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"One hears a lot about the rules of good husbandry; there is only one — leave the land far better than you found it."
- George Henderson, The Farming Ladder
  You are here:  PublicationsBulletin BoardJuly 12 2013   
  

 

 

MAINE ORGANIC FARMERS AND GARDENERS ASSOCIATION

Bulletin Board

JULY 12, 2013

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Heather Spalding, MOFGA's interim executive director, presents a MOFGA mug to Rep. Lance Harvell who, with Rep. Chris Johnson, was a lead sponsor of LD 718, An Act To Protect Maine Food Consumers' Right To Know about Genetically Engineered Food.

Governor LePage Pledges Support For GMO Labeling!

MOFGA applauds Governor Paul LePage's July 9 announcement that he supports LD 718 - An Act To Protect Maine Food Consumers' Right To Know about Genetically Engineered Food. The bill was recently enacted in the Maine Legislature, with overwhelming support in both the House and Senate, and Governor LePage has promised to sign the bill in January, when the Legislature convenes for the second session.

In a letter sent to Representative Lance Harvell (R-Farmington) and Senator Chris Johnson (D-Lincoln County), lead sponsors of the bill, Governor LePage stated, "I deeply appreciate the strong public sentiment behind the bill and agree that consumers should have the right to know what is in their food. Additionally, my support for the bill is based in large part on the requirement in the bill that similar legislation be enacted and passed in other contiguous states."

LD 718 marks the fifth attempt in Maine to pass legislation requiring labeling of GMO foods. In 1993, MOFGA proposed the first state legislation for mandatory labeling and campaigned vigorously in three subsequent state labeling initiatives.

Read more.

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 Alice Percy
Alice Percy of Treble Ridge Farm, at the Belfast Farmers' Market.
Know Your Organic Producers!

Meet Alice Percy, who owns Treble Ridge Farm in Whitefield with her husband, Rufus Percy. Treble Ridge raises MOFGA certified organic vegetables, wheat, seeds and meat, which they sell through the Sheepscot Valley Multi-Farm CSA, the Common Ground Country Fair, the Camden, Belfast and Portland Farmers' Markets, Natural Food Stores (Royal River, Rising Tide, Sheepscot General), from their farm (by appointment), to Fore Street restaurant and Salt Water Farm Cafe, at Farmers Gate market, and through Crown of Maine. Pigs at Treble Ridge enjoy eating home-grown, organic grains. This is truly a diversified farm and family, with three young sons, and with grandparents nearby. Alice also serves on MOFGA's board of directors. Find out more at www.trebleridgefarm.com.

Please support MOFGA certified organic farmers and producers!

Search for local certified-organic food on MOFGA.net

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Volunteer Projects at the Common Ground Education Center

We would love to have a few volunteers to work on sanding and refinishing the conference table in our main office. Other 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: http://www.VolunteerMatters.com/login/mofga. Or, if you'd like to learn more about volunteering at the Fair, just visit our webpage on MOFGA.org for more information. Please contact Anna Libby, MOFGA's Volunteer Coordinator, at alibby@mofga.org with any questions you may have. We'll see you at the Fair!

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Andy McEvoy
Andy McEvoy (in the gatehouse) talking about low-impact forestry to MOFGA apprentices and others during a Farm Training Project workshop.
Bambi Jones of Hidden Valley Nature Center
Bambi Jones of Hidden Valley Nature Center described thinning the forest and pruning lower branches from white pines.
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. This week's tour took place at Hidden Valley Nature Center in Jefferson (hvnc.org), where director Andy McEvoy (also MOFGA's low-impact forestry coordinator) toured the forest with apprentices and talked about forest management. A side trip to a bog, complete with a boardwalk, was an added treat.

Coming up next week: Tuesday, July 16, 5 p.m. - John Bunker Homestead Tour, Super Chilly Farm, Palermo. Anyone who's perused the Fedco Trees catalog has gotten a glimpse of John Bunker’s encyclopedic knowledge of and unbridled enthusiasm for the diversity of Maine's agricultural flora. John, along with his partner, Cammy Watts, also operates Super Chilly Farm in Palermo. They tend about 100 fruit trees, extensive small-scale vegetable gardens, small fruits and many ornamentals. They grow most of their own food, storing much of it in their stone root cellar. The orchard features dozens of rare and historic varieties, many originating in Maine. Gardening is done entirely with hand tools. John will give a tour of their off-the-grid, owner-built home, various apprentice log cabins and out buildings, gardens, orchard and nursery. There will be plenty of time for questions about farming and homesteading on a small scale. Come see what you can do over the course of 40 years with marginal land and a lot of homemade compost. Potluck after tour. More information.


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


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From the Maine Department of Agriculture
Merging Nursery and Greenhouse Pesticide Applicator Licenses
In order to streamline the pesticide licensing exam process, the Board of Pesticides Control is considering merging the Greenhouse and Nursery pesticide exams and study guides into one category. This idea will be presented at the next Board meeting on July 26 (to be held at MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center). Currently very few growers have taken the nursery exam; most opt to take the Greenhouse exam. Growers with questions, comments or concerns about merging these two exams should contact Gary.Fish@maine.gov.

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From UMaine Cooperative Extension
Fruit Growers Alert: Spotted Wing Drosophila Has Been Found In Maine!
The insect was found in traps in Dresden, Whitefield and Winterport recently. More information from UMaine and Eric Sideman's Pest Report.


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Spotted wing drosophila on cracked tomato
Spotted wing drosophila on a cracked tomato.


Eric Sideman's Pest Report for July 11: Spotted wing drosophila and late blight.

Eric's major concern is the number of leafhoppers seen on beans, potatoes and other crops. The June 6 Pest Report includes details on leafhoppers.

Sign up to receive emailed reports as they are issued.


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Register for MOFGA's Fall Events!

Register via the MOFGA Store or by calling the office.

  Low Impact Forestry Workshop
November 14 to 17, Thursday to Sunday

Common Ground Education Center, Unity
Three options for participation
  MOFGA's Chainsaw Safety Workshop, Level I
November 15 & 16 - Friday & Saturday
- Full; wait list only
Common Ground Education Center, Unity
  Kitchen Licensing Workshop
December 4, Wednesday
Common Ground Education Center, Unity
Includes a tour of MOFGA's Common Kitchen


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MOFGA Job Opening: Events Coordinator

The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association has an immediate opening for a half-time Events Coordinator.

The Events Coordinator will work with Educational Programs, Agricultural Services, and other MOFGA staff and volunteers as appropriate to manage logistics for MOFGA's educational meetings, programs, and events. This position is currently funded for 20 hours per week on average. Intensity of schedule will vary and will be dictated by seasonal demands of MOFGA's events calendar, with significant pulses in the fall and spring of the year. Some availability on nights and weekends is required.

To apply, submit a cover letter, resume, brief writing sample, and list of three professional references in portable document format (pdf) via email to Andrew Marshall: amarshall@mofga.org. Review of applications will begin July 22, and we expect to fill the position by August 1.

More information and full job description.

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Help us distribute Organic Maine!


Maine's all-organic guide to buying local foods.

Look for the 2013 edition of MOFGA's Organic Maine! at natural food stores, farms and other outlets!

If you would like to help distribute copies, please email your request to mofga@mofga.org or call 207-568-4142.

Thank you!


 


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: james.kovaleski@gmail.com

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 13 - Pasture Walk,
Colyer Brook Farm 17 Megquier Rd., Gray. FMI: dianes@mofga.org or Richard.kersbergen@maine.edu or call 207-342-5971.

July 13 - The next organized hike of the Waldo County Trails Coalition
will take place at 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 13, starting at the trail entrance in MOFGA's field on Crosby Brook Road in Unity, next to Northern Solstice Alpaca Farm, and ending on Quaker Hill Road. A shuttle will be available at Quaker Hill Road to transport people back to MOFGA at the end of the hike. We'll likely wade across a shallow, narrow part of Sandy Stream near the beginning of the hike. Sebasticook Regional Land Trust has a paddle that day from 9 to 11 a.m., so whether you're up for a biathlon or just a pleasant hike, please join us!

July 13 - Craft Beer at Maine State Pier - MOFGA Business Members will be there! Saturday, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Maine State Pier in Portland. Ticket includes beverages, delicious food and a commemorative tasting glass. Currently 24 breweries are participating, with more than 85 beer selections. Details at mainebrewersguild.org/

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 hvnc.org, or contact Andy at andy@hvnc.org or 200-8840. The workshop is co-sponsored by Oak Grove School Foundation, MOFGA, Hancock Lumber, and Wood-Mizer.

July 21 - Open Farm Day.
80 locations statewide. Website.

July 21 - Sagadahoc MOFGA: Open Farm Day tour in group(s)
Visit two or three farms in close proximity. Coordinated by George Sergeant. For information, contact Sally Fesler: fesler11@gmail.com.

July 23 - Pasture Management: Weed Control and Old Field Restoration.
Tues., 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., Knox-Lincoln Extension, 377 Manktown Rd, Waldoboro. Presenter: Rick Kersbergen, Waldo County Extension Educator. Is your pasture or hayfield overrun with buttercup and/or smooth bedstraw? Do you have old fields that you would like to bring back? Chemical and non-chemical methods will be discussed. Program is free, but register at 596-2040 or contact Hildy Ellis, hildy@knox-lincoln.org.

July 24 - Grist Mill Tour at Somerset Grist Mill. Weds., 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., 42 Court St., Skowhegan, included in the registration fee for the Kneading Conference. Maine Grains sells to the wholesale market and the Pickup CSA, providing organic stone-milled grains, locally grown and traditionally milled. www.mainegrains.com.

July 25 and 26 - 2013 Kneading Conference.
Thurs. and Fri., Skowhegan.
$300.

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.

July 27 - Grist Mill Tour at Somerset Grist Mill. Sat., 8:30 a.m. to 9:15 a.m., 42 Court St., Skowhegan, included in the registration fee for the Kneading Conference.

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 26 - Maine Board of Pesticides Control meeting. MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center, Unity. www.maine.gov/agriculture/pesticides/about/index.shtml#meeting


MOFGA's Low Impact Forestry Level II Workshop, 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.

Bud grafting
Bud grafting. Source.

MOFGA's Organic Orcharding Workshop: Bud Grafting
July 27, Thorndike. $30.
Bud grafting involves cutting out a vegetative bud and a small section of the stem tissue attached to the bud and inserting it into a cut section of bark in another tree. Learn this method of propagating fruit trees and many ornamentals. Taught by Delton Curtis of Curtis Pond Nursery, grafter for FEDCO trees. Course ($30) will run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Preregister.

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 pamela.stpeter@maine.edu or 207-933-2100 to preregister. Website.

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. A diverse team of volunteers from public, private, profit and non-profit organizations created this educational project to showcase the possibilities for attractive, low-input, and low-impact gardening. Tour guide Gary Fish holds a B.S. in Forest and Wildlife Management from the University of Maine, College of Forest Resources and is the Manager of Pesticide Programs at the Maine Board of Pesticides Control. Hosted by Ecological Landscaping Association. Registrations are limited - use this link to register online. More information: ela.info@comcast.net 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.

August 21 - Four Season Forward - Producing Year-Round Crops Using High Tunnels, Low Tunnels and Quickhoops, with Clara Coleman of Four Season Farm Consulting.
Four-season production is a collection of innovative growing techniques that use season-extension products such as coldframes, Quickhoops, low tunnels and stationary and movable high tunnels. These techniques can be used to develop a new business on small acreage or to add an additional business to an existing farm that allows a farm to thrive all year. Four-season production is a management intensive process that relies on understanding appropriate crop selection, protected cultivation basics, careful succession planning and effective record keeping. Clara will provide in-depth information on four-season production practices, demonstrate best high tunnel uses and answer questions during this six-hour workshop. Co-sponsored by MOFGA and Southern Aroostook Soil and Water Conservation District. Location and time TBD. Information.

Cheryl Wixson
Cheryl Wixson

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, alibby@mofga.org.

Oct. 28 through Nov. 25, Mondays, 6 to 8 p.m. - Growing Winter Greens in the Greenhouse: A Simplified Approach.
Offered through Bangor Adult Education, Bangor High School. Subject to meeting minimum enrollment. This class, taught by MOFGA member Michael Zuck, will discuss in detail a new technique for organically producing lettuce, spinach, arugula, kale and Asian greens in sub-irrigated pots in a lightly heated winter greenhouse. The growing system has been developed at the former Everlasting Farm in Bangor and allows for continuous production of multiple crops over a 20-week season starting in mid-October. Careful attention to each detail of the growing system will be paid, and the fundamentals of sustainable greenhouse operation will be incorporated into the class. The final class will be a field trip to see the greens-growing operation in full swing. Details.

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

 

 

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