September 2009
Early Bird Discount Extended for Invasive Removal Workshop - Updates to AOLCP Search - December 8 Update Course  - September 22 Compost Screening and Topdressing Demo -  Summer Successes - Request for Workshop Proposals - AOLCPs in Action and in Print -  Refresh your Knowledge of NOFA's Standards - Also of Interest - AOLCP Credit Opportunities
Early Bird Discount for Organic Invasive Removal Workshop extended to
September 10!

August 2009
Early Bird Discount for Organic Invasive Removal Workshop extended to September 10!
Updates to AOLCP Search
December 8 Update Course
Coming September 22...
Summer Success
Request for Workshop Proposals
AOLCPs in Action and in Print!
Refresh your knowledge of NOFA's Standards
Also of Interest
Credit Opportunities
Are We Missing Something?
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If you have stories, articles, notices or suggestions for this  newsletter, email

Early Bird Discount for the Organic Invasive Removal Workshop extended to September 10!

Get into the field at Ghiloni Park, Marlborough, MA with leading expert Donald Bishop for a hands-on workshop on  September 23 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

An industry leader on org
OLC Class Photo 09anic invasive removal and  a member of the Massachusetts Invasive Plants Advisory Group, Don Bishop, has been contracted for numerous large-scale organic invasive removal projects.

Join Don for a hands-on demonstration of organic techniques used for removing Japanese Knotweed, Phragmites, Asatic Bittersweet, and other herbaceous perennials. Physical, thermal, biological, and managerial methods will be covered. Other topics that will be covered include: identifying areas in need of invasive removal, site analysis, creating an appropriate management plan, wetland regulations and management techniques that work! Make sure to wear work gear and bring gloves!

Register online or call 203-888-5146 before September 10 to receive the early- bird discount, which will reduce the course cost for AOLCPs to $150.


Visit the OLC website to discover the improvements that have been made to facilitate  homeowners' ability to find AOLCPs serving their area.  Now, when a homeowner enters a zip code, the AOLCPs who serve that zip code will be listed first by proximity.  Please note that your town, state and zip code are now required fields.  The state is also now listed with the town on all pages.

Be sure to take this opportunity to review and perhaps update your entry with any new information or photos of your work

December 8 Update Course

Thanks to all who responded with their preferences for this important annual event on December 8, 2009.  Plans are in progress.  The line-up of presenters and topics includes...
  • Janice Thies, Associate Professor of Soil Biology in Crop and Soil Sciences and International Professor of Soil Ecology, is a 2006 American Society for Microbiology Latin America International Professor and has led five international workshops on Soil Molecular Ecology.  Dr. Thies has knowledge of Terra Preta and biochar and conducts research on  molecular methods to characterize soil biodiversity and identify  and measure the activity of microbes in soil responsible for  critical ecosystem processes.
  • Kevin T. Smith is a Project Leader and Supervisory Plant Physiologist with the  U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service in Durham, NH.  His research is focused on the response of trees to injury, infection, and environmental change. Sources of injury may be obvious such as those from fire, storms, and human activity. Less obvious yet significant change may come from perturbations in soil chemistry due to acid rain.  This presentation will provide an excellent follow-up to NOFA's Advanced Pruning Workshop with Mike Nadeau in July.
  • Bill Cullina, Plant and Garden Curator at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay, will present Sugar, Sex, and Poison:  Shocking Plant Secrets Caught on Camera, which will be as much fun as it is informative.  In this talk, Bill Cullina will show how the world of pollen, poisons, pigments, pheromones, sugars and sex translates to sound organic practices we all can benefit from.
  • Don Franczyk of Baystate Organics will lead a discussion and answer your questions about the selection of organic products. 
  • Kathleen Nelson and Carole Cheah will provide a "Research Update" on mile-a-minute vine, including Carole Cheah's research on a biological control - a weevil that feeds on the vine. 
Remember to check credit opportunities at the OLC website, where details and registration information for this event will be posted.

Coming September 22...
Compost Screening and Topdressing Demonstration

Remember that you are invited to a demonstration of leaf compost screening and recreational field  topdressing with screened compost.  The Town of Wethersfield has been using its municipal leaf compost for several years to improve the quality of its recreational fields. This workshop is sponsored by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), CT NOFA, and UCONN's Plant Science Department to assist you in the practical implementation of organic methods on athletic fields.  This is an AOLCP credit opportunity.  Call Tatiana Abreu at (860) 418-5919 by September 15 to confirm that you plan to attend.


OLC Class Photo 09NOFA's summer courses were well delivered and well received.  The most recent Advanced Workshop on CompostTea, led by AOLCP Peter Schmidt, was a great success.

Likewise, the feedback on NOFA's Lawn and Turf courses in CT, MA and NJ this summer has been most positive.  Thanks to the organizers and presenters who made it possible to offer these courses on sound organic practice!

Request for Workshop Proposals

You are invited to submit a workshop proposal for the NOFA/Mass Annual Winter Conference on January 16th, 2010 at Worcester Technical High School, Worcester, MA.  The workshops are 90 minutes long.  Workshop presenters receive a $50 honorarium, up to $35 in workshop expenses, free conference registration and a free lunch. 
Workshop proposals are sought for the following subjects, among others:
  • Information for the beginning organic gardener on pest control, disease control, soil improvements.  (These topics should be covered in three separate workshops.)
  • Composting
  • Gardening in small spaces such as containers, patios, balconies or small urban gardens
Contact Jassy Bratko by email or telephone (978-928-5646) for further information.  Proposals are due  October 15.

AOLCPs in Action and in Print!

Camilla Worden, of Camilla Worden Garden Design LLC, NOFA AOLCP, is an Organic Land Care Committee member whose contributions to the AOLCP program are innumerable and highly valued.  Camilla's article, entitled  "Native Beauties in the Fall," appeared in the Homestyle Section of the Danbury News-Times on
August 14.

OLC Class Photo 09Andrew Keys, of Oakleaf Greens, NOFA AOLCP, makes his  national print debut in the October issue of Fine Gardening magazine, which is on the newstand now. 
Andrew wrote the Regional Report on Perennials for Fall. Congratulations, Andrew!

Greg Hazleton, NOFA AOLCP of Earthwise Organic Landscaping, had the Community Spotlight upon him, when Natural Awakenings published his "organic" story in their August issue.  We especially appreciate Greg's recommendation of the NOFA OLC courses.  Thank you, Greg!

Dori Smith,
garden designer andNOFA AOLCP,will lead a workshop entitled Autumn Beauties: Native Plants in the Collections at Tower Hill Botanical Garden, 11 French Drive, Boylston, MA (meeting in the Farmhouse) from 1 to 3 p.m. on Sunday, October 18, rain or shine.  This is a credit opportunity for AOLCPs.

Bettylou Sandy, of Bettylou's Gardening, NOFA AOLCP and Board Member, will lead a workshop, entitled The New Eden:  Community Gardening, at the Fall Forum on Religion and the Environment in Hartford, CT on Thursday, October 15, from 4 to 9 p.m.   The event is called "A Sacred Trust" and is presented by Hartford Seminary and The Interreligious Eco-Justice Network. For more information, go to this website.

Please let us share in your accomplishments by letting Carol know what you are up to! 

Refresh your knowledge of NOFA's Standards

This review of NOFA Standards for Organic Land Care is meant to help you keep aware and spread the word.  This excerpt from the NOFA Standards concerns Site Analysis,Design and Management.

Site Analysis is the primary discipline used to determine

appropriate land use - including plant selection and placement, construction and placement of hardscape
elements on the site, and in some cases, site modification to create certain ecosystems.

Design is the creative application of these principles on 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, as well as innovation and experimentation within the
guidelines of these Standards. One of the goals of organic management is the gradual decrease of inputs
as the landscape grows toward sustainability.

- Site analysis that includes: special attention to variation in microclimates; evaluation of
sunlight availability and degrees of shade; soil analysis (see Soil Testing); wind patterns and air circulation; temperature; conditions of existing plants; and moisture characteristics of the site
-Selecting and placing plants whose characteristics are appropriate to the site
- Leaving established ecosystems intact (except where invasive or harmful plants exist-see Invasive Plants section)
- Selecting and using native plants correctly
- Producing food (vegetable gardens, edible landscapes)
- Creating, restoring, protecting, and enhancing wildlife habitat (e.g. riparian buffers)
- Establishing buffers to protect organic sites from neighboring non-organic sites
- Designing landscapes that are designed to enhance the principles of ecology and sustainability (e.g. lawn reduction)

- Modifying existing habitats within the guidelines of these Standards where new landscape design is desired

- Breaking local, state or federal laws regarding wetlands and buffer zones
- Using plants inappropriate to the site, or that require extraordinary inputs and efforts to keep them alive
- Modifying a site in a way that results in considerable harm to the environment

   Also of Interest

Bulk Order - For the first time ever, NOFA/Mass is organizing a fall bulk order for a limited number of mineral amendments.  If you do not receive an e-mail with more information in the coming weeks, please contact Cathleen O'Keefe, by e-mail or phone (413)584-6786.

Movie Premiere A Chemical Reaction...
Wednesday, Sept. 23, at 2 p.m. at the Kendall Square Theatre as part of the prestigious Boston Film Festival.  Paul Tukey will be there and happy to answer any questions.

This documentary chronicles the origin of the movement against lawn and garden pesticides in Canada, including the landmark court case Hudson v. ChemLawn that ultimately led to much of Canada banning weed 'n feed and Roundup.
Check out the movie's website for a preview.

Town of FairfieldGreenDrinks...
Always the First Tuesday of the Month, always Taco Tuesday,
at the Beach Cafe, 2070 Post Road, Fairfield, (203) 536-4695.
Visit their website for more information. 

The Native Plant Center at Westchester Community College in Valhalla, NY is offering a family event  on Sunday, October 4, 2009 from 10 a.m. - 4p.m., entitled At Play with Plants: A day of discovery for the child in all of us. Visit their website for the schedule of activities.

Perchlorate-contaminated groundwater could be a widespread legacy of the U.S.'s agricultural past, according to researchers who have pioneered perchlorate forensics. The researchers, led by John Karl Bohlke of the U.S. Geological Survey, used isotopes and other geochemical tracers to identify perchlorate sources. The impact of the historic use of Chilean nitrate fertilizer from the Atacama Desert, which contains naturally occurring perchlorate, is emerging from studies such as one published recently in ES&T (DOI 10.1021/es9006433 ).  The study, which identifies historic use of the fertilizer as the most likely cause of groundwater contamination in some areas of Long Island, New York, is one of the first published reports on the use of such forensics in the field. Similar studies are under way in California, Iowa, Arkansas, and New Jersey, but these are part of ongoing litigation, according to coauthor Neil Sturchio of the University of Illinois Chicago. 
(Abstract of:   Renner, R., 2009. Isotopes finger fertilizer's perchlorate legacy.  Environmental Science & Technology. DOI 10.1021/es902042p.) For the complete article, visit this

N.B.  NOFA OLC has banned this product for the last 10 years.

   AOLCP Credit Opportunities

Please view Credit Opportunities at the Organic Land Care website for further information and useful links.

September 8-29: Herbaceous Plants I - Stockbridge, MA
Sept. 9 - Oct. 21: Green Roofs and Rain Gardens - Landscape Inst., Boston, MA
Sept. 9 - Oct. 21: Trees in the Landscape - Landscape Inst., Boston, MA
Sept. 9-Dec. 9: Ground Rules and the Sustainable Environment - Landscape Inst., Boston, MA
Sept. 9 - Dec. 16: Sustainable & Green tech. in residential design- Landscape Inst., Boston, MA
Sept. 10, 17, 24: Insect Management in Gardens and Edible Landscapes - Minneapolis, MN
Sept. 10 - Dec. 10: The Small Sustainable Farm - Landscape Inst., Boston, MA
September 13: Mastering Asters - Whately, MA
Sept. 14 to Oct. 26: Drafting for Garden Design - Stockbridge, MA
Sept. 17 & 20: Fall Wildflowers: Confusing Composites - Chevy Chase, MD
Sept. 17-24, Oct. 1 and Sept.19: Designing the Edible Landscaping - Stockbridge, MA
September 20: Fall Composites on Mt. Toby - Sunderland, MA
September 22: DEP Workshop: Compost Screening and Topdressing Demonstration -Wethersfield, CT
September 23: NOFA Advanced Workshop --Organic Invasive Removal - Marlborough, MA
September 26: Native Groundcovers - Whately, MA.
September 26: Sustainable Gardens at Perkins School - Watertown, MA
September 27: Native Seed Harvesting - Housatonic, MA
September 27: Hop Brook Floodplain & Tyringham Cobble - Tyringham, MA
September 28: Tree Time with Michael Dirr - Bristol, RI
September 29: Tree Time with Michael Dirr - Amherst, MA
October 1: Tree Time with Michael Dirr - Middlebury, VT
October 2 and 3: Tree Whispering - Foster, RI
October 4: Seed-saving - Gill, MA
Oct. 6-20 and 24: Ornamental Woody Plants - Stockbridge, MA
Oct. 8- 22 & Oct. 31: Arboriculture - Stockbridge, MA
October 18: Autumn Beauties - Boylston, MA
October 21: Creating Your Own Year-Round Vegetable Garden - Chevy Chase, MD
Oct. 27-Nov. 17: Soil and Soil Amendments - Stockbridge, MA
October 28: Harvesting and Harnessing Rainwater at Home - Chevy Chase, MD
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
Nov. 9 - Dec. 21: Green Roofs and Rain Gardens - Landscape Inst., Boston, MA
Nov. 24-Dec. 15: Plant Health Care - Stockbridge, MA
Dec. 15-March 14: Permaculture Design Course - Bethlehem, CT
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
February 1 - March 8: Residential Landscape Construction - Stockbridge, MA
February 2 - 23: Sustainable Landscape Care & Garden Maintenance - Stockbridge, MA
February 3-5: New England Grows Conference - Boston, MA
February 3 - 24: Designer Tool Kit II - Space & Materials - Stockbridge, MA
March 2 - 30: Landscape Design I - Stockbridge, MA
March 3-24 and April 10: Designer Tool Kit III - Project & Presentation - Stockbridge, MA
March 17 & 24 and April 3, 2010: Fruit Orchards and Small Fruit Gardens - Stockbridge, MA

Ongoing: Natural Turf Pro, Professional Landscaper DVD Training and written test.

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