Organic with the Seasons: Summer 2013

Organic with the Seasons | Summer 2013 

Here in the NOFA Office we hope your spring season has been productive, and our many days of rain have made your garden productive and lush these first days of summer! In this newsletter we will share the experiences of the Organic Land Care Director, Jenna Messier in her own garden and we welcome and say goodbye to members of the CT NOFA team.
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Upcoming NOFA Events
Diversifying your Farms with Value-Added Grain
July 8, 1pm-4pm
Roots & Wings Family Farm, 523 Kent Street, Cherry Creek, NY

Greyrock Farm, 6100 East Lake Road, Cazenovia, NY

July 10, 10am -12pm
Mount Auburn Cemetery
580 Mount Auburn Street
Cambridge, MA
July 13, 9am
to July 14,9am- 4pm
Many Hands Farm
411 Sheldon Road
Barre, MA

Pasture-Raised Pigs on a Diversified Organic Farm
July 21, 3pm - 5pm 
Copper Hill Farm 
West Suffield, CT

Build Your Soil and Manage Weeds
July 21,2pm-5pm
Promised Land CSA, 2112 County Line Rd, Alden, NY 14004

Lawn Certificate Course
July 26, 2013
Naugatuck Valley Community College
Waterbury, CT

Summer Foraging
July 27,- 2pm-3:30pm
Brookline, MA (Exact meeting spot TBD)

July 27,10am-3pm
Many Hands Organic Farm
411 Sheldon Road
Barre, MA

Organic Pest Management
July 28,3pm -4:30pm
Green City Grower's Office
600 Windsor Place
Somerville, MA

Plant Disease Management
August 5, ~ 5pm-7pm
Community Farm of Simsbury
Simsbury, CT

August 9, 2013 (All day) to August 11, 2013 (All day)
Amherst, MA

August 12, 1pm-4pm
Asgaard Farm, 74 Asgaard Way, Au Sable Forks, NY 12912

August 18, 1pm - 4pm
Green City Grower's Office
600 Windsor Place
Somerville, MA

100% Grass-Fed Seasonal Raw Milk Dairy
August 24, 2pm- 5pm
Blue Hill Farm
398 Blue Hill Road
Great Barrington, MA

Cover Cropping and Crop Rotation
August 29,Time TBD
Community Farm of Simsbury
Simsbury, CT

September 12, 4pm - 7pm 
Community Farm of Simsbury
Simsbury, CT

A Rental Home and Garden
Just because you rent your home or apartment, doesn't
 mean that your yard can't be fabulous, fruitful and a haven for humans and wildlife! I have been gardening at my apartment in West Haven, CT for two seasons now and with small inputs over time, the property is really shaping up. The lot is .3 acres and half of it is a driveway and a construction equipment lot - with kid's toys dispersed across the yard. So I have to use my space wisely.  I have spent around $350 this year for inputs; mostly on organic potting soil, seeds and containers. Here is a photo journal, sharing my plants and experience with homeowners and renters alike.Here is an overall view of my veggie garden. It is around 25 X 8ft. I expanded it by 10 feet this spring to grow more greens and tomatoes.  Last year, I incorporated a tractor-scoop of compost from Common Ground High School. This year I am using my own compost to which I added coconut coir for its peat-like qualities.
On Sunday
morning, don't come between me and my compost pile!  It is an earthly ritual which I truly enjoy, opening up my two bins and turning the compost with a pitchfork, communing with the worms and last week's leftovers.  Adding in water and some sort of carbon like leaves, straw or paper, working to create the perfect mix. Every three to six months, it is time to sift the oldest compost pile and harvest the soft and friable soil.  Hint: In the fall, be sure to glean the paper bags full of leaves from your neighbors, as they don't know they are discarding such a hot commodity and will think you are doing them a favor!
What is better than a strawberry patch for kids to pick sweet berries and get excited about gardening?  Last year, I bought $30 of plants and they are cranking out fruit this season. I have given away many strawberry plants to friends and neighbors, too. My son Aadi is in the photo.

A Quick Hello from CT NOFA's new Program and Event Manager
My name is Stephanie Berluti and I recently joined the CT NOFA team as the new Program and Events Manager, so naturally I would like to take a few moments to introduce myself. 
 I am a CT native, born and raised in Orange, but I left this great state to continue my education in Rhode Island at Providence College. My initial career plan was to become a tax accountant, but an impromptu school
 excursion to a local farm in Saundsertown, RI radically transformed my professional agenda. I don't
 know what it was specifically about digging up potatoes on a cold, dreary, November morning that made me think "Yeah, I want to be a 
  part of this!" but shortly there after I began my studies in sustainable and local agriculture. In 2010 I became more directly involved in the RI local food scene through an internship at Farm Fresh Rhode Island and interviewing many key players of the local food movement in the state; those of which culminated in a (rough) documentary on the local food culture of Rhode Island entitled"Why RI? A Small State with a Big Garden"
(check it out!).  I graduated in 2011 with a degree in Global Studies minoring in Public and Community Service.

. . . and a good bye from our outgoing Program and Events Manager!
Hi NOFA Members and supporters! This is my last week at NOFA, because I have decided to return to school for a graduate degree.  In fall I will be moving to Ann Arbor Michigan to enroll in the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan! I look forward to continuing my studies of climate adaptation planning and experiencing a new place with new food (and plenty of farms!)  Working with the CT NOFA staff, our volunteers, farmers, gardeners and land care professionals has been a pleasure and an inspiration. I'll miss all of you!                               Kristiane Huber
Severe Weather Calls For Emergency Assistance For CT Farms
Governor Dannel P. Malloy announced emergency assistance is available to the Connecticut farms that have suffered unrecoverable losses in production and property damage in 2013 due to severe weather events, including excessive precipitation this past month. A total of $5 million has been designated for these grants, with individual awards based on the number of qualifying applications received by the July 15, 2013, deadline. 
Hazardous Chemicals Found in Gardening Water Hoses
 This May article from reports that high levels of hazardous chemicals, many of which have been banned in children's products, were found in garden hoses for the second year in row. A  listing of the most commonly used hoses and their chemical rating can be found in the full article linked below.  
Save the Date!
Come for one day or both to attend 200+ workshops and presentations on organic farming, gardening, land care, draft animals, homesteading, sustainability and so much more!
This newsletter is compiled by Stephanie Berluti, CT NOFA's Program and Event Manager. Please let me know about any workshops you'd like to see in the coming year, feedback on our current programming, events you would like listed in this newsletter or resources CT NOFA can offer you.
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CT NOFA | PO Box 164 | Stevenson | CT | 06491