"The soil is, as a matter of fact, full of live organisms. It is essential to conceive of it as something pulsating with life, not as a dead or inert mass."
- Albert Howard, The Soil and Health, 1947
- 2 - 2016 Maine Food Network Gathering. Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Wells Conference Center, University of Maine, Orono. The 2016 Maine Food Network Gathering is focused on bringing together Maine food producers, suppliers and stakeholders to identify solutions to strengthen Maine’s food system. Co-sponsored by MOFGA. Register on Eventbrite. More information: www.mainefoodstrategy.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org. $30 / Registration deadline: Nov. 25
- 2 - MOFGA's Common Ground Call-In Radio Show – an hour on local food and agriculture. 10 a.m. on 89.9 FM or weru.org
- 2 - Relational Systems on the Farm: Tools and Approaches for Articulating, Cultivating and Strengthening Interpersonal Relationships for Farm Resilience. Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (lunch provided), MOFGA Portland, 769 Congress St., Portland. $100 for individuals or $150 for farm partners ($25 MOFGA member discount). Register here.
- 4 - MOFGA Board Meeting. Sunday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Unity
- 4-6 - 6th Soil & Nutrition Conference. Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, 57 Interlaken Road, Stockbridge, Mass. 01262. Details.
- 5 - 2016 Farmland Access Conference. Augusta Civic Center, 76 Community Dr., Augusta. Join Maine Farmland Trust along with MOFGA and others for a day of discussions on the challenges of providing for a farm’s future when a farmer is ready to retire, and how next generation farmers can position themselves to take on the stewardship of farmlands in transition. Check the Maine Farmland Trust website for information.
- 6 and January 24 – New England Farm Succession School for senior farmers and farm couples looking toward retirement and farm transition, in Augusta. (Other dates in Concord, N.H., and Randolph, Vt.) Register ($300 per farmer or farm couple) at 603-357-1600 or landforgood.org/rsvp. Sponsored by Land for Good.
- 8 - Kitchen Licensing Workshop. Thursday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center, Unity. Course is designed for farmers and others interested in home-food processing for resale. $35 for MOFGA members and $50 for non-members (includes lunch). Information.
- 8 - Fair Steering Committee Meeting. Thursday, 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Members welcome. Information: email@example.com
- 9 - NOFA Organic Land Care Program’s 11th Annual Gathering, “Biodiversity in the Landscape.” Southington, Conn. Keynote speaker Catherine Zimmerman from The Meadow Project. http://organiclandcare.net/annualgathering
- 10 - Deadline to apply for the Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) grants program. OFRF encourages farmers, ranchers, graduate students, early career researchers, veterans and Extension personnel to consider applying. http://ofrf.org/Fall-2016-Application
- 14 - Expand Your Tunnel Vision: High Tunnel Production Conference. Wednesday , 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Radisson Hotel, Manchester, NH. Cosponsored by MOFGA. Designed for growers that have some experience growing in high tunnels. The goal is to help growers fine-tune their management of crops, nutrients, pests and diseases in high tunnels. Registration is $25 without lunch. Registration including lunch is $50. Registration http://bit.ly/2ePCiUC. Flier is located here: https://extension.unh.edu/events/files/41693F1A-5056-A432-4F0701DA4AD4F35A.pdf
- 4, 5, 6 - Tristate Greenhouse IPM Workshop. "Water Worries: Woes & Foes." One-day workshop offered at three locations: January 4 at Longfellows Greenhouses in Manchester, Maine; January 5 at UNH in Durham, N.H.; January 6 at Gardeners Supply in Burlington, Vermont. Registration deadline December 21. Focus on moisture management and how it relates to pest and disease management, plant nutrition and overall plant health. Hands-on demos, insect pest and natural enemy ID and many other topics to be covered. Registration information and full agenda.
- January 9-18, 2017 - Fundamentals of Artisan Cheese. Two-week intensive course taught by world-renowned master cheesemaker Ivan Larcher at Sterling College in Craftsbury, Vt., in conjunction with Jasper Hill, an American Cheese Society-Certified Professional Educator. Offered by The School of the New American Farmstead. Visit http://www.sterlingcollege.edu/cheese for details and registration.
- 10 - MOFGA Day at the Maine Agricultural Trades Show. Tuesday, Maine Civic Center, Augusta. MOFGA offers presentations and discussion groups covering a wide range of sustainable agriculture subjects. Presentations are free and open to the public, and are held in the Washington/York Room, the Piscataquis/Sagadahoc Room, and the Oxford Room. No pre-registration required. MOFGA also has an information exhibit during all three days of the Trades Show. Staff and committee members are available to answer questions about MOFGA's ongoing programs. MOFGA members are encouraged to attend the Association's Annual Meeting, which will be held from 1:30 to 3:00 in the Piscataquis/Sagadahoc Room.
- 10-12 - State of Maine Agricultural Trades Show. Sponsored by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry and provides promotion opportunities for businesses and organizations on the tradeshow floor, but also houses various lectures, certification courses and annual meetings throughout its duration. Information.
- 14 - NOFA Mass. Winter Conference. Worcester State University, Worcester, Mass. Keynote speaker will be Paul Kaiser from Singing Frogs Farm in Sonoma County, CA. Paul and his wife Elizabeth have successfully produced a high volume of quality vegetables in a no-till system since 2007. Information.
- 18 - Deadline for state, county and municipal governments, educational institutions and nonprofits to apply for Project Canopy grants for developing and implementing community forestry projects and programs. All applicants except previous workshop attendees must attend a grant workshop before applying. One grant workshop, held via webcast, is scheduled for December 16, 2016, at 10 a.m. Information here.
- 25-28 - Ecological Farming Association 37th EcoFarm Conference, Pacific Grove, California. Prime networking and educational hub for farmers, ranchers, distributors, retailers, activists, researchers and educators - featuring over 70 workshops, plus keynote speakers, discussion groups, an exhibitor marketplace, seed swap, live entertainment, mixers and delicious organic meals. www.eco-farm.org/conference
- 31 - Landscape Heroes; Carbon, Water and Biodiversity. UMASS, Amherst. Keynote speaker Courtney White, author of "2 Percent Solutions." A collaborative event hosted by Ecological Landscape Alliance, NOFA MASS, CT NOFA, Biodiversity for A Livable Climate and NOFA OLC Program. http://www.ecolandscaping.org/event/carbon-conference/
- 11 - Beginning Beekeeping Workshop. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center, Unity. Instructor is David Smith of Sparky's Apiaries. Our beekeeping short course will cover the essentials to get you going in the world of beekeeping. Fee: $50 for MOFGA members; $75 for non-members. Registration opens in January 2017. More information.
- 4 - Spring Growth Conference. Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center, Unity. Keynote speaker Will Brinton and a panel of farmers focus on soil microbiology.
- 11 - Organic Orcharding Workshop: Pruning. Locations TBD. Learn to prune fruit trees to encourage vigorous growth, heavy fruit set, and quality fruit yield. Workshop is geared towards beginners and experienced growers.
- 25 - Organic Orcharding Workshop: Renovating Old Trees. Locations TBD. Do you have any old trees on your land that you would like to bring back into production? Attend this workshop and learn to renovate and upkeep your heritage trees.
- 26 - Seed Swap & Scion Exchange. Special All-Day Event! MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center, Unity. Gardeners and Orchardists are invited to bring their seeds, scionwood and cuttings to share and participate in educational workshops. Free!
- 5 - Grow Your Own Organic Garden Classes. 6 to 9 p.m., locations throughout the state. An evening course designed to provide gardeners with essential skills and knowledge needed to make a transition from conventional to organic gardening.
- 8 - Organic Orcharding Workshop: Grafting Fruit Trees. MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center, Unity or Mount Desert. Learn to propagate and reproduce your favorite fruit tree varieties. Participants will graft trees to take home and plant.
- 15 - Organic Orcharding Workshop: Orcharding 101. MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center, Unity. Join Michael Phillips, author of The Apple Grower, for a comprehensive exploration of organic disease and insect strategies.
- 19-21 - Northeast Livestock Exposition. Windsor, Maine. IBGA Boer goat show, poster contest, feeder calf sale, wool pool, equine clinics, rabbit show, youth cook-off, beef-sheep-alpaca displays, shows & sales, educational programs, commercial trade show, Boer goat consignment sale. Demonstrations and exhibits.
- 17 - Farm & Homestead Day. MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center, Unity. Come and learn all you need to know and more about living in rural Maine. Free!
- 24 - Organic Orcharding Workshop: Summer Orchard Care. Location TBD. Learn tips and tricks to caring for your orchard through the summer and getting your orchard to a successful harvest in the fall.
- 6 - Poultry Processing. MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center, Unity. Join MOFGA’s livestock expert Diane Schivera and Jason and Carrie Tessier of Tessiers Farm as they teach you how to successfully and sanitarily process your own meat birds.
- 5 - Bud Grafting. Monroe, Maine. Bud grafting is a great way to start your own fruit trees as well as many ornamentals. Join Seth Yentes and practice bud grafting in his nursery plot.
- 18-20 - Maine Apple Camp. Liberty, Maine. Join a gathering of heirloom fruit experts, advocates, and farmers to share knowledge and build networks that can facilitate the rescue and conservation our horticultural heritage.
- 19 - Maine Axe and Saw Day. MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center, Unity. Come learn about the history, making, use, and care of axes, crosscut saws, peaveys and other vintage and modern non-motorized tools.
- 22-24 - Common Ground Country Fair. MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center, Unity. The Fair is MOFGA’s premier event celebrating rural living. Three full days of educational talks and demonstrations, entertainment, delicious Maine-grown organic food and products from local artisans. Want to volunteer? FMI firstname.lastname@example.org
- 7-9 - Nose to Tail Pork Processing. MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center, Unity. This is one of our most popular workshops, covering all aspects of raising, humanely slaughtering, and processing pigs. Registration opens June 15th.
- 15 - Great Maine Apple Day. MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center, Unity. Celebrate the history, tradition, and flavor of Maine apples with MOFGA.
- 3-5 - Farmer to Farmer Conference. Northport, Maine. MOFGA’s annual conference for farmers provides a great opportunity to talk about what works and what doesn’t while learning new ideas from University faculty, fellow farmers, and others.
- 16-19 - Low Impact Forestry Workshops. MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center, Unity. For people, beginning and experienced, to learn and practice sustainable woodlot management, and logging with animals and low-impact machinery.
- 17-18 - Chainsaw & Forestry Safety Courses. MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center, Unity. Level I is a two-day course covering many aspects of chainsaw use including: the basics of saw mechanics, operation, maintenance, safety and an opportunity to learn and practice safe felling techniques. Level II is designed for the saw operator who has experience, but want to practice and improve upon his or her technique.