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New Resource to Help Connect You with Potential Clients

Visit our homepage to see our new interactive map of Accredited Professionals by state!  We have over 500 AOLCPs operating in 20 states, with the greatest numbers in Connecticut and Massachusetts.  Click on the red circles to zoom into specific areas and click on a single listing to view that landscaper's contact information.  For more detailed information on the NOFA AOLCPs, click on the "Search" Button to view their business profiles.

Our goal is to provide a resource to both consumers and AOLCPs that is easy to navigate and enjoyable to view.  If you have any suggestions for how we can improve this service, or to report any bugs, please let us know by contacting Kristiane.

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Out and About with AOLCPs  

Intuitive, Organic "Earth Care" for Block Island's Delicate Ecosytems

Ned Phillips works for an island-wide ban on synthetic pesticides and fertilizers

 

By Kathy Litchfield

 
Ned Phillips on location on Block Island Bluffs, doing survey work.

 

BLOCK ISLAND, RI - With his trained photographic eye, Ned Phillips has watched his beloved island habitat disappear over the last three decades. Along with large land development came land degradation, stormwater runoff, erosion, poor landscape maintenance practices and acres upon acres of lawns.

            

"Unlicensed pesticide applicators and unenlightened land care companies began maintaining properties with no idea of the damage they were doing," he lamented. "Our small island is a self-contained, isolated habitat dependent on a sole source aquifer for its water, surrounded by a pristine, crystal clean ocean, with the great salt pond filled with clams, oysters, scallops, lobsters and fish. Synthetic weed killers and fertilizers applied on the land can ultimately run off into the sea and affect fresh water ponds." More> 

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Heads Up! Upcoming Advanced Workshops

 

 
Michael Almstead with his company vehicle. 

NOFA OLC is planning informative and hands-on workshops for the summer and fall.

 

In early August, we will be co-sponsoring a Compost Tea Advanced Workshop with NOFA NY in Westchester County.  Led by Michael Almstead of Almstead Tree and Shrub Care Company, and co-taught by Dan Dalton, the workshop will be held at one of Almstead's premier client's property and will provide both classroom and outdoor education, including an air-spading demonstration.  Date and location will be announced shortly.

 

 

Frank Crandall

 NOFA OLC will hold an Advanced Workshop on Rain Gardens at the Beardsley Zoo this fall. Heather Crawford will be leading the workshop in collaboration with zoo employees who are implementing a storm water management project funded by the state to reduce run-off and pollution in the Pequonnock River. Date to be announced.

   

In November, we will hold an Advanced Workshop on Business with Frank Crandall. Date and time to be announced.

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Help Us Help You! 
This logo is for Accredited Professionals only.

 

You may have received an e-mail last week about NOFA OLC's materials and how they can be used for marketing.  The e-mail contained a link, also, to our marketing survey. The survey only contains about 15 questions and shouldn't take you much time.  But if you are finding a particularly successful way to communicate the organic message, or if you can identify specific ways for NOFA OLC to help, please let us know! This survey is going to have a large part in directing our program in the coming years.  

 

This logo is for anyone to use

So far in the responses there have been recommendations to create radio ads about organic land care and also to use google advertising.  We know it's important to contend with the Scott's ads . . . unfortunately our budget is literally .0001% of their sales last year.  We learned that we need to make the logo more available to AOLCPs, which we're working on, but we don't want it to be available to people who aren't accredited professionals.  This is why you still need to e-mail us in order to get a high definition Organic Land Care Accredited Professional logo (to be clear, we have two logos, there is one that says "Naturally Beautiful" on the bottom and the other says "Accredited Professional"). More partnerships with local organic, watershed and marine protective organizations were recommended in order to extend our reach in influencing policy and educating people. 

 

Thanks for the information, to those who have responded.  As for the rest of you, we're really reading these, collecting the recommendations and considering how these ideas fit into future grant applications and our current partnerships.  Help us add value to your accreditation!

 

Send us your survey by June 4 to be entered into a drawing to win a $100 credit toward your re-accreditation fee!  

 

Don't forget, our Introduction to Organic Lawns and Yards booklet and Organic Land Care brochure are both easy and inexpensive tools to promote organic and your services. Add your business information to the back cover of the IOLY booklet, or to the blank space provided on the brochure. Purchase OLC brochures here and IOLY booklets here.  View a PDF version of the IOLY booklet here.  Market organic and market yourself at the same time!

 

 

 

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Events and Outreach

New Credit opportunities for AOLCPs
You can earn two (2) credits per year by volunteering to table at a local event for four hours. Promote your business while educating the public on organic land care.

 

Beech Bark Disease: Biology, Ecology, and Forest Responses
Wednesday, May 23, 2012  

Tea: 10:00am

Lecture: 10:30am - Dr. David R. Houston 

Jones Auditorium

CT Agriculture Experiment Station 

 

2012 CT Invasive Plant Working Group Symposium

Thursday October 25, 2012

Uconn, Storrs, CT 

Developing Guidelines for the Disposal of Terrestrial Invasive Plants to provide the public with information that will help prevent the unintentional spread of invasive plants. These guidelines are available to the public in hardcopy and online.

Lawnathon Festival: Outdoor Games & DIY Creating an Organic Lawn
Look Memorial Park
300 North Main Street
Florence, MA 01062
Saturday May 12, 2012, 11:30 - 3:30 PM (Rain Date- May 13, 2012)
Come hear SafeLawns founder Paul Tukey speak at noon, and AOLCP Bernadette Giblin demonstrate how to create a pesticide free lawn.  Register here.
 
New England Wild Flower Society Events 
Dori Smith, an AOLCP from Gardens for Life, is holding two programs:

Beautiful Native Plants for the Bird Garden

Saturday, May 19, 2012, 1:00-3:30 p.m.

Birdland: A Riverine Restoration

Saturday, July 14, 2012, 1-3:30 p.m.

 

Stay tuned for information about our upcoming pruning workshop later this spring!

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Announcements and News
 

In the spring of 2010, the University of Connecticut Turfgrass Science Program initiated a study to determine the effects of leaf compost topdressing when managing athletic fields organically. The study was in part spurred by the ban instituted by the state of Connecticut that went into effect July 1, 2010, which prohibits the use of pesticides on athletic fields at public and private schools grades pre-K through 8. Preliminary results from this research were presented at the 2012 New England Regional Turfgrass Conference in Providence, RI. More> 

Spraying chemical fertilizers and pesticides on lawns is like giving kids junk food, says landscape designer Cathy Bilow. They'll be invigorated for a while, but eventually they'll crash and burn. The chemicals kill organisms in the soil that feed plant roots, and as a result "our lawns are dead." More> 

Liz White describes the landscaping surrounding her year-old waterfront home on Masons Island as "a work in progress," from the wooded edge to the rock garden, from the native grasses and shrubs buffering the shoreline to the organically treated lawn and pesticide-free ornamental trees. "People may not believe organic practices work, but they do, they just may not work as quickly," White said. "The chemicals kill the good with the bad. Organic practices allow you to keep the good microbes in your soil." More> 

 

Community Notices

The goal of this booklet is to promote commercially available, although underused, alternatives to potentially invasive ornamental plant species in New England. Read the PDF here.


Great Publications for Homeowners, AOLCPs, and Eco-Enthusiasts
These publications were written for Massachusetts audiences, but also generally apply to Connecticut.  They are a great way to learn about and develop a respect for the natural world in which we live.  Learn more>

AOLCPs Design, Build, and Maintain Organic Gardens for Busy Homeowners 

A burgeoning business called Homefront Farmers is on the cutting edge of at-home gardens that feature all the pleasures and none of the hassle of taking care of a vegetable garden. Not only do Homefront Farmers founders John Carlson and Vonne Whittleton design and build custom gardens with visually pleasing raised beds and fencing, they maintain it for the homeowner who is too busy to have a garden.  More> 

 

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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. 

 

5/16/12 - Insect Laboratory Hands-on Identification and Management Strategies, Milford, MA
5/16/12 - Herbaceous Plant Identification , Bronx, NY
5/17/12 - More Ticks in More Places, Boston, MA
5/19/12 - Landscape Design for the Natural Garden, Norwich, VT
5/19/12 - Beautiful Native Plants for the Bird Garden, Framingham, MA
5/21/12 - Defining Gardens: A Global View, Wellesley, MA
5/22/12 - Gardening with Native Plants: A Primer, Framingham, MA
5/23/12 - Edible & Ornamental Native Plants, Pocantico Hills, NY
5/23/12 - Beech Bark Disease: Biology, Ecology, and Forest Responses, New Haven, CT
5/23/12 - Ornamental Herbaceous Plants: Spring Perennials, Bronx, NY
5/24/12 - Identifying Freshwater Wetlands in the Landscape, Amherst, MA
5/30/12 - Native New England Shrubs, Framingham, MA
5/31/12 - What's in a name? Latin for Gardeners , Vernon, CT
5/31/12 - Identifying Freshwater Wetlands in the Landscape, Amherst, MA
5/31/12 - Hardworking Herbs in the Garden, Pocantico Hills, NY
5/31/12 - Hardworking Herbs in the Garden, Pocantico Hills, NY
6/1/12 - Ornamental Herbaceous Plants: Spring Perennials, Bronx, NY
6/5/12 - The Life of a Plant: An Introduction to Botany, Boothbay, ME
6/5/12 - Soil Science I: Physical Properties, Bronx, NY
6/5/12 - Up By Roots: Healthy Trees and Soils for the Built Environment Workshop, Brattleboro, VT
6/6/12 - Introduction to Landscape Design, NY, NY
6/6/12 - Terrace Gardening, NY, NY
6/9/12 - Nativelicious: Gardening with Edible Native Plants, Valhalla, NY
6/16/12 - Whole Systems Research Farm Tour, Moretown, VT
6/21/12 - Wildflower Propagation I, Whately, MA
6/23/12 - Vertical Gardening , Newport, RI
6/23/12 - Inviting Honeybees and Pollinators into Your Garden, Newport, RI
6/26/12 - Broadleaf Weed Identification Workshop, Jamaica Plain, MA
6/28/12 - Basic Wetland Identification and Delineation, Newbury, NH
6/29/12 - Broadleaf Weed Identification Workshop, Amherst, MA
7/10/12 - Design Inspirations from New England's Wild Landscapes, Framingham, MA
7/19/12 - The Permaculture 8-Day Design Certificate Course, Hillsborough, NJ
8/3/12 - Grassy Weed Identification Workshop: An In-Depth Look , Amherst, MA
8/14/12 - Invasive Plant Certification Program, Milford, MA.
8/14/12 - A Plant's Family Tree: Relationships within the Plant Kingdom, Boothbay, ME
9/4/12 - Native New England Shrubs, Framingham, MA
9/12/12 - Invasive Plant Certification Program, Milford, MA.
9/16/12 - Understanding Botanical and Horticultural Names, Framingham, MA
9/27/12 - Horticultural Ecology, Boothbay, ME
10/12/12 - Invasive Plants: Issues, Identification, and Ecology, Boothbay, ME
12/31/13 - ONGOING - Natural Turf Pro DVD, Northeast

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NOFA Standards Review

Since crop and landscape planting has now begun, so have the growth cycles of the weeds that often compete with those plants. Making sure we're dealing with weeds appropriately in the spring ensures that we don't have an uncontrollable weed population later on.  The following excerpt on weeding comes from page 47 of the NOFA Standards for Organic Land Care.

 

The key to weed control is timing.  Careful observation of weed populations and weed seedling emergence patterns after disturbance will help the land care professional develop an appropriate weed control program.  Staying on top of weed problems through regular monitoring and prompt removal prevents the formation of large weed populations.
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