Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association




Bulletin Board

MAY 24, 2013

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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:
Right To Know GMO: Citizen Lobby Day
Thursday, May 30
8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
At the Capitol in Augusta
Please come to the State House to help us shore up support for Maine's landmark legislation requiring labeling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food. Momentum is building as the campaign moves forward. We need your help to continue to exhibit a strong public display of support as this bill comes to a vote in the House and Senate. Please let us know if you are coming by sending an email to
Maine Agriculture Committee Votes to Label GMOs
On May 21, the Maine Legislature's Joint Standing Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (ACF) voted 8-5 in support of a bill that would require labeling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food. Now the bill will go to the full legislature for votes in the House and Senate.

Proponents of the bill expressed relief that the Committee rejected a last minute amendment by out-of-state infant formula manufacturers. The amendment sought to create a labeling exemption for infant formula and other highly refined products.

"This is a major step toward ensuring that Maine people can make informed choices about eating GMOs," said Heather Spalding, Interim Executive Director of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA). "We are happy that the Committee concurs with 95% of Maine people who feel that the public has a right to know if the food we’re eating is derived from genetically modified crops." 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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Committee Approves Bill to Protect Pregnant Women and Children from Toxic Chemicals
May 23, 2013 - Augusta: During their last work session of the year, the Environment and Natural Resources Committee of the Maine Legislature voted to strengthen Maine's Kid-Safe Products Act to reduce children’s exposure to BPA and other toxic chemicals in the home. LD 1181, "An Act To Further Protect Pregnant Women and Children from Toxic Chemicals," sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Seth Goodall (D-Richmond) was amended by the committee and now will head to votes in the Senate and House. Full article.

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MOFGA Bids Farewell to Kacey Weber

MOFGA bid farewell this week to Kacey Weber, our database manager and program assistant for membership and development. Kacey will be moving to a job much closer to home: She'll be the new education coordinator for the Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District. Kacey worked for MOFGA for seven years, cleaning up our database and creating efficient systems. We will miss her and wish her the best of luck!

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June 29, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. – New and Exciting!
Summer Orchard Care Workshop at David Buchanan's Cider Orchard in Pownal, Maine

Want to plant fruit trees, but you’re not sure how to grow them organically? Or do you have fruit trees in the ground and you would like to learn about organic cultivation methods? If so, come to David Buchanan’s cider orchard on June 29. Buchanan, author of Taste, Memory – Forgotten Foods, Lost Flavors, and Why They Matter (Chelsea Green 2012), grows about 150 apple varieties, most on rented land, and sells potted fruit trees at the Portland Farmers’ Market. On his land in Pownal, he plans to conserve old apple varieties and turn a barn into a commercial kitchen to process fruits.

At this workshop, C.J. Walke, MOFGA's organic orchardist, will present organic methods for growing tree fruit, including soil and nutrient requirements and insect and disease control. Ample time will be available for questions. Participants should bring a bag lunch and drink. Registration ($35) will open on May 29. This event is cosponsored by MOFGA and the Portland Resilience Hub. For more information, contact Emily Horton at

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

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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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The Memorial Fund honors Nathan Dorpalen
The Nathan Dorpalen Memorial Fund Supports MOFGA's Beginning Farmer Programs

MOFGA’s apprenticeship program and Farm Training Project for beginning farmers trains many young people who go on to become Maine's new farmers. These programs are made possible in part by the generosity of the Dorpalen Family and friends through the Nathan Dorpalen Memorial Fund. Nathan ("Nate") Dorpalen died in 2010 at age 26 in a hiking accident in Norway, where he was studying for his master's in environmental agroecology.

The Nathan Dorpalen Memorial Fund honors Nate by supporting others who share his interest in local, small-scale farming through MOFGA's beginning farmer programs and internships. MOFGA is grateful for this support. To contribute to the fund, please make checks payable to MOFGA, designate "Nathan Dorpalen Fund" on the check, and mail the check to Nathan Dorpalen Memorial Fund, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, P.O. Box 170, Unity, ME  04988, or donate online.

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Adam Nordell and Johanna Davis of Songbird Farm
Know Your Farmers

Meet MOFGA certified organic farmers Adam Nordell and Johanna Davis of Songbird Farm in Starks. Graduates of MOFGA's Journeyperson Program, they grow organic vegetables and grains, which they sell through their Community Supported Agriculture business, at The Bread Fair and the Common Ground Country Fair, at natural food stores (Rising Tide, Belfast Co-op, Barrels Market) and through the Crown o' Maine Organic Cooperative.

Please support MOFGA certified organic farmers!

Search for local certified-organic food on

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2013 Organic Maine! Directory

Your all-organic guide to buying local foods in Maine!

The 2013 edition of MOFGA's Organic Maine! is hot off the press! 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

Thinking about getting Spring chicks? Maybe you have already started your flock! Visit our store and pick up this great resource, written by Harvey Ussery, all about small-scale poultry flocks. You can purchase it for $39.95 and know that you will be getting a great book AND be supporting MOFGA at the same time!

Buy at the MOFGA Store

Read a review of the book.


Events in Maine and Beyond - Mark Your Calendar!

Conservation Farm Tour

May 28 - 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:

May 31 - Free Class: Preserving Vegetables. 7 p.m., First Universalist Church, 345 Broadway, Rockland. Reba Richardson of MOFGA-certified Hatchet Cove Farm in Warren will teach a free class on preserving vegetables, focusing on freezing, dehydrating and fermenting. FMI:, 273-3044, or

June 1 to 2 - Maine Fiber Frolic,

June 4 - Slide Talk: “Climate Reality: Connecting the dots between extreme weather and global warming.” 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Camden Public Library. Presented by environmental lawyer and MOFGA public policy committee member Sharon Tisher, who was recently trained by Al Gore to give the current version of his Nobel Prize-winning slide show on climate change. Through remarkable photographs, instructional animations and film, the show explores the connections between global warming and extreme weather events. Details.

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!

June 15 - FAMACHA Workshops for Sheep and Goat Producers at MOFGA. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Unity. 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.

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;

June 29 - Summer Orchard Care Workshop. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., David Buchanan's Cider Orchard in Pownal, Maine.  C.J. Walke, MOFGA's organic orchardist, will present organic methods for growing tree fruit, including soil and nutrient requirements and insect and disease control. Registration ($35) will open May 29. Co-sponsored by MOFGA and the Portland Resilience Hub. For more information, contact Emily Horton at

June 29 and 30 - Maple Meadow Farm Festival. Saturday, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and Sunday, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, Maple Meadow Farms, 830 Mapleton Road, Mapleton, Maine 04757. Unique demonstrations, draft team farming techniques and field work with antique tractors. Mingle with friends, savor home-cooked food, browse the work of fine artisans and collections from discriminating antique dealers. Bluegrass music, childrens' area. Information and schedule on the web or call 207-764-6450.

July 18 to 21 - Timber Framing Workshop for High School Students. Thurs. to Sunday, Hidden Valley Nature Center, Jefferson. 4-day workshop starts with standing trees, model and a drawing; finishes with a completed cabin. Competitive application process, required recommendation from a teacher or guidance counselor. Applications due by June 16 (decisions made by June 28). $50, includes all materials. No previous experience necessary. Applications and Letter of Recommendation at, or contact Andy at or 200-8840. The workshop is co-sponsored by Oak Grove School Foundation, MOFGA, Hancock Lumber, and Wood-Mizer.

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.

July 27 - MOFGA’s Organic Orcharding Workshop: Bud Grafting. $30. Thorndike. Learn this method to propagate fruit trees and many ornamentals. Taught by Delton Curtis of Curtis Pond Nursery, grafter for FEDCO trees. Course will run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. More information.

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


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