Welcome to Winter and Happy Holidays! We've been very busy in the NOFA Chapter and Organic Land Care Offices planning workshops, conferences and courses for 2012.  We hope you have a relaxing holiday season, but keep in mind all of the NOFA and NOFA OLC events coming up in 2012!  Read on for:
FallHappeningsFall Happenings
The Organic Land Care Program hosted the 2011 Annual Gathering, "Trees: Landscaping for Future Generations" on December 6.  Starting in the upper left hand corner going clockwise the photographs are of: Tom Wessels delivering the keynote speech "Foundational Principles of Sustainability", Dr. Kevin T. Smith presenting about trees' natural defenses against wounds and disease, our Education Committee Chair, Frank Crandall, moderating a panel of AOLCPs Todd Harrington, Aiken Tompkins and Mike Nadeau discussing business solutions for landscapers in the recession and finally Todd Harrington presenting on his experience pioneering organic tree care. Read more about the Annual Gathering on the OLC Green Room Blog
Tom Wessels Kevin Smith
The CT NOFA Annual Meeting was on October 29,  that's right, the same day as Winter Storm Alfred! We braved the storm on a Common Ground Farm Tour.  After a pot luck lunch, CT NOFA President James Roby discussed the progress of the organization while Executive Director Bill Duesing outlined the organization's accomplishments in 2011. Representative Richard Roy of Milford, CT came despite the weather to discuss GMO-labeling policy (well, the lack there of) in Connecticut. Read more about the Annual Meeting on the CT NOFA Blog
Celebrating a Decade in AOLCP LogoSustainable LandscapingTenyears

The Organic Land Care program is now planning the eleventh annual Accreditation Course. This means we have 13 Accredited Organic Land Care Professionals (AOLCPs) who have been accredited for a decade.


These AOLCPs graduated in the first class of accredited professionals, and have been true pioneers in the organic landscaping field. Their continued support, and dedication to sustainability, is truly inspiring. Our ten year AOLCPs are: Donald Bishop, Debra Claffey, Joe Cotter, Todd Harrington, Sarah Holland, Anna Mayor, Adaela McLaughlin, Michael Murray, Daniel Nadeau, Michael Nadeau, Dori Smith, Daniel Tremblay and Priscilla Williams.   Read the press release here!  


AOLCPs have completed our Accreditation Course in Organic Land Care, passed the exam, pledged to provide organic land care according to the NOFA Standards for Organic Land Care, must take four credits of continued education classes each year and pay an annual reaccreditation fee. The 2012 Accreditation Courses are quickly approaching, and registration is open now.  Please see the course dates below to register!  


IFOAM Family of Standards

NOFA OLC is also proud to announce that the NOFA Standards were accepted into theInternational Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM)'s Family of Standards.  Our standards are the first internationally accepted land care (non-agricultural) standards in the world!

December's Featured AOLCP  Camilla WordenCamilly Feature

of Camilla Worden Landscape Design, LLC Camilla 

Camilla Worden once worked as a corporate polymer chemist before founding her garden design business in 1988. After having her third child, she answered a newspaper ad and began installing and maintaining gardens at a local golf course. The golfers loved her work and the business took off from there. In 2010 Worden merged with mason John Petriello of Mt. Kisco, NY forming Camilla Landscape Design LLC. "We think about how what we do will affect the health of the local soil, the greater environment and the long-term health of our clients. 'It's in our nature to care,' is our company tag line. It reflects how we feel and act," Worden said. "We look carefully at what's already growing on a site to give us clues about what will thrive. We try to minimize soil disturbance, channel water into places where it can be naturally filtered, and use local, native plants where possible. Soil tests, compost teas and compost top dressing have become routine. In addition, we try to buy from suppliers who are ecologically-minded and who vet their product line." To contact Camilla Worden, email  Read the full article here.   


2012 Accreditation Course  

Download the Brochure  

Read the Press Release 


Massachusetts Registration  

January 9-13, 2011 
Early Registration Deadline Dec. 17 

Worcester State University
486 Chandler St

Worcester, MA  01602 

Course Contact: Caro Roszell

Connecticut Registration  

February 15-17, 21-22, 2011
Early Registration Deadline Jan. 24 

CT Agricultural Experiment Station 

123 Huntington St.

New Haven, CT  06511     

Course Contact: Kristiane Huber  


Rhode Island Registration  

February 27 - March 2, 2011 

Early Registration Deadline  Feb. 6  

KettlePond Visitor Center 
Ninigret National Wildlife Reduge

Charlestown, Rhode Island 
Course Contact: Frank Crandall 

Deb Legge demonstrates how to dry fruit with a fruit drier and cut it into fruit strips at the CT NOFA "Freezing and Drying" workshop
Do you buy cover crop seed, fertilizers, mineral amendments, compost, potting soil, potato and allium seed? Would you like to save money on those items? If so, the NOFA/Mass Bulk Order might be perfect for you!
The order form will be available here after January 1, 2012 and due by February 1st. For more details visit the program page!
Contact us:


Phone: (203) 888 5146
2012 NOFA Winter Conferences:
January 14
Worcestor State University
 Worcester, MA

NOFA-NY: January 20-22
Saratoga Hilton and City Center
Saratoga Springs, NY

NOFA NJ: January 28-29
Princeton University
Princeton, NJ 

NOFA-VT: February 11-12
University of Vermont 

Burlington, VT

CT NOFA: March 3 
Manchester Community College

Manchester, CT

NOFA-NH: March 3
Sanborn Regional High School

Kingston, NH

OLC Retreat 2
OLC's staff and committee members came together at a retreat in November to discuss some long-term goals and planning for the upcoming year.  Featured in the photo is our acceptance to the IFOAM Family of Standards. 

Phone: (203) 888 5146
Cleaning up after Winter Storm Alfredkarenbu
Karen Bussolini, a newspaper columnist and AOLCP wrote a column in the Lakeville Journal after Winter Storm Albert about storm damage.  One of the major goals of organic land care is to use natural waste, and reduce use of off-site inputs, which is why I especially liked Karen's post-storm "to do" list. Some time has passed, so you probably have checked a few of these things off, but think about how to use your storm debris in your yard! Read the entire article re-posted on the Green Room Blog!
  • Review homeowner's insurance policy
  • Inventory what I can clean up myself, what requires brawn and power tools and what requires an arborist
  • Call arborist to get on the long list of people who need estimates
  • Start cleaning up the small things; it will make me feel better
  • Look up and note where branches have broken but not yet fallen, and stay clear
  • Get used to imperfection
  • Prepare a place to pile next year's firewood
  • Read up on the cultivation of mushrooms in wood chip beds
  • Drag branches up into the woods. Coarse woody debris - branches less than 2" in diameter are the most biologically active -is crucial to forest health.
  • Make some new brush piles to shelter wildlife
  • Lay branches across the slope to slow water runoff and encourage infiltration
  • Stockpile logs to build raised beds, edge paths
  • Trim branches for garden stakes and trellises
  • Make a stump garden
  • Save some of the most treasured trees to make something special- a walking stick, towel racks, curtain rods, shelves - and heat my home with gratitude next winter.

Thanks again to Karen for sharing her column with us! 

GMOs in the food system and now in our yards!GMO

Back in July the USDA announced its decision to not regulate a "Roundup Ready" strain of Kentucky bluegrass. Scotts Miracle Gro, the grass seed developer, is now free to sell it anywhere. GMO grass seed will add to the tens of millions of acres of US farmland already covered with roundup-ready corn, soy and cotton. These crops have caused new resistant (also Roundup Ready) strains of "superweeds" to develop. The USDA has ruled that Roundup Ready Kentucky Bluegrass is legally the same as regular Kentucky Bluegrass. The FDA, similarly, has rejected mandatory labeling laws deciding that GMO foods are the same as non-GMO foods. The dangers of widespread GMO use - especially Round Up Ready strains, are laid out in this post on the SafeLawns Blog.

The Northeast Organic Farming Association Chapters have come out against GMOs, and all the chapters have signed on as plaintiffs in a lawsuit against Monsanto (Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association et al. v. Monsanto) to protect organic producers from the ramifications of GMO contamination. The NOFA Interstate Council, NOFA RI, NOFA-VT, NOFA-NY and CT NOFA have joined the Just Label It Campaign calling for mandatory labeling of GMO ingredients.

We are building a list of members interested in anti-GMO activism who can help send letters to the FDA or locally organize to advocate for state labeling regulation in which Rep Roy and the Ledgelight Health District have led the way. Please e-mail me ( if you'd like to be added to the list as we coordinate more GMO activism activities.

Jeffrey Smith will deliver CT NOFA's Winter Conference keynote speech about the dangers of GMO foods and crops 
Dan Ravicher, Executive Director of the Public Patent Foundation and lawyer representing the plaintiffs in the lawsuit against Monsanto spoke  at a CT NOFA co-sponsored event .Listen to his joint interview with Bill Duesing here.
Rep Roy is leading the fight for state GMO labeling regulation in Connecticut and was our Annual Meeting Speaker.




Meet the Organic Land Care Staff:staff
OLC Staff
From left to right: Clara Buitrago (Accreditation Manager), Kristiane Huber (Events and Outreach Coordinator), Jenna Messier (OLC Program Director), Bill Duesing (CT NOFA Executive Director and OLC Founder), Teresa (CT NOFA Education Coordinator and OLC Committee Member) and Caro Roszell (Massachusetts Course Coordinator), not pictured, (but vital to OLC's operation) is Deb Legge, our Office Manager
If you have news you'd like to share in the next "Organic With the Seasons" or a topic you would like to hear more about in the winter issue, please send it to