| NOFA ORGANIC LAND CARE PROGRAM
E-News March 2010
Welcome to Course Graduates in NY and RI!Congratulations to the land care professionals who were accredited in the February 2010 five-day courses in Providence, RI and Elmsford, NY! We welcome you to the NOFA Organic Land Care Program with great enthusiasm! An email regarding AOLCP Search, our online directory, including instructions on how to enter your profile, has been sent to you. If you haven't received it yet, please email Carol. We hope you will optimize this resource to your
NY Class of 2010 professional advantage.
Opportunities for AOLCPs
business 16 years, environmentally concerned & ecologically responsible
gardenscape company needs a passionate, healthy, self-motivated, energetic,
happy gardener for installation and maintenance of residential and commercial
sites. Horticultural skills and landscaping experience preferred. Supervisory
skills a plus. No weekends, no lawn cutting. Opportunities for advancement,
competitive wages and benefits. Call 860/242.1178 or email resume to Designs of Mann
There are seven interesting jobs available at
The Highline in NYC
. Inquire by email
for more information.
Landscape/Garden Design Residencey Program
Application Deadline: April 12, 2010
I-Park is pleased to announce a new residency program for landscape and garden designers. The program is directed to professional landscape architects as well as to landscape and garden designers and site planners. Selected artists/practitioners will reside at I-Park in the company of music composers, writers and visual (including digital and environmental) artists during 4-week and 2-week residency sessions running from May through November. Work samples are evaluated through a special jury formed for this program.
Applicants upload their submission materials online and there is a $25 application fee. For their residencies, artists/practitioners are responsible their own work materials as well as transportation to and from the area. Most, though not all, of the food will be provided. The facility and program
are otherwise offered at no cost to invitees. I-Park is a 450-acre natural woodland retreat in rural East Haddam, Connecticut. Accommodations include comfortable private living quarters in a
renovated 1850's era farmhouse, shared bathroom facilities and a private studio on the grounds. An abundance of power tools and equipment, site materials, an electric kiln, wireless internet and library facilities are provided. Landscape/garden designers will have the opportunity, but no obligation, to create installations on the land. For additional project information, go to the I-Park website
, call 860-873-2468 or email
Artists/practitioners working in this field should also consider looking into the upcoming Thanatopolis Symposium & Exhibition
as this inter-disciplinary project includes a major landscape/garden design component.
"The 2010 NOFA Guide to Organic Land
Care is in preparation right now. It will reach over 18,000 readers
throughout the northeast and beyond. If you would like to place an
advertisement in the Guide, please contact Susan Killheffer
AOLCPs in Action...
Todd Harrington, NOFA Organic Land Care Committee member, teacher, and very experienced organic land care professional, is the subject of this article in the Hartford Business Journal online.
Catherine Zimmerman has combined her writing and award-winning photography skills to publish "Urban & Suburban Meadows, Bringing Meadowscaping to Big and Small Spaces," which will be available after Arpil 15. Meanwhile, orders can be placed through the Meadow Project website. In the book, Catherine recounts how she changed her own landscaping choices and provides a guide that demonstrates both the need to change current, detrimental landscaping practices and the practical know-how and resources to accomplish that change.
Chris Baliko is
teaching a course, entitled "Don't treat your soil like dirt," at the
Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, Waterbury, CT this spring.
Marianne Potter and Greg Bertoni presented a workshop on organic seed starting at the NOFA Mass Winter
Conference in January.
Javier Gil has joined the
NOFA/Mass Board of Directors. Many thanks to Javier, who also teaches workshops in organic land
care around the North Shore of Massachusetts.
Caroline Finnegan, co-owner of Ladybug Landscaping, urged more than a dozen people who gathered last
week at the Wallingford Senior Center to "Work with nature, feed the soil, read the
label." She stressed that "Organic is a principle of land care when you work with
nature. You try not to put too much into the land that wouldn't naturally be
Newcombe Teaches at North Shore Community College
by Kathy Litchfield
Having three children made AOLCP Fred Newcombe of Rowley, MA (MA '05
course) question conventional lawn care and its health effects. In 2002 when he
founded his company, PJC Ecological Land Care, organic lawn care was still very
new, yet he focused on providing organic fertilization services for turfgrass. "I believe that one of the greatest
areas of impact that OLC can have is on how we take care of our lawns.
America's or Suburbia's infatuation with its lawns and the conventional way to
manage them has wide ranging impact on our health, our children's health, the
health of our pets, the quality of our water and the environment," he said.
Newcombe sent several employees to
NOFA's OLC courses over the years, and believes strongly in education. Since
2004, he has taught an Ecological Lawn Care course at North Shore Community
College, as part of the Landscape Certificate Program (though classes are open
to everyone). He has also taught at the NOFA Summer Conference with AOLCP
Michael Murray of Organic Soil Solutions in Woburn, MA, and at the NOFA Organic
Lawn & Turf Courses. He has participated in the NOFA "Q&A Panel" at the
New England Grows trade show and served for two years as vice president on the
NOFA/Mass Board of Directors.
Newcombe's wife Pam helps run PJC
Ecological Land Care, and all three of his children - college freshman Peter,
high school senior Jenna and high school sophomore Collette (who comprise the
"P, J and C" of PJC -- have worked in its services business.
"Doing it the organic way was great
because I didn't need to worry about what they'd be exposed to," said Newcombe,
who serves on the leadership council of his church and enjoys skiing and
snowboarding with his family when he's not working. He and his three children
even teach skiing at Ski Bradford, and also enjoy bicycling, mountain bikes and
downhill racing mountain bikes. During the summer, neighborhood kids come by to
have them work on their bikes, he said.
Newcombe's company has evolved over
the years. In 2002 he provided full landscaping, and organic fertilization
services, even doing projects for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Then the
company switched from providing services to also distributing the products they
used, and now to product manufacturer, of Renaissance Fertilizers.
After sending then-employee Justin Spurr
to the NOFA 5-day Accreditation Course in Organic Land Care, Newcombe sold the
service portion of his business to the new AOLCP, who then formed his own
company, Nature's Way Land Care, of Georgetown, MA.
Newcombe still works a lot with
landscapers, schools and municipalities that want to take an organic, all
natural approach to the management of lawns and athletic fields, and now sells
fertilizer and soil amendments to those managing thousands of acres throughout
"We want more people to take an
organic approach," he said, "and we want to make it simple and easy for them to
implement such an approach. We've taken the products we used successfully in
our services business and made them available to others."
Most rewarding for Newcombe is
"working in an environmentally friendly way that can have a great impact on
people and our planet. OLC helps promote an alternative to that conventional
approach," he said.
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| Also of
Check out the new
online ELA newsletter!
UConn is offering an Organic Farming Webinar Series, which has two tracks, Farming and Research. Attending a Webinar requires
downloading software, so please make sure that you have the ability to install
software on the computer you are using to attend the Webinar. All Webinars are
recorded and the recordings are added to the registration page once available. Click here for more information.
New Economics Foundation (nef) has created an outline for a blueprint that offers a
coherent foundation on which to build a future economics. They have called it "The Great
Transition,"and the entire document can be found at the New Economics Institute website.
Here's an interesting article on Organic Lawn Care, which appeared in the February 12 issue of Landscape and Irrigation.
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|NOFA Standards Review
The following excerpt on The Cultivar Debate can be found on page 41of the NOFA Standards for Organic Land Care.
There is currently a debate among scientists as to what and what does not qualify as a
cultivar, and if all cultivars of certain invasive species are all invasive. A general definition
of cultivar is: a subdivision of a species, cultivated variety of plant produced by
horticultural techniques not normally found in wild populations, selected for some feature
that distinguishes it from the species from which it was selected. Cultivars are generally
developed to enhance a certain desirable trait, such a dwarf size, variegated leaves, or color
of flowers or leaves.
Long term studies are being conducted to see if there are any cultivars of invasive species,
such as Burning Bush (Euonymus alata) and Japanese Barberry (Berberis thunbergii) that
are barren (do not produce any viable seeds.) Research thus far has shown that even
cultivars that are currently being marketed as being sterile do indeed produce viable seeds.
Whether or not researchers can develop a truly sterile cultivar is yet to be seen.
Continuing Education Opportunities for AOLCPs
March 13: Nutrient Density Course-Working the Soil- Lincoln, MA
March 15: Turning Gray to Green: Developing Urban Natural Spaces & Native Plant Gardens-Valhalla, NY
March 16: Ecological Restoration - Bronx, NY
March 16- 17: Natural Lawn & Turf Mgmt Training for Lawn Care Pros &Municipal Officials - Sturbridge, MA
March 16-17: Environmental Landscape Design: Learning from Experience - New London, CT
March 17 & 24 and April 3, 2010: Fruit Orchards and Small Fruit Gardens - Stockbridge, MA
March 17-31: Sustainable Gardening Techniques - Bronx, NY
March 22: Going Green with Marie Stella - Wellesley, MA
March 25: Organic Lawn Class for Professional Landscapers - Greenwich, CT
March 25: Edible Estates: Full Frontal Gardening -Bronx, NY
March 26: The Living Landscape: Broadening Your Horizons - Valhalla, NY
March 27: Native Plants Saturday - Bronx, NY
March 27: Greenscapes: Variations on the Theme - Manchester, CT
April 6-27 Growing Vegetables in the City HOR 173 - Boston, MA
April 8: Garden Plants Great and Small HOR 131 - Boston
April 10: Spend a Morning with the National Wildlife Federation -Valhalla, NY
April 10: Planting Design in Multiple Dimensions HOR 331- Boston, MA
April 10: WOW-Botany is Exciting! BOT 103 - Wellesley, MA
April 12: Conservation Arboriculture - Burlington, CT
Visit us at the NOFA Organic Land Care website.