The 2012-13 Guide to Organic Land Care is Now Available

The 2012-2013 Guide to Organic Land Care provides course information, local pesticide info, and AOLCP listings by state and county, as well as a large number of feature articles and book excerpts about pest control, compost, rain gardens, and much more. The Guide is a great way to advertise yourself as part of a large and influential community of sustainable landscapers while also providing helpful tips to homeowners and groundskeepers on how to organically maintain their land. The Guide is a marketing tool that we provide to the public as a means of helping you to connect with clients.

You can order a copy of the Guide to Organic Land Care for just $3 to cover the cost of shipping, and if you visit us at one of our outreach events, or are a NOFA member, you can pick up a copy for free!  To order larger quantities of the Guide for distribution, contact the CT NOFA office at 203-888-5146 or e-mail us.  You can also view a PDF for the Guide here.

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Marketing Packages are Available to Promote Your Business
Our marketing packages (that include copies of the Guide to Organic Land Care) are great ways to let  potential clients know who you are!  Our small business package is $45 and contains:
  • 25 Organic Lawns and Yards Brochures with your business information on the back flap
  • 5 Introductions to Organic Land Care
  • 20 Guides to Organic Land Care
  • 1 Accredited Organic Land Care Professional Magnet
Our regular business package is $80 and contains:
  • 50 Organic Lawns and Yards Brochures with your business information on the back flap
  • 8 Introductions to Organic Land Care
  • 30 Guides to Organic Land Care
  • 3 Accredited Organic Land Care Professional Magnet
These are wonderful starter packages for businesses looking to educate potential clients and new clients about the benefits of organic, and the principles of organic land care!

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Out and About with AOLCPs  

Hugh Knowlton Transforms Bergen County Community College with Organics



PARAMUS, N.J. - A lack of snow at Bergen Community College this past winter was a blessing for Hugh Knowlton, grounds supervisor at the 110 acre campus with 17,000 commuting students.


Not only did Knowlton complete the NOFA 5-day accreditation course (CT and RI '12), but he also took Dr. Elaine Ingham's three-day "Living Soils" class, Jeff Frank's two-day course in organics on Long Island, Chip Osborne's one-day organic sports turf care class, Peter Schmidt's one-day compost tea workshop and the Organic Turf & Tree Show on Long Island. More> 

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Save the Date for our Upcoming OLC Program Events    


The Organic Land Care Program's fall and winter events are being firmed up right now, so here's a sneak peek at when and where the 2012-13 season's events will take place.  Mark your calendars - we can't wait to see you there!

Stormwater Management Advanced Workshop
September, 2012

Business and Marketing Advanced Workshop
November, 2012

2012 Annual Gathering
December 5, 2012 (Snow Date Dec. 6)
Sturbridge Host Hotel
Sturbridge, MA

2013 Accreditation Course in Organic Land Care
February 11-14, 2013 (Snow Date Feb. 15)
Three Rivers Community College
Norwich, CT

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Join us at Our Tabling Events    


The NOFA Organic Land Care Program will be tabling at several events over the next few months, some of which will offer AOLCP course credits for attending.  This is a great opportunity to fulfill your continuing education credit requirements while taking part in exciting and informative events. Check the OLC website often for upcoming credit opportunities as we add them, and to learn if the following events offer credit as we find out:

CNLA Summer Field Day
July 11, 2012
Lockwood Farm
Hamden, CT

UConn Turfgrass Field Day
July 17, 2012
Plant Science Research Facility
Storrs, CT
Featuring organic management demonstrations - a must see!

Plant Science Day
August 1, 2012
Lockwood Farm
Hamden, CT

CT Folk Festival and Green Expo
September 8, 2012
New Haven, CT

Don't forget, you can also earn continuing education credits by tabling for CT NOFA at farmers markets and other outreach events all over Connecticut.  Email Clara for a list of upcoming events that qualify, or submit an event near you for review.

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Events and Outreach

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.
Come Check Out the Perennial Plant Symposium
This is the only annual symposium devoted entirely to perennials. It is also the oldest with the first symposium presented in 1983. The Northeast Region of the Perennial Plant Association is hosting the 30th Perennial Plant Symposium in Boston, July 4-10. Information is available on the PPA website.

More Credit Opportunities at the NOFA Summer Conference
August 10-12, 2012
Umass Campus, Amherst, MA
The NOFA Summer Conference is a well attended event by many AOLCPs. AOLCPs can earn credits by attending some of the workshops. Stay tuned and check our website soon for a list of workshops that offer AOLCP credit.

Richard Landscaping, LLC, is excited to announce their first photo contest!
This spring and summer, take pictures of butterflies or birds that are visiting your garden and send Richard Landscaping your best ones. Submit your photos by e-mail before August 15. They will publish in their September newsletter the photos they liked best. And, they are awarding prizes for the top three pix:
FIRST PRIZE: Two flats of fall annuals from Colorblends catalog or 50% off one month's landscaping service
SECOND PRIZE: 100 bulbs of your choice from Colorblends catalog or 20% off one month's service
THIRD PRIZE: 50 bulbs of your choice from Colorblends catalog or 10% off one month's service
This is a great way to engage your customers and help promote your business!
Please note: By submitting your photos, you are agreeing to allow Richard Landscaping to publish your photos in their newsletter and/or on their website.

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Announcements and News


Congratulations to Our OLC Marketing Survey Contest Winner!
Congratulations to Franny Hannigan of Monroe, CT for winning our OLC Marketing Survey contest prize - a $100 credit that can be used on accreditation, programs or merchandise.  Franny writes:
My passion for composting is what got me to take the Organic Land Care course. Already a master composter, I'm pursing my dream of having a composting education business. While the course material was terrific, I also wanted all the ongoing support and contact with like-minded people that being involved with the OLC program provides.

We'd like to thank Franny and all the other AOLCPs who completed our Marketing Survey.  Your responses will help us provide the materials and education you need to better promote organic land care!   

A valuable article from SafeLawns that you can point your customers to - Avoiding Second-Hand Pesticides: How to Talk to Your Neighbors About Their Lawn Chemicals
Of the many questions we receive here at SafeLawns, perhaps the ones that bring the most inherent angst are those concerning how to talk to neighbors who stubbornly refuse to cease applications of these toxic products. More>

Also from SafeLawns, recommendations on compost top dressing
People ask "What's the best compost?" almost every day and the best answer always begins with finding a local source wherever possible. More>

AOLCP Finding Success at Organic Transition

Peter Swift from The Governor's Academy Building and Grounds in Byfield, MA, notified us of his success with compost tea applications on his sports fields.  He writes, "I have been able to help steer our sports field fertilizing program into a completely organic program. On one of our fields (we have a total of about 500,000 sq ft of fields under organic care) I have been applying compost tea. This summer will be the second season for the tea. We are already noticing fantastic results and hope to begin the tea on the rest of the fields and the rest of the campus soon."

**If you would like to learn more about the process of brewing and applying compost tea, join us at our Compost Tea and Air Spading Workshop on August 9.  Read about the workshop on the flyer in this newsletter, and register here.


Clover Making a Comeback as an Alternative to Grass 

Proponents of organic lawn care are pushing to bring clover back to wide use as a lawn plant, mixed with more conventional turf grasses. They point to clover's benefits, which include its ability to withstand drought, thrive in poor soil and supply nitrogen to other plants. More> 

Community Notices


Sprigs & Twigs Inc. announced today that they have selected a winner for their $500 scholarship. Caitlyn Dollard, a Senior at Fitch Senior High School, was chosen, in part, for her essay about her love for the environment, chemistry, art, and how those things, combined with the loving support and encouragement from her family and teachers, contribute to her desire to study Landscape Architecture. More>

On the north side of the Pequonnock River is a scene of how parks were landscaped back in the 1950s, with close-cropped grass extending to the water's edge. Now the southern bank is populated with native trees and shrubs, and soon tall grasses will fill in the voids, thanks to efforts by Save the Sound, the town's Conservation Commission and volunteers. More>    

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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.  


6/19/12 - Native Plant Materials for Professionals, Framingham, MA
6/19/12 - Woody Vines for the Garden, Jamaica Plain, MA
6/19/12 - Designing with Shrubs: The Backbone of the Garden, Bronx, NY
6/21/12 - Wildflower Propagation I, Whately, MA
6/21/12 - Survey of Grasses of the Northeast, Framingham, MA
6/23/12 - Vertical Gardening , Newport, RI
6/23/12 - Inviting Honeybees and Pollinators into Your Garden, Newport, RI
6/26/12 - Naturalistic Planting Design, Bronx, NY
6/26/12 - Broadleaf Weed Identification Workshop, Jamaica Plain, MA
6/28/12 - Basic Wetland Identification and Delineation, Newbury, NH
6/29/12 - Broadleaf Weed Identification Workshop, Amherst, MA
7/4/12 - Perennial Plant Symposium, Boston, MA
7/9/12 - Landscape Design Summer Intensive, Bronx, NY
7/10/12 - Botanical Latin, New York, NY
7/10/12 - Design Inspirations from New England's Wild Landscapes, Framingham, MA
7/10/12 - Plants for Landscaping, Bronx, NY
7/11/12 - CNLA's Summer Field Day, Hamden, CT
7/14/12 - Birdland: A Riverine Restoration, Maynard, MA
7/15/12 - More Native N.E. Shrubs, Framingham, MA
7/19/12 - The Permaculture 8-Day Design Certificate Course, Hillsborough, NJ
7/23/12 - NYS IPM In-Depth, Ithaca, NY
7/25/12 - Wetland Plant Identification, Framingham, MA
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
8/14/12 - Meadow Gardens, Framingham, MA
8/14/12 - Invasive Plant Certification Program, Milford, MA.
8/14/12 - A Plant's Family Tree: Relationships within the Plant Kingdom, Boothbay, ME
8/18/12 - Edible Forest Garden Caretake and Harvest, Rochester, NY
9/4/12 - Native New England Shrubs, Framingham, MA
9/12/12 - Invasive Plant Certification Program, Milford, MA.
9/16/12 - Understanding Botanical and Horticultural Names, Framingham, MA
9/27/12 - Horticultural Ecology, Boothbay, ME
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

Earlier in this newsletter we linked to an article by Safe Lawns on compost top-dressing.  The amount of compost that should be applied is a current topic of debate here and in other circles, and we are working right now to solidify a consensus on the issue. We stand by our recommendations in the Standards, and would like to share the following excerpt that comes from page 23 of the NOFA Standards for Organic Land Care.


Top dressing/surface application, as follows:
  • On turf: 1/4 inch or less, no more than two times per year, for no more than three years, unless a soil test shows organic matter remains below 4% and phosphorus is below "medium"
  • Around perennials: 2 inches or less
  • Around shrubs and shade trees: 3 inches or less 

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CT NOFA | PO Box 164 | Stevenson | CT | 06491