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MOF&G Cover Spring 2006


  You are here:  PublicationsMaine Organic Farmer & GardenerSpring 2006MOFGA Notes – Spring '06   
 MOFGA Notes – Spring 2006 Minimize

7th Annual Seed Swap & Scion Exchange
Fill a Beautifully Crafted Bowl & Help MOFGA’s El Salvador Committee
Join MOFGA For Environmental Health Lobby Day

7th Annual Seed Swap & Scion Exchange

For gardeners and orchardists, it’s like the best yard sale ever! On Saturday, March 25, from 12 to 4:30, the Maine Tree Crop Alliance, the Maine Seed Saving Network, Fedco and the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association will host the seventh annual combined Seed Swap and Scionwood Exchange at MOFGA’s Common Ground Exhibition Hall in Unity.

Educational workshops will feature the tried and true as well as some exciting new additions. Mark Fulford, of course, will teach grafting techniques, and Nicolas Lindholm will teach basics of seed saving. We will also present a new program by Restoring Our Seed, a Northeast SARE-funded program, to stimulate and improve the quality of on-farm regional seed production. This will include workshops explaining the seed breeding projects of Restoring Our Seed, and advanced seed saving. Seed will be distributed to those who wish to participate in the projects. Varieties will include two tomatoes, a de-hybridized cucumber, several new winter hardy greens, a potato cross and more.

Please bring any seeds, scion­wood or cuttings you have to share freely with others. Last year we gave away scionwood from well over 100 fruit varieties. These contributions make the day a success. We’ll supply labels, tape and markers, and we’ll be selling T-shirts, books, grafting supplies and rootstock. There is no admission charge, although donations are always welcome. For more information, please call MOFGA (568-4142).


Fill a Beautifully Crafted Bowl & Help MOFGA’s El Salvador Committee

Want to buy a handsome, Maine-made bowl and support a MOFGA committee’s work at the same time – all for a great price of $10? Come to the MOFGA-El Salvador Committee’s Empty Bowl Supper on Saturday, April 29, in Belfast.

Each year MOFGA’s El Salvador Committee and the Social Justice Committee of the Unitarian Universalist Church in Belfast cook up an Empty Bowl Supper to raise funds for the Committee’s work. Those funds have helped bring a delegation of Salvadorans to Maine to tour farms, meet with community organizers and agricultural officials, and participate in the Common Ground Country Fair; have helped fund events relating to CAFTA (Central American Free Trade Agreement) for our sistering organizations in El Salvador; and more.

Empty Bowl Suppers started in Michigan in 1990, when a high school art teacher helped his students raise funds to support a food drive. A class project to make ceramic bowls for a fundraising meal evolved. Guests were served a simple meal of soup and bread, and were invited to keep the bowl as a reminder of hunger in the world. Subsequently, Empty Bowls developed into a project to provide support for food banks, soup kitchens and other organizations that fight hunger. The Imagine/RENDER Group, a 501(c)3 organization, promotes the project, and Empty Bowl events now raise millions of dollars worldwide to help combat hunger.

This year the Empty Bowl Supper will be held on Saturday, April 29, 2006, beginning at 6 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church on Miller St. in Belfast. Please join us as we gather to eat delicious soups and breads and to socialize. Enjoy live music and take home a beautiful bowl, handcrafted and donated by a Maine potter – all for a reasonable $10 price. For more information, please call MOFGA or check www.mofga.org closer to the time of the event. Tickets will be available at the door.


Join MOFGA For Environmental Health Lobby Day

MOFGA will participate in Environmental Health Lobby Day on March 15th at the State Capitol. This is an annual event of the Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Maine, of which MOFGA is an active member. The focus of the day will be protecting children from unnecessary dangerous chemicals and heavy metals.

The Alliance is campaigning to phase out the commercial use of many toxic substances such as lead, mercury, synthetic pesticides and solvents, many of which are in a wide variety of the household products, the food we eat, the water we drink, and the air we breath every day. Also, we are working to promote safer alternatives to these hazards. For more information about the Alliance, and the legislative priorities for 2006, visit www.preventharm.org

We encourage MOFGA members and others to come to the Capitol on March 15th from 8:00 am to 3:30 pm, and talk to your legislators about environmental health issues, or anything else that you wish. This is a great opportunity to get some experience in the civic arena, and to educate state lawmakers about our mission. The Alliance will provide some training, moral support and encouragement for all folks participating in this event. You may want to bring your entire family, or ask a friend or two to join you.

In addition to lobbying legislators during their sessions, MOFGA and the other members of the Alliance will have educational displays set up in the Hall of Flags (Rotunda) of the Capitol. We need people to help staff the MOFGA table and talk to legislators, their aides, and public citizens who come by the table.

Members of the Alliance include: Environmental Health Strategy Center; Learning Disabilities Association of Maine; Maine Labor Group on Health; Maine Organic Farmers & Gardeners Association; Maine People’s Alliance; Maine Public Health Association; Natural Resources Council of Maine; Physicians for Social Responsibility-Maine Chapter; Toxics Action Center Campaigns

If you would like to help with MOFGA’s part in this event, please contact Heather Spalding at heathers@mofga.org or 207-568-4142.



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