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Growing and Learning
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From the Director

Bigger and Better All the Time

CT NOFA Friends,

"Great vibe", "important part of reestablishing a robust agricultural community in CT", "exciting day", "encouraged to witness so much support for local, sustainable agriculture in CT", "a contagious sense of community and passion".

These are just a few of the upbeat comments we've gotten about CT NOFA's 32nd Annual Winter Conference, which has continually gotten bigger and better through the years and attracted over 900 participants this past Saturday. Our inboxes have been full and our phones ringing off the hook with people already looking forward to next year's conference and our upcoming events - wanting more education, more inspiration, more community.

Community is the word that has come up most often in relation to the Conference and in what our CT NOFA family is looking for - to have the opportunity to engage with each other more often, to learn from one another and be inspired and energized by one another to make real change in our food system.

The fact that real change in our local food system is happening and that more change can happen is apparent when we read the Connecticut statistics in the recently released 2012 USDA Census of Agriculture and see that we have over 1,000 new farms in Connecticut since the last census in 2007. When people leave our programs anxious to plant their seeds, we see the proliferation of Farmers Markets and CSAs and see more and more of our friends, relatives, co-workers and acquaintances flocking to them.  It's not too late for you to find a CSA share for spring-fall 2014 and we have updated our CSA page to make that easier for you -
click here.

I hope to see you over the coming months at our events.....and bring your friends! There's lots of room in our CT NOFA community,

Eileen Hochberg
Executive Director  

CT NOFA's Organic Advocate

How are we going to eat?
By Bill Duesing

bill duesing
"Coincident with the rise of industrialism, people started to see food less as a connection between one's body and the natural world and more as a barrier between humans and the imagined savagery of the natural world." - Against the Grain: How Agriculture has hijacked civilization, by Richard Manning

First the good news.
CT NOFA had record attendance at our 32nd annual winter conference.  Over 900 attendees created "... a contagious sense of community and passion at this event," according to one reporter.
CT NOFA agriculture and Organic Land Care Events

Next workshop is March 8 or 9
See other workshops to come here.

158 Nagy Road
Ashford, CT
Saturday, March 22, 2014
Common Ground Garden Workshop Clinic
New Haven, CT  

Saturday, March 22, 2014
Urban Oaks Organic Farm
New Britain, CT 

March 27, 2014
Connecticut College
New London, CT

Thursday, April 3, 2014
Audubon Greenwich
Greenwich, CT

Saturday, May 10, 2014, Time TBA
Massaro Community Farm
Woodbridge, CT

Saturday, June 14, 2014, 1pm-3pm
Millstone Farm
Wilton, CT
We greatly value your comments and suggestions!
2014 Winter Conference Survey

Whether you attended as a vendor, attendee, volunteer or presenter, please take a minute to fill out this SURVEY so that we can better plan next year's conference.

If you have a favorite photo from the conference, please EMAIL and we'll post it on the post-conference webpage.

Thank you for your input!

Click here for Winter Conference photos.

News, Announcements and Alerts

Interns wanted at CT NOFA.   
Sign up here.

NOFA publishes quarterly The Natural Farmer. We would like to gain more information about this paper and its readership. Even if you've never seen this publication, your input is helpful. Please take 5 minutes to fill out this short online survey.

Sport Hill Farm CSA  

We have extended our 2014 CSA applications for the pick ups at Wakeman Town Farm Sustainability Center on Fridays and Saturdays at Black Rock Farmers Market until 3/31/14. We need enough people signed up to make it viable. Please e-mail for an application for those drop off sights.

CET EcoFellow Program - one-year paid opportunity in Mass.

Click here 

More Info: EcoFellows and Professional Development

Click here.


Event: Collaborations for Ag Profitability

Tuesday, March 18th at UCONN campus at Storrs.

Agenda and registration are here.


Farms sow more organic acres, as demand rises

More here.  


GCAD Producer Education and Innovation follow-up

NEW: CT Farm Employment Connection

The Connecticut Weekly Agricultural Report now offers free classified advertisements of 35 or fewer words for job openings at Connecticut farms (ads of more than 35 words will be charged the regular rate listed on Page 4). Free farm job opening advertisements can run for up to four consecutive weeks and may be emailed directly to


Conservation Partners Announce Women Inspiring Conservation in Connecticut Award

Click here.   


NFWF-NRCS Partnership Promoting Farm Bill Conservation Programs to Private Landowners

Request for Proposals - Spring 2014


More here.  


Land For Good Seeks Connecticut Field Agent

Please email here or call 603-357-1600 to receive a detailed job description or if you have any questions. LFG will accept letters of interest and resumes until March 15 or until the position is filled. Learn more here.   


New England Meat Conference
More here.

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Going Organic, But Were Afraid To Ask
Join us for a FREE Webinar on March 21
Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat here.

School Garden Network News 

Growing and Learning


Digging Into Diversity Conference 

Common Ground's School Resource Center and Connecticut Outdoor and Environmental Education Association (COEEA) invite you to their first annual joint conference, focused on school gardens and environmental education, on Thursday, March 20, 2014 at Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport.  Digging Into Diversity: Cultivating a Culturally Responsive Practice features two keynote speakers, Akiima Price, National Advisor of Communities & Environmental Studies, and Jerusha Klemperer, Co-founder of FoodCorps.  There will also be workshops, a panel discussion, and school garden and zoo tours.

Says Jill Herbst of Common Ground, "As we come together to celebrate school gardens and outdoor environmental education we will honor diversity by "digging in" to see how we can make the work we do relevant, meaningful and impactful in every community."  Register at,  or for more information, contact



Making the Case for Healthy School Lunch
For parents, teachers, administrators and others who are trying to show the importance of healthy food in schools, The Center for Ecoliteracy has published a free, short, downloadable guide, Making the Case for Healthy, Freshly Prepared School Meals.  An accompanying PowerPoint presentation is also available.  Whether you are trying to get a school garden built, establish a farm-to-school program, or trying to get administrators and others to focus on the quality of school lunch, this guide will help you make your point.  People are encouraged to adapt and customize the PowerPoint presentation to fit their particular needs.  


Lunch B
ites Webinar Features New Materials for Farm to School  

On March Farm to School Network Lunch Bites 11, 2014, The National Farm to School Network is offering a webinar on their introduction of new materials developed by and for farmers, child nutrition directors, educators, and early care providers. Use these new National Farm to School Network tools to conduct more effective trainings and share the value of farm to school in communities across the country. This webinar will feature Peer Leadership Network members who developed the training materials and offer tips for effective implementation.  Register here for the webinar.

Encinitas School Garden Really Growing

Two women in this California town started a non-profit organization, which is now contracted to implement the Encinitas Union School District's environmental policies.  Read about the great work they are doing at the Ocean Knoll Educational Farm in this article in the U-T San Diego. 

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