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AOLCP Marketing

         

We're now launching our new redesigned AOLCP search page for business members!
The new layout and functionality of this feature allows potential clients to find your profile with ease, and looks more attractive and professional. When paired with our promotion of the site in print and online, this great revamped tool will direct more customer traffic to your business.  If you're an AOLCP Business Member, make sure your online profile is up to date so that customers can contact you properly.  Log in to your profile here. If you have any questions about your profile or need help logging in, shoot us an email or call the office at 203.888.5146.

Stay tuned for more information about uploading photos to your profile
At this time, photos aren't supported on the new AOLCP search website, but we are currently working with our web developer to make displaying photos an option. We'll be sending out an official website launch email soon with more information about what these website changes mean for you, as well as some exciting news about new perks that will give more value to your membership.

Help us direct as many people as possible to your profile!
We are printing and distributing cards as another way to direct traffic to our AOLCP web search. If you have a photo that you think will get potential customers really excited about organic land care, submit it to Melissa for a chance to appear in print!  We will choose our favorite 5 photos for future print runs and will give credit to the person who has the rights to the photo. Below is an example of what the front of our first card will look like, with a photo by AOLCP Frank Crandall.

If you're interested in entering for a chance to appear on this card, please make sure your image includes the following:

- Well-maintained plantings

- At least one well-maintained building or residence

- A portion of open area or lawn

- Adequate lighting and clear subject matter 

 

Help us help you!  Submit your photos today!

 

 

If you're not currently a business member and would like to become one, you can upgrade at any time.  Email us or give us a call at 203.888.5146 to learn more.

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2013 Upcoming Events

   

An Introduction to Reducing Turf Care Chemicals in Your Town
March 21, 2013
Holiday Inn, 2280 Brown Ave., Manchester, NH
8:30 am - 2:15 pm
$65 NOFA-NH Members and AOLCP's/ $75 non members
Healthy lunch included
AOLCP and NHCLP credits available; Pesticide Credits Pending
Join several local and nationally known organic turf care experts for a simplified yet scientific approach to beginning the process of transitioning from conventional to organic turf care. To learn more, contact the NOFA-NH office (603) 224-5022 or register online here.

Spring Film Festivals

   

Wild and Scenic Film Festival Westport
Friday, March 15, 2013
5:00pm - 9:30pm
Westport Woman's Club
Westport, CT
Learn more here.
 

Project Native Film Festival  

Sunday, April 7, 2013

10:00am - 10:00pm

Triplex Cinema

Great Barrington, MA

Learn more here.   

 

 

Wild and Scenic Film Festival West Hartford

6:00pm - 9:30pm
West Hartford Town Hall
West Hartford, CT
Learn more here.

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Last Chance to Advertise in the CT NOFA Farm and Food Guide 

          

Boost your exposure to potential clients by advertising in the CT NOFA Farm and Food Guide. The Guide is put together in March, so reserve your last minute ad space now. Each year CT NOFA prints and hands out 10,000 copies of the Guide. The events where copies are distributed attract consumers with specific interests in organic living, including landscaping and lawn care. Advertising in the Guide gives organic land care professionals access to a large pool of organically minded potential clients in Connecticut and the surrounding region. 

Do you live and work outside of Connecticut? There are some other ways you can advertise in NOFA chapter publications, and in MOFGA and PASA, that were talked about in the November edition of this newsletter.  You can access that edition here.

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Don't forget to Reaccredit for 2013! 

         

Although a late fee ($25) is now in effect, you can still reaccredit for 2013. Follow these steps to reaccredit:

  1. Make sure you have obtained at least 4 continuing education credits.  You must have 4 in order to stay accredited in 2013.  Not sure how many credits you have?  Call us at 203.888.5146 or email us to find out.  If you've attended events or taught classes in 2012 that are at least partially dedicated to organic land care, you can apply for credits. Apply for credits online here.
  2. Choose either the $75 Supporter or the $150 Business Tier for your reaccreditation.  You can view the benefits of each tier here.
  3. Officially reaccredit.  Online reaccreditation is fast and easy - click here for the form. You can pay for your reaccreditation over the phone, online, or by mailing us a check.

Questions?  Call us at 203.888.5146 or email us for more information.

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From Our Blog

   

The NOFA Organic Land Care blog is another way to stay up to date with current events in the organic landscaping arena. With an expanding topic list due to guest blogger input, our blog is even better than ever!   

 

Call Your Legislator: Current Bills to Expand Restrictions on CT Pesticide Applications 
In the world of conventional lawn and land care in Connecticut, the coming of spring heralds the onset of chemical pesticide applications to residential lawns, parks, municipal grounds, and some schools. Municipalities and towns currently have difficulty obtaining the authority to regulate pesticide applications on their public and private grounds, and while CT has a pesticide ban in place right now for K-8 public schools, grade 9-12 schools are not included in the legislation. More>

 

Love our blog?  Want a chance to get more involved?    

We are now accepting guest articles to feature on the NOFA Organic land Care Program blog. If you have expertise and passion for organic land care issues, and experience with writing either on a blog or in another journalistic outlet, you can become a guest blogger for NOFA OLC! Interested? Send us an email detailing your relevant experience with writing and sustainable land care and, if our needs match, we'll set you up as either a one-time blogger, or a scheduled guest writer.  

 

 

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In The News

              

Down in the park - A life-altering event led Bernadette Giblin into the world of environmentally-friendly land care. 

When Bernadette Giblin awoke one crisp October morning in 1996, she discovered something that would change her life forever. Her husband and father of her two kids had died of a massive heart attack. Not only would she be faced with the challenge of being a single mother, but she also took control of her husband's lawn care company, where she had worked in the past. More>  

   

Doctors lobby for total B.C. ban of home pesticides 

A group of Canadian doctors and citizens concerned with rates of diseases thought to be caused by chemicals are calling on the B.C. government to institute a ban on all non-essential lawn and garden pesticides. The 5,000 members of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment say exposure to pesticides can lead to serious long-term health problems, and are lobbying to change laws that still allow for their widespread cosmetic use. More>    

 

Landscape Now: Organic Lawn Care - Frank Crandall  

In the last few years there has been an increasing demand for organic lawn care services that do not use harmful pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers on your lawns. With the increased concern about what chemicals are being used on properties and the safety of children and pets the organic option has grown as a lawn care program. Exactly what does an organic program involve? More> 

 

 

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Announcements

Organic Landscaping company looking to hire for the 2013 season (April-December)
Location: Fairfield, CT
The right candidates must have experience in all phases of landscaping including but not limited to planting, landscape construction, tree work, and maintenance services such as mowing, proper pruning technique, mulching, cleanups, application such as fertilizing & weed control, etc. Knowledge of native plants, organic tecniques, and organic mindset a huge plus. Must have a valid driver's license with clean driving record to be considered. Must know how to properly operate all types landscaping equipment as well as be familiar with various landscaping vehicles including trucks with standard/manual transmissions, tractors, loaders, etc. The right candidate would be punctual, honest, possess a positive attitude, and be able to work in a fast paced environment. Bilingual a plus but not required. We offer competitive salary based on experience. Please email dcorra@plantscapesorganics.com.

Attention Long Island AOLCPs: After more than a decade of delays, we now have a chance to do something about toxic pesticides in Long Island's drinking water supply.
As Long Islanders, we rely on underground aquifers as our sole source of drinking water. Unfortunately, information gathered by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) indicates that more than 120 different toxic pesticides and their breakdown products have been found in Long Island's ground water. It is critical that we protect our drinking water for our health, the environment and for future generations. Learn more and take action here.

Secure Pesticides and Chemicals during Poison Prevention Week 

More than 2 million poisonings are reported each year to the 57 poison control centers across the country. More than 90 percent of these poisonings occur in the home. The majority of non-fatal poisonings occur in children younger than six years old. And, poisonings are one of the leading causes of death among adults. 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.      

 

3/21/13 - Safe Parks and Playing Fields: An Introduction to Reducing Turf Care Chemicals in your Town
3/21/13 - UConn Perennial Plant Conference
3/22/13 - UConn Garden Conference
3/23/13 - A Modern Approach To Soil Science
4/1/13 - Sound Gardening: Sustainable Landscaping for Clean Waters
4/18/13 - Permaculture For Professionals
4/22/13 - Healthy Soils: The Economics of Healthy Soils and Cover Crops
12/31/13 - ONGOING - Natural Turf Pro DVD, Northeast

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NOFA Standards Review

It's nearly spring! As the landscaping high season begins, it's important to remember the best practices for a variety of organic landscaping activities. The following excerpt on planting can be found on page 42 of the NOFA Standards for Organic Land Care.

Planting beds are prepared differently when an organic approach is used. The well-being of the soil always comes first. The kinds of plants grown, the site conditions, and the desired outcome dictate the method or methods of preparation. If a soil test indicates the need for amendments, they should be incorporated into the soil whenever possible. A soil bioassay may indicate what plants will do well with the existing soil biology or ways to adjust the soil biology to suit the desired plants.

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.

Specimen trees and shrubs should generally be planted in soil that has not been amended. The native soil should be loosened well beyond the sides of the root ball but no deeper than the height of the root ball. If amendments are to be used, it is best to amend the surrounding soil as well as the planting area in order to provide sufficient growing area for the roots. Plant roots have a tendency to stay in the richly amended soil rather than spread into the less hospitable surrounding soil, resulting in a constricted root system and loss of vigor due to excessive root competition in a confined area.

In rare circumstances the soil may be so poor or contaminated that the best approach is to replace the soil prior to planting. For soils contaminated with toxic elements, refer to Toxic Elements in Soil on page 18. Contaminated soil must be disposed of in accordance with all state and local laws. Imported soil may contain hazards of its own, such as weed seeds, invasive plant material, and pollutants. Be aware that there is ecological damage created when topsoil is mined.

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.

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