|Wolf River apple trees at Shalom Orchard. Lamb photo.
Peace and Diversity at Shalom Orchard
By Jane Lamb
Not many turkeys, organic or otherwise, can enjoy a 360-degree view of scenic Hancock County and beyond, from the Schoodic hills to the east, the Acadia mountains to the south, the Bangor hills to the west and, on a perfect day, perhaps a glimpse all the way to Mt. Katahdin to the north. On a bright, brisk, early November day last year, 25 or more Giant White birds at Shalom Orchard in Franklin ran eagerly to the fence to greet any possibility of food or friendship, as blissfully unaware of their upcoming fate as they undoubtedly were of the superb scenery.
We Need LTOs (Local Trade Organizations)
By Gary L. Valen
Export agriculture is big business, and that is the problem for small-scale and community-based family farmers who are not able to compete with transnational corporations for export dollars. While the U.S. government’s export strategies and the WTO offer economic hope for industrial-scale agricultural operations, little is being done to help the family farmers.
West Nile Virus: The Only Good Mosquito is a Dead Mosquito,
or, What the Media Exaggerate When They’re Bored with Campaign 2000
By Kathleen McGee
Crows and exotic birds dropping out of the sky like stones. Infected mosquitoes scouring the horizon for prey, any prey on which to inflict their deadly payload. Unsuspecting men, women and children suddenly, inexplicably faced with the deadly force of WEST NILE VIRUS. What to do? Ahhh, better living through chemistry! The only way out of this death defying peril: pesticides. The only good mosquito is a dead mosquito.
|CR Lawn delivered the keynote speech, “Mow Me Less,” at the 2000 Common Ground Country Fair.
Common Ground Country Fair Keynote Speech, September 23, 2000
Mow Me Less: Tales of a GE-Resistant Lawn
By CR Lawn, Fedco Founder and MOFGA Treasurer
Thank you. I am deeply honored and moved to be here. A quarter century ago, in February, 1975, while I was living in a neighbor’s barn and building my house, I plunked down five bucks to join MOFGA and shared my intentions to start an organic market garden.
Agri-Tourism: What Works for One Family
By Norma Jane Langford
As cities and suburbs sprawl into the countryside, land prices soar, and farmers face ever-increasing temptations to sell out for an easier life. But meadows and orchards, red barns and cows create the scenery that brings tourists. This contradiction has provoked Massachusetts to help farmers grow and market this new crop so that they can remain on their farms, and continue to care for the landscapes that are so important to the tourist industry – and to the quality of life of everyone else.
Swallow Song Farm
By Joyce White
Situated on 25 acres of lush farmland bordering the Androscoggin River in Bethel, Swallow Song Farm got its name from the 100 swallow nests in the old barn. “When we were looking at this land,” Beth Myers said, “it was so beautiful, it felt right, and then a flock of swallows flew over.” That clinched it. They bought the old dairy farm.
Raising Sheep Organically and Almost Organically
By Joyce White
Many Maine farmers raise sheep, but few raise them organically, dissuaded by diseases and the prices of organic feed and fertilizers. Several have succeeded, though, and offer good models.
Organic Seed Crop Production in the Northeast: Tomatoes
By Nicolas Lindholm
Supported primarily through a grant from the Maine Dept. of Agriculture, this article is the first of five covering some of the most commonly produced and potentially most profitable seed crops being grown by small-scale organic and biodynamic farmers in the Northeast.
Genetic Engineering Update
By Jean English
Acreage of two GE crops declined in the United States this year relative to last. Soy acreage dropped from 57 to 54%; and corn from 33% to 20 percent. Engineered cotton, on the other hand, increased to an estimated 61% of this year’s crop compared with 55% last year. While consumers associate cotton with clothing, much of the crop ends up in the food chain. Cottonseed is fed to dairy cows, especially in the Northeast; and cottonseed oil is in many salad dressings, baked goods and snack foods.
Report on the NFFC Farmers’ Summit on Genetic Engineering
By Sharon Tisher
The summit was a treasure trove of the latest information on biotech science, policy and politics – and it was just plain wonderful to be in a room full of farmers of all sorts from all over the country who were dedicated to fighting agribusiness’s biotech agenda.
Bt: The Web of Risks
By Tori Lee Jackson
Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) has long been used by organic growers to protect crops from lepidopteran, dipteran and coleopteran insect pests. Until relatively recently, Bt was believed to degrade in the environment within several days of application, eliminating concern for the consequences of persistence, including: 1) selection for resistance in insect pests; 2) alteration of the soil biota; and 3) accumulation of the delta-endotoxins of Bt in the soil, which poses a potential threat to nontarget organisms.
|A perennial garden at the Common Ground site. O’Keeffe photo.
Please Help MOFGA Meet a Collective Challenge
By Susie O’Keeffe, Campaign Director
In today’s global economy, supporting sustainable, locally-based food systems that respect and reinforce the integrity of rural communities is a monumental challenge. A visionary organization in the truest sense, MOFGA recognized the importance of meeting this challenge over 27 years ago.
Oregano: A Lively Herb that Spices Gregarious Cuisines
By Ellie MacDougall
Certain herbs represent certain cultures, which, in turn, have certain emotions at the core of their cuisine. To me, oregano is one of them. In Greece, it gives piquance to a classic salad. In Sicily, oregano transforms baked fish served by buxom women who encourage you to “Mangia, mangia!” (“Eat, eat!”), not to mention its requirement as an ingredient in tomato sauce.
By Deb Soule
Red clover has long been called “the flower of good fortune.” Many people believe that if they find a four-leafed clover, good luck will come their way. Anne McIntyre, however, writes in her book Flower Power about the importance of the three-leafed clover for women. “It was believed to be especially lucky for women to whom the three-leafed clover represented the triple goddess: the maiden or young woman, the mother and the crone of old age and wisdom.”
Grow Your Own: Lingonberries
By Roberta Bailey
Until recently, the only place that I had heard about lingonberries was on the back page ad of the newspaper’s comic section. The ad promised bushels of berries and great fortune in no time at all, and with little labor. I did have to act quickly though, because supplies were limited.
Harvest Kitchen: Sweet, Tart Lingonberries
By Roberta Bailey
While visiting a friend and touring his high bush blueberry patch, I was taken by the thick understory of shiny leaved plants covered in small red berries. Lingonberries, he informed me, then went on to explain that this cranberry-blueberry relative made a great second crop in an area where he was already mulching and maintaining an acidic, weed-free environment.
A Comparison of Organically and Conventionally Grown Food – What are the Benefits?
By Eric Sideman
Even though numerous studies confirm that many people believe that organic foods are healthier than conventionally produced foods, this has not been conclusively demonstrated by scientific studies. The problem is that too many factors confound the issue, and that the distinction between what is conventional and what is organic is not always clear.
Two Conferences Cover Livestock Health
By Diane Shivera
On October 18 Henrietta Beaufait, D.V.M., of Albion, gave a well attended workshop in Unity on the principles of homeopathy (which led to a lively discussion about vaccinations) and on the value of understanding the Materia Medica.
Tips & Tidbits
Vitamin K May Strengthen Bones
Soy Soothes the Circuits in Body Cells
New Model Saves Farmers Costs of Fertilizer, Soil Tests
Bromelain–Health Food for Bessie, Too
New Air Cleaning Device Cuts Salmonella in Poultry Houses
International Hemp Journal Yearbooks Released
State Survey: Widespread Pesticide Use in Schools, Lack of IPM and Applicator Training
If you suspected that your kids were being exposed to pesticides in their schools, your hunch was probably right. A survey of Maine schools earlier this year showed widespread pesticide use, without notice to parents and kids, often without application by a licensed professional (a violation of the law) and hardly ever with an integrated pest management plan.
Is a Scythe Culture Viable? by Peter Vido
Farm Policy and Organic Farmers
By Russell Libby, MOFGA Executive Director
For many years we in MOFGA liked to think of ourselves as separate from the big farm policy discussions that take place every five years in Washington. The Farm Bill was about the big farmers in the Midwest, and didn’t have much impact on what a small vegetable farmer in Maine might be doing. We were busy building our own world of local markets and connections with consumers. The 1990 Farm Bill changed all that.
By Sharon Tisher, 2000 MOFGA President
As I sit down to write, I have a startling revelation: This is my last President’s letter. In January, I turn over the helm to Eric Rector, biologist, creator of our web site, prize-winning chef, and organic gardener and animal husbander.
Seven Steps Toward Spiritual and Economical Feasting
By Jean English, Editor, The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener
An MOF&G reader asks: How can I afford to buy organic food? Here are some suggestions. First, make sure you get everything you can out of your garden. Nothing will lower your food bill more – by hundreds, if not thousands of dollars – than growing your own fruits and vegetables.
Two Leaders and a Pioneer
By Russell Libby
One of the things that we learn early on farms is that there is a cycle to life. Crops grow, mature, and are harvested. Animals are born, grow, and die. After a while we look around and realize that we’re part of the cycle, too. Over the past few months MOFGA has lost a few “organic pioneers.”
Greenhouses for Homeowners and Gardeners
A Guide to Raising Beef Cattle
Roots, Shoots, Buckets and Boots
Growing and Selling Fresh-Cut Herbs
Introduction to Forest Ecology and Silviculture (Second Edition)
A Farm of Our Own – A Spiritual Journey Running a Smallholding