CT NOFA eNewsletter
October 23, 2006
v.2 no.7
Join CT NOFA!
Learn about the benefits of membership at http://www.ctnofa.org/Join.htm
Sign up for the e-Newsletter, please send an email to: janet@ctnofa.org

 

In this Issue:

Upcoming CT NOFA Events
October 29, Basta Trattoria Fundraing Dinner Sold Out!
November 4, Fall Harvest Festival with Patricia Klindienst
December 14, Organic Land Care Update Course
January 13, Getting Started in Organic Farming Conference
January 31, February 1, 2, 5 and 6, 2007, 5 Day Course in Organic Land Care
February 10, Community Farming Conference
March 10, 2007, Cultivating an Organic Connecticut Conference

Upcoming NOFA Related Events
Oct. 25, CT NOFA’s Holcomb Farm CSA Farm Tour
Nov 1-3, New England Greenhouse Conference
Nov. 4, UCONN Beef Sale and Educational Program
NOVEMBER 4, TOXICS INFORMATION PROJECT (TIP) FALL GET-TOGETHER
Nov. 8, High Tunnel Farm Tours
November 7, Slow Food Connecticut Annual Meeting
November 9-10, Regional Policy Summit: “Regionalism: A Commitment to Place”
November 14, Connecticut Forest Forum
Nov. 16-18, A hands-on cheesemaking workshop for beginners
November 18, PACE: "SOLUTIONS TO  INCONVENIENT TRUTHS."
Dec. 5, CRCOG "Listening Session" #1
Dec. 7-9, Advanced hands-on cheese making course
Dec. 11, CRCOG "Listening Session" #2
Dec. 13, CRCOG "Listening Session" #3

Upcoming Deadlines for Funding and Marketing
Nov. 17, Ag Viability Grant deadline
Nov. 30, NRCS’ Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program
CISA Marketing Tip Sheets

News from the Connecticut Government
Agricultural Viability Grants Program
The Community Investment Act

Community Board
SoundWaters is looking for a Finance Manager
Tractor FOR SALE
Farmer Looking for Farmland
Volunteer for CT NOFA
Work For CT NOFA
Established Organic Farm, Farm Stand and CSA business for rent or sale
PROJECT COORDINATOR job opening

News from Connecticut
Madison's Mercy Center switches to cage-free eggs
Cows Could be New Fuel Cell

Other News and Stories
Study Bolsters Link between Pesticides and Parkinson's
2 Dairies to End Use of Artificial Hormones, Hope to compete with organic milk
Washington State Pays Farmers to Go Organic
ALERT: E.COLI--GETTING TO THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM
FAST FOOD CHAINS GOING ORGANIC
One Thing to Do About Food: A Forum
Local Food Messages on You Tube
SOUR MILK: The USDA has refused to define "organic" milk as coming from pasture-fed cows.
Edible Estates Begins Transforming Front Yards to Food.


Upcoming CT NOFA Events
October 29
Basta Trattoria Fundraing Dinner Sold Out!

November 4
Fall Harvest Festival Keynote Speaker: Patricia Klindienst, author of The Earth Knows My Name: Food, Culture and Sustainability in the Gardens of Ethnic Americans. 10 am - 3 pm. Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, Jones Auditorium - New Haven, Connecticut http://www.ctnofa.org/events/AnnualMeeting.php

December 14
Organic Land Care Update Course, Tolland CT. Native Plant Communities of the Northeast Ted Elliman of the New England Wildflower Society. Conservation Grazing to Control Invasives Lisa Wojan of Exmoor Ponies of North America. Plant Physiology: Energy, Timing, and Essential Elements for Woody Plants Dr. Kevin T. Smith of the USDA Forest Service Common Diseases of Juniper and Rose in the Landscape Sharon Douglas of the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station. Registration for NOFA AOLCPs only until November 15
Registration for the general public after November 15. http://www.organiclandcare.net/events/Update.php

January 13
Getting Started in Organic Farming Conference, New Haven .  Featuring Dan Kaplan of Brookfield Farm, and many CT NOFA farmers.  CT Agricultural Experiment Station, 123 Huntington St, New Haven .


January 31, February 1, 2, 5 and 6, 2007
5 Day Course in Organic Land Care,
New Haven, Connecticut. An intensive course on organic landscaping. Optional test at end for NOFA Organic Land Care Professional Accreditation. http://www.organiclandcare.net/events/6thannual5day.php

February 10
Community Farming Conference, Speakers:  Lynda Simkins of the Natick Community Organic Farm, on combining educational programs and farming, and Elizabeth Henderson, author of Sharing the Harvest, on starting up a Community Supported Agriculture project.  Mercy Center , Madison .

March 10, 2007
Cultivating an Organic Connecticut Conference with keynote speakers Nancy Jack Todd and John Todd

Upcoming NOFA Related Events
Oct. 25
CT NOFA’s Holcomb Farm CSA Farm Tour, 3-6 PM, 111 Simsbury Rd., W. Granby, CT 860-653-5554

Nov 1-3
New England Greenhouse Conference www.negreenhouse.org, Worcester, MA

Nov. 4
UCONN Beef Sale and Educational Program 10-3 PM, Storrs www.canr.uconn.edu/ansci/beef/beefcalfsale.htm

NOVEMBER 4
TOXICS INFORMATION PROJECT (TIP) FALL GET-TOGETHER (& PIZZA PARTY)(Lighting the Way to Less Toxic Living)1P.M. TO 3 P.M. ROCHAMBEAU PUBLIC LIBRARY, 708 HOPE STREET OFF ROCHAMBEAU, PROVIDENCE, RI. Entertainment by Our Own Paul Klinkman (TIP Board Member, Webmaster, Stone Soup Alumnus) Accompanied by His Trusty Mandolin BRING YOUR FRIENDS & FAMILY, YOUR QUESTIONS & CONCERNS RSVP REQUESTED SO WE DON’T RUN OUT OF PIZZA! http://www/toxicsinfo.org Contact: Liberty Goodwin, TIP director, 401-351-9193, or E-Mail:
info@toxicsinfo.org

Nov. 8
High Tunnel Farm Tours www.farmandfood.org, noon- 3:30 PM, Massachusetts’ Pioneer Valley, RFFP 1-518-271-0744

November 7 (Election Day)
Slow Food Connecticut Annual Meeting Vote for your favorite turkey at Nini's Bistro in New Haven. slowfoodct@earthlink.net

November 9-10
Regional Policy Summit: “Regionalism: A Commitment to Place” Presented by NESAWG and the Northeast Ag Works! project. The Summit will take place in conjuction with NESAWG's annual meeting. The event will be held at the Marriott/BWI Hotel and Conference Center, located next to the Baltimore-Washington International (BWI) Airport (10 minutes south of Baltimore). The conference will draw policy makers, advocates and educators from the NESAWG region Maine to West Virginia. nesawg@nesawg.org www.nesawg.org www.northeastagworks.org P.O. Box 11, Belchertown, MA 01007 phone/fax 413-323-9878 kzruhf@verizon.net

November 14
Connecticut Forest Forum
9am-3:30pm at the Pilgrim Covenant Church in Granby.  Connecticut is one of the most heavily forested states in america. it is also the 5th most densely populated state in America, and the pressures resulting from so many people living among so much forest are taking a toll that has never been seen in our history. We will delve into the details of forest fragmentation and land conversion in Connecticut.  You will then turn to solutions, both at the philosophical and operational levels.  For more information go to New England Society of American Foresters at http://www.nesaf.org/calendar.htm.

Nov. 16-18
A hands-on cheesemaking workshop for beginners is planned for 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Agri-Business Center at Morrisville State College, Eaton Avenue, Morrisville, NY. Cost for the course is $300 and includes an instrutional handbook with recipes, as well as lunch and morning and afternoon snacks. For more information or to register, contact Rebecca Schuelke at (607) 316-3249 or rebeccaschuelke@yahoo.com.

November 18
"SOLUTIONS TO  INCONVENIENT TRUTHS." PACE (People's Action for Clean Energy) invites your environmental organization to exhibit at our annual Environment and Energy Event. Because our event has grown in size, we have moved to the Unitarian Society of Hartford, 50 Bloomfield Ave. (1/10th mile north on Route 189 from the intersection of Routes 44 and 189 in Hartford).  Set up begins at 4:00. The exhibits will open at 5:00. They will remain open from 5:00 to 7:00 and will include Connecticut environmental organizations as well as solar installers approved by the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund. This unique evening will also feature pizza by City Line Pizza, homemade desserts and coffee. The event is free to the public. We then invite exhibitors to join our panel and the audience to discuss solutions to our environmental energy problems. Panel experts include award winners Alex Kuzma (Children of Chornobyl Relief Fund), Vanessa Pierce (HEAL Utah), Steve Grant (THE HARTFORD COURANT), Centerbrook Architects and a representative from Environment Northeast. Please respond by email to Linda Pearson  lindapearson2@sbcglobal.net as soon as possible.

Dec. 5
CRCOG "Listening Session" #1 Fruit and vegetable crops, nursery, greenhouse, flowers, livestock, dairy, honey, and other wholesale products. CRCOG invites area farmers to attend one of three upcoming "Listening Sessions" to discuss their concerns about local land use regulations, policies and enforcement. Comments will be used to help draft model regulations to be completed next summer.  Each meeting will be held from 6:00 to 8:30 pm at the Connecticut Farm Bureau's main office at 775 Bloomfield Avenue in Windsor. A light supper prepared with locally grown and produced foods will be served. For more information, contact Rebecca Augur at (860) 522-2217 x29 or raugur@crcog.org. If you can not attend but wish to submit comments, please send those to Rebecca as well.

Dec. 7-9
Advanced hands-on cheese making course is planned for 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Agri-Business Center at Morrisville State College. The class is geared for cheesemakers that have gone through a cheese making class. Instruction by Peter Dixon will include more in-depth information about cheese varieties, cultures, brining, storage and more. Cost for the course is $300 and includes an instrutional handbook with recipes, as well as lunch and morning and afternoon snacks. For more information or to register, contact Rebecca Schuelke at (607) 316-3249 or rebeccaschuelke@yahoo.com.

Dec. 11
CRCOG "Listening Session" #2 Retailer oriented-farmers' market participants, farm-stand operators and value-added product businesses, such as cheese and preserves.CRCOG invites area farmers to attend one of three upcoming "Listening Sessions" to discuss their concerns about local land use regulations, policies and enforcement. Comments will be used to help draft model regulations to be completed next summer.  Each meeting will be held from 6:00 to 8:30 pm at the Connecticut Farm Bureau's main office at 775 Bloomfield Avenue in Windsor. A light supper prepared with locally grown and produced foods will be served. For more information, contact Rebecca Augur at (860) 522-2217 x29 or raugur@crcog.org. If you can not attend but wish to submit comments, please send those to Rebecca as well.

Dec. 13
CRCOG "Listening Session" #3 Agri-Tourism Operators-sugarhouses, wineries, orchards, tree farms, "pick your own" fields and other businesses with seasonal visitors. CRCOG invites area farmers to attend one of three upcoming "Listening Sessions" to discuss their concerns about local land use regulations, policies and enforcement. Comments will be used to help draft model regulations to be completed next summer.  Each meeting will be held from 6:00 to 8:30 pm at the Connecticut Farm Bureau's main office at 775 Bloomfield Avenue in Windsor. A light supper prepared with locally grown and produced foods will be served. For more information, contact Rebecca Augur at (860) 522-2217 x29 or raugur@crcog.org. If you can not attend but wish to submit comments, please send those to Rebecca as well.

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Upcoming Deadlines for Funding and Marketing

Nov. 17
Ag Viability Grant deadline www.ct.gov/doag/cwp/view.asp?Q=318538&A=1401, CT Dept of Ag, 860-713-2550

Nov. 30 
NRCS’ Wildlife Habitat Incentives Programwww.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/whip/   deadline, USDA county office

CISA Marketing Tip Sheets
Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA) announces that four marketing tip sheets are available for download now. CISA's series of marketing tip sheets, "Marketing to Enhance Farm Viability," provides valuable information on a variety of topics for growers and agricultural businesses. The tip sheets include information from our work with Local Hero members and the expertise of experienced farmers, including several active in the Women in Agriculture Network.  To view and download the tip sheets, visit our web site: http://www.buylocalfood.com/TechnicalAssistance.htm

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News from the Connecticut Government

Recently Gov. Jodi Rell and the CT Dept. of Agriculture announced the 33 grantees of the Agricultural Viability Grants program. To see the complete list of grant recipients (16 producers, 6 non-profits, 11 municipalities) go to: http://www.ct.gov/doag/cwp/view.asp?Q=317288&A=1401 To read the Hartford Courant article, go to: http://www.courant.com/business/hc-farmaid0708.artjul08,0,147249.story

Other new programs recently announced thanks to Public Act 228 (or "The Community Investment Act"):

  1. CT Farm Link - Expected to launch in early fall, this program will match farmland seekers with available farmland. For more info, contact Jane Slupecki at CT Dept. of Agriculture, 713-2588.
  2. Additional funds ($1 m) for CT Dept. of Environment's Open Space and Watershed Land Acquisition Grant Program. New awards to be announced fall 2006.
  3. New funds for Historic Restoration Fund Grants (grant deadline Oct 27). Details: http://www.cultureandtourism.org/cct/lib/cct/CapitalImpGrantApp.pdf
  4. Request for Proposals - for tech assistance to municipalities to develop affordable housing (grant deadline - July 24) Details: http://www.chfa.org/MainPages/finalSuburban-RuralRFP.pdf

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Community Board

SoundWaters is looking for a Finance Manager
Dynamic growing nonprofit with 1.5 million in revenue seeks hands on Finance Manager. Responsible for all accounting functions including A/P, A/R, payroll, budgeting, cash flow management and internal controls. Prepare and analyze monthly financial statements including budget variance projections. Also responsible for management of Human Resource benefits plan. Previous experience with restricted fund reconciliation and Govt. grants management desirable. Solid PC skills required. Peachtree experience preferred. Candidates should have a Bachelors degree in Accounting or Finance and 5+ years of professional work experience. Competitive salary and full benefits. Email resume and cover letter to jknecht@SoundWaters .org or fax to 203 967 8306.

Tractor FOR SALE
Hi-clearance cultivator tractor: Kubota L245H offset, diesel, serial number 8277.  25 hp.  Only 620 hours, shedded most of its life.   Adjustible wheel base 44-72".  This tractor is in very good condition!  It sells with all five front end weights and a one-row belly-mount cultivator.  Recently serviced, new battery,and fluids changed.
$10,900 OBO
Contact Steven Bibula 207.829.3586
email steven@milkingdevons.com
Located in Cumberland Center, Maine.

Farmer Looking for Farmland
I am trying to assist a farmer to locate any available farmland in Eastern CT. The farmer is currently renting land (with irrigation) in Lancaster, MA but has family and markets available in the Rhode Island / Eastern CT area. He is looking to relocate his family to a 5-acre parcel of tillable land so he can transition and expand his vegetable operation. He mostly grows ethnic crops for 4 farmers' markets in the Boston area, but also sells to stores and markets in the Rhode Island area. If you have any leads on available farmland in your area or know of anyone you could connect me with, I'd really appreciate it!

Here is more information about Nou Yang if you want to circulate to possible landowners: Nou Yang is an experienced vegetable farmer and speaks very good English. He is currently selling at 4 Boston-area farmers' markets and has a fine-tuned production system on about 2 1/2 acres at a group mentor farm project in Lancaster, MA. He is interested in moving to Rhode Island (or eastern CT) and buying or establishing a long-term lease on a farm there. He would be open to any creative strategy that would allow him to be on his own land with his family involved in the operation. He currently farms with his wife and sister. He is looking for at least 5 acres of tillable land, he would take more, but a larger size would depend on the costs involved. Nou is interested in farming organically or starting on new land that hasn't been in production for several years, but he would be open to investigating whatever is available. If the property came with a house, he would be interested in that as well. Nou is excellent at following up with opportunities, is a very easy-going charismatic person, and he grows beautiful, delicious produce! Nou completed a farmer training program through the New Entry Sustainable Farming Project (www.nesfp.org) and has been farming for many years, it would be great to assist him to reach his goals of farming on land he manages independently.

Thanks very much!
Jennifer Hashley, NESFP Project Coordinator
617-306-4879 (cell)

Volunteer for CT NOFA

  • Event Help Next CT NOFA event are the Basta Fundraising Dinner on October 29 and the Fall Harvest Celebration on November 4. Contact Denise D'Agostino for more information at d.dagostino@snet.net
  • Volunteer outreach coordinator Research events that we can display at, Contact them for permission to display, Develop outreach materials Go to events or help schedule other volunteers to go to event. Contact Denise D'Agostino for more information at d.dagostino@snet.net
  • Reporter Goes to CT NOFA events with camera and takes pictures, Gets people’s names that are in pictures and permission to use pictures, Writes stories for Gleanings/ press releases/ website, Next CT NOFA event are the Basta Fundraising Dinner on October 29 and the Fall Harvest Celebration on November 4. Contact Denise D'Agostino for more information at d.dagostino@snet.net
  • Distribution Coordinator Annual guide distribution - April through July - coordinates other volunteers statewide. Periodic checking in of distribution points to see if they need more materials. Contact Denise D'Agostino for more information at d.dagostino@snet.net
  • New Watch Reads the newspapers, watches TV and listens to the radio for mention of CT NOFA or its members. Clips articles and records shows and archives them. Formatting to digital files would be ideal for website and permanent saving. This can be done by the same or different volunteer. Contact Denise D'Agostino for more information at d.dagostino@snet.net
  • Join a committee:
    Taste! Organic Connecticut - contact Jim Roby at jroby7088@sbcglobal.net
    Fundraising - contact Janet Heller at janet.heller@snet.net
    Organic Land Care - contact Kim Stoner at kimberly.stoner@po.state.ct.us
    Cultivating an Organic Connecticut Conference - contact Jennifer Brown at jennifer@ctnofa.org

Work for CT NOFA

  • CT NOFA is hiring a bookkeeper. Please send resume to Bill Duesing at CT NOFA, PO Box 164, Stevenson, CT 06491. Job description to follow.
  • CT NOFA is hiring office help. Please send resume to Bill Duesing at CT NOFA, PO Box 164, Stevenson, CT 06491. Job description to follow.
  • CT NOFA is hiring the Gleanings Editor. Please send resume to Bill Duesing at CT NOFA, PO Box 164, Stevenson, CT 06491. Job description to follow.

Established Organic Farm, Farm Stand and CSA business for rent or sale
Six tillable acres, certified organic, Connecticut River frontage, 150 member CSA and farmstand business in Sunderland, MA for rent or sale to experienced CSA farmer. Turnkey, fully-equipped operation. Solar-powered farm stand. Potential for 12 more tillable, transitional acres. Please submit a brief resume and letter of interest by email. info@riverlandfarm.com.

PROJECT COORDINATOR Job Opening
FIDDLEHEADS, a storefront natural & organic food cooperative that will
be opening in New London, CT February 2007.
We are looking for a PROJECT COORDINATOR to begin work immediately. Resumes must be submitted by Thursday October 12. They can be given to any Fiddleheads Board member. I am accepting resumes by email (perennialharmony@msn.com) and fax (860-910-4872). Job Description: Temporary part time contract position. Twenty hours per week for 2-3 months. Pay Range $800-$1200 per month. Coordinator reports to the Vice President and obtains Board approval on major items. Prepares or assists with preparing all media material. Coordinates all media contacts and work (written, radio, event). Facilitates Communication where needed (between committees and Board). Coordinates co-op events (fundraisers, ticket sales, invitations, meetings). Tracks donations and follows up with thank-you's, reminders. Assists with solicitation of memberships including coordinating the Farmer's Market Tables and membership materials. Coordinates Volunteers (Site Work) Should be well organized and ideally have public relations experience and the ability to have a sound barrier breaking learning curve.

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News from Connecticut
Madison's Mercy Center switches to cage-free eggs
It can be a foul life for America's egg-layers.
Often trapped in tiny, cramped cages, hens on commercial farms can live a miserable existence, according to U.S. Humane Society officials. But in Connecticut, there's at least one place where their freedom is supported. The oceanfront Mercy Center in Madison, a conference and retreat center for human development, now uses only eggs from cage-free birds, and animal rights activists are approving. "It's essentially a social responsibility, and it's a perfect fit for our mission," said Alan Thayer, the Mercy Center's executive chef. "The birds are absolutely living in miserable conditions. We're called the Mercy Center - this is a way to give the birds some mercy."

Paul Shapiro, director of the Factory Farming Campaign for the Humane Society, praised the Mercy Center and noted the cruelty that cages pose to birds, who often have no more space than a sheet of paper on which to live for their entire lives, he said. "These are cages that are so small the birds can barely move for their entire lives," said Shapiro.

Some countries, including Austria, Switzerland and Germany, have outlawed the use of battery cages, Shapiro said. And last month, U.S. Rep. Christopher Shays, R-4, introduced legislation that, among other things, would require the federal government to purchase only cage-free eggs. Some grocery stores, including Whole Foods Market and Wild Oats Natural Marketplace, have already stopped selling caged eggs, while Trader Joe's has converted its store brand to cage-free, Shapiro said. In the past 18 months, nearly 100 universities have decided to eliminate or significantly reduce use of eggs from caged birds, with Yale University and the University of Connecticut among them, Shapiro said. "The hidden cost of ... cage eggs is animal cruelty, and it's the birds who are paying that price," he said. And that, Thayer said, should make people think twice about the eggs they are buying. "As people become more and more aware of the abuse of animals in factory farming, I think people really want to do the right thing, and it's worth spending the extra money," he said. "I don't like the fact that these birds are suffering so I can have an omelet." To read the whole article, go to: http://www.nhregister.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=16958494&BRD=1281&PAG=461
To find local, organic eggs go to: http://www.ctnofa.org/Farms.php

Cows Could be New Fuel Cell
Tuesday, August 29, 2006 BY DAVID A. SMITH
CANAAN -- Milk, not electricity, is what people expect from the 1,500 or so dairy cows in East Canaan. Three farms -- Elm Knoll, Laurelbrook and Freund -- produce enough milk to supply a gallon a day to everyone in Canaan, Colebrook, Falls Village, Norfolk and Salisbury. Add North Canaan's four dairy farms, and the number of cows being milked in North Canaan equals about half the number of residents in this stretch of the Northwest Corner.

The cows' prodigious production comes with a byproduct not found in the dairy section, one that can be expensive and time-consuming to manage: thousands of gallons of manure. The task of handling the never-ending poop got local farmers thinking there's got to be a better way to deal with it, and perhaps even to benefit. Their answer may be electricity -- specifically, generating electricity from methane gas produced by the manure, and selling it back to the power grid. The process is possible in a contraption called a digester. Three farms -- Elm Knoll, Laurelbrook and Freund -- have teamed up to pursue the project, and hope to be in the power business within a year or two.

A community digester could be a practical solution not only to their manure piles but also could provide the farmers with badly needed extra cash. The number of Connecticut dairy farms has fallen to about 165, down from 289 just 10 years ago, and economics is largely to blame. "We've got to think outside the box," said Matt Freund, who milks about 230 cows on his family's farm in North Canaan's "farm belt" along Route 44 between Canaan and Norfolk. "If we don't, there's no doubt that we won't have dairy farming in the state pretty quickly. We lose 50 percent of our farms every 10 years."

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Other News and Stories
Study Bolsters Link between Pesticides and Parkinson's
SCIENCE NEWS, June 26, 2006. People who have been exposed to pesticides are 70 percent more likely to develop Parkinson's disease than those who haven't, according to a new study. The results suggest that any pesticide exposure, whether occupationally related or not, will increase a person's risk of the disease. This means that using pesticides in the home or garden may have similarly harmful effects as working with the chemicals on a farm or as a pest controller.

The research, published in the July issue of Annals of Neurology, provides the strongest evidence to date of the link between pesticide exposure and Parkinson's. The study included over 143,000 men and women who completed extensive lifestyle questionnaires beginning in 1982, and follow-up surveys through 2001. All subjects were symptom-free at the beginning of the project, when they were asked about their occupation and exposure to potentially hazardous materials. Since then, 413 of them have developed confirmed cases of Parkinson's, with a greater incidence of the disease in those who spent time around pesticides. "Low- dose pesticide exposure was associated with a significant increase in risk for Parkinson's disease," says lead author Alberto Ascherio of the Harvard School for Public Health. "I think this is one reason to be careful about using pesticides in general."

Although the causes of Parkinson's are not well understood, it has long been suspected that environmental factors play a large role. Animal studies have shown that chemical compounds commonly used as pesticides can cause a degeneration of dopamine-producing neurons. In Parkinson's, a shortage of dopamine causes the disease's characteristic motor abnormalities, including muscle tremors and muscle rigidity. Previous small-scale human studies had suggested a link between pesticides and Parkinson's, but this new study is the first to establish a clear correlation in a large patient population.

The researchers also looked for links between Parkinson's and other environmental contaminants, including asbestos, coal dust, exhaust, formaldehyde and radioactive material. They found no correlation between the disease and any of the materials besides pesticides, however. Because of the design of the questionnaires, the study was not able to determine how the frequency, duration, or intensity of pesticide exposure affected the incidence of Parkinson's. The next step, according to Ascherio, is to figure out which class of chemicals is actually causing the disease, so that people can reduce their exposure. --Karen Schrock

2 Dairies to End Use of Artificial Hormones, Hope to compete with organic milk
By Bruce Mohl, Boston Globe Staff  |  September 25, 2006 The region's biggest dairies are rushing to rid their bottled milk of artificial growth hormones in a bid to draw back customers who have switched to organic milk. Dean Foods, which operates the Garelick plant in Franklin, and H.P. Hood, which operates a plant in Agawam, are demanding that regional farmer cooperatives supply them with milk from cows that haven't been injected with synthetic hormones that boost milk production.

Over the next few weeks, jugs of Hood and Garelick milk with labels pledging ``no artificial growth hormones" should start filling supermarket shelves -- a strategy the dairies hope will satisfy the chief concern of consumers going organic and do so at less than half the retail price of organic milk. By halting the use of synthetic hormones, which are marketed under the brand name Posilac by Monsanto Corp. of St. Louis, Hood and Dean are bringing their milk one step closer to the organic standard. Their milk is also screened for antibiotics. Smaller dairies have previously marketed conventional milk produced without synthetic hormones, but the changes taking place now in southern New England represent the first large-scale conversion in the country. If more dairies jump on board, it could be a tipping point in the long-running debate about the safety of using synthetic hormones to spur milk production.

Monsanto won Food and Drug Administration approval for POSILAC in 1993. The product, also known by the acronym rBST, is a synthetic version of the milk-inducing growth hormone that cows produce naturally. The company says a third of the nation's dairy herd is injected with POSILAC. Monsanto sued Oakhurst Dairy in Maine in 2003 after it put labels on its milk saying its farmers pledged not to use artificial growth hormones. The case was settled when Oakhurst added a statement to its labels saying the FDA has found ``no significant difference in milk from cows treated with artificial growth hormones." Monsanto isn't saying what it plans to do in response to Dean and Hood. A spokesman for the company said the two dairy processors are depriving farmers of an FDA-approved technology. To read the whole story go to: http://www.boston.com/ae/food/articles/2006/09/25/2_dairies_to_end_use_of_artificial_hormones/

Washington State Pays Farmers to Go Organic
Capital Press - SHELTON, Wash. - In an innovative effort to improve water quality, the state is paying a minimum of five farmers in the Skokomish watershed in Western Washington to switch to organic farming practices.
The most frequently flooded river in the state, the Skokomish River provides 44.5 percent of the freshwater that flows into Hood Canal, a waterway where dissolved oxygen concentrations have led to a series of fish kills in recent years. In addition to the watershed's large runs of salmon, the state's oyster industry also has a stake in the success of the project.

The three farmers currently participating in the project are working under a two-year nutrient-management grant from the state's Ecology Department to the Mason Conservation District. Under the $154,000 demonstration project, which the state hopes will serve as a model for other watersheds, farmers will donate 25 percent of the cost. The other 75 percent will go into their pockets for such expenses as intercropping, organic fertilizers, organic pest management, and cover cropping.

ALERT: E.COLI--GETTING TO THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM
The recent tragic outbreak of E. coli contamination in spinach that has killed one person and poisoned at least 146 others, is being mistakenly blamed, by some in the media, on organic farming practices--specifically the use of animal manure in making fertilizer compost on organic farms. While no conclusive source of the current E.coli outbreak has yet been determined, mountains of E.coli-tainted manure on conventional factory farm feedlots and rainfall-induced agricultural runoff are the likely culprits. Despite this fact, a number of apologists for industrial agriculture continue to attack organic food in the press as "unsafe." (To read OCA's position paper and other in-depth articles on the E.coli crisis go to OCA's daily news page http://www.organicconsumers.org/2006/log.cfm). Help spread the truth—

FAST FOOD CHAINS GOING ORGANIC
While most fast-food chains still generate billions in profits selling junk food, at least two national chains are starting to show how convenience food can be nutritious and sustainably and humanely produced. Chipotle touts its "Food With Integrity" philosophy, offering naturally raised pork, free-range chicken and a sprinkling of organic ingredients in its Mexican menu¸ while the Panera fast-food chain serves only all-natural, antibiotic-free chicken, as well as organic kids' meals. A recent CIBC World Markets report indicates the two chains are growing at rates well above the national average for fast-food restaurants and attributes that success to the fact that consumers are increasingly choosing to spend their dollars on healthier and more ethically produced foods.
Learn more: http://www.organicconsumers.org/2006/article_2405.cfm

One Thing to Do About Food: A Forum
With: Eric Schlosser, Marion Nestle, Michael Pollan, Wendell Berry, Troy Duster, Elizabeth Ransom, Winona LaDuke, Peter Singer, Dr. Vandana Shiva, Carlo Petrini, Eliot Coleman & Jim Hightower http://www.thenation.com/doc/20060911/forum

Local Food Messages on You Tube
Just wanted to share this video made by a colleague, Roger Doiron, who lives in Maine.  He's trying to break into the oh-so-hip homemade video forum (www.youtube.com) with local food messages!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOQkBP5nioY Roger is also the founder of www.kitchengardeners.org   There is a short tv news link about KGI on his website...

SOUR MILK
The USDA has refused to define "organic" milk as coming from pasture-fed cows. Activists are calling for a boycott of what they say is faux-organic milk from mega-dairies. Read more: http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2006/8/2/93627/44892?source=daily

Edible Estates Begins Transforming Front Yards to Food.
From Kansas to California, the concept of Edible Estates is gaining traction among those seeking to reduce the chemical and resource footprint of the conventional residential lawn. The brainchild of Los Angeles architect Fritz Haeg, the Edible Estate was first introduced in Salina, KS on July 4, 2005. It is part of a growing "delawning" movement concerned with replacing lawns around the country with native plants, food crops, prairie grasses  (in suburban Chicago) and cactus gardens (in southern Arizona).  In Salina, Stan and Priti Cox offered up their conventional front yard for transformation into a living, thriving edible installation. The process not only furnishes the family with a hearty supply of food, but provides an education in seasonal cycles, organic gardening, and regional biodiversity.  The second Edible Estate was just initiated by Haeg and the Foti home in Lakewood, CA.  Haeg has plans for nine more projects over the next three years.  (Edible Estates, 2006, http://www.edibleestates.org<http://www.edibleestates.org/> )

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