NOFA ORGANIC LAND CARE PROGRAM

E-News  November 2009
                             In this issue                                                                          
  *NOFA Learning Events                *Out and About with Jim Beard        
  *A Call For Articles                       *AOLCPs in Action     
  *Employment Opportunity             *Re-accreditation Alert               
  *Internship Fair                           *Also of Interest
  *Nantucket Scholarships               *Current Credit Opportunities
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Upcoming NOFA
Courses and Learning Events
NOFA Annual Update Course

Update 06This year's Update Course on December 8 in Sturbridge, MA promises to be an outstanding event, and we hope you will join us to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the AOLCP Program!  Bill Cullina will be our keynote speaker, and Kevin Smith's presentation will earn ISA credits.  Pesticide credits are pending for CT, MA, and NY.  A balanced view of bio-char and research updates on organic products and Mile-a-Minute Vine will also be presented.

Course Details:  The Sturbridge Host Hotel & Conference Center, 366 Main Street, Sturbridge, MA.  8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; $75 for AOLCPs and $85 for general public.  Lunch Included.
Six (6) AOLCP credits will be awarded for attendance.  Register online or call (203) 888-5146.  If you have any questions, email Carol.

NOFA Organic Land Care Accreditation Course
The 2010 Organic Land Care Accreditation Course will be offered in four states again this year.  Please encourage your friends and colleagues to "go organic" and call 203-888-5146 to register.
For more information, check out this brochure at the OLC website.

OLC Class Photo 09
Massachussetts:  January 13, 14, 15, 19, 20, 2010 (Snow Date: Jan. 21) - Newburyport, MA
Connecticut:  January 21, 22, 25, 26, 27, 2010 (Snow Date: Jan. 29) - New Haven, CT
New York:  Feb. 10, 11, 12, 15, 16, 2010 (Snow Date: Feb. 17) - Westchester County, NY
Rhode Island:  Feb. 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 2010 (Snow Date: Feb. 27) - Providence, RI


NOFA/Mass Winter Conference
The NOFA MASS Winter Conference will take place in Worcester, MA on January 16 (Details coming soon to our website.)

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A Call for Articles...
Become a published professional!

OLC Class Photo 09The NOFA Guide to Organic Land Care is issued each Spring to provide homeowners a print directory of AOLCPs in their area and to educate them about the benefits and ways of organic land care.  The Guide always includes informative articles written by AOLCPs. 

Please consider submitting an article and/or photos for publication in the next issue of the Guide.  Many of you have offered workshops, just waiting to be put in print and shared with a wider audience.  Some of you have already published articles elsewhere. These too may be reprinted and shared with homeowners in other states.  Contact Carol by email or telephone (203-888-5146) if you need more information or would like to submit an article for the Guide. 
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Employment Opportunity
Seeking an Organic Lawn Specialist

Please read all the requirements below before replying.
 
We are a small, but growing organic lawn management company based in the Newton Center, MA area, but serve all of metro west. We perform soil tests, fertilizing, aerating, seeding, compost top dressing and soil amendments. We have been very successful with maintaining a thick healthy lawn, using only organic products/methods. The right person would need to be able to interpret a soil test, identify lawn problems, schedule routes, perform applications, track products & inventory, develop relationships with clients, return calls & emails, perform estimates. We understand that this is an uncommon field, but if you have a solid background in turf grass management and are willing to learn the organic side, this might be for you.
           
Requirements:
Valid drivers license
Experience & References (either former employers, or clients you've serviced)
Fluent English
Turf grass background 
Organized (tools, time management)
Accountable (on time, honest, reliable)
Ability to lift materials (40+ lbs)
Good positive attitude & solid character
 
If you think this is you, email Peter DiClemente some background on your experience, or if you have a resume please send that.
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Internship Fair
Turfgrass Management Internship Fair at U Mass
Tuesday, November 10, 2009, Time: 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Room 105 - French Hall - Amherst, MA


The Stockbridge School Turf Program will be holding an internship fair for first year students on Tuesday, 10 November, in French Hall Room 105 on the UMass Amherst campus. The session will begin at 6:00 pm and will run until 8:00 pm. All current freshmen will be required to attend, and
invitations will be extended to other turf students in both the two-year and four-year programs. We anticipate that there will be at least 40 students in attendance.

This is a great opportunity for turf managers to meet our students and speak to them about internship positions. If you are unable to attend, you can send an electronic file with the pertinent information for the internship(s) you are looking to fill. We will make those files available to the students who attend the session.

Pizza and refreshments will be provided.

If you are able to attend in person, please RSVP to Pat Vittum or Michelle DaCosta  by
November 3, 2009.

For maps and driving
directions, visit the UMass website.

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Nantucket Landscapers Receive 5-Day Course Scholarships

Special thanks to Cormac Collier, Executive Director of the Nantucket Land Council for
demonstrating true dedication to water protection through organic landscaping! 

OLC Class Photo 09
For each of the last two years, the Council has provided full scholarships for a dozen Nantucket landscapers to attend the NOFA 5-day Accreditation Courses in Organic Land Care in MA and RI.   The Nantucket Land Council has also hosted workshops on the island with Chip Osborne, Michael Nadeau and Donald Bishop to help AOLCPs earn their re-accreditation credits and educate the public about organic land care. 

If you know landscapers who could benefit from the Council's generosity this year, please encourage them to contact
Cormac Collier.  

 
If you work with a watershed organization that could consider a similar program, please contact Ashley Kremser in CT by email or by telephone at (203) 888-5146; or Kathy Litchfield in MA by email or by telephone at (413) 773-3830.

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Out and About...
News from the Western Outpost

Jim Beard-Nov. 09 enews AOLCP Jim Beard, (NY '09 course) has been busy teaching Organic Land Care to his students at Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton, Wisconsin. He has integrated hands-on organic education into his turf, landscape construction, landscape design and landscape maintenance classes by working with students to make and apply compost, apply organic fertilizer through a well-based irrigation system and harvest worm castings from their very own campus-based worm farm. Next Spring students will aerate and apply compost to campus lawns; apply compost tea to planter beds; and fertilize perennial beds with organic fertilizer through the irrigation system.
 
Fifteen of Beard's landscape construction class students also completed a one-day project on Sept. 12, installing a rain garden with a bio-filter to treat runoff from the Town Hall in Greenville, Wisconsin, using a soil mix that was 50 percent pea gravel, 25 percent sand and 25 percent compost. They excavated 10 cubic yards of soil and inputted the new soil; covered the bio-filter with hardwood shredded mulch, 30 tons of boulders and 250-300 native plants, he said, all the while working alongside the Town Administrator, board chairman and community members interested in sustainability and rain gardens.
 
"The Midwest isn't ready to totally embrace organics as the Northeast has, but many of my students want this education. Our goal is to train the workforce, and educate the public as much as possible. Once they see organics working, they'll be on board," said Beard, who uses the NOFA Standards for Organic Land Care, the NOFA Organic Lawn & Turf Handbook and the Natural Turf Pro DVD with Chip Osborne, from the Grassroots Healthy Lawn Program (GHLP), as his main curricula.
 
Since taking the accreditation course last February, Beard has maintained two acres of FVTC's 30-acre campus organically, to demonstrate that organic principles can work when implemented properly. He plans to add a five-acre sports field next, and eventually transition the entire campus to organic management.
 
Beard has also given half a dozen lectures and presentations on organic land care in his community, including to the Fox Valley and Greenville chapters of Wisconsin Landscapers; at the Waupaca County Garden Center; at Fox Valley's satellite college in Osh Kosh, Wisconsin; and at the botanical gardens in Appleton.
 
"Next fall we'll have a brand new course in 'Organic Lawn Care' at Fox Valley Technical College, with its own curriculum that will follow the NOFA Standards. Students will brew and apply compost and compost tea. There's interest out here," said Beard. "I tell the contractors, 'Gentlemen, it's coming this way and there are professional opportunities for some of you wanting to make good quality compost that's fungal and bacterial, to be used in the organic industry. Get ahead of the curve!'"
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AOLCPs in Action

Virginia Acquario followed her experience at the NOFA Advanced Pruning Workshop in July with further research on the teachings of Dr. Shigo. Virginia then delivered a workshop in October, entitled "Pruning your Landscape" to members of the Bethlehem Garden Club in Bethlehem, NY, a suburb of Albany.  Teaching is a great way to reinforce learning!
Chuck Sherzi Pruning
Chuck Sherzi
, who is also a Certified Arborist and Horticulturist, will offer "Pruning:  When, Why, and How" on Thursday, November 5, beginning at 7 pm, at the Medford Public Library, 111 High Street, Medford, Massachusetts, and is sponsored by the Medford Garden Club.  The program is free and open to the public. 

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Re-accreditation Alert!

If you attended the 2009 NE Grows Conference and had your badge scanned for credits, please contact Carol  to assure that the credits will be award for your re-accreditation.  The scanning process did not work as well as planned, and we received a report including over 1,000 names!  We'll find you as soon as we know who you are!!!

To review re-accreditation requirements, please check the guidelines at our website.
 
Also of Interest...

The 16th Annual ELA Conference & Eco-Marketplace ~
EXPANDING THE ECOLOGICAL LANDSCAPE
Co-hosts: NOFA Organic Land Care Program * Pioneer Valley Planning Commission
February 25, 2010 at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, MA
Keynote Speaker: Toby Hemenway  

The full brochure and registration will be available
online in late December, and re-accreditation credits will be posted at the OLC website.

Join ELA as an Exhibitor at the oldest Northeast conference that highlights all aspects of ecological, sustainable, and organic landscaping practices. Visit: www.ecolandscaping.org to review and download the Exhibitor Packet/Registration or contact Trevor Smith at 617-308-7063/trevscape@comcast.net or ELA at ela.info@comcast.net


The "Dirt" on Earthworms

That seemingly harmless creature, the earthworm, revered so long as our ally in
the garden, has become a foe in our forests. Surprisingly, earthworms are not native to
the Northeastern United States. Glaciers in the Pleistocene period wiped out native
earthworms in most of the Northern Continental U.S. Explorers and settlers introduced exotic earthworms possibly as early as the 1600s. These exotic earthworms were brought to America both intentionally and unintentionally from Europe and Asia through agriculture, horticulture and fishing.  Read more in this article from The Native Plant Center at Westchester Community College  Newsletter, September 2009, NUMBER 23 (page 2).


Leaf it Be!
A quiet revolution is brewing. Across the state, homeowners, landscapers and municipal employees are refining methods of dealing with fall leaves.  Read more at Fairfield Weekly.com.


The National Sustainable Agricultural Information Service
Looking for the latest in sustainable agriculture and organic farming news, events and funding opportunities? The ATTRA newsletter features all that, plus in-depth publications on production practices, alternative crop and livestock enterprises, innovative marketing, organic certification, and highlights of local, regional, USDA and other federal sustainable ag activities.


Richmond makes pesticides illegal
Using pesticides to spruce up lawns and gardens on all residential property and most city property is now illegal in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada.  In a final vote this week, city council enacted the Pesticide Use Control Bylaw, giving bylaw enforcement officers power to fine homeowners up to $1,000 for using products like Roundup, Killex and Weed 'N' Feed.  Read the entire article by Matthew Hoekstra in the October 16, 2009 Richmond Review.   
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Current AOLCP Credit Opportunities

NOVEMBER
November 4: How to Build a Rain Garden - Chevy Chase, MD

Nov. 4 to Dec. 2: European and American Landscape Design - Stockbridge, MA
Nov. 4, 2009 - Feb. 11, 2010: Sustainable Site Engineering- Landscape Inst., Boston, MA
Nov. 5 - Dec. 3: Ecological Planting Design- Stockbridge, MA
November 7: Going Native in New England - New London, CT
November 7: Dividing and Transplanting Perennials in the Fall -  Whately, MA

Nov. 9 - Dec. 21: Green Roofs and Rain Gardens - Landscape Inst., Boston, MA
November 13: Northeast Biochar Symposium 2009 - Amherst, MA
November 17: Invasive Species in the Northeast - Valhalla, NY
November 21: Propagating Hardwoods from Cuttings - Whately, MA
Nov. 24-Dec. 15: Plant Health Care - Stockbridge, MA

DECEMBER
December 8: NOFA Organic Land Care Update Course - Sturbridge, MA
Dec. 15-March 14: Permaculture Design Course - Bethlehem, CT

JANUARY 2010
January 1: Postmark Deadline for Re-accreditation for 2010
January 5-26: Botany for Gardeners - Stockbridge, MA
January 6-27: Designer Tool Kit I - Observation & Analysis - Stockbridge, MA
January 7 - 28: The Business of Horticulture - Stockbridge, MA
Jan.15 - Nov. 22: Permaculture Design Course -Shelburne Falls MA

January 16: NOFA MASS WINTER CONFERENCE - Worcester, MA (Details coming soon)

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