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Mark Your Calendars For Our Upcoming Events  

             

If you are interested in registering for any of these events, give us a call at 203.888.5146 or visit organiclandcare.net.  More information will be available as we continue to firm up the details.  Visit the website or give us a call for the most up to date information. 

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Out and About with AOLCPs   

Two AOLCPs Build Gardens, Encourage Bees and Chickens as Homefront Farmers

BY KATHY LITCHFIELD

  

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, CT - "Everyone wants tomatoes," said John Carlson, "which of course require the most sun to grow."

 

Finding large sunny expanses can be a challenge in Fairfield County, Conn. where well-established trees thrive amidst manicured, clover-free lawns on some of Carlson's clients' properties.

 

However, when there are creative gardeners willing to improvise and clients dreaming of fresh organic vegetables straight from their backyard, there is Homefront Farmers.

 

In December of 2011, Carlson teamed up with Vonne Whittleton, former owner of Vonne's Victory Gardens LLC, to form this new business, installing and often maintaining flourishing vegetable and herb gardens for clients. Read More> 

 

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Announcing Our New Partnership with Three Rivers Community College   

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Another new Partnership with Pennsylvania
Logan Square in Center City Philadelphia, a PHS landscape management project.
Horticultural Society!  

PHS will be co-hosting the NOFA Accreditation Course in Organic Land Care

January 14-17, 2013  

Philadelphia, PA

 

Last year at the Connecticut Accreditation Course, Julie Snell, Project Manager with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS), was among the 40 students. This year, she is leading the effort and welcoming the Northeast Organic Farming Association's Organic Land Care program to bring the Accreditation Course to her Philadelphia home. Julie says, "With all the green initiatives going on in the Philadelphia area, horticulturists, environmentalists, and landscape contractors will benefit from taking this multidisciplinary course based upon NOFA's Standards for Organic Land Care."

 

NOFA OLC is really excited to co-host the Philadelphia course, which will include local teachers along with seasoned NOFA instructors. Up to 70 students can be accommodated.

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Our New Organic Lawn Care Certificate Course!    
Our goal with this one-day Course is to reach small lawn care providers who are interested in offering organic lawn care to their clients. 

The Course will be based on the environmental message, "what goes in the ground goes in the Sound" and will discuss the connection between applications of fertilizers and pesticides and resulting water quality.
 
Secondly, the Course will promote soil testing as the determining factor when planning to apply nutrients, in order to reduce unnecessary nitrogen and phosphorus applications.

Students will benefit from four hours of organic lawn care training from Chip Osborne, leading expert on organic lawn and turf management.

Students will be given marketing materials to promote organic land care to their customers and the public.

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Your 2013 Re-Accreditation

We want to remind you to start earning, or to complete earning, your four continuing education credits by the end of this year so you can re-accredit for 2013. If you have any questions on your credit status, email Clara, or call 203-888-5146.  And as always, if you scroll to the bottom of this newsletter or click here, you can view a list of AOLCP credit opportunities in chronological order.

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In The News

  

NOFA OLC at the CNLA Summer Field Day 

At the Connecticut Nursery and Landscape Association's Summer Field Day Event at Lockwood Farm in Hamden, CT, Brian Joyce is standing next to his newest machinery - a power compost spreader. According to Brian, his inquiries about organic landscaping methods and tools have skyrocketed at Schmidt's and Serafine's, Inc. in Waterbury, CT. Well, that is what NOFA OLC likes to hear!  Brian's predicts that fuel-efficient landscaping equipment, compost spreaders, and aerators will become an increasing part of his sales every year.   

 

Only Organics - Lawn & Landscape 

Hurray to Rick Brosseau for giving a great interview to Lawn & Landscape, for promoting NOFA and organic lawn care!  Could the tides be turning?  click here to read here

 

Ontario Family Physicians Warn of Pesticide Dangers - Canada Newswire  

The Ontario College of Family Physicians (OCFP) is strongly recommending the public reduce their exposure to pesticides wherever possible, based on the findings of its second comprehensive review of research on the effects of pesticides on human health.  Released today, this review shows associations between pesticide exposure and various neurological and respiratory diseases, as well as reproductive problems. Covering 142 studies, the review also demonstrates that children are particularly vulnerable to pesticide exposures that occur during pregnancy. More> 

 

Lawn Care Tips For Connecticut Homeowners - Hartford Courant  A lawn looks so simple; grass growing in soil. Oh, that it were that easy. Lawns can get diseases, become weed-choked, turn brown and die. They suffer from neglect; they suffer from too much love. Maintaining a lawn may not require a crash course in horticulture, but there are some fundamental, sound turf management practices that are worth learning. Too often they are overlooked, ignored or simply not followed properly. These practices not only will help keep a lawn healthy, they often will save a property owner money, too. More>

 

AOLCP Adam Kindl Featured in ELA Article  

Over the past three years, I have seen an increase in client interest in edibles for their landscapes. The key is selecting a plant that the family enjoys eating. Of course, choosing the right location for the desired plant is critical as well. I think there are mistaken beliefs that people hold about edibles in the landscape, but once they witness some of the vivid flower colors, smell the fragrant foliage, and as an added bonus, harvest the fruit, vegetable, or herb, their misconceptions disappear. More> 

Announcements

 

Want to Represent AOLCPs on the CT NOFA Board? 

CT NOFA is looking for board members with Fundraising and Marketing Experience.

Board member will:

  1. Attend in-person meeting every other month
  2. Participate in conference call on the alternate month
  3. Lead the Development/Fundraising Committee of the Board which is responsible for:
    1. Working with staff to create a Fundraising Plan
    2. Leading the Board in their participation in the execution of the Fundraising Plan
    3. Teaching the Board fundraising skills and techniques
  4. Attend CT NOFA events, have fun, eat great food and advocate for local, organic food and organic land care.

Please contact John Turenne, Vice-President of the CT NOFA Board. 

   

New Trend in Sustainable Landscaping? 

MowGreen cuts pollution, gas consumption & spillage, noise, dust, traffic, obesity, and unemployment with reel mowing - at similar prices to "dirty" lawn care (5 to 10% of US air pollution), while endorsing lawn reduction with native plants and organic gardens. Founded in 2007, MowGreen.US is in Westchester, Fairfield, & New Haven Counties and expanding. MowGreen seeks new partners to grow with. Click here, or call 203-548-REEL (7335).

 

Save the Date for a NOFA NH Advanced Workshop
Permaculture: An ecological and sustainable landscape practice - Lauren Chase Rowell

- September 12 (Rain Date Sept 13)

- 12 noon - 5pm

NOFA members $70; Non members $85

Includes organic lunch
**Limited to 20 participants

Contact Paula Kovecses or call 603 529-9634 for registration information.

 

Addendum to Last Month's eNews

Last month's edition of this eNewsletter featured two articles about the comeback of clover in the yard and recommendations for compost top-dressing. AOLCP Mike Nadeau has provided some additional information on these subjects:  

  • Without Rhizobial Bacteria, clover cannot fix nitrogen in the soil.  In order for clover to successfully fix nitrogen, the bacteria must be in the soil, or the seed should be inoculated with it prior to seeding.
  • When top-dressing with compost, always keep in mind that the major issue with too much compost is phosphorous.  It is the initiating substance for freshwater eutrophication, so be very careful when making applications.  

As always, if you have any comments or information related to the content of this newsletter that you'd like the AOLCP community to hear about, let us know

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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.  

 

7/19/12 - The Permaculture 8-Day Design Certificate Course, Hillsborough, NJ
7/19/12 - Summer Meeting CT Tree Protective Association, Farmington, CT
7/21/12 - Ferns: Identification and Ecology, Hampton , CT
7/23/12 - YouthBuildBoston, Roxbury, MA
7/23/12 - NYS IPM In-Depth, Ithaca, NY
7/24/12 - YouthBuildBoston, Roxbury, MA
7/25/12 - Wetland Plant Identification, Framingham, MA
7/26/12 - Summer Conference & Trade Show, Wellesley, MA
7/30/12 - YouthBuildBoston, Roxbury, MA
7/31/12 - YouthBuildBoston, Roxbury, MA
8/1/12 - Plant Science Day, Hamden, CT
8/2/12 - Natural Lawn and Turf Management Training For Lawn Care Professionals, Swarthmore, PA
8/2/12 - Basic Wetland Identification and Delineation, Framingham, MA
8/2/12 - Basic Wetland Identification and Delineation, Framingham, MA
8/3/12 - Grassy Weed Identification Workshop: An In-Depth Look , Amherst, MA
8/9/12 - Compost Tea and Air Spading, NOFA workshop, Rye, NY
8/10/12 - NOFA Summer Conference, Amherst, MA
8/14/12 - Meadow Gardens, Framingham, MA
8/14/12 - A Plant's Family Tree: Relationships within the Plant Kingdom, Boothbay, ME
8/14/12 - Invasive Plant Certification Program, Milford, MA.
8/18/12 - Edible Forest Garden Caretake and Harvest, Rochester, NY
9/4/12 - Native New England Shrubs, Framingham, MA
9/7/12 - The Making of an Edible Forest, Wellesley, MA
9/12/12 - Invasive Plant Certification Program, Milford, MA.
9/13/12 - Very Fine Vines, Boston, MA
9/16/12 - Understanding Botanical and Horticultural Names, Framingham, MA
9/27/12 - Horticultural Ecology, Boothbay, ME
9/28/12 - What Are Mushrooms?, Rowe, MA
10/12/12 - Invasive Plants: Issues, Identification, and Ecology, Boothbay, ME
12/31/13 - ONGOING - Natural Turf Pro DVD, Northeast

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NOFA Standards Review

It is high summer, and as the growing season has been going on for a few months now, pests have had ample time to populate and possibly cause some problems in your landscape. As humans who are capable of manipulating the landscape around us, designating another organism as a pest is somewhat arbitrary and based on our specific needs in that time and place. Often, something that is useful in one situation may be considered a pest in another situation. The following excerpt on pest and disease management comes from page 52 of the NOFA Standards for Organic Land Care

Insects and other arthropods, fungi, and even snails and slugs are essential to sustaining the web of life on Earth. Human beings choose to protect their plants and other resources from competition or damage from these organisms, and thus consider them to be "pests". The best way to manage pests is to prevent the pests from reaching damaging levels. By using his knowledge of the pest, the plant, and the local ecosystem; of the natural enemies that limit pest populations; and of the biological and cultural methods that can be used to prevent conditions favorable to disease, the land care professional can foster an ecosystem in which pest outbreaks are uncommon.

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