Monday, November 17, 2014

Journeyperson Check-in: Allyson Angelini at Full Heart Farm *WinterShare*

Full Heart Farm is excited to be wrapping up our third growing season and begin planning for 2015!

The 2014 growing season produced our best harvest yet -  an abundance of vegetables, pasture-raised chicken + eggs, and pork.  We continued to provide dinner ingredients for the  50+ families that support our farm through our MemberShare Program, and are incredibly grateful for the community that surrounds the farm.  Our main harvest season is 26 weeks (six months straight!), with a smaller WinterShare program that completes the year.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Fueling up in Cheyenne, Wyoming


An array of fueling options at a gas station in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
Even the gasoline contains a corn product-it is 10 percent ethanol.
The wastes from making ethanol are fed to
beef and dairy cows, pigs and chickens.
Fueling up in Cheyenne, Wyoming
By Bill Duesing

The American way of eating is shaped more by the availability of low-cost fossil fuels and government crop and other subsidies than it is by nutrition, health or flavor.

I took the photo above while buying gasoline at a station in Cheyenne, Wyoming this summer. This array is an example of the ubiquitous advertising for these kinds of foods: ground beef sandwiches, often with bacon and/or cheese or processed hot dogs on white bread buns. (For the chicken nuggets, their wheat breading is the bun equivalent.)

It also made me think about the health consequences of eating this kind of food: weight gain, obesity, diabetes, sore joints, heart disease, cancer and possibly even schizophrenia!

Why are foods that may cause so much damage so heavily advertised? A rhetorical question really. The answer: profit.  Much of that profit comes because food industry accounting doesn't include many significant costs.  Health care costs are not included.   The illnesses above, and the foods that cause them, are responsible for millions of dollars in health costs.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Updates From the Field: Ro-Jo Farms

Ro-Jo Farms 2014 Season Wrap-up
-Josiah Venter, CT NOFA Journeyperson


With the 2014 CSA season coming to an end, Ro-Jo Farms of Bethany has several highlights to share with the farming community. We had a very successful growing season with fortey CSA members in New Haven, Hamden, Bethany and Woodbridge getting fresh produce delivered to their door along with a handful of restaurant sales in New Haven and Hamden.






Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Climate Change and Organic Agriculture

By Bill Duesing

Many of us participated in the inspiring People's Climate March on 9/21/2014 in New York City. Marchers represented a wide variety of religious, educational, environmental, energy, social justice, peace, health, labor, cultural and other organizations.  Though they all had their own agendas for solving problems and making the world a better place, they agreed that climate change is very serious and needs to be addressed.


From right, soil scientist, permaculturalist and CT NOFA founding Board member Cynthia Rabinowitz, CT NOFA Executive Director Eileen Hochberg and former executive director Bill Duesing at the beginning of the People's Climate March.
CT NOFA was a partner in the March. That day, I saw many CT NOFA members, including former board members and folks from many of our partner organizations. Many more NOFA colleagues were among the 400,000 participants in this resounding call for action on climate change.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Vermont Food Fight

By Bill Duesing

The month after Vermont governor Peter Shumlin signed into law the country's first genetically modified organism (GMO) labeling bill with a firm effective date, the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), the Snack Food Association (SFA), the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) sued in Federal Court to overturn the new law. This law is scheduled to take effect in 2016; there is no trigger clause requiring other states to pass similar legislation before it takes effect.

With foresight, the Vermont legislature established the Vermont Food Fight Fund to help defend the GMO Labeling Law.  A strong defense of Vermont's law should strengthen Connecticut's. You can contribute here. 

Why are these three multibillion dollar lobbying associations, representing the world's largest and most powerful corporations, suing to stop what the citizens want? After all, these citizens are their customers.  

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Thank you for a wonderful weekend at Winvian!


Thank you everyone who attended our Special Culinary Fundraiser and Summer Gathering
CT NOFA had an incredible time at Winvian last weekend! Enjoy this short video and collection of photos to show our gratitude for your support!


Claire Criscuolo receiving the 2014 Organic Leadership Recognition Award    

The Big Picture

By Bill Duesing


We've been traveling around our beautiful country this summer.  Aside from the wonderful natural places, we've seen evidence of incredible wealth and of some big messes we've made and abandoned. 

From Texas west, the drought has dried up lakes, closed parks and seriously impacted forest health and agriculture.  There are so many decaying small towns.  Yet the supermarkets are well stocked, most even with a widening organic selection, and the container ships keep coming from Asia to fill store shelves, homes and the burgeoning number of self-storage facilities.

Center pivot irrigation systems help produce alfalfa, wheat and corn in the desert, until the aquifer dries up.  Long, long trains carry coal east across the top of Texas.  Other long trains there carry shipping containers to fill southern stores. During two days of driving, we passed full cattle trucks heading west and empty ones heading east. Must be to a big distant slaughterhouse. Everywhere there are ads for elaborate hamburgers.

It is clear that this is not sustainable.  We are now using the resources of one and a half Earths each year.  In the Houston area, it seems like they are working as hard as they can to use two Earths' worth of resources.  They are building highways in the sky.

Rock formations and Native American names remind us of the longer history of this land and of the enormous changes that have occurred.

I think that "The Big Picture" written nearly 20 years ago for The Natural Farmer is still relevant and useful in guiding our response to the serious challenges we face.