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Bulletin Board

MARCH 6 2014

MOFGA Mourns Loss of Joe Dupere
Joe Dupere

It is with great sadness that we inform members of the MOFGA family that our friend and colleague Joe Dupere passed away on Friday evening, February 28, after suffering a heart attack at his home in Unity, Maine. He was 59 years old.

Joe worked with MOFGA for nearly three years and most recently served as our database manager. He was highly regarded within the MOFGA family, revered for his easy-going manner and the friendly way he treated everyone with whom he worked.

Plans for a family and community gathering to honor and remember Joe's life are evolving, according to Kyle, and will be announced when they become final. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to MOFGA, PO Box 170 Unity, ME 04988. Funds will be put toward Farm & Homestead Day, Joe's favorite MOFGA event.
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Pruning Fruit Trees
Saturday, March 8 - 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Three locations: Blue Hill with Phillip Norris; Durham with Dave Colson and C.J. Walke; MOFGA Education Center, Unity, with John Bunker
Learn to prune fruit trees to encourage vigorous growth, heavy fruit set and quality fruit yield. Collection of scion wood and storage will also be discussed. Details.
Registration on the MOFGA Country Store.

Renovating Old Apple Trees 
Sunday, March 23, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Palermo, Maine, with Phil Norris and John Bunker
$30 per person
Focused on pruning and feeding very old non-productive fruit trees in order to bring them back into fruitfulness. Instructors will employ various methods to demonstrate proper pruning of trees that have been unmanaged. Participants should dress appropriately and bring their pruners, loppers, saws and a bag lunch. Registration.

Other Pruning Workshops   
MOFGA's orchard pruning workshops are coming up on March 8 and 23. Other pruning workshops are being held at the Witherle Memorial Library in Castine (March 26, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.); The Good Life Center in Brooksville (April 6, www.goodlife.org); and at several locations in New Hampshire, many close to Maine.

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Climate Solutions 2014 Expo and Summit
March 12, Augusta Civic Center

Growers, gardeners and other climate-concerned folks: The Climate Solutions 2014 Expo and Summit, a free daylong event cosponsored by MOFGA, will be held at the Augusta Civic Center on March 12 and will include 83 displays, 15 panel presentations, a plenary and summit. Visit the Climate Solutions website.  Volunteer to help; share your experience at a presentation (or as part of the policy summit: do register). FMI: beedyparker@gwi.net. We want a strong showing on the food-producing piece of this challenge. Please share this message!

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The Bahner farmily of Bahner Farm in Belmont

Know Your Organic Producers!

Meet Mike and Christa Bahner of Bahner Farm in Belmont. The Bahners raise MOFGA certified organic vegetables, herbs, cut flowers, seedlings, small fruits and popcorn. They sell through their CSA, from their Route 3 farm stand, at the Common Ground Country Fair, at farmers' markets (Bar Harbor, Camden, Northeast Harbor) and to the Belfast Co-op. Christa was a farmer-in-residence at MOFGA in 2008 and 2009. Facebook page.

Please support MOFGA certified organic farmers and producers!

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MOFGA's Discussion on Pigs
Cancelled - March 12
MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center, Unity

Contact Diane Schivera for information: dianes@mofga.org or 568-4142
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2014 Maine Grain Conference
Saturday, March 15, 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Agenda, fees and registration details.

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Grazing Conference - Register Now!
March 15, Kennebec Valley Community College, Fairfield 
The Maine Grass Farmers 10th Annual Grazing Conference has a fantastic line-up of speakers and topics:
- Economics of grass-based livestock systems (Forrest Pritchard)
- Balancing nutrition in forage-based systems
- Opportunities for multi-species grazing
- Double duty - cover crops as forages
- Developing successful grass-based sheep operations in the Northeast
- Understanding lime sources - what are your options for raising soil pH?
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MOFGA's 2014 Spring Growth Conference: Weed Control
Saturday, March 22, 2014 (snow date March 23)
All day - Common Ground Education Center, Unity 
MOFGA's 2014 Spring Growth Conference will focus on practical, whole-farm approaches to ecological weed management. The day will include presentations by MOFGA Agricultural Services Staff Eric Sideman and Dave Colson, who will leverage their 60+ years of combined experience farming and advising their fellow farmers to discuss weed ecology and physiology and highlight real world, proven strategies to manage weeds from a whole-farm, ecological perspective. The afternoon will feature a panel of farmers sharing their own approaches to weed management across different scales and using various technologies. We will conclude with ample time for discussion and idea-sharing, giving everyone in attendance a chance to share their strategies and get their questions answered. Registration includes lunch and resource materials.

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MOFGA's Organic Farming Short Course
Organic Farming: Principles and Practice
March 27 & April 3 - 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. both days
Viles Room, Viles Arboretum, 153 Hospital Street, Augusta
Our two-day course, Organic Farming: Principles and Practice, is designed to provide farmers with a strong background in soils, weeds and pest management, enabling them to make good management decisions. Instructor: Eric Sideman, MOFGA's Vegetable Specialist. Guest lecturers, including Whitefield farmer Ben Marcus, will also speak and join the discussion.

$75 individual; $30 additional person; $30 apprentice/student; FREE journeypersons; $45 per single-day registration. Course registration.
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Rural Living Day
March 29, Thorndike

Want to learn how to grow raspberries, blueberries or garlic; about MOFGA's exciting Maine Heritage Orchard; or how to make cheese? These and many other topics will be covered at Rural Living Day on March 29 at Mount View High School in Thorndike. Schedule and registration information.
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Seed Swap and Scion Exchange
March 30, Common Ground Education Center, Unity

Have you got seeds to share? Are you saving scions as you prune your fruit trees? Please join us for MOFGA's Seed Swap and Scion Exchange - March 30, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at MOFGA. (NOT March 23 as we mistakenly reported in one article in our newspaper!) Details.
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Maine Poultry Keepers School
April 5, Fairfield

Poultry can be a profitable enterprise for farm operations in Maine. You might already be producing eggs or meat birds or you might be thinking about it for 2014. The University of Maine Cooperative Extension has partnered with the Maine Poultry Growers Association, Maine Farm Bureau and MOFGA to present a day-long poultry keepers school on Saturday, April 5, 2014, at Kennebec Valley Community College in Fairfield. The school is designed for those in farming and will focus on nutrition, health and efficient management. However, many of the topics are also suitable for small-scale and backyard keepers. Schedule and registration information.
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Job Opening at MOFGA
MOFGA Certification Services LLC is seeking an operations assistant to provide administrative and clerical support for the certification director and for the certification program overall. The individual should be very comfortable and proficient using a variety of computer and Internet applications. Primary responsibilities include data entry and data management; responding to phone calls and emails; filing and organizing documents; and assisting with overall organization of the certification office. The job is located in an office on the MOFGA grounds in Unity, Maine. Full job description.
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Have You Started Any Exhibition Hall Entries?

Have you planted your onions and leeks yet? Will you be bringing celeriac to exhibit at this year's Common Ground Country Fair? Now would be a good time to start these seeds. Just a timely reminder from the Exhibition Hall crew! More information.
Photo: Celeriac 


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Common Ground Country Fair Booth Applications

Applications for a booth in the Youth Enterprise Zone and Youth Enterprise Transition Zone of the 2014 Common Ground Country Fair are now being accepted! The application is available as a printable PDF on www.mofga.org under the Fair Youth Enterprise Zone webpage. The deadline is March 25th. If you need assistance or have questions, please contact April at 568-4142 or commonground@mofga.org.
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2014 Common Ground Country Fair Poster

This year's 2014 Common Ground Country Fair poster features medicinal herbs. The artist, Kate Seaver, is a MOFGA journeyperson and co-operator of Up-Beet Farm in Porter, a MOFGA certified organic market garden. Her art highlights a celebrated aspect of the Common Ground Country Fair, which features more than 1,400 exhibitors and speakers. This year's Fair will occur on September 19, 20 and 21.
Every year MOFGA holds a poster contest and welcomes all Maine residents and MOFGA members to enter submissions. Guidelines and application for the 2015 Fair.
For more information, please contact Fair director April Boucher at commonground@mofga.org.
Courtney Williams


MOFGA Welcomes Next Common Ground Country Fair Coordinator 

Courtney Williams comes to us from Portland, Maine. She has many great experiences including working with AmeriCorps coordinating garden and service learning events. She is a graduate of Simmons College.

Courtney will be providing support and working with Fair Director April Boucher. Please join us in welcoming her to the team.


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Community Food Projects Grant Program Funding Available for FY 2014

The USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has a Request for Applications (RFA) for the 2014 round of the Community Food Project Grants Program (CFP). CFP is a competitive grant program supporting alleviation of food insecurity in low-income communities.

Eligible entities include public food program service providers, tribal organizations or private nonprofits meeting specific requirements. Applicants are encouraged to seek and create partnerships with other organizations. Approximately $5 million will be available for this funding cycle. Applications are due at 5 p.m. EST on March 31, 2014. Abstracts of past funded projects. More information.


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Maine NRCS Accepting Applications for Conservation Innovation Grants

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has up to $250,000 available in grants for new technology or approaches through Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG). NRCS is seeking grant applications from Maine farmers; landowners; state, tribal and local government entities; and non-governmental organizations to help solve Maine's natural resource challenges. Applications must be received at the NRCS Maine Headquarters by 4 p.m. on April 1, 2014. Details from Maine NRCS or from Grants.gov.


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National Young Farmers Coalition Releases "Vegetable Grower's Guide to Organic Certification"
This guide is meant for any vegetable farmer who embraces the philosophy of organic agriculture but isn't yet certified. It addresses some of the challenges to certification and helps you explore the decision for your own farm. From the history of certified organic, to the steps to certification, to tips on maximizing the benefits, this guide is designed to help you throughout the process. Free download.

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Farmers' Market in Bowdoinham Seeks Vendors
The Bowdoinham Farmers' Market is accepting new vendors. Our market is located at the Merrymeeting Grange, 27 Main St, Bowdoinham and is open on Saturdays from 8:30am to 12:30pm starting May 17th through October 18th. The fee is $150 for the season or $10 per table per week payable to Merrymeeting Grange. In order to participate in the FM vendors must provide: proof of product liability insurance, copy of their current vendors permit from the State of Maine, if organic, a copy of that certification, and for any prepared foods a copy of the State's certification of the kitchen in which the food product was prepared. Those interested in joining our market should contact Pete Galle at galle@gwi.net or 666-3936.
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Food, Farm, and Sustainability Institute at Hampshire College

FFSI is a hands-on 8-credit academic summer program at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. The program includes farm work, lectures, visiting speakers, field trips, and independent research projects. Not only do students learn about organic vegetable production and sustainable animal husbandry at the Hampshire Farm Center, which provides food to more than 200 farm share members, students also learn about microbiology through making cheese, fermentation through making sauerkraut, and cultural practices through growing heritage varieties and breeds. Website.

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CSA Raffle Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the MOFGA-El Salvador Sistering Committee's CSA raffle: Karen Whitman of Belfast (shown here with Betsy Garrold at the Belfast CSA Fair) and Mary Doherty of Ellsworth. Thanks to everyone for supporting the work of this committee, which partners with organizations like MOFGA in El Salvador to promote local, organic farming and gardening.

MOFGA - El Savador Sistering Committee Information
Events in Maine and Beyond - Mark Your Calendar!

March 7-8 - New England Meat Conference, Concord, N.H. Details.

March 8 - MOFGA's Organic Orcharding Workshop - Pruning Fruit Trees. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Blue Hill with Phillip Norris; Durham with Dave Colson and C.J. Walke; MOFGA, Unity, with John Bunker. Details. Registration.

March 8 - Washington County Food Summit. Snow date March 15. Information.

March 8 - Gawler Sisters concert.
7:30 p.m., Ã…arhus Gallery, Belfast. Fun-loving, locally grown, folk-singing [and organic farming] Gawler Sisters joined by philharmonic farmer & local singer songwriter Bennett Konesni. Rescheduled from Feb. 15 due to snow. Information.

March 10 - UM Extension Vegetable and Fruit School.
8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Seasons Conference Center, Portland. Registration $35.00, includes lunch. Preregistration is required by Feb. 21, 2014. Agenda and registration.

March 11 - UM Extension Vegetable and Fruit School. 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Bangor Motor Inn Conference Center, 701 Hogan Rd., Bangor. Registration $35.00, includes lunch. Preregistration is required by Feb. 21, 2014. Agenda and registration.
March 12 - Climate Solutions 2014 Expo and Summit, Augusta Civic Center.

CANCELLED - March 12 - Organic Livestock Management Discussion: Pigs. Contact Diane Schivera for information: dianes@mofga.org or 568-4142. Information.

CANCELLED - March 13 - MOFGA Organic Grower Meeting.

March 14 - Best Greenhouse Practices Workshop: Biocontrol. 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Wiswell Farm, Orrington. Featured speaker: Dr. Betsy Lamb, Ornamentals IPM Coordinator with the New York State IPM Program at Cornell University. Introduction to biocontrol plus new research-based information that experienced biocontrol practitioners will find useful. Registration $15 (includes lunch). FMI: Lois Stack, lois.stack@maine.edu

March 15 - Maine Grain Conference. Bangor. Details.

March 15 - Maine Grass Farmers Network Annual Grazing Conference.
Kennebec Valley Community College, Fairfield. Featured speaker: Forrest Pritchard owner of Smith Meadows and author of Gaining Ground, A Story of Farmers' Markets, Local Food and Saving the Family Farm. Conference workshops and registration materials.

March 19 - Slow Money Maine Gathering. 1-4 p.m., Viles Arboretum, Augusta. Presentations include one by Abby Sadauckas and Andrew Marshall on MOFGA's New Farmers Programs. Details.

March 19 - Free film screening of Food for Change. Space Gallery, 538 Congress St., Portland. Learn how to join The Portland Food Co-op. Light snacks from Local Sprouts and cash bar served from 6 to 7 with the film screening following at 7. The film focuses on food co-ops as a force for dynamic change in American culture. Information.

March 21 - Film: "Out Here." Queer Farmer Film Project. Friday, Machias. Details. Other showings in Rockland (March 22) and Portland (March 23).

March 22 (snow date March 23) - MOFGA's Spring Growth Conference: Weed Control. All day, MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center, Unity. Registration.

March 22
(snow date March 23) - Creating and Sustaining Vibrant Local Economies in Maine. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Randall Student Center, UMaine Augusta. Information.

March 23 - Maine Maple Sunday. Schedule.

March 23 - Renovating Old Apple Trees. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Palermo, Maine, with Phil Norris and John Bunker. Registration.

March 23 - Penobscot County MOFGA Chapter - Fruit tree, grape vine and elderberry pruning event at Argyle Acres.
Everyone can take home a free potted elderberry cutting. Contact Galen at 207-745-4797.

March 23
(snow date March 30) - The Belfast Co-op's Annual Meeting (1-6 p.m.) celebrates the United Nations declaration that 2014 is the International Year of The Family Farmer. Guest speaker Ted Quaday, MOFGA's executive director, will address the gathering from 4:30 to 5:30. Held at the Hutchinson Center, Belfast. Details.

March 26 - Pruning demonstration with C. J. Walke of MOFGA. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Witherle Memorial Library, Castine. Meet at the library at 10 a.m. for a demonstration of pruning followed by a presentation and talk at 12:30 (with time in between for a lunch break). Cosponsored by the library and the Castine Garden Club. Please call or visit the library to sign up for this program: refdesk@witherle.lib.me.us, 326-4375.

March 29 - Rural Living Day. 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Mt. View High School, 577 Mt. View Rd. (Rt. 220), Thorndike, Maine. Preregistration required by March 21. Details.


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