May Mid-Month, 2012 
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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
Support for CSA Farms
GMO Activist Program
In the News
From our Blog
Community Board
Go Organic when you Shop!
CT NOFA and OLC Events
Featured Event

CT NOFA is turning 30 this year, so join us in a kickoff to celebrate the next 30 years of great food, fun, and community! Come meet, socialize and bond with your local farmers and Organic Land Care Professionals with a farm tour, wine tasting, live music, and talk by Bill Duesing, our Executive Director. We are holding block parties on four farms across Connecticut throughout the summer, so don't miss this opportunity to learn more about the great food and events Connecticut has to offer.

Our first event will take place in Fairfield County:
June 23, 2012
The Hickories
Ridgefield, CT
We can't wait to see you there!  

Other CT NOFA Events

Humane and Sustainable Livestock Farming Workshop
Monday May 21
4:00 -7:00 PM
Footsteps Farm
, CT

Tractor Repair and Maintenance Workshop
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Nonnewaug Regional High School
Woodbury, CT

Pastured Poultry Workshop
Saturday, August 4, 2012
Terra Firma Farm
Stonington, CT

Cheese Making Workshop
Monday, September 10, 2012
4:00 - 7:00 pm
Beltane Farm
Lebanon, CT 


Events we will be Attending    

Bill Duesing to Speak at the Naugatuck Garden Club
Thursday, May 17, 2012
7:00 - 9:00pm

Urban Oaks Green Faire
Satuday, May 19
New Britain

Girl Scouts 100th Jubilee
May 19, 2012
Durham Fair Grounds
Durham, CT

New Morning Market Grand Opening
Friday, May 25, 2012
New Morning's new location
Woodbury, CT
Join our Executive Director, Bill Duesing, in congratulating CT NOFA Board member John Pittari on the Grand Opening of his store's new location!  

Comstock Ferre's Heirloom Festival

Sunday June 3, 2012

10 a.m. to 5:00 p.m

263 Main Street

Wethersfield, CT 06109   

The festival will feature horticultural speakers, including our Executive Director, Bill Duesing, as well as two discussion panels, an agriculturally-themed storyteller, a puppeteer, and live music from Shoregrass and The Please and Thank You String Band. 


Naugatuck Earth Day
Sunday, June 3, 2012
Naugatuck Green

West River Festival
Saturday, July 14, 2012
New Haven

Going Green on the Green
Friday, August 10, 2012
Higganum Farmers Market on the Green
For other area events check our our events listing page.

New Support for CSA Farms 


CT NOFA has a new program to support CSA farms in Connecticut funded by the CT Department of Agriculture through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program of the Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.  In order to provide targeted valuable support to farmers, we ask that any Connecticut farmer, with or without community supported agriculture at their farm, please fill out this survey.  CT NOFA requires greater insight about how many farms have CSAs, how large their CSAs are, common problems with having a CSA , etc.  We really need your feedback, so please complete the survey and send to any farmers you know that might be able to complete it as well! Complete the survey here. 

So what happened with the GMO Labeling Bill?

CT NOFA is so excited about the support HB 5117 received from concerned consumers, organic farmers, and legislators on both sides of the aisle.  In the past few months we have had a press conference at the capitol with GMO-activist Jeffrey Smith, Senator Richard Blumenthal expressed his support for HB 5117 at an event hosted by Right to Know CT in April, and finally a rally in support of GMO-labeling at the Capitol on May 4.


Unfortunately HB 5117 was never called for a vote, and even if it had been, the bill would have been largely inconsequential due to the complete removal of the GMO-labeling provision in closed door meetings. Representative Richard Roy, the main sponsor of HB5117 said that "The labeling provision was eliminated from the bill due to fears that it opened the state up to a lawsuit. The attorneys for the leadership and Governor's office felt that the Constitutional Rights of Monsanto gave them the power to successfully sue the state. Their main duty was to protect the welfare of the state"


It is unclear if the Governor's Office chose to interfere with the bill out of fear of a lawsuit or if the removal of section 2 was more of a deal struck with the biotech lobby.  Whatever the reasoning, we are very disappointed that the GMO-Labeling bill was unable to go through the full legislative process. Connecticut's labeling movement continues.  Right to Know Connecticut is continuing to have steering committee meetings to discuss strategies for education and activism in the coming years.  This pro-labeling coalition seeks the support of other organizations including environmental, consumer rights, health organizations, towns and city councils, and faith groups.  


You can still sign on to our GMO-activist list by e-mailing Kristiane .


Read CT NOFA's GMO Update 

Read about the bill and rally on the Brookfield Patch 

Check out the Fairfield Green Food Guide 

Read the article "GMO Legislation Update: Monsanto Trumps Democracy in Vermont, Connecticut" 

View the Food Consumer Report 

Announcements & Alerts


Say Hello to Twelve New Beginning Women Farmer Graduates!
Our Beginning Women Farmers Program has recently concluded, and twelve new farmers have graduated.  Let's give a warm welcome to:

Allyson Angelini - Full Heart Farm, Mystic, CT; Pamela Dunn - Goode Field Farms, Litchfield, CT and Boxed Goodes Pantry; Christine Wendel Farrugia - Sterling, CT; Renee Giroux - Gillbertie's Herbs, Easton, CT; Jolie Milstein - Rhinecliff, NY; Cheryl Placido - Farm program at Waterford Country School; Sharon Roy - Raising Grace Farm, Canterbury, CT; Rachael Silva - Manchester, CT; Courtney Swift - Coventry, CT; Martha Sylvestre - Canterbury, CT; Cindy White - Bethel, CT


As more of Connecticut's farmers age, new farmer programs are the key to sustaining "Connecticut Grown" agriculture for decades to come and the BWF Graduates will have a role in this.  The students have attended classes from October 2011 through May 2012 to learn about whole farm planning based on the Holistic Whole Farm Planning process.  This approach to farming challenges farmers to develop a deep understanding of how nature functions and how to manage agricultural and natural resources to capitalize on these functions with the least negative impact on the land and environment around it. Holistic management also instructs farmers to consider every aspect of their farming operation including themselves (their own health, economic needs, hopes), their community, life on the farm, and the greater environment.


Students attended ten seminars in on the topics of financial and business planning, marketing, land management, soil fertility grazing and planning and leadership and communication.  The Beginning Women Farmers also joined farm tours at Gilbertie's Herb Nursery in Easton, Cranberry Hill Farm in Ashford, Goode Fields Farm in Litchfield and the Community Farm of Simsbury.   


Congratulations to all our graduates!  We thank you for doing your part to bring more local sustainable food production to Connecticut! 


Funding Available for Organic Farming Conservation Practices

The $50 million EQIP Organic Initiative, (a huge victory of OFRF's policy efforts), is providing financial and technical assistance to growers who implement innovative conservation practices. Don't let this opportunity pass you by. This is the final submission period. Period 3 Submission Deadline: Friday, June 1, 2012 To apply, visit your USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) local center. We have created a comprehensive info site for applicants, including links to all of the necessary documents for the program.




Planning Your Land's Future: An Introductory Workshop for Landowners 

Do you own farm or forest land? Have you planned for its future? If you haven't, or if you have questions-whether or when to protect it, how to treat it in your estate planning, whether or how to rent it, how to manage it for farming or forestry-this workshop can help you understand your options and make informed choices.  More> 


May 31, 2012
Lebanon, CT
June 1, 2012
Torrington, CT
Lebanon Fire Safety Complex
Litchfield Extension Center
6:00 to 8:30 pm
6:00 to 8:30 pm



A New Book About Positive Change in our Food System  

'Change Comes to Dinner' is a fascinating tour among food visionaries who are changing the U.S. food system for the better. The readable, first-person narrative takes readers to farms, markets, businesses, and institutions that are pushing us toward a more sustainable and equitable way of eating. 'Change Comes to Dinner' is a smart and engaging look into America's food revolution. More>  




Two More Good Books   


Turn Here Sweet Corn
A master class in organic farming, a lesson in entrepreneurship, a love story, and a legal thriller

Greenhorns: 50 Dispatches from the New Farmers' Movement
Personal advice, anecdotes, and reflections on life lessons learned about every aspect of farming, presented in the voices of members of the Greenhorns, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and supporting a new generation of farmers. 
In the News

"Bitter Seeds" documentary reveals tragic toll of GMOs in India
When home-front battles over GMO labeling, beekeeping, and the Farm Bill get heated, we can sometimes lose sight of the fact that Big Ag's influence extends far beyond our own borders. More>
Introducing Children to the Sources of Food
In 2005, Ms. Casadei and her husband, Ethan Grimes, started their farm camp, Terra Firma. "We had five kids," Ms. Casadei said of their first two-week trial camp. Now with the winds of the local food movement, food safety concerns, out-of-control obesity and outcry over things like "pink slime" at its back, Terra Firma has several hundred summer campers, ages 3 through 12, many coming for multiple weeks across a nine-week summer season. More>


Wendell Berry, American Hero 

The sensibility of Wendell Berry, who is sometimes described as a modern day Thoreau but who I'd call the soul of the real food movement, leads people like me on a path to the door of the hillside house he shares with his wife, Tanya, outside of Port Royal, Ky. More> 


Landscape Architects are Taking Urban Agriculture Seriously
A flux of design proposals has emerged over the last few years that respond to the increasing interest in food security and sustainability. More>

"Food, Inc" Farmer Goes Rogue
When Food, Inc. - a documentary exposing the highly mechanized food industry - hit theaters in 2008, it left many Americans feeling queasy about the unsavory methods that bring food to their plates. Carole Morison, a Maryland chicken farmer under contract with Perdue Farms, was featured prominently in the film. "I've just made up my mind I'm gonna say what I have to say," she says in the film, before opening the door to her henhouse to expose the filthy, overcrowded conditions of her factory-style farm. More>

Why Cattle Are Bigger & Bulkier: Drugs
Beef cattle have gotten bigger and bigger due to drugs including Zilmax, which is made by Intervet, a subsidiary of Merck. The average steer sent to a packing plant now weighs 1,300 pounds; in 1975, their average weight was 1,000 pounds. More>

Genetically Modified Crops' Results Raise Concern

Washington -- Biotechnology's promise to feed the world did not anticipate "Trojan corn," "super weeds" and the disappearance of monarch butterflies. But in the Midwest and South - blanketed by more than 170 million acres of genetically engineered corn, soybeans and cotton - an experiment begun in 1996 with approval of the first commercial genetically modified organisms is producing questionable results. More> 

From our Blog

Organic is Growing!

The organic industry is growing.  More individuals and families demand organic foods, organic products and organic services.  This proves that organic is not just some expensive elitist Whole Foods product, it is a personal nutrition and health choice to which everyone deserves access. More> 


Get Ready for Seedling Sales! 

If you want to grow delicious food in and around your home, but don't have the time or space to start seedlings, shopping at a seedling sale might be right up your alley. More>  


Meet the Animals at Footsteps Farm 

We are getting really excited about our Humane and Sustainable Livestock workshop! Craig Floyd, the farmer at Footsteps Farm sent us some pictures to share of their operation! More>  


It's Almost Summer Farmers Market Season 

A listing of the markets where our members sell goods can be found on our website, and you can also view a complete listing of markets on the Department of Agriculture websiteMore> 

Check out all our blog posts here.

Community Board       


There are many new farm and apprenticeship openings posted on our Community Board, so if you are looking for a position check them out today!


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 here.   


Here is an example of what you can find on our Community Board courtesy of the founder of the community garden at Chabaso Bakery in New Haven, Rebecca Kline.  


Internship Opportunity: New Haven Farms 

New Haven Farms, a new urban agriculture charitable 501c3 nonprofit organization, is currently seeking volunteer farm interns to plant, harvest, and maintain four urban farm sites. Starting immediately, interns will be involved in every aspect of the farm operation, from planting seeds and seedlings to building raised beds, harvesting shares and distributing produce to our low-income members. New Haven Farms aims to promote health and community development through urban agriculture and works in two of New Haven's poorest neighborhoods. At least 8 hours per week of farm-work is required of each volunteer intern. Visit the NHF website for more information, and email Rebecca Kline if interested.


Go Organic when you Shop!  


Sign up for a NOFA credit card 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.

Many thanks,