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"Now I see the secret of the making of the best persons. It is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth."
- Walt Whitman
  You are here:  PublicationsBulletin Board ArchiveMOFGA Bulletin Board - 2017February 9 2017   
  

 

MAINE ORGANIC FARMERS AND GARDENERS ASSOCIATION

Bulletin Board

FEBRUARY 9, 2017


Photo courtesy of New Leaf Farm

Organic Gardening Tip:
Growing Garden Crops in Beds
 
Growing crops in beds, generally about 3 to 4 feet wide, rather than in narrow rows is a good way to save space and build healthy, uncompacted soil in a given area. Beds may be level with the surrounding soil or a few inches to a few feet high. Dave Colson, MOFGA's agricultural services director, discusses ways to make wide beds, in his article "Creating a Raised Bed Garden" in the winter issue of The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener.    
 
RLAS- - - -
Russell Libby in 2012

Former MOFGA Executive Director Russell Libby in 2012

Apply now for one of three Russell Libby Agricultural Scholar Awards 
 
Three $1,500 scholarships will be awarded in the following categories:
* MOFGA Journeyperson Program participant 
* Maine High School Senior planning to study sustainable or organic farming at a college in Maine 
* Kennebec Valley Community College student studying sustainable agriculture

The scholarship application deadline is MARCH 5, 2017

Russell Libby Agricultural Scholarship Application
(If the link above does not work, copy and paste the URL into your browser:
https://pressherald.wufoo.com/forms/m11pldlm1bo69i9/

The awards are granted to honor the late Russell Libby, who led the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association for 17 years and dedicated his life to growing the organic food movement. The scholarships offer support to students seeking to deepen their knowledge of organic and sustainable farm systems. More information on MOFGA.org. 
 
Envision- - - -

Envision Maine's Summit on Rural Maine's Next Economy
February 10; Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Cross Insurance Center, 515 Main St., Bangor
Agenda and registration 
 
Join Envision Maine for a full day of celebrating rural Maine and exploring its future! Share experiences and ideas with over 50 presenters who are working every day to build a new economy in rural Maine. The event will honor 'Rural Sparkplugs' for the work they do and for the example they set. Ten workshops will cover farming, forestry, tourism, energy, education, broadband, and why we need more 'people from away'. Co-sponsored by MOFGA. One of the workshops will feature a panel of organic farmers:
What will it take to become New England's breadbasket?
Moderator: Dave Colson, MOFGA
Simon Frost, Thirty Acre Farm, Whitefield
Carly DelSignore or Aaron Bell, Tide Mill Farm, Edmunds
Kevin Leavitt, Farmer Kev's, West Gardiner  
 
Beekeepng- - - -

Beginning Beekeeping Class
Saturday, February 11, 2017
10 a.m. to 4 p.m
MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center, Unity
Fee: $50 for MOFGA members; $75 for non-members
Please bring your own lunch. Register here.  
 
Our beekeeping short course will cover the essentials to get you going in the world of beekeeping, such as where to locate your apiary, characteristics of different races of bees, where to purchase bees and equipment, how to assemble that equipment, and how to establish your first hive and get it through the first season. Instructor David Smith is an experienced beekeeper who has maintained over 200 honey bee colonies for 35-plus years. He has served as assistant state apiary inspector, and he owns and operates Sparky's Apiaries in Hope, Maine. 
 
Business- - - -

Advanced Business Planning
Workshop with Richard Wiswall 
February 26-27, 2017 
Sunday, 9:30-4:00; Monday, 9:30-12:00 
MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center 
$100 per person; $135 for two people coming from the same farm. Lunch is included on Sunday. Register here. 
 
This one-and-a-half day workshop will help established and beginning farmers and is best suited for those with at least one year of farm production data or similar experience. The aims of the workshop are to plan for profit, examine YOUR farm enterprises, better understand financial statements and to learn about creating production and recordkeeping efficiencies. Instructor Richard Wiswall is the owner/operator of Cate Farm in Vermont and author of "The Organic Farmer's Business Handbook." More information on our website. 
 
Soil- - - -

2017 Spring Growth Conference: Soil Microbiology
Saturday, March 4
MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center, Unity
9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Registration: $75 for individuals, $100 for couples
$25 for students and apprentices; free for MOFGA Journeypersons
Lunch is included. Register here.
 
Pruning- - - -

Organic Orcharding Workshop: Pruning 
10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Sat., March 11 - Two locations: Cumberland and Mount Desert
Sat., March 25 - MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center, Unity
Fee: $50. $35 for MOFGA members
Please bring your own bag lunch
Register here.

Designed for beginner to intermediate orchardists managing backyard plantings to larger orchards. Learn to prune fruit trees to encourage vigorous growth, heavy fruit set, and quality fruit yield. Scionwood collection and storage will also be covered. Confirmation and directions will be sent a week prior to the start of the workshop. Please keep in mind that pre-registration and payment are required and this course fills up quickly!  
 
OFLF- - - -

MOFGA's 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. 
 
Fair- - - -

Common Ground Country Fair Presenter Applications Available Online 

The presentations, talks and workshops are a cornerstone of the Common Ground Country Fair. Interested in sharing your skills and knowledge with the community? Please submit your proposal via our online presenter application. The application deadline for presenters is April 1. If you need assistance or have questions, please contact Eleanor at 568-4142 or commonground@mofga.org.  
 
EventsEvents in Maine and Beyond - Mark Your Calendar!


February - eOrganic has several webinars planned for February and beyond, including Management of Spotted Wing Drosophila Using Organic Strategies, Providing Habitat for Wild Bees on Organic Farms, Use of High Glucosinolate Mustard as an Organic Biofumigant in Vegetable Crops, and others. FMI: https://learn.extension.org/events/upcoming

CANCELLED - February 9 - Informational meeting on Organic Certification - Norway

February 10 - Summit on Rural Maine's Next Economy. Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Cross Insurance Center, 515 Main St., Bangor. A day of celebrating rural Maine and exploring its future. Share your experiences and ideas with over 50 presenters who are working every day to build a new economy in rural Maine. Hosted by Envision Maine; co-sponsored by MOFGA. Agenda and registration.

February 10 - MOFGA's Common Ground Radio Show, an hour on local food and agriculture. 10 a.m. on 89.9 and 99.9 FM and weru.org

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. Register here.

February 15 - Slow Money Maine Gathering, Christ Church, 1 Dresden Ave., Gardiner. All are welcome!
 From 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. is a Pre-Meeting Focus Group: Considering a Value-added Producer Grant. From 1 to 4 p.m. are the main presenters and updates. Information.

February 17 (snow date February 24) - Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District Rural Energy Workshop for landowners, homeowners, farmers and small businesses in partnership with UMaine Cooperative Extension Piscataquis County office and the Dover-Dexter Area Towns in Transition. Information.

February 18-20 - NOFA-Vermont's 35th Annual Winter Conference: "Beyond Borders: Our Role in the Global Food Movement." Saturday through Monday, Davis Center, University of Vermont, Burlington, Vt. 100+ workshops, speakers, and celebrations for farmers, gardeners, and foodies. Early registration discount until Feb. 13; additional discounts for NOFA Vermont members and volunteers. More information and online registration.

February 26-27 - Advanced Business Planning Workshop with Richard Wiswall. Sunday, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Monday, 9:30 a.m. to 12 noon; MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center. $100 per person; $135 for two people coming from the same farm. Lunch is included on Sunday. Register here.

March 3 - MOFGA's Common Ground Radio Show, an hour on local food and agriculture. 10 a.m. on 89.9 and 99.9 FM and weru.org

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. Register here.

March 5 - Deadline to apply for Russell Libby Agricultural Scholarships. APPLY HERE.
Click here for information.

March 11 - MOFGA Organic Orcharding Workshop: Pruning. Two locations: Cumberland, Maine, and Mt. Desert, Maine. Learn to prune fruit trees to encourage vigorous growth, heavy fruit set, and quality fruit yield. Workshop is geared towards beginners and experienced growers. Pre-register here (required).

March 11 - Waldo County Grower's Winter Potluck, 4-7 p.m., the Varney Center, Brooks. Sponsored by UMaine Waldo County Cooperative Extension. If you or your family grow, process or sell commercial crops in Waldo County, join us to socialize and share good food. A family event; infants and children welcome. Alcohol free. Please bring a dish or two to share, along with eating utensils. Snow date March 12, 4-7 p.m. For inclement weather announcements call 207-342-5971. FMI: richard.kersbergen@maine.edu

March 18 - Maine Grass Farmers Network Conference. Keynote speaker Fred Provenza on grazing animal behavior and its link to soil health. FMI: http://extension.usu.edu/behave/ or https://extension.umaine.edu/livestock/mgfn/ or dianes@mofga.org

March 18 - Organic Orcharding Workshop: Renovating Old Trees. Freedom, Maine. Do you have any old trees on your land that you would like to bring back into production? Attend this workshop and learn to renovate and upkeep your heritage trees. Register here.

March 25 - Organic Orcharding Workshop: Pruning. MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center, Unity. Learn to prune fruit trees to encourage vigorous growth, heavy fruit set, and quality fruit yield. Workshop is geared towards beginners and experienced growers. Pre-register here (required).

March 25 - Organic Orcharding Workshop: Renovating Old Trees. Two locations: Mt. Desert, Maine, and Newcastle (Cunningham Island), Maine. Do you have any old trees on your land that you would like to bring back into production? Attend this workshop and learn to renovate and upkeep your heritage trees. Register here.

March 26 - Seed Swap & Scion Exchange. Special All-Day Event! MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center, Unity. Gardeners and Orchardists are invited to bring their seeds, scionwood and cuttings to share and participate in educational workshops. Free!

March 26 - Maine Maple Sunday. Participating Maine Maple producers (including some organic producers) offer demonstrations, sugarbush tours, activities and samplings of maple products. Information.

April 28-29 - New England Meat Conference, Manchester, N.H. http://www.newenglandmeatconference.com/
 
 
 

 

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