Monday, August 1, 2016

Every CT NOFA Farmer and Donor Is a Soil Health Hero

Jeff Cordulack, Executive Director

It’s with great pride that CT NOFA celebrates our 35th year and the NOFA nation celebrates its 46th. We and our member farmers and business owners continue working hard to create a healthy, organic Connecticut founded on ecologically, socially and economically just principles.  
I write today to convey the urgency of managing our soils so they can mitigate the effects of climate change. In this letter, I present you good news and bad news - but the short story: It is critical to rapidly promote regenerative agriculture in Connecticut and beyond. With your financial support, CT NOFA is uniquely positioned to do exactly that.  
This no-till transplanter places pumpkins into a freshly roller-crimped field in Woodstock, CT. Throughout winter and spring, the straight rye cover crop protected the soil from erosion, fed sugars to the soil biology and is now an effective water-holding mulch for this year's pumpkins.
The Bad News: There’s too much carbon in the atmosphere and it’s changing weather patterns for the worse.
  • Carbon dioxide levels are at 400 ppm but should be near 280 ppm for a stable climate.
  • Worldwide, agricultural soils are missing 50-80% of vital carbon stores due to industrial practices that harm soil life.
We now have rising seas, stronger storms, and longer periods of drought. These tough facts impact Connecticut farmers, our local food system, and everyone’s quality of life.
The Good News: The soil can save us! In fact, worldwide organic practices could restore proper carbon dioxide levels in just 5 years.
  • The life underground works with plants in a special way that captures carbon dioxide from the air and restores it to the soil where it belongs.
  • Proper soil-carbon levels greatly improve soil health and its ability to hold water.
Using regenerative farming, we can reverse climate change by letting the soil reabsorb the troublesome atmospheric carbon dioxide. Understood by experts worldwide, the soil is now being celebrated in the New York Times, Washington Post and Modern Farmer as a way to mitigate our weather woes.
CTNOFA has been creating an organic CT since 1982 and is now bringing new regenerative farming practices to our state. Working through our network of organic innovators and agricultural partners, we are teaching cover cropping, silvopasture, mob grazing, green manure, and handy, new low-till and no-till tools that protect soil structure.
CT NOFA’s brings these practices and know-how to Connecticut in many ways including:
  • Year-round workshops for farmers, gardeners, and foodies including CT NOFA’s Annual Winter Conference (coming March 2017).
  • By educating consumers about the greatest local sources for fresh, seasonal foods grown by Connecticut’s best farmers and businesses.
  • Our internationally-recognized NOFA Standards for Organic Land Care that are constantly updated with the latest information for effective, non-toxic garden and lawn care.
  • Our advocacy for legislation in Hartford and D.C. to protect the environment, our farmers, consumers and hard-working organic land care pros. (This year we led the nation with the Pollinator Bill that restricts neonicotinoid use, plans for biodiversity and more!)
Please donate today to become a CT NOFA ‘Soil Health Hero’. We urgently need your help today to train farmers in regenerative agricultural practices.
Your dollars help CT NOFA grow Connecticut organically and meet the growing demand for organic food, training, supplies, and farming tools that build soils for future generations.

Three Ways to Donate:
For those looking to make a greater impact, CT NOFA is also seeking donors to establish a CT NOFA fund to incentivize carbon-friendly agriculture by cost-sharing on no-till tools, cover crop seeds, advanced training and more. Let us know if this initiative interests you. (We are proud to announce our first cost-sharing donation of $6,000!) 
All contributions will make a big difference. On behalf of the staff, board, and CT NOFA membership, I thank you for your generous support. Please contact me anytime with questions or suggestions that may help CT NOFA achieve our organic mission.


Jeff Cordulack,
Executive Director, CT NOFA | 203-613-8813

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