The Gleanings e-News
December 2017

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A Message From The Director

December 3, 2017
Dear Organic Fans:

Welcome to December! I hope this finds you enjoying this cool (finally) Sunday and contemplating the season ahead. I am thinking of the holidays but my mind wanders farther and takes me off to Springtime. 
Myself and Ray Archuleta (right) in Lebanon, CT
I am wondering about my garlic, my soil and what ways I can treat it even better. Cover crops and how we till have my creative juices going and now, even more so after I attended workshop this past Monday with Ray Archuleta - a former NRCS advisor and a well-known soil fanatic from New Mexico.
Ray's talk was preceded by a fantastic presentation by Brian O'Hara of Tobacco Road Farm and followed by Adam Squire, a newer Connecticut farmer (4+ years) who has discovered new ways to restore and build healthier living soils on his farm. Brian is widely recognized for his no-till organic growing and is gaining a jedi-like sense for feeding his farm soils. Adam is just learning all of this and credits his progress to soil health practices he learned from local NRCS folks (USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service) like Connecticut's own Ray Covino. Ray and his NRCS colleagues including Jim Hyde are keen to help farmers learn better soil management and are learning new tricks all the time. All of these people have been humbled by soil. They realize that soil's realm is far from fully understood and that when we work the soil in the ways it prefers, the soil does amazing things for plant and human health.
One take-away from last Monday's workshop was that something very special starts happening when we turn over the soil less. Low-till. No-till. Call it what you want but it is true that the less we till, the more connected the fungal networks. Better fungal networks improve nutrient sharing and allow for communication among plants. (Yes, plants do talk and share. Science tells us this and it makes perfect sense.)
A second take-away is that when we use cover crops (either after harvest or between growing rows), the soils are better fed. This allows for a greater variety of nutrients to be available for crop growth and to support the crop's immune system. Recent studies now indicate that when we use multi-species cover crops, it creates more soil biomes and the positive effects are amplified.
The last take-away message from Ray Archuleta's presentation was that we have a lot to learn about soil testing. That is a much longer story so I will have to take that up another time. In the meantime, you can look into the Haney Test that Ray recommends. Ray's many presentations can be found on YouTube, should you wish to watch them. 
Let me know what you think and hopefully we can get a Winter Conference workshop (coming on March 10) from someone who can explain the Haney Test and these other topics. To apply to present at the 2018 Winter Conference Presenter, click here.

Best Regards,
Jeff Cordulack,Executive Director | 203-613-8813
NOTE: We have a new membership system!
Use it to renew, register, donate, or to update your Farm & Food Guide listing information.  
Please return your Farmer's Pledges by mail & update Guide listings with us by January.  
No doubt, there will be questions. Let us know by email: or call the office on weekdays
Shopping for holiday gifts? Bid on awesome items and support CT NOFA
Auction extended until Tuesday at 11:59 pm.

The folks at HomeFront Farmers are passionate about helping bring all the benefits of an edible organic garden to your yard.
With HomeFront, extend your gardening season with a "mini-greenhouse," move your garden even closer to your door with a hand crafted cedar planter, or tap the maple trees in your backyard for your very own maple syrup.  

Don't miss the $100 New Morning Market gift card! 
New Morning Market is NOT just a health food store. 
New Morning Market is home to the largest organic  100% non-GMO produce department and humanely raised, full service meat department. Bidding starts at just $33!

Red Bee Apiary's "Talk, Tour, and Honey Tastings" are opportunities for you to visit a working apiary and experience honey at its source. Join the Red Bee team for a tour of Red Bee Apiary and Gardens. 
Learn how honeybees make this liquid gold we call honey, how terroir and nectar source determines a honey's color and flavor and how honey is harvested and extracted from the hive. Most importantly, learn how to select quality honeys.

Tennis anyone?  Enjoy 2 tickets to the 2018 Women's & Men's Finals of the U.S. Open Tennis Championships. 
Get in on all the action of the U.S. Open, the fourth and final tennis tournament comprising the Grand Slam. 
If you've been thinking of starting a backyard egg laying flock of your own - start if off right! Pound Ridge Organics is the first and only certified high welfare poultry flock in the region Animal Welfare Approved & Certified Humane. 

During an hour and a half class (for one to ten people), Donna Simons will teach you all the basics and the lesser known details of how to improve the animal's living conditions and have healthy beautiful birds that give you fresh eggs for years to come.
Sit in the meadow at the Lachat Town Farm for a music concert with your friends. The summer series of music concerts begins in June and goes through October.
Bring a beach chair, blanket, snacks and beverages and enjoy a wonderful evening. Bidding begins at just $27!

Visit the James Beard House in New York City's Greenwich Village for a lavish dinner.
Enjoy a private dinner party in the exclusive, elegant Peter Kump boardroom located on the top floor of the famous James Beard House. Both established and emerging guest chefs from around the world are invited to the James Beard House to prepare special dinners throughout the year.
Create your own custom greenhouse, potting table, cold frame, netted berry enclosure, compost bin, and more with only simple hand tools from Maker Pipe!

Maker Pipe is a simple, affordable, easy-to-use system of connectors that pairs with inexpensive electrical conduit you can find at any hardware store.
For ideas on what to build, visit:

Are you ready for the best climbing and zip line Connecticut has to offer?
Bridgeport Adventure Park's 11 "treetop trails" consist of about 180 platforms installed in the trees and connected by various configurations of cable, wood and rope to form "crossings" of different kinds including the ever-popular zip lines. Fun for ages 5 to 75!  

Give 5 friends and family members a year's worth of Edible Nutmeg issues delivered directly to their doors!
Edible Nutmeg is a seasonal publication (4 issues each year) dedicated to supporting and promoting the local food and farm community of western Connecticut.

Kid City is a children's museum with three floors of imagination play, where kids ages 1 to 7 play pretend with their favorite grown-ups. 
Their exhibits are handmade and one-of-a-kind, built by in-house artists who love inspiring playfulness in visitors of all ages. 

Looking for more of an experience? Our auction can help with that. Bid on trips to New Orleans for jazz and gumbo, a culinary escape in Tuscany, Le Corson Bleu in Ottawa, fine dining in Chicago, Newport Mansions in Rhode Island, Samuel Adams Brewery in Boston, and more!

 Don't want to bother with bidding but want to support CT NOFA?
Donate here.

Bionutrient Food Association, in partnership with CT NOFA present:
Principles of Biological Systems
with Dan Kittredge
This two-day workshop (Jan 6 & 7 in Middletown, CT) is designed to teach the principles and practices of biological farming for higher quality crops - better taste, pest & disease resilience, longer shelf life, and higher levels of nutrients beneficial to our health and well-being. 

Topics to be covered:
✓ Interpreting soil tests
✓ Mineral balancing and amendments
✓ Strategies for soil health improvement
✓ Biological seed inoculation
✓ Conductivity, refractometers and brix
✓ In-season crop monitoring and feeding with nutrient drenches & foliar sprays

$200/person or $175 for current BFA or CT NOFA members. To learn more, to share this with friends on social media, and to register, click here.
Featured Business Members

Back 40 Farm 
Back 40 Farm is a family-owned business nestled in 85 acres of some of the best farmland in historic Washington,Connecticut. This farm began the Back 40 Farm Group, an ecologically and socially responsible restaurant and retail group based in Greenwich CT. 
Their mission is to grow quality organic vegetables and flowers for communities in Litchfield and Fairfield counties. At Back 40 Farm, the health of living communities and soils are paramount and their farming practices endeavor to always give back more to the Earth than they take. 
For more information -->
Good News Cafe
You will always find an enticing array of original dishes at Carole Peck's Good News Cafe. The cafe serves delectable appetizers, soups and salads, and savory entrees, always with a focus on the season's freshest offerings and creatively prepared to please your palate. 
Carole Peck's Good News Cafe is one of the trailblazers in the Farm-to-Table movement. Their mission is to help people reconnect to their local land, as well as to the farmers and artisans who tend them. For more information --> 
Harris Seeds
Harris Seeds provides the finest quality vegetable seeds, flower seeds, plants and supplies to growers and gardeners  throughout the United States. 
The dedicated staff is  committed to serving the agricultural industry. Their team includes experienced growers and business leaders, whose invaluable knowledge and expertise help to identify the best products and practices so we can better serve you. 
Right now, our online auction features a $50 gift card to Harris Seeds --> Bid here!
For more information -->
Volunteers on the Board of Directors designed this great new logo for the Winter Conference! Join us March 10!

Have some extra time?
Want to create change or simply lend a hand?
CT NOFA was founded by volunteers and their collaboration brought about many great changes in Connecticut. Their accomplishments led to the first Organic Certification program in the state, to the now famous Winter Conference which started as potluck gatherings, the development Farmer's Markets, the pesticide ban on school grounds, and so much more! 
Your time volunteering could simply be helping in the office or it could lead you to Capital Hill or to be a part of the Board of Directors!  
If you would like to get involved and create meaningful change with CT NOFA, contact Executive Director Jeff Cordulack to talk about your interests, skills and the organization's needs. You never know where it will take you!   Jeff Cordulack | | 203-613-8813 
UCONN's Solid Ground Farmer Training Workshops 
Strengthening Our Farms Across Connecticut

  • Monday December 4th, 2017 (2 - 5pm), hosted by Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, 101 Pequot Trail, Ledyard CT
  • Tuesday December 5th, 2017 (9am - 12pm), hosted by Knox Inc. @ The Lyceum, 227 Lawrence Street, Hartford CT
  • Tuesday December 5th, 2017 (3 - 6pm), @ Killingly Ag High School - 226 Putnam Pike, Killingly CT
  • Wednesday January 3rd, 2018 (9am -12pm), @ Grow Windham - 872 Main Street Willimantic CT
There are many other free classes coming up this winter including: 
  • Eco-Focused Farming Practices with Bryan O'Hara of Tobacco Road Farm 
  • Growing Crops in Low, High and Movable Tunnels with Steve Munno of Massaro Farm 
  • Pesticide Safety - for both conventional and organic producers with Mary Conklin from UCONN
  • Planning and Growing Cover Crops With Eero Ruuttila of Johnny's Select Seeds 
For a full schedule of Solid Ground Farmer Training events from UCONN Extension, click here.
More Upcoming Programs 
Opportunities across Connecticut

Accelerator Opportunity: Urban Farmer Training Program is a year long farmer training class based in Bridgeport. Check it out  here .

Conference Opportunity: the Yale Food Systems Symposium has been  scheduled for  February 23-24, and the RFP deadline for the YFSS has been extended until December. 
In the News...

Plants share information using nature's fungal internet
Fungi have given us beer, penicillin and soy sauce to name but a few items. But did you know these fascinating organisms also allow plants to send each other nutrients and warnings through a kind of 'social network?'

There Is No Safer Playing Surface for Student Athletes Than Grass
If towns and schools would take half the money they put into synthetic turf fields and invest instead in state-of-the-art natural grass fields, our children, athletes and our planet would be healthier.  Click here to read the article.
EARN "AOLCP" Credentials with the
NOFA Accreditation Course in Organic Land Care
February 6-9, 2018  - Unity, ME

The NOFA Organic Land Care Program schedule for 2017 and early 2018 is set! Let all the land care pros and gardening friends you know that these 4-day courses can be a game changer for you and your business. The NOFA Organic Land Care accreditation program will educated and prepare you to offer organic services to your clients.

We provide the tools and resources needed for a successful organic program. Those who pass the test will join the thousands of NOFA trained pros and have an opportunity to join the thousands of ' NOFA Accredited Organic Land Care Professionals (AOLCPs)' working in over 20 states. These professionals people maintain this trusted credential to grow their businesses by tapping into the fast-growing organic land care market. CLICK HERE TO LEARN ABOUT THE COURSE
To learn more about this and other organic land care training opportunities,
call Jeremy or email: