"In the long run, soil is more important than oil."
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  You are here:  PublicationsBulletin Board ArchiveMOFGA Bulletin Board - 2017January 5 2017   



Bulletin Board

JANUARY 5, 2017

Balsam fir boughs
Organic Gardening Tip:
Recycle Your Christmas Tree  
Real Christmas trees can serve several purposes once they're taken down and removed from the house. If the snow is deep enough, you can stick the tree in the snow near a bird feeder to shelter birds as they flit to and from the feeder. If you have the time, you can cut (or shake) off the dried needles and make a balsam sachet. You can cut the branches off and mulch perennials with them. Even if you just let the tree rot in your woods or in an out-of-the-way place in your yard, it will continue to sequester some carbon and will add organic matter to the soil over time.
 WERU- - - -

Common Ground Radio This Friday, 10 a.m., WERU      

This month on MOFGA's Common Ground Radio show, host C.J. Walke of MOFGA will talk with members of the Maine Legal Food Hub, a project of the Conservation Law Foundation, and will discuss the services and programs the hub provides for farmers. Guests are Phelps Turner, coordinator of the Conservation Law Foundation's Legal Food Hub, and Beth Boepple of BCM Environmental & Land Law in Portland, Maine. Tune in to WERU this Friday at 10 a.m. (89.9 FM or weru.org) and the first Friday of every month for MOFGA's Common Ground Radio show.  
Putnam- - - -
Albert Pearce Putnam_ Jr.

Al Putnam

Condolences to the Family and Friends of Al Putnam       

Albert Pearce Putnam, Jr., died at his Fiddlehead Farm home in New Limerick on December 31, 2016. A longtime member and supporter of MOFGA as well as an organic farmer, Al also was a general contractor and community leader. The family invites friends to call and celebrate Al's life on Saturday, January 7, 2017, 1 - 3 p.m. at the Houlton Lodge of Elks, 86 Main Street, in Houlton. A reception will follow the 3 p.m. memorial service. Al proudly supported MOFGA. Interested persons may continue his support by sending donations in his name to MOFGA, P.O. Box 170, Unity, Maine 04988 or at http://tinyurl.com/MOFGADONATION. Al's obituary appears at http://obituaries.bangordailynews.com/story/albert-putnam-861606102.  
MCS- - - -

Employment Opportunity 
MOFGA Certification Services: Inspector and Material Reviewer 

MOFGA Certification Services is currently seeking a qualified candidate to fill our full time Inspector and Material Reviewer position. Interested applicants can apply via email to certification@mofga.org. Please provide a cover letter and resume. Read the full job description on MOFGA.org.   
Trades-Show- - - -

MOFGA Day at the Maine Agricultural Trades Show     
Tuesday, January 10, 2017
Augusta Civic Center
76 Community Drive

Each year at Maine's Agricultural Trades Show, MOFGA offers a series of presentations and discussion groups covering a wide range of sustainable agriculture subjects. All presentations are free and open to the public. Presentations are held in the Washington/York Room and the Piscataquis/Sagadahoc Room. There is no pre-registration for the day's events. Presentation schedule on MOFGA.org

MOFGA also has an information exhibit during all three days of the Trades Show. Staff and committee members are available to answer questions about MOFGA's programs.

MOFGA members are encouraged to attend the Association's Annual Meeting, which will be held from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. in the Piscataquis/Sagadahoc Room.   
Fair- - - -

Common Ground Country Fair Accepting Entertainment Applications      

The Fair features a wide variety of live music and performances from artists with Maine roots. Are you interested, or do you know a performing artist or a group that would be great for the 41st Common Ground Country Fair? If so, please complete (or have them complete) our online interest form, also available on our Entertainment webpage. If you need assistance or have questions, please contact Eleanor at 568-4142 or commonground@mofga.org.  
Kiwi- - - -

Call to Action for Growing Hardy Kiwi in Mass.       

The Massachusetts Invasive Plant Advisory Group (MIPAG) has voted to designate a locally-produced species of kiwifruit (Actinidia arguta; a.k.a. the kiwiberry) as "likely invasive" in the state and has petitioned to have it added to the Mass. Department of Agricultural Resources (MADR) statewide prohibited plant list - on questionable grounds, according to Dr. Iago Hale, assistant professor of specialty crop improvement at the  University of New Hampshire. Such an unprecedented listing of a commercialized fruit crop will, says Hale, prohibit Massachusetts farmers from growing kiwiberries, a low-input perennial specialty crop with a profit value exceeding $20,000/acre; and will deny Massachusetts residents the ability to buy kiwiberries from their grocery stores and farmers' markets, even if the berries are produced out of state. Much of the evidence provided by MIPAG in this case is anecdotal or speculative, says Hale, adding that in many instances the claims are false. Comments on this proposed listing are due to MADR by 5 p.m. on January 10. For more, please see http://www.unh.edu/halelab/kiwiberry/MIPAG_Call_to_Action_Jan1.pdf.  
JP- - - -

January 16 Deadline to Apply for MOFGA Journeyperson Program      

The MOFGA Journeyperson Program provides hands-on support, training and mentorship for people who are serious about pursuing careers in organic farming in Maine. MOFGA seeks to support new farmers who are committed to contributing to both the Maine food system and their local community. MOFGA offers participants in the Journeyperson Program a two-year package of support, including mentorship, technical support, free access to more than 52 educational workshops, an educational stipend, access to MOFGA Farm Beginnings (a whole-farm planning curriculum), discounts on seeds and supplies and assistance and support for land access and tenure issues through partnerships with Maine Farmland Trust and Land For Good. Applications are due January 16. Contact education@mofga.org or 568-4142 with questions.  
Census- - - -

Census of Agriculture Coming  

The USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is preparing to conduct the 2017 Census of Agriculture - the leading source of facts and figures about American agriculture. Conducted every five years, the census provides a detailed picture of U.S. farms and ranches and the people who operate them. It is the only source of uniform, comprehensive agricultural data for every U.S. state and county. If you have never received a Census of Agriculture or a survey questionnaire from NASS, please give NASS your contact information at https://www.agcounts.usda.gov/cgi-bin/counts/. Note that an operation that sold or normally would have sold $1,000 or more of agricultural products in a year is considered a farm by the Census of Agriculture definition.
NRCS- - - -

NRCS Seeks FY 2017 Proposals for Grants to Improve Conservation in Maine   
Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) promote the development and adoption of innovative conservation technologies and approaches while leveraging federal investment in environmental enhancement and protection, in conjunction with agricultural production. Funds for single- or multi-year projects, not to exceed three years, will be awarded through a statewide competitive grant process. The application period for the 2017 Conservation Innovation Grants ends on February 15, 2017. At least 50 percent of the total cost of CIG projects must come from non-federal matching funds. FMI: Christopher Jones, assistant state conservationist for special projects, 207-990-9563 or chris.jones@me.usda.gov or on www.nrcs.usda.gov  
OFLF- - - -

MOFGA Accepting Applications for the Spring 2017 Organic Farmer Loan Fund    
Loans are intended to help organic farmers and processors working on establishing a credit history for their businesses. The loan fund will provide loans to small and medium-sized businesses seeking to expand or enhance their farm or processing operations through business planning, marketing, aggregation, or other business enhancement. Funds in this program may also be used for working capital or equipment purchases. Loans from the Organic Farmer Loan Fund are in the range of $2,000 to $20,000. Applications must be postmarked by Friday, March 31, 2017. If you would like help completing a loan application, please contact the MOFGA office at (207) 568-4142, or email loanfund@mofga.org. Read more on MOFGA.org. 
Hemp- - - -

State Accepting Applications to Grow Industrial Hemp in 2017     
The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry is accepting applications to grow industrial hemp for the 2017 growing season. Applications are on the state's industrial hemp website http://www.maine.gov/dacf/php/hemp/index.shtml and are due by April 1. Despite the recent referendum that legalized recreational marijuana, the licensing and THC testing requirements for growing industrial hemp remain unchanged. FMI: Gary Fish, 207-287-7545, gary.fish@maine.gov, or https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/MEDACF/bulletins/17cea2a.
EventsEvents in Maine and Beyond - Mark Your Calendar!

January 10 - MOFGA Day at the Maine Agricultural Trades Show. Tuesday, Maine Civic Center, Augusta. MOFGA offers presentations and discussion groups covering a wide range of sustainable agriculture subjects. Presentations are free and open to the public, and are held in the Washington/York Room, the Piscataquis/Sagadahoc Room, and the Oxford Room. No pre-registration required. See the schedule of presentations on MOFGA.org. MOFGA members are encouraged to attend the Association's Annual Meeting, held from 1:30 to 3:00 in the Piscataquis/Sagadahoc Room. MOFGA also has an information exhibit during all three days of the Trades Show (Jan. 10-12).

January 10-12 - Maine Agricultural Trades Show, Augusta Civic Center. Information.

January 14 - NOFA Mass. Winter Conference. Worcester State University, Worcester, Mass. Information.

January 20-22 - NOFA New York Winter Conference, Saratoga Springs, New York. Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) of New York's 35th Annual Winter Conference will feature 17 tracks, a seed conference, a seed swap and more. This event will also host the Northeast Organic Seed Conference: Owning Our Seed. Keynote by CR Lawn on the objectives of creating an ethical, sustainable seed system and strategies for overcoming obstacles. Information.
January 25-28 - Ecological Farming Association 37th EcoFarm Conference, Pacific Grove, California. www.eco-farm.org/conference

January 28 - NOFA-NH Winter Conference, featuring keynote speaker Joel Salatin, Concord, N.H. http://www.nofanh.org/
January 31 - Landscape Heroes; Carbon, Water and Biodiversity. UMASS, Amherst. Information

February 2 - Informational meeting on Organic Certification - Damariscotta. Rising Tide, 323 Main Street, Damariscotta, Maine; (207) 563-1161. Join MOFGA staff for an overview of requirements and resources for producing and marketing crops and livestock under MOFGA's Organic Certification. Information.

February 7 - Informational meeting on Organic Certification - Bangor. Bangor Extension Office, 307 Maine Avenue, Bangor, Maine; (207) 942-7396. Join MOFGA staff for an overview of requirements and resources for producing and marketing crops and livestock under MOFGA's Organic Certification. Information.

February 9 - Informational meeting on Organic Certification - Norway. Fareshare Coop, 443 Main Street, Norway, Maine; (207) 743-9044. Join MOFGA staff for an overview of requirements and resources for producing and marketing crops and livestock under MOFGA's Organic Certification. Information.

February 11 - Beginning Beekeeping Workshop. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center in Unity. $50 for MOFGA members; $75 for non-members. Registration opens in January. Information.

March 4 - MOFGA's Spring Growth Conference. Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Common Ground Education Center, Unity. Keynote speaker Will Brinton and a panel of farmers focus on soil microbiology.


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