Upcoming CT NOFA Events & News
September 9, 2007 Taste! Organic Connecticut
Topmost Herb Farm, Coventry, CT. Come and join us at one of the year's most delicious events! Workshops include beekeeping, cheese making, beginning gardening and much more. Find out more here
Volunteers are still needed, please send an email to Ellen Bauwens (email@example.com
) if you are able to help out.
November 3, 2007 Organic Harvest Celebration and Annual Meeting
Jones Auditorium at the CT Agricultural Experiment Station in New Haven, CT. Come and enoy a Farmers' Market, pot luck lunch, and Billie Best as this year's speaker. For more information, check the CT NOFA website
One of the bottlenecks as we work toward to local and organic food system is the lack of USDA approved slaughter facilities in Connecticut and the region, especially ones that can also legally package meat for retail sale. This problem applies to beef, pork, lamb, goat and poultry.
There is now growing interest in addressing this complex problem which the USDA, state agencies, local zoning boards and health districts all have a hand in. A good solution could benefit farmers and consumers and also help encourage more pasture based, family scale agriculture in Connecticut.
CT NOFA and Executive Director Bill Duesing are participating in several efforts to address this problem. The Protein Processing Committee of the Connecticut Food Policy Council is holding a meeting at the Capitol in September to bring together some of the parties involved in the regulations and other aspects of any solution. I¹m sure this is just the beginning of a long process which will involve meetings, require citizen and farmer input and pressure and need a lot of cooperation.
There is also an effort on the part of the Massachusetts organization CISA (Communities Involved in Sustaining Agriculture) to assess the situation in the region. CT NOFA has been asked to participate in this too. If you are interested in seeing a solution to this problem, let me know. It would be useful to know if there are CT NOFA members or others who would
like to participate in this work or who can testify to the need for these facilities.
There are some interesting examples of mobile slaughter facilities.
There was a meeting earlier this year in Litchfield that presented the success of a mobile beef processing facility in Washington State. An enclosed trailer outfitted as a slaughterhouse is owned and operated by a producer coop. It visits a farm with steers to slaughter and leaves with sides of beef headed to a hanging and processing plant. This mobile unit has made a big difference in the financial success of the farmers involved.
This on-farm approach has two other advantages. It avoids the stress on animals which otherwise would be shipped long distances. (Some of Connecticut¹s farmers truck beef to New York or Vermont for slaughtering.) It also avoids the problem of dealing with the non-edible portions of the animals. They can be safely composted on a farm by being buried in a bed of woodchips or some other high carbon material. Disposal from a fixed slaughterhouse requires a lot more permitting and hauling.
At the NOFA Summer Conference this month, a mobile poultry processing facility was on display. This unit was developed by the New England Small Farm Institute and other partners. It awaits approval of its HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) plan. It is a very nicely done unit. You can see it in use at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XnIwhX3KSII
|Other Upcoming Events
Northeast Animal Power Field Days
Farmers' Market and Book Sale Fund Raiser - to benefit the Senior Wish Society of Milford & Orange
Mark your calendars for Saturday, September 8th, from 9:00am to 2:00 pm and stop by the Fowler Field Pavilion on New Haven Avenue in Milford, (behind the Milford Public Library), to enjoy a huge Farmer's Market and Book Sale Fund Raiser benefiting the Senior Wish Society of Milford and Orange. The event will be held rain or shine.
If you would like to make a donation, stop by at the fund raiser on September 8th, or you can make your donation out to the Senior Wish Society and mail it to The Milford Senior Center - Attention: Geri Dichkewich - 9 Jepson Drive, Milford, CT. 06460. Please print "Fund Raiser" on your check memo. For more information about the fund raiser please call Recreation Supervisor Linda Ball at 783-3280x8.
- Managing Carcass Disposal through Composting,
Sept.12-14 at Univ. of Maine, Monmouth, ME. For more information, click here
Documentary Screening - What a Way to Go: Life at the End of Empire
A Feature-length Documentary will be screened, followed by discussion
Saturday, September 15
New Haven Friends Meeting House
223 East Grand Ave, New Haven
6:30 PM (Doors open 6:00, movie starts 6:30)
Handicapped Accessible <http://www.newhavenfriends.org/
Suggested Donation $10 (for film makers)
Sponsors Include: New Haven Bioregional Group, The Green Sanctuary Committee of the Unitarian Society of New Haven, New Haven Friends Meeting (Quakers), CT NOFA (Northeast Organic Farming Association of Connecticut), Network for a Sustainable New Haven, Unitarian Universalist Society of New Haven
What a Way to Go features interviews with noted authors Daniel Quinn, Derrick Jensen, Jerry Mander, Richard Heinberg, William Catton, Paul Roberts, Chellis Glendinning, Thomas Berry, Richard Manning and Ran Prieur, and scientists William Schlesinger, Stuart Pimm, Douglas Crawford-Brown, and Gerald Cecil. It looks head on at our present global predicament, as oil depletion, climate change, species extinction and population overshoot converge in a "perfect storm" of cataclysmic dimensions.
Produced independently by Sally Erickson and Tim Bennett, this personal essay explores the cultural stories and assumptions that have brought us to this point, and provides a larger context for thinking about, and feeling our way through, our global situation.
- Earthwise Farm and Forest is organizing the 2007 Northeast Animal-Power Field Days, to be held September 29 & 30 at the Fair Grounds in Tunbridge, VT. To learn more, click here
The Tour des Farms
- On Saturday, September 29, 2007, Eastern CT RC will host a 20-mile bike ride through the orchards of South Glastonbury, CT. Two weeks later, on October 13, 2007 King's Mark RC will hold a 10-mile, 25-mile and 62-mile bike ride in Guilford, CT.
The Tour des Farms is a project of the Eastern Connecticut and King's Mark Resource Conservation and Development Councils (RC). Since 2003, these bicycle rides have toured the beautiful agricultural countryside of Connecticut, raising money and awareness for the diversity and vitality of Connecticut's farms. This is an extremely well planned, fun, outdoor event that truly celebrates our working farms by coordinating several farm stops along each ride. As in past years, a portion of the proceeds from the Tour des Farms will be given to Working Lands Alliance.
Volunteers still needed! If interested, please contact John Guszkowski at 860-928-7848.
for registration information
Made in Connecticut Fair - Oxford, CT will be the home of the 1st Annual "Made in Connecticut" Fair on Sunday September 30th the Colonial Tavern grounds. This event is hosted by the Oxford Democratic Town Committee as a fundraiser (vendor fees), however, everyone is welcome and it will not be a "political" event.
We are in need of farmers, craftspeople, food vendors, artists, everything made, produced, or grown here in our wonderful state of CT!
I believe it's an opportunity whose idea has come, and is long overdue. I believe that this event has the potential to grow with each consecutive year. Any questions, or if you would like a vendor application, call or email me!
Jane C Maher, CEO
NOFA VT Dairy Production and Transition Workshops
- The Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT) is pleased to announce two special workshops for all dairy producers interested in learning about organic dairying and how to transition to organic milk production. The workshops will take place from 10:00 to 4:00 on Monday, September 24th at Applecheek Farm in Hyde Park and Tuesday, September 25th from 10:00-4:00 at Brattleboro High School's Career Center. They are hosted by NOFA-VT's Dairy and Livestock Technical Assistance Program. Check here
for more information.
SafeLawns to Offer Professional, Consumer Training -
SafeLawns will host a series of educational seminars titled "SafeLawns and Landscapes." Centered around selected metropolitan areas of New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., the two-day seminars will offer class for professionals on Friday and for consumers on Saturday.
The seminar series will take place Sept.14-15 at The Performing Arts Center of Purchase College in Purchase, N.Y. The second seminar series will take place Sept. 21-22 at Temple Ambler University in Ambler, Pa., followed by the third seminar Oct. 19-20 at the University of the District of Columbia. Topics will include organic lawn care, natural tree and shrub care, along with fertilization and soil science.
The professional rate will be $125 per person, with discounts available to professional organizations, municipalities and businesses that send more than one employee. The consumer education day will be $25. Both days include lunch and refreshments and may offer educational and pesticide credits, where applicable.
For more information, including a please visit www.safelawns.org or email Cameron
Bonsey at firstname.lastname@example.org
NE-SARE supported training workshop -
a program on diagnosis, visual assessment and management of plant parasitic nematodes on vegetables and small fruit will be held in at the CT Agricultural Experiment Station in Windsor, CT on October 3, 2007. The information is posted on the NYS-IPM website
The Third Annual Bioneers by the Bay: Connecting for Change
UMASS Dartmouth, October 19-22
The internationally acclaimed annual gathering of environmental, industry and social justice innovators who have demonstrated visionary and practical models for restoring the Earth and its inhabitants - returns to UMASS Dartmouth, MA, this fall.
Presented by the Marion Institute, Bioneers by the Bay: Connecting for Change will bring together over 2,000 students, teachers, green business innovators, scientists, grassroots
leaders and everyday folks from across the East Coast will gather to embrace, share, brainstorm, network, heal, learn, teach, celebrate, recharge and connect for change. For registration and more details, click here
The 3rd Educational Farm Symposium
November 8-10, 2007 Shelburne Farms in Shelburne, VT
Calling All Educators, Farmers and Administrators of Farm-Based Education Programs
You are invited to join us for the 3rd Educational Farm Symposium, sponsored by the Farm-Based Education Association and Shelburne Farms. The Symposium will combine workshops, field trips, networking time, evening entertainment and hearty local food for 3 days of learning and fun! This event is planned to provide professional development and support to the farm-based education community. Please join us!
To view the brochure and to register, CLICK HERE
Or visit www.farmbasededucation.org
Any questions? Please e-mail Dana Hudson at email@example.com
Pullets For Sale:
Approximately 140 eighteen-week-old Rhode Island Red Pullets. Fed only certified organic feed. Raised on pasture from weeks 5-18. $10/pullet picked up at Holcomb Farm in West Granby, CT.
No minimum order. First come, first serve. Delivery may be possible for an extra charge.
Holcomb Farm CSA
111 Simsbury Rd.
West Granby, CT 06090
Help wanted at one of Connecticut's longest certified organic farms in Oneco, CT . Room and board plus some cash or possibly other compensation. Prospective help can e-mail
or call Wayne at (680) 564-7987. Willingness to work is necessary, experience at farming is not. Willingness to learn is good.
CSA for 2008
- Mike Melillo is looking for people interested in signing up for a new CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) in North Haven next spring. For more details email Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org
(preferable) or call him at 203-288-8730.
Organic Gardening and Lawn Care courses
- CT NOFA Board Member Bettylou Sandy is teaching two classes at Manchester Community College's Continuing Education. For course descriptions, click here
. For registration information, click here
NOFA Website hosts NOFA Interstate Farmer to Farmer Exchange
A free forum for the exchange of information, products and services. Go to http://www.nofa.org/exchange/index.php
to see job postings and follow the links at the bottom to post your own job announcement.
Buy CT Grown -
a project of CitySeed
, sign up here
for their newsletter and check out their new website.
The Organic Mom Magazine
: a new, ad-free environmental magazine called The Organic Mom has started and they are looking for writers and artists, of all ages, to contribute to the magazine. They are also looking for farm stories as well. Writers guidelines are on their website
News article from UCONN: an important paper on soil phosphorus and compost in turf was recently released. To view a PDF of the study, click here.
Local production company features organic farms
: Alicia Ghio is producing a program called "The Natural Princess" featuring local organic farms and farmers. To view the pilot for the program, go to the site www.thenaturalprincess.com
. If you have any suggestions for future episodes, her phone number is 203-748-8619.
|Other items of interest
Grants for agricultural sustainability -
The Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program offers three different competitive grant programs, all with application deadlines in the late fall and early winter. These grants are capped at $10,000 and should offer innovative approaches to sustainable agriculture. For more information, contact Northeast SARE by phone at802/656-0471, email at email@example.com
, or visit their website: http://www.uvm.edu/~nesare/
T-Shirts to benefit NOFA
- District Cotton
are currently selling a collection of farm-themed shirts with 10% of the proceeds going to the NOFA interstate council. NOFA members (and friends) can get free shipping by entering the couponcode: NOFA
Sustainable Agriculture Rearch and Education (SARE) 20th Anniversary Photo Contest
- for all the details, check here
Legal Defense Fund to Defend Direct Farm Sales - Washington, DC: Small farmers -- and the consumers who support them -- celebrated the Fourth of July with the launch of the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund. The non-profit organization was founded to protect the rights of farmers to provide meat, eggs, raw dairy products, vegetables and other foods directly to consumers.
Go to www.farmtoconsumer.org to learn more.
Annie's Sustainable Ag Scholarship Program
Awesome news and a first in the field: Annie's Homegrown is accepting applications for its new Sustainable Agriculture Program that will award $50,000 to undergrad and grad students pursuing studies in organic and sustainable agriculture! The award will include three $10,000 and eight $2,500 scholarships. Deadline: September 30, 2007. Winners announced by January 2008. Apply online now.
Factory Farm Pollution
- a site
with probably more information than you'd ever want to know about factory farm pollution in this country.
Pharma crops letters needed now
Pharmaceutical and industrial crops (a generation of GE crops to produce medicines and industrials like plastics) are an issue I think we all are concerned about. These crops have the potential of contaminating our food supply which would be a huge catastrophe. USDA has finally published a long-awaited draft programmatic environmental impact statement (EIS) on the introduction of genetically engineered (GE) organisms. The EIS will provide the basis for overseeing GE organisms in U.S. agriculture, including pharma crops, for many years. The draft EIS is available at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/biotechnology/EIS_index.shtml
The Union of Concerned Scientists had a petition for a ban on pharma crops. USDA¹s draft regulations mirror this ban on pharma crops which is good. Now USDA needs to hear from a broad range of stakeholders strongly supporting this ban. The Union of Concerned Scientists has an alert which makes your letter really easy. This alert is available at http://ucsaction.org/campaign/8_24_07_pharma_crops
. The deadline for comments is September 11th.
Thanks in advance for sending this letter and for everything you all do to make our food supply as healthy and safe as possible.