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CT NOFA's 35th Annual Winter Conference

Saturday & Sunday
March 11 & 12, 2017

Western CT State University
Midtown Campus
181 White Street, Danbury, CT U.S.A.

The Largest Gathering of Organic Farm, Food & Garden Enthusiasts in Connecticut!

CT NOFA’s Annual Winter Conference is the premier event where farmers, landscapers, foodies, gardeners, and community leaders convene to learn innovative practices, share ideas, and network with others!

Saturday Highlights:

  • Featuring 45 different farm, garden, and food workshops to choose from over three sessions
  • Keynote Speaker, Leah Penniman discussing her farm and justice in our food system!
  • roundtable discussion about soil health with Bill Duesing, Jack Kittredge, Julie Rawson, Steve Munno, and Ray Covino - each of whom are helping soil health on New England farms.
  • Lunch! Prepared for you by some of Connecticut's most creative and generous chefs. They are cooking up a storm and are sure to please. See menu below and enjoy!
    Tip: add lunch to your online registration for fastest service
  • Approx. 60 vendors, exhibits and sustainable service providers on display in Berkshire Hall's big gym!
  • The famous CT NOFA winter conference 'tea cup' raffle featuring gifts and goodies donated by farmers, companies amd creative folks from all over! Raffle donors can contact us via email ( winterconference@ctnofa.org). Thank you for your generous gift to our event.
    Tip: Buy raffle tickets online for free extra tickets!

Sunday Highlights:

  • 9:00 am - 12:00 pm: Agricultural Re$ource Fair (FREE!):
    Ever wondered what it’s really like to access funding for farmers in CT? Sponsored by UConn and featuring agriculture-related loan and service providers. Farmers & Service providers pair up to give the real details on how hard the paperwork actually was, which eligibility requirements were the toughest to meet, what the surprises there were along the way, and much more insight into:

    • Farmland Restoration Program
    • Farm Transition Grants
    • NRCS/Equip Funding
    • FSA Microloans and Mortgage Assistance
  • 12:30 - 3:30 pm: Intensive Vegetable Production - No Till, Soil Health, & Appropriate Fertilization (only $20!):
    A special workshop with 2016 NOFA Farmer of the Year, Bryan O'Hara! This will cover the concepts and practices that lead to the high yields of high quality vegetable crops. Emphasis on soil health; producing vegetables without tillage; and how to choose fertilizater materials. For all kinds of vegetable growers, from gardeners to farmers and everything in between.

2017 Keynote Speaker:

Leah Penniman, Food Activist & Farmer, will speak on
"Ending Racism and Injustice in the Food System

Leah Penniman is an educator, farmer, and food justice activist from Soul Fire Farm in Grafton, NY. She is committed to dismantling the oppressive structures that misguide our food system, reconnecting marginalized communities to land, and upholding our responsibility to steward the land the nourishes us.

As a core member of the Freedom Food Alliance, Leah cultivates life-giving food for families living in food apartheid neighborhoods. She also runs an on-farm restorative justice program that is an alternative-to-incarceration for area teens and a training program for aspiring Black and Latino activist-farmers.

In recognition of the truth that food sovereignty is a global struggle, Leah is a core collective member of Ayiti Resurrect, and coordinates an ongoing reforestation and sustainability project with farmers in Haiti, her ancestral homeland. She is a high school science teacher, project-based-learning coach, and uprooting racism facilitator. In these spaces, Leah joyfully and reverently connects learners to the intricate miracle that is this living planet and to their own power as agents of positive change in the community.

Saturday & Sunday Program Guide:
Use this link at the event or pick up a printed program guide at the registration desk (in the Gym/Berkshire Hall).


Workshop and Lunch Tickets are availaable in the gymnasium! Registration starts at 8 am and first workshop at 9 am. Don't be late!

RSVP &/or pay for Sunday tickets here online!
RSVP for the FREE Ag Re$ource Fair on Sunday (9am-12 noon) &/or the 3-hour workshop with Bryan O'Hara starting at 12:30 pm on Sunday. BYO lunch or buy offsite. All Sunday events hosted in the WCSU Student Center. Register in Lobby.

Walk In Tickets Available ~ 2017 WC Admission:
Add Our Amazing Lunch For just $15/adults & $7/youth.
Admission At Door is as follows:



(AM is free!)

Sat & Sun













Under 12





Additional information:

  • FARMER SCHOLARSHIPS: Thanks to our presenters and a generous church, we have full and partial scholarship for growers who need a break. Simply email Alex at email below to see if scholarship funds remain.
  • Sunday morning's AgRe$ource Fair is FREE. Please register online and check in at 8:30am. AgRe$ource Fair presentations start at 9:00 am in WCSU Student Center. This is followed by a 3 hour growing workshop with Bryan O'Hara starting at 12:30 pm for just $20!
  • LUNCH: On Saturday only, enjoy our famous Winter Conference Lunch for only $15 ($7 kids). All proceeds support CT NOFA and is donated thanks to these fine businesses and chefs below.
    About Sunday: Refreshments available; lunch not served. Restaurants are within walking distance.
  • On Saturday, registration begins: 8:00 am in the Gymnasium (aka Berkshire Hall). First workshop begins at 9:00 am.

Questions? Email us at: winterconference@ctnofa.org or call the office: 203-308-2584

Pass The Word! Tell A Friend!

Saturday Schedule:

6:45 - 7:00 am - Volunteer Registration
7:00 - 8:00 am - Vendor Set Up
8:00 - 9:00 am - Registration (attendees)
9:00 - 10:15 am - Workshop #1
10:15 - 10:30am - Break
10:30 - 11:45 am - Workshop #2
11:45 - 1:30 pm - Lunch & Exhibits
1:30 - 3:15 pm - Keynote Speaker & Carbon Roundtable
3:15 - 3:30 pm - Break & Raffle Drawing
3:30 - 4:45 pm - Workshop #3

Saturday Workshops


  1. Farm Business Planning with Joseph Bonelli
  2. Increasing Profit, Productivity and your Marketplace - for Every Farmer with Kevin Meehan
  3. Garden for the Common Good: Become a Seed Saver! with Shanyn Siegel
  4. Vegetable Diseases and Their Management with Yonghao Li         
  5. Maple Syrup - Added Value for Farms with Mike Smith & Chris Graves
  6. Season Extension A—Z with Toby Fischer
  7. Bees and Neonicotinoids: An Update with Mary Wilson & Holly Kocet
  8. Regenerative Practices for Small Plots with Douglass DeCandia
  9. Sprooting Now! with Robert Burns
  10. How To Fill A Natural Medicine Cabinet: The Essentials Everyone Should Have! with Kenneth Hoffman
  11. Winemaking Basics with John Kriz
  12. Land Access 101: The Basics on How to Start Your Farm Search with Rachel Murray & Kip Kolesinskas
  13. Planting for Crop Pollinators with Kimberly Stoner
  14. farmOS: Open Source Farm Management and Record Keeping with Michael Stenta
  15. How to Become a Beekeeper with Al Avitabile
  1. Engaging Urban Residents in Organic Farming: The Challenge of Urban Agriculture with German Cutz
  2. The enemy of my enemy is my friend: Using Biological Pest Control with Joe Magazzi
  3. The How & Why of Natural Beekeeping in Top Bar Hives with Christy Hemenway
  4. A bouquet for beneficials:  which insects do cut flower plantings attract? with Ana Legrand    
  5. Carbon Farming - Principles, Practice and Measurement with Jack Kittredge & Julie Rawson
  6. Dining in the Dark: How To Ride-Out A Power Outage In Style with Donna Simons
  7. Building a Hex Bed Demo for Urban School Gardens with Suzannah Holsenbeck
  8. Healing Land, People and Community through Natural Farming with Ruby Olisemeka & Douglass DeCandia
  9. Agroforestry for Carbon Sequestration/Climate Change Mitigation in Temperate New England with Sven Pihl
  10. 6 Principles of Naturopathic Medicine with Tara Tranguch & Cheryl D. Proctor
  11. Worm Composting with Bringing Soil Back to Life – Monique Bosch & Justin Hawrysh
  12. Water Management Strategies for a Changing Climate with Kip Kolesinskas           
  13. Business Basics for Organic Farmers with Chris Laughton
  14. Vegan 101 - Transitioning to a Whole Foods Plant Based Diet with Mary Lawrence
  15. Real Food, Real Cooking with Suzanne & Bill Duesing
  1. Conservation You Can Taste: Restoring Agricultural Biodiversity with Laura Luciano, Jeff Quattrone & Mimi Edelman
  2. Rotational Grazing and Soil Health with Dave Llewellyn & Pat Knapp
  3. Bioregional Economies – Andrew Faust
  4. OMRI-listed products for organic insect pest management with Ana Legrand
  5. Urban Agriculture, Sustainability, & the Law: A Hartford Case Study – Sara Bronin & Martha Page
  6. Dealing With Climate Change in Your Landscape with Kim Eierman          
  7. Soil & Trees: Nature's Magicians with Mike Nadeau
  8. Introduction to Growing and Using Medicinal and Culinary Herbs with Melody Wright & Lupo Passero
  9. Writing Reaps Profit: Productive Tips for a More Marketable Web Presence with Jillian Shea    
  10. Building A Passive Super Energy Efficient House with Robert Maddox      
  11. Agro - Ecological Land Care (Pesticide Free Zone) with Mike Papa
  12. Antibiotic Stewardship and Our Food Animals with the One Health Approach – Michael Keilty & Jean King
  13. Regenerating Soils at Any Scale:  An introduction to Soil Health and Permaculture with Ray Covino
  14. Amazing Adrian – That Kid Who Can Cook! with Adrian Corelli
  15. Ending Racism in the Food System with Leah Penniman



CT NOFA is grateful for our generous lunch sponsors. These fine restaurants collaboarated to bring you another great meal where we celebrate local and organic foods together. This meal was created to be suitable for all ages and most diets. All items except the tortilla are vegan. For a real taste of what this fine chefs can do, visit one of their locations near you! ENJOY!

Harney & Sons Teas
Organic, Fair Trade Iced Tea and Brewed Tea

Potato Tortilla

New Morning Market
Brown Rice and Shiitake
Mushroom Salad

Wave Hill Breads
Three Grain French
Country Batard

Mill Street Bar & Table
Roasted Winter Root Vegetable

Plan b / Butchers & Bakers
Bean & Quinoa Stuffed Fire
Roasted Mini Pepper

Sodexo at WCSU
House Made Gherkin & Fennel Chow Chow
And dessert from Sodexo, too … 
Green Apple Crisp w/ Chile, Warm Spices & Granola Brittle

CT NOFA's 35th Annual Winter Conference is being brought to you in cooperation with Western Connecticut State University and its Jane Goodall Center for Excellence in Environmental Studies.

west conn logojane goodall logo

This program is a cooperative effort of CT NOFA, UConn Extension, the Connecticut Department of Agriculture, and the Risk Management Agency/USDA. These institutions are equal opportunity employers and program providers.


2017 Vendors & Exhibitors

Asarasi Water
Aradia Farm
Artscape Organic-Care, LLC
B4 & After Farm/Oui Charcuterie
Barlow Farm
Baystate Organic Certifiers

Bellas Alpacas Farm
Benedict’s Home & Garden
Bionutrient Food Association
Caffe Bon
Citizens' Climate Lobby (Manchester, CT chapter)

Connecticut Department of Agriculture
Connecticut Farm Bureau Association
Connecticut Farm Energy Program
Connecticut Farmland Trust
Country Organics, Inc.
Dirt Road Farm
Edible Nutmeg

Farm Credit East

Farm Marketing Solutions, LLC
Fungi Ally

Green Earth Ag and Turf, LLC
Go Organic LLC
Guy's Eco-Garden
Green Earth Ag & Turf
GreenIt with SolvIt Home Services
Gold Star Honeybees

Harney Tea
Home Professor
Joy Newton Designs

Kingdom Aquaponics
Lancaster Ag Products
Natureworks Horticultural Services

Natural Awakenings - Western CT
New Connecticut Farmer Alliance

New Morning Market
NYR Organic / Soulbyrd Therapies, LLC
OM Pajamas/ Madauri Charitable Trust
Organachs: Farm To Skin

Organic Mechanics Soil Company
Progressive Asset Management
Protect Our Pollinators
Put Local On Your Tray
Rainbow Kids

Roots and Shoots
Scanner Photography by Ellen Hoverkamp

Seeds and Roots Retreat Center
Slowfood Metro North
SOPHIA Natural Health Center
Sowing Solutions Permaculture Design & Education
Specialty Agricultural Products, LLC
Sperry Naturals
Sweet Sage Bakery
Sunstone Farm
Taproot Threads
The Branch Manager
The Wells Natural Market
Traditional Health First
The Reitz Group
UConn Extension - farmer
UConn Extension - home garden

VisionWorks Books

Weston A. Price Foundation
Wellscroft Fence Systems, LLC
Wiggle Room


Directions & Parking:

Western CT State University (WCSU Midtown Campus), 181 White Street, Danbury, CT

Park for free in either of the two parking garages on campus.  MAP

Take the Train & Walk To Campus: TRAIN STATION INFO

(From the West)

  • Take Exit 5 off I-84 to first traffic light (Main Street).
  • Turn right and continue on Main Street to White Street (fourth traffic light).
  • Turn left on White Street and continue 1/2 mile.
  • The campus is on the left. Parking is available in the parking garage on the right.
(From the East)
  • Take Exit 5 off I-84 to first traffic light (Clapboard Ridge Road).
  • Turn right and continue on (Clapboard Ridge will turn into Main Street) to White Street (fifth traffic light).
  • Turn left on White Street and continue 1/2 mile.
  • The campus is on the left. Parking is available in the parking garage on the right.


CT NOFA | ctnofa@ctnofa.org | 203-308-2584 | Office: 126 Derby Ave, Derby, CT 06814