"Take rest; a field that has rested gives a beautiful crop."
- Ovid

The Partridge Challenge
In January the Partridge Foundation awarded $1.0 million to establish an endowment to support MOFGA’s New Farmer Programs. It also pledged an additional $1.0 million if MOFGA can raise a similar amount before 2016. Read more.
Please join MOFGA in meeting this exciting challenge!

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PO Box 170, Unity, Maine 04988
Phone: 207-568-4142
Fax: 207-568-4141
Email: mofga@mofga.org
Physical Address:
294 Crosby Brook Road
Unity, Maine

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Suzanne Balbo and Clint Towle
of Crooked Door Farm in Whitefield

Know Your Organic Producers!

Meet Suzanne Balbo and Clint Towle of MOFGA-certified organic Crooked Door Farm in Whitefield. The two MOFGA journeypersons raise vegetables on permanent beds using minimal tillage, a biodiesel walk-behind tractor and a variety of hand tools, including a broad fork. They also use organic seed and local, organic compost on the 3 acres they have in rotation. An unheated greenhouse, a seedling house, caterpillar tunnels and low hoops help extend the growing season. Laying hens and guinea hogs root around, while a neighbor's goats and sheep rotate around Crooked Door's nearly 14 acres of pasture. Balbo and Towle market through their CSA, at the Gardiner Area Farmers' Market, the Gardiner Co-op & Café, the Sheepscot General Store and from their farm. Learn more on the farm's website and on Facebook. Please support MOFGA certified organic farmers and producers!

Search for local certified-organic food on MOFGACertification.org.

Organic and Sustainable Agriculture News
Two hives, but which thrives? Maine beekeepers differ
Portland Press Herald - 12/27/2009.
By Tom Atwell – It's a tough time to be a honeybee. For more than two decades mites have been attacking bees throughout the United States to the extent that honeybees can survive in the United States only with human help. That problem worsened in 2006, when bees began suffering what has been labeled Colony Collapse Disorder, in which entire hives of bees all over the country died in unusual numbers. The cause of the disorder has not been determined, with some blaming a worsening of the mite problem and another parasite called nosema. Others blame pesticides and the frequent movement of hives all over the country to pollinate crops.
Activist sows seeds for farm co-op
Common Dreams - 12/26/2009.
By John Gallagher – The Mo' Green Town proposal by New York City activist Majora Carter just might hit the sweet spot in Detroit urban agriculture. Carter visited Detroit recently to talk up her plan to create a worker-owned urban agriculture cooperative venture. By pooling the efforts of numerous small growers in Detroit, it would attempt to grow big enough to generate real profits and a return for investors. But it would be run by local community growers themselves.
New rules threaten small poultry producers
Kennebec Journal - 12/26/2009.
Letter to the Editor by John J. O'Donnell – The Maine Department of Agriculture has proposed new rules that will affect hundreds of small poultry producers in Maine. There has long been an exemption for producers of fewer than 1,000 birds a year, and the Legislature renewed that law this year, with the intention of fostering and protecting this important small farm sector. However, new rules developed by the Department of Agriculture to accompany this law are so strict as to threaten the livelihoods of many of these producers.
Bangor City Council considers urban chickens
Bangor Daily News - 12/24/2009.
By Eric Russell – There is a movement of fowl proportions making its way through the state. It landed on Bangor’s doorstep this week. In recent weeks, several city residents have expressed interest in raising backyard chickens. It’s a trend that has swept the state as more and more people turn to organic farming and individual sustainability.
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Upcoming MOFGA Events

December 2 - Kitchen Licensing Workshop

December 4 - MOFGA’s Common Ground Radio Show

December 8 - QuickBooks Training presented by Farm Credit East

January - Growers' Meetings

January 12 - MOFGA Annual Membership Meeting at the Maine Agricultural Trades Show

March 5 - MOFGA’s Spring Growth Conference: Soils


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