Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association

Look to Nature to Find Ways to Connect

By Sarah Alexander, MOFGA Executive Director

September 1, 2020

A murmuration of thousands of starlings flying together can turn, swoop and move in formation without a single leader. They use infinite numbers of small groups to coordinate their patterns. Each starling pays close attention to the seven starlings immediately closest to it. I’ve been reading Adrienne Maree Brown’s “Emergent Strategy” recently, and she uses this and other examples from nature to talk about how we can make sustainable change in our world today. The idea of the starlings struck me as important in this time of physical distancing and COVID.


Essential Work: Addressing Our Communities’ Preexisting Conditions

By Eli Berry, MOFGA board member, and chair, Common Ground Country Fair Steering Committee

September 1, 2020

We face novel realities because of COVID-19, to be sure, but much of what we need to consider are preexisting conditions. Look around you to that place where your home begins to overlap with another’s and further still to the homes of all your neighbors, of all kinds. If you aren’t familiar with those neighbors, make yourself so. Then ask yourself, can we cooperate? Is there a beneficial relationship here? If you have plenty of what another lacks, create the faith you need to share that plenty so that another has enough.


Thanks and See You Around

By Jean English

September 1, 2020

The energy, enthusiasm, community and consistent hard work that got MOFGA going in the mid-70s came through clearly when I was looking through the first five years of our newspaper in preparation for this issue of The MOF&G and for MOFGA’s 50th anniversary in 2021. I was a relative latecomer to the organization, joining around 1984 and becoming MOF&G editor in 1988. This is the last issue of The MOF&G that I’ll edit, as I’m retiring in mid-September. I look forward to being in the garden and the woods whenever I want and to continuing with our amazing MOFGA community through events, through the MOFGA-El Salvador Sistering Committee (20 years old in 2021) and as a grateful consumer of the bountiful organic products now available – far more than in 1984.


Every Seed Counts

By Jean English, Editor, The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener

June 1, 2020

Little did I know what was to come when my spring MOF&G editorial about resilience quoted UMaine’s John Jemison about the importance of locally produced food for driving the local economy and for feeding ourselves “if the wheels come off the energy truck.”

Well, surprise: Instead of the energy truck, the worldwide health truck popped its wheels.



The Food System We Want and Deserve Grows from Necessity

By Sarah Alexander, MOFGA Executive Director

June 1, 2020

As I write this we’re six weeks into everything being shut down from the COVID-19 pandemic. Maine’s economy was just reported to be the most impacted by the pandemic in the nation due to the age of our state’s population, and our reliance on tourism and the service industry. Nationally, weaknesses in the food system, which many of us have been warning about for years, are causing fields to be plowed under, milk to be dumped, and animals to be “disposed of” on farms because multinational meatpacking plants are closed.


Seeds, for Spring and for Change

By Beth Schiller, MOFGA President

March 1, 2020

When I was about 16, I read an article in National Geographic by Susan Leopold that illustrated traditional Native American types of corn and the social and cultural heritage of planting methods and seed genetics. In typical National Geographic style, the images were striking and the language in the article felt tight and expansive. That article remains a quiet threshold to my own involvement with agriculture.


Planting the Seeds of Change

By Sarah Alexander, MOFGA Executive Director

March 1, 2020

As spring comes into focus, something inside of us starts to awaken. I think our bodies yearn to be in harmony with the seasons, and as the days get noticeably longer, we long to be outside, get our hands in the soil and watch things start to sprout and grow. Whether you’re a master gardener or you have trouble keeping a houseplant alive, we can all learn something from observing the power of a tiny seed sprout into a plant that is going to give us nourishment.


Related and Resilient

By Jean English, Editor, The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener

March 2020

“It really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated … Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” That quote from Martin Luther King Jr. greeted me on January 20 thanks to a “Gardening With the Old Farmer’s Almanac” calendar.