection for the purposes of controlling invasive species, including, but not limited to, employing an invasive species coordinator, developing an early detection and rapid response policy, educating the public regarding invasive species, funding Department of Agriculture and Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station inspectors and making grants to municipalities for the control of invasive species on publicly accessible land and waters.

From the Connecticut Nursery and Landscape Association June 29, 2007 Update:  THERE'S MONEY FOR INVASIVES & VO-AG SCHOOLS IN THE NEW $36 BILLION TWO-YEAR STATE BUDGET. The Connecticut General Assembly passed the budget this week with the first-ever $1 million funding for invasives as a line item.

National and International News and Stories

Stop the agrofuel craze!
This is a respected publication that looks at the full range of problems with biofuels, which they rather call agrofuels. Apparently the corn it takes to fill one 25 gallon tank with ethanol would feed a person for a year! Check this out to learn more.

Locally Grown Foods Niche Cooks Up at $5 Billion as America Chows Down on Fresh! To view the article, click here.

Maine Passes Phosphorus Fertilizer Ban - read more here.

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Other Items of Interest

Organic Farmer¹s Market Cuisine cooking class - being offered at the CCI Suffield campus in September. For more information, contact:  

Recreational Cooking Class Coordinator
Connecticut Culinary Institute
85  Sigourney Street
Hartford,  CT 06105
(860) 895-6100
Check here to download the hobby class schedule.

New England Small Farm Institute - This is the website of the New England Small Farms Institute, which has been going for almost 30 years!   Use the Small Farm Library button on the left, then click on On-Line Catalog - that will bring you to a searchable page - quite a few beef and chicken pubs/resources.

Farm Energy Search Tool - the National Center for Appropriate Technology has created a handy "one-stop shopping" search tool for farms and ranches interested in funding and building renewable energy projects, reducing energy costs, and becoming more energy self-sufficient. For more information, check here

Organic Mom Magazine - A new environmental magazine, made by NOFA Mass members, is working to educate the public about why they should buy local and other issues related to sustainability. The Organic Mom Magazine is a non-profit based in Massachusetts; net proceeds go to environmental education and hunger relief.  The Organic Mom has created a community forum where the work of prominent environmentalists appears along side the insights of local people of all ages.  Beautiful nature photography, feel-good environmental essays and poetry provide information in a low key and unsensational way.  Also included are recipes, book and movie reviews, high lights of local community events and articles for parents. Visit their site.

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To post an organic-related job, go to: http://www.nofa.org/exchange/submit.php

PO Box 164 Stevenson, CT 06491

phone: (203) 888-5146 fax: (203) 888-9280


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