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  You are here:  PublicationsBulletin Board ArchiveMOFGA Bulletin Board - 2017May 4 2017   
  

 

MAINE ORGANIC FARMERS AND GARDENERS ASSOCIATION

Bulletin Board

MAY 4, 2017


Organic Gardening Tip:
Simple Gifts of Kindness

In her "Simple Gifts of Kindness" article in the spring 2017 issue of The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener, Roberta Bailey says, "These days 'kindness' is the word that I hold in the foreground of my mind ... It reminds me of the goodness in humanity and the heart-opening power that a simple gesture can hold." Among those simple gestures are the recipes she offers for simple gifts - including Onion and Cilantro Chutney (a good way to use up those storage onions before they sprout), Jammy Tortes (dig into those raspberries in the freezer) and Rhubarb Juice (and rhubarb is coming up now). Spring is such a wonderful time to savor the transitioning bounty of Maine-grown organic foods!
 
Chainsaw- - - -

MOFGA Chainsaw Safety Workshops
May 6 and 7; 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Each course:$150; $130 for MOFGA members
Both courses: $275; $250 MOFGA members for both introductory and intermediate courses
Location: Bethel, Maine

Introductory Chainsaw Safety and Technique Course

Intermediate Chainsaw Safety and Technique Course 
 
Compost- - - -

Maine Composts Week

May 7-13 is Maine Composts Week. If you're cleaning out your winter greenhouse or root cellar and have leftover crops, consider donating them to Maine Composts Week's Community Supper events. FMI: mainecompostsweek@gmail.com or https://umaine.edu/mitchellcenter/maine-composts-week/. The website has other ideas for composting and reducing food waste. 
 
Bees- - - -

Speak Up for the Bees 

Want to do something for our pollinators? Among the dangers they face are neonicotinoid insecticide residues in the pollen of plants sold at some big box stores and local garden centers. After a campaign by Friends of the Earth in which MOFGA participated, Lowe's said it would phase out the sale of products that contain neonic pesticides and plants treated with them by 2019, and Home Depot said it stopped selling those insecticides in 2015 and would phase out sales of plants treated with neonics by 2018 - unless "it is required by state or federal regulation" or "undisputed science proves that the use of neonicotinoids on our live goods does not have a lethal or sub lethal effect on pollinators." And on May 3, 2017, Walmart and True Value also announced plans to phase out neonics.

If you're up for some direct action, ask the managers where you shop whether these systemic pesticides are in the plants they sell. For more information, please see "Gardeners Beware 2016 - Bee-Toxic Pesticides Found in 'Bee-Friendly' Plants Sold at Garden Centers Across the U.S.," by Friends of the Earth. 
 
KLW- - - -

Kitchen Licensing Workshop 
May 11
Thursday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Common Ground Education Center, Unity
Registration fees (includes lunch): $35 for MOFGA members; $50 for non-members

 
Designed for farmers and others interested in home-food processing for resale. Licensing requirements, food safety, and liability insurance will be covered by a panel of experts. Participants will then tour a licensed kitchen before being served a local, seasonal, organic luncheon. The afternoon program will include a panel of processors who will discuss the benefits and shortcomings of home licensed and commercial kitchens.

Interested in a partial or full scholarship? Please fill out a scholarship application form.
 
Pest- - - -

MOFGA's Pest Reports Available Now  

Eric Sideman, MOFGA's organic crop specialist, emails a Pest Report every week or so during the growing season to interested growers. The compilation includes short discussions of pests and diseases (mostly of vegetable crops) that are either working the fields or soon to be seen. Discussions include biology of the pest organism, effects on the plant and recommended management. You can sign up to receive the report via email and/or you can view it online (with photos) a day or two after the email is sent.   
 
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.
 
 Registration- - - -

Open Farm Day Registration Closes May 19 

Maine producers who want to participate in the state's 28th Open Farm Day on July 23, 2017, can sign up at http://maine.gov/dacf/ard/market_promotion/open_farm_day-signup.shtml. They also must mail or email a copy of their Certificate of Insurance, to Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, ATTN: Open Farm Day, 28 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0028; or Fax 207-287-7548. The completed form and certificate of insurance must be received no later than Friday, May 19. FMI: Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, 207-287-7620 or samantha.howard@maine.gov.  
 
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
 
Survey- - - -

National Cover Crop Survey Active Now

The Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program needs farmers' input for its National Cover Crop Survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2017CoverCropSurvey. The National Cover Crop Survey takes just under 15 minutes to complete and provides SARE with vital information that helps it understand why farmers do or don't use cover crops and how cover crops have benefited farmers who do use them. Survey results from the past four years have been extremely beneficial to informing research needs, policy making and outreach regarding cover crops. The survey will close in mid-May. 
 
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.

Organic Farming Principles and Practices
Wednesday, May 17, and Thursday, May 18, at MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center, Unity. Free for MOFGA apprentices! Join Eric Sideman, Dave Colson, Diane Schivera and Rick Kersbergen for a two-day introductory course to organic farming. Register (required) for either or both days; lunch will be provided.

2017! Communication Kickoff! Potluck! Social!
 
Wednesday, May 31, 5 p.m., Villageside Farm, Freedom

Fiber Farming
Monday, June 5, 5 p.m., Springtide Farm, Bremen

Cover Crops
Thursday, June 15, 6 p.m., Dooryard Farm, Camden

Organic Livestock Management
Wednesday, June 21, 5 p.m., Milkhouse Farm, Monmouth

Medicinal Herbs
Thursday, July 6, 5 p.m., Avena Botanicals, Rockport

High Tunnel Construction
Thursday, July 20, 5 p.m., at Farmer Kev's Organics, West Gardiner

Weed Management
Thursday, July 27, 5 p.m., Goranson Farm, Dresden

Other workshops will be scheduled soon. 
 
EventsEvents in Maine and Beyond - Mark Your Calendar!

 
May 5 - 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

May 6 & 7 - Chainsaw Safety Training. Introductory Course on Saturday, May 6; Intermediate Course on Sunday, May 7. Information.

May 11 - Kitchen Licensing Workshop. Thursday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Common Ground Education Center, Unity. Designed for farmers and others interested in home-food processing for resale. Information. Register here.

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 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.

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 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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