2012 and 2013 Upcoming Events


December 5, 2012 9:00am - 5:30pm
Sturbridge Host Hotel
366 Main Street, Sturbridge, MA
Keynote: Eric T. Fleisher
Presenters: Chip Osborne (Osborne Organics, LLC), Bernadette Giblin (Safeground Organic Land Care), Lee Corte-Real (Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources), Cheryl Smith (UNH Cooperative Extention), Cynthia Rabinowitz (Center for Sustainable Living) and Dave Alba (Oregon Tilth). 
The 2012 Annual Gathering is a conference for Accredited Organic Professionals, interested landscapers, and environmental professionals.  The 2012 program includes technical presentations about responding to new pesticide regulations, responding to new criticisms of organic, and communicating the organic message to clients and the public. This event is worth 2 Mass. pesticide credits that are applicable in all New England states. If you think you can get credits from another certification organization, bring the applicable forms and we will sign them for you.   If you need a room at the Sturbridge Host Hotel, the deadline for making a reservation in the block we have booked has been extended. Contact the hotel and let them know that you are staying for the Annual Gathering to get into the block at reduced rates of $104 for singles and doubles, $114 for a triple, and $124 for a quad.

Interested in exhibiting?  If you are an AOLCP, the cost of upgrading from general admission to an exhibitor with an 8' table and print and web publicity for your business is only $150Learn more about sponsoring and exhibiting here.
Sponsored by:


January 14-17: 100 N. 20th Street, Philadelphia, PA
February 11-14: 574 New London Turnpike , Norwich, CT
Online registration will be up by Friday, and you can click here to sign up.  And just like last year, if you refer a friend who signs up and attends the course, you will receive a $25 OLC credit that can be used toward future workshops and your accreditation.  Just make sure they mention your name as the person who referred them when they register.

NOFA is Reaching out to Conventional Lawn Care Providers
The Organic Lawn Care Certificate Course
January 24: Manchester Community College
60 Bidwell Street, Manchester, CT
February 26: Three Rivers Community College
574 New London Turnpike, Norwich, CT
Instructors: Chip Osborne, Judy Preston (Connecticut Sea Grant), Diba Kahn-Bureau (Three Rivers Community College), Frank Crandall

This course is an introductory course in organic lawn care and isn't suggested for AOLCPs - please see the NOFA Mass Organic Lawn and Turf Day for a more advanced program. The course will begin with two hours of environmental education co-taught by Judy and Diba so you can learn about the state of water quality in your area, and how pesticides and excess fertilizers runoff into fresh and salt water creating algae blooms and pollution harmful to animal life.  Chip Osborne will discuss soil testing to reduce excess nutrients, lawn cultural practices, addressing insects, weeds and diseases. Frank Crandall will teach marketing organic lawn care to customers.


Learn more about the LISFF grant and our Lawn Certificate Course here.   

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CT AOLCPs: Help Maintain Pesticide Ban on K-8 Schools

New video showing the importance of the school grounds pesticide ban
In response to the Connecticut Council of Municipalities (CCM's) efforts to undo the school grounds pesticide ban,  Patti and Doug Wood of Grassroots Environmental Education have created a slide show that demonstrates the importance and viability of that law.  Watch the video here


Please email the letter from CCM to your town's mayor or selectman and call to find out if, as members of CCM, they agree with what it says.  Let us know what you find out by emailing us so we can compile your responses. 


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Our New AOLCP Marketing Strategy

  2011 OLC Guide cover 

NOFA OLC is adapting its marketing strategy to reflect current trends and reach more of YOUR customers. NOFA OLC will no longer be printing the annual publication The NOFA Guide to Organic Land Care, thus re-allocating $8000 towards targeted online and print ads. We believe this new strategy will lead more customers to you, by sending more consumers to the AOLCP online database, where customers can find you by zip code and keyword searches. In addition to NOFA OLC placing ads, we are offering you new tools to promote your business in your locality and to effectively communicate your credential as an AOLCP.


Business member AOLCPs will receive the following:   


 Embeddable Text Box

NOFA OLC will be placing ads directing customers to our online database, in all 7 NOFA chapter newsletters, on their websites when available, and in their Farm and Food Guides - reaching thousands of people. This campaign will speak to organically-inclined consumers and direct them to our online database. We also will advertise with The Natural Farmer, MOFGA, PASA, and other web and print publications.  NOFA OLC will provide you with an embeddable text box (for use on your company website) which explains the significance of NOFA Accreditation to your clients. These graphics can also be added to your print materials.    



1 of 4 print ad templates 



NOFA OLC will provide you with 4 print advertising templates which you can use locally and 3 website advertisements in the following dimensions: a horizontal banner, a vertical skyscraper and a standard rectangle.  Your ads will be customized with your contact information and logo for no additional charge. If further changes are needed, you can choose to work with your graphic designer or you can pay NOFA OLC $35/hour. If you want to improve your profile on our searchable database, we can build or update it for you for $35/hour.  


The NOFA OLC advertising will start in 2013. Until then, if you have any suggestions for publications or websites in which you'd like to see our ads featured in, please email us


We'd like to note that AOLCP Accreditation is different from NOFA chapter membership. NOFA members receive different benefits, which could include individual listings in annual Farm and Food Guides and in online and print newsletters. AOLCPs can attract additional customers through their NOFA listings, so consider NOFA membership and advertising. You can contact your local NOFA, PASA or MOFGA chapter. If you live in a state that's not listed here, contact your local organic farming organization and ask if they offer advertising.


MOFGA - The Maine Organic Farmer and Gardener 

NOFA NH Online Newsletter 

NOFA VT Winter Conference Brochure; contact Caitlin for additional advertising opportunities in the printed newsletter

CT NOFA - multiple opportunities  

NOFA Mass - multiple opportunities 

NOFA NY - multiple opportunities 

NOFA NJ - Farm and Food Guide 

PASA - Passages Newsletter 

NOFA RI - Contact Sanne if you are teaching a class to place your events on their calendar   

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New Online Reaccreditation Form


Last month we let you know about a new form now available online for submitting courses to be granted AOLCP credit.  Now that it's time to reaccredit for 2013, we have also streamlined our system to make it easier for you to reaccredit online. Using this new online form, you can submit your credit hours, select which tier of accreditation you prefer, and pay the applicable fee all in one place. (If you'd like to learn more about our new tiered accreditation system, click here.)  If you have questions or feedback about this new service, or if you aren't sure how many credits you still need to stay accredited after January 1, 2013 call us at 203.888.5146 or email us.

Access the new reaccreditation form here.

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Teach to Earn Your AOLCP Credits


When it comes to submitting courses for credit, here is a great example showing why teaching your own courses is a great way to both promote your business and earn AOLCP course credits:

Peter Bottomley, AOLCP from Cape Elizabeth, Maine, recently sent in a course description from a workshop which he had taught last spring, earning him his 4 AOLCP credits. After the course, one of the attendees connected Peter to an awesome job - maintaining the property around the Portland Headlight! So teaching can also be marketing for your business:


Peter's Class Description: 

Join the Transition: Organic Lawn Care and Landscaping 

Pulpit Rock Composting and Seeding
Are you concerned about lawn chemical safety for children and pets? Wonder how run-off impacts our marsh and marine-related livelihoods? For such health & environmental reasons, Scarborough adopted a policy to transition to an organic approach (OPM) on town & school lawns, playing fields, parks and playgrounds. Before purchasing products or having your lawn sprayed, view a Power Point and: consider differences between synthetic & organic approaches; get acquainted with your lawn's own living "soil food web"; learn to use weeds and insects as welcome messengers about how to best improve soil and lawn health; re-examine cultural reasons for the way you do things now; learn where to access organic products and services locally; and put it all together for a safe, chem-free lawn your kids and pets can roll around in! Be the one to get things started on your block, rally neighbors! With 26 years in the horticultural industry, Peter is one of seventeen NOFA-accredited organic lawn care professionals in the state of Maine.

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A Successful Business Workshop


On Friday, November 9, 2012, the NOFA Organic Land Care Program hosted its fourth advanced workshop, titled Business Essentials: Pricing and Marketing your Landscaping Services for Success. The half-day workshop was held at the Connecticut Forest and Park Association in Rockfall, CT. Frank Crandall of Frank Crandall Horticultural Solutions in Wakefield, Rhode Island began the first presentation about pricing and estimating organic versus conventional lawn care services. More> 

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Report From Our Stormwater Management Workshop


On September 27 the Organic Land Care Program hosted its third Advanced Workshop in 2012 about stormwater management at the Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport, Connecticut.  Attendees gathered in the Hanson Education building at the Beardsley Zoo.  The workshop opened with a brief welcome from Jeanne Yuckienuz, Senior Keeper and Associate Curator of the Beardsley Zoo (and also an Accredited Organic Land Care Professional) and some background about the City of Bridgeport's green infrastructure projects from Steve Hladun of the City of Bridgeport Department of Parks and Recreation. More>  


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In The News


Designing Neighborhoods for People and Wildlife

Habitat loss, and the corresponding loss of biodiversity, doesn't have to continue. Communities can connect their properties into networks of attractive, wildlife-friendly neighborhoods, cities, and regions. Starting with homeowners' properties, fragmented habitats can be rewoven together, creating neighborhoods that are not only healthier for wildlife but also for people.  More>  


Why Are Coastal Salt Marshes Falling Apart?   

Salt marshes have been disintegrating and dying over the past two decades along the U.S. Eastern Seaboard and other highly developed coastlines without anyone fully understanding why. This week in the journal Nature, scientist Linda Deegan of the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, Mass., and colleagues report that nutrients--such as nitrogen and phosphorus from septic and sewer systems and lawn fertilizers--can cause salt marsh loss. More>   


The living, evolving science project at the modern art museum known as Glenstone continues to  show dramatic results from its organic landscape transformation started nearly two and a half years ago. "There's almost too much growth from the composted plots," said Dr. Thomas Turner during his recent monthly evaluation of the carefully calibrated test plots that the University of Maryland Turfgrass Research Department is maintaining on the Glenstone campus. More>

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Currently accepting resumes to start November 26, 2012
The NEPCoP and Seed Bank Coordinator assists the New England Wildflower Society's Conservation Director in coordination of conservation efforts for the New England Plant Conservation Program (NEPCoP), collects seed of common and rare plant species, maintains the New England Seed Bank of Rare and Endangered species, performs surveys of rare plant species in the field, and participates in invasive exotic plant control.  To learn more about this opportunity, click here.

Organic Lawn & Turf Day

**Worth 4 AOLCP credits
January 11, 2013
9:00am - 5:00pm
Tower Hill Botanic Garden
Boylston, MA
Cost: $95 NOFA members and AOLCPs; $105 non-members
The NOFA/Mass Organic Land Care Program is pleased to present this one-day intensive workshop on organic turf management. Organic lawn care is the fastest-growing sector of the green industry-and the NOFA Organic Land Care Program has been a pioneer in sustainable, chemical free land management for over a decade.  Learn more and register here.  This event is for lawn care professionals who already have organic lawn care experience; for an introductory course about organic lawn care, register for our Organic Lawn Care Certificate Course.

Learn the condition of local streams, lakes and other waters anywhere in the US... quickly and in plain language. See if your local waterway was checked for pollution, what was found, and what is being done. The source of this information is a US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) database of State water quality monitoring reports provided under the Clean Water Act.  Check it out here.       

Horticultural Business Seminars each worth 4 AOLCP credits 

January 9-10, 2013

10th GEM I (Growth, Effectiveness, Management) Horticultural Business Seminar, 8am-5pm, Westerly/Pawcatuck Chamber of Commerce. Taught by Frank Crandall. Topics include estimating, company finances, sales techniques, employees, management tips, marketing, small business loans, mistakes to avoid and more. Text: "The Essential Horticultural Business Handbook;" daily lunches included. Cost: $395/person; discounts for AOLCPs, MNLA and RINLA members. To register: email Frank Crandall or call (401) 742-7619.


February 21, 2013

GEM II (Growth, Effectiveness, Management) Horticultural Business Seminar, 8am-5pm, Broad Meadow Brook Audubon Sanctuary, Worcester, MA. Taught by Frank Crandall. Topics include refining your company's mission and vision, effective leadership styles, seasonal cash flow planning, adapting estimate, job costing and pricing system to your business and social media marketing. Text: "The Essential Horticultural Business Handbook;" lunch included. Cost: $295/person; discounts for AOLCPs, MNLA and RINLA members. To register: email Frank Crandall or call (401) 742-7619.

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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.   


11/15/12 - 15th Annual Trees in the Urban Landscape Symposium, Boylston, MA
11/15/12 - ELA Season' s End Summit: Taking Stock and Looking Forward, Ashland, MA
12/5/12 - NOFA Annual Gathering, Sturbridge, MA
1/9/13 - 10th GEM Business Seminar, Westerly, RI
1/11/13 - Organic Lawn & Turf Day, Boylston, MA
1/15/13 - Landscape Integrated Pest Management (IPM), New Brunswick, NJ
1/29/13 - Organic Turfgrass Management, New Brunswick, NJ
2/12/13 - Reducing Pesticide Inputs and Exploring Organic Options for Sports Turf, New Brunswick, NJ
2/21/13 - GEM II Horticultural Business Seminar, Worcester, MA
12/31/13 - ONGOING - Natural Turf Pro DVD, Northeast

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NOFA Standards Review

We are getting very excited for our Annual Gathering on December 5 and our Accreditation Courses in January and February.  These events allow new and existing AOLCPs to continuously expand their knowledge of organic land care in order to become more effective and experienced organic landscapers.  To get in the right mindset for these events, this month's Standards Review focuses on one of the basic foundations of organic land care on which all the other principles in the Standards depend. The following excerpt on Site Analysis, Design, and Management can be found on page 7 of the NOFA Standards for Organic Land Care.

Site Analysis, using the principles in these Standards as a guide, is the observation of the key elements of a site, coupled with an understanding of how these elements affect the relationship between organisms (people, plants, animals, microscopic soil life) and the site. Site Analysis is the primary discipline used to determine appropriate land use - including plant selection and placement, construction and placement of hardscape elements, and in some cases, site modification to create particular ecosystems.

Design is the creative application of these principles in the landscape. It employs the disciplines of ecology and sustainability to create landscapes that can be managed organically.

Management refers to the holistic care of landscapes before, during, and after installation. It utilizes recognized organic methods and materials, and also innovation and experimentation, so long as they conform to the principles set forth in these Standards. One of the goals of organic management is the gradual decrease of inputs as the landscape is guided toward sustainability.

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