NOFA Organic Land Care Program
June E-news











NOFA OLC logo
Announcing this Summer's NOFA OLC Advanced Workshop Series!
Mike Nadeau working with students
'09 Pruning Workshop.
topJoin us again this summer for a series of hands-on workshops that are sure to provide you an opportunity to learn new skills in a small group setting.

Back by popular demand, four advanced workshops are scheduled for this summer.  If you missed out on last years workshops, we will be offering both
Actively Brewing and Aerating Compost Tea with Peter Schmidt and Organic Invasive Removal with Mike Nadeau. 



New this year
is Lee Reich's workshop on Edible Landscaping with Fruit and Todd Harrington's Soil Testing and Interpretation workshop!  Like last year, the workshops are designed to be hands-on and in-depth and conducted in small groups in an outdoor setting. The workshops offer a unique experience to work one on one with highly experienced professionals.

 
Edible Landscaping with Fruit: a workshop with Lee Reich
July 21st, 9:00am - 3:00pm
Lee Reich's garden, New Paltz, NY

Start with the Soil: an Intensive Workshop on Soil Testing and Interpretation
August 3rd, 9am - 3pm
Harrington's Organic Land Care, Bloomfield, CT

Organic Invasive Removal with Mike Nadeau
August 18th, 9am - 3pm
Connecticut Beardsley Zoo, Bridgeport, CT.


Producing and Applying Actively Aerated Compost Teas

September 21st , 9am - 3pm
TBA

 
For course descriptions or to register click here or contact us at 203-888-5146
NOFA OLC Organic Lawn & Turf Course
New Topics and New Speakers!

The sixth annual NOFA Organic Lawn and Turf Course, featuring new topics and speakers, will be held in Providence, RI on August 5th.  Nationally known natural turf expert, and NOFA AOLCP, Chip Osborne will teach much of the course and is revising the agenda to provide more up-to-date information.  Chip just published "A Cost Comparison of Conventional (Chemical) Turf Management and Natural (Organic) Turf Management for School Athletic Fields."  The favorable long term costs of natural turf care helped the ban on pesticide use at all New York schools to pass the legislature.  Click here for a link to the study.

The new speakers include Paul Sachs of North Country Organics, who will address the important subject of Compaction and Javier Gil of J.Gil Organic Landscaping who will speak on Compost Tea.  Don Bishop of Gardens Are... will also teach Pest, Weeds and Diseases.

The course will be held at the beautiful Save the Bay building on the water in Providence!  A delicious local and organic lunch will be provided.  This is our only lawn and turf course this year and seating is limited, so register soon.

For more information or to register visit our website organiclandcare.net!
Support NOFA OLC by participating in the
Eco-Tulips Fundraiser! 
  
            
NOFA OLC logoBuy organic tulip bulbs today and help promote organic lawns, gardens, and landscapes everywhere!  We have  partnered with EcoTulips to help us raise $20,000 this year to cover the costs of our educational programs. EcoTulips will donate 50% of all sales to the NOFA Organic Land Care Program when they are made through this page. The tulip bulbs will be delivered in the fall in time for planting.  Thank you for your participation in our fundraiser.
AOLCPs in Action...

OLC Committee Member, Camilla Worden
Camilla Worden
, is involved with the "Adopt-A-Garden" project at Ives Concert Park, in Danbury, CT. Steve Greenberg, chairman of the Charles Ives Authority for the Performing Arts Board of Directors said, "I want to thank Camilla Worden for adopting the entrance garden site. We hope others will be inspired to partake in this project and enhance the natural beauty of the park to the enjoyment of more than 65,000 guests this year."  The "Adopt-A-Garden" program provides the opportunity for area professionals to showcase their landscaping abilities to the tens of thousands of visitors who come to the venue during the summer concert and performing arts season."

Workshop Presenter,
Jim Conroy.
Jim Conroy,
is presenting a workshop at Omega instite,Rhinebeck,NY Tree Whispering™  Harmonize With Global Transformation by Being With Trees.  
While tree whispering, we shift and grow our very being in harmony with global transformations. In practical ways, garden chores become a respectful and cooperative partnership. Our trees at home will become healthier, and expectations for improving forest health multiply.  June 4 -6, 2010.

Opportunities for AOLCPs
 
  Help wanted - Clémence Corriveau, of Ecological Landscape Designs, LLC in West Hartford, is 
looking for occasional help installing gardens. Individual must practice an organic and ecological way of working, and who has his own business in the Hartford area.  
Contact information: Ph: 860 233-9878 or corriveau_landscape@hotmail.com
 
 
  Plant Health Care Technician Needed: General knowledge of horticulture and insect pests and plant diseases. Position will be to assist supervisors in the field, with traditional and organic control methods, with main objective to develop more organic accounts. Will be involved in filling out daily records, organization, ordering of supplies, continued education and learning, as well as planting trees and shrubs. Benefits include paid holidays, uniforms, training, continuing education, help with licensing in CT, and much more. Must hold a valid driver's license with a clean driving record. Applicator's License in CT a plus. Salary based on experience. Position is seasonal. Litchfield County area 860-868-1930, Joslyn @ extension 10. ARBOR SERVICES OF CT, INC. 
Out and About... Featuring AOLCP, Sanne Kure-Jensen
By Kathy Litchfield

PORTSMOUTH, RI - Neighbors of Sanne Kure-Jensen say she has a mini-Blithewold in her yard. In spring, multi-colored daffodils pop from garden beds among blossoming spring ephemerals. Her gardens have been featured in magazines including Newport Life and her home was on the 2009 RI Master Gardener tour.


           Kure-Jensen ('06 RI course) has volunteered hundreds of hours over the last decade at the real Blithewold Mansion, Gardens and Arboretum, a highlight of her landscape design, non-profit governance and marketing career.

Kure-Jensen studied landscape design at Radcliffe in Cambridge, Mass., has been an organic gardener for over 20 years, a beekeeper since 2004 and she has sold organic herbs and vegetables to local caterers. She is a RI Certified Horticulturist, CRMC Certified Invasive Plant Manager, URI Master Gardener and RI Tree Steward. She specializes in designing ecologically-friendly gardens using native plants, with an eye towards wildlife habitat and low maintenance water needs.

            "I've been surrounded by gardens and nature my entire life," said Kure-Jensen, who grew up in upstate New York and spent summers sailing on Lake George with her family. Her grandfather was a botanist, and she remembers tasting her first fresh garden peas as a young teenager.

CONTINUED... (click here!)
Also of Interest...

 NOFA Summer Conference August 13 to 15, 2010, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA. Check out the site for exhibit/advertising opportunities and complete workshop listings and other details. Registration is now open. Early bird registration is before July 12th.  AOLCP credit opportunities available at the Conference.

  common groundCT NOFA City Farm & Garden Tour, Saturday, August 7, 2010 ~ 10 am to 3 pm, New Haven, CT. Rain or shine ~ $20. Come and explore many of New Haven's private, community and school gardens, with a particular emphasis on vegetable gardens, edibles in the landscape, city poultry, and other aspects of agriculture found in New Haven.  CT NOFA is still looking for additional New Haven gardens to feature as part of the Tour.  Please contact Deb Legge at deb@ctnofa.org  or complete and mail out this form.

  A Cost Comparison of Conventional (Chemical) Turf Management and Natural (Organic) Turf Management for School Athletic Fields - A report prepared by Grassroots Environmental Education A non-profit organization. Written by Charles Osborne & Doug Wood.  Introduction:The mounting scientific evidence linking exposure to pesticides with human health problems, especially in developing children, has increased the demand for non-chemical turf management solutions for schools. One obstacle commonly cited by chemical management proponents is the purported higher cost of a natural turf program. This report compares the annual maintenance costs for a typical 65,000 square foot high school football field using both conventional and natural management techniques. Both programs are mid-level turf management programs, typical of those currently being used at many schools across New York State.The analysis of data demonstrates that once established, a natural turf management program can result in savings of greater than 25% compared to a conventional turf management program.

 The UMass Extension Landscape Messagepreviously available only by subscription, is now available online for free!. The message allows landscapers, arborists, turf managers, and nursery growers to be in touch with local pest activity on a 24-hour basis.
 
  The New England Wild Flower Society
announced that the U.S. Green Building Council has awarded the Whately, MA Native Plant Center at Nasami Farm  a LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Gold Certification. 
 
   Stainless Steel Water Bottles available at OLC Store -  27 oz Kleen Kanteen stainless steel water bottle with sports cap.  The bottle is made from high quality, 18/8, food-grade stainless steel that's free of BPA and other toxins.
 
 
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Current AOLCP Credit Opportunities

The following classes and events have been approved for OLC credits.  In order to see a complete description of an event and the number of credits that will be awarded for attendance please go to the credit opportunities page of our website.  When you click on an event title, a complete description, including time, place, registration information, and number of credits will open.
 
6/6/10 - Rain Gardens: Beautiful Water-Saving Gardens, Boylston, MA
6/8/10 - Soil Science I: Physical Properties, Bronx, NY
6/8/10 - A Lesson in Low Impact Development, Wilmington, MA
6/8/10 - Soil Science for Gardeners,Bronx, NY
6/10/10 - Sustainable Landscape Design - An Inspiring Day in the Berkshires, Shelburne Falls, MA
6/10/10 - An Evening with Doug Tallamy, Cambridge, MA
6/10/10 - Maintaining Perennial Gardens,Bronx, NY
6/12/10 - Three Professionally-Hosted Tours, Newton, MA
6/12/10 - "Alternative" Lawns (Three Professionally-Hosted Tours), Newton, MA
6/12/10 - NOFA-NJ Organic Gardening Series, Hillsborough, NJ
6/13/10 - Identifying the 25 Most Common Trees in Boston, Boston, MA
6/17/10 - Woody Vines for the Garden, Boston, MA
6/19/10 - Making More Woody Plants - Taking Cuttings, Stockbridge, MA
6/26/10 - Airspading Workshop, Watertown, MA 
7/8/10 - The Permaculture Design Certificate Course, Hillsborough, NJ   
 
 
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NOFA Standards Review

The following excerpt on Fertilizers and Soil Amendments can be found on page 19 of the NOFA Standards for Organic Land Care.
 
Overview
Fertilizers and soil amendments are tools that enable us to modify existing soil conditions. The "feed the soil" principle is used to benefit plant health, not artificially stimulate plant growth. Unnecessary
applications of any fertilizer or soil amendment can cause mineral nutrients to build up to excessive
levels in the soil. At these levels, nutrients may enter local water resources. Nitrogen and phosphorus are the nutrients most involved in eutrophication of water bodies, and are thus of major concern as
pollutants. Nitrogen can also be a health hazard when it pollutes drinking water supplies.
Many potential nutrients in soils are not readily available to plants. Proper management of soils can free these nutrients for uptake. The rate of release of mineral elements depends on environmental factors specific to each site. Therefore, the use of any amendment must reflect soil test results and good stewardship of the environment. It is preferred to use renewable materials that are sustainably produced.
Many nutrient amendments are mined or harvested from natural sources that are not renewable. We do not want to waste these resources for our short-term benefit.
 
Preferred
  • Compost in the amounts specified below
  • Compost teas
  • Cover crops and green manures
  • Local or on-site nutrient sources
 
Allowed
  • Blended organic fertilizers with ingredients that meet these Standards
Prohibited

  • Exceeding the amounts of macronutrients recommended by a soil test
  • Synthetically derived ingredients
  • Blended fertilizers using a mixture of organic and synthetic materials, including transitional products
  • Sewage sludge
  • Allowing fertilizers to remain on sidewalks or pavement (typically after being applied by rotary spreaders). Fertilizers left on pavement go directly into the storm sewers and then into waterways. Any spillage should be swept or vacuumed up and reused.
 
 
SanneOut and About...
Continued from above

She was raised with a "give back to the community" attitude and prefers to do legacy work. Her volunteer work generally mirrors Native Americans' "we are borrowing the earth from our children,"   by helping conserve land and the environment.

She has volunteered with local land trusts and preservation organizations including the Aquidneck Land Trust, Blithewold (past board chair), the Master Gardener Foundation and the Norman Bird Sanctuary. She was instrumental in opening the Aquidneck Land Trust's Sakonnet Greenway Trail , and has taught ecological, water-wise, wildlife-friendly landscaping, rain gardens and beekeeping at numerous locations including NOFA events, public presentations for the Master Gardener at local libraries and URI. Sanne also helped teach the RI Beekeeper's Association Bee School. She took the NOFA 5-day course to expand her credentials and increase marketing and networking opportunities.

Presently Kure-Jensen is Director of Marketing and Communications for the Newport County Chamber of Commerce, while still designing landscapes part-time for mostly residential clients. She finds word of mouth to be the best advertising, and encourages people to think about bees when designing gardens.

"Think about the pollinators because if you want them in June, July and August for flowers and veggies, there has to be food in the off-seasons. Be sure to plant early bulbs and late perennials," she said. "Make sure there are flowers available on bushes, shrubs and trees. Bees love red maple, lindens and dandelions. Sanne reminds her students and clients that dandelion are the best nectar source for honeybees and their roots feed the lawn."

            Kure-Jensen is also working with Rhode Island Nurseries, helping to research, and fund (through USDA and SARE grants) an innovative propagation greenhouse heating system using alternative energy, another passion. The technology is similar to that used for radiant heat in a home; it uses compost to generate heat that is drawn through a fluid-filled conduit and radiator system to warm air above the young plants, she explained.

            "We plan to start construction this August and collect data all winter. Afterwards we'll report our findings on the web, at conferences and in trade publications," said Kure-Jensen, who is most proud of her two children - Lisa, a biology and environmental science major in Oregon who spent last fall in Kenya and Tanzania on a large mammal safari before studying marine biology in the Indian Ocean; and Jeff, a junior in high school leaning towards studying computer, robotics and/or moviemaking in college.

BY KATHY LITCHFIELD  
                                                                                            
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CT NOFA | PO Box 164 | Stevenson | CT | 06491