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Bulletin Board

OCTOBER 24, 2013

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Keynote Speaker Atina Diffley

Great Maine Apple Day
Sunday, October 27
Common Ground Education Center, 294 Crosby Brook Road, Unity
$4 non-members; $2 members

Celebrate the history, flavor and tradition of Maine apples, while honoring the importance of a diversified, perennial agriculture!

Sponsored by MOFGA, Fedco, and the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. Details.

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Sign-Up for MOFGA's Farmer to Farmer Conference
Saturday, November 2 to Monday, November 4
Point Lookout Resort, Northport

Unique three-hour workshop session format: one half dedicated to talks by agricultural service professionals and farmers, the other half to round table discussions to solicit the accumulated knowledge of farmers in attendance.

Saturday Farm Tours to Morning Dew Farm, Newcastle, and Straw Farm & Dandelion Spring Farm, Newcastle

22 workshop sessions - sign up for the full conference or participate in workshop sessions a la carte!

Accommodations at the beautiful Point Lookout Resort in Northport.

Keynote Address: Creating Change Through Relationships, by Atina Diffley, Organic Farming Works, Farmington, Minn. - Organic farmer, consultant, activist, and author of Turn Here Sweet Corn
Available at the MOFGA Country Store

Conference information and registration details.

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Food Safety Modernization Act Proposed Rules - 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. The National Young Farmers Coalition and the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (to which MOFGA belongs) are organizing letter-writing campaigns about the issue. Details from Young Farmers and MOFGA.

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Peter Curra

Know Your Organic Producers!

Meet MOFGA certified organic farmer Peter Curra. Peter and Sue Curra farm Curra Family Farm in Knox, selling vegetables, raspberries and ornamental corn from their farm stand (27 years old!), through senior farm shares, at the Unity Farmers' Market and the Common Ground Country Fair Farmers’ Market, to natural food stores and through the Crown O' Maine Organic Coop. Peter is renowned for the quality of his leeks. Read more about the Curra Family Farm.

Please support MOFGA certified organic farmers and producers!

Search for local certified-organic food on MOFGA.net

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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.
You can also support our Maine Heritage Orchard by buying a poster painted by John Bunker and depicting seven heirloom apples, available through the Country Store. 22.5" x 15.5" - $10. Buy at the MOFGA Store.

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Correction: We gave the wrong name for MOFGA board member Sam May's wife in our last Bulletin. Her name is Alexandra, not Elizabeth. We regret the error. Thanks again to Sam and Alexandra for hosting a MOFGA fundraiser at their home.

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2013 Common Ground Country Fair T-shirts Available at the MOFGA Country Store!

Adult sizes come in four colors: grey; plum; steel blue and turquoise. This year's design features a team of oxen; artwork by MOFGA's own Grace Keown. Short sleeve $22; Women's cut $24; Long sleeve $26. Made of 100% organic cotton and printed at Liberty Graphics in Liberty, Maine. Details.

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MOFGA Forestry and Chainsaw Safety 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
  Chainsaw Safety Course - Level I
November 15 & 16, Friday & Saturday
Full - Wait list only

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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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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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Petition Congress to Fix Our Chemical Safety System

The US EPA has evaluated the safety of only 200 out of 80,000 chemicals on the market. We simply don’t know if most chemicals are safe or not.

The Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Maine and MOFGA seek to upgrade the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act. The Chemical Safety Improvement Act (CSIA) is a good start but needs to be strengthened.

The Alliance is sending 8 Maine women to Washington - moms, small business owners, and community leaders - to carry the petitions to the offices of U.S. Senators Angus King and Susan Collins with a simple message: Protect our kids, fix our chemical safety system.

Today, October 24, is the last day to sign the petition to tell Congress to protect our kids from toxic chemicals in everyday products.

Please sign the petition now!

MOFGA is a member of the Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Maine


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.

October 24 - Third Annual Food Day. People from all walks of life come together to push for healthy, affordable and sustainable foods. In 2013, Food Day will focus on food education. www.foodday.org.

October 25 - Kennebec Region Farming Open House & Forum. Open House 5 p.m.; Forum 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Winslow VFW, Veteran Drive, Winslow. Hosted by Maine Farmland Trust (MFT). Speakers: John Piotti of MFT and a panel of local farmers. Information: Michael Heavener, Winslow Town Manager, 207-872-2776 ext 5210; mheavener@winslow-me.gov or Stacy Benjamin, MFT Municipal Outreach Contractor, 207-342-2929; sbenjamin@mainefarmlandtrust.org. Free, open to the public.

October 27 - Great Maine Apple Day
Common Ground Education Center, Unity. 10 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Rain or Shine. Celebrate the history, tradition and flavor of Maine apples! Details.

November 2 - Chainsaw Safety Level II. Hidden Valley Nature Center, Jefferson. Co-sponsored by MOFGA's Low Impact Forestry Program. Registration and details available online at http://HVNC.org.

November 2 to 4 - MOFGA's Farmer to Farmer Conference
Saturday to Monday, Point Lookout Resort, Northport, Maine.

November 5 - Meetup: What Consumers/Gardeners Need to Know About FSMA.
Tuesday, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Zero Station/The Resilience Hub, 222 and 224 Anderson Street, Portland. $1.00 admission (suggested). Share potluck food (6:30 p.m.) followed by expert panelists to walk us through the highlights of FSMA: Dave Colson, MOFGA Ag Services Director, and Ben Tettlebaum, Conservation Law Foundation. Details.

November 14 - 4th Annual Slow Money Maine Day-Long Gathering.
8:30 to 4:30, Hutchinson Center, Belfast. Details.

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. Location and time of event to be decided. 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.

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.

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

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


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