In This Issue
From the ED
From Bill Duesing
Events
Board Members Sought
Featured Members
Announcements
In the News
From our Blog
Find an Accredited Landscaper
Go Organic when you Shop!
Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

View our photos on flickr
From Eileen Hochberg

 

Welcome to our New Executive Director!

 

Please join the Board of Directors and staff of the Connecticut Northeast Organic Farming Association (CT NOFA) in welcoming Eileen Hochberg! (Read the full press release here.)

 

CT NOFA friends,

 

What a great time of year to begin my new role as Executive Director of the Connecticut Northeast Organic Farming Association!

 

Spring is when our mission comes to life with every emerging bud and blade of grass, the rush of activity at our garden centers and nurseries, the beginning of Connecticut's outdoor farmers markets and CSA programs, and the increasing availability of local and organic fresh farm products wherever we shop. Our 2013-2014 Farm and Food Guide is hot off the press and Tuesday, May 21 at 11am (originally scheduled for May 8th) a group of chefs, farmers, restaurateurs, and activists will rally outside the Hartford capitol building for the labeling of GMO foods.

 

When talking about CT NOFA people's responses are overwhelmingly positive and gratifying to me. Everyone loves our organization, as our mission affects every aspect of our lives and environment. Our 31 years promoting local and organic food, farms, gardens and land care will help ensure a healthier future for us, our children and our planet - the highest priority for so many.

 

The success of CT NOFA is due to you, our CT NOFA family. Your participation as members, donors, volunteers and spokespeople is crucial and we thank you! No source of funding is more important than our memberships and donations.

 

Please consider giving the gift of membership for Mother's and Father's Day, graduations, and wedding showers. Who wouldn't enjoy a membership? We all eat, old and young play on lawns, and our drinking water is best protected with organic land care. Your membership gift will be acknowledged with a letter to the recipient and will include a CT NOFA cookbook or t-shirt.

 

Please also consider a donation to our Spring Appeal. By giving generously today you will ensure that CT NOFA's programs can continue and grow. Any amount will make a difference, and we thank you for your gift. Due to the generosity of Patagonia we are able to enter all donors of $100 or more into a drawing to win either a women's or men's jacket in your choice of size.

 

If you value our NOFA Organic Land Care program that accredits organic landscapers and gives you the ability to locate one...If you benefit from our Farm and Food Guide and the ability it gives you to learn about and locate organic farms, farmers markets, CSAs, retailers, and all kinds of other like-minded businesses...please donate if you can. We enjoy your participation in Winter Conferences, workshops, and other events, but current funding doesn't cover the entire costs of running these. We appreciate your additional support.

 

Thank you for being part of the CT NOFA family and spreading the organic message! I look forward to meeting you!

 

Eileen

From Bill Duesing

bill duesing

Now that I have retired as Executive Director, I have the pleasure of working just part time and of being CT NOFA's organic advocate. This role is in keeping with my interests and passion, and I hope serves the needs of people and the planet. See "Why Organic is Important" to learn about the benefits of organic practices.

 

In this position, I am continuing to work on a People's Garden funded project with Knox Parks and The Open Hearth in Hartford. The Open Hearth has been helping homeless men since 1884. It is an amazing place.

Chef Evan Kennedy making new beds at the Woodyard. Garlic is thriving.

 

This year we are expanding the garden at the Woodyard near the Regional Market and working with the chef at Open Hearth to grow herbs and vegetables for his kitchen.

 

I'm also representing CT NOFA on panels and at other GMO educational events such as the Farmer, Mill, and Consumer Alliance and at the Children's Tree Montessori School in Old Saybrook on May 11.

 

I also continue to work on the Network Support Team for the Connecticut Food System Alliance whose tag line is "Together We Can Build a Better Food System." The Alliance's next gathering is on May 7 at Middlesex Community College. All are welcome. You can find a invitation and more information here and directions here

 

Being part time, this position allows me time to do other things I like, including spending more time working on our Old Solar Farm and encouraging others to adopt organic practices and eat local organic food through talks to a variety of audiences.

 

Recently I talked to students at the University of New Haven for Earth Week and to the Garden Club in Middlebury. I've also been consulting with farmers interested in converting to organic and with high school students working on food system issues. More> 

Organic and Sustainable Events

Right to Know GMO Rally 

May 21, 2013  11am

Capitol building

Hartford, CT

Immediately following the rally we will head into the capitol to speak with legislators and taste GMO Free food from CT farms, chefs and food companies.  It will be a very powerful and fun day for our movement.  Learn more about GMO Free CT here.  

 

Calling all businesses, chefs, restaurants and farms! There are still spaces available for food producers to participate in the tasting following the rally! Get exposure for your business while showing your support for GMO labeling! If you are interested in participating in the tasting, email Tara Cook-Littman here .  

  

CT Food System Alliance Gathering 

Tuesday, May 7th

9:30 - 3:30  

Middlesex Community College

Middletown, CT   

The day will include: time for networking with other food system leaders and stakeholders, time for task team updates and breakouts, full group discussion about direction of CFSA, and of course a delicious lunch. RSVP your name, org (if applicable), and email to Thai Ha-Ngoc.

   

The Food Revolution Summit 

April 27-May 5, 2013 

Broadcasting Worldwide 

Spend an inspiring and life-changing week with revolutionary thinkers and visionaries that will put the power in your hands when it comes to the food you eat! Dare to discover the most cutting-edge information, shocking facts and inspirational wisdom! Learn more about the Summit, including speaker bios, here. 


For other area events, check our our event listings page.

Want to Get More Involved with CT NOFA?         

       

CT NOFA Board Members Sought!
CT NOFA is looking for board members with Fundraising and/or Legal Experience.

The Board member will:
  1. Attend in-person meetings approximately every other month
  2. Participate in conference call meetings on the alternate month
  3. Participate in or lead the appropriate committee of the Board, with separate committee meetings 
  4. Attend CT NOFA events, have fun, eat great food and advocate for local, organic food and organic land care
Interested?
Please contact John Turenne, Vice-President of the CT NOFA Board.  You can learn more about the current CT NOFA board here.

Featured Members         

  
Friends of Boulder Knoll
PO Box 1329
Cheshire, CT 06410

Friends of Boulder Knoll is a community based non-profit organization in Cheshire, CT dedicated to sustainable agriculture and sustainable communities. We are committed to involving local people of all ages, abilities, and levels of experience in working with, understanding, and enjoying the land and its natural resources. Through our community farm, we provide hands-on educational opportunities and grow healthy produce for farm shareholders and neighbors in need.

Visit the Friends of Boulder Knoll website here, or email them here.

Announcements & Alerts    

 

Attention Fruit Growers

Would you like to help advance research on native bees and learn about pollinators of your fruit trees and shrubs?  Dr. Kim Stoner of the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station is starting a project to collect and identify bees visiting fruit blossoms, repeating work carried out by bee researchers in 1904 -1905 in the New Haven area.  She is particularly interested in finding some kinds of fruit that were abundant in this area at the turn of the 20th century, but are now hard to find: gooseberries, red and black currants, quince, and sweet cherries.  If you grow any of these and would be willing to have Kim and her crew collect bees (unfortunately, we have to collect some in order to identify them), please contact her at 203-974-8480 or Kimberly.Stoner@ct.gov.  Spring is here, so contact her right away if possible - but the project will continue if we miss your blooming fruit trees and shrubs this year.

 

Just in Time for Spring - Eat the Invaders, Fighting Invasive Species One Bite at a Time 

You don't have to leave home to eat your way around the world. There are snails from France, greens from England, fish from Africa, rosehips from Asia, and aquatic mammals from South America just outside your door. You can eat these invaders raw, eat them boiled, eat them with butter and garlic, or au gratin. This spring, instead of dressing your lawn with herbicides, consider balsamic vinaigrette. Learn more>  

 

Green's Farms Academy Lower School Science Teacher/Garden Coordinator Position

We seek an energetic teacher with a strong background in science, sound experience in elementary science education and a thorough working knowledge of gardening. We seek a candidate who is eager to build upon a dynamic and evolving program; who is a creative self-starter; who can manage a full and varied schedule of teaching and curriculum development; who can design a garden curriculum to be integrated into Lower, Middle and Upper school science classrooms, and who is passionate about instilling in young children a lifelong love of science and stewardship of the natural world. The Garden Coordinator will also organize students to help maintain the garden throughout the school year and will educate the GFA community about harvesting and utilizing foods from the garden. Science teaching at the elementary level and gardening experience are required.

 

Interested candidates should forward a resume and letter of interest to Connie Ennis, Lower School Head, to hr@gfacademy.org with "Science/Garden Position" in the subject line. View the posting here.


Copper Hill Farm Looking for Roomate/Intern   

Copper Hill Farm is looking for an intern to come live on the farm in West Suffield for a small rent per month, and be willing to work on the farm to help with pigs, chickens and vegetable gardens, for produce, meat and eggs in return. Experience on a farm of some sort is a must. This farm is growing, and can only expand with more workers who are willing to work hard. Contact Greg Hazleton here if you are interested.   

 

Call for Applications  - CT Food Justice Youth Corps/VISTA

University of Connecticut Extension, in partnership with some of the most effective and innovative nonprofit organizations in low-income communities in Connecticut, is launching a three year CT Food Justice Youth Corps (CT-FJYC) with five VISTA members in 2013-2014. Learn more and apply here.  

In the News 

Claire Criscuolo on a mission to spread the word about healthy living
Noted chef Claire Criscuolo is on a mission -- to spread the word that eating healthy can be an achievable goal. And she's doing so by talking at libraries around the state, to audiences of 25 to 250 people at a time. The size of the crowd matters little. "I love libraries," said the effervescent chef, the owner and founder of Claire's Corner Copia, a vegetarian mecca in New Haven. "For the last year and a half, I have been speaking at libraries around the state, because libraries are accessible to everyone" free of charge, she noted. More>

Anti-obesity effort highlights 'Produce of the Week'

Behold, the humble apricot. If you know the fruit at all, it's likely from one of those sad trays of dried fruits relegated to the less popular corners of your neighborhood grocery store. If you're really savvy, you might know that apricots also come in fresh form. But did you know that apricots have been grown in California since before 1800? Or that they're excellent sources of vitamins A and C? Or that they make a fine addition to a Moroccan soup? More> 

From our Blog
  
Happy Earth Day 
With all the celebrations of our environment, the budding trees, sprouting plants and greening of the landscape, spring is such an inspirational time! Part of your celebration of the Earth this year might be to become involved with the legislative process. The 2013 legislative session ends on June 5th. This gives us 45 days to pass a GMO labeling bill in CT. We remain hopeful that with your help, CT will be the first state to give its citizens the right to know what is in their food. More>

Rethink Your Cellphone and the Global Food System
For many, cellphones are used for a few primary services; communicating with others and (if you own a smartphone) staying connected to the internet and often times your Facebook page. Yet for farmers in Sub-Sahara Africa, having a cellphone could mean the difference between making a profit on your crop in the global market or none at all. More>

Love our blog?  Want a chance to get more involved?  

For the first time ever, we are now accepting guest articles to feature on our blog.  If you have expertise and passion for organic and sustainable food issues, and experience with writing either on a blog or in another journalistic outlet, you can become a guest blogger for CT NOFA!  Interested? Send us an email detailing your relevant experience with writing and sustainable food and, if our needs match, we'll set you up as either a one-time blogger, or a scheduled guest writer.  

 

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.

If you have any stories, articles, notices, or suggestions for this newsletter, please send them along.  Please also note that classifieds and community notices are maintained on our community board. If you have a notice you'd like to add, send it along to the office here.
 
Many thanks,
Melissa Gabso
Gleanings Editor 

203-888-5146

ctnofa@ctnofa.org