May, 2012 
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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
Events
Spotlight
Be Part of CT NOFA!
Announcements
Featured Members
In the News
GMO Activist Program
From our Blog
Community Board
Winter Food Project
Your Favorite Tool
Go Organic when you Shop!
From the Executive Director

bill duesing

GMO labeling, Excess Nutrients, Gardens and Climate Change

 

GMO Labeling
The possibility of being the first state in the nation to require labeling of genetically engineered food still exists.  We are giving it a last push to encourage a vote before the end of the legislative session next week. 

Join us for a Rally on the west steps of the Capitol, the side facing Bushnell Park, from 11 to 1:30 this Friday May 4 to show widespread support for GMO labeling.  More>

CT NOFA and OLC Events
May 5, 2012
Common Ground High School 
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Humane and Sustainable Livestock Farming Workshop
Monday May 21
4:00 -7:00 PM
Footsteps Farm
Stonington
, CT 

 

Events we will be Attending    


GMO Rally
Friday May 4, 2012
11:30 - 1:00
Capitol Building, Hartford

A Screening of Dirt at Billings Forge
Friday, May 4, 2012
7pm
The Studio at Billings Forge
Hartford 

Thinking Globally, Eating Locally
, a talk by Bill Duesing

Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Bill Library
Ledyard, CT
Contact Bill Library at (860) 464-9912 for more information

Bill Duesing Speaking at the Naugatuck Garden Club
Thursday, May 17, 2012
7:00 - 9:00pm
Naugatuck

Norwalk-Wilton Tree Festival
Saturday, May 19, 2012
11:00 - 3:00
Cranbury Park, Norwalk

Urban Oaks Green Faire
Satuday, May 19
11:00-3:00
New Britain

Girl Scouts 100th Jubilee
May 19, 2012
10:00-7:00pm
Durham Fair Grounds
Durham, CT

Naugatuck Earth Day
Sunday, June 3, 2012
11:00-3:00
Naugatuck Green

West River Festival
Saturday, July 14, 2012
12:00-6:00pm
New Haven
 
For other area events check our our events listing page.

Spotlight 
 
Congratulations to our new Journeypeople!

We're proud to announce the acceptance of Max and Kerry Taylor of Provider Farm in Salem and Joey Listro of Sullivan Farm in New Milford to the first year of the Connecticut Journeyperson Program. The program is designed to provide financial and educational support for farmers transitioning from apprenticing to farming independently. More of Connecticut's farm operators near retirement age while the demand for Connecticut Grown food continues to grow. To respond to these trends, beginning farmer support has been identified as the key to securing Connecticut's local food supply and protecting farms.

Max & Kerry with their cattle.

              

2012 will be Max and Kerry Taylor's first full growing season on Provider Farm. Prior to working at Provider Farm, Max worked at Riverland Farm in Sunderland, MA and Kerry with five years of experience at Brookfield Farm in Amherst, MA. They now grow vegetables and raise beef cattle for sale through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). There are still shares available for their CSA, with shares available for pick-up from their farm in Salem, CT.   For more information about Provider Farm or to purchase a

Joe at the Newington Farmers Market

share, visit their website.

              

Joe Listro has just taken on the position of Farm Manager at Sullivan Farm, a community farm in New Milford, Connecticut. Listro has operated a small, vegetable growing business through the Community Farm of Simsbury and worked as a farm-based educator at Urban Oaks Organic Farm in New Britain. Sullivan Farm is a community farm, providing a rich variety of produce at their farm stand and is open to the public. For more information about Sullivan Farm, please visit their website

 

Want to be a part of CT NOFA? 

We're looking for a CT NOFA Board Treasurer

 

Duties Include 

1. Carries out responsibilities of a member of the Board Of Directors.

2. Understands financial accounting for nonprofit organizations.

3. Works with Executive Director and bookkeeping staff to ensure that financial reports are made available to the board on a timely basis.

4. Provides Treasurer's Report for all board meetings and the Annual Meeting.

5. Assists in preparation and monitoring of the budget.

6. Presents annual budget to the Board for approval.

7. Ensures development and board review of financial policies and procedures.

8. Oversees preparation of any required financial reporting forms.

9. Reviews the annual compilation or audit with the board.

10. Chairs the finance committee.

 

Inquiries go to John Turenne. Please put "CT NOFA Treasurer" in the subject line of the email.

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You can also take part by signing up as a volunteer!
Connecticut has a lot of farmers markets going on during the summer season, and CT NOFA would like to attend as many as possible so that more people can have access to the great educational programs and resources we offer.  There are so many markets, however, that we don't have the manpower to attend them all.  If there is a farmers market near you that you would like to represent CT NOFA at for a few hours a month, we will gladly send a packet of our materials to you to hand out.  It's a great way to meet people in you community on a nice summer day and spread the word about local organic food!  Please email Melissa if you are interested.

Announcements & Alerts

 

Become a Citizen Endorser for items that you would like to see in the Farm Bill

It's Time for a Better Farm Bill. Congress is hard at work writing the 2012 Farm Bill.  The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition's comprehensive 2012 Farm Bill policy platform, Farming for the Future: A Sustainable Agriculture Agenda for the 2012 Food & Farm Bill, reflects the real, urgent needs of farmers, ranchers, and food entrepreneurs across the country. We need your help! Let's show Congress that people from around the country - from farmers to families, from Montana to Mississippi - are calling for change.  Sign on as a citizen endorser of Farming for the Future!  Learn more and sign up here. 

 

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Update regarding a bill that could lift the school Pesticide Ban

Right now, the school pesticide bill looks to be dead, thanks to the environment committee and all the advocates. However, we need to be watchful for another week that it doesn't become an amendment on another bill. Thanks to everyone who has gotten involved thus far!

 

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ATTRA Can Help Applicants Meet June 1 Program Deadline for Conservation Funds
Organic farmers and farmers who are transitioning to an organic operation have until June 1 to apply for a USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) program that can help them pay for conservation measures. And the National Center for Appropriate Technology's ATTRA program staff can help them meet the deadline.  NRCS has up to $50 million dollars to award in the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP). The program is a significant opportunity for organic and transitioning organic farmers to get financial assistance to implement conservation practices that are consistent with organic production practices.  If you need more information on applying for EQIP funds, check out our detailed EQIP website for details or call our the English-language ATTRA toll-free hotline at 800-346-9140
Featured Members
Hard at work on the farm.
 

Turtle Ridge Cooperative/Mill River Valley Gardens   

Mill River Gardens is Connecticut's oldest Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). We provide organic and sustainably grown vegetables to our member shareholders in the Greater New Haven area. We are a working farm and share the labor burden with our farmer. Since 1989, members have enjoyed working the fields with our farmer to plant, weed and harvest vegetables.

 

At the end of 2011 our long time farmer and landholder decided to retire. This left us with the challenge of quickly finding a quality source of vegetables that would continue to meet the needs of our members.

 

We are currently partnering with a farm in Prospect that shares our vision of providing high quality, environmentally friendly and healthy produce. We continue to work the farm with the new farmers obtain fruit from High Hill Orchard in Meriden to supplement our weekly shares.

 

For the 2012 season, we will be offering 18 share outs beginning in mid June. There are three tiers of membership based on the amount of labor a shareholder agrees to perform for the CSA. We are are looking to expand our membership, so if you have questions about the CSA or want to sign up, please contact us here.


In the News 

One of Connecticut's beginning women farmers was featured in Holistic Management International
Heather and Daniel Driscoll began farming in 2007 at Green Valley Farm in Eastford, Connecticut. At that time it was a homestead operation where they raised a few pigs for themselves and family. "It was a lot of work, but we wanted to raise a heritage breed and be able to sell a quality product," says Heather. More>

Board Member Steve Munno's farm is now certified organic!

Massaro Community Farm is now officially Certified Organic! And there is more good news: you will now have the opportunity to pick up local fruit along with the CSA!  To learn more visit the farm's website here.   

 

Looks like an onion skin, but it could be electricity 

Faced with statewide data that showed food waste is, by far, the largest component of waste material that could be composted but instead is dumped in the trash, last year the legislature at the behest of the Department of Energy and Protection took bold action to change that. More> 

 
GMO Activist Program
 
You have the opportunity to let your state legislator know that you want to know what is in your food. 
There are two big happenings right now regarding the GMO labeling movement, an event and a petition.

Please sign the petition to House Speaker Donovan and Governor Malloy
Voicing your right to know what's in your food to Malloy and Donovan will be key to pushing forward with this initiative.  Signing the petition is easy!  Just click here and fill in your contact information. Your name will automatically be added to the petition and the petition letter will be sent out to both Donovan and Malloy. 

Additionally, please come to a GMO Rally at the Capitol Building!
Friday, May 4, 2012 
11:30-1:00
Capitol building, Hartford
To learn more about the rally, click here.
 
From our Blog

 

Gardening With Climate Change: Summer in February and Snow in April

With highs in the 80s in February, a two month drought, and April snow showers, how do you insure that there are May flowers? More> 

 

Dieting vs Common Sense 

Here in the United States we love to diet, which is ironic considering how high our levels of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease are. More> 

 

Look out for the NEW 2012-2013 Farm and Food Guide! 

Our guide has grown to 54 pages and lists Connecticut NOFA's 125 member farms and supporting businesses alphabetically by county.  The Guide also includes listings of farmers markets, community farms and community supported agriculture offerings. More> 


Check out all our blog posts here.

Community Board       

 

There are many new farm and apprenticeship openings posted on our Community Board, so if you are looking for a position check them out today!

 

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 here. 

Winter Food Project        

 

 
Spinich and salad mix from Tobacco Road Farm in Lebanon.

Spring and summer are times of the year when we don't typically think too much about winter food.  After all, it's not winter anymore, so we're no longer eating winter food, right?  There are many foods, however, that are grown and enjoyed year-round, and are considered winter foods because of their long growing season. This month's featured winter delight is spinich, and by extension, all long-season salad greens.  Because spinich has such a long growing season, it is used in a wide variety of dishes spanning all four seasons and as a result has become a very versatile cooking ingredient.  From salads to lasagne, raw or cooked, spinich is a wonderful winter green that can be enjoyed in cold or warm weather.    

 

As for recipes involving spinich, a quick google search will populate thousands of delicious options.  Try stir frying it with a little olive oil or mixing it into a salad dressed with oil and vinegar.  You can also bake it into a lasagne or put it in pizza.  The options are really nearly endless. 

 

Your Favorite Tool       

  

This month's favorite tool is brought to you courtesy of Jason Otrin of Mountain Laurel Farm in Westbrook:

 

After two years of gardening and never seeing a vole, they arrived in droves last year and wiped out swiss chard transplants, beets and most of the sugar snap peas (this really hurt). They can reproduce every 29 days so they can become a big problem fast.

 

I did a ton of research and found that the best solution was a cat(s) but that isn't an option where I am because of the coyotes. The second best solution was poison which I don't want to use around plants. So I targeted their weakness - they can't resist apples. I bought 22 snap traps (regular mouse traps), placed them by the holes baited with apple and covered with 8 to 10 inch plastic pots. The pots slow the weather damage to the traps, prevent other creatures and children from being harmed and make the voles feel at home in the dark. I put a rock on top to keep the wind from blowing it around and placed another rock or stick under the edge of the pot to leave room for voles to come and go. From late June to early August I killed over 28 voles in a 30x30 area and it really saved my plants and my sanity.

 

What I would do differently:

- start early (I just set some traps after finding half of a baby red russian kale plant sticking out of a hole)

- use better quality traps. I bought the regular wood tomcat brand (disintegrated after a few months in the rain) and wood victor brand (lasted a little longer). Don't bother with the traps that look like a plastic clamshell. They don't work well. I'm still looking for better options.

- cut a hole in the pot for vole access (propping it up let the wind pick up the pots on really windy days)

- tamp down mole tunnels as soon as they appear - my voles moved right in after the moles came through

 

Do you have a farming or landscaping tool that you just couldn't live without?  Send us a brief description and image of your tool and we'll put it in an upcoming edition of the eNews! 

 

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

Many thanks,

CT NOFA Staff

203-888-5146

ctnofa@ctnofa.org