Join Slow Food Shoreline for an afternoon discussion to help plan your 2014 garden, Sunday May 4th from 1-4PM at the Luck & Levity Brewshop, 118 Court St in New Haven.
Come to learn some basics, discuss common issues, and receive tips on planning ahead for preservation. Seasoned experts, weekend garden warriors, and beginning gardeners are all welcome. Bring your extra seeds and seedlings, and swap for new favorites with other gardeners. The event is free to all. Click here to register.
Who: The 18th Annual National Solar Tour with People’s Action for Clean Energy and Sierra Club volunteers.
What: A Canton home with a large solar electric installation and exciting new heating and cooling technologies will be open for free tours. A new 2013 “Solarize Canton” photovoltaic installation features 18 Sunpower 250-watt panels which are leaders in the industry and are more than 20 percent efficient. The Daikin super-efficient air source heating, cooling and humidity-controlling system uses no conventional fuel, greatly reducing energy consumption.
When: Saturday, October 5 - 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m.
Where: To reach the home, turn north onto Lawton Road at the intersection of routes 44 and 177. Travel for .8 mile, bearing left at the fork. Turn right at the top of the hill onto the dirt driveway and follow the parking signs, or park on Lawton Road.
Tags: aquaculture, Canton events, CT events, electric cars, garden, green homes, National Solar Tour, organic, Prius, renewable energy, Tesla
2 March 2013
Registration Fee Depends on Status
Wilton High School
Join the Connecticut Northeast Organic Farming Association as they celebrate 31 years of growing better together! There will be over fifty vendors providing fresh local food, crafts, and books as well as a raffle that includes offerings such as a basket of gardening supplies. Lunch will be Included for an extra fee, but it is worth the price. During the lunch break, attendees have the opportunity to taste delicious local flavors concocted by chefs involved in Fairfield County's farm-to-restaurant program. The New Connecticut Farming alliance will also meet during this time to discuss news and share information.
Guests may select from a wide variety of workshops to attend. There is no need to register for your desired workshop, you may simply show up at the allotted classroom. A program will be handed out to you upon registration that looks exactly like the link provided above. Parents and families are welcome to participate in children's workshops as well. There will also be a screenings of the GMO documentary "Genetic Roulette" throughout the afternoon, where Elaine Titus of GMO Free CT and GMO Free Moms will be available to answer any questions.
Schedule for the Day Registration Fees
8:30-9:30 : Registration (pre-register at this link) Non-Member: $60
9:30-10:45: Workshop I Member: $50
11:00-12:30: Opening announcements and Keynote Student/Senior: $35
12:30-2:00: Lunch Children: FREE
2:15: 3:30: Workshop II *Lunch is optional: an extra $15 for adults
3:45 to 5:00 ~ Workshop II and $8 for children
2013 Conference Program: http://www.ctnofa.org/winterconference/2013%20WC%20programOPT.pdf
Register at: http://www.ctnofa.org/winterconference/2013WC_registration.html
If you forget to register for lunch: http://www.ctnofa.org/winterconference/winterconference_lunch_registration.html
For more Information: http://www.ctnofa.org/winterconference/index.html
Posted at 05:56 PM in Agriculture, Arts, At Home, At Work, Citizen Action, Education, Environmental Issues, Events, Family & Parenting, Film, Food , Garden, Healthcare, Kids, Organic, Organizations, People | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Tags: Connecticut, CT, CT NOFA, Fairfield County, Farm-to-restaurant, Green Agriculture, Green Events CT, Local Flavor, NCFA, NOFA, Wilton, Winter Conference
Spring is around the corner!
Learn about Organic Gardening from Bill Duesing, Executive Director of the Connecticut Northeast Organic Farmer’s Association (CTNOFA), just in time for the 2013 growing season! Bill is one of the leaders of the local, organic food movement and has devoted his work to promoting greater local food sufficiency through education, lectures, writings, media and community outreach for over 3 decades. A graduate of Yale University, Bill is also an accomplished writer and the author of, “Living on the Earth: Eclectic Essays for a Sustainable and Joyful Future”. He is also the owner of the Old Solar Farm in Oxford.
When: Tuesday, March 26th @ 7:30 PM
Where: Flanders Nature Center & Land Trust | 5 Church Hill Rd., Woodbury, CT 06798
Cost: $12 members/ $15 non-members
By Heather Burns
With the summer foliage and associated bioactivity in full swing, being cooped up in an office for 40 hours a week can be difficult for even the most dedicated employee. Personally, I head outside at regular intervals for strolls, and while it’s true that my most creative thinking takes place outdoors, it’s nice to see that my urge isn’t just a personality quirk, but is firmly rooted in science.
Harvard University biologist, Edward O. Wilson and introducer of the biophilia hypothesis concluded, “There is an instinctive bond between human beings and other living systems. That is, we have a natural urge to affiliate with other forms of life.
Bruce Crowle, co-owner of Atria, Inc, a Connecticut-based interiorscape design and maintenance company, has built a successful business on the concept of biophilia, while helping clients to realize the bottom line benefits of bringing nature to work™.
Crowle says, “In the mid eighties I was invited to Washington and had the distinct pleasure of meeting Dr. Bill Wolverton. He had just concluded his studies for NASA that proved tropical plants could be helpful during prolonged space exploration. His research discovered that plants and their roots and the surrounding soil (a plant system) absorbed volatile organic compounds (VOC’s), such as formaldehyde, benzenes, carbon monoxide and others, and returned oxygen to the environment.”
Likewise, a study by Herman Miller reviewed the degree to which direct exposure to natural elements might impact employees. They were able to find significant productivity gains, less absenteeism, less health problems, and a better sense of well-being as reported by the individuals who participated.
In fact, a wide range of industry experts recognizes the health and environmental benefits of incorporating plants into the workplace. The United States Green Building Council includes dozens of varieties of plants as options to improving indoor air quality, and assigns corresponding points toward LEED certification.
A growing trend (pun intended) in the interiorscape industry is green walls. Also known as vertical planting systems, vertical gardens or biowalls, these visually stunning creations produce a supply of fresh air, naturally cooling buildings in the summer and humidifying in the winter.
In 2010, Atria was proud to become the first “Platinum” rated Green Earth—Green Plants® certified interior plantscape business. “The process to gather and submit the data to earn Platinum certification was certainly a team effort,” Crowle says.
But the company’s leadership and ongoing dedication to sustainable business practices – and to promoting green business practices to their clients – is evident in all that they do. Partnerships with local growers and the use of integrative pest management are just two of the many reasons why bringing nature to work with Atria makes good business sense.
Tags: atria inc, biophilia, biophilia hypothesis, biowalls ct, bruce crowle, edward o. wilson, employee productivity, green business ct, Green Earth—Green Plants certified, green walls ct, green workplace, interiorscapes ct, vertical gardens, vertical planting systems
Come celebrate the warm spring days and beautiful colors of spring flowers at Fort Hill Farms’ Columbines & Colors event in Thompson on May 14th and 15th from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. In addition to the thousands of blooms at the farms’ Quintessential Gardens, nature lovers, photographers and artists from all over are invited to come view and capture the landscapes and celebrate the riot of colors on display. Free guided Garden Tours by Kristin Orr will be given at 9a & 2p each day.
Have you been wondering about your own food purchases in the grocery store? Do you have questions about organic farming, or how to farm your own vegetable garden as organically as possible? Would you like to spend an evening that can inform your own choices? Come and hear Mr. Bill Duesing who has a passion for organic farming and is concerned about the state of agriculture around the world-- our food supply.
As part of the Libraries town-wide read of the book Eating Animals, Mr. Bill Duesing, the Executive Director of the Connecticut chapter of the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Connecticut, will speak on Tuesday, March 15 at 7:00 PM about the need to think ecologically about our food supply. He will give an illustrated talk and show some of the healthy connections growers and consumers are creating in Connecticut and beyond. He will also talk about animal agriculture and its effects in Connecticut and throughout the country.
Both organic farmer and author, Mr. Duesing has been raising animals in Oxford, CT since 1972 and exploring how to eat since long before that. In addition to his position at NOFA, Mr. Duesing also serves as the President of the Community Farm of Simsbury and is a Board Member of the Connecticut Farmland Trust. Mr. Duesing is a graduate of Yale University.
In an interview Mr. Duesing said, “I will provide a middle ground between the vegan view and existing industrial agriculture. I've thought a lot about animals … have raised goats and cows, pigs, turkeys and chickens for eggs and meat on my farm in Oxford. I agree that most of the animal agriculture practiced in this country is horrendous. It is very bad for the environment, for the farmers, for the animals and for human health. However, animals are a part of nature and most ecosystems and are also a part of many sustainable and organic farms.”
Bound to be both an informative and interesting evening, all are invited to attend. Please call the Fairfield Public Library at (203) 256-3160 to register, or you can register online at the Library’s website: www.fairfieldpubliclibrary.org.
Image courtesy of VictoryVegetableGardens.com.
by Eileen Weber
Last May, I wrote an article about the Westport Green Village Initiative (GVI) that was making headway by spreading their sustainable word to other towns like Ridgefield and Fairfield. With grassroots movements in community gardens, recycling, energy and water conservation and a very green message, their hope was to grow an idea from the ground up one town at a time.
That concept started with one Westport businessman, Dan Levinson. He has been the catalyst for the GVIs in the area. Claire Carlson in Ridgefield shared his vision and she has taken that town by storm. With a film series and lectures at the town library and the Aldrich Museum as well as organic gardens in the school system, she has single-handedly started a green movement in that section of Fairfield County.
The hope was that Fairfield would follow in Ridgefield’s footsteps. But unfortunately, it never did. A town that has organic gardens in almost every school in the district couldn’t seem to get it together to create their own GVI system. When Levinson questioned this, he was told the politics in the town were too stiff. He was left with the strong impression that he should look elsewhere.
Tags: Bridgeport GVI, Bridgeport Public Library, Builders Beyond Borders, community gardens, Dan Levinson, Green Village Initiative, Karen Sussman, Marina Village, Maura O'Malley, Park City Magnet School, Ridgefield GVI, school gardens, Westport GVI
Tags: Bonnie Plants, Cornell University, fungal pathogen, Home Depot, horticulture inspectors, Irish Potato Famine, John Gorzynkski, late blight, Meg McGrath, New York State Agriculture Department, Patrick Hooker, plant disease, potato blight, Steve Johnson, tomato blight, University of Maine
by Eileen Weber
One of the things I remember most about summer was the garden my dad always lovingly tended. Cherry tomatoes. Sugar snap peas. Zucchini. Three different kinds of lettuce. And red currants that dazzled in the sunlight like little jewels hanging off the vine.
I never considered myself a gardener, but I’ve always appreciated the concept. This summer, I heard about a garden project for Operation Hope. A group of volunteers would plant vegetables and herbs for the Operation Hope Pantry. It’s a new take on an old concept: Feed the hungry, but make the food fresh.
“The project seems like it is something that should have been started (or at least thought of) a long time ago,” said Amanda Leslie, a volunteer who is a junior at George Washington University currently teaching English on the island of Mauritius, “because in my head it's sort of a 'duh', slap your forehead kind of moment putting two and two together of bringing food directly to people who need it and also using it as an education tool.”
The idea started with a petite woman in a wide-brimmed hat and a Scottish accent. A landscaper by trade, Eleanor Fraser wanted to do something valuable for the community. She put the word out and about a dozen volunteers—from college students to professionals—signed up to help, including myself.
But getting the project off the ground wasn’t so easy. Fraser managed to get a plot from the Town of Fairfield in a designated garden area. But many of the plots are overgrown with weeds or simply fallow. Unfortunately, a number of people will sign up for the plots with the intention of planting, but never do.
“I have a real problem with the plots not being used,” said Fran McDonough, a volunteer who helped Fraser get donations of dirt and mulch for the garden. She said she made a few phone calls and “talked to the right people.”
“The gardens aren’t as well organized as they are in other towns,” said Fraser. “Other neighboring towns send out a letter each year. If you don’t respond, it goes to the next person on the list. Fairfield doesn’t have that.”
by Eileen Weber
Ever feel like there are just too many tomatoes and not enough time? Come August, there will be plenty of backyard gardeners who would agree with that statement. And that’s where food trading comes in. Home growers are sharing their produce in a free trade system online and in communities across the country.
According to an article in The New York Times on June 10th, there are a growing number of participants in food trading. The concept is based on the fact that “it’s a shame to let fruit go to waste” and “neighborhood fruit tastes best when it’s free.” Well, really, doesn’t everything taste better when it’s free?
If you, like the founders of Veggie Trader, had excess lemons from your lemon tree, wouldn’t it be nice to see someone else make use of them? You could trade those lemons for, say, herbs or zucchini. You get to give what you have more of and take what you have less of. It’s a win-win.
In the New England area, Brian Alcorn, Founder of the Vermont Garden Exchange, wrote that many times a gardener has too much to use himself and doesn’t have the time to preserve the excess.
“The idea is to open it up so that you can trade anything,” said Alcorn, who founded the site with his wife. “You could even trade a cord of wood if that’s what you had. I just don’t want it to become an online grocery store. That’s not what it’s about.”
Lynn Seigel-Boettner, Founder and Organizer of the Santa Barbara Food Not Lawns chapters, agrees. “It’s more than just sharing food. It’s about bringing a community together and connecting people. We’ve forgotten how to do that.”
Tags: food sharing, food trading, garden exchange, Kaytea Petro, Lynn Seigel-Boettner, Neighborhood Fruit, Oriana Sarac, Presidio School of Management, Santa Barbara Food Not Lawns, Veggie Trader, Vermont Garden Exchange
by Eileen Weber
Edible school gardens are growing at a rapid pace. Increasingly, school districts are making the gardens part of their curriculum. The Edible School Gardens Workshop at the Unitarian Church in Westport, sponsored in part by the Westport Green Village Initiative in partnership with Amy Kalafa, founder of Two Angry Moms, featured an expert panel of school garden organizers. With a room filled almost to capacity this morning, parents, farmers, gardeners, and school officials alike listened intently about how to start one in their own school system.
Dorothy Mullen, founder of the Riverside Elementary School gardens in Princeton, NJ, discussed how she got the project underway in her district. Only a few weeks post-9/11 in November 2001, she wanted to make a change in the school lunch system by introducing fresh food.
She noted how nutrition positively or negatively affects the body. “The brain is the most sensitive organ to poor nutrition,” she said. At the very least, kids can have a loss in concentration that prevents learning. “When the brain is out fuel,” she said, “we can’t learn correctly.”
Mullen, who is also an addiction counselor, said she started small by taking kids on a walking tour to her backyard garden. Then, the concept grew. She wanted to take it to the school. This was one way to instill the benefits of nutrition. She pointed out that, with a garden, there is a teaching opportunity for other subjects: science, math, food and nutrition, and art. From an environmental perspective, conservation in composting and water usage is a valuable lesson as well.