June, 2012 
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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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In This Issue
From the ED
Events
Spotlight
Welcome Howard Shafer!
Announcements
Featured Members
In the News
From our Blog
Community Board
Winter Food Project
Your Favorite Tool
Go Organic when you Shop!
From the Executive Director

bill duesing

Dear Friends,

 

As we celebrate our 30th Anniversary, CT NOFA needs your help NOW to continue to be a strong advocate for a local, organic food system and for organic land care.

 

If you have been a member or supporter of CT NOFA in the past 30 years:

 

THANK YOU!

 

Joined by hundreds of volunteers, including dozens of board members, you have made CT NOFA the leading advocate for a local and organic food system and organic land care in Connecticut and a trendsetter for the nation.

 

If you are not yet a member but you enjoy the Gleanings eNewsletter and understand the importance of continuing CT NOFA's work, NOW is the time to become a member and contributor. Click here.  

 

For the past 30 years, CT NOFA has educated thousands of farmers, gardeners and land care professionals in organic practices. We have spread the message about the importance of organic principles and local food through our conferences, media work, presentations and presence at events to tens of thousands of people! As we see the vibrant communities developing around our member farms and businesses, we understand the potential for nourishing people and building healthy communities with local, organic food.

 

To fulfill our mission in the next 30 years, CT NOFA has set two goals to keep our voice strong in advocating and educating for a local food system and organic land care.  

  • Add 300 members - bringing us to well over 1000 members!
  • Raise $30,000 in new donations this year!

We can do this only if you help! Your tax deductible contribution keeps us working hard to achieve CT NOFA's vision of interconnected, healthy communities living in ecological balance, deeply rooted in a sense of place, grounded in organic care of the land.

 

To join, renew your membership, give a gift membership or make a donation click here. If you prefer to use the phone, we are happy to take your contribution at 203-888-5146. Checks can be mailed to CT NOFA, Box 164, Stevenson, CT 06491.

 

If you wish to know more about our work, click here to check out our Community Impact Statement or contact me by email or by phone at 203-888-5146.

 

Join us at our Block Parties on the Farm this summer. These events offer a great opportunity to tour a certified organic farm, meet other CT NOFA members in your area and be a part of CT NOFA. See you there and thanks for your support!

 

Wishing you all the best for a great growing season,

Bill Duesing

Executive Director, CT NOFA

CT NOFA and OLC Events

Featured Event
 
CT NOFA is turning 30 this year! Join us in a kickoff to celebrate the next 30 years of great food, fun, and community! We will be holding several parties throughout the summer, with our first to be held at The Hickories farm in Ridgefield. Register today to experience a farm tour by farmer Dina Brewster, wine and beer tasting by Cellar XV and the Southport Brewing Company, delicious dinner by Taco Pacifico, dessert by The Cake Box, tea by Steaz Teas, and talk by Bill Duesing, our Executive Director.

June 23, 2012
Dina Brewster on her farm

The Hickories
Ridgefield, CT
6:00-9:00pm
 

 

Other CT NOFA and NOFA Events
 
Tractor Repair and Maintenance Workshop
Thursday, June 28, 2012
4:00-7:00pm
Nonnewaug Regional High School
Woodbury, CT

Pastured Poultry Workshop
Saturday, August 4, 2012
2:00-5:00pm
Terra Firma Farm
Stonington, CT

Organic Land Care Advanced Compost Tea and Air Spading Workshop
August 9, 2012
Rye Country Day School
Rye, NY

The NOFA Summer Conference
August 10-12
UMass, Amherst 

Keynotes: Rep. Chellie Pingree from Maine, and Jeffrey Smith, a leading expert and author on the dangers of genetically modified foods. 

NOFA Summer Conference workshops are here! Check out the great menu of options at UMass Amherst this August, and view a copy of the flyer here.

CT NOFA is offering partial scholarships to the conference through The Beginning Farmer Project of CT NOFA, supported by the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA, Grants #2010-49400-21847 and #2011-49400-30510. Please fill out the scholarship application before July 2 so you can hear back if you received a scholarship and still get the early registration rate (deadline July 10).   

 

Cheese Making Workshop
Monday, September 10, 2012
4:00 - 7:00 pm
Beltane Farm
Lebanon, CT    

Events we will be Attending    


West End Farmers Market
Tuesday June 19, 2012
4:00 - 7:00pm
Hartford, CT

Bethel Farmers Market
1 School St, Bethel, CT
Thursday, June 28, 2012
3:00 - 7:00pm

West River Festival

Saturday, July 14, 2012
12:00-6:00pm
New Haven, CT
 
Going Green on the Green
Friday, August 10, 2012
3:30-6:30pm
Higganum Farmers Market on the Green

For other area events, including additional farmers markets that we will be attending, check our our event listings page.

Spotlight 
 
2012 Organic & Farmer's Pledge-Grown Vegetable, Herb & Flower Seedlings and Plants

Seedlings are an inexpensive way to save money on your grocery bill this summer and fall.  The food you'll get from a healthy local seedling will be much more delicious than anything you could get shipped from far away and at a fraction of the price.  Just add a little water and sun and watch them grow!

To grow your seedlings, if you have the space, a small garden can feed you while fitting into a busy schedule, and if you don't have the space, containers and container gardens are a great alternative.  Make sure to choose compact bush seedling varieties for large plants like cucumbers, tomatoes, and squash, and you can easily grow your produce out of containers on your front porch, outside your window, or on a rooftop.  If you have access to a spot outdoors, you can grow a garden!

Check out our website for a listing of organic and farmers pledge seedlings that are currently available this spring, either on the farm, at local businesses, or through seedling sales.  Many markets listed on our farmers market webpage also have booths that sell seedlings and locally grown plants - check the market's website or call them for details. 

If your farm or organization is selling seedlings, let us know and we'll post it on our website.  We get many calls about this and we would be happy to help promote your sales. Give us a call at 203.888.5146 if you have questions about seedlings and gardening, or ask the farmers and staff at the seedling sales.  There is a wealth of information and expertise available, so that anyone can grow their own fresh food!

A Warm Welcome to Our New Board Treasurer! 

 

We're excited to announce a new edition to our CT NOFA Board of Directors, Howard Shafer. Howard's interest in NOFA's mission was cultivated while he was the owner and sole proprietor of The Whole Hog, a charcuterie business focused on using locally raised heritage breed pigs.  Currently he is the Chief Operating Officer of Robinson & Cole LLP where he has responsibility for the business planning and operations of a 450 employee law firm with offices in six states. Howard has a BS in Statistics from the University of Michigan; an MBA with a concentration in Non-Profit Management from Boston University; and a Grand DiplĂ´me from the French Culinary Institute. We're very excited to add Howard to our team and look forward to working with him!

Announcements & AlertsFarm and Food Guide 

 

CT NOFA membership has lots of perks: you get reduced admission to our events, quarterly editions of The Natural Farmer Newsletter, and access to our monthly Gleanings eNewsletter, but did you know that our two biggest publications of the year - our Farm and Food Guide and Guide to Organic Land Care - are both freshly printed and available to members for free?  Sign up today for an individual membership of $35 and you will receive both publications at no cost. If you would like to purchase the Guides but don't want to become a member, they are $3 for one and $5 for both to cover the cost of shipping.  With these tools you can learn about organic and sustainable farms in your area as well as how to care for your landscape organically. Become a member to receive these great tools today! 

 

Cast your vote for our educational partner and CT NOFA member, Common Ground Farm!

There's $100,000 on the line from the amazing folks at local law firm Stratton Faxon. Today, we ask you to take 30 seconds and cast your vote for Common Ground.  All you need to do:

1) Click here.
2) Vote for Common Ground.
Let's help Common Ground further their educational mission!

Uconn Home Food Preservation Workshops  

As folks look to increase their control over their personal food supply, many are buying locally grown produce and even growing their own. And more Connecticut residents are canning, freezing and pickling fruits and vegetables at home. While home food preservation techniques are not difficult, it is important to know the safest way to can and freeze food for the home pantry. Nine home food preservation workshops will be offered at the UConn Extension Centers statewide. Programs include Canning Fruits and Vegetables; Freezing Fruits and Vegetables; and Can-ning Jams, Jellies, Pickles, and Relishes. In addition, two hands-on workshops will be provided at the University of Connecticut's De-partment of Nutritional Sciences Foods Lab in Storrs. For information regarding workshop schedules, registration, and fees, contact Diane HirschLearn more here.

 

New Support for CSA Farms 

CT NOFA has a new program to support CSA farms in Connecticut funded by the CT Department of Agriculture through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program of the Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.  In order to provide targeted valuable support to farmers, we ask that any Connecticut farmer, with or without community supported agriculture at their farm, please fill out this survey.  CT NOFA requires greater insight about how many farms have CSAs, how large their CSAs are, common problems with having a CSA , etc.  We really need your feedback, so please complete the survey and send to any farmers you know that might be able to complete it as well! Complete the survey here.  

 

Featured Members  

 

The Falcigno Group helps its clients make informed decisions about the risks of financial loss they face each day. They work with their clients to develop a plan that reflects their unique tolerance and budget for risk. Their service systematically identifies assets and exposures to loss to then develop a plan that reflects the client's needs. Because they understand these components are ever-changing, they are committed to periodically reviewing these plans. Through this informed decision process, The Falcigno Group strives to build dynamic, lasting relationships with its clients.  

 

The Falcigno Group, LLC is a Farm Certified Nationwide Agribusiness Agency. The certification means that they have background knowledge of farming operations and stay current with agricultural changes and trends. They are trained to work closely with farmers to identify unique risks and prevent losses. Learn more about the Falcigno Group by visiting their website.

In the News 
Tara Cook-Littman and Analiese Paik from Right to Know CT

Right to Know CT's Meeting on GMO Labeling
Recoiling from a defeat in the state legislature but determined to expand the fight, opponents of genetically modified foods held a workshop in a church library Wednesday morning that drew healthy-food advocates from three of the most populated state counties.  Read more and watch the video here.  Sign up for Jeffrey Smith's Tipping point network here.  While Right To Know CT's main focus is GMO labeling, the nongmo groups can do work outside of labeling to promote the larger mission of doing away with GMOs and educating as many people as possible. Joining the Tipping Point only takes a couple minutes, and your time investment will go a long way.  Please also join GMO Free USA either on facebook or on yahoo. Let your voice be heard!
 
Beginning Women Farmers Complete Training Program
Local farm owner Allyson Angelini and Cheryl Placido, a part-time farmer and teacher were among twelve women who graduated from Connecticut's Whole Farm Planning Program for Beginning Women Farmers on May 12, 2012 at the Community Farm of Simsbury. The program, administered by Holistic management International (HMI) and the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Connecticut (CT NOFA), aims to close the knowledge gap between established and new farmers, and equip women to own and holistically manage their own farms. More>

Market Your Farm Products Effectively
Sherry Simpson of Cranberry Hill Farm shared her marketing experience at the Beginning Women Farmer Conference at UMass, Amherst, MA on March 22 and 23. Her three-step approach was simple, inexpensive and successful: Tell your story, Create a logo and Accessorize. Simpson's consumer-focused marketing strategies help her run a successful, profitable farm in Ashford, CT. More>
 
From our Blog

 

Footsteps Farm has been in Craig Floyd's family since 1712.  Craig is a confident long-time farmer with a comprehensive understanding of his animals and their interaction with the land.  About 20 people came out for our workshop on May 21, and despite some drizzle, the workshop was informative and enjoyable.  Footsteps Farm is beautiful, the animals friendly, and Craig freely shares years of experience and knowledge about livestock raising. More>

If you shop regularly in the grocery store, you might wonder how you can avoid genetically modified organisms if they don't have required labeling. Unfortunately, without buying exclusively organic it's impossible to know 100% of the time, but there are easy steps you can take to be more certain. More>

Gardening in the Shade
When CT NOFA tables at farmers markets and other environmental events, a lot of people drop by the table and ask questions about gardening.  The complaint we hear so often is about gardening in the shade.  At-home food production is good for the planet and good for you, but so are the trees in your yard!  Many are turning to community gardens which have full sun, which is a great idea.  But even shady yards can have significant food production! More>

 

Check out all our blog posts here.
Community Board       

 

Looking for a milk truck for your business?  Learn more about this and other opportunities on our Community Board!  Here's another example of what you will find listed:   

 

We are looking for farmers, local bakers, healthy sandwich makers, healthy snack and beverage makers to provide our local gas stations/convenience stores with such foods. Prepared healthy meals to go. Both frozen and fresh. Local produce in season. This convenience store will have natural smoothies, a juice bar, organic coffee and tea, vegan donuts, healthy snacks, fruit, healthy beverages from dispensers and not cans or bottles, healthy sandwiches to go, and many local foods. Pull into our gas station to filler-up and stop in to get some healthy food and beverages to go. No cigarettes, Snickers Bars, or Coke Cola sold here. Reusable beverage cups and mugs are promoted. In fact, we give you free cups of coffee to provide additional incentives to go green. Here is an opportunity to be a part of a good system for sustainability while contributing to our choices for healthy foods on the go. If you are interested to supply us with healthy foods, please email information here.

    

If you have a notice you'd like to add, send it along to the office here. 

Winter Food Project        

 

This month's Winter Food Project article has a lot of topics, showing once again that winter foods are popular, useful, and relevant year-round. 

First off, from Mother Jones comes a great recipe for a tasty breakfast hash.  Making a hash for breakfast utilizes a lot of winter food ingredients, and is also a delicious and easy way to use up leftovers from the night before.  It's a flexible recipe as well, so whatever you have lying around can often work in the hash, and you're less likely to waste food as a result.

 

If you're looking to learn more about food preservation, this second resource could be very helpful.  The National Center for Home Food Preservation offers advice and tips on a wide variety of food preservation topics, from freezing and drying, to curing, smoking, pickling, and fermenting. There's also a list of useful publications, and a page on the website where you can request additional information if necessary.

 

Speaking of food preservation, to the left is an image of our Executive Director's garlic and onion from last summer that are still usable now, almost a year later.  This photo provides a good lesson about one of the biggest benefits of eating winter foods - they last a long time!  If stored properly, winter vegetables can often last for months before spoiling, reducing food waste and making it easier to always have some vegetables on hand for cooking.  

 

Lastly, nine home food preservation workshops will be offered at the University of Connecticut Extension Centers statewide, throughout the months of June and July.  Programs include Canning Fruits and Vegetables; Freezing Fruits and Vegetables; and Canning Jams, Jellies, Pickles and Relishes. In addition, two hands-on workshops will be provided at the University of Connecticut Department of Nutritional Sciences Foods Lab in Storrs. For information regarding workshop schedules, registration and fees, contact Diane Hirsch or visit the UConn Extension website.  

 

Your Favorite Tool       

    

This month's favorite tool, like so many modern advances, is technology based.  When it comes to building your business, whether it's a farm, a landscaping company, or just a project you don't have the money for, you need to be able to pay the overhead to meet your costs.  Taking out a loan is not something to commit to lightly, and often people in the community are willing to help out if only you had an easy method for them to lend a financial hand.

 

That's where our new favorite tool, Kickstarter, comes in.  Kickstarter is an online fundraising platform for creative projects. Every day, thousands of people check out projects on Kickstarter. They rally around their friends' ideas, backing projects from people they've long admired, and discovering things that make them laugh and smile. Every project is independently crafted, put to all-or-nothing funding, and supported by friends, fans, and the public in return for rewards.

  

We started thinking about Kickstarter here in the office when one of our journeyperson farms, Farm to Hearth, started a project using the program to help fund their bakery's relocation.  The fundraising they did for the project was a huge success - they had a $10,000 goal, but raised about $15,000.  This goes to show you that Kickstarter can be a very useful way to coordinate fundraising as long as you have a sufficient following to contribute.  Not every project does as well as this one, but as long as you have enough presence in the community to successfully advertise your Kickstarter project, you stand a good chance of doing well. 

 

Do you have a farming or landscaping tool that you just couldn't live without?  Send us a brief description and image of your tool and we'll put it in an upcoming edition of the eNews! 

 

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. What a great way to buy a gift for Father's Day, June 17th!   
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