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NOFA Organic Land Care Program Needs YOU and your expertise!

 

This Fall the Standards Committee will reconvene and revise the Standards. We want your input, and it is as easy as a click away!

We have an online form, where you list a subject and a section which you think could be reviewed and updated.  You can suggest the change to be made as well.  As a working AOLCP, we know your on-the-ground knowledge is valuable and will be extremely helpful to the revision process.  Two areas which we plan to address are the Emergency Non-organic Rescue Treatment - should it stay or should it go?- and defining qualifications for high-quality organic compost.

Click here for the online form.  Thank you!

Sarah Holland

Out and About With AOLCPs 

Longtime AOLCP Sarah Holland Raises the Bar in Vermont 

By Kathy Litchfield
 

VERMONT -- Driving by the Red Hen Baking Co. along rural Route 2 in Middlesex, one might notice something unusual towering above the cars filling the parking lot - nine-foot tall broom corn (Sorghum spp) growing alongside amaranth, quinoa, millet, wheat, oats, sunflowers and barley. Toss in a little parsley and basil and one has the ingredients necessary for a wonderful loaf of freshly baked herb bread.

 

Showcasing these grains, carefully and organically grown in handmade hemlock raised beds adjacent to the popular eatery, is the brainchild of Sarah Holland of Moretown, one of the NOFA Organic Land Care Program's original accredited professionals and one of just a handful of AOLCPs in the state of Vermont.

 

Read More...  

 

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Upcoming Events

Advanced Workshop 2
Growing your Organic Land Care Business with Frank Crandall and guests
November - date, agenda and location to be announced
An 8 hour intensive workshop focusing on how organic land care practitioners - and those transitioning their business - can take their business to the next level.

Annual Gathering  
December 11, 2013, snow date December 12, 2013
Crown Plaza
Southbury, CT
Our annual event discussing hot topics in organic land care, with vendors and exhibitors, and a social environment where folks can discuss the past business season while meeting old friends and new.

Call our office to discuss exhibiting and sponsorship opportunities for our premier event!

PA Accreditation Course - Philadelphia, PA
in-partnership with Pennsylvania Horticultural Society
Tentative dates - December 2-5, 2013

New England Regional Accreditation Course
Co-sponsored by Three Rivers Community College
February 10-13, 2014 - Norwich, CT
NOFA Organic Land Care Program's flagship program - its 30 hour course focusing on soil health, compost, stormwater management, pest management, planting and more! Day 4 now offers the choice of two tracks - turf or organic landscaping. You can take the exam, pay an annual fee and start marketing yourself and your business as a NOFA Accredited Organic Land Care Professional or an AOLCP!

NOFA Winter Conference - Workshops to Earn AOLCP Credits 
March 8, 2014 - Save the Date!
Wilton High School
Wilton, CT

Member Benefit Program - AOLCPs - receive discounts when shopping with participating businesses.  Businesses- reach new customers by offering discounts! New businesses will be added monthly.
 

                     

Click here to see the full list of participating businesses.

If you want to become a participating business, click here. 

 

Participating Businesses

 

Osborne Organics 

25% discount on consulting fee for first time AOLCP clients.

 

Tech Terra Environmental 

$25.00 Off 44 Lb. Bag of A.D.I.O.S An EPA Exempt Natural, Selective Post-Emergent for Weeds

 

10% off all compost tea supplies and turf/garden products (minimums apply). Bulk earthworm castings, Compost Tea Microbe Food, Turf Rescue, liquid fish hydrolysate, and our garden barrels are our best sellers.

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In The News  

Butterfly House Sets Flight at Project Native    

Great Barrington -  Promoting the connection between native habitats and local wildlife, Project Native has opened a Native Butterfly House open to the public at its native plant nursery on North Plain Road. An open house to unveil the new facility will be held Friday, August 16, from 5 to 6:30 p.m.

"People see a beautiful butterfly but they don't connect it to their landscape," Project Native Education Director Karen LeBlanc said. "With the butterfly house they will understand that caterpillars need certain plants to live and eat. If you don't have the plants, you're not going to get the butterfly."

For more information click here.

Emerald Ash Borer  

The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has been found in another CT town! So far the CT Agricultural Experiment Station has reported the EAB in Prospect, Naugatuck, Bethany, Beacon Falls, Waterbury, Cheshire, Oxford, Middlebury, and now, Hamden. Surveys for this invasive insect were done with the help of UConn Cooperative Extension and CT DEEP. EAB only attacks ash trees, especially stressed specimens. Because this insect feeds on the phloem and cambium of the tree and also tends to feed in groups rather than individually, infected trees usually die.  

 

For more information on this insidious insect, click here.  

  

Armillaria Root Rot   

Armillaria root rot caused by the fungus Armillaria mellea and other closely related species can occur on many woody and some herbaceous hosts in the northeast. Symptoms of dieback or decline may start to appear within one year after infection.  Most often, infection occurs when roots of a plant reach the fungus where it is already established in a decaying stump or other organic matter. A. mellea is capable of growing through the soil for a distance of several feet per year in the form of rhizomorphs, black root-like structures that give the fungus one of its common names 'shoestring fungus'.  Signs to look for in declining trees or shrubs include white mycelium growing between the bark and wood at the base of the stem or trunk, the presence of rhizomorphs in the soil or between loose bark and wood, and small to large clusters of tan mushrooms in the fall at the base of the trunk near the soil line. This disease is most common on host plants stressed by other factors and on sites that were previously forested.

 

For more information click here.    

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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.   

 

Turfgrass Selection and Identification Workshop - 8/13/13  

 

Best Management Practices for Pesticide-Free Athletic Field Management - 8/15/13

 

The Connecticut Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects presents  
"Diving Into Swimming Pools"  
A Continuing Education Program and Expo for Landscape Architects, Architects, Builders, Swimming Pool Contractors... and Anyone Involved in Watershape Design and Construction

Date/Time:  Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Location:  Audubon Greenwich
Address:   613 Riversville Road, Greenwich CT

Learn about:
   *  Vanishing Edge and other Water-in-Transit Designs
    *  Swimming Pool Finishes
    *  Chemical-Free Natural Pools
    *  Working With Difficult Site Conditions
    *  Swimming Pool Code
 

For more information click here.

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NOFA Standards Review
  
This month, we'll focus on Water Use and Water Quality. Unprecedented fresh water shortages, declining stream levels, and degraded water quality are serious and growing problems in the United States, as they are in much of the world. The following excerpt on preferred organic lawn maintenance practices can be found on page 12 of the NOFA Standards for Organic Land Care.

Prohibited
  • Irrigation practices that waste water, such as causing water to run-off onto hardscape (e.g., sidewalk, driveway, nonvegetation areas), puddle, or foster disease or fungal growth on lawns and plants
  • Use of broken or leaking irrigation systems. Broken systems include improperly wired or installed systems and improperly scheduled irrigation runs (e.g., irrigation during rain, for excessive run times, etc.).
  • Automatic lawn and landscape irrigation systems that are not adjusted as needed to account for changes in seasonal temperature and rainfall patterns and plant demands
  • Any misuse of water that causes flooding or erosion problems (e.g., improperly designed or maintained irrigation systems, water features, or rainwater harvesting systems)
  • Gray water or other reclaimed water that does not meet local, state, and federal water quality and public health and safety standards

  • Addition of synthetic chemicals of any kind to the water used on an organically managed landscape or property

  • Draining or filling of wetland areas

  • Synthetic turf, plants, or mulches. Synthetic materials, such as recycled tires, may contain lead, cadmium, and other hazardous compounds that can contaminate surface or groundwater.

      

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