June 2016 Gleanings
In This Issue
Online Resources
 
Got Lawn? Go Organic!
Use the NEW NOFA SEARCH TOOL & Find an Organic Land Care Professional Near You!

Join CT NOFA
Join our new Golden Carrot Club and Garden Club Club! See our feature article in this newsletter to learn more.

Join, renew, or donate online today! Join our community of farmers, gardeners, land care professionals, educators, chefs and consumers committed to growing Connecticut organically. 

Click here to learn more about CT NOFA memberships.

Your generous donations fund our work growing an organic Connecticut through education, outreach, advocacy and events. Thank you.

 


Planting With Soil Health In Mind:
Cool farm tools, coming soon ... to a local farm near you!
On June 1, I was able to attend an excellent workshop about soil health at Woodstock Orchard in Woodstock, CT. Hosted by the Young Family and presented by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Resource Conservation and Development program (RC&D), this hands-on class gave farmers and extension agents a chance to assess soil quality and hear about some of the latest soil management practices taking place at this bucolic orchard on the hilltop.

Along with meeting new and seeing old friends, the most exciting part of the day for me was seeing Farmer Douglas Young's no-till equipment. He plants straight rye in October as a cover crop. In spring, he prepares the land for pumpkins or other crops with his roller crimper' (above). This first rolls down the cover crop and then an automated seedling transplanter (below) is used to open the earth; place the seedlings (or seeds); re-closes the soil surface; and finishes it off with a shot of water.
 
This simple but powerful practice greatly enhances the soil food web by maintaining moisture and providing nutrients as the plant material breaks down. And it delivers supreme weed suppression, something every farmer dreams of. These practices demonstrated by Woodstock Orchard are used by and suitable for organic and conventional farmers nationwide.

In the years ahead, CT NOFA envisions widespread local use of roller crimpers, transplanters, and seed drills. We hope they become a normal part of the farmer tool kit - and when they do, Connecticut's soil quality will rebound and the soil carbon that evaporated over the centuries, will soon be restored. 

Let CT NOFA know if you want to get up to speed on low or no-till tools and other soil-friendly ways to improve crops. We are glad to connect you with local know-how and our partners who can help to get you started.

Otherwise, please know we are very grateful for your membership with CT NOFA and are propelled by the CT NOFA network of local growers, advocates, foodies and others who strongly support 'all things organic'.

The future of organics is bright, indeed! The CT NOFA staff and I always welcome your ideas so we look forward to talking with you soon. 

Sincerely and with
best regards, 

Jeff Cordulack
Executive Director, CT NOFA
jeff@ctnofa.org | 203-613-8813

P.S. Farmers interested in learning more about this should come an on-farm event soon. The next is July 10 when we have an annual potluck meeting plus a tour of farmer Steve Munno's cover crops and pollinators areas in Woodbridge, CT (details in calendar below). Hope to see you there!   

How We've Grown!
 
By Bill Duesing

I stopped into a nearby chain supermarket on the way home from work the other day to do a little shopping. Just outside the entrance were piles of two kinds of bagged potting soil, both clearly labeled organic. One even bore the OMRI seal. (This means that the Organic Materials Review Institute has found that the product is suitable for use on an organic farm according to the Federal Standards  for organic agriculture.)

Once inside, I saw a big display of seed packets, proclaiming boldly that the seeds are organic and non GMO.  Many of the store's staff wore tee shirts with messages about organic on them. 
 
Like most of the chain's locations, this store has a separate organic/natural section as well as organic products mixed in with their conventional counterparts-vegetables and fruits, dried fruits and nuts, dairy products and pasta for example. This trend is common all over the country.  In our travels, it is only in the very rural Midwest and Intermountain west that organic products are rare. Continue reading on the CTNOFA blog. 

NOFA OLC  Announces Second Edition Release of 
Introduction to Organic Lawns and Yards

Perfect for homeowners, land care professionals, garden centers, garden clubs, environmentalists, educators, and advocates.

Price: $6 each or bulk order of five or more $3.25-4.25 per copy.

NOFA OLC has published this beautiful, 52-page booklet especially for people new to organic landscaping. Printed on 80 lb glossy paper, and saddle stitched into a nice 8.5"x8.5", a booklet for the keeping.

"This is a fantastic primer for organic lawn and garden care that provides the inspiration and scientific guidance to carefully look at our landscaping practices in a wider environmental context." - Cormac Collier, Executive Director, Nantucket Land Council, MA

View bulk order pricing sheet for 2nd edition - available NOW. To order the book and the Organic Lawns and Yards Brochure, click here.

CTNOFA Events 

July 10 from 12:30-4:00 pm: CTNOFA Annual Meeting and Farm Celebration

A traditional potluck gathering and tour of Massaro Community Farm.

CTNOFA members and friends are invited to attend our annual meeting at Massaro Community Farm featuring a talk by Bill Duesing, an awards ceremony, and a farm tour with Steve Munno centered around pollinator strips and cover crops.

Bring a dish to share with other guests as we enjoy a communal meal, elect a new slate of officers, and celebrate the season. RSVP online today. FREE 


August 12-14: NOFA Summer Conference 2016: Cultivating the Grassroots Organic Movement

The Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) will hold its 42nd annual Summer Conference on August 12-14, 2016 in Amherst, Massachusetts. The event features three days of organic immersion, with 200 workshops to empower, educate, build skills and confidence. Over 1,000 curious learners, growers, and experienced practitioners gather for inspiration and ideas for organic food, farming, health, activism, and beyond.

Click here to learn more, purchase tickets online, and download a registration form (pdf) to mail in. 

 

NOFA OLC Announces Maine Accreditation Course in Organic Land Care

August 15, 16, 22 & 23, 2016 - SPLIT WEEKS
This 30-hour, 4-day course is for land care professionals and environmental educators and offers a well-rounded curriculum that covers organic land care principles, practices, design, and maintenance. Each attendee who passes the accreditation exam with a 70% or higher will earn the professional credential and distinction, NOFA Accredited Organic Land Care Professional (AOLCP).Held at the University of Southern Maine, Portland, ME  REGISTER HERE. 

Other Events by the CT NOFA Community 
 
A Salute to Young Farmers! - A Benefit Farm to Barn Dinner at The Hickories

On Saturday, June 18th, at 6pm guests will enjoy a short cocktail half hour followed by a farmer-led farm tour, then head to the Barn for a local-in-season dinner prepared by Chef Phoebe Cole-Smith.

Purchase tickets online at
Seating is limited to 42 guests. The Hickories, 136 Lounsbury Road, Ridgefield CT 06877

Community Board
CTNOFA's Community Board is a member benefit allowing you to post your classified ads and other announcements (jobs, equipment, land for sale). See our online submission form here.

CT NOFA Business Members

Claire's Corner Copia  
1000 Chapel Street, 
New Haven, CT 06510

 
Photo c/o Claire's Corner Copia

Claire and Frank Criscuolo opened Claire's Corner Copia, a vegetarian restaurant committed to organic and Non-GMO sourcing, on September 17, 1975. Claire LaPia and Frank Criscuolo were married on February 22, 1975. Claire was a registered nurse and Frank was a musician who played bass and lead guitar. Deeply in love, they wanted to be together as much as possible and working together was the way to accomplish that goal.

Claire loved to cook and while they were both raised in traditional Italian-American families, each in a family of really good cooks and bakers, Claire's mother, Anna Bigio LaPia, was "obsessed" with eating delicious, fresh foods, homemade food, with lots of fruits and vegetables, grains and beans. "Eat this, it's good for you" and "We don't eat foods with ingredients I can't pronounce" were her mantras.

Claire wanted to cook that way for the masses and she and Frank believed and still believe that eating well really is the best defense against illness and disease. Today, scientific research supports that theory. Mother was right!

Natureworks  
518 Forest Road
Northford, CT 06472
(203) 484-2748
natureworks.com
Nancy DuBrule-Clemente, Owner
Natureworker/Originator since 1983
nancyd@naturework.com

RETAIL SHOP HOURS:  
Monday-Saturday 8-6 
Thursday 8-7 our late night 
Sunday 9-5 
 
 
Photo c/o Natureworks
 
Nancy is an author, educator and the founder of Natureworks, a very special retail garden center in Southern Connecticut housed in a 100-year-old house. Visitors delight in shopping for unique gifts and gardening accessories for every season indoors and an amazing variety of fascinating plants outdoors. From old-fashioned flowers to the latest cutting-edge introductions, Natureworks has it all plus demonstration gardens for inspiration and over 25 employees in the growing season - including 3-4 landscaping crews - to help you realize the garden of your dreams. Subscribe to Natureworks YouTube channel and download their mobile app featuring a rewards program to enjoy the full benefits of what they offer.

 
Nancy has a degree in Floriculture from the Ratcliffe Hicks School of Agriculture at the University of CT and began her career as greenhouse manager at Glen Terrace Nurseries in Hamden. She founded Natureworks in 1983 and is the author of Succession of Bloom in the Perennial Garden, a manual for designers of Connecticut gardens which identifies the bloom time and characteristics of perennials and includes shrubs and vines often found in perennial gardens. Nancy is the co-author of A Country Garden for Your Backyard, published by Rodale Press in 1995 and available at Amazon through used booksellers.  

Green Earth Ag & Turf 
53 East Industrial Road #C4
Branford CT 06405
(866) 374-5101
info@GreenEarthAgAndTurf.com 
greenearthagandturf.com 

 
Green Earth Ag & Turf's Joe Magazzi gave a standing-room only talk at the 2016 CTNOFA Winter Conference on "Soil Biology for Everyone: Reducing Inputs While Increasing Yields and Product Quality". The interest in soil health and biology has grown tremendously in the last two years since he gave a similar talk.

Green Earth Ag & Turf is experienced in building soil health using methods that reduce inputs, increase yields or quality and save money. The group includes advisors that have consulted on Super Bowl turfs, are accredited nursery professionals, experienced growers and certified arborists that collectively provide decades of experience in commercial landscaping, agriculture and horticulture. GreenEarth Ag & Turf researches and backs all of their products, and provides full technical and consulting support for growing or treatment programs.
 
In the News 

Carbon Farming in the News 
 
A Hope for a Hot Planet, Modern Farmer, Spring 2016, pages 34-36.

New Morning Market Offers Local FarmShare Program


New Morning Market in Woodbury is offering monthly and full season Local FarmShares that include a wide variety of the freshest seasonal and organic produce available. Farms participating include Riverbank Farm, Fort Hill Farm, Sun One Organic Farm, Sunsirse Sunset Farm, Hepworth Farms, Anderson Acres, Averill Farm, High Hill Orchard and Sugar Water Farm.

 

Governor Malloy Proclaims June 20-26 Pollinator Week 

Governor Malloy has proclaimed June 20-26 Pollinator Week in Connecticut. We can all feel great about the Connecticut General Assembly recently passing An Act Concerning Pollinator Health, which we fought hard for.

To Celebrate National Pollinator Week:

Plant native, pollinator friendly plants. Visit a CTNOFA member business to add beauty, diversity and hardiness to your garden while attracting bees, butterflies and other pollinators. Click here to access a complete list in our 2016 Farm & Food Guide starting on page 63.

Pollinator Week is a campaign initiated and managed by the Pollinator Partnership. Nine years ago the U.S. Senate's unanimous approval and designation of a week in June as "National Pollinator Week" marked a necessary step toward addressing the urgent issue of declining pollinator populations. Pollinator Week has now grown to be an international celebration of the valuable ecosystem services provided by bees, birds, butterflies, bats and beetles. The growing concern for pollinators is a sign of progress, but it is vital that we continue to maximize our collective effort.  The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture signs the proclamation every year. (reprinted from Pollinator Partnership).

Take NOFA's Carbon Practices Survey  
 
NOFA/MASS is compiling a database about the growing practices of anyone who manages land -- farmers, gardeners, homeowners, professionals, etc. -- in the northeast.

Answer our nine questions about your practices, learning interests, and willingness to be
part of research trials measuring carbon building results.

CTNOFA's Premier Memberships 

We are pleased to offer our new, premier memberships to provide outstanding benefits to individuals and garden clubs who are dedicated to supporting our work growing Connecticut organically. 

The Golden Carrot Club

For the organic fan who wants the best of the best from Connecticut farms. Join CT NOFA's premier club to enjoy all the benefits of a family membership plus:
1) An 'Organic Taste of CT' thank you basket filled with farmstead foods
2) 2 tickets to the Winter Conference, our premier annual educational event held in March
3) 2-for-1 registration for select CT NOFA events (look for the golden carrot)
4) Acknowledgment on our Golden Carrot Club web page (optional)
 
Membership Dues: $1,000 per year. Click here to join the CTNOFA community. 
 
The Garden Club Club

For garden clubs who are committed to protecting pollinators, promoting organics, and cleaning up Long Island Sound. This special recognition is open to all Garden Clubs and includes all the benefits of a business membership plus:
1) An annual presentation by a CT NOFA speaker for your club membership
2) Access to CT NOFA bulk orders for all your members
3) Recognition on the Garden Club Club web page
 
Membership Dues: $500 per year. Click here to join the CTNOFA community.
 
Thank You to Our Sponsors & Advertisers  
       
CT NOFA - Northeast Organic Farming Association of CT, 126 Derby Ave., Derby, CT 06418