CT NOFA Gleanings eNews ~ February 2012
February, 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
Featured Members
Announcements & Alerts
In the News
GMO Activist Program
Winter Food Project
Your Favorite Tool
From our Blog
Community Board
Volunteer With Us!
Go Organic when you Shop!
Become a sponsor to have your ad posted HERE!
Email us for details.

The NOFA Organic Lawn and Turf Handbook details methods for growing and managing beautiful, healthy, organic turfgrass.

Are you involved with a conservation organization in your community? Hand out these attractive brochures and get the neighborhood talking! Sold in quantities of 50 or more, $.50 each.

Grab your copy of the Standards for Organic Land Care today!

Urban & Suburban Meadows addresses the problems caused by the extensive planting of non-native grass lawns across America.

Purchase your Introduction to Organic Lawns and Yards booklet to help you maintain a beautiful, healthy, and ecologically sounds lawn or garden!
From the Executive Director
bill duesing

A GMO Hearing and Wingnuts
February 1, 2012

Yesterday I had the honor of representing CT NOFA and its members at a hearing, in the Southern District Court in lower Manhattan, on Monsanto's motion to dismiss our suit asking the court to prevent Monsanto from suing farmers whose crops are contaminated by Monsanto's modified genes. (See this document for more information on the lawsuit, including a list and descriptions of our co-plaintiffs.)

activists outside the courthouse
I joined 54 other organic and non-GMO farmers, representatives of organic farming organizations and organic seed producers before 7 AM in order to get a seat in the courtroom.  We came from 20 different states and one Canadian province.  Although there was no opportunity for us to speak, our attorney felt it was important to show the judge that there are real people behind the law suit. There was standing room only in the courtroom. Monsanto's only supporters were its four attorneys.

After about three hours of waiting... Read more here!

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CT NOFA and OLC Events

Featured Events     


Saturday, March 3, 2012
Manchester Community College
Manchester, CT
"Local and Organic since 1982"

Manchester Community College's "Green Team" will again be Co-sponsoring this unique Environmental Education Event at their campus. The Keynote speaker will be Jeffrey Smith, internationally known spokesperson on the health dangers of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). Learn more about Jeffrey Smith here.


We now have sponsor and advertising opportunities posted for the Winter Conference. Click HERE to see how you can spotlight your business by becoming a sponsor and HERE to learn more about advertising opportunities!


There will be over 40 educational workshops offered. Stay tuned for a final schedule!  


There will be specific tracks for beginning farmers, winter food growers, winter food consumers, CSAs, transition towns, and Organic Land Care. The beginning farmers track is supported by the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA, Grant #2011-49400-30510. 


You will be able to shop from a local vendors & farmers market, listen or dance to live music with "Train Wreck Jerry", feast on a delicious "Pot Luck", check out in the Family "Play n Chill" Room", learn from live cooking demonstrations and much more.


If you have less than 10 years of farming experience, you may qualify for a scholarship!  Fill out the application form here. 


We'd like you to be part of this big day.  Learn more about the Winter Conference here.


NEW - Introductory membership - $15 per year. For first time members, you'll get our newsletter, Farm & Food Guide, event notices and discounts, without the quarterly The Natural Farmer. Join now and take the member discount for the Winter Conference. 


Additionally, the CT NOFA annual members meeting will be held at the Winter Conference this year.


Thanks to out sponsors, the CT Farm Energy Program, and Nationwide Insurance! 


For more info or to give us a hand volunteering contact: Teresa Mucci: teresa@ctnofa.org or 203-888-5146.


Our Other Upcoming Events    
11th Annual Accreditation Course in Organic Land Care
New Haven, CT
February 15-17, and 21-22, 2012
(Snow Date:  February 23, 2012)

Be sure to register before January 24, 2012 to get your Early Bird Discounts! 

Charlestown, RI
February 27-29, March 1-2, 2012
(Snow Date; March 5)

NOFA Chapter Winter Conferences 

Six NOFA chapters have Winter Conferences and your membership will get you discounts at all of them.  Click here for a pdf with dates and details.      


How to Plan For a Bountiful Vegetable Garden
Saturday, February 18, 2012
Common Ground High School
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM


Organic Land Care Homeowner Workshops 

Wednesday,  March 7, 2012

7:00 pm
Hamden Public Library, Hamden, CT   


Tues. March 13, 2012
7:00 pm 

Cheshire Public Library, Cheshire, CT


Growing Fruit in a Healthy Orchard Ecosystem with Michael Phillips
March 9, 2012
Rockfall, CT

Soils and Compost Workshop
March 10, 2012
Common Ground High School

Starting Seedlings Workshop
March 17, 2012
Common Ground High School

Organic Gardening Workshop 
May 5, 2012
Common Ground High School
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Events Where we will be Tabling 


New England Grows

February 1-3, 2012

Boston, MA     


CT Flower and Garden Show

February 23-26, 2012

CT Convention Center

Hartford, CT    


Ecological Landscaping Association - 18th Annual Conference and Marketplace
March 7-8, 2012
Springfield, MA   

Girl Scouts 100th Jubilee
May 19, 2012
Durham Fair Grounds
Durham, CT

For other area events check our our events listing page.


Tell your Legislators that you support maintaining the Ban on Pesticides at K-8th grade schools in CT

As opponents of the Ban are organizing, the time is now to let your Legislators and School Superintendents know that you want them to
continue protecting children from exposure to harmful pesticides.  When the General Assembly begins its session on February 8, 2012, help your Legislator to voice your opinion! Here's how:

How to find your Legislator:
1. Go to the General Assembly Website
2. Click on "House" or "Senate"
3. Click on "Find your Legislator"
4. Provide Street Address and Town
5. Legislators' Contact Information (email, website, and telephone)
6. Contact your Legislator and tell them that: You Support the Ban
    on Pesticides at K-8th grade schools in CT.


Calling all Beginning Farmers!

  • Full scholarships to the Winter Conference are available If you have less than ten years of farming experience, you are eligible to apply using this form.
  • We are accepting applications for CT NOFA's Journeyperson Program targeted at farmers transitioning between farmer training and apprenticeship to becoming an independent farmer.  This program include mentor-matching, an educational stipend, and free admission to CT NOFA events.  Apply online here.

Both of these opportunities are made possible by the a generous support of National Institute for Food and Agriculture through the USDA's beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program).  

Featured Members  
Sal Gilbertie with some of his famed herbs and veggies

Last October, our Annual Meeting happened to fall on the exact day of the infamous fall snowstorm, so we didn't get a chance to show our full appreciation for our member of the year, Sal Gilbertie.  As it happens, however, Sal was honored belatedly at the GVI (Green Villiage Initiative) Winterfest in Westport on Saturday the 21.

Sal Gilbertie is the largest herb grower in the United States and owner of Gilberties Herb Gardens in Westport and Gilberties Wholesale farm in Easton, CT, both of which were converted to
We are selling Sal Gilbertie's book for $18 - contact us for more information.
certified organic a few years ago. He also conducts workshops, supports community garden projects in Bridgeport and has authored five books, the most recent of which is Small Plot, High-Yield Gardening.

GVI's goal is sustainability and community-building through focus on localization, local food, water/power/garbage, and education of all kinds.  They work in partnership with many other nonprofits, including towns, schools, nature centers, senior centers, state parks, arts centers, and PTAs.  Check out their website here.

Announcements & Alerts 

Join us!

We're are looking for a congenial, cat-tolerant part-time bookkeeper here at the CT NOFA office in Oxford, CT. Please email Deb for details.

Additionally, CTNOFA's Board of Directors is seeking a few new board members committed to our mission and purpose, who can offer one or more of the following:  

1) Financial planning and management and/or fundraising skills
2) legal and/or personnel skills
3) Sustainable farming knowledge and experience
4) Enthusiasm and commitment to spreading CTNOFA's mission and purpose.

Board meetings or board conference calls usually occur once a month on a Sunday afternoon or evening at various homes around the state and are followed by a potluck supper (unless meeting by phone). To express interest, recommend someone you know, or just ask for further information, please contact Janet Heller here.

Join a group of committed people volunteering their time and skills

to further the efforts of growing our local organic and sustainable

food system and organic land care!


2012 2011 farm and food guide cover Farm and Food Guide
We're getting a head start on this year's CT NOFA Farm & Food Guide, so please send in your confirmation form if you haven't yet. If you are interested in a listing, ad or sponsorship opportunities, email Deb here.


Announcing HMI's Beginning Women Farmer Conference: Exploring Whole Farm Planning
March 22-23, 2012
University of Massachusetts
Amherst, MA

Whether you're a beginning farmer or have been farming for years... Whether you're a woman or a man... or you just want to learn about Holistic Management Whole Farm Planning from the experts, you'll want to attend our two day conference in Amherst, Massachusetts.  To learn more and to register, click here.


New FREE "Farminar"
Join The Practical Farmers of Iowa online Tuesday, February 7, 2012 at 7 pm (CST) for a weekly free online learning from farmers!  This is another live farminar in the Winter 2012 series. 


with John Wesselius and Dru Montri

Additionally, to learn more about what you can do to boost your farmers market sales and reduce financial risk, check out this whitepaper from Edibles Advocate Alliance.


Are you an aspiring/new farmer looking for a leasing arrangement in Connecticut?  

The Farmland ConneCTions Outreach Service is here to help! 

Do you have an idea in your head of a leasing situation that could

make it possible for you to begin or continue to farm in Connecticut? Please get in touch and let us know! We are currently developing a database of interested farmers.   

Please click here to download the Farmland ConneCTions Guide.


Interested? Contact:

Jennifer McTiernan H.

Project Coordinator

Farmland ConneCTions Service

UConn Cooperative Extension System



mobile office: 203-909-6411

office/meeting days: Tuesdays and Thursdays



UConn Extension GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) School for Fruit and Vegetable Producers
This school is appropriate for Master Gardeners, CSAs, community gardens, school/institutional or restaurant gardens, and farmers who do not sell wholesale and/or to customers who might require a GAP audit, etc.


This CT GAP school will be comprehensive, providing farmers with more of the tools they need to develop a GAP food safety program. You will get some experience writing a plan as well. A session will be held at the New Haven County Extension Center in North Haven (Feb 1, 2, 3). Pre-registration is required. Each session will include lectures, handouts, a review of the pertinent audit items, and steps for farmers to take to achieve success in each audit section that pertains to their operation.


If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Diane Wright Hirsch at 203-407-3163 or by
email or Candace Bartholomew at 860-570-9067 or by email.


Looking for Equipment?  We're looking for you!
Phase One of the URI Cooperative Extension's Equipment Bank Feasibility Study is underway. The goal of this Study is to identify available equipment, desired but unavailable equipment, and custom operators serving RI, MA, and CT. If you influence the equipment decisions on your farm, please fill out a short on-line survey here. If you are not a farmer but you provide custom operator services, please fill out the survey. If you are a farmer AND you provide custom operator services, please fill out the survey. If you are neither a farmer nor a custom operator but you KNOW a custom operator, please fill out the survey. If you would prefer a paper version, please contact Becca Buckler at 401-934-0842 or by email. This is a much-anticipated project, jointly funded by a USDA Beginning Farmer Grant (awarded to the RI Association of Conservation Districts and URI) and the RI Ag Partnership (through the generosity of the vanBuren Charitable Foundation). Your input will make this a success. Thanks for participating!  

Showcase food from your farm at the Culinary Institute of America's Annual Leadership Awards Gala! 
CIA needs crops from local farmers to feature at their Awards Gala March 29, 2012 at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square, New York.  The Institute will pay a fair price for high quality local food, and the menu created from these crops will serve to feed over 600 foodservice movers and shakers.  Call us at 203.888.5146, email us, or read the letter we received to learn more.



The 30th National Pesticide Forum
Healthy Communities: Green solutions for safe environments

Yale University

New Haven, CT   

School of Forestry & Environmental Studies
March 30-31, 2012

The conference will focus on organic landcare, urban/suburban pesticide use, organic food, and protective national, state, and local policies.   




Connecticut Land Conservation Council 2012 Annual Conference 

March 24, 2012 Wesleyan University  

Middletown, CT, United States 




For other event listings please visit our events page

In the News

Agriculture's star rises in Malloy administration
In an era when jobs haven't exactly been growing on trees -- Connecticut is betting that they just might. And on bushes. And even indoors. Read the CT Mirror Article here.

Agriculture's star rises in Malloy administration
Some half-dozen years after the Rowland administration tried to all but eliminate the state's Department of Agriculture, the Malloy administration is embracing the state's $3.5 billion, 20,000-job agriculture industry as a potent component of job creation.  Read the full article here.

Counting On Every Acre
Check out this article by the Huffington Post that features Common Ground Farm in New Haven!

GMO Activist Program

Calling all GMO Activists!

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 Kristiane  if you'd like to be added to the list as we coordinate more GMO activism activities.


Winter Food Project
our potluck at the conference

This month's recipes come from our Getting Started in Organic Farming Conference that was held Saturday January 28. 2012.  The conference was a huge hit - we had a large lively group of attendees, and some really wonderful speakers!  Of course one of the best parts was the food.  Our potluck lunch was a blast and no one went hungry!  Here are a couple recipes from the day:

Holcomb Farm CSA Coleslaw
If you are longing for some warm weather foods as winter drags on, this is a great way to use winter foods to make a traditional summer favorite. Holcomb Farm's winter CSA provides all the vegetables for the slaw.

-organic oil
-white wine vinegar
-salt and pepper to taste

Grate or chop all ingredients and combine in a large bowl.  Serve immediately or refrigerate.

Hearty Veggie Soup - VEGAN  If you are still hankering
Look at all that food!
for a traditional winter dish, you can't go wrong with this one.  The version we had at the conference had homegrown organic veggies.  

-kidney beans

Chop up ingredients as finely or coarsely as you want and combine in a large soup pot.  Cook on medium heat until all the veggies are tender and have released juice - you can always add some vegetable stock if you want a thinner soup.

Check out some photos from the Conference here.
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Your Favorite Tool

This month's featured tool represents a different take on the  definition of the word "tool".  It's not made of metal or wood, but rather, of paper.  This month's favorite tool is the seed catalog! New editions of organic seed catalogs have just come out for the 2012 season, so we wanted to highlight this extremely informative and useful way to get your garden or farm started for the year.

Some popular organic seed providers include:
High Mowing Organic Seeds
New England Seed
Johnny's Selected Seeds
Wood Prairie Farm Catalog
Turtle Tree
Sow True Seed
Southern Exposure Seed
Peaceful Valley
Comstock Ferre

Click on any of the above names and request their catalog.  To learn more about the benefits of using organic seed, and to download a full list of seed producers, check out the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association website.

From our Blog

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. 

We Need Your Help!

This spring we have many upcoming events that require volunteer staffing.  We are getting many invitations for Earth Day events in and around April, so if you like meeting great people and helping out in the community, consider volunteering for CT NOFA.  Our Organic Land Care Accreditation Course, Winter Conference, and many other tabling and outreach events are available and open to volunteers.  For more information, and to register as a volunteer, please email us

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,