Buzz from CT’s Largest Food, Agriculture and Sustainability Conference
Apr 01, 2014 02:23AM
By Eileen Hochberg
“CT NOFA’s 32nd Annual Winter Conference, which took place at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury on March 1, was well attended with over 900 participants. The conference has already received positive feedback including comments such as “an important part of reestablishing a robust agricultural community in Connecticut” and “encouraged to witness so much support for local, sustainable agriculture.” Attendees are already looking forward to next year’s conference and CT NOFA’s upcoming events as they seek more education, inspiration and community.
CT NOFA is the Connecticut Chapter of the Northeast Organic Farming Association, which has seven chapters in total. The organization advocates for, promotes and supports local and organic food, farming, gardening and land care.
Conference attendees included gardeners, food lovers, farmers, families, environmentalists and cooks who were able to choose from 58 workshops given by 85 presenters, visit 83 vendors and eat a fabulous farm-to table lunch sponsored by some of Connecticut’s food establishments. Workshops catered to all levels and interests. Farmers learned how to grow shitake mushrooms, gardeners learned about backyard chickens and vegetables, DIY enthusiasts learned how to make their own wine at home and activists and organizers came together to discuss the organic food movement. Teachers included gardening instructors, Connecticut’s farmers, chefs, community activists, organic land care professionals and nutritionists.
The conference was supported by Gold Sponsor Millstone Farm in Wilton, as well as by Silver Sponsors Stonyfield Organics, Farm Credit East and Connecticut Land Conservation Council. Co-Sponsor Western Connecticut State University and its Jane Goodall Center for Excellence in Environmental Studies hosted the Conference.
CT NOFA strives to have the opportunity to engage with each other often, to learn from one another and be inspired and energized by one another to make real change in our food system and environment.
CT NOFA and its partner Winvian in Morris will be hosting A Summer Gathering, Growing Food, Farms and Community on July 19. The day will feature keynote speakers, interactive programming for children and special workshops for young adults introducing them to opportunities related to food system careers.
CT NOFA invites all who are interested in sustainable living to join the community, including those interested in environmental issues or our food system, all who enjoy good food, restaurants or cooking, all who garden or cook.
Eileen Hochberg is Executive Director of CT NOFA.
Visit CTNOFA.org for membership opportunities, upcoming events, important advocacy issues and more.
Upcoming CT NOFA local events include:
Organic Land Care For Homeowners Workshop • Thursday, April 3 • Audubon Greenwich, Greenwich
Crop and Gardening Planning • Saturday, May 10, Time TBA • Massaro Community Farm, Woodbridge
Raising Chickens on a Diversified Farm • Saturday, June 14, 1-3pm • Millstone Farm, Wilton