We also have two other co-sponsors for this event, Read Custom Soils, and  Earth Tones Native Plant Nursery! Check out Read's website here, and Earth Tones' website here.  

To learn more and register for this workshop, click here. 




Mark Your Calendars for These Other Exciting Events!

Advanced Workshop 4: Business and Marketing 

Friday, November 9, 2012  

9:00 am - 1:00 pm  

CT Forest & Park 16 Meriden Rd. Rockfall, CT   


2012 Annual Gathering

December 5 (snow date Dec. 6)

Sturbridge Host Hotel, Sturbridge, MA

Market your business to a targeted group of landscapers - check out our sponsorship packages here. 


Accreditation Courses

Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, Philadelphia, PA

January 14-17, 2013 (snow date Jan. 18)


New England Regional

Three Rivers Community College, Norwich, CT

February 11-14, 2013 (snow date Feb. 15) 


Organic Lawn Care Certificate Course

Manchester Community College, Manchester, CT

January 24, 2013 (snow date Jan. 25)


Three Rivers Community College, Norwich, CT

February 26, 2013 (snow date Feb. 27) 

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Followup From Our Successful Compost Tea Workshop

Review by Jenna Messier


On August 9, 2012, the NOFA Organic Land Care Program held its second Advanced Workshop, "Compost Tea  and Air Spading" at Rye Country Day School in Rye, New York. The workshop was a huge success, with over 50 attendees from 5 states, informative presentations, and two outdoor demonstrations.


Michael Almstead, Vice-President of Almstead Tree and Shrub Company, developed the workshop and taught sessions: Setting up the Business, Soil Food Web Tests, Estimating the Hidden Costs, and Intro to Brewing. Dan Dalton, ISA Master Arborist, taught the Soils and Air Spading Protocol sections. The full presentation may be seen here.


Michael made some excellent recommendations regarding compost tea. Before brewing your tea, assess the quality of your compost source by requiring the supplier to provide you with Soil Food Web test results. Secondly, Michael suggested using annual Soil Food Web test results to measure the effectiveness of your compost tea program over time on an individual property, and to determine future applications. Thirdly, Compost tea is a knowledge-based practice, and anyone who brews tea must be trained to use the microscope and to identify beneficial or harmful microorganisms - or you may just be spraying "dirty water." More> 

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Out and About with AOLCPs   

Shaping Beauty in a Chaos of Concrete

By Kathy Litchfield

From left: Ralph Padilla, influential tree care figure Alex Shigo, and arborist Chris Roddick

NEW YORK CITY - As a child, Certified Arborist Ralph Padilla would gather "his little band of friends" to illegally sneak over the fence in his Harlem neighborhood for a Hudson River adventure.


Being near a river, lake, forest or in the mountains is healing, he said, and he sought out nature wherever he could.


His mother, a native of Cuba in the pre-Castro days, was his first exposure to caring for plants. Ralph would watch as she lovingly pruned her roses and kept large pots of Sempervivum tectorum (hens-and-chickens) flourishing in the sunshine.


"We moved to the Bronx when I was 12 and she was always talking about how beautiful it was in Cuba. I kept her sempervivums when she passed away," said Padilla, a NOFA Accredited Organic Land Care Professional (NY course, 2010). More> 

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In The News


Weed-Whacking Herbicide Proves Deadly to Human Cells 

Used in gardens, farms, and parks around the world, the weed killer Roundup contains an ingredient that can suffocate human cells in a laboratory, researchers say.  More> 


Following our Theme of Water Management, Cultural Issues with Wastewater Use  

Capturing and reusing wastewater for municipal and household use, agricultural and industrial production,  and recharging depleted aquifers is precisely what researchers writing in the latest issue of Science suggest needs to happen in order to address the world's growing water crisis. More>  


AOLCP Camilla Worden Featured in Lawn & Landscape Magazine

Changing the method of treating a lawn is the first thing a company might think to do when deciding to go organic. But lawn care isn't the only way you can become more organic. Design/build companies can also become more environmentally conscious in the plans they propose to customers. More> 


AOLCP Frank Crandall Also Featured in Lawn & Landscape 

Frank Crandall calls himself an "enthusiastic proponent of organic land care principles, in the landscape and the environment." So much so, the owner of Frank Crandall Horticultural Solutions is currently working on a power point presentation focusing on the economics of organic services compared with traditional land care services.  More>


Green Streets Cut Pollution More Than Previously Thought 

A new research study by Professor Thomas Pugh at Lancaster University and other scientists in the UK has found that adding trees, bushes, innovative systems like green walls, or even ivy or other creeping vines, can cut street-level nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and microscopic particulate matter (PM), two of the worst forms of pollution, by eight times more than previously thought. More> 

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Action Alert: Tell the EPA to Stop Persistent Herbicides

Tell the EPA that you support the creation of a compostability test in its pesticide registration requirements that will set a compostability standard for all chemicals that could potentially end up in a composting facility. Learn more and take action here.


Mark Your Calendars for a NOFA Mass  Organic Land Care Workshop: Re-Mineralizing the Landscape

Thursday August 23rd, 7:00-8:30pm
Instructor: Dan Kittredge
Old Meeting House
617 Main Street
Lynnfield, MA
Open to the Public. Suggested Donation: $15 general public, $12 NOFA Members and AOLCPs

Go beyond compost for vibrant, long-lasting, resilient landscapes that resist disease, pests and weeds. One-hour workshop followed by a half hour of questions and discussion. For more information contact Organic Land Care Coordinator, Caro Roszell by email or at (508) 360-0874, or visit the NOFA Mass website.


More Information on the 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

Lauren Chase Rowell is current steward of Dalton's Pasture in Nottingham, NH and an organic land care and permaculture educator. Lauren has been practicing and teaching ecological landscape design, installation, and maintenance for over 25 years, at UNH and NH community colleges. As an educator, her classroom instruction is informed by 35 years experience in regenerative food growing, medicinal herbs, and the importance of NH biodiversity in local, sustainable landscape settings. Lauren embraces the practical application of permaculture in earth-centered living and design, while simultaneously integrating the arts and contemplative practices into her teaching. She is an author and has been featured twice on NH's Chronicle for her ecological and sustainable approach to land use and care. She is owner of Outdoor Rooms Permaculture and Partner in Chop Wood Carry Water PermacultureContact Paula Kovecses or call 603 529-9634 for registration information, or check out the NOFA NH website.

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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.   


8/18/12 - Edible Forest Garden Caretake and Harvest, Rochester, NY
8/23/12 - Re-Mineralizing the Landscape, Lynnfield, MA
8/23/12 - Grassy Weed Identification Workshop, Amherst, MA
8/25/12 - Creating Nutrient Dense Soil, Boylston, MA
9/4/12 - Native New England Shrubs, Framingham, MA
9/5/12 - Arboriculture 101, North Haven, CT
9/7/12 - The Making of an Edible Forest, Wellesley, MA
9/8/12 - Creating Nutrient Dense Soil, Boylston, MA
9/12/12 - Invasive Plant Certification Program, Milford, MA.
9/12/12 - Permaculture, Nottingham, NH
9/13/12 - Very Fine Vines, Boston, MA
9/16/12 - Understanding Botanical and Horticultural Names, Framingham, MA
9/19/12 - Deciduous Trees, Kennett Square, PA
9/21/12 - 'Lawn Substitutes' and Organic Lawns, Weare, NH
9/27/12 - At the Root: Air Tools Workshop, Framingham, MA
9/27/12 - Horticultural Ecology, Boothbay, ME
9/27/12 - Autumn Can be Another 'Wow' Season in Your Garden, Wellesley, MA
9/28/12 - What Are Mushrooms?, Rowe, MA
9/29/12 - At the Root: Understanding and Managing Healthy Soils, Framingham, MA
10/5/12 - Bridging the Nature-Culture Divide II, New York, NY
10/8/12 - Plant Science: Understanding Plants, Kennett Square, PA
10/12/12 - Invasive Plants: Issues, Identification, and Ecology, Boothbay, ME
10/20/12 - Native Meadows from the Ground Up, Kennett Square, PA
10/25/12 - Getting Real About Invasive Plants, Storrs, CT
12/31/13 - ONGOING - Natural Turf Pro DVD, Northeast

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NOFA Standards Review

In New England, August is the hottest, driest part of the summer. Especially this year, rainfall generally occurs in thunderstorm situations, where in many developed landscapes it simply runs off into storm drains rather than nourishing plant life.  Our Stormwater Management Advanced Workshop on the 27, It's all About the Water, addresses some of the issues of water and water quality management.  This month's Standards Review pays homage to this theme.  The following excerpt can be found on page 10 of the NOFA Standards for Organic land Care:

  • Conservation of both water supply and water quality should be factored into all site design, construction, and management practices.
  • All sources of water, including but not limited to municipal water, private ground or surface water, rainwater, and gray water, are valuable and should be conserved in both supply and quality.
  • Do no harm that would alter or disturb natural onsite water flows, ponds, groundwater, or other natural water features. Existing natural water features (wetlands, streams, ponds) on or near a property should be identified, and the course of their flow or movement should be left unimpeded and protected from disturbance. All water in its free-flowing state acts in the service of local ecosystems whether or not it is visible to the human eye.
  • Know and respect your watershed. Seeming water abundance is never a justification or license to take or use water for nonessential purposes. Lawn and landscape irrigation are nonessential water uses. They should be limited to temporary needs (such as establishment of new plantings) or exceptional situations (such as athletic turf), and should operate as efficiently as possible.  

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