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From the Director
People's Climate March
CT NOFA Friends,
As we all know, climate change and its associated issues is at the very top of the list of environmental concerns effecting the future of our planet and our daily lives. Practically every decision we make each day impacts the issue - the food we buy, the food we eat, the cars we drive, the electricity we use, and more.
Agriculture has a major impact on the climate. Much of that impact, from industrialized agriculture, is unfortunately and overwhelmingly negative, but there is also much hope. We know that local and organic agriculture, and eating organic and locally produced foods can make a critically important difference in the future of our climate and the future of our planet.
But it's not enough to live our own personal lives with the best interests of the planet in mind. We have to get the message out to those who don't know how serious an issue climate change is, or don't really understand what they can do about it. And the time is now. Before the effects on our planet are totally irreversible.
For this reason CT NOFA is joining our state's contingent, the food and agriculture contingent, as well as over 950 environmental groups, businesses, unions, faith groups, schools, social justice groups, and more at the People's Climate March in New York City on Sunday, September 21, 2014. The March coincides with the September 23 UN Climate Summit 2014 to which "UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has invited world leaders, from government, finance, business, and civil society to ... galvanize and catalyze climate action."
Organic agriculture is an important part of the solution. It's summarized well with 3 action steps in Rodale Institute's white paper Regenerative Organic Agriculture and Climate Change: A Down-to-Earth Solution to Global Warming:
*Organically managed soils can convert carbon from a greenhouse gas into a food-producing asset. It's nothing new, and it's already happening, but it's not enough. This is the way we have to farm, period.
* There's a technology for massive planetary geo-engineering that's tried and tested and available for widespread dissemination right now. It costs little and is adaptable to localities the world over. It can be rolled out tomorrow providing multiple benefits beyond climate stabilization. It's photosynthesis.
*The solution is farming like life on Earth matters; farming in a way that restores and even improves on the natural ability of the microbiology present in healthy soil to hold carbon. This kind of farming is called regenerative organic agriculture and it is the solution to climate change we need to implement today.
This summer The Natural Farmer
, the quarterly newspaper of the Northeast Organic Farming Association, had a Special Supplement on Building Soil Carbon, with many terrific articles such as Building Soil Carbon with Yearlong Green Farming by Dr. Christine Jones, in which she starts out "Soil represents the largest carbon sink over which we have control". You can read other great articles from the supplement HERE.
Please read, please think about it, and please be inspired to join the People's Climate March in New York City on Sunday, September 21. For details on how to get there and to be part of the Connecticut contingent, please see details further down in this newsletter. I hope to see you there!
Thank you for being part of the CT NOFA family and for your support of local and organic food, farming, gardening and land care,
By William Duesing
The month after Vermont governor Peter Shumlin signed into law the country's first genetically modified organism (GMO) labeling bill with a firm effective date, the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), the Snack Food Association (SFA), the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) sued in Federal Court to overturn the new law. This law is scheduled to take effect in 2016; there is no trigger clause requiring other states to pass similar legislation before it takes effect.
With foresight, the Vermont legislature established the Vermont Food Fight Fund to help defend the GMO Labeling Law. A strong defense of Vermont's law should strengthen Connecticut's. You can contribute here.
Why are these three multibillion dollar lobbying associations, representing the world's largest and most powerful corporations, suing to stop what the citizens want? After all, these citizens are their customers.
Read the full article HERE...
Save the Dates!
33rd Annual Winter Conference
Saturday, March 7, 2015
Western Connecticut State University
Danbury, CT 06810
Submit a workshop proposal for the CT NOFA Winter Conference HERE
Sponsor & Ad Packages information HERE
To become a sponsor or purchase an ad click HERE
To become a vendor or exhibitor click
Open Volunteer Positions on the CT NOFA Board and Fundraising Committee!
The CT NOFA Board of Directors is accepting applications for a Board Fundraising Chair, as well as for Fundraising Committee Members.
for the Board Fundraising Chair description.
for the Volunteer Fundraising Committee Members descriptions.
News, Announcements and Alerts
"One-sixth of our nation's workforce, 20 million people, are in the food-production chain. They grow, process, transport, sell, and serve our food. This Labor Day, let's commit to support fair labor conditions for the people who put food on our tables."
Through this training, I've met many individuals willing to share their knowledge and passion of farming which has increased my own knowledge of farming immensely."
*Now accepting applications for the 2014/2015 session. Click HERE to learn more*"
For more information on CT NOFA's new ONLINE Lawn Care Certificate Course click HERE
Attention: Certified Organic Farmers and Handlers Make Sure You are Getting Reimbursed for your Certification Costs
"After a break in funding in 2013, the National Organic Certification Cost Share is back for ALL Certified Farmers And Handlers in the ENTIRE United States. For the foreseeable future this program will be available for certified entities EACH YEAR."
For more information CLICK HERE
September 27, 2014 *Free*
ECP is a cost share program to assist farmers in repairing farmland damaged by a micro burst which brought excessive wind and rains on May 27, 2014 through May 29, 2014. Farmers must apply now to be eligible for assistance when funds become available. Click HERE for more information on how to apply.
2014 Northeast Pasture Weeds Survey
The University of Vermont and partnering service providers are seeking to measure on-farm weed pressure over time, interest in using animal behavior to get more nutritious feed from pastures, and the success of past attempts to teach livestock to eat nontoxic species outside of grasses and legumes.
September 9, 12 p.m. Central Time
Wednesday, September 10, 2014 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM MDT
11:30 am, Sunday, September 21st
Assembly location: the area north of Columbus Circle.
Click HERE for the schedule of the day Transportation: Getting to and Staying in NYC click HERE CT Sierra Club has
convenient ways for you to sign up for a train (Metro North from New Haven) or a bus. If you are interested in taking a train in to NYC click HERE
For buses from various points around the state, buy your ticket now HERE
New Business Member Profiles
is a program that is supported in collaboration with Eastern Connecticut Resource Conservation & Development Area, Inc. (RC&D) and USDA Rural Development. The Mission of the CFEP is to provide technical assistance to CT agriculture producers & rural small businesses by increasing awareness about energy conservation and efficiency while promoting alternative & renewable forms of energy in Connecticut.
Creative Living Community of CT
-Creative Living Community of Connecticut envisions adults in Connecticut with and without developmental disabilities as valued
and contributing members of our society, exemplified in a model farmstead community to be created in Eastern Connecticut where all members experience a sense of belonging, share resources and enjoy a happy life.
We currently showcase this vision through our greenhouse in Vernon, Connecticut where both developmentally disabled and non-disabled people grow and harvest micro-greens for sale to local restaurants and farmer's markets.
Blueberry Hill Organic Farm- Blueberry Hill Organic Farm is a 9 acre farm located in South Killingly, CT. Currently over one acre is in production with plans to slowly expand to over 8 acres. The farm is currently offering fresh vegetables and fruits, with plans to expand to poultry in the next two years. The farm is USDA Organic certified by Baystate Organic Certifiers. Our motto is to provide you with fresh, organic produce, from our garden to your table.
School Garden Network News
Growing and Learning
Shelton Students Sell Their Produce
Students from Shelton Intermediate School (SIS) have starting selling produce from their school garden at Common Bond Market in Shelton. Proceeds from sales will go back into the garden, which is in its third year and has expanded to include 20 raised beds. The Shelton Herald has the story. See our November 2012 issue of Growing and Learning to read more about the beginnings of the SIS garden.
Whole Kids Foundation Grants Available Whole Kids Foundation
is offering grants for edible school gardens at K-12 schools. Applications are accepted September 1, 2014 through October 31, 2014, with winners announced on March 1, 2015. The application, FAQs, tips etc., can be found here
. Whole Kids Foundation is also in the process of developing grants for bringing beehives to schools; see here
for more information on beehives on school grounds.
Win Prizes for Your School Garden You can win up to $10,000 for your school through Trees Rock!, an annual contest for 3rd- through 8th-graders sponsored by Scotties Facial Tissues. Check out the rules and regulations (and prizes!) here, and for further info, mark your calendar for a webinar about the contest, happening on September 16, 2014 at 5pm. The webinar will also highlight other resources available for educators.
Summer Camp Teaches Farm-to-Table
The FARM Institute,
a non-profit educational organization on Martha's Vineyard, connects people year-round to agriculture through their working farm. They also offer a summer day camp program for kids of all ages, to educate them on what it takes to produce the food we eat. Read
more about this great program.
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.