Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Piglets, chickens, and kittens OH MY

Attendees admiring the feeder pigs at Copper Hill Farm
This past Sunday CT NOFA held its second On-Farm Workshop of the summer, Pasture-Raised Pigs on a Diversified Organic Farm, lead by Greg Hazelton, CT NOFA board member and the owner of Copper Hill Farm in West Suffield, CT. It was the perfect day to tour Greg's farm and listen to him eloquently speak about his experience raising pigs, chickens and growing produce as a one man operation at Copper Hill for the past four and half years. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

4th of July Piglets!

Greetings from Pond Hill Farm!

I am a little late in announcing this, but on the 4th of July last week 10 beautiful piglets were born here on the farm to a very happy mother. Every spring the farm receives two pigs to house for the summer and into the fall. The pigs come impreganted and typically the piglets are born late June or early July. We keep the piglets through the end of October until they are sent to be slaughtered (which makes me a little sad after having watched their birth) at a nearby facility. During the winter the mothers are housed at another farm (housing animals for the winter can be costly) until spring returns again and the cycle continues!

It was my first time experiencing a live birth which was quite a sight to see and I couldn't resist sharing this with the CT NOFA audience. Who doesn't love baby animals after all?

They are hungry for some of mama's milk!
All of the interns gathered around to watch. 
Look at the difference in size!
Until next time!


Monday, July 8, 2013

Dear Mr. President, please help our bees!

Bees are a big deal. I don't want to over exaggerate, but they are basically the glue that holds are ecosystem system together. It's not news to anyone that the rapid decline in the honey bee population is now a global epidemic, the population has been dropping by a third each year since 2007, and while other foreign institutions are acknowledging the issue and passing laws banning certain pesticides linked to bee death the U.S is slow in its reaction. 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Kristiane is Moving - But She Already Misses CT NOFA!

Melissa (on the right) and I at Ag Day at the Capitol in 2012
Hi All!

Today is my last day at NOFA.  And I wanted to write a brief note saying good bye.  I'm headed to the
University of Michigan to pursue a Master of Science in Natural Resources and the Environment.  I'm hoping to focus on societal and political responses and preparation for the affects of climate change.  While I came to NOFA with this interest, it has been cultivated in my time working with farmers who have to alter growing methods for the changing seasons and are some of the most affected by climate change, in our communities in Connecticut.  But the reality is, that whatever challenges affect our farmers, affect food availability and prices, and will affect consumers too.  Additionally, the same holistic, ecological principles at the heart of organic agriculture are central to climate resilience and sustainability on the local, regional and international levels.

CT NOFA's mission is to strengthen the practices of ecologically sound farming and gardening, and to the development of local sustainable agriculture. The organization's efforts give consumers increased access to safe and healthy food. CT NOFA is a growing community of farmers, gardeners, land care professionals, businesses and consumers that encourages a healthy relationship to the natural world.  I can say, from my work at the organization, that our staff and volunteers are truly dedicated to this mission, and it has been a pleasure to work with this team, and with Connecticut's greater sustainability movement.

If you'd like to become involved and be inspired by the work of Connecticut's organizations and our wonderful member farmers and organic land care professionals, I encourage you to join the organization, volunteer, or visit us at one of our summer workshops!  Also, be sure to send a warm welcome to Stephanie Berluti, the new Program and Events Manager.  CT NOFA's programs and events are in good hands with her!

Have a wonderful summer!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

USDA Approves Label for Non-GMO Meat

With all the excitement following the recent passing of the GMO Labeling Bill in Connecticut, environmentalist can once again revel in the recent approval from the USDA for a Non GMO label for meat and liquid egg products.  

Last week, the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) approved the label for meat and liquid egg products indicating the absence of GMO entities, the first of its kind. 
The USDA's Food Safety Inspection Service “allows companies to demonstrate on their labels that they meet a third-party certifying organization’s standards, provided that the third-party organization and the company can show that the claims are truthful, accurate and not misleading,” Cathy Cochran, a U.S.D.A. spokeswoman, said in a statement to the New York Times