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Gleanings eNewsletter

October 2011

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:
From the ED
Your Favorite Tool
Organic Shopping
Winter Food Project
Alerts & Actions
Featured Organizations and Members
In the News
Community Board
Other Items of Interest



bill duesing

From the Executive Director  

A Window of Opportunity    


We have an exciting and important Window of Opportunity now in Connecticut to make big advances in our work to, in the words of CT NOFA's mission, "Encourage the growth of a sustainable, regional food system that is ecologically sound, economically viable and socially just."

Whether you start from the top with a Governor who "gets it" (in the words of long time CT NOFA member Terry Jones, with "it" meaning the importance of agriculture and its role in economic development and in good nutrition for our kids), or from the increasing number of grassroots groups and thousands of people who not only "get it" but are actively working for a sustainable, just and ecological food system, it is clear that we are nearing a tipping point and therefore have a great Window of Opportunity to create real change.  More





Featured Events


CT NOFA Annual Meeting


Rep. Roy

CT NOFA welcomes the public to our Annual meeting on Saturday, October 29, 2011 from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm at Common Ground High School in New Haven, CT. Guests are welcome to come to any of the day's activities starting with a tour of Common Ground Farm followed by a pot luck lunch. After lunch will be a brief annual meeting, followed Representative Richard Roy's presentation on Connecticut legislative efforts to label genetically engineered foods. The program will close with the presentation of CT NOFA's 2011 Member of the Year award to Sal Gilbertie, author, herb expert, and owner of Gilbertie's Herb Gardens in Westport, CT.



Organic Land Care Annual Gathering    

Keynote Tom Wessels
The 2011 NOFA Organic Land Care Annual Gathering will take place on December 6th at the UCONN Student Union in Storrs, CT.  This is an opportunity for NOFA Accredited Organic Land Care Professionals, municipal or private land care managers, arborists and homeowners alike to experience a day of cutting-edge presentations, tentatively titled- "Trees: Landscaping for Future Generations."  The Keynote Speaker will be Tom Wessels, Ecologist and Founding Director of the master's degree program in Conservation Biology at Antioch University New England.  His talk will address "The Foundational Principles of Sustainability."  Other topics to be discussed: tree healing, tree pathology, landscape design, and the current climate of the landscaping business. 

Online registration coming soon - visit the OLC page here for more details.

winter_conference_logoCT NOFA is having its 30th Anniversary, and to celebrate in a big way we're having an over the top Winter Conference on Saturday, March 03, 2012 at Manchester Community College. We certainly have bragging rights in this year's Keynote, Jeffrey Smith, inspirational consumer advocate. Jeffrey Smith will speak on the health dangers of genetically modified organisms (GMOs); how biotech companies continue to mislead legislators and safety officials, putting the health of society at risk. Plus, we are building an exciting lineup of 40+ cutting edge workshops, a large farmers/vendors market of Connecticut's treasures, music, dependably great food at our signature potluck and much more. Join us to celebrate. For more information: 203-888-5146 or here.

Other Upcoming Events

Preserving the Harvest (on a budget) - Freezing and Drying

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Common Ground High School

New Haven, CT


Preserving the Harvest - Canning

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Common Ground High School

New Haven, CT


Cooking with Seasonal Food

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Common Ground High School

New Haven, CT

February 15-17, and 21-22, 2012
(Snow Date:  February 23, 2012)
CT Agricultural Experiment Station
New Haven, CT   


Other Events


Stop by and visit us at one of these upcoming events:

October 1, 2011 ~ Massaro Farm Family Fun Day 

October 1, 2011 ~ HawkWatch Festival & Green Bazaar  

October 22, 2011 ~ Green Fair at Barnard School   


For other area events, including Dinners on the Farm, Feast From the Fields and more, check our our events listing page






We have hired a new Public Ally, Melissa Gabso, to join our team for their 2011-2012 apprenticeship season. Public Allies is a national movement grounded in the conviction that everyone leads. Their mission is to advance new leadership to strengthen communities, nonprofits and civic participation. The Public Allies signature AmeriCorps Ally Program identifies diverse young adults and prepares them for leadership through paid full-time nonprofit apprenticeships and rigorous leadership training. Since 1992, more than 3,000 Allies have completed the program with more than 80% continuing careers in nonprofit and public service.


Prior to joining Public Allies, Melissa had previous experience working in education, photography, and graphic design.  She grew up in New Hartford, CT, and obtained her undergraduate degree at the University of Connecticut in fine arts with a concentration in illustration.  She currently lives in Naugatuck with her husband, Seth, and her cat, Noodle, working outside of Public Allies on her business drawing portraits for commission.  Her drawings can be viewed here. 


Visit the Public Allies website here and the AmeriCorps website here.




We have also become a partner in the Just Label It Campaign calling for the labeling of genetically engineered (GE) foods. The Campaign, which will launch the first week of October, is calling on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to require labeling of GE foods.  To learn more, and to sign up on behalf of your organization or business, click here.    





We have a new staff photo for the fall! 

From left to right:

Jenna Messier - OLC Program Director 

Bill Duesing - Executive Director

Deb Legge (holding Basil the cat) - Office Manager 

Marion Griswold - Bookeeper  

Melissa Gabso - Public Ally

Kristiane Huber - Event and Outreach Coordinator

Clara Buitrago - Accreditation Manager

Debbie Semonich - Office Assistant

(Not shown: Teresa Mucci - Program Coordinator, and Rue the cat)  



Help us grow - give a gift membership! 

cookbook cover
We're running a special membership drive for October - sign up someone for a membership at any of the various levels and we'll give YOU a choice of our cookbook or the new Organic Land Care booklet:
Introduction to Organic Lawns & Yards.

 Click h2011 homeowner guide coverere for more about the different membership types and a link to sign up online. Or just call the office and we'll take care of it right then. Mention it's a gift and we'll get your choice of books right out to you.

Help support our increasingly important work of ensuring a local, organic food supply for all of us - sign up a friend today!



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. credit_card

Sign up today by clicking here. 



Your Favorite Tool fav_tool_oct_11

Shannon Raider, Farm Manager and Director of Agricultural Programs at Common Ground High School in New Haven, has chosen a cultivator as her favorite tool. 

If you'd like to be featured in the Favorite Tool section of this newsletter, send a picture of yourself with the tool and a brief description of why it's your favorite here.



Winter Food Project  

Now that fall is here and winter is on its way, our Winter Food Project is starting back up.  This project seeks to increase sales and consumption of winter food grown and stored on CT farms through a range of educational and outreach activities.  The rise in the number of winter farmers' markets and winter CSAs indicates the interest in year round CT grown food. 

Recipe of the Month: Deb's Dried Apples ~
Slice your favorite unpeeled apples into 16 slices.  (One of those corer/slicer gadgets makes the job go a lot more quickly.)  Sprinkle with a small amount of lemon juice, if available.  For seasoning, use a mix of mostly cinnamon, with a bit of nutmeg, cardamom, and cloves to your preference.  Arrange in a single layer in each dehydrator rack and dry for 20-24 hours.  Store in glass jars.

Deb's all-time favorite apples for this are Gingergolds, with Monroes running a close second, from High Hill Orchard in Meriden, CT.

Butternut squasquashsh in the pantry
This is the time of year when we really step up our food storage activities.  
Winter squash are one of the easiest crops to store for good winter eating.  They also are beautiful. You can grow them yourself or buy a bunch at a farmers market or farm stand.

Winter squash store well in a cool room, 50-60 degrees, ideally between 50 and 85 percent humidity, but they usually keep well in less than ideal conditions, as long as they don't freeze.   Hot peppers, pumpkins and sweet potatoes also store well at these temperatures.

To learn more about the Winter Food Project, click here.

If you have any updates for winter farmer's markets and winter CSA programs, please forward that information to Deb here.



Alerts & Actions 

Important Message to CT Fruit Growers, Including Farmers, Homeowners, and AOLCPs: Be on the lookout for Spotted Wing Drosophila, a new pest in CT.  The SWD is a small vinegar fly of East Asian origin that can cause damage to many fruit crops.  Learn more about monitoring and trap building here. 

Free Workshop Series for Green Industry Professionals

This workshop series is provided by the Rhody Native initiative and a Northeast SARE grant.  Five workshops are spread out between October 13, 2011 and January 19, 2012.  Learn more about the workshops here.

The Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Grant deadlines are approaching.

These grants are awarded to farmers, farm service providers, and organizations involved in sustainable agriculture community development.  Fall deadlines are as follows:


-October 19, 2011: Sustainable Community Grants


-November 1, 2011: Partnership Grants
-December 1, 2011: Farmer Grants

Learn how to apply here.  Follow the "get a grant" link. 


Applications for the 2012 UConn Master Gardener Program are now being accepted. 

The objective of the program is to provide horticultural training to individuals who want to share knowledge with the public through community volunteerism, and wish to expand their gardening interests.  For more information or an application, visit here.  The postmarked deadline for applications is Friday, October 28, 2011.   


Request for Applications: Urgent IPM Grant Program

The Northeastern Integrated Pest Management Center is pleased to announce the availability of funding for its new Urgent IPM Grant ProgramApproximately $50,000 is available in 2011 to fund up to five projects that quantify an emerging pest situation, develop IPM methods, or educate audiences about IPM.  Learn more about this program here.  



Featured Organizations and Members

Connecticut Fct_food_bankood Bank  

Hunger affects communities all across the country-rural, urban, and suburban. In fact right here in Connecticut, 1 in 7 households struggle with hunger.

Connecticut Food Bank, a private, nonprofit organization, is working to alleviate hunger in Connecticut by working with corporations, community organizations and individuals to solicit, transport, warehouse and distribute donated food. With warehouses in East Haven, Fairfield, and Waterbury, and affiliated distribution centers in New London and Stamford, Connecticut Food Bank distributes more than 31 tons of food every business day to approximately 600 soup kitchens, shelters, food pantries and child and adult day programs in six of Connecticut's eight counties.

To find out more about what you can do to help end hunger in Connecticut, visit CT Food Bank online here.

Urban Oaks Organic Farm
Urban Oaks, a local farm in New Britain that offers organic, heirloom, and specialty crops, recently received a $17,500 grant from Allied World Assurance which will allow the farm to expand its program with Lincoln School to develop greenhouses and a school garden.  Read more about about the story here, or to learn more about Urban Oaks, visit their website.



In the News

Shelton companies hold "Best of Connecticut Day".


Nature preserve rescued from DOT bulldozer. More>   


Shrinking Margins at Small Farms: What You Can Do .  More


Dissatisfaction with farm disaster benefits floats up with Irene. Details>   


Local Artist Selected for "Birds In Their Habitat" Juried Art Exhibition & Sale at the Center at Fairfield. Details>



Community Board 


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.



Other Items of Interest    


If you value food freedom and the sale of raw milk, Ask Your U.S. Representative to Co-Sponsor HR 1830, a bill that would allow the interstate shipment of raw milk and raw milk products for human consumption.  Read more about the bill and sign a petition here.  


October is National Farm to School Month!  Learn more


Momentum for Food Day builds as October 24 nears. More> 


CT Eat Well: Harvesting Herbs 101. Details>

CT Eat Well: How to Lease Farmland. Details


Fungi hunting in New Haven. More>  


DIY Video: Build a grow box to plant your own vegetables.  Check out the video    



If you have any stories, articles, notices or suggestions for this newsletter, please send them along. 


Many thanks,