Apply Now for CT NOFA's
Whole Farm Planning Certificate Course
Applications due Nov. 1st, 2015
CT NOFA has partnered with Holistic Management International for six years to implement the Beginning Women Farmer (BWF) Program.
This year we are expanding the program and opening it up to beginning and experienced farmers with the passion and skills for farming who would like to learn more about how to make their business a successful, profitable enterprise or where to turn for help.
The course will consist of 10 five-hour sessions on Saturdays from early December through mid-April.
to learn more about the program, or contact Deb Legge, Connecticut Co-Coordinator, for more information at (203) 306-2584. Click HERE
to access the application.
Organic Land Care Program News
CT NOFA Winter Conference 2016
CT NOFA's 34th annual Winter Conference will take place on Saturday, March 12, 2016 at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury.
If you are interested in sponsorship or advertising opportunities, would like to have a vendor table at the Conference, or would like to submit a proposal for a workshop, see our Winter Conference webpage.
You can also read about our keynote speaker, Travis Marcotte from the Intervale Center in Burlington, VT. Bookmark this webpage - lots more info to come!
Advertise with CT NOFA!
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
Farm Strategies to Adapt to Climate Change
by Bill Duesing
In the face of increasingly disturbing news about the challenges farmers face due to climate change, there is encouraging news. According to Kip Kolesinskas, Consulting Conservation Scientist for the American Farmland Trust, there are strategies farmers can use to adapt to the flooding, drought, heat stress, insect invasions, less reliable weather and super weeds that are just some of the increasing challenges that farmers are and will be facing with the changing climate.
Thanks to Whole Foods and Their Customers!
On September 17th, Whole Foods held a 5% Day for CT NOFA. Five percent of all net sales from all nine Whole Foods stores in CT was donated to CT NOFA. A grand total of $38,000 was raised to help support CT NOFA! Thank you to Whole Foods and to everyone around the state who participated!
CT NOFA's ONLINE COURSE:
Organic Lawn Care Certificate
Become an organic lawn expert in just 8 hours of learning online. Just click HERE
for all the details. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Other Events In Connecticut
Support CT NOFA Raffles ~ Donations Requested Year-Round
CT NOFA is accepting donations of items for raffles at our upcoming events. We raffle off all kinds of items, from gift baskets of foods or skin care products, to consultations, gym memberships, farm tours, CSA shares, lessons, books, artwork, gift cards - you name it, we can raffle it to help support our work. All donations are tax deductible. If you have any items you'd like to donate to support CT NOFA, please contact the office at 203-308-2584.
NOFA Members - Your Help Needed
Business Member Profiles
Homefront Farmers designs, builds and maintains organic vegetable gardens in Fairfield County, CT. We are passionate about helping bring all the benefits of an edible organic garden to your yard. Many busy homeowners like relish yard-to-table freshness and the pleasure of having the pick of the crop at your fingertips, but don't have the time or the expertise to make this dream a reality. Homefront Farmers designs are beautiful, functional raised bed layouts that are built to last, season after season, year after year.
Homefront Farmers follows a model of practices that promotes the health and ecological biodiversity of your garden. We never use chemical fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides, or other synthetic applications. Nothing equals the transparency of having your fruits and vegetables grown in your own yard. We think there's comfort in knowing where and how your food is grown. How about you?
Fairfield County, CT
Skinny Pines is a wood-fired brick oven based in Fairfield County, by chef and owner Jeff Borofsky. Our signature Neapolitan-style pizzas and wood-fired creations form the foundation for private events and weekly Farmers' Market appearances. We believe food should be simple and fresh. Our relationships with farmers in Connecticut and New York form the basis of our menu, giving us many of our key ingredients.
We are a full-service catering company offering full support in planning, cooking and creating the ideal event for you and your guests. Our mobile wood-fired oven can go anywhere!
In our ingredients, supplies and even the wood we burn to power the Skinny Pines oven, we consider sustainability. Our menu features as much local and organic ingredients as possible. And our catering "rentals" such as cutlery and cups are actually fully biodegradable tableware made from plants. Even our pizza boxes are made from 100% recycled content. Skinny Pines is the recipient of a 2010 Green Coast Award
River Crest Farm
River Crest Farm has been a working, family-run farm for over sixty years. Today you can find vegetables, flower and vegetable plants, Christmas trees, and more at the farm. In spring, from April until early June, annuals, perennials, and vegetable transplants are available in the greenhouse. River Crest also offers a CSA. While they are not certified organic, all their food is grown using organic methods. River Crest has signed the Farmer's Pledge, committing themselves to using safe and ecological growing methods. They do not use chemical fertilizers or synthetic pesticides ever. River Crest Farm - small, diverse, sustainable! Visit their website or Facebook page for more information.
Haven't seen your business featured here yet? Fill out this form to give us more information on your CT NOFA member business!
In the News 2015 NOFA Summer Conference shared ideas. More>
USDA to expand group food safety certification for small growers. More>
The beauty of ugly food. More>
12 ingredients you should never eat. More>
Publications released on local food buying by food service management companies. More>
Transitioning to organic? Organic transition business planner available here
The USDA also issues a weekly non-GMO/GE report for producers transitioning to organic. More>
Company helps VT farmers reach larger urban market. More>
Who owns U.S. farmland, and how will it change? More>
Perdue buys Niman Ranch; what it means to farmers. More>
Sales from organic farms up seventy-two percent. More>Attention Farmers & Food Businesses in NW Connecticut!
The Northwest Hills Council of Governments and Partners for Sustainable Healthy Communities, with financial support from the CT Department of Agriculture, are exploring the development of a regional food hub as a way of supporting local farms and connecting them to new and expanded sales channels. You are invited to take this voluntary survey to help them understand the obstacles facing producers in accessing and increasing their sales into direct and/or wholesale channels, as well as identify potential strategies and infrastructure that could be developed to help increase viable agricultural production and markets. With this feedback, they will have more information to determine whether a food hub in Northwest Connecticut is feasible and if so, how to best structure its development. Click here to start. Survey contact person: Petra Volinski, NRCS, Torrington, CT - Petra.Volinski@CT.usda.gov.
School Garden Network News
Growing and Learning
Common Ground Posts SGRC Workshop ScheduleThe School Garden Resource Center at Common Ground High School has announced their upcoming workshop schedule. Join the community of school garden coordinators, teachers, parents, community volunteers and other school garden enthusiasts in this series of learning opportunities. Learn about planning your garden, conducting investigations with students, composting with worms, seed starting and more. Whole Kids Foundation Announces Healthy Kids Grants
Whole Kids Foundation is excited to partner with United Health Foundation in launching a new grant program supporting the next generation of innovative ideas in children's health & nutrition. Through these grants, ranging from $15,000-$25,000, they aim to bring together multi-sector leaders in food, health, fitness and technology in support of the next big idea. Details here. Also, check out their Extended Learning Garden Grants.
October is Farm to School Month!
National Farm to School Month was designated by Congress in 2010 to demonstrate the growing importance of farm to school programs as a means to improve child nutrition, support local economies and educate children about the origins of food. Visit the National Farm to School Network's website and facebook page to learn more and find resources for celebrating this month. Report: Farm to School Grants Increase Number of Kids Eating Healthy Foods
Last month, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the release of a new report that shows that USDA's Farm to School Grant Program has helped 12,300 schools improve nutritious meal options made with local ingredients for 6.9 million students, while expanding market opportunities for family farmers and ranchers in their communities. Read more here
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.