February 2012 AOLCP eNews
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In this issue:
Advanced Orchard Workshop
NOFA Accreditation Course
Out and About: Priscilla Williams
Winter Conference
Our New Logo
Also of Interest
Current Credit Opportunities
NOFA Standards
First Advanced Workshop of the Year! 
Growing Fruit in a Healthy Orchard Ecosystem 
with Michael Phillips

March 9th, 9-4:30pm  

CT Forest and Park Association 

Route 66, Middletown, CT


This full-day program with orchard health expert Michael Phillips will discuss the primary role of orchardists; which is to build system health creating the most favorable conditions for the production of delicious, healthy fruits. Holistic methods are about deep nutrition and competitive colonization along with organically-approved approaches to achieving pest balance.


A morning and early afternoon session will be held in a classroom, with a hearty lunch served in between. We will end the day with a walk around High Hill Orchard in Meriden, learning what the trees have to tell.


Topics will include:

  • Forest edge ecology
  • How to embrace the right biology in your yard or orchard
  • Roots cycles which suggest a particular timing of tasks

For more information, or to register, click here, contact Deb, or call the office at 203-888-5146.  


"His talks go beyond more than the commitment to the ecological principles inherent in organic agriculture, the health considerations, or the community economic benefits - they recognize and celebrate the spirit in organic agriculture."  -Enid Wonnacott, Executive Director of NOFA-VT


This is a perfect opportunity to earn all of your OLC continuing education credit opportunities for next year. 

NOFA Course in Organic Land Care 


There's still time to attend the NOFA Organic Land Care Course in Rhode Island!5 day course Take $20 off your re-accreditation fee for for every new student you refer to the course.   


Charlestown, RI, February 27, 28, 29, and March 1 and 2, 2012 (snow date March 5) 


For more information and to register, please go to the Organic Land Care website, or call the office at 203-888-5146.   


We welcome these new NOFA Accredited Organic Land Care Professionals that just graduated from the Massachusetts 5 day course:


Allan Robinson - Christie Dustman and Co, Roslindale, MA; Carolyn Whitley-Harris - Spare Time Enterprises, Marblehead, MA; Chad Clark - Clark Landcare, Plainville, MA; Dave Mcnutt - Barre Center for Buddhist Studies, Barre, MA; David McWeeney - Lush Landscapes, Medfield, MA; Diba Khan-Bureau - Three Rivers Community College, Norwich, CT; Don Gerwick - Gerwick Mereen LLC Civil Eng. and Surveyors, Waterford, CT; Edamarie Mattei - Backyard Bounty, Silver Spring, MD; Eric DiTommaso - Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy, Boston, MA; Eulalio Guevara - A Yard and A Half Landscaping LLC, Waltham, MA; Gary Thorp - Rose Kennedy Greenway, Pembroke, MA; James Murray - Organic Soil Solutions, Needham, MA; Jeremy Brodeur, Fall River, MA; Jim Dailey - Barre Center for Buddhist Studies, Woburn, MA; Jimi Carnazza - Full Circle Earth, Beverly, MA; Jocelyn Keith - Hyannis Country Garden Inc., Hyannis, MA; John Novak - Camden Hills Regional High School, Rockport, ME; John Carlson - Tisbury Farms, Ridgefield, CT; John Rice - Inspirational Gardens, Acton, MA; Kelly Allen - Rose Kennedy Greenway, Boston, MA; Ken Ettlinger - Long Island Seed Project, Flanders, NY; Liz Morrison - Elizabeth Morrison Garden Design, Concord, MA; Midori Evans, Braintree, MA; Nancy Leask - Ray Dunetz Landscape Architecture, Roslindale, MA; Patricia J. Laughlin - Lorax Landscaping, Epping, NH; Todd Rockweit - Backyard Organics, Oshkosh, WI; Travis Knechtel - West Brook Landscape, Orange, MA; Victoria Taft - Victoria Tafts Garden, Sherman, CT; Vicent Shanley - Shanley Scapes, Reading, MA  

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Out and About with AOLCPs -


Priscilla Hutt Williams, one of OLC's Founding Members, Reflects Upon 10 Years in Business

By Kathy Litchfield


Priscilla Hutt Williams

TOWNSEND, MASS. -- As a child growing up in northeastern Connecticut, Priscilla Williams helped her family sell blueberries by the roadside, with the selling pitch of "no sprays." She fondly recalls her childhood in Coventry, surrounded by large organic vegetable and fruit gardens. Her parents let her keep the money she earned selling blueberries, and she showed sheep in the local 4-H program.


"Some of my first memories are of eating peas right off the vine and peeking under large leaves to see the pumpkins turning orange! It just seemed like a miracle to me that they could grow and change so fast. For many years I devoured my salads with my hands - I just loved that fresh lettuce and was too impatient to use a fork," she recalled.


So began a lifetime of chemical-free gardening of vegetables, flowers, herbs and eventually landscapes, through her business Pumpkin Brook Organic Gardening (PBOG), based in Townsend. PBOG celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2011.  Read more here.                                                                          

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30th Annual CT NOFA Winter Conference

Saturday, March 3, 2012            winter_conference_logo 

Manchester Community College

Manchester, CT 

8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  

Early bird registration ends 2/18/12 - register now and save! 


CT NOFA would like to send a specially priced personal invitation to all AOLCPs. The day is geared not only toward farmers, but also gardeners and land care professionals.  This year the conference has a track of workshops especially designed for CT NOFA AOLCPs. These will allow AOLCPs to earn reaccreditation credits at a very reasonable price and your families are welcome with special activities for children.   


The keynote speaker is Jeffrey Smith, international authority on genetically modified organisms (GMOs). He is the author of Seeds of Deception, and will share insights on the real threats that genetically modified seed poses to all citizens, both professional growers, landscapers, homeowners and consumers.

Workshops = 1 AOLCP credit each.

"Wild Bees and Pollination" taught by Dr. Kim Stoner. 

Honey bees are important pollinators, but the 420+ other species of bees we have in CT are important, too! This workshop will introduce many of these species; their role in pollination and what flowers and nest sites they need to thrive.


"Science and Principles of Soil Microbiology" taught by Joe Magazzi.

This workshop focuses on the importance of microbes (and building the soil food web) in turf, tree and plant health. Learn how to use microbiology to reduce fertilizers and pesticides. You will learn to go green while lowering costs and increasing the health and quality of your product.

"Growing Nuts in Connecticut" taught by Dr. Sandra Anagnostakis, Past President Northern Nut Growers Assoc.  Several kinds of edible nuts can be grown  in Connecticut. Species needs, growing conditions, care, and harvesting will be discussed. 


"Worm Composting Simplified" taught by professional organic gardening instructor, Nick Mancini.

This presentation is designed to teach the participants the re-discovering of worm-composting. What kind of worms to use, how to build a no-cost conventional compost bin, and a detailed hands-on approach on how to turn a plastic container into a wormery.


"Regenerative Hillside Farming & Gardening"   taught by Permaculture professional, Keith Zaltzberg 

Illustrated talk will cover terrace building, infiltration swales, vegetation dams, and more. Hillsides in the Northeast comes with unique challenges. Explore strategies and techniques for creating vibrant systems that prevent erosion, build soil, create wildlife habitat while producing food, fodder, and other useful materials on the hillside.


"Lead in Soils - Concerns and Corrections"  taught by Dawn Pettinelli, Extension Instructor Dept Plant Science & Landscape Architecture. Manages UConn Home & Garden Ed Center and Soil Nutrient Analysis Lab.  Soil lead screening by the UConn Soil Nutrient Analysis Laboratory indicates that around 16 % of soil samples analyzed for edible crops contain elevated lead levels. Learn about the soil lead levels in Connecticut, why this Is a problem, and strategies for dealing with these soils.


"Climate Change In Connecticut: What Can We Expect and Do"  taught by Jen Pagach,  Enviromental Analyst, Bureau of Water Protection & Land Reuse.  What is climate change; what are the climate change impacts in CT; what is expected and can be expected to occur.  Learn what is being done on the state level and do interactive brainstorming on what should be considered, what could and should be done.  You do not need to be a climate expert,  come ready to put your "climate lenses" on so you can share what you think given your own interests, experience and expertise.


The Winter Conference  celebrates local foods, attendees are encouraged to bring a favorite food dish for the potluck. The feast will be accompanied by live music from acoustic guitarist "Train Wreck Jerry".  Local, organic vendors and farmers will have a market. Children are welcome and invited to spend time in the Family Play 'n' Chill room; reading, making art, listening to a story teller, hearing live music or see mini-workshops by a Worm Farmer & Professional Gardener, Nic Mancini and Bee Keeper, Marina Marchese.

Before 2/18/12 NOFA OLC Members $45; Non-Members$55; Students/Seniors $30
After 2/18/12 NOFA OLC Members $50;  Non-Members  $60;  Students/Seniors  $35
Volunteer for 2 hours and receive $10 off the registration price.
To register or for more information, click here or call 203-888-5146.

There will be over 40 educational workshops offered. Earn CEU credits with these workshops - Wild Bees and Pollination, Nitrogen Management on Farms, Science and Principles of Soil Microbiology, and Growing Nuts in Connecticut.  If you or anyone you know wants to promote your business by donating to our raffle, contact us here.  Check out CT NOFA's site for more information.   


Updated OLC Logo
truck logo 2
From AOLCP Shirley Halverson in Wisconsin!


We have taken your suggestions and made some changes to our OLC logo to making "Organic Land Care" more visible on a smaller scale.


You can request a copy of the logo to use on your business cards, website, and any other publications. Contact clara@organiclandcare.net for a copy of the logo.

Speaking of logos, what a fantastic use of the OLC logo on a large surface!



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!  


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Also of Interest

Credit opportunities - we are offering new opportunities for you to earn continuing education credits. You can earn two (2) credits per year by volunteering to table at events. If you table for four hours or more, you will earn two credits. Here are two events where you can volunteer:

CT Flower and Garden Show - February 23-26, 2012, CT Convention Center, Hartford, CT.

Ecological Landscaping Association - 18th Annual Conference and Marketplace
March 7-8, 2012, Springfield, MA 

Hamden Earth Day  - Saturday, April 21, 2012, 9-3:30, Hamden, CT

To volunteer, please email Melissa Gabso, or call 203-888-5146

FREE Homeowner Workshops

For two years, the NOFA OLC Program, with the funding of The Quinnipiac River Fund, has been offering Homeowner's Workshops in the Quinnipiac Watershed area. These workshops are aimed at introducing homeowners to the concepts and availability of organic land care and thus reducing non-point source water pollution from excess usage of synthetic lawn chemicals.


Clara Buitrago organizes and staffs the workshops.  She invites AOLCPs to teach the workshops, utilizing a 90-minute power point presentation developed with funding from Newman's Own Foundation and addressing questions from homeowners. Workshops are usually held at and publicized by free venues such as local libraries.


The next workshops will be on March 7th, 2012 at the Hamden Public Library, 2909 Dixwell Ave., Hamden, CT at 7:00 pm and on March 13, 2012 at the Cheshire Public Library, 104 Main Street, Cheshire, CT at 7:00 pm.

If you are interested in hosting an informative lecture for homeowners in your community, we are happy to share this presentation with you.  We plan to adapt the lecture for a 20 minute presentation as well, capable of fitting into smaller time slots, especially as Earth Day events are right around the corner.  This is an opportunity for AOLCPS to market organic land care and market themselves! Please contact Jenna for more information.


GEM II (Growth, Effectiveness, Management) Horticultural Business Seminar
Tuesday March 13, 8-5pm
Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary
414 Massasoit Road
Worcester, MA 01604
Taught by Frank Crandall. GEM I is NOT a pre-requisite. Topics include developing and refining your company's vision and mission; discovering your most effective leadership style, establishing a plan for seasonal cash flow and a profit goal for 2012, adapting an estimate, pricing and job costing system to your business, creating a marketing plan for 2012 using social media and making your "plan for success" for 2012. The text, The Essential Horticultural Business Handbook and a CD of business templates are included. Lunch is included. Cost: $275/person; $250 for NOFA/RINLA/MNLA/ELA members, or for two or more employees from the same company. To register:
email Frank Crandall or call (401) 742-7619.

Natural Lawn and Turf Management Training for Lawn Care Professionals and Municipal Officials. Sturbridge Host Hotel, Sturbridge, MA.
March 12-13, 2012, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Taught by nationally renowned organic turf grass educator Chip Osborne. Two-day program covers all aspects of how to transition properties from conventional programs using synthetic and chemical products to a natural organic system. Cost: $350. Pre-registration with $175 non-refundable deposit required. Fee payable to Osborne Organics and mailed to: 11 Laurel Street, Marblehead, MA 01945.

For more info email Chip Osborne or call (781) 631-2468 


In the News

A Colorful Stroll Through the Winter - NY Times 

A local native plant nursery was featured recently in the Times, highlighting the wonderful results that come from years of working with plants.


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.   


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 will have basic, important points about healthy landscaping and gardening, the dangers of pesticides, effectiveness considerations, and more.  It will also include a simple contact list of nearby resources for info, services and supplies. Download and learn more here


2012 Cornell Landscape Webinar Series for Professionals: Detection and Early Management of Brown Marmorated Stink Bug and Emerald Ash Borer 

Monday February 27th, 2012, 5:15 PM - 7:45

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Westchester County, 26 Legion Drive, Valhalla, NY 10595  

A program designed to update green industry professionals about the early detection and integrated management of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) and Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) - invasive insects of importance that have made their way to the Lower Hudson Valley PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED BY FRIDAY FEBRUARY 24, 2012 Cornell University Entomologist and BMSB Specialist Peter Jentsch will outline the arrival, ID and management of Brown Marmorated Stink Bug and what it means for landscape professionals.    

Compostwerks Compost Tea Workshop  
March 1st  2012 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM 
(Snow Date is Friday, March 2nd. 2012)
Athol, MA Town Hall
The application of Actively Aerated Compost Tea is becoming a widely accepted practice in managing soil nutrition and increasing plant vigor. Demand for this service had increased steadily with the advent of increased public awareness about the harmful affects of petro-based fertilizers and pesticides. Stand out in your marketplace and increase your knowledge or learn what it takes to integrate compost tea as a service platform in your operation. Compost tea brewing and application equipment will be available for viewing.
Learn more and register here.


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  

With Connecticut and communities throughout the Northeast facing threats to existing pesticide laws, as well as opportunities for greater protection and increased local control, this conference will have a strong focus on organic land management and protective policies. Join  researchers, authors, beekeepers, organic business leaders, elected officials, activists, and others to discuss the latest science, policy solutions, and grassroots action.

To learn more and register click here.  


Novozymes Tick Demo Trial

Novozymes has a new, environmentally friendly, biological method of controlling ticks using Metarhizium Anisopliae, a naturally occurring fungus. The goal of the Novozymes Tick Demo Trial is to gain positive experience through commercial channels and governmental working groups who have tick problems in Endemic and Emerging areas in preparation of a full commercial product launch in 2014.


Participants of the Novozymes Tick Demo Trial must have the following to participate.

1.      A problem of and historical records of tick populations.

2.      Technical knowledge or access to professional applicators experienced in tick control.

3.      Willingness to document success (or failure) of demonstration on tick populations, maintain record of            applications and document application timing and environmental conditions during the trial. 

4.      Be located in the Endemic or Emerging area of New England, New Jersey, PA, Wisconsin, Minnesota,              Maine, Virginia, or Maryland. 


Once selected as a participant, Novozymes will provide the demo product at no charge.  Participants will need to be involved with a Novozymes conference call to go over technical details on applications, monitoring and to answer any questions related to the Novozymes Tick Demo Trial.   The goal is to have as much consistency as possible in applying the material and conducting the evaluations.  Fill out an application here.


We will be tabling at these events - we look forward to seeing you at these events: CT Flower and Garden Show, February 23-26, CT Convention Center, Hartford, CT. If you are attending the ELA conference, we can provide you with NOFA OLC materials to distribute. Call us at 203-888-5146.  


The Meadow Project

AOLCP Catherine Zimmerman has raised over 75% of her goal to make a documentary about meadows, but needs that last 25% in order to produce her documentary.  Check out her description of the project and a short clip here


Beyond Pesticide Conference - March 30-31, 2012. Healthy Communities: Green solutions for safe environments. Yale University, New Haven, CT, School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. Visit this web site.  


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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.


2/15/12 - Pruning Techniques, Bronx, NY
2/21/12 - Reducing Pesticide Inputs and Exploring Organic Options for Sports Turf, New Brunswick, NJ
2/22/12 - Compost Tea Workshop , Yorktown Heights, NY
2/27/12 - Bones of the Garden: Strengthening the Design , Framingham, MA
2/29/12 - The Blended Garden: Weaving Edibles Into your Ornamental Gardens, West Hartford, CT
3/3/12 - CT NOFA Winter Conference , Manchester, CT
3/7/12 - 18th Annual ELA Conference & Eco-Marketplace, Springfield, MA
3/8/12 - 18th Annual ELA Conference & Eco-Marketplace, Springfield, MA
3/9/12 - Growing Fruit in a Healthy Orchard Ecosystem , Rockfall, CT
3/12/12 - Natural Lawn and Turf Management Training, Sturbridge, MA
3/14/12 - Ornamental Woody Plants: Conifers, Bronx, NY
3/14/12 - Landscape Care and Maintenance, Bronx, NY
3/15/12 - Perennial Plant Conference, Storrs, CT
3/19/12 - Intro to Wetland Restoration Management , Bronx, NY
3/24/12 - Pruning Shrubs with the Pros, Framingham, MA
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
12/31/13 - ONGOING - Natural Turf Pro DVD, Northeast


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NOFA Standards Review

With all the recent talk about fracking and the Keystone Pipeline, we thought it would be pertinent to reference an excerpt from the Standards about energy.  The following excerpt  on energy use and climate change can be found on page 14 of the NOFA Standards for Organic Land Care.


"Embodied energy is the energy used to create a product and move it to the point of sale or use.  The production of synthetic fertilizers requires huge amounts of energy, and trucking the heavy bags requires yet more...Even tap water embodies energy, whether it is pumped from the ground or delivered under pressure through an intricate system of pipes - after being treated with chemicals that also embody energy."

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