Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Auction Items for Sale!

We had a very successful silent auction this past Friday night at our Special Culinary Fundraiser! 

We do have a few items left that we are now selling at the minimum bid prices. 

We are selling items from Earth Tones Native Plant Nursery, Audubon Greenwich, the Litchfield Jazz Festival, Griffin Woodworks, Sisco & Berluti, and Lawrence Jeffery Estate Jewelers. 

To Purchase any of these items please call our office at (203) 308-2584

For a more details description of each item are after the jump...

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Notable People at Winvian

By Bill Duesing

At the upcoming Winvian event, you will have the unique opportunity to hear from and visit with many notables, including two notable women who are pioneers and leaders in the local, sustainable and organic food movement. I've had the great pleasure of knowing, working with and being inspired by them for decades.

For over 40 years, their work has exemplified the holistic nature of the changes that are needed in our food system if we want a healthy future for people and the environment.  Both these women have inspired CT NOFA members.  They also remind us that this isn't a new or short term problem. 

In 1978, Joan Dye Gussow published her classic book, The Feeding Web: Issues in Nutritional Ecology. She was then and for several decades more the Mary Swartz Rose chair of the Teachers College nutrition program at Columbia University.  Her approach to nutrition was radical at that time and to some extent still is considering the narrow vision of many in the nutrition profession. 

Throughout her career, Joan has connected nutrition to farming, and health to the nature of the food system.  She inspired and educated many of our current food heroes.  Michael Pollen for example, said "Once in a while, I think I've had an original thought, then I look and read around and realize Joan said it first."

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Organic, Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and Conventional Agriculture: What are the differences?

by Bill Duesing

A recent study found that many people think that all local food is organic.  Others assume that all CSAs are organic, or that all the products at a farmers market are organic, or that IPM and organic are the same. None of this is true. And there's lots of confusion.

The Vegetable Management Guide for the New England Region provides much useful information not only for anyone who grows vegetables, and also for those who want to understand the differences between conventional, IPM and organic methods and produce. (The color photos of pests and diseases alone warrant a visit for anyone who grows vegetables or strawberries.)

The Guide is updated and published two years by the Cooperative Extension Services in the six New England states. A comprehensive guide for commercial vegetable growers, it is available free electronically or as a hard copy for a fee. Click here for details.

The Guide is intended for use by both organic and conventional growers.  It provides encouragement for conventional growers to use IPM practices, many of which can also be used by organic growers.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Going Underground by Bill Duesing, CT NOFA Organic Advocate

CT NOFA's Organic Advocate

Going Underground

By Bill Duesing

The more we understand about soil, the more important how we treat it becomes. 

New understanding and recent research point the way to more fertile soil, healthier crops and healthier people, as well as to a strategy to slow down climate change and adapt to the increasing deluges and droughts it brings. This knowledge may even help us produce better flavor in our crops - a more distinctive terroir or sense of place1.

The focus of this latest research is the rhizosphere, the incredibly active zone around plant roots that is filled with carbon-rich substances given off by roots and with the innumerable organisms - bacteria, fungi, protozoa, nematodes and arthropods - attracted by those substances and organisms.

The best advice for obtaining these benefits: Disturb the soil as little as possible and keep it covered with a diversity of growing plants.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Journeyperson Spolight: Roger and Isabelle Phillips

I don't want to jinx it, but dare I say it finally looks like spring is here to stay! After CT was welcomed into the season with a wintry mix of snow and sleet a few weeks ago, this bright and sunny Monday gives me hope that we are in the clear of any further reminder of the harsh winter. This sense of inspiration by nature is a great transition into.....  

Our final installment focusing on the recent round of Journeyperson takes us to central CT to Roger & Isabelle Phillips of Sub Edge Farm in Farmington!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Journeyperson Spotlight: Josiah Venter of Ro-Jo Farms

Josiah Venter (right) with friend and business partner Toby Fischer
Last week we announced the 3 newly accepted farmers of the 2 year Journeyperson program with CT NOFA which helps beginning farmers in their most formative years. Today we shine the spotlight on Josiah Venter of Ro-Jo Farms in Bethany, CT! 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

CT NOFA Accepts 3 New Journeypersons! Spotlight on Ben Harris

CT NOFA is proud to announce the next round of Journeyperson farmers to take part in the 2 year program funded by a grant from the National Institute for Food and Agriculture through the USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program. The Journeyperson program strives to support farmers in the education gap between apprentice and independent farmer and to provide resources and opportunities for prospective new farmers who have completed an apprenticeship to further develop skills they need to farm independently.  

This year we have accepted 3 beginning farmers into the program: Ben Harris of Root Down Farm CSA in Coventry, Josiah Venter of Ro-Jo Farms in Bethany and Roger &  Issabelle Phillips of Sub Edge Farm in Farmington. 

Ben Harris. photo by Weston Monroe/Cara Paiuk
Today's blog spotlight will focus on beginning farmer Ben Harris.