OrganiConn: A Mecca for Farming and Food Enthusiasts
The Northeast Organic Farming Association of Connecticut’s (CT NOFA) 37th annual OrganiConn will be held on February 23 at Housatonic Community College, in Bridgeport, from 8am to 5pm. Aiming to bring together farmers, gardeners, food lovers and fans of organic culture, the full-day event will include more than 35 workshops for attendees to choose from.
CR Lawn, founder of Fedco Seeds in Maine, will be the keynote speaker with his address, Restoring Our Seed Commons: The Need for Clarity about Intellectual Property Rights. Lawn will follow his lecture with a seed-saving workshop, entitled We’ve Got the Whole Seed in Our Hands: Embracing the Seed Arts to Move Beyond Being Only a Consumer of Seed.
For the first time this year, The Bill Duesing Organic Living on the Earth Award is being given in memory of CT NOFA’s founder. This will be presented to an organic farmer or farm, land care professional, advocate, organization, educator or mentor that demonstrates the advancement of organic living on Earth with a project, innovation, action or lifestyle that supports the continuation of the life work of Bill Duesing.
New to the conference this year will be a Farm and Food Job Fair held from 4 to 5pm. This event strives to help farmers, landscapers and food-related businesses find capable and talented employees for the year. Entry to the job fair is free for both employers and job seekers with their OrganiConn admission.
Workshops and panels sure to draw attendees’ interest include: Shuresh Ghimire with Matt DeBacco’s Sustainable Vegetable Production for Small Farms; Bryan O’Hara’s intensive on no-till farming; Catherine Lindsay and Spring Valley Student Farm’s Student Farmers on Climate Change Mitigation Through Soil; and Cricket Hill Nursery’s owner, Dan Furman, will talk on All About Pawpaws: History, Propagation and Cultivation. Other workshops focus on diagnosing problems on farms, plant disease prevention, specialty mushrooms, landscaping with native plants and more.
The exhibitor/vendor fair will be open all day for guests to shop and learn more about grant programs and a host of other resources for farmers and gardeners. A catered farm-to-table lunch will be served with purchase of $15 lunch ticket.
CT NOFA’s mission is to ensure the growth and viability of organic agriculture, organic food and organic land care in Connecticut. They envision a healthy, organic Connecticut founded on ecologically, socially and economically just principles. In addition to their food-based initiatives, CT NOFA also runs the NOFA Organic Land Care program to train the next generation of organic landscapers, land managers and conservationists.
Visit CTNOFA.org/WinterConference for a full list of workshops, exhibitors and vendors. For other information, go to CT NOFA, visit CTNOFA.org, OrganicLandcare.net and NOFA.OrganicLandcare.net. See ad, page 51.