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  You are here:  PublicationsBulletin Board ArchiveNovember 15 2013   




Bulletin Board

NOVEMBER 14, 2013

Join / Renew Donate Volunteer Find Certified Organic Foods Contact Us

Juliana McLain Lind and Joel Lind of Broadwing Farm in Bremen.

Know Your Organic Producers!

Meet MOFGA certified organic farmers Joel Lind and Juliana McLain Lind who, with Bennett Collins, cultivate Broadwing Farm in Bremen. These farmers sell seed and culinary garlic (tested for diseases and nematodes) at the Common Ground Country Fair, at farmers' markets, to natural food stores and to other farmers. Their Harvest Moon Pizza business (www.harvestmoonpizza.com) has a large, mobile, wood-fired stone oven that they take to fairs, music festivals, weddings and private parties in order to bake pizza, seafood, bread, veggies and other foods - locally sourced. They are also in the process of opening a new restaurant in Waldoboro.

Please support MOFGA certified organic farmers and producers!

Search for local certified-organic food on MOFGA.net
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A Good Time to Renew Your MOFGA Membership

In 2014, MOFGA membership rates will increase slightly. This will be the first membership rate increase since 2004.

MOFGA membership comes with great benefits, including free admission to all three days of the Common Ground Country Fair; our quarterly newspaper; a free classified ad in each issue of the paper; weekly email updates highlighting MOFGA events, legislation and other local, regional news; technical farming and gardening advice; assistance with organic farm certification; and optional affiliation with local chapters.

We appreciate the generosity of MOFGA's supporters and hope you will join or renew at the highest level that fits your budget. We continue to offer a $20 Seeding membership for students, seniors on fixed incomes and other people who may need the reduced rate. Thank you for any support that you can give. We are happy to have you as a member!

Renew now at the MOFGA Country Store!

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New Design Sought for MOFGA-Certified Organic Logo

MOFGA wants to focus on ways to boost the impact of MOFGA-certified organic for both farmers and consumers. We want more producers to seek certification through MOFGA and the best way to do that is to strengthen the MOFGA-certified organic logo in the marketplace. Our logo needs to be the label that everyone recognizes and seeks out when buying food and farm products. By redesigning our certification logo we hope to improve overall marketing of the MOFGA-certified organic brand. Toward that end, a Request for Proposal (RFP) has been published, and we encourage our producers to share it far and wide. The deadline for proposals is Monday, 30 December 2013.

Access the full RFP here. (PDF download, 381k)

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We have the 2013 Common Ground Country Fair oxen design on T-shirts, nightshirts, tote bags, aprons and more ON SALE now through December 24th.

Share the Fair with friends and family members this holiday season and support MOFGA.

Visit the MOFGA Country Store today!

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Food Safety Modernization Act
Proposed Rules Threaten Maine Small Farms
Public Comments Due to FDA by Nov. 15

The FDA's proposed food safety rules could require weekly tests for irrigation water, may forbid rotating animals onto land used for vegetable production, and may classify farms that source other local produce to bolster their CSA shares as "facilities" - with prohibitively expensive food safety requirements.

Read about our comment template (Word, 66K).

MOFGA urges farmers and consumers to comment to the FDA by its November 15 deadline. Consider holding a letter-writing campaign in your community. Here are some options for submitting comments:

Comment online at http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=FDA-2011-N-0921-0199

E-mail comments to oira_submission@omb.eop.gov or fax comments to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB, Attn: FDA Desk Officer, FAX: 202-395-7285. All comments should be identified with the title "Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption."

Mail comments to Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

More information and links to national comment campaigns:
National Organic Coalition
The National Young Farmers Coalition
National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition

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Support MOFGA's Maine Heritage Orchard

MOFGA's Maine Heritage Orchard will be the home for Maine's apple and pear heritage collection and a site featuring innovative and sustainable orcharding practices. Sales of this beautiful 2014 Heritage Orchard Calendar will help support MOFGA and the orchard. The full-color photos of apples originating in Maine were taken by widely acclaimed Portland photographer Russell French and include Black Oxford, Gray Pearmain and others. $15. Available at MOFGA's Country Store.
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Low Impact Forestry Workshop
November 14 to 17, Thursday to Sunday
MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center, Unity - Three options for participation
Register via the
MOFGA Country Store or by calling the office.
Contact MOFGA 
Events Coordinator Grace Oedel for more information.

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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.

Details and tickets at the MOFGA Country Store.

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Peggy Smith
Dec. 7 & 8 - From Conflict to Connection: Fundamentals of Nonviolent Communication

Fundraiser for the MOFGA-El Salvador Sistering Committee
Learn to improve your relationship with yourself, your family, co-workers or community, with certified Nonviolent Communication Trainer Peggy Smith. In this workshop, you will gain skills for using daily conflicts to relate more authentically and compassionately - building trust in a multi-sensory learning experience that fosters safety, depth and fun. This event has a value of $140; as a fundraiser for MOFGA and two other environmental organizations, it is offered to the public by donation. Information and registration.

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MOFGA Bids Farewell to Melissa White Pillsbury and Andy McEvoy

Melissa, MOFGA’s former Organic Marketing Coordinator, has shifted her professional focus to her family business, Wooden Wonders, which creates fantastic playhouses fit for Bilbo Baggins himself. See www.wooden-wonders.com. Melissa started working at MOFGA in 2004, providing administrative assistance for the Fair and our educational programs. A trained economist, Melissa quickly developed an interest in helping MOFGA farmers market their goods. When funding became available for a marketing position at MOFGA, Melissa moved right into it and has done fabulous work for our community ever since. In addition to creating great new materials like our seasonal foods guides, Organic Maine directories, and price reports, Melissa developed a series of educational workshops, maintained a master list of community supported agriculture (CSA) operations and coordinated annual CSA fairs throughout Maine. Melissa put an enormous amount of effort into the development and organization of farmers’ markets around the state and helped develop Maine's Federation of Farmers' Markets. She represented MOFGA at Maine's Eat Local Foods Coalition. Melissa also helped create MOFGA's Organic Farmer Loan Fund and has been managing the program for several years. We all miss Melissa's creativity, brilliant mind, sense of humor and thoughtfulness and we wish her all the best with Wooden Wonders.

Andy, MOFGA's former Low Impact Forestry Coordinator, is the new Director of the beautiful Hidden Valley Nature Center in Jefferson. See www.hvnc.org. Andy had been a long-time volunteer with MOFGA's Low Impact Forestry Committee, and, in 2011, joined our staff to help coordinate logistics with our forestry events and committee activities. It was a huge help to have Andy in the office to provide administrative support for the amazing work of our forestry volunteers. MOFGA has worked closely with Hidden Valley for many years and we are thrilled that this full-time opportunity opened up for Andy. Andy's leadership at Hidden Valley will help us create new collaborative opportunities for Low Impact Forestry work in Maine. Congratulations Andy and thanks for not going too far away!

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Climate Solutions 2014: Expo, Rally and Summit – Save the Date!

On Wednesday, March 12, 2014, one dozen Maine organizations from nonprofit, education and business communities, including MOFGA, are mounting Climate Solutions 2014, a daylong event at the Augusta Civic Center, to highlight the response of Mainers to climate change. All manner of groups and individuals working on mitigation (reducing fossil fuel use and introducing alternatives) and adaptation (how to cope with these changes, present and future) are invited to have a table, take part in the workshops and discussions, and make recommendations for public policy.

Farmers and gardeners are important stakeholders in both mitigation and adaptation efforts. The Climate Solutions planners want to include programming to address key issues for organic and other growers - such as farm weatherization; locally owned renewable energy sources; water, pest and invasive species management and support for local foods. We want a strong agriculture and food presence at this event, so please mark your calendars and consider how you might participate!

For more information and to help make this happen, please contact Beedy Parker, beedyparker@gwi.net, 236-8732, or visit http://climatesolutionsme.org/.


Events in Maine and Beyond - Mark Your Calendar!

NOFA-New Hampshire Fall Series - A wide range of topics at workshops held throughout New Hampshire during the fall.

November 14 to 17 - MOFGA Low-Impact Forestry Workshops. MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center, Unity. For beginners and experienced people. Sustainable woodlot management, logging with animals and low-impact machinery. Details and registration.

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: www.heartofmaine.org, info@heartofmaine.org, 207-200-3603.

November 15 to 16 - MOFGA Chainsaw and Forestry Safety. MOFGA’s Common Ground Education Center, Unity. Level I: two days on basics of saw mechanics, operation, maintenance, safety; opportunity to learn and practice safe felling. Full: Wait list only.

November 16 - Sagadahoc MOFGA: Elizabeth Nilsson, Certified Nurse-Midwife/Holistic Health Coach, will talk about "Food as Medicine" which emphasizes organic and local foods. The focus is chronic disease treatment and prevention using food as medicine. 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., Community Room, Patten Free Library, 33 Summer Street, Bath. For information, contact Sally Fesler: fesler11@gmail.com.

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.

November 21 - Green Landscape Equipment and Green Zones.
3-5 p.m., The Holiday Inn, Boxborough, Mass. Presented by Dan Mabe, President of The GreenStation (Woodlawn, Calif.) Will include videos of green equipment used by municipalities, corporations, campuses and homeowners to achieve quieter, emission-free maintenance. Free. Registration.

November 21 - The Impact of Free Trade Agreements on the People of Maine.
7 p.m., Curtis Memorial Library, Brunswick. Rep. Sharon Treat, co-chair of Maine's Citizen Trade Policy Commission, will speak about how the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Trans-Atlantic Trade & Investment Partnership agreements are being negotiated in secret and what ordinary citizens can do to stop them from being fast tracked through Congress. The talk is free and open to the public.

December 2 - Deadline for Northeast SARE Farmer Grants.

December 3 - Volunteer Work Day at MOFGA.
9 a.m., Tuesday, MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center. Volunteers will work with Cheryl Wixson to prepare food for MOFGA events and organize the Common Kitchen. Lunch will be served. RSVP to MOFGA Volunteer Coordinator Anna Libby alibby@mofga.org.

December 4 - Kitchen Licensing Workshop.
Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Common Ground Education Center, Unity. Designed for farmers and others interested in home-food processing for resale. Includes a tour of MOFGA's Common Kitchen. Details. Register at the MOFGA Country Store.

December 5 - High Bionutrient Crop Production Workshop. 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., The Resilience Hub, Portland. Two-session workshop: second session Feb. 27, 2014. The cost for a two-sessions workshop is $150, or $125 for returning students. Scholarships available. Information.

December 6 - 2013 Maine Food Summit. University of Maine Wells Conference Center.
Engage with businesses, friends and colleagues to discuss the future of our dynamic food system. What do you want Maine’s land and sea-scape to produce? Share your vision. Register by Nov. 27 (discounts when registering by Nov. 22).

December 8 - Sagadahoc MOFGA - Wreath-making, 2:30 p.m., at Willow and David's barn, Rte. 127, Woolwich. FMI: Sally Fesler, fesler11@gmail.com

December 7 & 8 - From Conflict to Connection: The Fundamentals of Nonviolent Communication.
With certified Nonviolent Communication Trainer Peggy Smith. This event has a value of $140; as a fundraiser for MOFGA and two other environmental organizations, it is offered to the public by donation. Information and registration (PDF).

December 11 - Mentor Host Farm Meeting. For farms that currently or wish to host apprentices as part of MOFGA's Apprenticeship Program. This full-day event will cover all aspects of recruiting, hiring and training apprentices. Details forthcoming.

December 17, 18, and 19 - New England Vegetable and Fruit Conference,
Manchester, N.H. Website.

January 5 - Beginning Women Farmer Holistic Management Classes start. Contact Gail Chase, Maine's WAgN coordinator, wagnmaine@gmail.com

January 7 - MOFGA annual membership meeting. 1:30 p.m., Maine Agricultural Trades Show, Augusta Civic Center. Hear reports from MOFGA board members, staff and committees; vote on a slate of board members. Q&A period. This is also MOFGA Day at the Trades Show – a full day of presentations and workshops on organic production in Maine. Free.

January 7 to 9 - Maine Agricultural Trades Show, Augusta Civic Center. Free admission. www.getrealmaine.com

January 30 to February 1 -  Seventh Organic Seed Growers Conference. Corvallis, Oregon. Register.

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

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