Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association



Bulletin Board

JULY 26, 2013

Join / Renew Donate Volunteer Find Certified Organic Foods Contact Us


Tom Vigue at Kiwihill Farm in Sidney.
Know Your Organic Producers!

Kiwihill Farm in Sidney, owned by Tom Vigue and Eileen Fingerman, is a certified organic farm featuring edible landscaping, intensive vegetable beds and a very active composting system. These farmers sell seed garlic, kiwis and at times surplus vegetables - on farm and at local health food stores. They are hosting a tour of their farm on Sunday, August 4, at 1 p.m. Here's what you will see: demonstration of making and using soil blocks for seedling starting; three types of compost making; several trellis systems for annual crops as well as perennial vines; a uniquely adapted walk-behind tractor; drip irrigation; some unique crops including kiwis, Cornelian cherries, chestnuts, grain amaranth; an owner-built stone house including a stone Finnish contra-flow masonry heater, a root cellar and an attached passive solar greenhouse. Directions.

Please support MOFGA certified organic farmers and producers!

Search for local certified-organic food on

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Save Seeds!

The Exhibition Hall at the Common Ground Country Fair will host a special display this year showing fairgoers how to save many kinds of garden seeds. Learn about isolation, population, drying, labeling and storing. Bring questions and seeds to share. The Seed Exchange in the Hall will be open on Saturday, Sept. 21, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Sunday, Sept. 22, from 9 a.m. to noon. Thanks to Amy LeBlanc for this photo.

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Kate DelVecchio and Rich Lee

Apply Now to MOFGA's Apprenticeship Program

NOW is a great time to apprentice on a farm in Maine. Many of the farms participating in MOFGA's Apprenticeship Program are looking for fun, hard-working and energetic crew members for the months of August, September and October. With an increase in the number of fall CSAs and winter markets, Maine farmers are extending their seasons and can offer longer-season apprenticeships. The MOFGA Apprenticeship Program is a great way to learn by doing. Farms in the program include vegetable, livestock and dairy operations and range in scale from homestead and farmstead production to market gardens and commercial operations; so whatever your interests, there is an apprentice situation for you.

The program includes weekly Farm Training Projects that run through mid-September. These topic-specific weekly gatherings supplement on-farm training and are a great way to meet other apprentices.
For more information and to apply, please visit or call MOFGA at 207-568-4142.

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John Bunker
John Bunker speaking to Farm Training Workshop participants at his Super Chilly Farm in Palermo, Maine.

MOFGA's Farm Training Project Workshops

Farm Training Project workshops continue 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. Next week's workshop, on July 31 at 5 p.m., features "Farming with Horses and Work Song Hootenanny" at North Branch Farm in Monroe. Enjoy a potluck supper after the tour. Read more.

For directions to any of the workshops, email Abby or call 568-4142. To join the email list click here.

Here are some other upcoming farm tours.

July 28: Khadighar, Industry - General Farm Tour

Aug. 4: Khadighar, Industry - Scatterseed Project Tour; Kiwihill Farm, Sidney

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Pasture Walk a Success

About 20 people showed up for a pasture walk at Collier Brook Farm in Gray recently, says MOFGA's organic livestock specialist, Diane Schivera. Lisa and Philip Webster of North Star Farm in Windham are renting the farm to pasture a portion of their sheep flock. They gave a very complete tour and explanation of their method of pasture rotation. Weeds are controlled by bushhogging every paddock after rotation of the sheep.  Philip feels it is very important that fields are well maintained and look neat. Ben Hartwell of Ben Fencin' explained how he did the fencing. He showed a new piece of equipment to set posts, and polywire from Gallagher called Smart Fence, with 4 wires and 10 poles stretching 330 feet, 3 feet high.

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Volunteer Projects at the Common Ground Education Center

Volunteers opportunities to help out are posted on our list of Year-Round Volunteer Projects. We hope to see you soon!

Sign up to volunteer now.

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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!

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2014 Fair Poster: Call for Entries

The Common Ground Country Fair is looking for artists' submissions for the 2014 Fair poster. Artists who reside in Maine or are MOFGA members are invited to enter designs in the contest. The selected design will be the centerpiece of the 2014 Fair poster, Fair T-shirt and merchandise, and promotional media, including the Fair pages on MOFGA's website. The artist will be featured in this newspaper, along with a press release that focuses on the artist and the art. Also, the winning artist will receive $1,000.

Artists may submit two entries. Entries must be postmarked by Friday, August 2, 2013, or be hand delivered to the MOFGA office by 4 p.m. on Wednesday, August 7, 2013. Complete guidelines or contact the Fair office at or 207-568-4142.

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Fusarium rot on garlic.

Eric Sideman's Pest Report for July 23

Topics: Purple blotch in onions, Fusarium rot in garlic, Asiatic garden beetle and Imported cabbage worm. Read the report.

Sign up to receive the reports by email.

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Listening Session in Augusta on Proposed FDA Produce Safety Rule
August 19, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry's Division of Quality Assurance and Regulations will hold a listening session on FDA's proposed produce safety rule on August 19 at the Augusta State Armory.
Produce growers and packers can learn more about the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) passed in January 2011. The act represents the most comprehensive reform of food regulation in more than 70 years. A key component of the FSMA is a mandate to shift food safety efforts from reaction to prevention. Individuals will have the opportunity to ask questions about the Produce Safety Rule during the session.

"Food safety is a good thing," said New England Farmers Union President Roger Noonan, "but the economic impact of these new rules means New England farmers are bearing a disproportionate burden. Producers need to tell their stories to the FDA and let the agency know how their operations will be affected by FSMA." Noonan was instrumental in getting listening sessions scheduled in New England.

Information: Ron Dyer, Director, Quality Assurance & Regulations, 207-287-7522. Those who cannot attend the listening session may comment directly to the FDA at

For an excellent overview of the FSMA and its effects on small and medium-sized farms, see "Proposed regs threaten local food," by Wes King, Iowa Farmer Today (7/17/2013)

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Still some openings in MOFGA's Fall Events!

Register via the MOFGA Store or by calling the office.

  Low Impact Forestry, Level II Draft Animal Logging
Date change: 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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Seasonal Food Guide!

MOFGA has created a series of brochures that list seasonally available Maine foods with recipes. Look for the July-August edition at your favorite shopping outlets! Help us distribute the brochures: $5 for 100 copies. Call the office at 568-4142 or order on the MOFGA Store. More.


Events in Maine and Beyond - Mark Your Calendar!

Farmer Field Days at Neighboring Farms in Washington County. Co-sponsored by MOFGA. Every Monday morning 7 a.m. - Scything and Permaculture, Jim Kovaleski, 187 US Route 1, Robbinston. FMI:

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.

July 27 - 5th Artisan Bread Fair. Sat., 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Skowhegan State Fairgrounds. Free. Celebration of craft bread, local grains, and the interesting tools, books, and accessories useful to baking. Live music and demonstrations during the day. Wood-Fired pizzas and other delicious local foods. Website.

July 29 - Deadline, Northeast SARE Research and Education Grant applications,
for outcome-based projects offering research, education, and demonstration projects that benefit farmers and explore new sustainable farm practices. Website.

July 31 - Highmoor Farm Field Day and Summer Tour,
Wed., 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monmouth. Registration: $20.00 (includes lunch). Preregistration is strongly encouraged. Please contact Pam St. Peter at or 207-933-2100 to preregister. Website.

July 31 - Farming with Horses and Work Song Hootenanny (Farm Training Project). Wednesday, 5 p.m., North Branch Farm, Monroe. Details.

August 1 - YardScaping: Beautiful & Ecological Garden Inspiration. 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Back Cove, Portland. $15.00 ELA member or $20 Non-member. Hosted by Ecological Landscaping Association. Registrations are limited - use this link to register online. More information: or (617) 436-5838.

August 9 to 11 - Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) Summer Conference, Amherst, Mass.
Keynote speakers, more than 200 workshops, family activities. Workshops in eight tracks: beginning farmer, CSA, grazing, nutrient density, organic land care, permaculture, co-ops and season extension. Information.

August 15 to 17 - Boston GreenFest.
Boston City Hall Plaza. Free. Information.

Sept. 4 and Sept. 9, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. - Volunteer work days in MOFGA's Common Kitchen.
Join MOFGA's Cheryl Wixson to focus on "Putting Food By" and preserving items from MOFGA's gardens to use at the Fair and throughout the year. To sign up, please email Anna Libby,

September 11 - (Note date change) 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.

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.

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




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