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  You are here:  PublicationsBulletin Board ArchiveMOFGA Bulletin Board - 2017January 26 2017   



Bulletin Board

JANUARY 26, 2017

Pounds of home use pesticides distributed into Maine, 1995-2011

Organic Gardening Tip:
Local Ordinances Protect Health and the Environment
With an apparent 700 percent increase in the distribution of home-use pesticide products in Maine in recent years, some Maine citizens have decided to act locally when state and federal governments were not adequately protecting their health and environment from these toxic chemicals. Maine is one of seven states that allow towns to create local laws that are more restrictive than state or federal laws, and 27 Maine municipalities have ordinances that restrict pesticide use beyond state requirements. Learn how local efforts have worked, as presented at the 2016 Common Ground Country Fair teach-in on this subject organized by MOFGA's Public Policy Committee. See our article in the winter issue of The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener.   
Green- - - -

Katy Green

MOFGA's Katy Green Moves to Certification Services

Katy Green, who has been MOFGA's organic transitions coordinator, is transitioning herself - to fill the position of inspector and material reviewer for MOFGA Certification Services LLC. Green has a degree in ecology and environmental sciences from UMaine, where she worked at the university's Rogers Farm. She then worked for Cornell Cooperative Extension before moving back to Maine and joining MOFGA several years ago.
Ozer- - - -

National Family Farm Coalition Leader Dies         

Kathy Ozer, 58, the long-time executive director of the National Family Farm Coalition, died last weekend in Washington, D.C., from complications of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

The NFFC executive committee remembered Ozer as "a beacon of light and a rock of determination. Although we can never fill her shoes, we will honor her many years of service to bettering this world - especially for all the people who nurture and support us through good food - by staying in the fight. We hope you are inspired to do the same."

Among her many accomplishments during more than two decades at the helm of the coalition, Ozer was a core author of the 1987 Agricultural Credit Act, which saved thousands of family farms from foreclosure during the '80s farm crisis. She challenged the many organizations that flowed from that era to remember the core lessons of that time, to commit to true racial justice, to bring in an agenda for the poor and for consumers, and to demand that we look at food and farming through a human rights lens (e.g., food sovereignty, community food security). But always, she had an eye on family farmers as core messengers and change makers for this broad agenda.   
Invasive- - - -

Maine Bans Sales of 33 Plant Species Deemed Invasive          

The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry has adopted rules that prohibit the sale of 33 plants deemed to be invasive. The new rules went into effect on January 14, 2017, but prohibition of sales does not begin until January 1, 2018. For more information, including a list of the 33 plants, see http://www.maine.gov/dacf/php/horticulture/invasiveplants.shtml.    
Grower- - - -

Grower Meetings Coming Up!
Organic Certification for Farmers and Processors
1 to 4 pm at all locations 
If you market and sell products as ORGANIC, chances are good you need to need to be certified by a USDA-accredited certifier to comply with USDA regulations. MOFGA Agricultural Services and Certification Staff will provide an overview of organic production practices, including vegetables and herbs, livestock and value added products. Information on how to become certified organic and resources available for first time or transitioning operations will be provided. You do not need to be a certified organic grower to attend. All are welcome!
* February 2 - Rising Tide, 323 Main Street, Damariscotta, Maine; (207) 563-1161 
* February 7 - Bangor Extension Office, 307 Maine Avenue, Bangor, Maine; (207) 942-7396 
* February 9 - Fareshare Coop, 443 Main Street, Norway, Maine; (207) 743-9044 
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 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. 
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!

January 28 - NOFA-NH Winter Conference, featuring keynote speaker Joel Salatin, Concord, N.H. http://www.nofanh.org/

January 29 - 9th annual Maine Farmers' Market Convention, Alfond Campus, Kennebec Valley Community College. Register by January 26 (cost $65-75). Scholarships available to participants from Washington and Aroostook counties. FMI or to register: 207-487-7114, assistant@mffm.org or www.mainefarmersmarkets.org

January 31 - Landscape Heroes; Carbon, Water and Biodiversity. UMASS, Amherst. Information

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

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.

February 7 - Deadline to register for the March 7-9, 2017, Harvest New England Conference and Trade Show in Sturbridge, Massachusetts. Harvest New England Association, Inc., is a collaborative marketing program created by the New England state departments of agriculture to facilitate sales of New England agricultural products through wholesale market channels using the Harvest New England brand. 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.

February 8 - Season Extension Online Conference. ACORN is pleased to announce our first online Season Extension conference with Andrew Mefferd, author of The Greenhouse and Hoophouse Grower's Handbook. Gain valuable skills and knowledge about greenhouse and hoophouse growing - from the comfort of your own home! Hosted by Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network. Information on Facebook.

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.

February 10 - 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 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. 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. - Pre-Meeting Focus Group: Considering a Value-added Producer Grant. 1 to 4 p.m. - 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 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 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). More information.

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

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


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