Monday, March 17, 2014

Why we need to ban Genetically Engineered Grass by Bill Duesing, CT NOFA Organic Advocate

Why we need to ban Genetically Engineered Grass
by Bill Duesing, CT NOFA Organic Advocate, Old Solar Farm, Oxford, CT

It is urgent for Connecticut to pass a ban on sale of genetically-modified grass and other perennials now.

Scotts Miracle-Gro company has genetically engineered a strain of Kentucky bluegrass to resist Roundup herbicide. It has been reported that employees of the Ohio company will plant this GMO grass seed this summer.  It is scheduled to go into commercial production in 2015 and be marketed to consumers in 2016.(1.)

Kentucky bluegrass is a valuable pasture plant which grows well in fertile soil.  It is often used in a mix of other grasses and legumes for grazing animals and making hay.  It was brought to this continent by the Europeans "to feed their livestock because it was nutritious, fast growing, and able to stand up to heavy grazers."  (2.)

Bluegrass is also widely used alone or with other grasses (and sometimes legumes) for lawns and playing fields.

Never missing an opportunity to sell more of Monsanto's Roundup herbicide and encourage lawns that look as close as possible to astroturf, Scotts Miracle-Gro came up with Roundup Ready Kentucky bluegrass. 

The idea is that you plant your lawn, playing field or golf course with this fancy and more expensive seed.  Once it grows, weed control is easy.  Just spray Roundup and every plant except the genetically modified grass is killed.  There you have it!  A bluegrass monoculture.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Inspiring Farmers in the Northeast at our 32nd Annual Winter Conference!

Swift Farms sold their amazing bees wax products
I don’t know about you, but the staff at CT NOFA is still bathing in the afterglow of an inspiring and successful Winter Conference!

The 32nd annual Winter Conference was held at Western Connecticut State University this past Saturday, March 1st and had over 900 people in attendance, a new record! The day started with attendees gathering in our vendor area where they were able to fill their free CT NOFA tote bags with literature and goodies from educational exhibitors, local farmers, and crafters! (A full list of vendors and exhibitors from the day can be found at HERE)

CT NOFA's Organic Advocate: How are we going to eat?

CT NOFA's Organic Advocate

How are we going to eat?

By Bill Duesing

"Coincident with the rise of industrialism, people started to see food less as a connection between one's body and the natural world and more as a barrier between humans and the imagined savagery of the natural world." 
Against the Grain: How Agriculture has hijacked civilization, by Richard Manning

First the good news.

CT NOFA had record attendance at our 32nd annual winter conference.  Over 900 attendees created "... a contagious sense of community and passion at this event," according to one reporter.