Connecticut's Beginning & Experienced Organic Farmers,
contracts experienced organic farmers from around the state to provide short-term technical assistance to Connecticut's beginning farmers.
More about the program HERE
From the President and the
Interim Executive Director
Dear CT NOFA Family,
Greetings fellow CT NOFA Members, Happy May! I'd like to share a quick update on our progress of finding our next Executive Director. As we shared in last month's Gleanings, our E.D. Eileen Hochberg has accepted an opportunity to work with the March of Dimes.
First off, the Board of Directors (and Eileen) has unanimously endorsed and supports our long time Chief Administrative Officer, Deb Legge, as the Interim Executive Director. Deb's relationships with staff, members and stakeholders as well as her experience with our programs will offer a seamless period as we continue through the thorough search process for a new Executive Director. Thank you Deb!
An update on the search process will tell you we have received many interested candidates and are currently completing phone interviews with the top tier. Our next phase will include face-to-face interviews with our Search Committee. So please stay tuned. We hope to share good news with you shortly.
I would like to take this opportunity to speak on behalf of the Board of Directors and our Membership to thank Eileen for the great work she has provided CT NOFA. With her progressive thinking, we have managed to maintain the grass roots values the organization was founded on, while simultaneously expanding our constituents and programs into new and exciting directions.
If anyone has any questions or comments they would like to share, please don't hesitate to reach out to Deb or myself.
John Turenne - CT NOFA Board President
If you're not familiar with my many emails or as the voice at the office when you call us, John Turenne has ably done the introductions above. I look forward to making this transition to our new Executive Director as smooth as possible.
I'd like to invite everyone to our upcoming events this spring and summer. Some are finalized and listed below, along with these tentatively scheduled:
- Beekeeping with Al Avitable in June
- Hops Workshop at Camps Road Farm in August
- A high tunnel workshop at Massaro Farm in September
And don't forget when you're out this spring for Mother's Day, Father's Day, Graduations, etc. to visit restaurants that support our farmers when dining out. Our Farm & Food Guide Dining Out Section is a great place to start (see pages 19-22). If you need additional copies of the Guide for an event, farm stand or market location, please let us know.
If you are a CT NOFA member you should have, or soon will, received the 2015-2016 Farm & Food Guide, along with Eileen's Spring Appeal letter. A copy of the Appeal letter can be found here.
Two other ways you can support CT NOFA are through EarthShare and GoodSearch. For EarthShare, select Northeast Organic Farming Association of Connecticut as your recipient and the same for GoodSearch.
Best Spring wishes to all,
Deb Legge - Interim Executive Director
Step Up to the Plate!
With our friends at ConnFACT (Connecticut Families Against Chemical Trespass) CT NOFA is holding a party with food, drinks and bidding for fun prizes. The evening will include a unique live auction with one of a kind experiential prizes donated by legislators like Senator Blumenthal who will be auctioned off to take you to breakfast in the Senate dining room in Washington D.C., escort you to the floor of the Senate and arrange your tour of the Capitol.
The event will take place on Thursday evening, June 11, 2015 at Lincoln Culinary Institute in Hartford. The evening will also include a presentation of CT NOFA's "Organic Leadership Recognition Award" to honor Ann Reynolds & Doug Rankin of West Hartford.
To register for this fun evening and to find out about sponsorship, advertising, auction prize donations and other marketing opportunities for your business or businesses you have connections to, please go to the event page.
Hail to the Dandelion!
By Bill Duesing
Little is more emblematic of our culture's dysfunctional relationship with Earth than our relationship with the dandelion. We spread cancer-causing, chemical toxins around our homes and public places to kill plants that produce healthy and delicious dark green leaves (and may also help cure cancer). Check on pesticide toxicities here. Meanwhile we eat store-bought dark green leaves (which are mostly water), packaged in plastic and grown 3,000 miles away in a state in its fourth year of serious drought.
Organic Land Care Program Taking Action to Protect LI Sound
The Rain Garden at NVCC is complete!
Check out the latest here>
For a full listing of events, including spring seedling sales, see our events calendar.
2015 Suburban Homesteading Workshop
Saturday, May 30, 2015
(rain date 5/31)
Check out this short video from last October's workshop and register today.
March Against Monsanto
On May 23, 2015, activists around the world will, once again, unite to March Against Monsanto. For information, events, and news, visit the MAM website.
NOFA Organic Land Care
online Organic Lawn Care Certificate course.
for more information.
Registration is now open~Register
early for the best discounts!
Whole Foods 5% Donation Day at all Whole Foods stores in Connecticut
*Save the Date*
5% of that day's net sales will be donated to CT NOFA!
More details to come!
New Business Member Profiles
The real farmers behind Eco-Farm on Wheels bring an active compost bin (with hand lenses!), worm bins (complete with worms!), organic herbs and vegetables growing in containers, a demonstration beehive, and of course our furry (and feathered!) friends to entertain and educate about sustainability and organic farming.
Although we love to bring farm animals to both private and public special events, we also provide educational programming such as the science of compost and animal adaptations. Classes are adaptable to all ages, from preschool to adults. We are fully insured and members of the CT Farm Bureau.
Latella and Sons
, located in Orange, CT, is a USDA slaughter house. We have been in business since 1896. We butcher pigs, goats, and lambs - we can handle all your slaughtering needs, and offer an array of meats and services, as well as eggs. Latella & Sons is also a D.E.E.P. deer checking station and we process deer during the hunting season. Having a pig roast? We offer everything you need for a top-notch party, and can show you the secret to a perfect crispy pig. We also buy and sell pigs and are always looking for livestock.
Holmeslea Gardens is a market garden located at 379 Route 169 in South Woodstock, CT. Owned and operated by George McCoy and Jackie Woodward, we grow a wide variety of vegetables and salad greens without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides. Although we are not certified, we do follow organic farming practices and are committed to local, sustainable farming. We sell our produce at the N.E.CT Farmer's Markets in Putnam and Killingly, but customers are always welcome to come directly to the garden or have vegetables delivered to their doorstep with a simple phone call.
Haven't seen your business featured here yet? Fill out this form to give us more information on your CT NOFA member business!
CT NOFA Members in the Spotlight
Organic Gardening Workshop Held in Shelton
Guy Beardsley shared his farming know-how. More>
Lise Goedewaagen opens her farm. More>
Cloverleigh Farm Featured on BuyCTGrown
Susan Mitchell discusses her Storrs farm. More>
In the News
The Aetna Foundation's Local Roots grant program seeks to fund the creation and expansion of community gardens, urban farms, and farmers markets in underserved, low-income, and minority communities. Non-profits may apply for grants of up to $25,000 per year for up to two years. Deadline May 6th. Details>
USDA announces record number of organic producers in US - More> - as survey shows consumers buy record amount of organic produce. More>
Study puts price on value of nature's services to agriculture. More>
Fair World Project releases new video, "Small-Scale Farmers Cool the Planet". Details>
The Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture puts out two new publications on pollinator habitats. Download here>
School Garden Network News
Growing and Learning
PLT GreenWorks! Grants Now Available
Project Learning Tree is now accepting applications for the next round of PLT GreenWorks! grants. Schools and community programs that wish to improve the environment are encouraged to apply. Grants up to $1,000 are available and funding will be distributed in January 2016. You must have attended a PLT professional workshop either in person or online to be eligible to apply. For details and to apply, see their website.
Growing Up Wild Workshop Common Ground School Garden Resource Center invites formal and non-formal educators to join in this workshop focusing on environmental education activities for young children focused on gardening and nutrition. The workshop takes place Monday, May 11, 2015 at 1:00pm in New Haven. For more details and registration, visit their website.
USDA Conducting Second Farm to School Census The USDA Farm to School Program, looking to update the 2013 Census, is conducting a second Farm to School census by asking all school districts participating in the National School Lunch Program to complete the questionnaire, which was distributed through state agencies in March. The new census will provide updates on how many school districts purchase locally-produced food for school meal programs and conduct farm to school activities. Make sure your school is counted!
School district submissions must be received by May 29, 2015. For more info contact
We'd love to share your school garden with our readers! Feel free to send
in any articles, news, photos or any questions you may have.