Gleanings Newsletter
October 2016

In This Issue
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The Indispensable 
 CT NOFA 
Farm & Food Guide 

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Humble Pollinators Rescue Humans

Yes, our tiny and often beautiful pollinator friends (ex. 100's of native bee species, the bumble bees, honeybees, butterflies, moths, and even bee-mimicking flies) are coming to our rescue! An overstatement - yes, but at least they are helping to get the ball rolling.

Locally-sourced humans, inspired by the irreplaceable role of pollinators in our food system, have unanimously passed Connecticut's Pollinator Bill (Senate Bill 231). This will, among other things, start to restrict unfettered access to neonicotinoids. This important step in the right direction was signed by the Governor (pictured below) and as of Oct 1st, many important parts of the law are moving to the next stages of accomplishing the goals of this law.

Second from left, Jeff Cordulack attending the signing the Pollinator Bill.

While not as heavy-handed as CT NOFA would like, we cannot underestimate this law's importance for restricting access to manyneonicotinoids including imidacloprid. These systemic chemicals poison the entire plant and expose pollinators to harmful neuro-toxins. Earlier this year, the U.S. EPA noted that imidacloprid is highly toxic to bees and contaminates nectar and pollen of crops and common garden plants that bees forage on. Currently sold in garden centers, neonics are found in many products for flowers and vegetables including Bayer Advanced Tree & Shrub Control and Ortho Rose & Flower Insect Killer. After January 1, 2018, these pesticides willbe classified as 'restricted use' and available to state-licensed pesticide applicators only. A great start, indeed. Heavy handed, not so.

The law also requires the CT Department of Agriculture to make 'best management practices' for farmers who use neonicotinoid-treated seeds.
Connecticut has 349 wild bee species. This 'blueberry bee' (Osmia ribifloris) is a mason bee and an important commercial blueberry pollinator.
Required to be available by January 1, 2017, these guidelines are to advise farmers how to minimize poisonous plumes of dust created by seed planting machines using neonicotinoid-treated seeds. Again, a good step towards better practices but no enforcement. Just suggestions for farmers to follow if they wish to protect the pollinators they depend on.

The law does other good things too including setting up pollinator advisory groups and completely banning the use of neonics on American Basswood trees (aka Linden). This is due to this tree's role as a food source for honeybees and many other native pollinators.

We have each and every one of our State Representatives & State Senators to thank for their bi-partisan support for this law. For the full text, follow this link to Connecticut's Pollinator Bill (Senate Bill 231). Should you have any questions, please contact me. Otherwise, thank you for your ongoing support and I hope to see yousomeday soon.

Jeff Cordulack, CT NOFA
Executive Director 
Please join us next weekend at CT NOFA's Sunday Supper out on Waldingfield Farm (details below). This fine locally-sourced and almost entirely organic meal will be unparalleled. Plus, your dinner ticket will support our organic mission so grab your seat at the table, while you still can.

Sincerely,

Jeff Cordulack
jeff@ctnofa.org | 203-613-8813 
 

Upcoming CT NOFA Events! 


Farm-To-Table 'Sunday Supper': A Meal In Support Of The CT NOFA Mission
 
Sunday, October 23 ~ 2:00pm-6:00 pm
At Waldingfield Farm, 24 East Street, Washington, CT 

Join us for a Farm to Table Sunday Supper fundraiser hosted by farmer Patrick Horan of Certified Organic Waldingfield Farm with food and drink from Connecticut's own Chef Jason Sobocinski, owner of Caseus Fromagerie & Bistro (New Haven), and Black Hog Brewing Co. (Oxford). Festivities kick off with a glass of sparkling wine and tour of the farm with the Patrick Horan and the organic farm's team. After the tour, guests will be will be treated to a 3-course meal accompanied by fine wines and local brews. Grab a few friends and RSVP today! Learn more and register here. 

"Healthy Soils: Organic Alternatives" will feature keynote Brandon Smith, Northeast Region Team Leader for the NRCS Soil Health Division and teach participants how to incorporate non-chemical alternatives for soil health implementation on the farm. The day will include a farm tour, equipment demos and hearing from farmers who have successfully implemented practices in organic production, cover cropping, and conservation tillage approaches. $25 admission includes lunch and light refreshments. Brought to you by: Connecticut RC&D Council | USDA - NRCS | CT NOFA | Northeast SARE. DETAILS HERE.

Farm Film Screening ~ Polyfaces: A World of Many Choices
Thursday, November 10 ~ 6:00-9:00 pm
At Audubon Greenwich, 613 Riversville Road, Greenwich, CT
  
Join CT NOFA at Audubon Greenwich for a viewing of Polyfaces: A World of Many Choices, a joyful film about connecting to the land and the community. Set amidst the stunning Shenandoah Valley in northern Virginia, Polyface Farm is led by "the world's most innovative farmer" (TIME) and uses no chemicals and feeds over 6,000 families and many restaurants and food outlets within a 3 hour 'foodshed' of their farm. CT NOFA Executive Director Jeff Cordulack will discuss innovative organic farming models which help reverse climate change by absorbing excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. If you eat, buy, or grow food, then this film is a must see! Just $15 includes a wine and cheese reception. RESERVE MOVIE TICKETS HERE or call us at 203-308-2584. 
 
Save the Date: Fall Harvest Vegan Dinner Benefiting CT NOFA  
Saturday, November 12, at Sugar & Olives in Norwalk

Join us at supper time for an elegant vegan feast featuring fall vegetables from local  growers and craft cocktails made with small batch local spirits. Be the first to know when tickets to this CT NOFA fundraiser dinner go live by
 
Other Events by CT NOFA Members & Partners  
Annual Harvest Celebration and Concert in the Field at Cold Spring Farm 
Saturday, October 8th ~ At Cold Spring Farm in Colchester, CT
Enjoy hay rides on the hour, apple cider, pick-a-pumpkin, farm fresh pies, cider donuts, and more for sale at the stand from 11-4. At 4 pm, grab your blankets and chairs and come out to the farm for an eclectic gathering of musicians for an experience you haven't had before. Tickets are $25.00. DETAILS HERE

City Mouse to Country House: A Barn Dinner at The Hickories!
Saturday, October 15th ~ At The Hickories in Ridgefield
Featuring Chef Phoebe Cole-Smith and benefiting Bridgeport's Green Village Initiative (GVI). The evening will open with a short cocktail and then a farm dinner served in the Main Barn. GVI is a non-profit in whose mission is to create social, economic and environmental change through a unified network of urban farms, community gardens, and school gardens!  DETAILS HERE 


Meet Jack Algiere, Farm Manager of Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture 
Tuesday, October 18, at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, 7 Wescott Rd, Simsbury  CT. 
The Hartford Chapter of the Bionutrient Food Assocation invites you to attend a chapter meeting with guest speaker Jack Algiere. Jack oversees the extensive and diverse farming operations at Stone Barns, integrating multispecies pastured livestock, grains, field crops, greenhouse, fruit, flowers and compost in a four-season agroecological system.
RSVP on Facebook or by email at hartfordbfachapter@regenerativeag.net.
Community Board
CTNOFA's Community Board is a member benefit allowing you to post your classified ads and other announcements (jobs, equipment, land for sale) and is among the most visited pages on our website. 
CT NOFA's Whole Farm Planning Certificate Course ~ Apply ASAP!   
This acclaimed 10-session training course is designed to help farmers improve their farm management practices.  Over a hundred of graduates can attest to how it has helped their farms businesses grow! 

Along with passion, drive and very hard work, creating and growing sustainable farm business requires expert training and planning. CT NOFA's Whole Farm Planning Certificate Course is designed to help you realize the farm of your dreams by teaching the business and planning skills needed to run farms sustainably and profitably. We are excited to announce that the online application is now ready for you to apply.
 
Farmer and lead instructor Sherry Simpson has trained farmers to run successful businesses for seven years through intensive classroom and hands-on training. This year's 10-session course starts October 29, 2016 and meets apprfarm_sign_vegetables.jpgox. every three weeks on Saturdays through May 13, 2017. For all the details and the course agenda for the 10 session course, visit our website. We look forward to the opportunity of serving you and your needs as farmers. APPLY HERE 
 
Enrollment is very limited so please APPLY ASAP to ensure your best chances of acceptance. If you have any questions about the application, the program, or logistics, please contact our office at 203-308-2584 or organic@ctnofa.org.
It's Apple and Pumpkin Picking Season on 200+ Member Farms!
Use This Handy Map To Find A Farm Nearby
Time to get out to a farm and buy straight from the farmers! Here is our map to all organically-oriented CT NOFA farm members so you can a) look for farms near you, click on an icon, and see what they sell!  All of these farms are listed in our annual Farm & Food Guide mailed to CT NOFA members, available to download (PDF) on our homepage, and distributed around the state.

Membership Matters! We hope you enjoy this map! It's produced with your membership dollars, donations, and auction purchases throughout the year.  Please START OR RENEW your CT NOFA membership to further enable us to pursue our important mission: to ensure the growth and viability of organic agriculture, organic food, and organic land care in Connecticut. Thank you and have a great autumn!
NRCS offers Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP):
Free technical advice and financial assistance. Start today and apply by Oct. 21, 2016
 
The USDA's Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) understands soil health and provides landowners with free technical assistance. Common technical assistance includes: resource assessment, practice design and resource monitoring. The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a voluntary conservation program for those engaged in livestock, forestry, or agricultural production - including organics. The program offers financial and technical assistance to implement conservation practices on eligible agricultural land, and provides payments for implementing conservation practices that have a positive environmental impact, while protecting long-term agricultural production and sustainability. Agricultural producers wanting to conserve water or address water, air, or animal waste issues; reduce erosion; improve wildlife habitat; obtain a seasonal high tunnel; or just plain improve conservation on their farming operation should consider submitting their application to receive financial assistance through (NRCS). Interested? Begin by filling out eligibility forms. Once you qualify, ensure your application is submitted by October 21, 2016, to be considered for the first ranking period of FY2017. To find out more about EQIP, fill out eligibility forms and an application, contact your local USDA Service Center. 

Birds and Bees and Connecticut's New Law Concerning Pollinator Health  
 
By Bill Duesing, CT NOFA Founder & Organic Advocate

The Act Concerning Pollinator Health, passed by the Connecticut legislature this year and signed into law by the Governor, is important and pioneering legislation. CT NOFA is part of the Safe Grounds Coalition which pushed hard to get this bill passed.  Thanks to all our members who testified or contacted their legislators in support of this Act. Special thanks to long-time CT NOFA member and Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station entomologist Kim Stoner.  Her expertise from years of studying bees and pesticides informed this law and will be important in the future.

While pollinators are important for many food crops, that is just the beginning their value and importance in ecosystems.  And, the pollination services they provide farmers for the few weeks a year fruit trees are flowering or the few months that Cucurbits need pollination are largely just a side effect of the pollinators' desire to sip nectar for much of the year.

What are pollinators? Wikipedia says:
A pollinator is the biotic agent (vector) that moves pollen from the male anthers of a flower to the female stigma of a flower to accomplish fertilization or 'syngamy' of the female gametes in the ovule of the flower by the male gametes from the pollen grain....

Insect pollinators include bees, (honey bees, solitary species, bumblebees); pollen wasps (Masarinae); ants; a variety of flies including bee flies and hoverflies; lepidopterans, both butterflies and moths; and flower beetles. Vertebrates, mainly bats and birds, but also some non-bat mammals (monkeys, lemurs, possums, rodents) and some reptiles (lizards and snakes) pollinate certain plants. Among the pollinating birds are hummingbirds, honeyeaters and sunbirds with long beaks; they pollinate a number of deep-throated flowers.
One of these warm sunny days, find a patch of goldenrod or asters in bloom and look closely at the insects feeding on their flowers. Seems like there are hundreds. Some are so small you can barely see them. Others are over an inch long. There are bees of many kinds, wasps, flies and more. They're mostly after the nectar (created out of air, water and a few soil minerals using sunlight) but they pick up and spread pollen as they dine.
 
At other times of year, you'll see pollinators by looking at dandelions, clovers, mints, linden trees or some of the many other flowering plants that participate in these finely tuned relationships evolution has created. If you can't find a patch of goldenrod or asters, you've found one of the big problems we have. Asphalt and lawns don't provide food or habitat for pollinators. (Continue reading on the CT NOFA blog).
 
Want To Help CT NOFA As We Create a More Organic Connecticut? Join our Board of Directors or Become An Organic Volunteer

john_turenne
Board President, John Turenne
Board Members 
Are you a farmer? Have marketing or fundraising skills? Or do you simply want to lend your talents to organic initiatives in our state? If so, we want to meet you.
Please contact CT NOFA Board President John Turenne for an exploratory conversation about becoming a board member at jturenne@sustainablefoodsystems.com. 

Volunteers
Do you enjoy meeting people at events? Or making calls, stuffing envelopes, or finding auction items for fundraising? Or have other skills (web, grants, design, or other skills)? CT NOFA needs your help and invites you to join our Organic Volunteer Team. To learn more, please contact Executive Director Jeff Cordulack at organic@ctnofa.org.
 
Gilbertie's Organic Fall Gardening Workshop Was a Huge Hit!

Over 20 guests attended Gilbertie's Organic Fall Gardening Workshop on Saturday, Sept 17th, from 10:00 am-12:30 pm at Gilbertie's Farm in Easton.

On a
beautiful late summer day, guests learn firsthand from Certified Organic grower Sal Gilbertie how to cultivate microgreens on your tabletop or windowsill and garlic outdoors.

The day began with a farm tour led by Sal Gilbertie, then a walk to the glass greenhouse where he and his team provided growing instructio
ns for delicious and nutritious organic microgreens.  
Back outside at the raised beds, Sal demonstrated how to plant hardneck garlic as he shared growing and harvesting instructions.  
Guests enjoyed light farm fare featuring Gilbertie's Petite Edibles paired with local foods at noon while choosing seeds, soil, and supplies to get their fall growing started. Thank you to all who came and thank you to Gilbertie's for hosting this sold out event!
By Jenna Messier, NOFA OLC Program Director

We had a great turnout on September 22 at the NOFA Advanced Workshop on Organic Turf and Athletic Fields, held in Cheshire, CT at the Parks and Recreation Department. Over half the attendees were municipal employees who actively manage town parks, properties and athletic fields; the others were Accredited Organic Land Care Professionals who are looking to learn more about new developments in organic fertility and lawn care. Continue reading on the NOFA OLC blog.

OLC Program Director Jenna Messier Celebrates Five Years 
At the Organic Turf and Athletic Fields held in Cheshire, CT on September 22, CT NOFA Executive Director Jeff Cordulack surprised OLC Program Director Jenna Messier with an award in celebration of her five years with CT NOFA as the OLC Program Director. Jenna's many invaluable contributions to the organization and community include updating NOFA's Organic Land Care Standards; publications, organizing workshops, OLC accreditation courses, annual meetings of AOLCPs (Accredited Organic Land Care Professionals); and launching an online search tool for organic land care professionals.

NOFA's Next "Organic Land Care" Accreditation Course  
Coming to the eastern end of Long Island ~ this November 7, 8, 14, and 15!

Land care professionals looking to get training how to create toxin-free lawns and yards should attend the next NOFA Accreditation Course in Organic Land Care being held at the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County in Riverhead on November 7, 8, 14, and 15. This 30-hour, 4-day course provides a well-rounded curriculum covering organic land care principles, practices, design and maintenance based on NOFA's Standards for Land Care: Practices for Design and Maintenance of Ecological Landscapes. For details, a course curriculum, and to register, visit www.organiclandcare.net or contact the The CT NOFA office at 203-308-2584

CT NOFA enjoys support from partner and co-sponsors Perfect Earth Project and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County along with our generous event sponsors: PJC Organics of Massachusetts, Tech Terra Environmental of New Jersey, and Soil FoodWeb NY. 
Featured CT NOFA Business Members

Before & After Farms 
Seymour Road
Woodbridge, CT  
CT NOFA member since 2013

B4 & After Farms is a family run, woman-owned, organic farm in Woodbridge, Connecticut. Heritage breeds of animals and heirloom vegetables are raised and harvested in a humane, sustainable manner that utilizes holistic management practices.

B4 & After Farms started in the historic Trowbridge Square section of New Haven, a neighborhood Matthew discovered when attending Yale School of Nursing. It started with nursing a neighborhood that was half empty and full of urban blight by buying houses and putting plantings everywhere. As the neighborhood came back to life, an urban farm was started in 2006. When three houses in a row were acquired, the farm moved across the street and became an urban oasis with a dump truck of organic soil, raised beds, vermiculture, water collection, asparagus bushes and four-season growing.

As the two went to three, the need for good, healthy food increased as a difficult pregnancy and early childbirth gave us the push to start producing more organic food of our own to eat and for making baby food. As we grew to four, the need for other meat products and space was needed, so a beautiful farm on 13 acres (backing up to two hundred acres of forest) was found in Woodbridge. From an urban farm to a forest farm was a new farming world for us. We were able to embrace our new space with pigs, turkeys, bees, maple syrup and forest foraging. Now we offer our heritage pork and turkey and heirloom vegetables, as well as foraged items, to local restaurants, private consumers and at farmer's markets in Woodbridge and Orange. Before - Urban; After - Forest. (excerpted from beforeandafterfarms.com)

Northeast Horticultural Services
255 Hathaway Dr #1
Stratford, CT 06615
Member since 2014 
   
Northeast Horticultural Services provides all forms of traditional plant and tree health care, tree services, and landscape design with a specialization in the acquisition of unique specimen trees and large tree planting. 

Stacey Marcell, owner of Northeast Horticultural Services, has a profound passion for the cultivation of healthy and attractive trees and her dedication to the environment led her to form Northeast Horticultural Services. Stacey is a licensed arborist and a degreed horticulturalist with a B.S. from the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Stacey and her staff of technicians are accredited with the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) as Organic Land Care Professionals (AOLCPs) and work with clients to help them become more organic.

In her dual role as a scientist and artist, Stacey leverages her deep industry knowledge and dedication to holistic plant and tree care to bring a systemic perspective to the myriad phases of tree care and property maintenance. Utilizing conservation minded planning and in-depth consultation for both residential and commercial clientele, Stacey has spent more than 17 years beautifying properties, 10 of those years in Fairfield County, Connecticut.

Howling Flats Farm
19 Raymond Avenue  
North Canaan, CT 06018
860-379-8961
Kelley: (860) 379-8961         
Becky: (860) 605-6790
howlingflatsfarm.com
howlingflatsfarm.grazecart.com 
 
Howling Flats Farm is a small, family-run farm on 15 acres in North Canaan, Connecticut. Turned off by the inhumane treatment of animals on "factory farms", overuse of antibiotics and genetically modified feed, we began getting our hands dirty in 2010 with a handful of hens and a couple of cows. We've since increased our numbers and added pigs, goats, roaster chickens and turkeys to the farm.

A large part of raising cattle is growing grass. Our fields are fertilized naturally with manure only - no herbicides or pesticides are sprayed. Our cows are happy with grass and hay, and actually have a deep love for tomatoes in the summer.

Our pigs are raised on pasture, too. They like to forage through the grass and dig through the dirt. We feed them a non-GMO, soon-to-be certified organic grain mix from Stone House Farm in New York. They also get non-GMO barley fodder for breakfast every morning. We proudly use a USDA certified, animal-welfare approved processing facility.


Orders for Heritage turkey breeds - Bourbon Red and Black Spanish -  are being taken for Thanksgiving. These turkeys are typically under 16 pounds and go quickly!  Contact us to schedule free local delivery to your home, restaurant, or one of our various drop-off locations in the surrounding area. Or, click HERE to shop and schedule online!

Our mission is simple: to give our animals a life free of stress and illness in order to produce high-quality, ethically conscious, and environmentally responsible food for our community.  
We love what we do, and promise to offer you only naturally and humanely raised meats as healthy and sustainable sustenance for your family. (excerpted from howlingflatsfarm.com
In the News
 
Millstone Farm (Wilton, CT) is for sale! Wilton Bulletin, September 21, 2016. This family-owned 71-acre gem has served the community as a CSA farm and learning center for sustainable agriculture for the past decade. Now, the family is looking for a new next generation of land stewards to continue their work.

State Releases Vision for Healthy Soils Initiative, California Department of Food and Agriculture, September 14, 2016. The Healthy Soils Initiative is a key part of California's strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by increasing carbon sequestration in and on natural and working lands.$7.5 million mandated for CDFA's Healthy Soils Incentive Program.

Glyphosate in Vaccines Administered to Children, Cornucopia Institute, September 12, 2016. Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto's flagship herbicide Roundup and hundreds of other herbicides, showing up as a contaminate in vaccines.

No More Cash for Fake Grass, LA Times, September 9, 2016 -  CT NOFA applauds this smart move to stop spending on fake turf.

Representative Candelora Votes "NO" on the Bond Commissions Fake Turf Spending, CT Post, September 30, 2016. Nancy Alderman of Environment and Human Health, Inc. recently congratulated Vincent J. Candelora, a Representative from North Branford from having the courage to vote "no" on the recent bond authorization that gave Derby, CT $3,000,000 to install a synthetic turf athletic field. Sadly, it was approved. This is a bad move for the kids and for all CT tax payers.

{ORGANIC CALL TO ACTION: Please call you elected State officials and ask them to stop funding fake fields and start funding better quality and less costly real grass athletic fields. }
  
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