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July 2011

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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Keep up with events, news and alerts with the daily CT NOFA blog
In this issue:
From the ED
Community Board
Guest Columnist
Legislative Alerts & Actions
New Business Members
In the News
Other Items of Interest


bill duesing

From the Executive Director





"What's Happening?"


My son-in-law Jim grew up in Brooklyn, NY.  He often greets me with "What's Happening?"


Here's (some of) what's happening with CT NOFA.


We sued Monsanto, gave notice of intending to sue the Obama administration and sent a letter to the head of the EPA.  Actually we joined suits brought by and signed onto letters with other non-profit organizations on behalf of our members. 


See Monsanto press release here.


See notice of intent to sue the Obama administration to protect bats.


See letter to EPA administrator Lisa Jackson asking her to act to enforce the EPA's statutory responsibility to protect human health and the natural world from toxic pesticides.


We also had a great fundraising party at Cricket Hill Garden in Thomaston, despite violent weather earlier in the evening.  (Reminders of climate change are never far away these days.)


cricket hill peonycricket hill event2  cricket hill event 
Read more>


CT NOFA & NOFA Events & Announcements     


City Farm & Garden Tour
Saturday, August 6, 2011
New Haven, CT
Order your tour booklet now! Only $15 until July 15th! And check out this virtual peak at what you'll see around New Haven on Facebook.

Permaculture Workshop
Monday, August 8, 2011
Center for Sustainable Living
Bethlehem, CT

On-Farm Workshop: Planning for the Fall & Winter Harvest
Monday, August 15, 2011
Massaro Farm
Woodbridge, CT

summer conference logo

NOFA Summer Conference
August 12-14, 2011
Amherst, MA

Looking to find ways of making the NOFA Summer Conference more affordable? Thanks to a grant from the USDA, Beginning Farmers (10 years or less) can apply for a Beginning Farmer Scholarship of $60, which will be applied to the Registration cost of the conference. Only NOFA and MOFGA members are eligible. Scholarship also requires a 2-hour volunteer shift at the conference, and a post-conference evaluation survey. Click here to apply for beginning farmer scholarships.


Additional On-Farm Workshops are being planned:  Winter crop storage, an orchard workshop, CSA planning and expansion.  We're always looking for topic suggestions and host farms, so email us with your ideas.

 Staff Updates


It's been a whirlwind of interviews, goodbyes and new staff at the office.  We wish RJ Mercede all the best as he moves on to a Habitat for Humanity build in Brazil, then on to his staff position with Public Allies in the Bridgeport office. We'll miss hearing about all his projects and home brewing experiments!

Kristiane pic
Kristiane Huber

Kristiane Huber is our new Event, Marketing and Outreach Coordinator. A very recent college graduate, Kristiane has jumped right in and been updating Facebook, the CT NOFA blog and organizing the upcoming Farm & Garden Tour in New Haven. She's also taken on a project to make more of a presence for us at farmers' markets around the state this summer, so perhaps you'll be seeing her at a CT NOFA table soon.

Elaine Lengyel
Elaine Lengyel

And our newest addition is Elaine Lengyel, the Organic Land Care Program Director. This from her introduction to the OLC committee members: "While I'm new to the organization, I've had a personal interest in NOFA's mission since moving to CT several years ago and adopting more intentional, sustainable practices.  I've enjoyed gardening organically and recently completed CT NOFA's Beginning Women Farmers Whole Farm Planning program.  It's been so beneficial to be on the receiving end of the organization's programs and workshops.  I'm honored to be giving back and to play a more significant role in shaping the kind of future we all envision."


Fall Bulk Order 

Ordering opens July 15!  Save money on fertilizers, mineral amendments, fall/winter cover crop seed, seed starting supplies, compost, and potting soil, Order closes August 15 or turn in your form at the NOFA Summer Conference at UMass.  BPA-free canning lids will be for sale once again at the Summer Conference & through the bulk order. The 2-pack Bormioli lids are metallic & one piece, available for wide or small mouth jars.  Questions? Contact Cathleen O'Keefe, bulkorder@nofamass.org, 413-584-6786.

Recent Publications

2011 farm and food guide cover    2011 OLC Guide cover  2011 homeowner guide cover
The new CT NOFA Farm & Food Guide and NOFA Guide to Organic Land Care are at the printer and will be available soon to distribute at your market, business, library or events. Email or call us and we'll get them out to you.  Members should expect their copies in the mail in a couple weeks.  Here's a link to the Farm & Food Guide online.

The NOFA Organic Land Care Program has also just released
Introduction to Organic Lawns and Yards, plus a Checklist for an Eco-Friendly Property. Details here, including ordering information and downloadable pdf file to browse.

summer cats
Basil & Rue resting up...

Volunteers Wanted - we're planning a member mailing later in July and could use a couple volunteers at the office for part of the day. Join us and our hard-working cats for a while!

 IC Site snip

The NOFA Interstate Council's
 website has been updated.

For other area events, including the Connecticut Farm Energy Fair, Plant Science Day and more, check our our events listing page


Community Board 


 Internships, apprentices and farm manager positions - these and more can be found in the latest postings on the 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.


Guest Columnist  - Bettylou Sandy  


Rocks in the Garden  


granite bird bath 


Gardeners in most of Connecticut often complain about "Connecticut Potatoes".  The rocks are plentiful in the soil and seem to reproduce year after year, as they rise to the surface of the soil through the winter.  Having too many rocks in the soil will hurt the roots of the plants, as the plants try to grow around them, but rocks also provide drainage and added minerals for the plants.  Rocks also absorb water and save it for future use by the plants to access in dry times.


Read more>

Legislative Alerts & Actions  


 Comments are being accepted until July 28, 2011 for the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) proposed national food safety rule for leafy greens. Details>  

Food and Water Watch also has additional information here.   

New Business Members
Almstead Tree & Shrub Care Company - New Rochelle, NY

almstead logoFamily owned and operated since 1964, Almstead is a full service tree, shrub & lawn care firm that cares for both residential and commercial properties.

Our list of services include: custom tree pruning, tree removal & stump grinding, hazardous tree evaluation, cabling and bracing, expert shrub pruning, transplanting, specimen planting, mature tree preservation, soil analysis, tree value appraisal, custom blend fertilization, soil and trunk injections, soil care and maintenance, plant health care monitoring programs, organic care, compost teas, custom soil amendments, soil aeration, lawn care, liming, grub control, slice seeding, overseeding, composting, mulch... and much more!


Schedule a complimentary consultation with a licensed arborist today!

Homestead Gardening & Landscaping - Litchfield, CT

Tuttle Ridge Farms, LLC - Durham, CT

In the News

 Incubating Farmers At The Community Farm Of Simsbury. More> 


Deb Marsden and Connecticut Farm Fresh in the news.  


The Connecticut Food Bank's new webpage is now up, along with a reminder about their "Plant a Row for the Hungry" program.    


Emily Brooks has been busy promoting her new book Farmer and Feast: Harvesting Local Bounty, and appears in this recent CT Post story


Bill Duesing commenting on local foods in the Hartford Courant article.  


Late blight on tomatoes and potatoes has been confirmed recently in Long Island.  Here's a link from Maine with additional resources.  


Wayne socks 


Wayne Hansen's colorful socks and famous face were spotted in this newsletter.    




CSAs and several members in this Granby Patch article.   


Former CT NOFA office manager Janet Cunningham with a local gardening project in Derby. 


News about a local campaign to have foods containing Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) labeled.

And more on GMOs, an excellent explanation of the difference between gmo development and classical breeding.


Other Items of Interest  

USDA Filling Five Vacancies on the National Organic Standards Board. More>  


The 2011 updated list for the Environmental Working Group's Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce can be seen here

The Toxics Information Project is now offering information on less toxic landscaping options.

UConn's Conserving Pollinators: A Primer for Gardeners    


Considering adding a farmstay as part of your agritourism plans? Check out this Farmstay Manual  from the Minnesota Institute of Sustainable Agriculture


A great consumer education tool from National Geographic Magazine: Food Ark -A crisis is Looming 


Animal Welfare Approved is pleased to announce a call for proposals for its 2011-2012 Good Husbandry Grants. More> 


Summer Garden Reading suggestions.  


A 12-page report on The Organic Movement was published as a circular in the Washington Post. Find a link here

Thanks to our Sponsors:

  Ross bread logo  whole foods logo


If you have any stories, articles, notices or suggestions for this newsletter, please send them along.

Many thanks,

CT NOFA-The Connecticut Chapter of the Northeast Organic Farming Association | PO Box 164 | Stevenson | CT | 06491