NOFA ORGANIC LAND CARE PROGRAM
E-News November 2009
In this issue: *NOFA Learning Events *Out and About with Jim Beard *A Call For Articles *AOLCPs in Action
*Employment Opportunity *Re-accreditation Alert
*Internship Fair *Also of Interest
*Nantucket Scholarships *Current Credit Opportunities
Upcoming NOFA Courses and Learning Events
NOFA Annual Update Course
This year's Update Course on December 8 in Sturbridge, MA promises to be an outstanding event, and we hope you will join us to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the AOLCP Program! Bill Cullina will be our keynote speaker, and Kevin Smith's presentation will earn ISA credits. Pesticide credits are pending for CT, MA, and NY. A balanced view of bio-char and research updates on organic products and Mile-a-Minute Vine will also be presented.Course Details: The Sturbridge Host Hotel & Conference Center, 366 Main Street, Sturbridge, MA. 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; $75 for AOLCPs and $85 for general public. Lunch Included.Six (6) AOLCP credits will be awarded for attendance. Register online or call (203)
888-5146. If you have any questions, email Carol.
NOFA Organic Land Care Accreditation CourseThe 2010 Organic Land Care Accreditation Course will be offered in four states again this year. Please encourage your friends and colleagues to "go organic" and call 203-888-5146 to register. For more information, check out this brochure at the OLC website.Massachussetts: January 13, 14, 15, 19, 20, 2010 (Snow Date: Jan. 21) -
Newburyport, MA Connecticut: January 21, 22, 25, 26, 27, 2010 (Snow Date: Jan. 29)
- New Haven, CT New York: Feb. 10, 11, 12, 15, 16, 2010 (Snow Date: Feb. 17) - Westchester County, NY
Rhode Island: Feb. 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 2010 (Snow Date: Feb. 27) -
The NOFA MASS Winter Conference will take place in Worcester, MA on January 16 (Details coming soon to our website.)
NOFA/Mass Winter Conference
A Call for Articles...Become a published professional!
The NOFA Guide to Organic Land Care
is issued each Spring to provide homeowners a print directory of AOLCPs in their area and to educate them about the benefits and ways of organic land care. The Guide always includes informative articles written by AOLCPs.
Please consider submitting an article and/or photos for publication in the next issue of the Guide. Many of you have offered workshops, just waiting to be put in print and shared with a wider audience. Some of you have already published articles elsewhere. These too may be reprinted and shared with homeowners in other states. Contact Carol by email
or telephone (203-888-5146) if you need more information or would like to submit an article for the Guide.
Seeking an Organic Lawn Specialist
Please read all the requirements below before replying.
We are a small, but growing organic
lawn management company based in the Newton Center, MA area, but serve all of
metro west. We perform soil tests, fertilizing, aerating, seeding, compost top
dressing and soil amendments. We have been very successful with maintaining a
thick healthy lawn, using only organic products/methods. The right person would
need to be able to interpret a soil test, identify lawn problems, schedule
routes, perform applications, track products & inventory, develop
relationships with clients, return calls & emails, perform estimates. We
understand that this is an uncommon field, but if you have a solid background
in turf grass management and are willing to learn the organic side, this might
be for you.
& References (either former employers, or clients you've serviced)
(tools, time management)
(on time, honest, reliable)
to lift materials (40+ lbs)
positive attitude & solid character
If you think this is you, email Peter DiClemente some background on
your experience, or if you have a resume please send that.
Management Internship Fair at U Mass
Tuesday, November 10, 2009, Time: 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Room 105 - French Hall - Amherst, MA
The Stockbridge School Turf Program will be holding an internship fair for first year students on Tuesday, 10 November, in French Hall Room 105 on the UMass Amherst campus. The session will begin at 6:00 pm and will run until 8:00 pm. All current freshmen will be required to attend, and
invitations will be extended to other turf students in both the two-year and four-year programs. We anticipate that there will be at least 40 students in attendance.
This is a great opportunity for turf managers to meet our students and speak to them about internship positions. If you are unable to attend, you can send an electronic file with the pertinent information for the internship(s) you are looking to fill. We will make those files available to the students who attend the session.
Pizza and refreshments will be provided.
If you are able to attend in person, please RSVP to Pat Vittum or Michelle DaCosta
November 3, 2009.
For maps and driving directions, visit the UMass website
Nantucket Landscapers Receive 5-Day Course
Special thanks to Cormac Collier, Executive Director of the Nantucket Land
demonstrating true dedication to water protection through organic landscaping!
For each of the last two years,
the Council has provided full scholarships for a dozen Nantucket landscapers to
attend the NOFA 5-day Accreditation Courses in Organic Land Care in MA and RI. The Nantucket Land Council has also hosted workshops on the island with Chip
Osborne, Michael Nadeau and Donald Bishop to help AOLCPs earn their
re-accreditation credits and educate the public about organic land care.
know landscapers who could benefit from the Council's generosity this year,
please encourage them to contact Cormac Collier.
If you work with a
watershed organization that could consider a similar program, please contact
Ashley Kremser in CT by email or by telephone at (203) 888-5146;
or Kathy Litchfield in MA by email or by telephone at (413) 773-3830.
Out and About...
News from the Western
AOLCP Jim Beard,
(NY '09 course) has been busy teaching Organic Land Care to his students at Fox
Valley Technical College in Appleton, Wisconsin. He has integrated hands-on
organic education into his turf, landscape construction, landscape design and
landscape maintenance classes by working with students to make and apply
compost, apply organic fertilizer through a well-based irrigation system and
harvest worm castings from their very own campus-based worm farm. Next Spring
students will aerate and apply compost to campus lawns; apply compost tea to
planter beds; and fertilize perennial beds with organic fertilizer through the
Fifteen of Beard's landscape construction class students also
completed a one-day project on Sept. 12, installing a rain garden with a bio-filter
to treat runoff from the Town Hall in Greenville, Wisconsin, using a soil mix
that was 50 percent pea gravel, 25 percent sand and 25 percent compost. They
excavated 10 cubic yards of soil and inputted the new soil; covered the bio-filter
with hardwood shredded mulch, 30 tons of boulders and 250-300 native plants, he
said, all the while working alongside the Town Administrator, board chairman
and community members interested in sustainability and rain gardens.
"The Midwest isn't ready to totally embrace organics as the
Northeast has, but many of my students want this education. Our goal is to
train the workforce, and educate the public as much as possible. Once they see
organics working, they'll be on board," said Beard, who uses the NOFA Standards
for Organic Land Care, the NOFA Organic Lawn & Turf Handbook and the
Natural Turf Pro DVD with Chip Osborne, from the Grassroots Healthy Lawn
Program (GHLP), as his main curricula.
Since taking the accreditation course last February, Beard
has maintained two acres of FVTC's 30-acre campus organically, to
demonstrate that organic principles can work when implemented properly. He plans
to add a five-acre sports field next, and eventually transition the entire
campus to organic management.
Beard has also given half a dozen lectures and presentations
on organic land care in his community, including to the Fox Valley and
Greenville chapters of Wisconsin Landscapers; at the Waupaca County Garden
Center; at Fox Valley's satellite college in Osh Kosh, Wisconsin; and at the
botanical gardens in Appleton.
"Next fall we'll have a
brand new course in 'Organic Lawn Care' at Fox Valley Technical College, with
its own curriculum that will follow the NOFA Standards. Students will brew and
apply compost and compost tea. There's interest out here," said Beard. "I tell
the contractors, 'Gentlemen, it's coming this way and there are professional
opportunities for some of you wanting to make good quality compost that's
fungal and bacterial, to be used in the organic industry. Get ahead of the
|AOLCPs in Action
Virginia Acquario followed her experience at the NOFA Advanced
Pruning Workshop in July with further research on the teachings of Dr. Shigo.
Virginia then delivered a workshop in October, entitled "Pruning your Landscape"
to members of the Bethlehem Garden Club in Bethlehem, NY, a suburb of Albany. Teaching is a great way to reinforce
Chuck Sherzi, who is also a Certified Arborist and
Horticulturist, will offer "Pruning: When, Why, and How" on Thursday, November 5, beginning at 7 pm, at the Medford Public Library, 111 High Street, Medford,
Massachusetts, and is sponsored by the Medford Garden Club. The program
is free and open to the public.
If you attended the 2009 NE Grows Conference and had your
badge scanned for credits, please contact Carol to assure that the
credits will be award for your re-accreditation.
The scanning process did not work as well as planned, and we received a
report including over 1,000 names! We'll
find you as soon as we know who you are!!!
To review re-accreditation requirements, please check the guidelines at our website.
The 16th Annual
ELA Conference & Eco-Marketplace ~
EXPANDING THE ECOLOGICAL
Keynote Speaker: Toby Hemenway
Co-hosts: NOFA Organic Land
Care Program * Pioneer Valley Planning Commission
February 25, 2010 at the
MassMutual Center in Springfield, MA
The full brochure and
registration will be available online in late December, and re-accreditation credits will be posted at the OLC website.
Join ELA as an Exhibitor at the oldest Northeast conference that
highlights all aspects of ecological, sustainable,
and organic landscaping practices. Visit: www.ecolandscaping.org to review and download the Exhibitor Packet/Registration
contact Trevor Smith at email@example.com or ELA at
The "Dirt" on Earthworms
That seemingly harmless creature, the earthworm, revered
so long as our ally in
the garden, has become a foe in our forests. Surprisingly,
earthworms are not native to
the Northeastern United States. Glaciers in the
Pleistocene period wiped out native
earthworms in most of the Northern Continental U.S.
Explorers and settlers introduced exotic earthworms possibly as early as the
1600s. These exotic earthworms were brought to America both intentionally and
unintentionally from Europe and Asia through agriculture, horticulture and
fishing. Read more in this article from The Native Plant Center at Westchester Community College Newsletter, September 2009, NUMBER 23 (page 2).Leaf it Be!A quiet revolution is brewing. Across the state, homeowners,
landscapers and municipal employees are refining methods of dealing
with fall leaves. Read more at Fairfield Weekly.com.
The National Sustainable Agricultural Information Service
Looking for the latest in sustainable agriculture and
organic farming news, events and funding opportunities? The ATTRA newsletter features all
that, plus in-depth publications on production practices, alternative
crop and livestock enterprises, innovative marketing, organic certification,
and highlights of local, regional, USDA and other federal sustainable ag activities.Richmond makes pesticides illegalUsing pesticides to spruce up lawns and gardens on all residential
property and most city property is now illegal in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada. In a final vote this week, city council enacted the Pesticide Use Control
Bylaw, giving bylaw enforcement officers power to fine homeowners up to $1,000
for using products like Roundup, Killex and Weed 'N' Feed. Read the entire article by Matthew Hoekstra in the October 16, 2009 Richmond Review
Current AOLCP Credit Opportunities
November 4: How to Build a Rain Garden - Chevy Chase, MD
Nov. 4 to Dec. 2: European and American Landscape Design - Stockbridge, MA
Nov. 4, 2009 - Feb. 11, 2010: Sustainable Site Engineering- Landscape Inst., Boston, MA
Nov. 5 - Dec. 3: Ecological Planting Design- Stockbridge, MA
November 7: Going Native in New England - New London, CT
November 7: Dividing and Transplanting Perennials in the Fall - Whately, MA
Nov. 9 - Dec. 21: Green Roofs and Rain Gardens - Landscape Inst., Boston, MA
November 13: Northeast Biochar Symposium 2009 - Amherst, MA
November 17: Invasive Species in the Northeast - Valhalla, NY
November 21: Propagating Hardwoods from Cuttings - Whately, MA
Nov. 24-Dec. 15: Plant Health Care - Stockbridge, MA
December 8: NOFA Organic Land Care Update Course - Sturbridge, MA
Dec. 15-March 14: Permaculture Design Course - Bethlehem, CT
January 1: Postmark Deadline for Re-accreditation for 2010
January 5-26: Botany for Gardeners - Stockbridge, MA
January 6-27: Designer Tool Kit I - Observation & Analysis - Stockbridge, MA
January 7 - 28: The Business of Horticulture - Stockbridge, MA
Jan.15 - Nov. 22: Permaculture Design Course -Shelburne Falls MA
January 16: NOFA MASS WINTER CONFERENCE - Worcester, MA (Details coming soon)
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