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  You are here:  PublicationsBulletin Board ArchiveMOFGA Bulletin Board - 2017January 12 2017   



Bulletin Board

JANUARY 12, 2017

2017 Common Ground Country Fair Poster Unveiled
The 2017 Common Ground Country Fair poster was unveiled during the Maine Agricultural Trades Show this week. The poster features three Columbian Wyandotte chickens roosting. This uncommon variety is well suited to Maine's climate and is raised for both meat and egg production. Local artist Dwight Gagnon of Benton created the design, which is a delightful and fitting image for the 41st annual Common Ground Country Fair, September 22, 23 and 24.
Gardening- - - -

Organic Gardening Tip:
Think Elderberry During Cold and Flu Season, and Beyond

With cold and flu season upon us, perhaps your thoughts turn to tinctures of echinacea, elderberry, medicinal mushrooms and other immune boosters. Good for you! (But of course we have to recommend that you consult a health care practitioner for serious illnesses.) The standing-room-only crowd at a session on elderberry (Sambucus canadensis) at the Maine Agricultural Trades Show this week indicated widespread interested in growing that native plant for the medicinal and other beneficial properties of its fruits and flowers. Moderated expertly by Tori Lee Jackson, extension educator with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, the session featured growers from four MOFGA-certified organic farms: Knock Knock Farm in Belgrade, Eldertide Farm in Dresden, Scarecrow Farm in Monmouth and The Bailey Farm in Freeport (see http://www.mofgacertification.org/?page_id=1492). All were enthusiastic about the crop and provided excellent advice about soils, varieties, weed control and more.

If you missed the session, you can learn a lot from the free PDF, "Growing Elderberries: A Production Manual and Enterprise Viability Guide for Vermont and the Northeast," at http://www.uvm.edu/~susagctr/resources/ElderberryGuideComplete.pdf. And when your elderberries are ripe next summer, try this recipe that Jackson handed out for elderberry syrup: Place 1 c. fresh elderberries and 3 c. water (with these optional ingredients: 1 cinnamon stick, whole cloves and 1 tsp. minced fresh ginger root) in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Mash berries with a potato masher to release the juice, and strain the mixture. Let the juice cool. Stir in 1 c. honey until thoroughly combined. Transfer to a lidded jar. Keeps in refrigerator two to three months.  
Stewardship- - - -

Apply by February 3 for Conservation Stewardship Program 

The NRCS is accepting initial applications for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) at its local offices and on its website (http://bit.ly/2gLg2Q6) until Feb. 3. CSP is a national program, tailored at the state and local levels to address regional conservation concerns. The program is designed to reward farmers and ranchers for using conservation practices on their land. It provides comprehensive conservation assistance to whole farms. Farmers and ranchers can receive payments for practices such as planting cover crops, installing buffer strips or starting rotational grazing. FMI: https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/me/newsroom/releases/?cid=NRCSEPRD1299879 
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.   
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.  
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.  
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. 
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.
EventsEvents in Maine and Beyond - Mark Your Calendar!

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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