Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
September 13, 2013

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Bulletin Board

SEPTEMBER 13, 2013

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Call Your Representative Today to Get Support for Organic in the Farm Bill

House members, led by Congressmen DeFazio (D-OR), Hanna (R-NY), Kind (D-WI) and Farr (D-CA), are circulating a "Dear Colleague" letter (a letter to fellow Representatives) that calls for action on organic programs in any Farm Bill negotiations moving forward. Download the letter (PDF). Please call and ask your representative to sign on! If your representative is a Republican, say, "Please sign on to the Organic Dear Colleague Letter by contacting Rep. Hanna's staff, Adam Hepburn." If your representative is a Democrat, say, "Please sign on to the Organic Dear Colleague Letter by contacting Rep. DeFazio's staff, Megan Debates." Call the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 to be connected with your representative's office.

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Know Your Organic Producers!
Jim and Megan Gerritsen with (left to right) Peter, Sarah, Amy and Caleb.

Meet MOFGA certified organic farmers Jim and Megan Gerritsen and their farmer-children, from left to right, Peter, Sarah, Amy and Caleb, of Wood Prairie Farm in Bridgewater, Maine. Wood Prairie Farm produces mixed vegetables (specializing in potatoes), certified seed potatoes, vegetable seed, grains, grain flours, bread mixes, Irish Dexter cows and American Guinea hogs. They sell through their mail order catalog, Crown O' Maine Organic Co-op, natural food stores, through other farmers, to restaurants and garden centers. All this, and Jim manages to be the face of and force behind much of the organic community's efforts to protect farmers and consumers from contamination by genetically engineered crops. And he serves on MOFGA's agricultural services committee. Check out Wood Prairie at, "like" Wood Prairie on Facebook, and sign up for the farmers' excellent Seed Piece Newsletter (with action alerts, recipes, potato growing tips and more). Come hear Jim and a panel of speakers address the campaign to label genetically engineered foods at the Public Policy Teach-in at the Common Ground Country Fair on Saturday, Sept. 21, from 2 to 3:30.

Please support MOFGA certified organic farmers and producers!

Search for local certified-organic food on

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2013 Interactive Common Ground Country Fair Schedule Online

Read our colorful online schedule of presentations for all three days of the Common Ground Country Fair. Pop-up descriptions show speakers and full titles of each presentation along with notes about the presentation. Create your own schedule and share it with others using email or social media. Create a profile to join the list of attendees. Fun! Read the schedule.

Keynote Speakers at the 2013 Fair

Fermentation and Food Relocalization
Sandor Katz,
author of The Art of Fermentation and Wild Fermentation
Friday, September 20, 2013 - 11:00am to 12:00pm
Honoring Women Farmers and Gardeners, Locally and Globally
Deb Soule,
Avena Botanicals
Saturday, September 21, 2013 - 11:00am to 12:00pm
Cooperating with the Future
George Siemon,
CEIEIO and Co-Founder of CROPP Cooperative / Organic Valley
Sunday, September 22, 2013 - 11:00am to 12:00pm
Read about the keynote speakers.

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

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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Swales in each terrace at the new Maine Heritage Orchard are filled with wood chips. The swales and chips catch water and release it slowly into the terrace growing beds.

MOFGA's New Heritage Orchard

MOFGA is creating a ten-acre heritage orchard in Unity to preserve and protect Maine's traditional apples and pears. The orchard, which will be unlike any other in Maine, will include over 500 specimens from every county in the state. Prep work for the orchard began this summer; the first hundred varieties will be planted in April 2014. See photos of the work in progress.

To get involved, stay tuned to, come visit the orchard or come to the Common Ground Country Fair and attend one of John Bunker's talks. He'll be speaking about the new orchard all three days.

Details about Maine's heritage apple varieties.

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CSA Raffle to Benefit MOFGA-El Salvador Sistering Committee

The MOFGA-El Salvador Sistering Committee, which partners with Salvadoran organizations similar to MOFGA, is raffling two CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) shares, with winners to be drawn at a MOFGA CSA Fair in early March.

Tickets are available for $5 each or six for $25 at (but not at the Country Store at the Common Ground Country Fair), at the MOFGA booth at the Common Ground Country Fair, or people can send a check to MOFGA, P.O Box 170, Unity, ME 04988, with "El Salvador Raffle" written in the memo line. Please include an address and phone number so that MOFGA can mail your tickets.

The following farms are participating in the raffle. One ticket will be drawn for Cheryl Wixson's Kitchen and another for a CSA share of the winner's choice, selected from the farms listed here.

Avena Botanicals, Rockport, Maine
Carding Brook Farm, Brooklin
Farmer Kev's Organic Produce, Winthrop
Fisher Farm, Winterport
Full Circle Farm, East Vassalboro
Happy Town Farm, Orland
Hatchet Cove Farm, Warren
King Hill Farm, Penobscot
Morning Dew Farm, Newcastle
New Beat Farm, Knox
No View Farm and Bakery, Rumford
Shalom Orchard Organic Farm and Winery, Hancock
The Pick Up CSA, Skowhegan
Tide Mill Organic Farm, Edmunds
Village Farm, Freedom

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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
  MOFGA's Farmer to Farmer Conference
Saturday, November 2 to Monday, November 4
Point Lookout Resort, Northport
  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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Eric Sideman's Pest Report for September 13, 2013

MOFGA Organic Crop Specialist Eric Sideman will be at the Common Ground Fair next weekend, and all three days he will host a question and answer session about pests and other growing issues. Mark Hutton (vegetable specialist with the University of Maine) will join him. It will happen Friday, Saturday and Sunday (September 20, 21 and 23) at 10:00 a.m. in the MOFGA Tent.

Sweet Potato Harvest and Storage

Sweet potato acreage is steadily increasing in New England as it becomes clear that this crop can yield well, store well, and has a strong market. Sweet potato harvest and storage needs differ from other common New England root crops. Once harvest is completed - generally by early to mid-October - curing and storage issues continue to be important.
Read the report.

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The Organic Sprout Late Summer edition is out!

This issue is filled with great content focusing on livestock and includes articles on parasite control, sprouted grain systems, organic kelp and the growing number of MOFGA certified producers, plus much more. You can read it now right here (PDF).

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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. 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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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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Call for Volunteers!

MOFGA could use a hand with various landscaping projects starting now and up to the Fair. Anyone interested should contact Volunteer Coordinator Anna Libby - Or register for a set-up shift on our online registration system.

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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.

October 13


to Benefit MOFGA!

2nd Annual
Fore Street Restaurant/
Dandelion Spring-Straw Farm Dinner



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 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 workshop series has something for you. Workshops are held every few days at locations throughout Vermont.

Sept. 14 - Belfast Co-op-sponsored tour of MOFGA certified organic Rolling Acres Farm in Monroe. 1 to 3:30 p.m. Josh Oxley grows a wide variety of organic vegetables, flowers and herbs for sale at the Belfast and Rockland farmers' markets, the Belfast Co-op and Fresh Off the Farm. Transportation provided from the Co-op by Waldo CAP. $10 pre-registration required; limited seating. Reserve your seat at any register at the Co-op, or call (207) 338-2532 with a credit card.

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.

September 28 - 2nd Annual Goat and Sheep Sale.
7 a.m. check-in, 1:00 p.m. sale. Somerset Auction Co., 174 Skowhegan Rd., Fairfield. Sponsored by the Boer Goat Breeders of Maine. Information: Nate Philbrick 207-557-5180 or Angie Philbrick 207-462-3361.

September 28 - Unity Hike. Join the Waldo County Trails Coalition for a hike on Saturday, from 10 a.m. to about noon. For more information, contact Buck O'Herin,, or visit

September 28 - First Annual Maine Chicken Coop Tour.
Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Self-guided tour will showcase an array of backyard chicken coops that display a variety of construction designs and materials, from recycled to custom designed coops. The tour is for anyone planning to start their own backyard flock, and/or curious about why keeping backyard chickens is so popular. It is free to attend and open to the public. Locations will be posted on the tour's Facebook page and Delicious Musings. For more information please email

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.

October 27 - Great Maine Apple Day
Common Ground Education Center, Unity

November 2 to 4 - Farmer to Farmer Conference.
Saturday to Monday, Point Lookout Resort, Northport, Maine. Details.

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.

November 16 and 17 - City of Bangor's Maine Harvest Festival. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Cross Insurance Center, Bangor. Includes sampling and the chance to purchase from more than 125 Maine farmers and producers, hourly cooking demonstrations with Maine chefs and celebrities, sampling from Maine wineries, breweries and distilleries, live music from Maine musicians, and a presentation on Maine barns by author and builder, Don Perkins. Visit the MOFGA booth at the Festival! Website.

November 21 - Negotiation and Conflict Management Skills for Farmers and Landowners. 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Presented by the Maine Agricultural Mediation Program, administered through Volunteers of America Northern New England, and co-sponsored by MOFGA, Land for Good and Maine Farmland Trust. Understand the negotiation process and techniques and skills to build a stronger negotiation base. Registration is limited and will close November 13. Registration.

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


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