"At either end of any food chain you find a biological system -- a patch of soil, a human body -- health of one is connected, literally, to the health of the other."
- Michael Pollan
  You are here:  PublicationsBulletin Board ArchiveMOFGA Bulletin Board - 2017May 11 2017   



Bulletin Board

MAY 11, 2017

Organic Gardening Tip:
Double Down on Resisting Roundup

Even more prevalent than the edible, bee-friendly dandelions popping up in lawns and gardens now are the ads for Roundup and other lawn "care" pesticides (some including neonicotinoid insecticides) and the proliferation of these products on store shelves - and even in bags piled on floors of some stores. Alas, another place for the resistance movement to take root! If you doubt that these products can harm humans and the environment, please read our pesticides quiz, compiled by Sharon Tisher of MOFGA's Public Policy Committee. If you doubt that a healthy lawn is possible without toxic synthetic chemicals, please see our fact sheet, "Establishing and Caring for an Organic Lawn."
BPC- - - -

Maine Board of Pesticides Control Meeting  
May 12, 2017

The May 12, 2017, Maine Board of Pesticides Control meeting will begin at 9 a.m. in Room 118 of the Marquardt Building, 32 Blossom Lane in Augusta. The meeting agenda, posted at http://www.maine.gov/dacf/php/pesticides/documents2/bd_mtgs/may17/May17Agd.pdf, includes discussion of J.R. Simplot Company's registration requests for three new genetically engineered seed potato products that contain the gene Rpi-Vnt1 taken from the wild tomato, Solanum venturii; Syngenta's request for a Special Local Need  Application to allow use of Callisto┬« herbicide for broadleaf weed control on lowbush blueberries; Loveland Products' request for a Special Local Need registration to increase the maximum application rate of Malathion 8 Flowable agricultural insecticide to control spotted wing drosophila on high and lowbush blueberries; Arkion Life Sciences' request for an extension of the Special Local Need registration for the use of Avipel┬« Hopper Box (dry) Corn Seed Treatment (anthraquinone) to reduce predation of corn seed by grackles, blackbirds and crows; current regulations pertaining to the use of unmanned aircraft (drones) to apply pesticides; and more.   
Film- - - -

Three Screenings of "Forgotten Farms" 

Maine Farmland Trust (MFT) and MOFGA will host three screenings of the film "Forgotten Farms," which focuses on the challenges facing New England dairy farmers. In the past 50 years, New England has lost more than 10,000 dairy farms. About 2,000 remain. "Forgotten Farms" reconsiders the role of these vital but forgotten farmers, who will be essential players in an expanded agricultural economy. After the film, Amanda Beal of MFT and Dave Colson of MOFGA, along with the filmmakers and Maine dairy farmers, will discuss how the themes of the film are present in Maine's dairy industry today, and where we can go from here.
Screenings ($5 suggested donation):
May 22, SPACE Gallery, Portland, 7 p.m. 
May 23, Johnson Hall, Gardiner, 6:30 p.m. 
May 24, Railroad Square, Waterville, 7:15 p.m.  
Trails- - - -

Grand Opening Celebration of Hills to Sea Trail  
Waldo County Technical Center, Town of Waldo, Waterville Road (Rte. 137)
Friday, June 2, 9 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., and MOFGA, June 3, 9 a.m.

The public is invited to the free grand opening of the Hills to Sea Trail, a 46-mile trail from Unity to Belfast made possible by the generosity of more than 60 private landowners. The June 2 grand opening is cosponsored by the Waldo County Technical Center, Waldo County Trails Coalition (www.waldotrails.org, of which MOFGA is a member) and the Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition.

Hikes begin at the tech center at 9 a.m., with 4- and 2-mile options. At 10:30, those who have returned from the hike and new arrivals can get a tour of the short access trail and bog bridges built by the outdoor leadership class. Beginning at noon, enjoy a cookout behind the tech center, demonstrations and displays, a cardboard kayak competition, speakers and social time. Overflow parking is across the road at John Hurley Paint Inc., 1009 Waterville Road. FMI: 207-338-1147.

The coalition is also hosting a walk on Saturday, June 3, National Trails Day, starting at MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center in Unity at 9 a.m. Meet where the trail crosses Crosby Brook Road at the field next to Northern Solstice Alpaca Farm. The one-way hike is 2.7 miles, and a shuttle will bring hikers back to the starting point. FMI: Buck O'Herin, 207-589-4311 or buckoherin@fairpoint.net.
Orcharding- - - -

Top Grafting Fruit Trees 
May 13 - Mueller's Fruit Farm, Thorndike
Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Fee: $50; $40 for MOFGA members
Please bring your own bag lunch
Learn to topwork new, disease-resistant, cider, dessert or heritage varieties onto your existing trees with John Bunker. In this workshop you will see how a professional topgrafts and will be able to try it on your own.
Principles- - - -

Organic Farming: Principles and Practices 
May 17 and 18
MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center, Unity
$100 per day or $150 for both days
Discounts for MOFGA members.
This is a two-day immersion course for MOFGA apprentices but is open to any participants interested in learning the fundamental principles and practices of organic farming.

Join specialists from MOFGA's Agricultural Services Department and a panel of organic farmers for a two-day introductory course in organic farming. Register for either or both days. Lunch will be provided.

Day one will focus on the fundamentals of organic vegetable farming. MOFGA's Eric Sideman, Organic Crops Specialist, and Dave Colson, Agricultural Services Director, will cover theory and best practices for organic management of soils, and cover plant families. After lunch we will tour a neighboring farm. Day two will address the fundamentals of organic livestock husbandry, production systems and pasture management taught by MOFGA's Organic Livestock Specialist Diane Schivera and a panel of organic farmers. See the course outline
Poultry- - - -

Poultry Processing Workshop
Thursday, May 25
MOFGA's Common Kitchen at the Common Ground Education Center, Unity
Fee: $75. $60 for MOFGA members
Register here

Join Diane Schivera, MOFGA's Livestock Specialist and an elite crew of poultry processing professionals for a workshop about how to process poultry. In this workshop you will be guided through a safe and humane process for turning live birds into oven ready roasters. We'll discuss poultry management, equipment, and food safety concerns. Please bring your favorite kitchen knife, an apron and a willingness to learn. Each participant will take home an organic bird. 
FTP- - - -

MOFGA's Farm Training Project Workshops

Designed to augment the on-farm learning of the farm apprenticeship program, MOFGA's Farm Training Project (FTP) workshops follow an informal format, usually beginning with a farm tour followed by a presentation on the topic of the day. Participants are invited to stay for a potluck supper - bring a dish or something fresh from the farm to share (please bring your own place setting as well). All events are held rain or shine and are free and open to the public. For more information or directions to any of the workshops, call 207-568-6018, email education@mofga.org, or check the FTP website. 
EventsEvents in Maine and Beyond - Mark Your Calendar!

May 13 - MOFGA Organic Orcharding Workshop: Top Grafting Fruit Trees. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Mueller's Fruit Farm, Thorndike. Please bring a bag lunch. Learn to topwork new, disease-resistant, cider, dessert or heritage varieties onto your existing trees with John Bunker. Registration fee: $50; $40 for MOFGA members. Register here.

May 17-18 - Organic Farming: Principles and Practices. Wednesday & Thursday, MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center, Unity. Two-day immersion course open to any participants interested in learning the fundamental principles and practices of organic farming. $100 per day or $150 for both days; Discounts for MOFGA members. Information and course outline or register here.

May 19-21 - Northeast Livestock Exposition. Windsor, Maine. IBGA Boer goat show, poster contest, feeder calf sale, wool pool, equine clinics, rabbit show, youth cook-off, beef-sheep-alpaca displays, shows & sales, educational programs, commercial trade show, Boer goat consignment sale. Demonstrations and exhibits.

May 20 - Meat and Dairy Goats Seminar. 10 a.m., prime livestock arena, Windsor Fairgrounds, Windsor, Maine. A free seminar with Dr. Fred Homeyer from Antelope Creek Ranch in Texas during the Northeast Livestock Expo, covering feed ratios, proportions and proper structure in goats; evaluation and selection of goats for production; and other topics that participants raise. FMI about this and other events at the May 19-21 Northeast Livestock Expo, please see http://www.northeastlivestockexpo.com/. MOFGA will have a table there, and our organic livestock specialist, Diane Schivera, will be involved with kids' day (May 19).

May 24 - Introduction to Farm Equipment: Safety, Operation and Basic Maintenance. MOFGA Farm Training Project workshop: Weds., 5 p.m., Crystal Spring Farm, Brunswick. Join farmer Seth Kroeck, staff from MOFGA, and University of Maine Cooperative Extension Professional Jason Lilley for an introduction to basic farm equipment anatomy, safe operation, and maintenance. We'll cover tractor operation and safety; attaching, adjusting, and operating farm implements; and basic preventative lubrication and maintenance. See the complete schedule of MOFGA Farm Training Project workshops

May 25 - MOFGA Poultry Processing Workshop. Thursday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., MOFGA's Common Kitchen at the Common Ground Education Center, Unity. $75. $60 for MOFGA members. Information and registration.

May 31 - MOFGA Farm Training Project Kick-Off. Weds., 5 p.m., Villageside Farm, Freedom. Join Polly and Prentice at Villageside Farm for a social gathering to kick off the FTP season. You'll learn about communication skills that will improve your experience as an apprentice this season. We look forward to seeing you there! Potluck to follow.

June 3-4 - 17th Annual Maine Fiber Frolic. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Windsor Fairgrounds, Windsor, Maine. Diane Schivera, MOFGA's organic livestock specialist, will staff a table here and will answer your questions about fiber animals. Throughout the event, learn and share information about breeding and raising fiber-related animals and see New England's best fiber farms through a fiber marketplace. Activities include border collie and sheep demos, kids' events, music and more. FMI, including admission cost, visit www.fiberfrolic.com.

June 5 - Fiber Farming. MOFGA Farm Training Project workshop: Monday, 5 p.m., Springtide Farm, Bremen. Goats are a great livestock choice for much of the rocky, forested land in Maine. Farmers Wendy Pieh and Peter Goth will discuss raising North American Cashmere goats for premium fiber, processed into roving and yarn that is hand dyed. See the complete schedule of MOFGA Farm Training Project workshops

June 14 - Cover Crops. MOFGA Farm Training Project workshop: Weds., 6 p.m., Dooryard Farm, Camden. Farmer Cooper Funk and Mark Hutchinson of Knox-Lincoln Cooperative Extension will discuss types of cover crops, pros and cons of each and programs to help with crop rotation on your farm. Potluck to follow. Co-sponsored by Maine Coast Heritage Trust and Knox-Lincoln Soil & Water Conservation District (rain date June 15).

June 17 - Farm & Homestead Day at MOFGA. MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center, Unity. Come and learn all you need to know and more about living in rural Maine. All workshops are hands-on. Free!

June 21 - Organic Livestock Management. MOFGA Farm Training Project workshop: Weds., 5 p.m., Milkhouse Farm, Monmouth. Caitlin Frame and Andy Smith raise a MOFGA certified organic dairy herd, laying hens and pigs. At the Milkhouse we graze 24/7 in the growing season (as weather and re growth allows), utilizing rotational grazing methods to increase soil fertility, maximize yields from the land, and manage fly & other pest pressure on the herd. We'll discuss how different age groups of cows can be used in different areas of the farm depending on the specific needs of the land, how we use pigs to renovate pastures, and where chickens come into play on our farm. We'll also discuss our plans for summer silvapasture for cows and pigs. Come learn how we make our system work! See the complete schedule of MOFGA Farm Training Project workshops

June 24 - MOFGA Organic Orcharding Workshop: Summer Orchard Care. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Redpath Orchard, 9 Orchard Rd., Cumberland. Please bring a bag lunch. Learn tips and tricks to caring for your orchard through the summer and getting your orchard to a successful harvest. Instructor: C.J. Walke, MOFGA's organic orchard educator. Registration fee: $50; $35 for MOFGA members. Register here. More information.

July 6 - MOFGA Poultry Processing Workshop. Thursday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., MOFGA's Common Kitchen at the Common Ground Education Center, Unity. $75. $60 for MOFGA members. Information and registration.

July 23 - Conservation Biological Control Short Course. Sunday, 9:00 am - 4:30 pm EDT, MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center, 294 Crosby Brook Road, Unity, ME. Course is tailored to the needs of farmers, NRCS, SWCD, Cooperative Extension, and state department of agriculture employees, as well as crop consultants, natural resource specialists, and non-governmental conservation organization staff. Offered by the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. Registration is $45 per person. Course registration includes the Xerces Society's Conservation Biocontrol Toolkit and a copy of "Farming With Native Beneficial Insects." Please bring a sack lunch - lunch will not be provided. Canceled registrations can be refunded until July 14th, 2017. Information and registration.

August 5 - MOFGA Organic Orcharding Workshop: Bud Grafting. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., North Branch Farm, Monroe. Please bring a bag lunch. "Budding" uses individual buds from this year's new growth to graft onto rootstock already set in the nursery. Instructor: Seth Yentes. Registration fee: $50; $35 for MOFGA members. Register here. More information.


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