Gleanings Newsletter
March 2016
In This Issue
Join CT NOFA
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, including the benefits of becoming a business member.  

Your generous donations fund our work growing an organic Connecticut through education, outreach, advocacy and events.
Thank you for your support. 
Thank You CT NFOA Sponsors & Advertisers  
 
Jeff Cordulack
Executive Director
Winter Conference 2016 ~ here we come!  

We look forward to welcoming our diverse membership (farmers, gardeners, land care professionals, business owners and local-organic food lovers) to our Annual Winter Conference on March 12 and 13 at WCSU Danbury!

Did you know? By simply registering online by March 7th, you'll help our chefs & staff prepare & you'll save a few dollars, too. Sign up today!

Saturday offers you a choice of more than 60 workshops, 60 exhibitors, a $15 gourmet lunch from fine area restaurants, and our keynote speaker, Travis Marcotte of the Intervale Center in Vermont. Travis and the Center play an integral role in the success of Vermont's comprehensive, legally mandated, statewide food system plan, Farm to Plate. Did you know VT has a mandatory composting law? We will certainly leave inspired and energized after hearing about the Center's many success stories, including a 7 years strong food hub, and influence across the state as farms model the change that we want to see.

Whether you're a seasoned farmer interested in learning more about soil carbon restoration and cover cropping and how it can boost your soil fertility and resilience to climate change, or are just getting started in organic farming and want to ramp up quickly, our conference is jam packed with programming just right for you. Considering agritourism? We have a workshop for you. 

Day two of the Conference provides farmers and serious gardeners with the intensive workshops you asked for including Getting Started in Organic Farming, Gaining Access to Quality Farmland, Intensive Vegetable Growing Techniques, How to Apply for Organic Certification, Social Media Marketing for Your Agribusiness, The "Value" in Value Added Products, and Getting Started in Extending the Growing Season.

Gardeners and horticulturists can learn to grow roses organically, graft fruit trees, use beneficial insects for pest management, get started in raised bed vegetable gardening, and cultivate mushrooms.

Foodies of every stripe can choose to learn to make their own wine and beer, ferment foods and beverages, avoid food waste and save money, explore the heritage of Connecticut shellfish, and learn to be a healthy vegan.

Land care professionals transitioning to organic or already trained and accredited by NOFA, join us to learn about landscape design for our feathery friends, soil biology, soil carbon restoration, and the wonders of willow. 
 
Please visit our website for a complete list of workshops and exhibitors and to RSVP. I look forward to seeing you there and exploring ways we can work together to create a stronger Connecticut food system.  

Sincerely,
Jeff Cordulack
jeff@ctnofa.org | 203-613-8813  
THE GUIDE & THE TOOL ~
Brand New & Now Online!

The 2016 Farm & Food Guide 

Hot off the presses! Copies will be available at the conference and CT NOFA members will receive theirs by mail in April! For copies to distribute at your farm or business, contact the office. In the meantime, c
lick on the cover image for the digital version or visit our homepage, year-round. 
 
We are so grateful to Harbor Harvest for sponsoring the 2016 Farm and Food Guide! Visit their new market in Norwalk, CT for local and organic foods and pastured meats. www.facebook.com/harborharvest 
   
NEW! Search Tool To Find Organic Land Care Pros  
Announcing THE search site where homeowners and business owners can find organic landscaping services in their area. Find a NOFA Accredited Organic Land Care Professionals (AOLCP) near you by clicking on the image below! Go organic today! www.organiclandcare.net  

A Call to Action: GMOs and Democracy/Power and Money Versus the People's Will 

By Bill Duesing, CT NOFA Founder & Organic Advocate

Unless we act quickly at the Federal level, we'll lose the possibility of labeling GMOs, perhaps forever. If we act quickly in Connecticut, we have a chance of removing the trigger clause which delays the effective date of Connecticut's GMO labeling act. Scroll down to Action Steps to learn what you can do this week, including attending the legislative hearing in Hartford on Thursday March 3, at 11:30 am. Your voice is critical!

Continue reading Bill's article on the  CT NOFA blog> 
    

GMO Alert: Public Hearing ~ This Thursday, March 3 

The Children's Committee of the Connecticut General Assembly will be hearing testimony on March 3 about HB 5300, AN ACT CONCERNING THE USE OF GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISMS IN CHILDREN'S FOOD. The bill would require infant formula, baby food and children's foods that are produced partially or entirely with genetically engineered materials to be labelled as such. Agenda: 11:00 in Room 1B Press Conference; 11:30   Room 2B Hearing begins
11:30; Afterwards - Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Party in 2nd Floor Atrium. ALTERNATIVE: Submit testimony via email to kidtestimony@cga.ct.gov. All testimony is due by Thursday morning March 3rd and should be submitted in Word or PDF format.

2016 Winter Conference Workshop Sampler  
Climate Change Sessions On March 12, 2016 

Climate Change and Sustainable Agriculture: Why What You Eat Matters

This essential workshop is a co-presentation by Jonathan Gorham and John Grim (pictured), a Senior Lecturer and Research Scholar at Yale University. Participants will learn about the effects of Climate Change that the agricultural sector is experiencing NOW worldwide, in the USA, in CT.
Jon Gorham began his career in 1976 running a community garden and teaching about renewable energy at the Maine Audubon Society's solar building in Falmouth, ME. John Grim is an expert on world religions and ecology. He holds appointments in the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.
 
Soil Carbon Restoration
 Learn what farming methods will return carbon to the soil -- and keep it there -- for healthier crops, more resilient farms, and less extreme weather. Jack and his wife Julie Rawson
are certified organic farmers and own Many Hands Organic Farm in Barre, MA. Jack was NOFA/Mass' policy director, is currently NOFA/Mass' soil carbon program analyst and the author of Soil Carbon Restoration: Can Biology Do the Job? He feels proper organic farming is crucial to moderating extreme weather events. This is a timely and vital workshop for every farmer, gardener and land care professional. 

A Practical Approach to Cover Crops
How can you incorporate essential cover crops into your cropping system? We'll look for existing niches in time and space and which covers can best fill them plus explore the extraordinary benefits that come with creating more room for cover crops on your farm or in your garden. Your questions/experiences will be our focus.

Dr. Elizabeth Dyck, founder of the not-for-profit Organic Growers' Research and Information-Sharing Network, has worked with farmers in East Africa, the Midwest, and the Northeast to optimize use of green manures and cover crops.

Climate Change Adaptation Strategies for CT Agriculture
This workshop will explore and share strategies to help farms cope with the challenges of climate change associated with drought, heat stress, excessive moisture, longer growing seasons, unpredictable weather, and changes in pest pressure. Participants will also learn about programs that can help them adapt, including conservation programs. Kip Kolesinskas is a consulting Conservation Scientist whose clients include American Farmland Trust, the Connecticut Department of Agriculture and the University of Connecticut Cooperative Extension and has served on the Governor's Steering Committee on Climate Change.

34th Annual Winter Conference

Featuring 60+ workshops, 80+ exhibitors and vendors, and a $15 lunch catered by Connecticut's finest restaurants.
Click here to register online


Thank You to Our Lead Sponsors:

 

   

CT NOFA's 34th Annual Winter Conference is being brought to you in cooperation with Western Connecticut State University and its Jane Goodall Center for Excellence in Environmental Studies. WSHU is a media sponsor.

 

This Program is a cooperative effort of CT NOFA, UConn Extension, the Connecticut Department of Agriculture, and the Risk Management Agency/USDA.

Featured Business Members


Provider Farm is located at the historic Woodbridge Farm property in Salem, Connecticut that dates back to the 1800's. Farmers Max and Kerry Taylor grow vegetables following OMRI organic standards on 14 beautiful acres of healthy, happy soil, and raise a herd of heritage cattle on 20 acres of biodynamically managed pasture. Their Devon cattle are a rare breed that does particularly well on grass-based farms, providing milk, meat, draft power and manure to fertilize the soil.

The farm offers a summer and winter CSA and has some wholesale accounts. Provider Farm is now recruiting full and part-time seasonal crew members and has opened CSA shares to new subscribers. Click here to apply for a farm job and here to apply for a CSA share, which can be picked up at the farm or at Terra Firma Farm in Stonington.
 
"Soil is our most precious resource and the foundation of our farm. Healthy soil makes a healthy farm. Soil is a complex living organism that needs to be fed and cared for like any other living thing. That is why at Provider Farm we don't use any chemical fertilizers or pesticides. We have a compost based fertility system and practice crop rotations and cover cropping to ensure that our soil remains healthy and strong." - Farmers Max and Kerry Taylor.

Four years ago, Vivian Simons bought a historic, 14-acre property in Weston that was last farmed in the 1940s. The former onion field is now providing the local community with the freshest, organically-grown produce, herbs, flowers and ground fruit around. Children are always invited to go in the beautifully tended fields with a farm hand to pick from the 4 acres being cultivated, and guests can wander into the two pristine greenhouses that will soon be teeming with early lettuces, arugula and mustard greens.

Vivian likes to buy heirloom seeds to provide her customers with unique and rare varieties of vegetables including native ground cherries, Mexican sour gherkin cucumber, Szechuan buttons and heirloom tomatoes.The farm stand is bustling on market days in the spring - Saturdays and Sundays from 12-6 - with Friday and Wednesday added in full season. She doesn't offer a CSA yet or participate in farmers' markets, but will sell to wholesale account if they go to the farm to pick up.

Willimantic Food Coop
Willimantic Food Coop has been member owned and operated since 1980, and the store is open to both members and non-members. Members pay shelf price and have the option of working at the store to receive an additional discount. Non-members pay 10% above shelf price. In addition to dollar savings, members get the benefit of fair prices, fine food, knowledgeable staff and the friendly environment that defines the co-op.

Willimantic Food Coop carries a full line of grocery items, produce, cheese, juices, grains, spices, vitamins, dairy products, meat and poultry, homeopathic remedies, and paper goods. Wayne's Organic Farm, Provider Farm (profiled above), High Hill Orchard, Tobacco Road Farm, Beltane Farm, and Farm to Hearth Bakery are among the local farms and artisan food producers that supply the co-op.

CT NOFA Events 

March 3: GMO Hearing at the Capital (Hartford, CT; 11 am) - see article above for details

March 3: Organic Farmstand Radio Show with Jeff Cordulack as a guest (WPKN 89.5 FM; 12 noon-1 pm)

March 23: Garden Design & Photography Workshop with Lucy Van Liew and Karen Bussolini at The Green Spot (New Milford, CT) - Details pending. RSVP to ctnofa@ctnofa.org.

March 31: Pollinator Potluck with Jeff Cordulack as guest speaker (Greenwich, CT) - Details pending.

April 1: Will Bonsall Lecture (Granby, CT; 6:30-8:30 pm)

May 21: Backyard Homesteading with Deb Legge (Wallingford, CT; 10am-12 pm) - Details pending. RSVP to ctnofa@ctnofa.org.

Community Board: A CT NOFA member benefit ~ can post your classified ads and other announcements (jobs, equipment, land for sale) on the 'Community Board'.

Visit the CT NOFA Events Calendar Online 

In the News

Seasonal Food Service Director, Head Chef and Sous Chef Opportunities:
 
Located in the Pocono Mountains of PA, Camp Harlam is seeking a qualified FOOD SERVICE DIRECTOR, 1 HEAD CHEF AND 1 SOUS CHEF to work with their foodservice partner - John Turenne, FCSI - to implement and oversee their new, high quality foodservice program. The dates of employment are from early June to mid/late August 2016. Housing is provided.
 
Please send resume & cover letter to: Sustainable Food Systems, LLC sfs@sustainablefoodsystems.com with the subject CAMP HARLAM FSD, HEAD CHEF OR SOUS CHEF.
CT NOFA - Northeast Organic Farming Association of CT, 126 Derby Ave., Derby, CT 06418