|Our First Advanced Organic Land Care Workshop of the Year|
Growing Fruit in a Health Orchard Ecosystem with Michael Phillips
Michael Phillips, author of The Apple Grower discussed fruit growing at NOFA Organic Land Care's most recent advanced workshop. The audience was partially AOLCPs looking to add edibles to their landscape, commercial orchardists, fruit-growing enthusiasts, and community gardeners. Phillips discussed creating healthy soil and making soil fungi and organisms work for you. He also emphasized the importance of growing a diverse variety of fruits together citing especially the benefits of growing blueberries near apple trees. Phillips focused on the value of soil fungi in a cultivated fruit growing system.
Phillips explained that a hand-full of soil from a forest floor is full of mycorrhizae (strands of fungal fibers that can fix nutrients in the soil and transfer them to roots). If you lined up all these strands of mycorrhizae found in a single handful of soil, they would extend for 26 miles. This natural system is far superior to anything we can create with the aid (or impediment) of pesticides and fertilizers. These growing choices don't just affect the environment, they affect the quality of your food! Apple trees treated with fungicide produce apples with as little as one-third of the healthy properties of an organic apple.
In the afternoon we all went to High Hill Orchard in Meriden, CT where Wayne Young showed us his grounds and co-taught with Michael Phillips.
Photos: Wayne Young showing all 55 attendees his orchard (you can see one of his older apple trees behind him), a photo of about half our group, and finally Michael Phillips demonstrating how to direct the growth of fruit tree limbs.
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You can still re-accredit for 2012.
Being an AOLCP gives you a respected credential to use with potential clients and employers, showing that you have been educated to the highest standards available by the leading U.S organization in organic landscaping!
Other marketing and educational benefits include:
- Your listing in the online searchable AOLCP database and in online and print versions of the NOFA Guide to Organic Land Care.
-Use of the NOFA Organic Land Care logo and other promotional materials.
-Discounts at NOFA OLC Advanced Workshops and events.
-Eligibility to be paid for teaching, consulting or public speaking engagements.
-Eligibility to be featured in NOFA OLC press releases, in our newsletter, and on our website.
-Networking with a community of highly trained and committed organic professionals.
Thank you AOLCPs! Your support of the NOFA OLC Program allows us to continue to offer quality education in Organic Land Care and to actively publicize and promote organic lawns, gardens and landscapes locally and nationally.
If you want to check you status, contact Clara
Speaking of accreditation, we'd like to welcome these new Accredited Organic Land Care Professionals who just graduated from our course in Connecticut:Daniel Antonison
- John Groeneveld, Inc., Albertson, NY; Monique Bosch
- Green Village Initiative, Westport, CT; Sebastion Bulfamante
- Domenick Bulfamante Nursery, New Rochelle, NY; Sal Bulfamante
- Domenick Bulfamante Nursery, New Rochelle, NY; Al Calabrese, Jr.
- New England Organic Lawn Care, Wolcott, CT; Juan Cuahuizo
- Plantscapes, Inc., Fairfield, CT; G. Scott Fawcett
- Hoffman Landscapes, Inc., Wilton, CT; Vivian Felten
- Collinsville, CT; Eileen Fisher
- Suffield, CT; Daniel Furman
- Cricket Hill Garden, LLC, Thomaston, CT; Rebecca Glidden
- Nantucket, MA; Tobias Glidden
- Nantucket, MA; John Greenwood
- New Canaan, CT; Tom Hamed III
- Tom's Country Farm, Danbury, CT; Craig Hauschild
- RIT Housing Operations 1, Rochester, NY; Nathan Kennedy
- ECDS, Easton, CT; Beth Martin
- Northeast Horticultural Services, LLC, Stratford, CT; Michael McCleese
- A Guy and His Dog Organic Landscaping, Cincinnati, OH; Thomas McDonald
- McClean Landscape & Nursery, LLC, Granby, CT; Jim McGee
- Tree Pro Organic, Stamford, CT; Greg Mikos
- Connecticut Landscapes LLC, Fairfield, CT; Cameron Pirc
- Green Cross, Inc., New Paltz, NY; Raymond Quiles
- Q's Reliable Lawn Service, LLC, Bridgeport, CT; Stuart Rabinowitz
- Bethlehem, CT; Justin Rawson - Arborpolitan Tree and Garden Care, New York, NY; Richard Rothrock
- Alive and Growing, Danbury, CT; Eric Ruquist
- Falls Village, CT; James Smith
- Washington Supply, New Preston, CT; Julie Snell
- PHS, Philadelphia, PA; Yaacov Teplow-Phipps
- Garden Thyme NY Inc., Briarcliff Manor, NY; John Torgerson
- Town of Hamden, Public Works Dept., Hamden, CT; Linda Whippie
- Taunton Hill Landscape Co. Inc., Sandy Hook, CT; Barry Winters
- Roslyn Heights, NY; Zivilyte Zivilukas
- Nantucket, MA
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|Listing and Advertising your Business in the 2013-13 Guide|
We're getting ready to print the 2012-2013 NOFA Guide to Organic Land Care!
Before we do so, there are a few things we'd like you to know:
Your Business Information: We will be using the information you have provided on the NOFA Organic Land Care Website. Details such as company name, town, state, telephone number, and email will be copied for use in the Guide. Please visit our website and make any desired changes by March 30th, 2012.
Advertising: Looking for an opportunity to promote your business in the 2012-2013 NOFA OLC Guide? There are two ways to advertise! We will print 10,000 copies of the Guide, and will distribute copies to numerous communities and states, including CT, MA, and NY. Copies of the Guide are available to be distributed in your customer neighborhoods. Contact us to request copies of the Guide.
Traditional Ads (in color)
Quarter page: $132
Business card: $75
Feature Listings for NOFA AOLCPs
For $80, you can have a feature listing in this year's Guide. This includes a biography of yourself and your business (limit of 150 words) and one photo. Please send the information to Clara by Friday, April 22nd.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Clara here or at 203-888-5146
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|Out and About with AOLCPs
Transitioning 12 Acres of Western Mass Parks to Organic: Bernadette Giblin Shares Vision for Being Part of the Solution
BY KATHY LITCHFIELD
NORTHAMPTON, MA - Longtime community activist Bernadette Giblin has returned to her native Northampton with a vision in mind: to raise awareness among people from all walks of life about how important it is to change how we care for our lawns.
"I'm grateful whenever I have the opportunity to wake someone up to the reality of how hazardous traditional lawn chemicals are," said the Smith College graduate. "I'm even more grateful when I have the opportunity to provide solutions and support to homeowners and grounds manager to get them on the path to change, and stay on it!"
|Bernadette Giblin was featured in the documentary, The Truth About Cats, Dogs & Lawn Chemicals, funded in part by the Newman Foundation. For more information email her here.|
Giblin, a NOFA Accredited Organic Land Care Professional since 2005, is presently working with four municipal parks departments in Western Massachusetts, helping them transition a total of 12 acres of parks to organic management plans. She is partnering with the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, with financial assistance from the Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) of the University of Massachusetts at Lowell.
In 2010, Giblin wrote and received a community grant from TURI to transition the Pines Theater, an outdoor ampitheater at Look Park in Northampton, to an organic land care program. Last summer, TURI awarded her a second grant to replicate the Look Park demonstration project at four other parks in Agawam, Holyoke, Longmeadow and Ludlow. She recently held a mid-year grant organic training and community outreach workshop with the five participating DPW and parks crews. Read more>
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|What's Your Plan for Marketing Organic This Spring?
|From AOLCP Bernadette Giblin in MA|
Using our logo is a great way to show your clients that you are accredited!
You can request a copy of the logo to use on your business cards, website, and any other publications. Contact Clara for a copy of the logo.
Here is a great example of our logo at work!
If you want to have our logo shown on your company's vehicle, but don't want to spend all the time and money getting it painted on, you can purchase an Accredited Professional Car Magnet from our online store! Magnets measure 7.75x4.75" and cost $5.00 each. Order yours today to give your business an extra boost!
Don't forget, our Introduction to Organic Lawns and Yards booklet and Organic Land Care brochure are both easy and inexpensive tools to promote organic and your services. Add your business information to the back cover of the IOLY booklet, or to the blank space provided on the brochure. Purchase OLC brochures here and IOLY booklets here. View a PDF version of the IOLY booklet here. Market organic and market yourself, all at the same time!
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|Events and Outreach |
Beyond Pesticides holds its national forum in CT in support of maintaining its "Ban on Pesticides at K-8th Grade Schools"
Healthy Communities: Green solutions for safe environments
The 30th National Pesticide Forum
Yale University -- New Haven, CT -- March 30-31, 2012
With acclaimed ecologist and Living Downstream author
Sandra Steingraber, PhD
Register online. Beyond Pesticides members can receive a reduced registration rate of $25 ($15 for students), which includes all sessions, conference materials, and organic food, beer and wine.
New Credit opportunities for AOLCPs
You can earn two (2) credits per year by volunteering to table at a local event for four hours. Promote your business while educating the public on organic land care.
Hamden Earth Day - Saturday, April 21, 2012, 9-3:30, Hamden, CT. To volunteer, please email Melissa Gabso, or call 203-888-5146
If there is an Earth Day event in your area that you would like to volunteer at for credit, let us know and we will determine if you can receive credit for it. We will provide you with CT NOFA materials for your event when requested.
Come Visit CT NOFA's Table at the Uconn Perennial Plant Conference
Thursday, March 15, 2012, University of Connecticut
Stop by and check out our table at the event. If you attend one of the following presentations, you will receive 1 AOLCP credit each:
- Change: The Passage of Time in the Garden
- Permaculture/Edible Landscaping
- Maintaining Curb Appeal with Native Plants
- Developing Ecologically Responsible Weed Management Programs
- New and Exciting Perennials
- What's New in the World of Irises?
Learn more about the conference here.
Attention Arborists, Landscapers, and Green Industry Professionals in Westchester County: FREE morning compliance training about operating within the Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB) Quarantine in NYC, in late March/Early April in central Westchester County. Featured speakers/trainers include NYS Department of Ag & Markets staff. Program offers continuing educational credits for ISA Certified arborists and potentially NYS Pesticide Applicators as well. This training would also facilitate bidding on NYC and NYS contracts and is strongly recommended by NYS regulation authorities if you are operating in the NYC Quarantined area. Please respond to Rick Harper here indicating that you are interested.
2012 CT Invasive Plant Working Group Symposium
Thursday October 25, 2012
Uconn, Storrs, CT
Developing Guidelines for the Disposal of Terrestrial Invasive Plants
to provide the public with information that will help prevent the unintentional spread of invasive plants. These guidelines are available to the public in hardcopy and online
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|Announcements and News|
New national, one-page article can be used as a marketing tool
Iowa-based magazine, Buildings, which caters to large property management firms, recently interviewed NOFA OLC Director Jenna Messier and Landscape Architect Ruth Fox. "5 Approaches to Sustainable Landscaping" suggests using native plants, getting a soil test, upgrading and maintaining irrigation systems, hiring organic land care professionals and reducing pavement if possible. This article is a great way to support your organic landscaping advice to your clients. Read the full article here.
A Greenwich Citizens Group Is Seeking to Ban Leafblowers
A group calling itself Citizens Against Leafblower Mania, or CALM, has asked the town to enact a six-month-a-year ban on the machines used by landscapers and private residents. Selectman Drew Marzullo instead is calling for a moratorium on the use of gas-power leaf blowers on Sundays, which are currently permitted from 9 am to 3 pm More>
AOLCP in the News - From the Ground Up: Showing off the Beauty of Spring
Two local horticulturists, Crystal Brinson and Jessica Duphily Cook, talk about what they have planned for their exhibits at the 2012 New England Flower Show, opening Wednesday March 14 at the Boston Seaport World Trade Center. More>
New Tree List for Planting Near Utility Wires
In response to the tremendous damage to utility infrastructure caused by trees near overhead wires during last year's major storms, the Connecticut College Arboretum and the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station have released a new list of trees with relatively low mature heights suitable for planting near street-side utility lines. Read the list here.
New Best Management Practices Released for Boxwood Blight
The CT Agricultural Experiment Station recently published two versions of Best Management Practices for nurseries, dealers, and garden centers advising how to handle the new fungus that harms much of the boxwood grown and sold in the state. The first gives general advice for companies that have not yet seen the fungus, the second is for those who have encountered infected plants. Learn more here.
Bamboo Bill, Born In Seymour, Draws Wide Response
An Ansonia woman said bamboo made her next door neighbor's house look like "a Vietnam jungle." A member of the Mad Gardeners Inc. said the plant can ruin driveways, septic systems and other structures. A New Haven county landscaper said it took his company months to remove bamboo from a Woodbridge home - but not before it destroyed an asphalt tennis court. Their stories were among about 20 told in written testimony on a proposed bill that would regulate Golden Bamboo plants in Connecticut. Read more here.
New App Provides Access to Soil Survey Information
A new smartphone app to access soil survey information is now available as a free download for both iPhone and Android users. Called SoilWeb, the app combines online soil survey information with the GPS capabilities of smartphones. SoilWeb is a portable version of the UC Davis California Soil Resource Lab's Web-based interface to digital soil survey data from USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Because the app provides soil survey information in a mobile form, it is particularly useful for those working in the field.
The Toxics Information Project Unveils its new Less Toxic Landscaping Resource Directory
This booklet has basic, important points about healthy landscaping and gardening, the dangers of pesticides, effectiveness considerations, and more. It also includes a simple contact list of nearby resources for info, services and supplies. Download and learn more here.
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Job Opportunities: Landscape Positions - Plantscapes Organics, Inc.
, the leading organic land care company based in Fairfield, CT, is seeking forward thinking, motivated employees for various positions. Learn more>
Maryland AOLCP Richard Bajana's business, Richard Landscaping, is offering a new product:
Bamboo fencing - strong and durable, eco-friendly and versatile, and quite beautiful -- greener, stronger and more durable than traditional wood fences. Learn more here
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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.
3/15/12 - Leaf Mulching Landscaper Workshop , Bedford Hills, NY
3/15/12 - Perennial Plant Conference, Storrs, CT
3/16/12 - 2012 Garden Conference, Storrs, CT
3/19/12 - Intro to Wetland Restoration Management , Bronx, NY
3/22/12 - Distinguishing Invasive Plants and Native Look-A-Likes In Late Winter and Early Spring,Norfolk, CT 3/24/12 - Pruning Shrubs with the Pros, Framingham, MA
3/24/12 - "Exploring Diversity in Garden Design", Manchester, CT
3/24/12 - Bark: Get to Know Your Trees, Boylston, MA
3/26/12 - Wetland Restoration: Planting and Design , Bronx, NY
3/28/12 - Design and Plant a Native Perennial Garden in the Spring, Cambridge, MA
3/28/12 - The Life of Soil, Philadelphia, PA
3/29/12 - Vital Spaces, Vibrant Lives, Boston, MA
4/1/12 - Creating Stunning English Gardens with Yankee Practicality, Boylston, MA
4/1/12 - Tips for Jump-Starting Your Gardens , Boylston, MA
4/4/12 - Invasive Plant Certification Program, Amherst, MA
4/13/12 - The Ninth Annual Great Gardens and Landscaping Symposium, Manchester Village, VT
4/14/12 - The Ninth Annual Great Gardens and Landscaping Symposium, Manchester Village, VT
4/14/12 - Recovering from Construction: A Case Study , Watertown, MA
4/20/12 - Edible Forest Garden Installation and Caretake, Rochester, NY
4/28/12 - Low Maintenance Design with Native Plants, Whately, MA
5/12/12 - A Westford Oasis , Westford, MA
5/30/12 - Native New England Shrubs, Framingham, MA
6/26/12 - Broadleaf Weed Identification Workshop, Jamaica Plain, MA
8/3/12 - Grassy Weed Identification Workshop: An In-Depth Look , Amherst, MA
8/14/12 - Invasive Plant Certification Program, Milford, MA.
9/12/12 - Invasive Plant Certification Program, Milford, MA.
12/31/13 - ONGOING - Natural Turf Pro DVD, Northeast
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|NOFA Standards Review|
It's almost planting season, and so we've decided to devote this month's Standards Review to the topic of planting. The following excerpt on soil as it relates to planting can be found on page 42 of the NOFA Standards for Organic Land Care.
"Although many variations exist, there are two basic approaches to preparing the soil in a planting bed. The first is to not amend the native soil at all. This requires great care in selecting plants that match the soil types and site conditions on a property. Foregoing the conventional amendment process requires fewer inputs and is less expensive, but requires more knowledge. The second approach is to amend the existing soil with compost or organically approved minerals and nutrients. This approach may result in more lush growth, and may require additional inputs to maintain that growth. Highly amended soil may be too rich for some plants, making them prone to problems and requiring higher maintenance. Excessive nitrogen and phosphorus may also cause pollution...Whether the soil is amended or not, choosing the right plant for the right place will yield consistently good results and will help to ensure the long-term health and sustainability of any planting."