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  You are here:  PublicationsBulletin Board ArchiveMOFGA Bulletin Board - 2017March 2 2017   
 March 2, 2017

 

MAINE ORGANIC FARMERS AND GARDENERS ASSOCIATION

Bulletin Board

MARCH 2, 2017


Young kale plants companion with leeks.
Will Bonsall photo

Organic Gardening Tip:
Growing Kale and Kin
"I always plant kale with leeks as a companion, not so much to deter pests as to use space (and water and fertility and every other input) efficiently," says Maine gardener Will Bonsall. "The plant forms and root zones are so compatible that they hardly notice each other, allowing me to get more total food per square foot than if I'd planted each crop by itself." Read more in Bonsall's article "Kale and Kin" in the spring issue of The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener.
 
WERU- - - -

MOFGA-El Salvador Sistering Committee on Common Ground Radio This Friday

Tune in to WERU (89.9 and 99.9 FM) this Friday, March 3, from 10 to 11 a.m. for a conversation between MOFGA's Common Ground Radio host, C.J. Walke, and members of the MOFGA-El Salvador Sistering Committee who recently visited our sistering organizations there. We saw exemplary school gardens, an organic cashew producer/processor, community radio stations, communities harmed by the conventional sugar cane industry, and more as we visited 10 communities in 10 days.     
 
Soil- - - -

2017 Spring Growth Conference: Soil Health, Fertility and Microbiology
March 4 - Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center, Unity 
Registration: $75 for individuals, $100 for couples 
Lunch is included.  
MOFGA and Northwood Natural Learning are excited to announce a new youth program in conjunction with the annual Spring Growth Conference. While adults are learning inside, children will spend the day outside playing, exploring and learning. Programming is available for children over the age of 4. Childcare is available for younger children as well. Cost for the program is on a sliding scale of $20-$40 per child, but please do not let cost be a barrier. No one will be turned away due to cost. To register, or for more information, please contact alibby@mofga.org or 568-4142.
 
Appreciation- - - -

MOFGA Farming Appreciation Dinner at Solo Italiano

On Sunday, March 5, from 6 to 9 p.m., Solo Italiano invites the public to its MOFGA/farmer appreciation dinner. This will be a five-course affair with optional wine pairing and exclusively organic produce (and an island lamb) coming from Dandelion Spring Farm and Stonecipher Farm. Representatives from both farms and from MOFGA will be present to talk about their "labor of love." Twenty percent of all proceeds will go to MOFGA. Solo Italiano is located at 100 Commercial St. in Portland. Tickets ($85) are available at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/thank-the-harvesters-with-mofga-tickets-31779603650 and cover dinner, tax, gratuity and the benefit to MOFGA. Wine pairing is additional.     
 
CGCF- - - -

Youth Enterprise Zone Common Ground Country Fair Applications Available  
 
Applications for a booth in the Youth Enterprise Zone and Youth Enterprise Transition Zone of the 2017 Common Ground Country Fair are now being accepted! The online application is available on the Youth Enterprise Zone webpage. The deadline is March 24. If you need assistance or have questions, please contact Eleanor at 568-4142 or commonground@mofga.org.  
 
Kiva- - - -

$10,000 No-Interest Loans Available through Kiva.org

In honor of International Women's Day, Kiva.org, the popular online crowd-funded loan platform, has announced a matching program that effectively commits half of each requested loan for proposals that go live by Wednesday, March 8. MOFGA has teamed up with Collective Commitments, a new social enterprise working in Maine, to help you access 0% interest loans from Kiva.org for any business purpose. Patricia Pinto, Collective Commitments Founder, is available to answer your questions, and help you through the entire process - patricia@collectivecommitments.org, (207) 650-4430. You can also start the application on your own via this link: http://us.kiva.org/collectivecommitments/.     
 
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. 
 
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!  
 
FAMACHA- - - -

FAMACHA Certification Workshop      
March 17 - Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Dovetail Farm, 45 Edgecomb Rd., Belfast, Maine  
The workshop will include information on parasites and management practices, along with fecal egg analysis using microscopes. Registration fee $20 per farm includes one FAMACHA card; additional card $12. Bring your own bag lunch. Sponsored by UMaine Cooperative Extension, Maine Sheep Breeders Assoc., Maine Grass Farmers Network and MOFGA. FMI: Diane Schivera, dianes@mofga.org or the MOFGA office at 207-568-4142. Register here.  
 
School- - - -

Maine Vegetable & Fruit School in Two Locations      
  
The 2017 Maine Vegetable & Fruit School will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, March 14, at Seasons Event & Conference Center in Portland and on Wednesday, March 15, at the Bangor Motor Inn Conference Center. Topics include a legislative update; managing spotted wing drosophila in berries with exclusion netting; long-term fertility with compost; and more. FMI: https://extension.umaine.edu/highmoor/blog/2017/01/25/maine-vegetable-and-fruit-school-2017/. Please register by March 3. The $45 cost includes lunch. Participants may receive 3 pesticide applicator recertification credits, and certified crop advisors may earn 5.5 recertification credits. 
 
MGFN- - - -

Maine Grass Farmers Network Annual Grazing Conference       
March 18 - Saturday, 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Kennebec Valley Community College, Alfond Campus, Hinckley
 
The Maine Grass Farmers Network 2017 conference will feature nationally known keynote speakers: Dr. Fred Provenza from Utah State University, a noted animal scientist and grazing behavior specialist, and Dr. Hue Karreman, author and veterinarian, along with his partner, Suzanne Nelson. Concurrent sessions will follow, with speakers including Dr. Tatiana Stanton from Cornell discussing parasite control in sheep and goats, and UMaine's new Extension livestock specialist, Dr. Colt Knight. FMI and to register: https://extension.umaine.edu/livestock/mgfn/conference/ 
 
Tour- - - -

Want to Host a Farm or Garden Tour?  
 
If you'd like to host a tour of your farm or garden this summer, we can put you on our "Daytripping" list, to be published in the June-August issue of The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener. Just send (to jenglish@tidewater.net) your farm name, owners' names, farm or garden features (briefly), date and time when visitors are welcome, directions and contact information. We publish the listing, and the rest is up to you and your visitors. You may get one or even no visitors, or you may get dozens. We suggest setting one or two particular times for your tour so that your entire day isn't tied up. Many growers use our Daytripping list as a place to publicize that their farms are open on Maine's Open Farm Day (July 23 this year; http://www.maine.gov/dacf/ard/market_promotion/open_farm_day.shtml). 
 
 Bowl- - - -

Empty Bowl Supper on April 22
Please note date change
 
The MOFGA-El Salvador Sistering Committee's annual Empty Bowl Supper fundraiser will be held on Saturday, April 22 (not April 29 as previously planned), at 6 p.m. at the United Farmers Market of Belfast, at 18 Spring Street. The supper is not at the Unitarian Universalist Church this year because of construction there; we deeply appreciate the donation of that space for the past decade-plus. Please join us for our biggest fundraiser of the year and for delicious soups served in bowls made by expert Maine craftspeople. We'll also have breads and desserts. Anyone who would like to donate bowls may leave them at the MOFGA office or contact jenglish@tidewater.net. Thank you for supporting MOFGA's connection with our herman@s in El Salvador!
 
 
EventsEvents in Maine and Beyond - Mark Your Calendar!

 
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, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Common Ground Education Center, Unity. Keynote speaker Will Brinton and a panel of farmers focus on soil health, fertility and microbiology. Registration: $75 for individuals, $100 for couples. Lunch is included. Register here.

March 5 - MOFGA Farming Appreciation Dinner at Solo Italiano. 6 to 9 p.m., 100 Commercial St., Portland. Twenty percent of proceeds will go to MOFGA. Tickets ($85) available at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/thank-the-harvesters-with-mofga-tickets-31779603650 and cover dinner, tax, gratuity and the benefit to MOFGA. Wine pairing is additional.

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 13 - Maine Grain Conference. Monday, Little School and Agriculture Museum in Littleton (just north of Houlton). FMI: https://extension.umaine.edu/agriculture/blog/2017/02/01/farm-scoop-february-2017/

March 14 and 15 - Maine Vegetable & Fruit School. Tuesday at Seasons Event & Conference Center in Portland; Wednesday at Bangor Motor Inn Conference Center. FMI: https://extension.umaine.edu/highmoor/blog/2017/01/25/maine-vegetable-and-fruit-school-2017/. Please register by March 3. The $45 cost includes lunch.

March 17 - Controlling Internal Parasites in Sheep & Goats FAMACHA Certification Workshop. Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 45 Edgecomb Rd., Belfast, Maine. $20/farm includes one FAMACHA card; additional card $12. Bring your own bag lunch. FMI: Diane Schivera, dianes@mofga.org or the MOFGA office at 207-568-4142. Register here.

March 18 - Maine Grass Farmers Network Conference. Keynote speaker Fred Provenza on grazing animal behavior and its link to soil health. Registration and conference details are available on-line at https://extension.umaine.edu/livestock/mgfn/conference/. FMI Rick Kersbergen richard.kersbergen@maine.edu, 207-342-5971 or MOFGA's Diane Schivera 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 20 - Deadline for veterans to apply for The Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund, which assists veterans in their beginning years of farming or ranching, in the form of items that make a critical difference in launching a young farm business. Applicants must have served in the U.S. Armed Forces, currently be on active-duty, or be serving in the military reserve/National Guard. Applicants must be members of Farmer Veteran Coalition (free to join). Awards are also made in the form of a scholarship to study for a career in agriculture at a college, university or farm-training program.

March 23 - 10th Annual Maine Greenhouses "Best Practices" Workshop. 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Snell Family Farm, 1000 River Road (ME 112), Buxton, Maine. Register ($25, includes lunch) by March 17. FMI: https://extension.umaine.edu/agriculture/programs/greenhouse-best-practices-workshop/ and Kathy Murray, 207-287-7616

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! Schedule of speakers and activities.

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 1 (April 2 snow date) - Grafting workshop with MOFGA's C.J. Walke at the Abbott Town Office. Sponsored by the Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District. FMI: http://www.piscataquisswcd.org

April 1 - Organic Orcharding Workshop: Grafting Fruit Trees. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. College of the Atlantic, Bar Harbor, Maine. Registration fee: $50; $40 for MOFGA members. Register here. More information.

April 5 - 3rd Annual Source Sustainability Awards. Pineland Farms, New Gloucester, Maine. Winners of the 2017 Russell Libby Agricultural Scholarships will be announced as part of the event. For event details and tickets go to: sourceawards2017.eventbrite.com

April 5 - Grow Your Own Organic Garden Classes. 6 to 9 p.m., locations throughout the state. An evening course designed to provide gardeners with essential skills and knowledge needed to make a transition from conventional to organic gardening.

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

 

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