November 2014

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Many thanks to our Annual Bronze Sponsor

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Join our Board!
Open Volunteer Positions on the CT NOFA Board
and Fundraising Committee!

The CT NOFA Board of Directors is accepting applications for Board Members, as well as for Fundraising Committee Members.

Board members will:
-Attend in-person or conference call meetings of the Board 6-8 times per year
-Participate in or chair appropriate committee of the Board, with separate meetings for this committee
-Attend CT NOFA events, have fun, eat great food and advocate for local, organic food and organic land care

Interested? Please contact Debra Sloane, Vice-President of the CT NOFA Board. You can learn more about the current CT NOFA board here.

Click HERE for the Board Fundraising Chair description.

Click HERE for the Volunteer Fundraising Committee Members descriptions.
From the President & Director


Dear CT NOFA Friends,

Our 32nd year has been a proud one! With your financial support CT NOFA introduced important new initiatives, and continued our flagship programs.

CT NOFA's work makes a huge difference in strengthening our local food system, adapting to and curbing climate change, and preserving our environment. Our impact is felt by tens of thousands throughout Connecticut and neighboring states.


We look forward to continuing our important work but our success in 2015 depends upon your financial support now. We will enter 2015 increasingly unsure of government funding, and must rely heavily on individual support. Your donation is critical to our ability to deliver first rate education for Beginning Farmers, including beginning women farmers and journeypersons, Organic Land Care Professionals, Gardeners and Consumers. 


Our advocacy for sound food and environmental policy issues must continue in 2015 and needs your financial support now. CT NOFA works to ensure the integrity of our food, water and landscapes. We monitor and address issues related to National Organic Program standards, GMO Grass, antibiotics in agriculture, and FDA's food safety regulations. We must continue to focus on these ongoing concerns, and important new ones, such as proposed federal legislation to BAN state laws requiring labeling of GMO foods. 

Your donation is necessary to help CT NOFA bring to the forefront organic agriculture's powerful potential to slow Climate Change and even reverse some of the damage already done, a topic being addressed by our 2015 Winter Conference keynote speaker, Dr. Kristine Nichols, Chief Scientist at Rodale Institute. It is a vital topic for our workshops, 2015 Getting Started in Organic Farming Conference and Accreditation Courses for Organic Land Care Professionals.

Exciting NEW initiatives launched in 2014  need your support for 2015:
* Technical Assistance Program for Beginning Organic Farmers - Coming Together: Connecticut's Beginning & Experienced Organic Farmers provides quick turnaround 1-on-1 consultations to beginning organic farmers from experienced organic farmers, and is building a social community of organic farmers.
* CT NOFA's Entry into Online Professional
 Education - The NOFA Online Organic Lawn Care Certificate Course, with Three Rivers Community College, provides online education and a certificate for lawn care providers.
* Consumer Information All In One Place - Healthy Farms, Healthy Food, Healthy People provides comprehensive information on healthy eating and sourcing local food in Connecticut to keep our farms and families healthy. It's funded in part by matching funds from the Connecticut Department of Agriculture through the Community Investment Act, 05-228 and needs additional support.

Please be as generous as you can - please donate here or mail a check to 126 Derby Ave, Derby, CT 06418
All donors of $100 or more will be placed in
weekly drawings through November and December for prizes including T-shirts, manuals for organic growers, lunch with Eileen and John, free Winter Conference registration, gift certificates. Donate $500 or more by November 22 and you'll receive an invitation for 2 to a private dinner on Tuesday night, December 9, with CT NOFA leadership and other supporters at Basta Trattoria, owned by chef Claire Criscuolo, winner of CT NOFA's 2014 Organic Leadership Recognition Award. 

Thank you for your continued support of local and organic food, farming, gardening and land care,

Eileen Hochberg     John Turenne

Executive Director       President, Board of Directors 

Organic Advocate

Fueling up in Cheyenne, Wyoming
Bill Duesing 

The American way of eating is shaped more by the availability of low-cost fossil fuels and government crop and other subsidies than it is by nutrition, health or flavor.

I took the photo (below) while buying gasoline at a station in Cheyenne, Wyoming this summer. This array is an example of the ubiquitous advertising for these kinds of foods: ground beef sandwiches, often with bacon and/or cheese or processed hot dogs on white bread buns. (For the chicken nuggets, their wheat breading is the bun equivalent.)

It also made me think about the health consequences of eating this kind of food: weight gain, obesity, diabetes, sore joints, heart disease, cancer and possibly even schizophrenia!

Why are foods that may cause so much damage so heavily advertised? A rhetorical question really. The answer: profit. Much of that profit comes because food industry accounting doesn't include many significant costs. Health care costs are not included. The illnesses above, and the foods that cause them, are responsible for millions of dollars in health costs.

News, Announcements and Alerts
Holiday Shopping with CT NOFA!
Autographed Copy of "Welcome to Claire's" and
a CT NOFA Apron! 
$30 (shipping included)

Perfect host gift for Thanksgiving!
Click HERE to purchase these two fabulous items!

Class is in Session! 
The 2014-2015 Beginning Women Farmers Training Program had its first class this past Saturday at Goodwin College. 17 women from around the state who are currently farming
or starting their own operations participated in the full day of interactive planning activities led by Sherry Simpson of Cranberry Hill Farm. This program is made possible through a partnership with Holistic Management International and is funded by the USDA/NIFA Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Development Program.

Homesteading Hero: Deb Legge!
Video by Anthony Rodriguez & Pete Zapata

From classroom to hands-on training, to internships and job placement opportunities, this program is for you.
Everything you ever wanted to know about food, from growing it to designing a kitchen, to food safety and preparation. Program starts this fall!
Contact Jo-Anne Leventhal, or 860.906-5143. Class cost $200

"His nonprofit, Zero Foodprint, will work closely with restaurants to establish best environmental practices, reduce carbon emissions to a minimal level, and help create appropriate carbon offsets, eventually resulting in a "zero carbon foodprint" certification."

"In response to this global problem, organizations around the world have made soil protection and soil health a priority."-

"The new site provides a portal for farmers, ranchers, forest landowners, and others to find useful, practical information to help cope with the challenges and stressors caused by a changing climate"

"For hospitals in particular, favoring food suppliers close to home is about more than just budget allocations. 
Fresh, healthy, nutrient-dense local food is an important part of holistic health care," Ellen Watters of the Anchor Partnership explained. "The other exciting thing about local food for the local health care system is it allows them to better serve the community they operate in."

Upcoming Events

Click HERE to register
Click HERE for more information
Click HERE to register
Crystal Stewart
Cornell Cooperative Extension-Vegetable Specialist
Registration is now open!
Click HERE
A special Thank you to our first Gold Sponsor Farm Credit East
We are proud to announce our 2015 Keynote!

Dr. Kristine Nichols
Rodale Institute Chief Scientist

-Click HERE for the 2015 Winter Conference page
-Submit a workshop proposal for the CT NOFA Winter Conference HERE
 -Sponsor & Ad Packages information HERE
-To become a vendor or exhibitor click HERE
Organic Land Care Upcoming Events

"The Future of Organic Land Care"
December 3, 2014
HillsPoint Hotel, Windsor Locks, CT
6 AOLCP Credits
4.5 CT DEEP Pesticide Applicator CEUs
Click HERE to register


December 8-11, 2014 

Philadelphia, PA in Partnership with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society


February 9-12, 2015 
Three Rivers Community College, Norwich, CT
To register for an Accreditation Course, click HERE


For more information on the online course click HERE
New Business Member Profiles

Located in the Center of Town, Renaissance Farm has come to be known as The Red Barn of Burlington. As weekenders travel, their getaways start by stopping by the farm for their favorite pie, bread, pastry, flower bouquet and other culinary delights. Starting from humble beginnings in 2005, Renaissance Farm has grown from a self serve push cart at the end of the drive
way to the whimsical destination farm of Burlington. And for the locals, the Farm has become the gathering place for fine treats and delights of all types.A micro farm, practicing advanced permaculture, IPM programs, bio-dynamics, non-certified organic methods, Renaissance Farm has taken a long abandoned strip mine and turned it into a lush, flourishing farm. The Farm currently has 5 divisions: The Growing Division, The Retail Division, The Bakery Division, The Floral Division and the Sawmill Division.

Established in 2008, Sugar & Olives seeks to educate its diners and cultivate the relationship between farms and families. The restaurant is devoted to serving local food and operating with a small footprint. Nearly all menu items come from within Connecticut or close by-including milk, cheese, eggs, fruit, vegetables, beef, pork, and poultry-in addition to wine, beer, and spirits. The Green Restaurant Association has awarded Sugar & Olives three stars for its sustainable practices.

The NFCA is a co-operative association of over 35 food co-ops and start-up initiatives in Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island, owned and democratically governed by our more than 90,000 members. Our vision is of a thriving regional economy, rooted in a healthy, just and sustainable food system and a vibrant community of co-operative enterprise.

School Garden Network News 

Growing and Learning


USDA Offers Farm to School Fact Sheets

The USDA offers Farm to School fact sheets including the latest one, Local Meat in Schools. They also offer Procuring Local Foods for Child Nutrition Programs, a booklet with more detailed  information on the procurement process.  You can also subscribe to their Farm to School enews to stay informed of updates.  


Webinar: Square-Foot Gardening & Bigger Beds: Maximizing Your School Garden Space presents the webinar Square Foot Gardening & Bigger Beds: Maximizing Your School Garden Space on November 17, 2014 at 4pm, with Matthew Doris, Food Service Director and Chef, Tuckahoe Common School District, Southampton, NY.  To participate in the live session, log in at at the scheduled time.

School Lunch a Political Battleground 
A recent NY Times Magazine article, How School Lunch Became the Latest Political Battleground, examines the political battle over efforts to make school food healthier.  


We'd love to share your school garden with our readers!  Feel free to send me any articles, news, photos or any questions you may have.


Debbie Semonich  


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Stephanie Berluti
Gleanings Editor 


CT NOFA | 126 Derby Avenue | Derby | CT | 06418-2010