Conference Schedule

download the complete conference booklet

Workshop 1: 9:30 - 10:45 A.M.

Mad Sheep: The True Story behind the USDA’s War on a Family Farm
Join Linda Faillace, author of Mad Sheep, for a discussion about sheep dairying; mad cow disease and scrapie; farmer’s rights; NAIS; food security; and USDA corruption. Hear how her dream to breed sheep and make cheese on her Vermont farm turned into a nightmare and be energized by her stamina and determination. (Beg/Inter/Adv/Teens) Linda Faillace is a writer, shepherdess, songwriter, and owner of a country store dedicated to supporting local farmers and locally grown food. She has studied mad cow disease since the early 1990s and is a champion of organic and sustainable farming, farmer’s rights, and strong local communities. AUDITORIUM

Seasonal Cooking
Don’t let anyone tell you that you can only enjoy local food during summer. Here in CT we’re blessed with wondrous food throughout the year. Chef John will share some of his best recipes and stories for cooking in all seasons—including March—a time chefs call “the loneliest season.” (Beg/Inter/Adv/Teens) John Turenne owns and operates Sustainable Food Systems, LLC, a consulting and technical services company whose mission is to help organizations consider social, ecological, and delicious differences in their business through the way they think about food. He is nationally recognized for his innovative leadership approach in an extensive culinary career that has encompassed over 25 years. CULINARY ARTS ROOM

Managing Good and Bad Bugs (OLC)
Would you like to know how to encourage good bugs (beneficial insects) and discourage bad bugs in your vegetable garden or on your farm? This workshop will cover the basics and give you greater insight into the dramas playing out in your vegetable patch. (Beg/Inter) CT NOFA board member Kim Stoner, Ph.D., has been a vegetable entomologist at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station since 1987, is an active organic community gardener, and an Organic Land Care Committee member. C101

Farmland Preservation 101
This workshop reviews technical information about agricultural easements, tax considerations, and eligibility criteria for conservation programs available in Connecticut. Grants and incentive-based programs for farm viability are covered. All attendees receive a copy of the newly updated American Farmland Trust’s (AFT) guide: Conservation Options for Connecticut Farmland. (Beg/Inter) Jiff Martin has four years experience in farmland preservation advocacy and outreach in Connecticut. Prior to joining AFT, she worked on sustainable food and agriculture policy at Hartford Food System. She also operates a small-scale cut flower retail business known as Mischief Bouquets in local farmers markets. C102

Seed Saving Basics
Learn how to save seeds from various plant families, including information on isolation, hand pollination, harvesting, seed fermentation, drying, and seed cleaning. We also discuss the importance of saving seed to developing strains that are particularly suited to gardening in the northeast. (Beg/Inter) Bryan Connolly is a teacher, market gardener, plant breeder, and seed saver. He started The Northeast Seed Conservancy which is focusing on saving seed of heirloom squash on the brink of extinction. He is also the author of The Wisdom of Plant Heritage: Organic Seed Production and Saving. C103

Green Building
Whether you are renovating, remodeling, or building new, this presentation will answer two fundamental questions about “Green Building.” Where do you start to create a safe, non-toxic environment for your family and co-workers? And, how do you create alchemy between “green” materials, energy efficiency, and nature without breaking the bank? (Inter) Dr. Mitch Kennedy, ND, runs a private family practice in Avon, CT; is the first naturopathic physician credentialed to practice at the University of Connecticut Health Center; and is a LEED certified Green Building consultant. Projects include a vitamin manufacturing facility, medical clinics, casinos, and private homes. C104

Permaculture: Moving Towards Sustainability (OLC)
Permaculture is a holistic perspective, design system, and network to create a more sustainable society. This workshop will explore integration of perennial polycultures, low maintenance food systems, self-renewing fertility, animals, alternative energy and waste systems to begin establishment of ecologically designed landscapes and communities. (Beg/Inter) Jono Neiger is an ecologist, activist, land steward, permaculture designer, and educator. He operates Regenerative Design in Western Massachusetts. C105

A season at Fort Hill Farm
Take a walk through a season at Fort Hill Farm. Both eaters and growers will enjoy this slide show of happenings at this 20 acre organic vegetable farm. Learn about growing organic vegetables, CSAs, farmers markets, and more! (All ages/levels) Paul Bucciaglia has been a student of agriculture as a gardener, lab rat, and farmer pretty much since he mastered tricycle riding. Paul currently operates Fort Hill Farm on rented land in New Milford, CT. C106

Reading The Landscape: The Art & Science of Seeing (OLC)
What is the landscape telling us? What skills can we develop to see beyond the obvious and comprehend the landscape in a new way? There are hints and clues everywhere, we only need to know how to "read" them. We will explore ecological concepts of site analysis that will help our planned spaces fit into the landscape rather than on it. We will explore how "surface thinking" is counter-intuitive to organic landscape principles. (Beg/Inter) Mike Nadeau is the owner of Plantscapes, Inc., a garden design/build/maintenance company in Fairfield, CT. He is an active member of NOFA’s Organic Land Care Committee and a tireless advocate for organic gardening. C201

Grow Your Own Historic Garden (OLC)
Would you like to have a garden for the time period of your home, or just establish a garden of more native plantings? This workshop will help you to learn about where plants came from and at what time period. From Native American culture to the present, things have changed. Bettylou Sandy has been the owner of Bettylou’s Gardening since 1987, providing gardening consultation for the do-it-yourselfer, as well as personal training in gardening skills. Bettylou is an entertaining speaker at many garden clubs and civic organizations and is currently teaching at Manchester Community College. She is an Accredited Organic Land Care Professional. C202

Traditional Pickle-Making/Lacto-Fermentation
Come learn about lactofermentation, the original and healthy way of making pickles, sauerkraut, kimchi, and many other traditional foods. We’ll discuss the history, microbiology, and basic procedures of this ancient practice, as well as the health benefits associated with eating these foods. I’ll demonstrate preparing small batches in mason jars and have some finished samples on hand for tasting. (Beg/Inter/Teens) Dan Rosenberg is founder and owner of Real Pickles, a 5-year old business producing raw lacto-fermented vegetables in western Massachusetts. Through the business, Dan works to promote local/regional agriculture and healthy traditional foods. Based in Montague, MA, Dan is also an organic gardener and educator. C203

Workshop 2: 2:00 - 3:15 P.M.

PANEL DISCUSSION! How to Start a Revolution: Stories from the Frontlines of Local Food in CT
Producers, retailers, and food service directors are learning quickly that promoting ‘local food’ requires a savvy retail marketing strategy and a commitment to quality products. Come learn from experts on the frontlines of promoting local food.Hear what works, what doesn’t, and what’s next in the local food movement. (Beg/Inter/Adv) AUDITORIUM

  • Jiff Martin, Panel Facilitator, American Farmland Trust
  • Tim Cipriano, Food Service Director of Bloomfield Public Schools
  • Rick Hermanot, Ekonk Hill Turkey Farm
  • Robin Chesmer, Farmer’s Cow
  • Melina Shannon-Dipietro, Yale Sustainable Food Project.

Pass the Cheese, Please – An Afternoon of Cheesemaking
This extended workshop will introduce you to the joys of making your own cheese. Two of Connecticut’s finest cheesemakers join forces to teach you about making soft goat’s milk cheeses and raw milk cheeses from Jersey cows. This workshop will run from 2:00 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. Elizabeth MacAlister runs Cato Corner Farm in Colchester, CT, with her son Mark Gillman. She milks a herd of 40 Jersey cows and her farmstead cheeses have won numerous awards, including being designated as “One of America’s Top Cheeses” by Saveur magazine. Paul Trubey is shepherd of a herd of Oberhasli and La Mancha goats at Beltane Farm in Lebanon, CT. Ninety percent of his award-winning goat cheeses are sold directly to consumers at farmers markets and shops throughout the state. CULINARY ARTS ROOM

How to Make and Use Compost (OLC)
This workshop will focus on how to make good compost in your backyard and the various uses of compost in improving your soil. See Angela’s bio on page 12.C101

Is All ‘Fair Trade’ Fair?
More and more businesses now offer products advertised as “Fair Trade.” How can a consumer know that the label is legitimate? Liz will discuss how fair trade works to benefit cooperative artisans and farmers, and will explain how consumers can distinguish between what’s fair and what’s not. (All levels/ages) Liz Rider has managed the New Haven Ten Thousand Villages for nine years, and has seen the fruits of fair trade in action firsthand on visits to artisan cooperatives in India and South America. C102

Heating with Biodiesel
This introductory level workshop will cover topics such as the economic impact of biodiesel, environmental benefits and concerns of heating with biodiesel, and a short discussion of governmental regulations for the industry. (Beg) Richard M. Hosley is President of Hale Hill Farm Biofuels. After obtaining a degree in geology with a focus on mining engineering, Rick has managed a third generation energy distribution business for 21 years. His concerns include putting America’s farmers to work. In January, 2006 after a year of research on his own fleet of trucks, Rick opened Biofuels. C103

Humanure: Compost Your Waste and Complete the Cycle
When it is time for you to stop defecating into drinking water, the Humanure system is a low cost, easy way to get started. Learn the whys and the how for when you need to deal with your human wastes. Bill Duesing is the author of Living on the Earth. He coordinates CT NOFA, grows chickens and garlic on the Old Solar Farm, and talks about soil. (Teens/Beg) C104

Cultivating a Healthy Back while Gardening (OLC)
Gardening can relieve stress and provide needed physical activity, but it can also be hard on the knees and back. To maximize the pleasure and minimize the pain, this workshop will provide tips on preventive exercises, body awareness while gardening, and will recommend products that can contribute to a pain-free gardening season. (Beg/Inter/Teens) An avid gardener and volunteer at Holcomb Farm CSA, Heather Lerch is familiar with the aches that can come from gardening. She has over 12 years of experience in the health and fitness field and is currently the Wellness Director at the Farmington Valley YMCA. C105

City Chicks: Keeping Hens in Cities & Suburbs
Keeping backyard hens is a growing hobby. Chickens are low-maintenance, entertaining, and provide fresh eggs. Meg will share the "ins and outs" of keeping hens on small lots in cities and suburbs. She will discuss food, shelter, egg production, hardy breeds, how to deal with neighbors, and city/town regulations. (Beg/Teen) Meg Taylor is a biology teacher, naturalist, and hobby farmer. She has worked and taught on organic farms throughout the Northeast and currently keeps a small flock of fancy breed hens on her suburban homestead outside of Boston. Meg is also on her town's Agricultural Commission and a member of an organic CSA farm. C106

Ensuring the Health of Connecticut’s Rivers
Margaret Miner will present background on Rivers Alliance of CT and a statewide overview of CT Rivers, specifically the key water quantity challenges that they face. Eric Hammerling will give a local review of water quality and quantity issues in the Farmington River Watershed and the activities of the Farmington River Watershed Association. (Beg/Inter/Adv/Teens) Margaret Miner has been the Executive Director of Rivers Alliance of Connecticut since 1999. She is on the Board of the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters and is Co-chairman of the State Water Planning Council Advisory Committee. Eric Hammerling has been the Executive Director of the Farmington River Watershed Association since 2003. He has an M.S. in Environmental Science/Range Management from the University of California at Berkeley, a B.A. degree in History from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and 15+ years of experience with national and regional conservation. C201

National Animal ID—A Badly Designed Program
Learn about the campaign NOFA/Mass is conducting to get the state of Massachusetts to stop cooperating with the USDA’s National Animal Identification System. Besides being costly and obtrusive for small farmers, there are far better ways to accomplish the public health goals it purports to seek. Jack Kittredge operates a small family farm in Barre, Massachusetts with his wife and one son where they raise 450 chickens and 10 pigs each year on pasture. He is also the Social Action Coordinator for NOFA/Mass. Ben Grosscup works for the NOFA/Mass Social Action program, organizing with farmers and advocates for sustainable agriculture throughout Massachusetts. He has been coordinating advocacy efforts against NAIS, and assisting local campaigns to oppose genetic engineering at town meetings. (Beg/Inter/Adv) C203

WORKSHOP III 3:30 - 4:45 P.M.

PANEL DISCUSSION! Sustainable Fisheries
Our stocks of fish and seafood are being depleted worldwide and our waters are often polluted. Is seafood safe to eat? Which seafood should we be eating or not eating? What are the pros and cons of farmed fish? Can New England fisherman and shellfisherman make a living? Come listen to panelists talk about initiatives to slow or stop the trend of stock depletion in New England, the current state of the CT seafood industry, and research associated with fish farming. We learn about new and alternative approaches to managing commercial fisheries in New England. (Beg/ Inter)AUDITORIUM

  • John Turenne, Panel Facilitator, Sustainable Food Systems, LLC
  • Bob Pomeroy, Associate Prof. at Connecticut Sea Grant College & Fisheries Extension Specialist at UConn-Avery Point
  • Larry Williams, shellfisherman and owner of Jessie D., Inc. in Milford
  • Nancy Balcom, extension educator with Connecticut Sea Grant and UConn
  • Greg Belanger, CEO of Flying Fish Market in Branford

The Dirt on Soil: A Sustainable Approach to Assessment and Remediation (OLC)
Participants will learn what the basic soil properties are (physical, chemical, and biological) and how they affect overall characteristics of a site. They will learn basic assessment techniques including measuring percolation rates and determining root resistance potential, and they will become acquainted with current remediation techniques used on organic sites in CT. (Inter/Adv) Dr. Angela A. Rivenshield is an independent consultant in sustainable land care, with a focus on organic urban soil reclamation. She has both a Doctorate and Master of Science in Urban Edaphology from Cornell University. C101

Biosecurity of Backyard Flocks
This workshop explain the basics of keeping your backyard flock safe from various avian influenzas. We discuss the details of various influenzas, the history of pandemic flus, and the implications for backyard production. Information will be available on public health issues surrounding avian flus but the workshop will focus on care of flocks. (Beg/Inter) Mary Lis, M.S., D.V.M., Ph.D., is Connecticut’s State Veterinarian. She is the official epidemiologist for animal and poultry diseases; coordinates state and federal governmental agencies and livestock producers to control diseases; and oversees and guides the development and management of disease control programs performed by the agency. C102

Winter Vegetable Gardening
We’ll discuss techniques for production of winter hardy vegetables using unheated hoop tunnels and row covers. Many details will be presented, including structures, materials, plant selection and timing, cultivation, irrigation, site selection, wind protection, harvesting, storage and marketing. (Inter/Adv) Bryan O’Hara has been growing winter hardy vegetables commercially for 15 years. C103

Sustainable Management of your Connecticut Woods (OLC)
This workshop uses Bill’s experience managing 35 acres of woods on the farm he and his wife own in North Granby. Active forest management began in 1936. Participants learn how to achieve their goals with spe-cific forest practices. The workshop uses the skill focus developed by the Goodwin Collaborative in eastern Connecticut. (Beg/Inter/Ages 11+) Bill Bentley is the principal of Salmon Brook Associates in North Granby CT. He is Professor Emeritus of Forest Policy and Management at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse NY. He managed Forestry Research for Crown Zellerbach, worked with the Ford Foundation in India, and was with Winrock International. C104

Earthworms and Soil Health (OLC)
This workshop is designed to provide an introduction into the different types of earthworms and their value to the gardener. We will discuss their importance in enhancing soil fertility and suppressing root diseases. Data from greenhouse trials and research field plots will be presented. (Beg/Inter/Adv) Dr. Elmer is a plant pathologist who specializes in root diseases caused by the fungal pathogens Fusarium and Verticillium. He has had been employed at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station for 20 years. For the past three years Dr. Elmer has been exploring the ability of earthworms to suppress root diseases of asparagus, tomatoes and eggplants. C105

The Slow Food Movement: Terra Madre 2006 and Slow Food Nation
Join members of the Yale Sustainable Food Project for a discussion on their trip to Slow Food International’s global gathering of food lovers and producers in Turin, Italy called Terra Madre 2006. Learn about the upcoming Slow Food Nation, a similar gathering being planned in San Francisco in 2008 to address issues related to food communities in the U.S. (All levels) The Yale Sustainable Food Project aims to strengthen education related to food and agriculture, positively shape the regional agricultural economy through institutional purchasing, and serve as a national model for sustainability on college campuses and for schools. C106

Solar Greenhouses: Aggressive Growing From Passive Heat
Greenhouses can be an enjoyable and productive way to produce plants but are often expensive to run. This workshop will show growers how to make the most out of their greenhouse and reduce the need for external heating sources. (Inter) Robert Durgy has been horticultural diagnostician at the Home and Garden Education Center since the summer of 2004. As horticultural diagnostician, Rob concentrates on pest control and fertility management in home lawns and gardens. He is also the leader of the organic farming and gardening program at the University of Connecticut. C201

Introduction to Biodynamics: Principle and Practices
This workshop will sketch an outline of biodynamic’s worldview, leading to discussion of the individual preparations used, their constituents, and applications on farm and garden. Please bring your sense of humor. (Beg/Interm) Bill Hill has run Warrups Farm—a small diversified organic farm—since the early 1980s. The farm has been certified organic since 1991. Bill served on CT NOFA’s organic farm certification committee for several years in the ‘90s. He has been using biodynamic practices on farm since 2000. C202

The Bee’s Knees—Become a Hobbyist Beekeeper
Honey bees are important pollinators for agriculture; they are also the front line sentries for a healthy local ecosystem. Learn how to become a hobbyist beekeeper and promote a healthier environment. (Beg/Inter/ Teens) Vincent Kay is a commercial beekeeper and owner of the Swords into Plowshares Honey company. He has been keeping bees company for over 25 years. C203

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