What We Did This Summer

Soil Testing and Interpretation Workshop

The Soil Testing Workshop went wonderfully and reached capacity at 30 students.  We had a great group of folks who were mostly NOFA Accredited Professionals from CT, MA, a couple from NY and Britt from NOFA-NH.  It was great to finally meet Britt who has been involved in NOFA-NH OLC group.  Dawn Pettinelli, who coordinates the activities of the UConn Home and Garden Education Center and the UConn Soil Nutrient Analysis Laboratory was also there; along with Rich Calarco, of the CT Parks Association.   Chip Osborne also made it out that day!  Todd’s facilities are wonderful and he and his staff did a terrific job.  One of these days, we should definitely take Todd up on hosting an OLC meeting at his place!

Lawn and Turf Course

The Lawn and Turf Course was extremely well received. All the speakers were well praised.  Don did a fantastic job,  I received a few comments that Chip Osborne’s speaking is at its pinnacle and that Paul Sachs was a wealth of knowledge.  Students were very happy to delve into Compost Tea and Javier did a tremendous job for only his second time presenting!   We coordinated with the folks at Garden Guys, a radio program out of Boston that airs every Sunday, to have Javier on the air promoting the course.  If you want to listen to the 8 minute interview click here and check out the link for August 1st, second hour, then scroll into to 16:25 of the show.  Save the Bay really was a great location and I want to thank Frank and Sheryl for directing me to the right people in Providence.  It was also a treat to have Paul Sach’s 92 year old mother, who also works for Save the Bay, sit in for his presentation.   Compostwerks! sponsored lunch and had a awesome display at the course.    The course saw a total of 50 students, 27 of which were not Accredited Professionals.  People came from  CT, MA, MD, ME, NH, NJ, NY, and PA.   We also saw two attendees from the grounds department at Swarthmore College!


A few weeks ago we decided to establish a scholarships for the Advanced Workshops using some of the Newman’s Own funding.  I am really excited about this.  We have established a limit of 3 scholarships per course and have required that those who receive the scholarship are required to perform 5 hours of volunteer service.  Students can choose to be a NOFA Homeowner workshop speaker, become a 2011 Advanced Workshop Group Leader, write articles on Organic Land Care geared toward homeowners, staff tables at outreach events, participate in Guide distribution or submit blog entries for organiclandcare.net.  Also, our scholarship form has become more detailed.  Take a look!  We had 3 scholarship students at the Start the Soil Workshop, have one lined up for the Invasive Removal Class and two applicants for the Compost Tea workshop.  We have a staff meeting next Tuesday and I look forward to developing a plan to follow up with these new volunteers and get them moving.  It should be a wonderful task for RJ our Public Ally that starts September 13th!

Invasive Removal Workshop

Any help with getting out the word on the Invasive Removal Workshop would be of help.  We have a total of 13 students signed up with only a week to go!  Clara has let me know that an email should be going out shortly to remind folks of this.

Finally, those of you who are local and who did not make it out to the City Farm and Garden Tour on Saturday in New Haven (my backyard)  you missed out!  It was a awesome day filled with idea sharing, workshops on bee keeping, amazing properties with edible landscaping and city chickens!  My market dinner (made from ingredients from the City Seed Farmers market) and free glass of wine (for being a CT NOFA ticket holder) at Zinc most definitely topped off a fantastic week.





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