NOFA OLC Announces its Summer Courses

For Immediate Release:  June 11, 2011
Contact: Ashley Kremser (203)888-5146
Click here to download our Summer Programming Brochure


The NOFA Organic Land Care Program Announces its Summer Courses 

The second annual Advanced Organic Land Care Workshop Series, created in response to the demand for more in-depth and hands-on education is sponsored by the Northeast Organic Farming Association’s Organic Land Care Program (NOFA OLC).  Workshops in this series are conducted in small groups in an outdoor setting and are led by organic land care professionals who are experts in the topic. These workshops provide a unique experience to work closely with highly experienced professionals.

This summer NOFA is offering four advanced workshops.  Lee Reich's workshop on Edible Landscaping with Fruit and Todd Harrington's Intensive Workshop on Soil Testing and Interpretation are new this year!  If you missed out on last year’s workshops, we will be offering both Producing and Applying Actively Aerated Compost Tea with Peter Schmidt and Organic Invasive Removal with Mike Nadeau.   The advanced workshop series will be extended into the winter with a February 2011 workshop on Turf Nutrition with Chip Osborne.

In addition to this series, the Annual NOFA Organic Lawn & Turf Course, featuring new topics and speakers. will be held at Save the Bay in Providence, RI on August 5th. It will feature Chip Osborne, Paul Sachs, Don Bishop and Javier Gill as course speakers.  Please take a look at the detailed course descriptions below, call 203-888-5146 or visit for more information. 

Edible Landscaping with Fruit: a workshop with Lee Reich
July 21st, 9:00am – 3:00pm (Rain date-July 22nd)
Lee Reich’s farmden, New Paltz, NY
in cooperation with NOFA-NY

Join NOFA OLC for this unique opportunity to learn about edible landscaping from expert Lee Reich!  This workshop will include site assessment, soil preparation, plant selection and maintenance, and using fruit in luscious landscaping.

It will also include a comprehensive review of topics such as assessing the soil, microclimates, timing for ripe fruit, drainage, soil organic matter, plant pruning, pests and consideration in selecting fruit trees.

Lee Reich, PhD is an avid farmdener (more than a garden, less than a farm) who turned from plant and soil research with the USDA and Cornell University to writing, lecturing, and consulting. His books include A Northeast Gardener’s Year, The Pruning Book, Weedless Gardening, Uncommon Fruits for Every Garden, and Landscaping with Fruit. He writes regularly for Associated Press and publications such as Fine Gardening and Horticulture. His garden has been featured in such publications as the New York Times and Martha Steward Living, has won awards from National Gardening and Organic Gardening magazines, and has been included in "Open Days" tours of the Garden Conservancy.

Start with the Soil: an Intensive Workshop on Soil Testing and Interpretation
August 3rd, 9am - 3pm
Harrington's Organic Land Care, Bloomfield, CT

Success with organic growing depends on healthy soil.  This advanced workshop given by Todd Harrington of Harrington’s Organic Land Care will take the mystery out of interpreting soil tests.  The workshop will cover chemical and biological soil sampling, testing and results.  Students will learn:

  • Correct sampling techniques for different situations
  • How soil properties influence and affect nutrients and other soil characteristics  
  • How a lab tests the chemistry and biology of soil samples and how to begin to make connections about the biology of the soil based on chemistry results. 
  • How to use soil results to create a comprehensive plan to improve soil quality and the landscape

During the workshop students will learn sampling techniques and understand how analytical results in the soil test report fit together to describe the overall health of the soil. 

Upon completion of this workshop, students should have the skills needed to interpret test results and make appropriate recommendations for improving soil quality based on NOFA’s Standards for Organic Land Care.  The workshop will include lab time, classroom time and a tour of the compost tea center.

NOFA Organic Lawn and Turf Course
August 5, 2010, 8:00 am – 4:30pm
Save the Bay, Providence, RI
in cooperation with NOFA/RI

This is a one-day, intensive Organic Lawn and Turf Course. This course is specifically designed to meet the needs of professionals who are managing lawns and athletic turf in residential, commercial, or public settings such as schools and parks. We offer this course annually.  Over the past five years we have trained over 700 students in organic turf management. The text book for this course is the NOFA Organic Lawn and Turf Handbook, which is available to purchase in our book store.

The sixth annual NOFA Organic Lawn and Turf Course, featuring new topics and speakers, will be held in Providence, RI on August 5th.  Nationally known natural turf expert, and NOFA AOLCP, Chip Osborne will teach much of the course and is revising the agenda to provide more up-to-date information.  Chip just published "A Cost Comparison of Conventional (Chemical) Turf Management and Natural (Organic) Turf Management for School Athletic Fields." 

The new speakers include Paul Sachs of North Country Organics, who will address the important subject of Compaction and Javier Gil of J.Gil Organic Landscaping who will speak on Compost Tea.  Don Bishop of Gardens Are... will also teach Pest, Weeds and Diseases.

The course will be held at the beautiful Save the Bay building on the water in Providence!  A delicious local and organic lunch will be provided.  This is the only NOFA lawn and turf course this year and seating is limited, so register soon.

Organic Invasive Removal with Mike Nadeau

August 18th, 9am – 3pm  (Rain date- August 24th)
Connecticut Beardsley Zoo, Bridgeport, CT.

Join Michael Nadeau for a demonstration of organic techniques used for removing bittersweet, garlic mustard, Japanese knotweed, Russian olive, burning bush, and other herbaceous perennials. Physical, thermal, biological, and managerial methods will be covered. Other topics include: identifying areas in need of invasive removal, site analysis, creating appropriate management plan, wetland regulations and management techniques that work! Make sure to wear work gear and bring gloves!

Michael Nadeau, one of the principals of Plantscapes, Inc. is a member of the Organic Land Care Committee of  CTNOFA that created and published the first Standards for Organic Land and Lawn Care: Practices for Design and Maintenance of Ecological Landscapes. Michael is also a frequent lecturer on organic topics.

Producing and Applying Actively Aerated Compost Tea
September 21st , 9am – 3pm
Stonewall Farm, Keene, NH
Co-Sponsored by NOFA-NH

Join us for a hands-on workshop on Producing and Applying Actively Aerated Compost Tea with Peter Schmidt of Compostwerks! LLC.

This workshop is a unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience and to learn in a small group setting. Some of the topics that will be covered include how to brew compost tea, customizing tea for specific uses, assessing compost tea quality and methods of application. The workshop will be conducted both outside on the farm and in a classroom setting.

Peter Schmidt, certified arborist and founding partner of Compostwerks! LLC has been involved in the horticultural industry for 25 years. He interacts with Elaine Ingham of the Soil Foodweb Inc. on a regular basis, and is working to become a certified advisor.

Advanced Course Cost (includes a local and organic lunch):
General public.............................................$200
AOLCPs and/or NOFA members...............$185
AOLCPs early registration discounts:
Edibles workshop:               June 25th..........$150
Invasives workshop:           July 12th...........$150
Compost Tea workshop:   August 16th…..$150

NOFA Organic Lawn and Turf Course Cost (includes a local and organic lunch and a copy of the NOFA Organic Lawn and Turf Handbook.)
Early Registration:    by July 1st………….. $125

To register contact Ashley Kremser, NOFA OLC Program Manager, at 203-888-5146 or register online at