Feb 21, 2014
03:17 PMConnecticut Today
Most Exciting (Tastiest) Connecticut Trend? May Be Farming's Resurgence
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“Agriculture is a significant industry in our state,” the governor said, while also referencing the role played by his Connecticut’s Farmland Restoration Program. “Estimates based on USDA’s 2007 Census showed agriculture contributes $3.5 billion to Connecticut’s economy and provides nearly 28,000 jobs. These numbers clearly are on the rise. Agriculture also provides fresh, nutritious food and beautiful working landscapes for our residents and visitors. On top of that, farms have been shown to use less than they pay into municipal services, so they reduce property taxes.
For more on the vibrant state of farming in Connecticut is available on the state Department of Agriculture website at www.CTGrown.gov.
As for CT NOFA, “a growing community of farmers, gardeners, land care professionals, businesses and consumers that encourages a healthy relationship to the natural world,” its conference at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury will be an all-day event for “farmers, gardeners, foodies, environmentalist, chefs and families.”
The keynote speaker is Fred Kirschenmann (below), a Distinguished Fellow for the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University and President of Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture in Pocantico Hills, New York. The title of his talk is Tomorrow's Farmer & You.
Those who attend will be able to participate in workshops for all levels and interests, such as GMO Labeling—Taking Back Our Food, Our Government, and Our Children's Future: Creating a Transparent Food Supply.
There are many workshops that cater to DIY folks, such as learning how to start your own garden, learning about edible weeds, and building and learning how to use cobb ovens and other outdoor cookstoves, along with wine-making at home.
In between workshops, attendees can visit with over 50 vendors and exhibitors featuring local foods, crafts, books, and sustainability initiatives. There’s also a raffle with prizes that include garden supplies, Connecticut grown and crafted goods, exciting services and more.
“Not only do we have great workshops but attendees will also have the opportunity to sample from some of the best farm-to-table restaurants in Connecticut,” a CT NOFA volunteer said in touting the conference, which goes from 8:30 am to 5 p.m.
Fine restaurants that will be represented include Barcelona in South Norwalk, LeFarm in Westport, Bar Sugo in Norwalk, Kibberia of Danbury, Green Leaf Organic Bakery in Wilton, and Swoon in Ridgefield.
Registration is open at www.ctnofa.org or by calling the CT NOFA office at (203) 308-2584. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged, but walk-ins are also welcome. For more information, see the website at http://ctnofa.org/winterconference/index.html