Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association



Bulletin Board

AUGUST 25, 2013

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Rolling Acres
Josh Oxley (right) and apprentice Thong Pham at the Belfast Farmers' Market

Know Your Organic Producers!

Meet MOFGA certified organic farmer Joshua Oxley of Rolling Acres Farm in Monroe. Joshua and his apprentices (including Thong Pham, shown here) raise vegetables, edible flowers, and vegetable and herb seedlings on an acre outdoors and in greenhouses. They sell at the Belfast and Rockland Farmers' Market, to the Belfast Food Co-op, to Fresh Off The Farm and to restaurants. Due to its distance from power lines, Rolling Acres is off the grid and uses solar, propane and a back-up generator for power.

Please support MOFGA certified organic farmers and producers!

Search for local certified-organic food on

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Important notice for growers:
MOFGA's Farmer to Farmer Conference takes place on Sat., Sun. and Monday, Nov. 2-4 this year. We are shifting it by one day to accommodate growers who are still at markets on Fridays and Saturdays.

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Dave Colson
Dave Colson and other MOFGA folks spoke at FDA's listening session on its proposed food safety rules. Photo courtesy of Jacob Holzberg-Pill.

FDA Food Safety Modernization Act Proposed Rules

Regarding the Food Safety Modernization Act Proposed Rules, farmers Michael Tabor and Nick Maravell have an excellent critique at Write to Farm; Agriculture Secretary Michael Taylor's take on the listening session in Maine is posted on the web; and the FDA now says it will prepare an Environmental Impact Statement on the proposed rules. If you missed Dave Colson's comments on the proposed rules last week, they are posted on Comments are due to the FDA by Nov. 15. Learn how to maneuver FDA's comment process.

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The New England Grassroots Environment Fund (NEGEF) has been providing grants and coaching to local volunteer initiatives in New England for more then 16 years. NEGEF has funded community groups working on local energy, food, living, land, water and health projects. Grants are for New England groups that are all-volunteer driven or have up to two full-time paid staff and an annual budget of up to $100,000. SEED Grants of $250 to $1,000 help launch projects and can be applied for anytime; GROW grants of $1,000 to $3,500 help established groups increase capacity, collaborate and leverage impact, and the next deadline for them is Sept. 15. FMI:

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Volunteer for the 2013 Fair

Here at MOFGA, we depend on all our volunteers to make each Fair a success. It's easy to register for a volunteer shift using our online system. To register or retrieve your password please visit: Or, if you'd like to learn more about volunteering at the Fair, just visit our webpage on for more information. Please contact Anna Libby, MOFGA's Volunteer Coordinator, at with any questions you may have. We'll see you at the Fair!

Advance Tickets for the Fair Are on Sale Now

Advance tickets for the Common Ground Country Fair are on sale now! List of outlets. Advance tickets cost the same as tickets at the gate but enable fairgoers to enter the Fair without waiting in line. The Fair is MOFGA's premier event of each year - and you don't need to buy a ticket if you're a MOFGA member. Members get free admission to all three days of the Fair - September 20, 21 and 22 this year. In addition, MOFGA members receive a quarterly newspaper on organic farming and gardening, discounts on training sessions and the satisfaction of being part of a community that is passionate about healthy, locally grown food and sustainable landscapes. Please join MOFGA today. We look forward to seeing you at the Fair!

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Josh Oxley
Josh Oxley talked about growing crops in and out of greenhouses at the Farm Training Project Workshop last week.

Farm Training Project workshops ccontinue to attract dozens of MOFGA apprentices and others interested in learning how experienced farmers are growing, marketing, controlling pests, and generally raising crops and livestock. This week participants learned about Farming Off the Grid at Rolling Acres Farm in Monroe. Next week's topic is Apprentice to Farmer: taking the next steps at Mackie Family Farm at MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center on Monday, August 26, at 5 p.m. MOFGA estimates that Maine needs about 150 new farmers a year just to maintain the infrastructure we need to support our local food system - so every new farm operation in Maine is a reason to celebrate. But getting started in farming is becoming increasingly difficult. Join several MOFGA journeypeople as they share their insights and enthusiasm about how they are managing their first few years farming independently. If you are considering farming for a living, please come and contribute to this important discussion. Please note that the Sept. 5 Farm Training Project workshop has been canceled.

Workshop schedule.

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Sign up for MOFGA's Fall Events!

Register via the MOFGA Store or by calling the office.

  Low Impact Forestry, Level II Draft Animal Logging
October 18, 19, 20, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
Prerequisite: LIF Level I
  Low Impact Forestry Workshop
November 14 to 17, Thursday to Sunday

Common Ground Education Center, Unity
Three options for participation
  Chainsaw Safety Course - Level I
November 16 & 17, Saturday & Sunday
  Kitchen Licensing Workshop
December 4, Wednesday
Common Ground Education Center, Unity
Includes a tour of MOFGA's Common Kitchen

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MOO Milk

Thanks to our friends at MOOMilk for sharing their enthusiasm for the Common Ground Country Fair, for MOFGA and gratitude for Russell. And as the carton says, we hope to "see you at the Fair!"

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Whole Foods Market offers low-interest loans to independent local farmers and food artisans for expansion and capital expenditures (e.g., to buy more animals, invest in new equipment and infrastructure or expand crops), not for operating expenses. Producers must meet Whole Foods Market's Quality Standards and standards for animal welfare. Applications accepted on a rolling basis. Details.

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on all 2012 GARLIC SCAPES design merchandise, including T-shirts, sweatshirts, aprons, tote bags, posters and more.

Each order of $25 or more will receive a FREE copy of the popular book on the history of our organization -
Fertile Ground: Celebrating 40 Years of MOFGA.

Buy at the MOFGA Store.

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Mainers Urged to Sign Up for Free Disposal of Banned, Unusable Pesticides

This October, the Maine Board of Pesticides Control (BPC) will team up with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to dispose of banned pesticides or pesticides that have become caked, frozen or otherwise rendered unusable. This free disposal program is open to homeowners, family-owned farms and greenhouses. All people need to do is register by September 27, 2013.

Removal of these pesticides is important for the protection of public, wildlife and environmental health. They must not be thrown in the trash or down the drain, where they will contaminate land and water resources, including drinking water.

Registration by September 27, 2013, is mandatory - drop-ins are not permitted. To register, get details, and learn important information about the temporary storage and transportation of obsolete pesticides, go to the BPC Web site at, or call 207-287-2731.

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How to Move Like a Gardener

How To Move Like A Gardener: Planting and Preparing Medicines From Plants. By Deb Soule. Now available from MOFGA. 256 informative pages with over 200 beautiful color photographs taken in Avena Botanicals' garden. This book embodies Deb's deep love and respect for the spirit of the medicinal plants she has worked with for almost 40 years. $33.00. Buy at the MOFGA Store.


Events in Maine and Beyond - Mark Your Calendar!

NOFA-New Hampshire Summer Series - A wide range of topics at workshops held throughout New Hampshire during the summer and fall.

NOFA Vermont Summer Workshops - Whether you're a beginning or experienced farmer, a gardener or homesteader, or just want to deepen your connection to local farms, NOFA Vermont's summer workshop series has something for you. Workshops are held every few days at locations throughout Vermont.

August 25 - Closing the Loops on an Integrated Livestock-Veggie Farm (MESAS Farm Tour). Sunday, 3:00 to 5:00 p.m, King Hill Farm, 29 Faerie Kingdom Rd., Penobscot. Free, open to the public. Contact Paul Schultz -, 207-326-9701.

August 26 - From Apprentice to Farmer: taking the next steps (MOFGA Farm Training Project).
Monday, 5 p.m., Mackie Family Farm, Unity (on the MOFGA campus). Details.

Aug. 27 - Panel on Food and Climate.
6 p.m., with MOFGA certified organic farmer and past president Mort Mather, Congresswoman Chellie Pingree and John Piotti of Maine Farmland Trust. The Wells Reserve at Laudholm, 342 Laudholm Farm Rd., just off U.S. Route 1 near the Wells-Kennebunk line. Information.

Aug. 27 - Lacto-Fermentation.
6:30 p.m., Abbott Room, Belfast Free Library. MOFGA members Ana and Roy Antaki of Weeping Duck Farm in Montville will share how to preserve the garden's bounty using the traditional method of lacto-fermentation. This free program is co-sponsored by the Belfast Free Library (106 High St.) and the Belfast Co-op. For more information, call the library at 338-3884 ext. 10.

Aug. 29 - Free webinar: "Budding and Grafting Fruit Varieties for Organic Production."
11 a.m. Central Time. Register.
Cheryl Wixson
Cheryl Wixson

Volunteer Workday: Putting Food By
Join MOFGA's Cheryl Wixson in preserving the harvest from MOFGA's gardens. Volunteers will work with Cheryl in the kitchen to preserve food for use at the Common Ground Country Fair and throughout the year. Workdays are on September 4th and 9th from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at MOFGA's Common Kitchen in Unity, ME. Lunch will be provided. Please RSVP to MOFGA's Volunteer Coordinator, Anna Libby, at

September 6 - MOFGA's Common Ground radio show. 10 to 11 a.m., WERU, 89.9 and 99.9 FM and

September 11 -
Four Season Forward - Producing Year-Round Crops Using High Tunnels, Low Tunnels and Quickhoops, with Clara Coleman of Four Season Farm Consulting. Littleton, Maine. Potluck. Co-sponsored by MOFGA and Southern Aroostook Soil and Water Conservation District. Information.

September 11 - Dairy & Diversification (MOFGA Farm Training Project).
Wednesday, 5 p.m., Two Loons Farm and The Milkhouse. Details.

Sept. 17, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. - Explore the Depth and Breadth of Sustainable Forestry at Hidden Valley Nature Center in Jefferson.
Real-life forestry practitioners will introduce you to the theory, practice, economics, ecology and legal aspects of sustainable forestry. Co-sponsored by Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. $80 members of CMBG and HVNC; $95 non-members. FMI:, or 200-8840.

September 20, 21 & 22 - MOFGA's Common Ground Country Fair

September 25-27 - 2013 Farm Viability Conference, Middlebury, Vt. Details.

Sept. 26-27 - Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance (NODPA) Annual Field Days program, Organic Dairy: Innovative Strategies to Stay Profitable.
Mansfield, Penn. Information.

Dandelion Spring Farm
October 13 - MOFGA Fundraiser: Fine Dining - Down on the Farm. 2nd annual Fore Street Restaurant/Dandelion Spring-Straw Farm dinner.
Sunday, 2:00 Farm tour, 3:00 Dinner seating. Dandelion Spring-Straw Farm, 30 Brick Hill Road, Newcastle, Maine. The chefs from Fore Street Restaurant, Portland's finest, will prepare a five-course meal with paired drinks from food grown exclusively on Dandelion Spring-Straw Farm in Newcastle. Fare will include lamb, pork, dairy and vegetables. All proceeds will be donated to MOFGA in honor of Russell Libby. Seating limited to 100, by reservation only. Tickets: $100 per person. Tickets can be purchased at or by calling 207-568-4142.

November 14-16 - Soils Conference with Arden Andersen in Bangor

"Grow the Food the World Wants" - How Farmers Farm Determines How the Rest of the World Lives.
Dr. Arden Andersen will present the latest on nutrient-dense biological agriculture and how healthy soils make economic and environmental sense, at Heart of Maine's Annual Soils Conference in Bangor. MOFGA is cosponsoring this event. Information:,, 207-200-3603. Early-bird registration closes on Sept. 30.

Many more events are posted on MOFGA's on-line Calendar.


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