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May 2011

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
Winter Food Project
Community Board
Guest Columnist
Spring Seedling Sales
Featured Regional Organization
Legislative Alerts & Actions
New Business Members
In the News
Other Items of Interest


bill duesing

From the Executive Director




CT NOFA and Agroecology: Local action and global vision


Food is our most important connection with the Earth, after air and water. 


The essential question we need to ask is:  "Will our connection to the Earth be a damaging industrial one or a healing ecological one?"



Holcomb Farm csa
Holcomb Farm - transition from winter growing to seedling production for 700 member CSA
For nearly 30 years, CT NOFA has promoted a local and organic food system consisting of organic and sustainable small farms selling nearby, community and urban farms, home, school and community gardens and informed consumers who eat more locally and seasonally.



Growing food near where it is eaten and using organic and sustainable methods are important ecological strategies many of us are using.  Now there is an overarching term, agroecology, which includes these ecological strategies and others that are beneficial to humans, culture and the environment.


Agroecology connects our work here with solutions that can work all over the world.

Read more>


CT NOFA & NOFA Events & Announcements     



Peonies, Wine & Jazz

Friday, May 20, 2011
6:00 to 8:00 pm
A benefit for CT NOFA
Hosted by Cricket Hill Garden
Thomaston, CT

Sign up now for a spring evening of music, wine,

gorgeous blooms and delightful company!

Green Up Your Yard With Organic Land and Lawn Care
Monday, May 23, 2011
6:00 - 7:30 pm
Mitchell Library
New Haven, CT

On-Farm Workshop - Raising Boer Goats
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
5:00 to 8:00 pm
Red Rock Meat Goats
West Suffield, CT

City Farm & Garden Tour
Saturday, August 6, 2011
New Haven, CT
Interested in being a host farm or garden? Contact us for details.

Permaculture Workshop
Monday, August 8, 2011
Center for Sustainable Living
Bethlehem, CT
Detail TBA

NOFA Summer Conference
August 12-14, 2011
Amherst, MA

Additional On-Farm Workshops are being planned:  Winter crop storage, an orchard workshop, CSA planning and expansion.  We're always looking for topic suggestions and host farms, so email us with your ideas.




 Farewell to Ashley! 


It's been wonderful to work with Ashley for the past three years and to watch her grow in her role as Program Manager for NOFA's Organic Land Care Program and grow the program.  We are very happy that she will still be part of our network in her new position at CitySeed, a partner on several projects.

Ashley is very happy to be working in New Haven, very close to her home, with the organization that first connected her with CT NOFA.  She is also excited to be involved in CitySeed's work to get food to those who need it.

It's also been a pleasure to see her involvement and activity with the New Haven community gardens. We'll miss her dazzling smile, the "I'm really five-minutes away" morning text messages and all the energy she brought to our our office.  See you soon!


Bill Duesing's Upcoming Talk:

Wednesday, May 25, 2011
5:00 pm
Grow Your Own...Organically
New Morning
Woodbury, CT


For other area events, including film screenings, talks, garden tours and more, check our our events listing page

winter food logo


We are at the very end of the stored winter food cycle, but some of us are still using up the last of squash, parsnips and other vegetables put away for use this long winter. We're also thinking ahead for the upcoming growing season - new crops to try at our farms & gardens, storage places to build or expand.  What are you trying this year? Let us know and we'll pass it along.

This survey is still open for growers; if you have a spare moment (we know....),  please fill it out and it will us help us plan upcoming workshops and other events. Thanks!


Community Board 


 Internships, apprentices and farm manager positions - these and more can be found in the latest postings on the Community Board


Classifieds and Community Board notices are now maintained on our website.  If you have a notice you'd like to add, send it along to the office.


Guest Columnist  - Bettylou Sandy  


It's May! 


grape hyacinths 

"April showers bring May flowers" is an old, but true statement.  After the tremendous snow and ice of this past winter in Connecticut, we were ready for spring.  March took too long to show signs of life, but it always does.  April had so many gloomy and rainy days, we thought spring would never come, but the trees and flowers are blooming!  The grass is ready for its first cut and the warm temperatures are here to stay!  


Read more> 

Spring Seedling Sales

If your farm or organization is selling certified organic or Farmer's Pledge-raised 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. 

Featured Regional Organization - Holcomb Farm

Holcomb Farm

West Granby, Connecticut


Area Seniors Benefit From Nature's Bounty

17,700 Pounds Donated Through Fresh Access



Holcomb Farm program

Juanita O'Bryant & Rebecca Henton

Hartford North End Senior Center

Part of the original - and ongoing - mission of Holcomb Farm has been to supply fresh produce to Granby and Hartford families, especially those who have limited access to healthy vegetables.  Since 1993 the program we call Fresh Access has been supplying one of our most vulnerable populations - seniors with limited mobility, finite resources and increased nutritional needs - with healthy, locally grown food.  Originally supported by state funding (now terminated), this past year Holcomb Farm reached out to our local community for assistance - and they came through!

Read more>


Legislative Alerts & Actions  


In case you haven't heard, the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, the oldest in the nation, is again being targeted for closing.  This, or firing five scientists and their helpers (no we don't know which ones) which would result in eliminating five programs!  Please consider writing to your representatives, the governor, and the person who proposed closing the station:  Ben.Barnes@ct.gov.

You can learn more about the station here and here if you don't already know that the CT Agricultural Experiment Station is a very important asset and information resource for the state's farmers and gardeners as well as the citizens who care about such things as tick and mosquito borne illnesses. 



If you care about protecting clean water and fertile soil, please take a few moments to contact Representative Rosa DeLauro's office to let her know that you oppose cuts to farm bill conservation programs in the 2012 budget. Talk to Melinda Cep who handles agriculture for her office, or email Melinda.cep@mail.house.gov.


DeLauro is a good friend of local and sustainable agriculture. Your voice will provide her with support to oppose those cuts. See these alerts (1 & 2) for more information.




The Food Democracy Now! site details the campaign to stop the sale and planting of Monsanto's recently approved Roundup ReadyŽ GMO alfalfa and sugar beets - view the videos and send a copy of the letter to President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Vilsack, along with your comments.

New Business Members

pease brook farm logoPease Brook Farms - Lebanon, CT
Pease Brook Farms is Located in the Agricultural community of Lebanon, CT Owned and operated by the Melia family. We started our farm in 2001 and have evolved over the years in to what we are today. We have taken the CT NOFA farmer's pledge agreeing to use all-natural and organic practices on our farm. We raise all-natural Pastured Chickens. The meat is USDA inspected and processed. Our birds are fed an all natural diet and rotationally grazed on pasture.  The egg birds are also free range on pasture. Our farm also produces salad greens, herbs, a variety of vegetables, heirloom tomatoes, strawberries, and maple syrup. We sell to both wholesale and to the general public. Our products can be found at a variety of stores.
(860) 710-3616
email: halleigh@charter.net
website: www.peasebrookfarms.com
or catch us on Facebook


VPT logo

The Voluntown Peace Trust (VPT) is a non-profit center for sustainable living and social change.  We offer programs, workshops, and retreats, as well as rental facilities for your seminars and events.  For nearly 50 years, the 57-acre property in Voluntown, Connecticut has been a place for environmentally conscious living, equity-based economics and collective community organizing and action.  VPT supports efforts for community-building, economic and social justice and the expansion of sustainable agriculture throughout Southeastern Connecticut.  Our newly formed Land Stewardship Program aspires to become a model of sustainable agriculture, a resource for environmental enlightenment.  We welcome all who share a vision of peace on and with this precious earth.




FHG logo 


Fairfield House & Garden Co. - Greenwich, CT







3B Ranch - Northford, CT 

Lifetime membership


In the News

Steve Munno of Massaro Farm in Woodbridge travelled to the nation's capitol recently to show his support for small farm and sustainable agriculture federal programs that are currently facing possible death sentences. More>

Organic gardening efforts in Bridgeport were featured in the Bridgeport News after the April 2nd statewide CT NOFA Organic Gardening Day. RJ Mercede, a Public Ally working at the CT NOFA office, was an organizer for this successful event.

Dove & Boar Farm in Hampton has one of the first solar photovoltaic arrays to be installed at a working farm in Connecticut. More> 

Analiese Paik was featured in this townvibe article.


Other Items of Interest  

Studies identify link between prenatal exposure to common pesticides and delayed cognitive development in children. Details>  


farm to chef logoAn impressive list of restaurants and dining facilities serving Connecticut-grown products.  



The Winter 2011 issue of Connecticut Woodlands is full of great suggestions for connecting children and families to the wonders of the natural world.

Upcoming deadlines to sign up for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and Organics Initiatives  in Connecticut. More>

New England Regional Beef-to-Institution Marketing Study Announced

The Holistic Agriculture Library - a great library of online books

An interesting site if you're traveling and looking for farmers markets or other local foods.

And no newsletter is complete without a chicken story - check out the photo in this Grist article.

Thanks to our Sponsors:

  Ross bread logo  whole foods logo


If you have any stories, articles, notices or suggestions for this newsletter, please send them along.

Many thanks,

CT NOFA-The Connecticut Chapter of the Northeast Organic Farming Association | PO Box 164 | Stevenson | CT | 06491