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- Frances Moore Lappé
  You are here:  PublicationsBulletin BoardJune 14 2013   
  

 

 

MAINE ORGANIC FARMERS AND GARDENERS ASSOCIATION

Bulletin Board

JUNE 14, 2013

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Farm & Homestead Day at MOFGA - Saturday, June 15
9 a.m. to 3 p.m., MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center
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! Information and schedule of workshops.

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June 29, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. $35.
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. This event is cosponsored by MOFGA and the Portland Resilience Hub. For more information, contact Emily Horton at events@mofga.org.


Registration details.

MOFGA's Organic Orcharding Workshop: Bud Grafting
July 27, Thorndike. $30.
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.

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Registration for MOFGA's Fall Events is Now Open!

Register via the MOFGA Store or by calling the office.

  Nose to Tail Pork Processing Workshop
October 12 to 14, Saturday to Monday
MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center
  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

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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Remembering Judith Linda McMahon
From Village Soup, June 14, 2013
Judith Linda McMahon died on Sunday, June 2, in her home in Swanville with birds singing their evening songs and the poplar leaves rustling. She was surrounded by her beloved daughters Anna and Maya, twin sister Janet, and nieces Josie and Sophie. Judy's work took many forms - she tended a sheep and goat herd at Smokey House in Vermont, researched Maine island ecology for the Forest Service, was the assistant director of the Landing School in Kennebunkport, tended gardens at Johnny's Selected Seeds, was a graphic designer in Belfast, and created illustrations for children's stories. But her greatest passion was music. She touched many lives as a violin teacher and performer in the Belfast area, where she had a studio for the past decade. Playing music with family and friends was one of her greatest joys. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, P.O. Box 170, Unity, Maine 04988.

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Volunteer Registration for the Common Ground Country Fair is Now Open

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We support LD 718, An Act To Protect Maine Food Consumers' Right To Know about Genetically Engineered Food. Please take the time to reach out to your state representatives and senators. You can find their contact information here:
http://www.maine.gov/legis/house/townlist.htm

GMO Labeling Bill Wins Overwhelming Support in the Maine House and Senate


After the Maine House voted 141 to 4 in support of LD 718, the Maine Senate followed suit with a unanimous vote in favor! The legislation now proceeds to several procedural votes and the Governor's desk.

MOFGA certified organic grower Jim Gerritsen, who has been one of the leaders on this issue, discusses this bill eloquently on RTAmerica, and MOFGA's interim executive director, Heather Spalding, was quoted in the New York Daily News: "This is a huge step forward," Heather Spalding, interim director of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Associate, told the Daily News. "This bill has broad appeal, and is about consumers' right to know what's in their food."

Senate passes bill to label genetically modified food
Kennebec Journal, June 12, 2013

Senate follows House in strong support of GMO food labeling
Bangor Daily News, June 12, 2013

GMO labeling bill clears legislative hurdle, but industry fight foreseen
Kennebec Journal, June 13, 2013

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

Read more.

Our GMO-Right to Know Resources page on mofga.org

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Kiwihill Farm in Sidney

Visit a farm or garden this summer!

MOFGA lists many farms and gardens that are open for visitors this summer in its annual "Daytripping" feature in The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener. Some are open almost daily; others have tours at specific times. Find out how to save seeds, grow kiwis or raise endangered heritage breeds of livestock. Next up: June 23, Darthia Farm, Gouldsboro.






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

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Apprentices sharing a potluck meal after the farm tour and talk at Morning Dew Farm in Newcastle.

MOFGA's Farm Training Project Workshops


Dozens of MOFGA apprentices and others continue to flock to MOFGA's Farm Training Project farms for tours and, usually, potluck suppers this summer. Host farmers and MOFGA staff explore a different topic in depth at the tours. This week, for example, MOFGA's organic marketing coordinator Melissa White Pillsbury and certified organic farmers Brady Hatch and Brendan McQillen talked about marketing at Morning Dew Farm in Newcastle.

Coming up next week: Ecological Weed Management, Wednesday, June 19, 5 p.m. at University of Maine Rogers Farm, Orono; Thursday, June 20, 5 p.m. at Crystal Spring Farm, Brunswick.
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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Landscape Coordinator Position Available
at MOFGA's Education Center in Unity


MOFGA is seeking a year-round part-time Landscape Coordinator to manage the grounds and gardens at the Common Ground Education Center in Unity. This includes managing the perennial gardens, annual gardens, shade trees, composting operation, shrubs, and fields, as well as a variety of tasks dealing with operations and maintenance. Must be familiar with farm equipment operation, have the strength to lift 70 pounds, have extensive knowledge of organic farming and gardening techniques, and have the ability to work well independently, as well as with staff, volunteers, and the public.

The candidate will also assist with setup, clean up and tasks during the Common Ground Country Fair, when additional work hours will be required. For a complete job description please email your request to vernon@mofga.org or go to MOFGA.org. To apply, please send resume along with a cover letter and three references to Vernon LeCount, 294 Crosby Brook Rd. Unity, ME 04988 or email these documents to vernon@mofga.org. Deadline for applications is June 24 at 9:00 am.

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Anna Mueller Our Summer Intern
Anna Mueller, a student at Unity College, will spend the summer documenting our New Farmer educational programs through photos & video. She will also help promote our MOFGA Apprentice program on Facebook and the Greenhorns blog. Other work will include marketing for the Fair and development of media contacts. Welcome Anna!


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Next week is National Pollinator Week

Pollinator Week was initiated and is managed by the Pollinator Partnership (www.pollinator.org). Six years ago the U.S. Senate unanimously approved and designated a week in June as "National Pollinator Week" in order to address the urgent issue of declining pollinator populations. Pollinator Week is now an international celebration of the valuable ecosystem services provided by bees, birds, butterflies, bats and beetles. Here are two articles from The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener on pollinators:

Bee-Friendly Farming Increases Crop Pollination, by Sue Smith-Heavenrich

Growing Medicinal Herbs and Flowers for the Plant Pollinators, by Deb Soule


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Theresa Gaffney
Know Your Farmers!

Meet Theresa Gaffney, shown here on a rainy Saturday in May at the Orono Farmers' Market. Theresa and her husband, Tom, grow blueberries at Highland Blueberry Farm in Stockton Springs. They also make a unique tea and a snack called Blueberry Barque, loaded with health-boosting antioxidants, from their blueberries and the leaves of their blueberry plants. Now that's Maine ingenuity! And it's all MOFGA certified organic. Check out their website: www.organicblueberrytea.com/. Little known fact: Theresa was at the Kiss concert at the Bangor Auditorium in 1976!

Please support MOFGA certified organic farmers!

Search for local certified-organic food on MOFGA.net

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Striped cucumber beetles


MOFGA Pest Reports Online

Compiled by Eric Sideman, PhD, MOFGA's Organic Crop Specialist

These are informative, timely reports of pests and diseases affecting crops and soils. Color photos provide additional details.

The June 12 report addresses striped cucumber beetles; early blight on tomato, and Onion thrips.

Read the report.

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Summer issue of The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener!


Learn about selling to wholesalers, managing sheep, sowing green manures in summer, growing and cooking with chufa, a permaculture garden in Bar Harbor, and much more.

The newspaper is sent to MOFGA members, is available at news stands in Maine, and is posted on MOFGA.org.

 


Events in Maine and Beyond - Mark Your Calendar!

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! Information and schedule of workshops.

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. Website.

June 19 - 2013 Poultry Processing Workshop.
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; mofga@mofga.org.

June 22 - Workshop on Building Poultry Travel Cages.
Presented by UMaine Cooperative Extension and the Maine Poultry Growers Association (MPGA). Participants will build wire poultry travel cages, and UMaine Extension veterinarian Dr. Anne Lichtenwalner will talk about poultry health. 9 a.m. to noon, UMaine Extension Cumberland County office, 75 Clearwater Drive, Suite 104, Falmouth. Fee: $30 per person; $25 for MPGA members. Information: UMaine Extension Cumberland County office, 207-781-6099 or 1-800-287-1471 (in Maine only). Registration.

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. Co-sponsored by MOFGA and the Portland Resilience Hub. For more information, contact Emily Horton at events@mofga.org. $35. Registration.

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 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 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.

MOFGA's Organic Orcharding Workshop: Bud Grafting
July 27, Thorndike. $30. 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.

August 3 - 4th Annual Northeast USA Rice Conference, Akaogi Farm, Westminster West, Vermont.
Focus on rice farming in the Northeast, including seed saving, data collection, wildlife conservation and small-scale rice processing equipment. Registration (by July 26): $50/person, $60/couple, $40/student - includes lunch and copy of 2012 conference proceedings. Register early; space is limited. To register, provide your name, e-mail address, and a check made out to Mia Murphy, 351 Longley Road, Groton, MA 01450. Contact Mia at makaogi@gmail.com.

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.

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

 

 

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