summerheader

Organic with the Seasons    
SPRING - SUMMER 2012
Greetings,backtothetop
I hope you, your family and your garden are all ready for summer!  We love summer in the CT NOFA and NOFA Organic Land Care Offices, we have our Block Party coming up in Ridgefield next week, and we're so excited for the NOFA Summer Conference on August 10-12.  Read through the newsletter for:
 
 
I hope to see you at one of our upcoming events!  Happy Summer!
Best,
Kristiane 
Summer HighlightsBlockParty

CT NOFA Block Party on the Farm at The Hickories in Ridgefield!  

Block Party Flyer

 
Call 203-888-5146 or visit the 
 purchase tickets!

 

There are two more block parties coming up: 

Saturday, July 14, 2012 

Ledyard, CT

 

Saturday, September 15, 2012 
New Britain, CT 
Save the Date!NOFASummer
Beginning Farmers:Apply for the scholarship!
NofaSummer

Announcing Our New 2012 guides: NOFAGuides
Farm and Food Guide Olc 2012-2013 Cover
If you're a CT NOFA member, you'll be receiving both of our 2012-2013 guides in your next member packet (you can join here).  If you are not a member, you can purchase the Connecticut Farm and Food Guide and a Regional Guide to Organic Land Care for $3 each or for $5 for both. Call 203-888-5146 for the deal! 
You also can pick it up at any of the events where CT NOFA has a table (we list these events on the homepage). 
The Organic Land Care Guide is a regional publication, and is $3 a copy to cover printing and mailing costs.  If you would like to order several guides for distribution, please call our office for bulk rates.
Upcoming Homeowner (and Farmer) WorkshopsWorkshops
CONNECTICUT (hosted by CT NOFA)
tractor
Tractor Repair and Maintenance June 28, 4-7pm -Nonnewaug High School, Woodbury Taught by Nonnewaug High School's Agricultural Mechanics Teacher, Edward Belinsky and Riverbank Farm's David Blyn.  The workshop will be an intro to tractor repair with a focus on preventable maintenance. The workshop is $25 for members and $35 for non-members. 
Pasture Raised Poultry 
August 4, 2-5pm - Terra Firma Farm, Stonington, CT
Brianne Casadei of Terra Firma Farm in Stonington will share her knowledge about pasture-raised poultry. A beginning farmer potluck/brown bag dinner to follow (more details coming). Members and Beginning Farmers (ten years or fewer of farming experience): $25 Non-members: $35
Cheese Making September 15 - Beltane Farm, Ledyard, CT 
goatJoin dairy farmer and cheese making professional Paul Trubey at Beltane Farm for a hands-on workshop that will teach you how to produce your own fresh seasonal goats-milk cheeses. Members and Beginning Farmers (ten years or fewer of farming experience): $45
Non-members: $55
 
**You can also check out some of our workshops listed on the Organic Land Care website under credit listings.  We have posted these for professionals, but many are appropriate for homeowners!
MASSACHUSETTS (hosted by NOFA Mass) These are just a few MA workshops selected for 

homeowners, read more on the NOFA Mass page.

 

eggs

Organic Backyard Eggs  

Saturday, June 16 -9:00 AM-12:00 PM Cost: $30

Instructors: Josh Richardson and Greg Wolfus -  Home of Josh Richardson, Northborough, MA

 

Low-Tech Organic Gardening With Chickens

July 21, 9am-12pm,$30 

Instructors:Clio Fisher and Eric Fisher, Decades of experience with canning, gardening, recent introduction of nutrient dense principles. Home of Clio Fisher, 320 Old Ayer Road, Groton, MA  

 

Preserving the Harvest  

August 25, 9am-3pm, $45 LIMIT: 15 REGISTRANTS
Home of Clio Fisher, 320 Old Ayer Road, Groton, MA  

 

Lacto-fermenting, Canning and Root Cellaring the Harvest
September 8, 9am-3pm, $45 LIMIT: 15 REGISTRANTS
Noonday Farm, Home of B. Ingham, 96 Windsor Road, Winchendon Springs, MA

  
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From the Blog:Livestock
CT NOFA's Humane and Sustainable Livestock Workshop
Craig Floyd introduces his workshop.
Craig pets one of his favorite pigs, Eddy.
Footsteps Farm has been in Craig Floyd's family since 1712.  Craig is a confident long-time farmer with a comprehensive understanding of his animals and their interaction with the land.  Footsteps Farm is beautiful, the animals friendly, and Craig freely shares years of experience and knowledge about livestock raising.
 
 

"On a sustainable farm, everything has to have more than one purpose"

Craig buries chicken remains under high blueberry bushes because they are high in calcium.  And instead of drilling holes for fence posts, buckets weighed down with rocks and small holes drilled in the sides can run the wires around the perimeter of the enclosures. Craig encourages the existence of insects living in his soil, and cleared oak become mushroom growing sites.

Craig is "Certified Humane" which he felt was an effective way to "make a public statement" that a farmer's meat is different from what one can buy in the grocery store.  His pigs and cows stay in large pastures surrounded by electric fences with a high enough voltage to keep the pigs in the enclosures.  When a 

number of his chicks were sick, they were   

Heirloom turkeys!

prescribed antibiotics, which Craig hates to use.  Instead he gave his chicks apple cider vinegar which he said treated his birds.

 

 According to Craig, the difference between a butterball turkey and a heritage breed is that heritage breed turkeys can run, fly and have thicker skin holding moisture in the meat.  Footsteps Farm has turned its focus to producing Spanish-style ham. He has dark pigs called "Large Shireworths". Craig keeps entire oak lots so that pigs can eat lots of acorns to make their meat more flavorful.  To keep animals in wood lots he uses one of Joel Salatin's tips, to tie the electric lines up with polypropylene rope around tree trunks. 

 

"We give thanks to the Lord for the chickens and we give thanks to the chickens for giving their lives"

An important element of Humane livestock production is the slaughter.  Craig explained that Footsteps uses slaughterhouses that have been approved by inspectors from Certified Humane and on-sight chicken processing. After the workshop we had a beginning farmer dinner thanks to Sheryl who made everyone frittatas with their eggs and sausage! 

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To read more about the workshop visit the blog post or view photos on our Flickr account. You can also read an article about the workshop by Accredited Professional and Journalist, Sanne Kure-Jensen in The Examiner.

Prepare for winter harvests this summer! Check out this sowing advice from a Territorial Seed PacketToDo
wintersowing 

 

 
"Earth Care"
Block Island, RI 
Altanta Beltline Inc.
Atlanta, GA
Meet our Featured AOLCPsAOLCPs
June's AOLCP, Hugh Knowlton
Bergen Community College, Paramus, New Jersey. 
hugh

As grounds supervisor at Bergen Community College in Paramus,

 N.J., NOFA AOLCP Hugh Knowlton is working to transform the campus and others with organic land care. For five years, the grounds of Bergen Community College were sprayed with synthetic fertilizers and herbicides. While the scheduling and posting of applications was growing increasingly difficult, a growing number of faculty and students were engaging in "greener" activities such as composting, recycling and growing organic vegetables on campus, said Knowlton.

He started with the turf care of 6.25 acres of athletic fields (baseball, softball, soccer and an extensive lawn area) and plans to expand over time to organically care for additional high profile turf areas. The biggest transition, he said, is to become less dependent on conventional methods. Read more about Hugh's work here.
 
Staff Garden ProfileStaffGarden
Organic Land Care's Program Director, Jenna Messier interviews Deb Legge, the Chief Office Administrator for both NOFA Organic Land Care and CT NOFA about her garden.  

You may imagine that the CT NOFA staff members each have beautiful, exemplary gardens at their homes.  In the case of CT NOFA office manager, Deb Legge -this is true!  Deb has a unique and charming homestead in Wallingford which all neighbors and visitors admire.  She lives in an old farmhouse on .2 acres of land, and she has craftily utilized her space to create a mini-farm with chickens, a greenhouse, a lovely screened-in patio and flowers spanning seasons.

I thought I would interview Deb, to find out how she has created this suburban paradise, so our readers will know what is possible.

Deb's Garden

Jenna:  When did you start your garden?

Deb: I moved into my house in October 1993 and brought about 50 pots of plants with me from the house I'd been renting. I left them under a snow bank for the winter and started the first garden the following spring. There had been a vegetable garden there and some mint scattered around, so I cleaned it all up and just started planting.

 

Jenna: Did this design evolve, or did you always know the type of garden you were envisioning?

Deb: It's definitely evolved over time as I've taken more of the lawn out and trees have come and gone. There's just enough lawn left now to walk on and play an occasional game of bocce during a family get together.  I've always liked jumbly cottage-style gardens, so you'll find herbs in the flower beds and a stray tomato plant out by the compost bins.

 

Jenna:  What edibles are you growing and how many seasons are you in food production?

Deb:  With the little unheated greenhouse, I have fresh produce most of the year. Last winter was pretty mild and there was lettuce, chard and mache in there. If you plan in late summer to have things started before it gets cold, they'll start growing again as soon as the days get noticeably longer in late January/early February.

For perennial edibles, I have several kinds of raspberries, blackberries, red and black clove currants, grapes, figs, rhubarb, asparagus, Egyptian onions, horseradish, Jerusalem artichokes. For the past couple years I've been adding some small tree and shrub fruits and nuts.  Two years ago I added 9 smallish hazelnuts and just this year put in a couple each of beach plums, Nanking cherries, western sand cherries and elderberries.

For the rest of the edibles, many of the usual like tomatoes, cukes, lots of greens, peas, beans, peppers. Except for the peppers, I either direct seed or start everything in the greenhouse.

Read the rest of the interview on the CT NOFA Blog!

Deb's garden will also be featured in the blog A Return to Simple in the series of posts "Operation Kitchen Garden."  If you have a beautiful kitchen garden in Connecticut, and would like to share, e-mail Laura Modlin.

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This newsletter is a publication of both the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Connecticut and the regional NOFA Organic Land Care Program. Kristiane Huber, the Outreach and Events Coordinator for both CT NOFA and NOFA OLC edits the newsletter and would appreciate your feedback and input.
CT NOFA / PO Box 164 / Stevenson, Connecticut 06491 /