Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association




Bulletin Board

MAY 17, 2013

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Hike Waldo County!
First Leg of Hills-to-Sea Trail Opening in Unity on June 1

The Waldo County Trails Coalition (WCTC) invites the public to the official opening of its downtown Unity-to-MOFGA trail on June 1 - National Trails Day. The opening and hike will begin at the wooden bridge on Main Street in Unity, across from the Health Center, at 10 a.m. For more information, see

The WCTC consists of nine organizations that are creating a new through-trail - the WCTC Hills-to-Sea Trail - to link existing trail systems in Waldo County, initially from Unity to Frye Mountain and eventually all the way to Belfast. The organizations are the Unity Barn Raisers, Unity College, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA), Maine Farmland Trust, Sebasticook Regional Land Trust, Future MSAD3 and Mt. View, Sheepscot Wellspring Land Alliance, Georges River Land Trust and the Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition. In the fall of 2012, an Environmental Citizen class from Unity College roughed out a 6-mile trail from Unity College to MOFGA. Since then, coalition volunteers have been refining and marking the trail, preparing for National Trails Day.

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2013 Spring Growth Conference: Online Slide Show

A PowerPoint slide show of MOFGA's Spring Growth Conference on garlic is now posted on Several photos of garlic pests are included in the PowerPoint (as well as photos of beautiful, healthy garlic). These photos should be helpful as growers monitor their garlic regularly for pests over the next couple of months. Thanks to David Stern of the Garlic Seed Foundation and Rose Valley Farm for providing this valuable resource.

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Maine's Farmers' Markets Offer Abundant Fare

Maine's farmers' markets are open! And they are lush with local and certified organic food, even this early in the season. From greens, asparagus and rhubarb to stored potatoes to an abundance of meats, cheeses and baked goods, farmers' markets feature everything you might want for a delicious meal that supports local economies.

To find a market near you, check our Directory of Maine Farmers' Markets. Here you'll find the days and times each market is open, and contact information.

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June 30 - Deadline for applications to MOFGA Certification Services LLC for organic crop certification.

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New MOFGA Pest Report Released Today

The new Pest Report compiled by Eric Sideman, PhD, MOFGA's Organic Crop Specialist, covers potato seed issues, flea beetles, and oedema on tomato and related crops.

Read the report.

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MOFGA's Farm Training Project Workshops

These workshops are designed for and targeted to participants in MOFGA's Apprenticeship Program, but are free and open to anyone interested. They are intended to give apprentices and other young, beginning, and aspiring farmers the chance to visit other farms, learn from farmers about their areas of expertise, and socialize with peers.

The workshops follow an informal format. They generally begin in the late afternoon with a farm tour, followed by a presentation and demonstration on the topic of the day. Participants are then invited to stay for a potluck supper and discussion - bring a dish or something fresh from the farm to share. Schedule of workshops.

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

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Maine's Right To Know GMO
Labeling Bill

We support LD 718, An Act To Protect Maine Food Consumers' Right To Know about Genetically Engineered Food and Seed Stock. Help us ensure that all members of Maine's Legislature hear our message clearly. Please take the time to reach out to your state representatives and senators. You can find their contact information here:
May 16: In a last minute effort to exempt infant formulas from a requirement for labeling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food, the Infant Formula Council of America attempted to insert an amendment exempting their products from a bill pending in the Maine Legislature on Tuesday.

Proponents of the bill object to the new exception for baby formula. "Of all the foods containing GMOs, baby formula is one of the most important to label," said Heather Spalding, Interim Executive Director of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA). Representative Lance Harvell (R)-Farmington, lead sponsor of LD 718, agreed. "I cannot understand why, of all things, baby formula should be exempt from GMO labeling," he said.
This "baby formula exemption" is due to receive a final review along with the entire LD 718 in the Agriculture Committee on Tuesday next week. MOFGA and other supporters of the bill hope to ensure that baby formula is included among the foods that the bill would require to be labeled. Read more.

Thank you again for all the support that you are giving.

Read more.
Our GMO-Right to Know Resources page on

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Common Ground Country Fair Entertainer Applications

MOFGA is accepting applications for Entertainers at the Common Ground Country Fair. Links to applications and guidelines for participation in the Fair are available online at The Entertainment deadline is May 31st. If you need assistance or have questions, please contact April Boucher at 207-568-4142 or

Help Wanted

The Common Ground Country Fair is looking for a resourceful and creative individual to join our team as Fair Assistant through the Summer and into early October. If you have experience organizing events; versatile computer skills; the willingness to learn new systems and programs; and the capacity to prioritize in a bustling workplace teeming with distractions, we would love to hear from you. The Fair Assistant position is part-time, seasonal, and located in Unity. The full job description is available on the MOFGA website here.

The Fair Entertainment Committee is looking for individuals with a passion for entertainment to help select acts for the Fair and to volunteer at least one full day at the Fair. Interested? Questions? Contact Alfred Lund, Entertainment Coordinator, at

Additional volunteer opportunities coordinating elements of the Fair are available. To learn more or to get involved with Fair planning as an area coordinator, contact Anna Libby, MOFGA's Volunteer Coordinator, at

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2013 Organic Maine! Directory

The 2013 edition of MOFGA's Organic Maine! is here! If you would like to help distribute copies please email your request to or call 207-568-4142.
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MOFGA Store Item of the Week

It certainly feels like t-shirt weather! Time to shed the layers and sport our 2012 Common Ground Country Fair t-shirt! These 100% organic cotton shirts are 20% off starting May 17th - May 23rd only. Hurry on over to our online Country Store and pick up a t-shirt today!

Buy on the MOFGA Store


Events in Maine and Beyond - Mark Your Calendar!

MOFGA's Chainsaw Safety, Level I

May 19, Bethel, Me., 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Come join us May 19th in Bethel, Maine. This one-day course covers all the fundamentals of safe and effective chainsaw operation. Whether you are an aspiring logger, woodlot manager, or plan to use a chainsaw occasionally this course is invaluable. The chainsaw is an amazingly powerful tool, and without proper training and knowledge it can be a very dangerous tool. Work with our highly skilled instructors for the day and learn to use your chainsaw safely. Register at the online MOFGA Store.

May 17 to 19 - Northeast Livestock Expo, Windsor Fairgrounds.

May 19 - FAMACHA Workshops for Sheep and Goat Producers. Sunday, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Northeast Livestock Expo (NELE) on the Windsor Fairgrounds, Windsor, Maine. Presented by Dr. Thomas Settlemire and Dr. Richard Brzozowski. Participants will receive an information packet, record sheets and a FAMACHA card. $20.00 per farm. Register online or download the registration form (PDF) and mail it in with a check for $20.00 made payable to "University of Maine Cooperative Extension" at least one week in advance of the workshop to: FAMACHA Workshop/UMaine Cooperative Extension, 75 Clearwater Drive, Falmouth, ME 04105. Website.

May 21 - Airblast Sprayer Calibration Clinic and Twilight Meeting. Tuesday, 2:00 p.m., David Pike's Farm to You, Farmington. George Hamilton with the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension will demonstrate new tools for making sure your sprayer is delivering the correct rate of pesticides to your crops. Tour David Pike's strawberry and vegetable fields. Pike's Farm, 115 Mount View Road (corner of Routes 2 & 4 and the Whittier Road) in Farmington, Maine 04938 (207-778-2187). Free, no registration required. For information, contact David Handley at 207-933-2100 or

May 22 - Drip Irrigation Workshop. Wednesday, 3 p.m. to about 6 p.m., Sherman Farm, 2679 East Conway Road, Center Conway, N.H. FMI: Olivia Saunders, UNH Extension Field Specialist, 603-447-3834,, or George Hamilton, UNH Extension Field Specialist, 603-641-6060,

May 22 - MOFGA's Farm Training Project workshop: "Starting with the Soil: Sustainable Soil Management."
Wednesday, 5 p.m., Six River Farm, Bowdoinham. Designed for and targeted to participants in MOFGA's Apprenticeship Program but are free and open to anyone who is interested. Free.

May 23 - MOFGA's Farm Training Project workshop: "Starting with the Soil: Sustainable Soil Management." Thursday, 5 p.m., Village Farm in Freedom. Designed for and targeted to participants in MOFGA's Apprenticeship Program but are free and open to anyone who is interested. Free.

May 24 - Maine Board of Pesticides Control meeting, Augusta. Details.

May 28 - Conservation Farm Tour. 4 p.m., Goranson Farm, Dresden. This year's tour is focused on soil health and tillage. Each time the soil is disturbed by tillage it damages the soil structure, breaks down organic matter, and increases the risk of soil erosion. In order to prevent these negative impacts, growers are increasingly adopting reduced tillage on their farms. Reduced tillage can be an effective way to enhance soil quality in organic systems, and also has the potential to save fuel and time. Attendees will learn how Rob Johanson and Jan Goranson have adapted zone tillage to their organic vegetable system.  In zone till systems, soil disturbance is limited to the row where crops are planted, leaving undisturbed areas in between rows. This tour will be a chance to view soil health building practices in action and there will be ample time for questions and discussion. RSVP to:

June 1 to 2 - Maine Fiber Frolic,

June 8 - NOFA-New Hampshire's Spring Herb & Garden Day. Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm, McLane Audubon Center, Concord, N.H. 12 workshops including herbal product making, brewing herbal beer, organic heirloom gardening, permaculture for beginners, marketing, an All-Day Herbal Intensive, foraging walks and more! Registration.

Farm & Homestead Day - June 15
Come! Learn! Volunteer!
Bring the Family!
It's Free - and Valuable!

Farm & Homestead Day at MOFGA, a revival of Small Farm Field Day, is a free, volunteer-driven event offering a wide variety of hands-on and interactive sessions on useful skills for new and old homesteaders and farmers. It will be held on Saturday, June 15, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center on Crosby Brook Road in Unity. Bring your family and friends!

2013 Poultry Processing Workshop
Wednesday, June 19, 9 am to 12 noon
MOFGA's Common Kitchen at the Common Ground Education Center, Unity
Full - Waiting List Only
Diane Schivera, MOFGA Organic Livestock Specialist, and an elite crew of poultry processing professionals will lead a workshop about how to process poultry. Information: Email Diane Schivera or contact the MOFGA office - (207) 568-4142;

July 25 and 26 - 2013 Kneading Conference and 5th Artisan Bread Fair, Skowhegan, Maine. 30 workshops, talks, and panel discussions for everyone interested in local grains, craft breads, wood-fired ovens, and restoring regional grain networks. $300 includes (delicious!) meals. Information.

Low Impact Forestry Level II, Draft Animal Logging

July 26-28, Bethel, Me.

This 3-day workshop builds on the skills that students developed in the Level I Draft Power Logging Workshop. Students are expected to have completed LIF's Level I course, or be able to demonstrate equivalent experience. Register at the online MOFGA Store.

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


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