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wc 2014CT NOFA's 32nd Annual
Winter Conference

Saturday, March 1, 2014
Western Connecticut State University
Midtown Campus
181 White Street
Danbury, CT 06810
8:30 am to 5:00 pm
Local and Organic Since 1982!



Special Master Class - All-afternoon workshop session:
SESSIONS 2& 3 ~ 2:15 to 5:00
Food and Agriculture’s Future Challenges and Opportunities

Fred Kirschenmann

As we anticipate some of the changes coming at us---the end of cheap energy, more unstable climates, depleted natural resources, and further increases in human population---farmers and food entrepreneurs will face unprecedented challenges. But challenges generally also bring about unimagined opportunities. In this class, we will, explore together some of the challenges we are likely to face in the decades ahead, imagine some of the opportunities they may create, and see how we might get a head start preparing for them.

SESSION 1 ~ 9:30 to 10:45

Starting Up and Operating a CSA
Steven Munno, Massaro Community Farm
Kerry Taylor, Provider Farm

Steve Munno of Massaro Community Farm (MCF) in Woodbridge, and Kerry Taylor of Provider Farm in Salem, will talk about establishing a CSA, satisfying customers, marketing, and how it all fits into the whole farm operation. Bring your questions and be ready for a group discussion!

Kerry Taylor owns and operates Provider Farm with her husband. In addition to their CSA, they sell wholesale produce to farmers' markets and manage a grass-fed herd of cattle. Steve Munno is the Farm Manager at Massaro Community Farm, a certified organic, non-profit, whose mission is: Keep Farming, Feed People, Build Community.

Finding Farmland: how to locate, evaluate, and secure the land you need
Kip Kolesinskas, American Farmland Trust

Participants will learn about opportunities and tools available to secure land including: parcel evaluation, leasing and easements as tools, accessing municipal and land trust land, farmlinking services, and currently available technical and financial resources. Charlotte Ross and Jonathan Janeway, Sweet Acre Farm, will share their experiences in finding, leasing, and buying farmland.

kipKip Kolesinskas, Consulting Conservation Scientist, Formerly State Soil Scientist for CT /RI, USDA-NRCS. A.A.S. SUNY Cobleskill, B.S. Cornell University, graduate work at Lancaster University, Schumacher College, UK. Kip is a major contributor in efforts to increase farmer access to land, develop farm friendly municipalities, and promote locally grown food.

sweet acresJonathan Janeway and Charlotte Ross started Sweet Acre Farm in 2011 on a leased 1-acre field in Mansfield, CT. Since relocating the farm to 2+ acres in Hampton, they recently finished their third growing season, serving Hartford and other communities via farmers' markets, the Willimantic Food Co-op and restaurants. They will now continue their agricultural endeavors on their own land, about to be purchased in Lebanon, CT.

Presentation will include a PowerPoint presentation by Kip followed by Charlotte and Jonathan describing their journey to farm ownership as beginning farmers. This will be an interactive workshop with Q&A strongly encouraged. Handouts of publications and other relevant resource materials will be available.

Cultivation of Seaweeds in Long Island Sound For Food, Feeds and Fertilizer
George Kraemer, Purchase College (SUNY)

george kraemerSeaweeds have high potential value in agriculture as organic fertilizers, feeds, as well as human foods, nutra- and cosmeceuticals. This workshop will introduce seaweed aquaculture systems that function both in meeting market demands in Northeast America and improving water quality their ecosystem function.

Kraemer is Chair of the Environmental Studies program at Purchase College (SUNY). His research interests center on marine ecology, focusing on seaweed aquaculture and ecology, and non-native species impacts. He applies basic concepts of ecology to applied questions (such as integrated multi-trophic aquaculture and nutrient bioextraction).

Tractor Cultivation Systems for the Small Farm
Max Taylor, Provider Farm

max taylorKilling weeds efficiently is essential in any system of organic vegetable production. This workshop will focus on developing, implementing and improving systems for mechanical tractor cultivation on your small farm. It includes specific examples of various cultivation equipment and techniques used on Provider Farm.

Max Taylor and his wife Kerry own and operate Provider Farm, a 15 acre mixed vegetable farm in Salem CT. Prior to starting Provider Farm in 2012, Max worked on various organic farms in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts.

Raising Pasture Raised Pigs
Greg Hazleton, Copper Hill Farm

Learn how to care for heritage breed, pasture raised pigs in a humane manner. From feeding, watering, fencing options, breeding, housing, pasture management and all in between. Raising pigs is easier than you think!

Greg is a NOFA Farmers Pledge farm owning Copper Hill Farm in Somers. Specializing in pastured nitrate free pork products, heirloom vegetables and pastured laying hens, Copper Hill Farm can be found at both the Ellington, Granby and Simsbury Farmers Markets.

How & Why To Keep Bees Naturally in Top Bar Hives
Christy Hemenway, Gold Star Honeybees

christy hemenwayTop bar hives just make sense – for bees, for beekeepers, for the planet – because it’s all about the wax! This is an introductory workshop for people wanting to get started into natural beekeeping using top bar hives. Includes discussion of equipment, methods, resources, philosophy, and plenty of Q&A!

Christy Hemenway is the author of "The Thinking Beekeeper - A Guide to Natural Beekeeping in Top Bar Hives" and the founder of Gold Star Honeybees, makers of the finest quality top bar hive kits. Christy presents introductory workshops and Weekend Intensive classes in top bar beekeeping across the US.

Farm Business Planning
Joseph Bonelli, University of Connecticut

This workshop will focus on the development of a farm business plan. Particular emphasis will be on setting goals, marketing, organization, risk management and financial statements.

Joe Bonelli is an Associate Extension Educator at the Department of Extension, University of Connecticut and specializes in financial management and business planning.

Jane Goodall Center and Roots and Shoots WCSU
Laurie Weinstein, Western Connecticut State University

roots and shoots
The Jane Goodall Center for Excellence in Environmental Studies along with the Roots and Shoots student club at WCSU will discuss innovative projects they are pursuing, including a permaculture garden, animal awareness week and the use of green fuels.

Grafting Fruit Trees
Nicholas Mancini, The Organic Gardening Workshop

nick manciniThis is a comprehensive presentation for serious gardeners that value fresh, organic fruits, which can be harvested and consumed throughout the year. A PowerPoint Presentation is followed by a question and answer period, and time permitting, there will be a hands-on mock-grafting session. Bring your pruning shears and join us

Nick Mancini is a Master Gardener specializing in organic fruits and vegetables, he is also an author, teacher, lecturer, garden consultant, coach and owner of THE ORGANIC GARDENING WORKSHOP in Westport, CT. For more information, check out his website or blog. OLC credit

Grass-fed All Year Long
Michael Keilty and Jean C. King, Maple Spring Farm/UCONN Extension

keiltyLessons learned raising grass-fed beef as well as from a USDA SARE project to support the production of grass-fed beef. This project supports sustainable perennial agriculture versus row crop agriculture. Animals feed on grass in pasture or stored grass, minimizing animal confinement, focusing on humane animal treatment, and reducing use of biocides.

Michael T. Keilty, UCONN Sustainable Agriculture Research Associate, Project Coordinator SARE PDP project Grass-fed All Year Long, owner, Maple Spring Farm.

Jean C. King, Food Policy Consultant, Grass-Fed All Year Long project, CT Food Policy Council and New England Beef to Institution Project.

Thriving with Lyme
Jennifer Boyd, Boyd Wellness

jennifer boydLyme disease is a fascinating infection that may have been engineered. Forty percent of infected patients develop chronic disease. Learn the strategies the best Lyme researchers suggest, to avoid and treat this complex infection and start to thrive. Forget everything you've been told by the CDC and see for yourself.

Physician Assistant, Jennifer Boyd, addresses the chronic health complaints that medicine ignores and educates her patients to take control of their wellness. Graduating Summa Cum Laude, Jennifer takes seriously the search for evidence-based treatments outside of the traditional paradigm. She and her beautiful boys are all thriving with Lyme.

Organic Vegetable Disease Management
Yonghao Li, Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station

Yonghao LiOrganic vegetables are becoming more popular as people worry more about health and safety issues associated with the foods they eat. This presentation will discuss eco-friendly approaches to disease management by understanding pathogen features, disease cycles, host resistance, environmental factors, and biological control agents.

Dr. Yonghao Li earned his Bachelor and Master degrees in Plant Pathology at the Northeast Agricultural University in China and a Doctor degree in Plant Science at University of Arkansas. He currently is a Plant Pathologist in charge of the Plant Disease Information Office at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station.

How to Fit Cover Crops in Vegetable Crop Rotations
Eero Ruuttila, UCONN Extension // New Entry Sustainable Farming Project

We will discuss the benefits of cover crops showing windows of opportunity for fitting them into vegetable crop rotations. We will recommend implements for seeding and managing cover crops, provide information on legume and grain combinations, demonstrate techniques for establishing living mulch strips, and show how to under-sow into vegetable row crops.

Eero Ruuttila is a Sustainable Agriculture Specialist for UCONN Extension's new Scaling Up Program for Beginning Farmers. He is also the Incubator Farm Coordinator for the New Entry Sustainable Farming Project in Lowell, MA. For 22 years he managed Nesenkeag Farm, a 65- acre certified organic nonprofit in Litchfield, NH.

Unheated Winter Hoophouse Growing, Year 2
Mike Fedison, Hilltop Hanover Farm

Hilltop Hanover Farm is in the midst of its second year of unheated winter vegetable production. Hear about our successes and our "lessons learned" from the past two years. We will discuss seeding schedules, variety selection, harvesting, and marketing our produce. Bring your questions and winter growing experiences to share.

Mike Fedison has been the Assistant Manager at Hilltop Hanover Farm for the past two years. He also teaches courses at Westchester Community College leading to a Certificate in Sustainable Agriculture.

Full of Beans!
Bill Duesing, Old Solar Farm

beansBeans are an important and delicious protein source in our diets and an important rotation crop for organic production. We'll talk varieties and growing tips. Bring your experiences, questions, recipes and some seeds to swap or share if you like.

Bill is CT NOFA Organic Advocate and author of Living on the Earth. He and his wife Suzanne grow a large variety of fruits and vegetables including beans on their Old Solar Farm in Oxford.

Kitchen as Medicine Cabinet: Using Food for Acute Illnesses
Leigh White, Natural Family Health

leigh whiteThe healing power of nature, one of naturopathic medicine’s guiding principles, refers to not only the body’s ability to heal itself, but also earth’s ability to provide resources to guide that healing. Discussion of everyday healing foods (garlic, ginger, etc.) for stimulating recovery from acute illnesses (sore throat, indigestion, etc.).

Dr. Leigh White began as a Food Scientist, but was quickly disheartened by the food industry. She then studied to become a naturopathic doctor and founded Natural Family Health - to educate and assist all people with natural healing processes. Her family practice focuses on individualized nutrition and homeopathy.

Seed Saving in the Home Garden
Shanyn Siegel, Thresh and Winnow
This class provides gardeners with the information needed to begin saving seeds in their own gardens. The workshop focuses on vegetable crops, but the principles taught can be applied to native plants and garden ornamentals. Topics covered include open-pollinated vs. hybrid varieties, pollination methods, isolation, harvesting, and seed cleaning.

Former Curator for Seed Savers Exchange, Shanyn Siegel has grown, evaluated, and saved seeds from thousands of heirloom and open-pollinated vegetable varieties. She currently consults and teaches through her business Thresh and Winnow.

Growing Your Own - Raised Bed Gardening Basics
John Carlson, Homefront Farmers

Learn the basics of organic, raised bed vegetable gardening. This workshop will focus on the garden structure--placement, layout and fencing out pests--and explore growing strategies and techniques including plant selection, companion planting, organic disease and pest control, and succession planting. Learn how to grow your healthiest, most productive garden ever!

John Carlson is the founder of Homefront Farmers, an organization dedicated to helping people produce their own food by growing vegetables, berries and tree fruit, beekeeping, maple sugaring and more. John worked in marketing and consulting for 25 years before "seeing the light" and starting the Homefront Farmers. OLC credit

Compost Magic
Alexis Wilcox & Dana Rozanski, Duck Truck Composting
Learn about the wonders of compost and it can help you and your family! Get your hands dirty and play with worms! We'll bring props to make a mini compost terrarium and have handouts for different types of bins.

Alexis & Dana are the Dynamic Duo from Duck Truck Composting. They've worked together for years to educate folks in Connecticut about the ease of composting. The message: Anyone can do it! Both graduates of SCSU and the UConn Master Composter program, they run Deep Hollow Farm in Chester, CT. OLC credit

Keeping it Together: Planning for Diversified Production
Dina Brewster and Mary Jawlik, The Hickories

dina brewsterMapping out annual vegetables, grazing, fruit, and events calendar can make a farmer's head spin. In this workshop we will look at ways to keep yourself organized, keep all the bases covered, and help you meet your own goals.mary jawlik

Mary Jawlik and Dina Brewster are farmers at The Hickories, a certified organic fruit, vegetable and pastured livestock farm in Ridgefield.



Farm Service Agency Programs
Bryan Hurlburt, Farm Service Agency

A conversation about state and federal resources that are available for producers to utilize as they grow their business. It will include upcoming legislative activity, the Governors Council on Ag Development, loans, grants, technical assistance and insurance programs.

Bryan P. Hurlburt comes to the Farm Service Agency directly from the Connecticut House of Representatives and now serves as the State Executive Director of the Farm Service Agency.

SESSION 2 ~ 2:15 to 3:30

Mentoring: An account of Year-One on Our Farm
Maggie Saska, Community Farm of Simsbury

maggie saskaMentors make the difference in the dynamic training of new farmers in real time decision making and learning. Come hear real world stories of the challenges, benefits and outcomes of one season of farm mentoring at the Community Farm of Simsbury.

Maggie began in January 2012 as Garden Manager at CFS. She previously worked as a CFS Incubator Farmer for two years while operating her own business, First Bloom Farm. Maggie has worked in commercial horticulture, research and education. She comes to CFS with an MS in Plant Science from UConn.


Earning a Living as a Farmer: Value Add and Niche Marketing Panel Discussion
Dina Brewster, The Hickories
Annie Farrell, Millstone Farms

Beth Linskey, Beth’s Farm Kitchen
Patrick Horan, Waldingfield Farm
Steve Munno, Massaro Farm

Across the state, our business models are as diverse as our farm production. From part-time to full-time,new and experienced farmers are working in non-profits, for-profits, private, and public farm and food based jobs. Hear how a range of new farmers have started up the winding road toward making a living.

Using Online Marketing & Social Media to Grow Your Farm
Mary Ann & Kyle Dostaler, MAD Communications

madcommThis workshop will provide an overview of online tools and technologies including web sites, blogs, social media and mobile apps. Learn practical strategies with a case study of NoRA Cupcake Company , a small Connecticut business that is using online marketing to cultivate a strong and growing customer base.

Kyle and Mary Ann Dostaler are the owners of MAD Communications in East Hampton, CT. Since 1997, this husband and wife team has worked with a variety of small and not-for-profit businesses to provide marketing consulting, web site development, search engine optimization, email marketing, public relations and social media services.

GMO Labeling - Taking Back Our Food, Our Government, and Our Childrens Future: Creating a Transparent Food Supply
Tara Cook-Littman, GMO Free CT / ConnFACT

logotaraThe movement to label GMOs has reached a fever pitch. Connecticut and Maine passed laws in June, which are contingent upon laws passing in other states. Learn about why we need to know if GMOs are in our food and what strategies and messaging work best with legislators and consumers.

Tara Cook-Littman is a former Prosecutor, a Certified Holistic Health Counselor and above all else a mother of three young children. Tara is Director of GMO Free CT, the grass roots organization that led Connecticut to become the first state in the nation to pass a GMO labeling law.

Raising Heritage Breed Thanksgiving Turkeys and Building Your Own Coop
Wyatt W Whiteman, 1760 Farm House

This workshop will discuss various aspects of how to be self sufficient on an in town acre while raising/selling heritage Thanksgiving Turkeys.

Wyatt Whiteman, a 55 year resident of suburban Fairfield, CT, resides in his circa 1760 family home, practicing and teaching old style homesteading skills on less than an acre. Wyatt raises food to provide his family and neighbors with fresh milk, meat, eggs and produce.

Why and How: Landscaping with Northeastern Flora
Carolyn Summers

carolyn summersThe workshop begins with a brief review of the science behind why we need native plants on our farms and gardens. Following this, the author will illustrate many ways to achieve visually stunning biodiverse landscapes. Underutilised natives will be highlighted. Attendees encouraged to discuss problem areas.

Carolyn Summers, author of Designing Gardens with Flora of the American East, Rutgers University Press, 2010, worked with New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection as the agency’s first Director of Natural Resources, implementing native plants policy for agency construction projects. She is an adjunct professor at Westchester Community College. OLC credit

Update on Heritage and Ancient Grains
Elizabeth Dyck, OGRIN

elizabeth dyckThe Value-Added Grains Project continues to work on how to grow, process, and market heritage varieties and the ancient grains emmer, spelt, and einkorn. We’ll share what we have learned (including new options for dehulling), discuss these grains’ potential nutritional benefits—and give you a taste of their unique flavors.

june russellElizabeth Dyck coordinates the Organic Growers’ Research and Information-Sharing Network (OGRIN). A current research focus, in collaboration with farmers, is production of high-quality organic grains.

June Russell is the Manager of Farm Inspections and Strategic Development for Greenmarket, GrowNYC and also spearheads the organization’s Regional Grains Project.

Root Cellars -- Building and Using
Julie Rawson and Jack Kittredge, Many Hands Organic Farm

jack and julieWe'll talk about constructing and using root cellars, using our own basement one as an example. Workshop will cover methods of winter preservation from in-garden storage to a full scale root cellar, how to build and use them, including what foods are appropriate for storage this way and what aren't.

We're homesteaders and certified organic farmers. We built our passive solar home in 1982, incorporating a root cellar in it. Those were two of the smartest things we ever did -- we go around in shirtsleeves on the coldest days and eat new potatoes, carrots, beets, etc. all winter.

Growing Figs in Cold Climates
Lee Reich, leereich.com
The seductress fig can be successfully grown throughout the Northeast! Learn to site the tree for optimum ripening, prune, harvest, and, of course, get it through our frigid winters. Figs need just a bit of help because they are subtropical, not tropical, hardy to between 10 and 20 degrees F.

Lee Reich, PhD is an avid farmdener (more than a gardener, less than a farmer), gardening consultant, and writer from New Paltz, NY who has worked in fruit research with the U.S.D.A. and Cornell University. He is the author, most recently, of THE PRUNING BOOK and GROW FRUIT NATURALLY. OLC credit

Lead and Arsenic in Soil – Where is It and What to Do About It?
Kim Stoner, CT Agricultural Experiment Station

Lead was spread over the landscape for years in car exhaust, dust from chipping paint, and in pesticides. How to find out if you have lead in your soil, what we know about the hazards, and what you need to do to protect yourself and your family. OLC credit

Backyard Chickens 101
Traci Torres, My Pet Chicken
Backyard chickens are all the rage, with good reason! In this workshop you'll learn all the basics, including planning for your first flock, and how to set up your coop and run to minimize headaches later on. We'll leave plenty of time for Q&A, too!

Traci Torres is the CEO and co-founder of My Pet Chicken (www.mypetchicken.com) and co-author of the new "My Pet Chicken Handbook," published by Rodale. She has been passionate about chickens ever since “Goldie” peeped out of her shell during a 3rd grade classroom hatching experiment.

Foraging Between the Rows: Edible Weeds
Leda Meredith, Leda's Urban Homestead

leda meridethDiscover which weeds you could be eating instead of composting. Some of them, including lamb's quarters, purslane, and nettles are being sold at farmers' markets for as much as triple the cost of cultivated greens. Learn how to safely identify and prepare these volunteer "crops."

Leda Meredith is the author of four books including the about to be released Northeast Foraging: 120 Wild and Flavorful Edibles from Beach Plums to Wineberries. She is an instructor at the New York Botanical Garden and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, specializing in edible and medicinal plants. OLC credit

Creating Pollinator-Friendly Farms and Gardens
Kelly Gill, The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
kelly gillHabitat loss due to urbanization, agricultural expansion, and pesticide use have negative impacts on bees. This workshop will introduce science-based approaches to reversing the trend of pollinator declines. Including, recipes on how to assess, design, and implement habitat improvements for pollinators and best practices that minimize land-use impacts on pollinators.

Kelly is a Pollinator Conservation Specialist for The Xerces Society and partner biologist with USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service. Kelly provides technical support for restoring and managing pollinator habitat. Kelly earned a Master’s Degree in Entomology from Iowa State University and conducted research on conserving beneficial insects in agricultural landscapes. OLC credit

Building and Using Cobb Ovens and Other Outdoor Cookstoves
Cynthia & Stuart Rabinowitz, The Hidden Garden and Connsoil, LLC/Center for Sustainability Living
This workshop will explain the methods of constructing an outdoor oven using Cobb construction techniques. You will also learn about other simple outdoor cookstoves which can be made with easily obtained materials. We will also discuss how to operate and cook in these ovens and stoves, materials, methods, motivating your friends, and community benefits. How to make pizza and bread in a Cobb oven.

Step on it! Improving soil biology (probiotics) to reduce inputs and costs and get better results
Joe & Emily Magazzi, Green Earth Ag and Turf, LLC

With more regulations and consumer demand to eliminate or reducing fertilizers and limited organic pesticide options, alternatives are needed to help improve plant, tree and turf health and quality. Improving soil biology (probiotics) is a great method to help solve many of the challenges facing organic growers and landscapers.

Joe has a Master's Degree is genetics (with a microbiology focus) and over 20 years of experience as a research scientist. Emily is a Connecticut Accredited Nursery Professional (CANP) and has a degree in genetics. Together, Joe and Emily co-founded and continue to grow Green Earth Ag and Turf. OLC credit

The relationship between the Garden, Kitchen, Restaurant and everything in between
Chris Eddy, Winvian

The discussion will touch on the incredible diversity grown at Winvian, the economics, the logistics as well as the present food system in our country, and why his mission is turning the tables and bringing local pride and integrity back into American agriculture.
Chris Eddy, staunch food advocate and Executive Chef /Founder of Winvian's food philosophy created a successful seed-to-table model, produce is organically grown on site at Winvian. Winvian has received the CT NOFA Organic Leadership Recognition Award, Slow Food Award, Best of CT Farm to Table Award and many others.

Show me the Money! Developing Youth based Agricultural Enterprise with, by and for Youth!
Shannon Raider-Ginsberg, Common Ground High School

Common Ground is in its fifth year of developing a series of "Environmental Ventures" programs where students utilize farm products to explore small business development. Based around the sale of our eggs, broiler hens, compost and microgreens we develop student leadership, peer support and lessons on local agriculture and small business in running these micro-enterprises. Hear from students and staff involved in these programs about the development, challenges and lessons of agricultural micro-enterprise in an academic setting.

SESSION 3 ~ 3:45 to 5:00

Introduction to Permaculture
Tama Jackson, AppleSeed Permaculture

tama jacksonPermaculture combines the best practices of ecological agriculture with a holistic design system that can boost farm productivity & regenerate local ecosystems. We will explore perennial vegetables, soil-building, and permaculture planning. Whether you grow vegetables, manage orchards, graze animals, or are starting a new venture, permaculture can be incredibly useful!

Tama Jackson is a designer and mentor who works to grow human participation in living systems. Tama was certified as a designer at the Regenerative Design Institute, and organizes eco-social and regenerative agriculture events. He currently works with AppleSeed Permaculture LLC and teaches permaculture design in Kerhonkson NY.

Soy: Friend or Foe?
Beth Beisel, R.D. LLC, Nutrition Consultant

beth beiselWe will discuss soy; its prevalence in our diets, and how it affects our health. From infant formula to supplements for the elderly, soy, a US cash crop, is present in the American Diet. Is it really a health food?

Beth has been an RD for 28 years. She incorporates holistic nutrition with her background in dietetics. Beth believes that it is not always to one's benefit to conform to what industry and the federal government specify as healthy. Her Motto is: "Eat the Best, Leave the Rest."


Open Source Farming and Recordkeeping
Mike Stenta, Farmier

mike stentaLearn about the open source movement and what it means for farmers. We'll take a look at some of the emerging groups, designs, and software programs that are coming out of these collaborations, including free recordkeeping and management software, DIY farm equipment, and how you can get involved and contribute.

Michael Stenta is a computer programmer with a passion for farming, cultivation, and information. He has worked on farms in Connecticut, Maine, and Washington state, and is now settling into his own little homestead in Connecticut, helping local farmers set up their own websites and recordkeeping software.

Good Food for All: Food Justice Panel Discussion
Madeleine Daepp, New London County Food Policy Council

Join the state's top food justice advocates to learn how community gardening can empower urban youth, how farmer's market coupons can benefit both farmers and food stamp recipients, and how we can begin to counter the systems that prevent marginalized people from taking control of their food and their health.

The presenters for this panel are Michel Nischan, Marilyn Moore, and Mirna Martinez; Madeleine Daepp will serve as moderator.

Michel Nischan serves as the CEO of Wholesome Wave, where he is a leader and catalyst for change and new initiatives in local food and regional sustainable food systems. In addition, he is a James Beard Award-winning chef, a lifetime Ashoka fellow, and a Rodale Institute board member.

The Founder and Executive Director of the Witness Project, Marilyn Moore works to reduce health disparities for African American women. She also works with the CT Food System Alliance and serves as chair of the board of EndhungerCT!.

In her role as youth program director for FRESH New London, Mirna Martinez engages youth in the improvement of their food system.

Madeleine Daepp is a good food advocate who has been recognized for her work with the federal Harry S. Truman and Udall Scholarships. She currently coordinates the food security work of the New London County Food Policy Council.

Low Impact Development: Stormwater Management, Native Plant Riparian Buffers, and Habitat Restoration
Olive Gaffney, Site Systems

Low Impact Development practices play a critical role in protecting water quality and providing habitat. Learn how a multidisciplinary team of professionals and volunteers transformed a municipal dredging project on the Pequonnock River into an award-winning example of how to prevent erosion, manage stormwater runoff, and restore native habitat.

oliver gaffneyOliver Gaffney is an Associate Landscape Architect with Site Systems, Inc., a landscape architecture and environmental planning firm located in Connecticut. As an Accredited Organic Land Care Professional, he advises Westport's Wakeman Town Farm on a variety of sustainable landscape topics.

gwen macdonaldGwen Macdonald is the Director of Habitat Restoration for the Connecticut Fund for the Environment where she oversees all habitat restoration design, implementation, and monitoring activities. Her background in environmental engineering includes ecological impact assessments, wetland and stream restorations, dam removals, and fish passage projects.

maryellen lemayMaryEllen Lemay is the Chairwoman of the Trumbull Conservation Commission and member of the original Pequonnock River Watershed Steering Commitee . A recent graduate of Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, her area of interest is the integration of green infrastructure into the urban landscape to manage stormwater, reintroduce native habitat, and improve the health of the watershed.OLC credit

Are Value Added Products Worth It?
Patrick Horan, Waldingfield Farm

patrick horan
This workshop will serve as an overview for how "value added" products can help improve a farms bottom line, expand seasons, and expand your brand. How do you start? What products should you make? Focus will be on what approach is best for your business, and how to get there.

Patrick Horan runs Waldingfield Farm, Inc., with his brother in Washington CT. Farming since 1990, he started their food product company in 2007 focussing on tomato products. He has a BA in English from Union College. Patrick, his wife and son divide their time between Brooklyn, NY and Washington, CT.


Growing Healthy Food While Building a Strong Community in an Urban Setting
Maria Tupper and Trish Helm, New Haven Land Trust Community Garden Committee

maria tupperCommunity gardening in an urban setting is an opportunity to forge a community with neighbors who might not otherwise interact. Maintaining flexibility regarding members contributions enables a range of people to contribute to the maintenance of a community garden. One gardener's preference for a certain vegetable opens doors for others.

Maria Tupper is Chair of the LT Garden Committee and has gardened in the LT Bioregional Community Garden since 2006.
Trish Helm, an Advanced Master Gardener, has gardened at LT Springside-Liberty Community Garden for 4 years and is a member of the LT Garden Committee.

Know What is in Your Soil and How to Benefit From It
Brett Alcaro, Hilltop Hanover Farm

brettThis will be an introductory workshop on how to take soil samples and what the results might mean to the health of your soil. It will focus on how nitrogen impacts the soil and plants. Also how to plan your garden with these factors in mind.

I will be entering my third season as the farm manager at Hilltop Hanover Farm. I grew up in the food industry selling retail. Now later in my life I am still in the industry but from the beginning. An informed consumer and producer is a very powerful individual. OLC credit


Winemaking at Home
John J. Kriz

john krizLearn the basics of making wine, mead and hard cider -- including the use of fruit other than grapes. Topics include: preparing and crushing fruit, 'recipes', equipment and bottling. The emphasis is on practical knowledge. No experience needed!

John Kriz has been a hobbyist beekeeper and winemaker for many years, learning through trial and error (and error) how to make wine, with a focus on wine from fruit other than grapes. He is also a Board member of the Connecticut Farmland Trust.

Organic LandCare: The Drivers, Solutions, & Realities
Chip Osborne, Osborne Organics

chip osborneIt is important to be aware of what is driving the growing interest in organic landcare. It is solution oriented with the goal of creating and maintaining quality landscapes that are appropriately functional and aesthetically pleasing. This will be framed in a discussion of the realities of these alternative strategies.

Charles "Chip" Osborne, Jr., founder and President of Osborne Organics, LLC, has over 10 years experience in creating safe, sustainable and healthy athletic fields and landscapes, and 35 years experience as a professional horticulturist. He speaks to a wide audience of sports field professionals, state and municipal agencies, and community groups. In 1998 Chip and Pat Beckett, co-founded The Living Lawn Project in Marblehead, MA, one of the country's first natural lawn demonstration sites. He remains a dedicated environmental activist speaker for communities wanting to learn about why and how to change their town policies. OLC credit

Diversified Livestock on the Small Farm
Tom Truelove, Truelove Farms

tom trueloveAn overview of practices and strategies for incorporating pasture-based, diversified livestock on the farm. With consideration towards the habitat of individual farms, which species are a good fit, and what methods can make animal husbandry both ecologically and financially viable? From grass-fed beef to pastured pork, we explore the issue.

A graduate of Middlebury College with a Master's Degree in English, Tom Truelove worked in the field of education before returning to his home state of Connecticut to pursue a dream of sustainable, ethical agriculture.


Zero Waste: From Theory to Practice
Sherill Baldwin, CT DEEP

sherill baldwinLearn how to move from philosophy and theories of zero waste to practice. This workshop will provide a short overview on the principles of zero waste and examples of zero waste strategies that municipalities and businesses are adopting, including product stewardship, and personal actions for your home.

Sherill worked at the CT DEEP since May 2007. She facilitates the CT Materials Reuse Network, focusing on building materials reuse/deconstruction and creative arts reuse and also helps develop and implement product stewardship programs for a number of products, including paint, mattresses and soon batteries, carpet and packaging.

Multi-Dimensional Vegetable Gardening/Farming
Lee Reich, leereich.com
Today’s gardens are smaller than those of the past. With planning, though, we can get more bang for our bucks in terms of space used and energy expended. Five dimensions lets you grow lots of vegetables in a small space. Explore the dimensions and see examples of making them work. OLC credit

The Future of Wild Bees, Honey Bees, and Pollination – and What You Can Do
Kim Stoner, CT Agricultural Experiment Station

Latest information about the die-offs of honey bees and the loss of bumble bee diversity. Results of our surveys of flowering plants on Connecticut vegetable farms. Lists of herbs, cut flowers and ornamentals, cover crops, wildflowers and weeds that attract the most honey bees, bumble bees and other, diverse bees.

Dr. Kimberly Stoner studies pollination of pumpkins and squash, bee diversity on vegetable farms and elsewhere, and exposure of bees to pesticides at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station in New Haven. She has also worked closely with organic vegetable farmers and organic land care professionals in NOFA. OLC credit

Growing and Marketing the Best Potatoes
Rodger Phillips, Sub Edge Farm and Scott Miller, Executive Chef at Max's Oyster Bar
rodger phillipsScott MillerThere are thousands of varieties of cultivated potatoes and they all perform differently in the kitchen. This workshop will delve into the growing, marketing and cooking of some of the best potato varieties. Chef Miller will lead a taste tour and explain why he chooses certain varieties for certain recipes.

Rodger Phillips is farmer at Sub Edge Farm in Farmington, Connecticut. His family farm grows five acres of vegetables including many varieties of potatoes. Scott Miller is the Executive Chef at Max's Oyster Bar in West Hartford and heads the Max Farm-to-Chef dinner series.

Preserving the Harvest: Simple and Safe Ways to Preserve Food
Leda Meredith, Leda's Urban Homestead

Is it the vinegar in the pickle or the heat of the canning process? The salt in the brine or the probiotic bacteria of the ferment? Learn exactly what it is about each food preservation method that safely preserves the food. The workshop will include a fermentation demo.

What We've Learned About Growing Shiitake Mushrooms
Cynthia & Stuart Rabinowitz, The Hidden Garden and Connsoil, LLC/Center for Sustainability Living
cynthia rabinowitzThis workshop will give detailed instructions on inoculating logs with commercially purchased mushroom spores, and how to handle the logs during the first year and after. We will share our own method of handling thelogs and forcing the mushrooms to flush prolifically.

stuart rabinowitzCynthia Rabinowitz is a soil and wetland scientist, and Certified Permaculture Design Consultant, and former County Agriculture Agent for the UConn. Cooperative Extension System. Stuart Rabinowitz is a professional photographer, Certified Permaculture Design Consultant, and a NOFA AOLCP. Stuart and Cynthia, operate the Center For Sustainable Living in Bethlehem, CT.




CT NOFA's 32nd 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.