Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
January 18, 2013 Bulletin Board

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Bulletin Board

JANUARY 18, 2013

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Moving Tribute to Russell Libby

Read Eva Murray's moving tribute to Russell Libby, entitled "It's important," published today (Jan. 18, 2013) in the Penobscot Bay Pilot.

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Maine Board of Environmental Protection Decides to Phase Out BPA in Baby Food

The Maine Board of Environmental Protection recently voted unanimously to support the phase-out of the chemical bisphenol-A, or BPA, in infant formula and baby food packaging, but felt that legal definitions and loopholes prevented them from going further. Read more here.

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Maine DACF Names New Deputy Commissioner and Director of Division of Animal and Plant Health

Walt Whitcomb, Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF), has announced that Aroostook County native Dave Lavway has been promoted to Deputy Commissioner for economic development and marketing, and Ellis Additon has come on board as the new director of the Division of Animal and Plant Health. Lavway is a former executive director of the Maine Potato Board and state executive director of USDA's Maine Farm Service Agency. Ellis Additon comes to DACF from Feed Commodities International, in Detroit, Maine, where he served as general manager. He was also a district manager with Telmark Inc., a subsidiary of Agway Inc. Read more here.

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UMaine Extension Launches Online Farmer Resource Network

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension has introduced a Beginning Farmer Resource Network and a question-and-answer website. Developed by agricultural service providers, including MOFGA. Information here, or contact Tori Jackson, 207-353-5550, or

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Visit a Maine farmers' market this week!

That's right, there are over 20 farmers' markets being held, even in this coldest part of Maine's winter. Find the one nearest you on MOFGA's Maine Farmers' Market Directory.

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Soil Test Discounts

From January 1 to March 1 the Maine Soil Testing Service offers a discount for soil tests – $12 per soil test rather than $15. Call your local Extension Office to find out how to have your soil tested.

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Be Counted

The USDA Census of Agriculture is conducted every five years by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) to count all U.S. farms, ranches and those who operate them. The Census help shape farm programs and boost services. Forms were mailed in late December and are due by February 4, 2013. Producers can complete forms online. FMI: or call 1-888-424-7828.

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MOFGA-El Salvador Committee CSA Winners

Congratulations to the two winners of the MOFGA-El Salvador Sistering Committee raffle. Pam Bell of Leeds, Maine, won Cheryl Wixson’s winter CSA share and Nancy Scoven won a summer CSA share from Hatchet Cove Farm. Thanks to everyone who supported this fundraiser!

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2013 Common Ground Country Fair Poster

Our poster for the 2013 Common Ground Country Fair was unveiled at the Trades Show by Fair Director Jim Ahearne. Congratulations to Grace Keown for winning this year's poster contest and to everyone who submitted artwork. The poster has already gained rave reviews and we look forward to offering it for sale at the MOFGA Store when copies arrive from the printer.

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Subscribe to the MCS Website

We've recently undergone some upgrades in our systems, one of which was a change in platform for our website, MCS would like to encourage all our producers to subscribe so you'll be kept up to date with newly posted info and news. The process is easy - go to the home page and on the right-hand side under the heading -"Subscribe to Blog via Email" - type in your email and click the "Subscribe" button. Unfortunately during the change we lost the subscribers we had, so please join us again.

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Executive Director Search

We are looking for an inspiring and visionary leader to advance our goals. We are a vibrant organization of members in 7,000 homes and businesses, more than 1,500 highly involved volunteers, and a staff of more than thirty. The successful candidate will have a commitment to organic agriculture, to increasing the availability and affordability of locally produced organic food, and to building strong communities and a safe environment. A detailed job description is posted at Review of candidates will begin on February 11, 2013. The hiring process will remain open until MOFGA finds the appropriate candidate. We anticipate filling the position by June 2013.

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Are you producing maple syrup organically? Get Certified!

Applications are being accepted now for certifying organic maple syrup in Maine. Check out or call 568-4142 for more information.

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Grower Meetings

MOFGA's Certification and Agricultural Services Programs will host a Growers' Meeting at the following THREE locations this year:

1. Northern Girl's Aroostook Headquarters, Loring Airforce Base in Limestone on Sunday, January 20, from Noon to 4:30 pm.

2. Cobscook Community Learning Center in Lubec on Thursday, January 31, from 10 am to 3 pm.

3. Royal River Natural Foods, Freeport, on Thursday, February 7, from 10 am to 3 pm.

All certified growers and prospective certified organic growers are invited to attend. At each location there will be a round table discussion focusing on expanding markets for organic produce as well as a presentation on best practices for hoophouse production. Organic certification experts will be on hand to discuss the organic regulation and assist with applications. Please check next week for more detailed agendas for each location.

You can RSVP for any or all of the meetings at:

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We are grateful for the continuing support of the MOFGA Community!

Forty-one years of organizing and educating among MOFGA's staff, volunteers, and a diverse base of constituents has resulted in widespread opportunities for buying fresh, local, organic produce year-round in Maine. Your financial support helps make this possible. You may send donations to MOFGA at PO Box 170, Unity, ME 04988, or donate online. Thanks so much for any support you can give!

Russell Libby Memorial Fund

Give online or write a check payable to MOFGA with "Russell Libby Memorial Fund" in the memo line, and mail it to P.O. Box 170, Unity, ME 04988.


Mark Your Calendar

January 20 - Grower Meeting: Aroostook. Sunday, noon to 4:30 pm, Northern Girl's Aroostook Headquarters, Loring Airforce Base in Limestone. Sponsored by MOFGA Certification Services and MOFGA Ag Services. RSVP here.

January 23 - January meeting of Waldo Organic Growers.
6 pm, Palermo Community Center, Turner Ridge Rd., Palermo. Potluck dinner followed by movie, "Ingredients." Information: Connie Bellet,, 993-2294.

January 25 - Deadline for Maine farmers and food businesses to apply for low-interest micro-loan
(up to $5,000) for equipment or working capital from No Small Potatoes Investment Club.

January 25 and 26 - Maine Farmers' Market Convention.
Point Lookout, Northport.

January 26 - Empathy Workshop to Benefit MOFGA-El Salvador Sistering Committee.
(Snow date January 27) 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center in Unity. Peggy Smith, Nonviolent Communication trainer, is offering her Empathy Workshop as a fundraiser for the MOFGA-El Salvador Sistering Committee. Peggy will have just returned from Israel and Palestine, where she offered the same material on empathy as a source for our sustainability. An $85 value; please donate generously. Lunch provided. Registration information.

January 26 - Fundraiser for FARMS (Focus on Agriculture in Rural Maine Schools). Hosted by Savory Maine, Saturday, 5 to 8 p.m., 11 Water Street, Damariscotta. Local food, art, music and conversation to support the connection between local farms and local schools. $30 adults, $10 children 12 and under (free for children under 5). Information: 563-2111 or visit Savory Maine on Facebook and at

January 27 - Vegetable Gardening Workshop - Starting seeds indoors.
2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust, 108 Maine St., Brunswick. Learn about starting seeds indoors, the types of vegetables to start indoors and the equipment needed. This workshop is taught by Nan Curtis, Master Gardener. Free, open to the public. For information, contact Linton Studdiford, 798-5899 or

January 31 - Grower Meeting: Washington County.
Thursday, 10 am to 3 pm, Cobscook Bay Learning Center, Lubec. Sponsored by MOFGA Certification Services and MOFGA Ag Services. RSVP here.

February 1 - MOFGA's show "Common Ground" on WERU, 89.9 FM and 10 am to 11 am.

February 2 - "Sowing Seeds of Health, Hope and Community," Farmington Seed Savers Group's 3rd annual winter conference. Snow date Saturday, Feb. 9. Information at West Farmington Grange Saturday Farmer's Market, the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, or Better Living Center, or by calling 831-9384.

February 7 - Grower Meeting: Freeport.
Thursday, 10 am to 3 pm, Royal River Natural Foods, Freeport. Sponsored by MOFGA Certification Services and MOFGA Ag Services. RSVP here.

February 9 - Meeting of the Sagadahoc MOFGA Chapter.
Saturday, home of Hollie and Larry Paul, 49 Touassic Lane, Woolwich. 3 p.m. outdoor activity followed by shared discussion of seed-starting ideas and a potluck dinner. For more information contact Ann Schneider - 882-6763.

March 1 to 3 - Meet Your Farmers and Fishermen: a celebration of community supported agriculture and fisheries.
Locations statewide. Information here or contact, 207-568-4142

March 9 - MOFGA's Spring Growth Conference, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Unity

March 16 - MOFGA's Organic Orcharding Workshop: Pruning. Locations TBA. Learn to prune fruit trees to encourage vigorous growth, heavy fruit set and quality fruit yield. For beginners and experienced growers.

March 21 and 28 - Organic Farming: Principles and Practices, by Eric Sideman, with other farmers and agricultural services staff from MOFGA; for those wanting to learn the reasons behind organic practices (soil, pest and weed management), and how to decide the best practice in particular situations. Maine Audubon Society complex, Falmouth. Registration info and fees.

March 22-23 -2013 New England Meat Conference.
Graponne Conference Center, 70 Constitution Avenue, Concord, NH. Co-sponsored by MOFGA. Registration will open in January. Information: Lori Walter - (603) 573-3306 or

March 24 - Seed Swap & Scion Exchange. 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center, Unity. A special all-day event this year! Bring seeds, scionwood and cuttings to share. Participate in educational workshops. Free. Details.

Many other events relating to farming, gardening and food production are posted on MOFGA's on-line Calendar.


Check out MOFGA's Online Country Store!

- Fair t-shirts, sweatshirts, night shirts, aprons, hats and posters
- A great selection of books
- Membership and donation forms
- Items for MOFGA-certified producers
- Sale items

MOFGA-Related Videos On Facebook and YouTube!

MOFGA-Certified Organic Farmer Jim Gerritsen.
Jim addresses supporters who came to Washington, D.C., for the Jan. 10 OSGATA v. Monsanto hearing. Time 6:19 - Posted 1/10/13

Russell Libby's Keynote Address at the 2012 Farmer to Farmer Conference Time 37:27 - Posted 12/13/12

Where Have All The Bees Gone? Public Policy Teach-in Panel at the 2012 Common Ground Country Fair. Moderated by Sharon Tisher. Time 1:32:49 - Posted 09/22/12

Unraveling Consumerism - Keynote Speech by Shannon Hayes at the 2012 Common Ground Country Fair. Introduced by Russell Libby. Time 50:41 - Posted 09/22/12


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