CT NOFA eNewsletter
May 9, 2006
v.2 no.5
Join CT NOFA!
Learn about the benefits of membership: http://www.ctnofa.org/Join.htm
Sign up for the e-Newsletter, please send an email to: janet@ctnofa.org

In this Issue:

1.  Upcoming Events

  • Upcoming CT NOFA Events
  • Other Events of Interest

2.  Connecticut News 

  • $18 million in unallocated bonding for farmland preservation
  • Agriculture Viability Grants Available in Connecticut
  • Women's Ag Network starting up in CT

3. CT Legislative News

  • Nutrition Bill
  • Diesel Pollution Reduction
  • Energy
  • Clean Cars
  • Transportation Package
  • Bottle Bill

4. Other News and Stories

  • CT NOFA in the News: Think Globally, Eat Locally
  • Next Revolution in Food Just around the corner
  • The EU has banned the herbicide Atrazine
  • AMERICA'S EATING DISORDER
  • One-Third of Kids Tip Scales Wrong Way
  • The Meatrix II: Revolting

5. Opportunities

  • CT NOFA is hiring a bookeeper
  • Farmer’s Helper Wanted
  • Sandy Hook Village Farmers Market
  • MSU Organic Farming Certificate Program
  • Paid Fellowships through Green Corps
  • Position Opening: Coastal Habitat Quality Extension Educator
  • Ecology Director – Mercy Center at Madison

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Join CT NOFA

Volunteers are needed for the 2006 Organic Guides.
Help with research or with distribution. Find out more at http://www.ctnofa.org/volunteer.php

CT NOFA is hiring a bookkeeper
Full-charge bookkeeper. Knowledge of Quickbooks required. Send resume to Bill Duesing, CT NOFA, PO Box 164, Stevenson CT 06491. Call Bill at 203 888 5146 for more details.

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Item 1:

The Next CT NOFA Sponsored Events:

June 25
CT NOFA Farm Tour Visit three Unique Organic Farms in Connecticut and enjoy a fresh, local organic lunch. More information at www.ctnofa.org

August 15
NOFA Organic Lawn and Turf Course New Haven, CT. 8:30 - 5:00 Topics Include: Why Organic?; Site Analysis; Soil Fertility & Health, Soil Amendments, Compost; Cultural Practices; Pests, Weeds, Diseases, Insects; Your choice of the following tracks: Lawns (residential or commercial) OR Sports Fields and Turf; Outdoor Demonstrations. COST Includes coffee, handbook, lunch: $145 for 1st person from firm or town, $120 for each additional person. This course is worth 4 AOLCP Credits. Pesticide Applicator Credits Available. REGISTER ONLINE! Contact Bill Duesing at 203-888-5146 bduesing@cs.com for more information. http://www.ctnofa.org/OrganicLandCare/turf.php

Other Items of Interest:

May 09
2006 UCONN Biodiesel Consortium Spring Workshop: Production and Use of the Fuel of the Future 1:30 - 4:00 p.m. Uconn, Storrs, CT Please register by calling 860-887-4163, Ext. 3011 by April 30th.

May 11-12
The 4th Annual Greening Rooftops for Sustainable Communities Conference, Awards, and Trade Show ~  Boston For more information, visit www.greenroofs.org/boston or email jphilp@greenroofs.org 

MAY 11-12
How to Create Successful Markets -, New York City. Register online at www.pps.org http://www.pps.org/info/ppsnews/markets_training_course A two-day workshop led by our own public market experts Steve Davies and David O'Neil. Cities and towns across the US are rediscovering the benefits of public markets.

 Thursday, May 11
ORGANIC-FRIENDLY GARDENING: A Trading TIPs Discussion, 7-9 p.m., Rochambeau Library, 708 Hope St., Providence, RI Come with your questions as well as your own gardening TIPs for others.  A FREE event! www.toxicsinfo.org

May 13
ORGANIC GARDENING 10:30-1:30 Local Farm Cornwall Bridge, Connecticut Join Debra Tyler in "breaking sod" in order to start a backyard garden. Discuss soil health, planting dates, and cold frames. Examine stages of compost. Visit well-established area gardens and their keepers. Advance registration required - lifeskills@motherhouse.us.

May 13
Chainsaw Training for the Novice, Goodwin Forest Conservation Center, Hampton, 8-4 PM, www.canr.uconn.edu/ces.forest/events/index.htm $125

Wednesday, May 17
Building Sustainable Communities 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm UCONN Stamford, 203-406-3319 or email soundbusiness@soundwaters.org Presented by: SoundWaters and the Urban Land Institute

Saturday, May 20
CT Farmer Learner Group’s Lebanon Livestock Farm Tour 9 – 10 AM Four Winds Farm, 10:30 – 11:30 AM Highwater Dairy at Beltane Farm For more information or to RSVP, call 860-774-9600 Sponsored by UConn Cooperative Extension System

May 20th
The New Haven Farmers’ market at Wooster Square opens

May 27th and 28th
MA Sheep and Woolcraft Fair, Cummington Fairgrounds, off Route 9 in Cummington MA. Sheep shows, herding dog trials, vendors, local food, children's activities, short workshops, spinning competitions. www.masheepwool.org

Saturday, June 3
THE RI SUSTAINABLE LIVING FESTIVAL Apeiron Institute for Environmental Living, Coventry, RI  , 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Nine hours of earth-friendly activities and ear-friendly music. Workshops, eco-mall, forest fun, children's area and music from The Slip, Erin McKeown, Tracy Grammer and The Eyesores. Information and advance $20 tickets on-line at www.livingfest.org or call 401-397-3430. Children 16 and under FREE.

Wednesday, June 7th, 6 pm – 8 pm
Cooking with Spring Vegetables Learn how to cook delicious spring vegetables fresh from the farmers‘ market, including kale, swiss chard, snap peas, spring salad, and whatever else the spring garden yields. Pre-registration required, $5 per person. Common Ground High School, New Haven For more information Call 389-4333, See our website: www.nhep.com, Email: rholcombe@nhep.com

June 10
EGGS-PERIENCE CHICKENS, 10:30-1:30 Local Farm Cornwall Bridge, Connecticut Learn what's involved in raising chickens from hatching eggs to harvesting as meat. See different types of portable housing: 'eggmobiles' and 'chicken tractors'. Prepare a live broiler for cooking. Advance registration required - lifeskills@motherhouse.us.

Sunday, June 11, 12 pm – 4 pm
Common Ground Farm Festival Celebrate the beginning of the growing season and learn about fresh, local food. Events for adults, children, and families Sheep shearing, Spring farmers’ market, Farm & garden tours, Music, Games & Face Painting, Tractor pulled hayrides. This is a FREE event! Common Ground High School, New Haven. For more information Call 389-4333, See our website: www.nhep.com, Email: rholcombe@nhep.com

July 8
THE FAMILY COW, 10:00-1:00 Local Farm Cornwall Bridge, Connecticut $35/person or $50/family of up to four members: Learn about finding, feeding, housing, fencing, breeding, and caring for your cow. Try your hand at milking. Make butter, soft cheese and ice cream. Go home with a slew of recipes and resource lists. Plan to stay after the workshop for a tour of area farmsteads This workshop will also be offered on June 3, August 5, and September 2. Advance registration required - lifeskills@motherhouse.us .

August 12
GET YOUR GOAT, Mountain Brook Dairy Southbury, Connecticut Visit with live goats and their keepers. Discuss their care, feeding, fencing, and how to get started keeping goats whether for milk, meat, fiber, or pleasure. Advance registration required - lifeskills@motherhouse.us .

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Item 2:

Connecticut News

$18 million in unallocated bonding for farmland preservation
As you know, we were hoping to convince leaders to allocate a portion of the $600 million in state surplus to 'take a bite out of the backlog' of farmland preservation projects.  But in the end the Senate and House passed a bipartisan budget with zero $$ for farmland preservation from the surplus.  The surplus was carved up rather simply into funds for teacher's retirement, paying down the bond debt, prop tax relief for municipalities, and a few other smaller items (more details below).

 For the time being we assume the $18 million in unallocated bonding for farmland preservation (which was promised in last year's bonding legislation) is still intact.  However, we are NOT 100% certain of anything until session ends.  We will let you know immediately if we have any info to the contrary.  Find out more at http://www.workinglandsalliance.org/legislate.htm --jiff martin, WLA Project Director, 860-683-4230

 

Agriculture Viability Grants Available in Connecticut
Hartford, CT. Contact: Ron Olsen at (860)713-2550. The Department is pleased to announce a new grant program available to farmers, municipalities and registered non-profits.  Public Act 05-228 “ An Act Concerning Farmland Preservation, Land Protection, Affordable Housing, and Historic Preservation” is landmark legislation that will serve to protect and preserve Connecticut for future generations by providing increased funding for municipal open space grants, farm viability and preservation, historic preservation, and new and existing affordable housing programs, along with new infrastructure to support and promote agriculture in Connecticut. One million dollars will be available in 2006 to fund two competitive matching grants in the new program.

 
The Agriculture Viability Grants Program will include two (2) grants: the Farm Viability Grant for Municipalities (FVG) and the Farm Transition Grant (FTG). Both are competitive matching grant programs with similar monies available but distinctive differences. The FVG grant can only be used by municipalities and may be used for capital projects or for planning projects. The 50% match can be in in-kind services or funding from other sources.  The FTG will be used to strengthen the economic viability of Connecticut farmers, agricultural not for profit organizations and agricultural cooperatives.  A producer and a cooperative match must be at least 50% and may not include in-kind services, while a not for profit match must be at least 40% and may include in-kind services.  The CT Department of Agriculture’s share of the project budget is capped at $50,000 in matching funds. For more info, go to http://www.ct.gov/doag/cwp/view.asp?Q=313428&A=1401 DEADLINE is May 31st!!!!!!!!!

 

Women's Ag Network starting up in CT
WAgN began in Vermont in 1993, spread to Maine in '97, and now exists in Iowa, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts as well. Each group is an independent entity, although members from the various states share common goals and collaborate on large projects-such as the Women in Sustainable Agriculture conference last fall. Vision: To increase the number of women owning/operating profitable farms and ag-related businesses and their profile in leadership positions throughout the agricultural sectors of business, government and community. Mission: To provide education and technical assistance to individuals starting or enhancing farms and ag-related businesses. " - From the Vermont and Maine websites

 In Connecticut since January of this year, about 30 ag-related women have expressed interest in forming a network for exchange of information, experiences and needs. We are proceeding as a "grass roots" group for now, (as the Maine group did before it received funding) establishing connections with one another and identifying possibilities. We can be thinking about who we are and what we have to share! Please send me your who-what-where when & why, as well as ideas of how a women's network could be helpful to you in particular and women's ag in general. Women in business -farming included- face the same challenges as all owners and workers. How we support and encourage one another through the process is one way we can do things differently! -  Contact: Elaine Frost, Frostfire Farm, Goshen, CT 860-491-2272

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Item 3:

CT Legislative News


From Nancy Alderman, President Environment and Human Health, Inc. http://www.ehhi.org

Nutrition Bill The Nutrition Bill just passed - 71-76. Can't get much closer than that. It will be interesting to see who voted for and who voted against the Bill. You can see for yourself how the legislators voted on the Nutrition Bill at this website: http://www.cga.ct.gov/2006/VOTE/H/2006HV-00201-R00SB00373-HV.htm  Connecticut now has the strongest Nutrition Bill in the nation. We can all be very proud. Again, thank you all so very much.

 

From Roger Smith, Clean Water Coalition: As you may know, the regular legislative session for 2006 ended at midnight on Wednesday May 3rd.  The next session will start in January, after this year's elections.  Here's a summary of what happened related to global warming and the implementation of the state climate plan.

Diesel pollution reduction In spite of strong citizen support, SB 642 did not pass, so we will need to keep up the fight to reduce diesel pollution over the next year.  SB 642, the bill to reduce pollution from school buses, transit buses and state construction equipment, was hobbled by unrealistically high cost estimates and opposition from the DEP.  The main challenge we had was to secure funding to retrofit these fleets. Our efforts to get the transit bus clean-up into the transportation package were not successful but we were able to get transit buses into the state bonding package (bonds are issued for infrastructure improvements, building, etc). This may still happen, as transit bus retrofits are in the bond package and this could be taken up in a "special legislative session" in the next few weeks. 

Energy This session, the main global warming-related energy bills were HB 5261 to create oil and natural gas efficiency funds and HB 5523 mandating that new or renovated state buildings must be energy efficient green buildings, and for common consumer products to be designed to use less electricity. Heavy opposition from the oil and gas dealers and business community, who derided investments in energy efficiency as a tax, prevented HB 5261 from being funded in a meaningful way and the bill died in committee.  Almost every other energy bill this session also ran out of time.  Only green building standards (sadly, minus schools) got passed, as it was slipped into a non-energy bill.  Read more about this in the Courant: http://www.courant.com/business/hc-spsession0505.artmay05,0,2728552.story?coll=hc-headlines-business and in a Associated Press newswire article: http://www.stamfordadvocate.com/news/local/state/hc-04181909.apds.m0119.bc-ct-xgr--may04,0,3967707.story?coll=hc-headlines-local-wire and on News Channel 8 (online video clip): http://www.wtnh.com/Global/story.asp?S=4861086

Clean Cars Connecticut Fund for the Environment and the Clean Cars Alliance succeded in passing SB 660, ìAn Act Concerning Clean Cars with a House vote of 145 to 3 and unanimous approval in the Senate This bill now heads for the governorís desk before it becomes law. The new legislation features a Clean Cars Consumer Education Program, which will highlight the link between motor vehicle emissions and global warming through a comprehensive motor vehicle labeling program that enables purchasers to compare the global warming impacts of various makes and models on a dealerís lot.  This program will be the second such program in the nation to mandate that greenhouse information be displayed on all motor vehicles sold in the state.  It also makes the sales tax exemption for the most fuel-efficient hybrid cars permanent.

Transportation package The most significant global warming bill of the session was the major $2 billion+ transportation package which emphasizes mass transit, including the creation of a New Haven to Springfield commuter rail line, station improvements, and general support for transit-oriented development.  This bill will help give commuters choices beyond driving to work, and transportation is the largest source of global warming pollution in Connecticut.

Bottle Bill expansion An attempt to increase the recycling rate by extending the $.05 cent beverage deposit to water bottles was killed by the beverage and grocery industry.  Increasing recycling is an important goal of the state climate plan.

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Item 4:

Other News and Stories

CT NOFA in the News: Think Globally, Eat Locally
New Haven has four farmers’ markets and 50 community gardens, and that’s a good thing, researcher Kim Stoner (CT NOFA) explained to the crowd at the Connecticut Agriculture Experiment Station. Her talk was entitled, “The Future of Food and Farming in Connecticut.” Peak oil figured prominently in that future. "We’re not going to be able to transport our food from long distances forever," Stoner said, "so we need to be developing local sources of food.” She added that “local” could encompass all of New England or it could mean within walking distance of where you live. That’s why farmers’ markets and community gardens take on added importance. To see the whole story, go to: http://www.newhavenindependent.org/archives/2006/04/peak_oil_and_lo.html

Next Revolution in Food Just around the corner
I might never have found my way to Polyface Farm if Joel Salatin hadn’t refused to FedEx me one of his chickens.  I’d heard a lot about the quality of the meat raised on his “beyond organic” farm, and was eager to sample some. Salatin and his family raise a half-dozen different species in an intricate rotation that has made his 550 hilly acres of pasture and woods in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley one of the most productive and sustainable small farms in America. But when I telephoned Joel to ask him to send me a broiler, he said he couldn’t do that. “I don’t believe it’s sustainable—‘organic,’ if you will—to FedEx meat all around the country,” Joel told me. “I’m afraid if you want to try one of our chickens, you’re going to have to drive down here to pick it up.” This man was serious. He went on to explain that Polyface does not ship long distance, does not sell to supermarkets, and does not wholesale its food. All of the meat and eggs that Polyface produces is eaten within a few dozen miles or, at the most, half a day’s drive of the farm—within the farm’s “foodshed.” To read the whole article, go to: http://www.motherjones.com/news/feature/2006/05/no_bar_code.html

The EU has banned the herbicide Atrazine
The European Union has banned the herbicide Atrazine, effective next year, after finding it contaminated a number of drinking water supplies. The weed killer first came under scrutiny for its effects on frogs, and more recently has been linked to adverse affects on human health. Some 70 million pounds of Atrazine are used in the US each year, mostly on cornfields. After studying Atrazine, the Environmental Protection Agency decided not to ban it in the US, but says its research into the chemical continues. http://www.loe.org/shows/segments.htm?programID=06-P13-00016&segmentID=1

AMERICA'S EATING DISORDER
Journalist Michael Pollan talks about fixing our industrial food system, what being a conscientious carnivore means, and how we can really eat healthily. http://www.alternet.org/envirohealth/35084/

One-Third of Kids Tip Scales Wrong Way
A third of U.S. children and teens - about 25 million kids - are either overweight or on the brink of becoming so, the highest number ever recorded, according to a government survey out today. And about two-thirds of adults, about 136 million people, are overweight or obese. The latest data is from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which is considered the gold standard for evaluating the U.S. obesity epidemic because it is a large survey of people whose weight and height are actually measured. To read the whole story, go to: http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2006-04-04-obesity_x.htm

The Meatrix II: Revolting
The Meatrix II: Revolting went live today at www.themeatrix2.com, bringing an important message to food buyers nationwide manure and deceit might just lurk beneath the packaging of dairy products in your shopping cart. The cliffhanger sequel to the award-winning Meatrix movie takes on another facet of the factory farm industry, exposing the ugly truth behind factory dairy farms. The film’s companion site includes The Meatrix 360 Interactive, an animated educational tool with more than 20 hot buttons linking to resource pages that offer in-depth information about factory farm issues.

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Item 5:

Opportunities

CT NOFA is hiring a bookkeeper
Full-charge bookkeeper. Knowledge of Quickbooks required. Send resume to Bill Duesing, CT NOFA, PO Box 164, Stevenson CT 06491. Call Bill at 203 888 5146 for more details.

Farmer’s Helper Wanted
Debra Tyler of Local Farm and Motherhouse is looking for someone who can serve as a farmer's helper. That is, to help her prepare for and oversee the Old Style Life Skills workshops that take place several times a month in Cornwall, CT. Flexibility, a calm nature, strong organizational skills and a deep interest in old-style life skills would be ideal. A modest hourly wage is available. Contact lifeskills@motherhouse.us for more information.

Sandy Hook Village Farmers Market is looking for Farmers and Crafters for market. 3 years running. Lots of local traffic. contact Elisabeth at 203-364-7099 or 203-426-2427. Sundays 9 - 1.

MSU Organic Farming Certificate Program
Organic Farming Apprenticeship and Course Work For University Credit Student Organic Farm - Michigan State University East Lansing, Michigan Starting January 2007 for one year on campus plus an on-farm or community garden based internship. One year (40 credits) of course work and experience operating a certified organic, 10 acre four season farm. 7 acres of field production, 10,000 sq ft of unheated greenhouses and 4000 sq ft of heated greenhouses. Production of fresh vegetables, fruit, herbs and flowers for 50 membership 48 week CSA and a summer farm stand. Management of 2/3 acre permaculture (native, edible forest garden) plot. Honey bees and free-range laying hens on site. Contact Corie Pierce at piercee@msu.edu Call 517-355-5191 then dial 1 and ext. 411 for an application or more information.   Ask us about the availability of our on-line courses you may be able to take for credit while still at your current school. Visit www.msuorganicfarm.com

Paid Fellowships Through Green Corps
Full-time, paid fellowships to top student leaders to get the training they need to win urgent environmental campaigns. Final Application Deadline:  Friday, June 30th For more information and application materials:  www.greencorps.org Green Corps is the non-profit Field School for Environmental Organizing, founded by leading environmentalists in 1992 to identify and train environmental leaders. Our program includes intensive classroom training, hands-on experience running urgent environmental and public health campaigns, and placement in permanent leadership positions with leading environmental and social change groups. Salary of $23,750. Optional group health care coverage, paid sick days and holidays, two weeks paid vacation, and a student loan repayment program for qualifying staff. deadline of June 30, 2006. Online application is at www.greencorps.org. Contact Cindy Kang, Associate Director, at cindy@greencorps.org  or 617-426-8506.

Position Opening: Coastal Habitat Quality Extension Educator
The CT NEMO program and the CT Sea Grant Program have opened a search for a new coastal habitat quality extension educator. The intent of this position is to expand NEMO educational offerings to coastal towns and to utilize coastal research coming out of projects from CLEAR and Sea Grant. For more information, refer to http://www.seagrant.uconn.edu/ and http://nemo.uconn.edu.

Ecology Director – Mercy Center at Madison
Mercy Center seeks a creative individual with enthusiasm, commitment and passion for Earth and all her inhabitants and background and/or experience in some or all of the following: eco-spirituality, program development and delivery, grant writing and management, education, science to strengthen and expand ecology work at the Center. The director will expand programming, develop organic gardening projects, research “greening” of the buildings, and provide educational and experiential opportunities for persons of all ages in collaboration with local and regional environmental groups. Also, he/she will address water issues and implement recommendations from a recent land management study conducted by students at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. This is a full-time position. Send letter of intent with one page resume including background and experience in eco-spirituality, education, science, and/or administration and three references to Jim Emswiler, Mercy Center, PO Box 191, Madison, CT 06443 or e-mail Jim@MercyByTheSea.org.

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If you wish to be added to the CT NOFA e-newsletter list, please send an email with the subject line "subscribe" to Janet@ctnofa.org.

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If you have a news item that you would like to be considered for this e-newsletter, email it to Janet@ctnofa.org

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If you wish to be added to the CT NOFA e-newsletter list, please send an email with the subject line "subscribe" to Janet@ctnofa.org

If you wish to be taken off this list, please reply with "unsubscribe" as a subject line.

If you have a news item that you would like to be considered for this e-newsletter, email it to Janet@ctnofa.org


CT NOFA
PO Box 164 • Stevenson, CT 06491

phone: (203) 888-5146 • fax: (203) 888-9280

ctnofa@ctnofa.org