Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
Henry, Aaron and Carly
Tide Mill Farm. Lee Ann Ward photo.

Tide Mill Farm in Edmunds: Nine Generations on the Same Land
by Larry Lack
Tide Mill Farm is remarkable in a myriad of ways. It is most certainly a family farm – an enduring homestead that has been passed down and worked by the same family since 1765, after Robert Bell, at age 14 or 15, arrived from Scotland in the still mostly wild coastal territory of the native Passamaquoddy that today is part of Washington County near the easternmost point in the United States.

Native Trees for the Home Landscape: One Tree-Hugger's Opinion
by Kerry Hardy
It's hard not to notice the foliage on our beautiful native trees at this time of year, and it's worth remembering that "the spring of the leaf" in May and "the fall of the leaf" in October are the sources of those seasons' names. In fact, fall is the perfect time to familiarize yourself with our native hardwoods, because in the span of a month you can see the whole suite of identifying features: leaf shape, fall color, mature fruit and finally bare bark, winter twigs and the distinctive silhouette of each species.
Highland Blueberry Tea Highland Blueberry Farm Tea. Photo courtesy of Highland Blueberry Farm.

Lettuces at Peacemeal Farm
Lettuces at Peacemeal Farm. English photo.

Packaging the Taste of Maine: Value-Added Products
by Jo Anne Bander
When Maine's blueberry season is over, Theresa Gaffney of Highland Blueberry Farm in Stockton Springs is still working - drying ingredients and packaging her organic wild Maine blueberry tea. A growing demand for artisan foods is providing Maine farmers like Gaffney with incentive to move past traditional blueberry jams and dilly beans to innovative value-added foods and is spurring new businesses grounded in Maine's agricultural roots.

Franklin Hiram King: Farmer For Future Centuries
by John Koster
A hundred years after his death, monuments to Franklin Hiram King dot the landscapes of farm country all over North America, even in places where his name is unknown or has long been forgotten. King invented the cylindrical silo for the same reason that he wrote the book some say launched the organic agricultural movement, Farmers of Forty Centuries.

Mastering Weeds at Peacemeal Farm
by Jean English
Peacemeal Farm in Dixmont, owned by Mark Guzzi and Marcia Ferry, was once a haven for weeds. When the couple took over the certified-organic farm in 2000, said University of Maine weed ecologist Eric Gallandt, it had 35,000 germinable weed seeds per square meter; that number is below 5,000 now. Methods for controlling weeds organically were covered at Peacemeal at a MOFGA Farm Training Project workshop in mid-June, attended by 75 MOFGA apprentices, journeypeople and others.

"Common Throne" Composting Toilets at MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center
by Nancy Rosalie
The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association has been building composting outhouses, garnering not only good reception from Common Ground fairgoers but a very usable fertilizer as well. Our system works well for our short-term, annual event, and we keep adding new composting outhouses to supplement the conventional toilets and portable toilets that serve some 60,000 visitors to the Fair.


What Do Meat Labels Mean and How Long Can Meat Be Stored?
by Diane Schivera, M.A.T.
Consumers are often confused by an array of labels when purchasing meat and other livestock products. Here are the legal definitions for meat labels.

Yes, Soil Can Have Too Much Organic Matter
by Eric Sideman, Ph.D.
One of my early questions in the '80s was, "Can I have too much organic matter in my soil?" I thought about it for a minute, which is a long time of silence on a phone call, and then, because I couldn't think of any negative reasons, said, "The more, the better." That was the wrong answer. Now I know that too much organic matter could be a problem.
John Bunker
John Bunker at the 2008 Great Maine Apple Day. English photo.

Cooking in the Common Kitchen on the Great Maine Apple Day
by Cheryl Wixson
The Great Maine Apple Day – to be held on Saturday, Oct. 24, this year – is one of my favorite events at MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center in Unity.

How to Ferment Garden Veggies – Simple and Healthful Preservation
by Roberta Bailey
One way that I coped with the interminable rains of June and July was to visit old friends, many of them exceptional gardeners and farmers, the cream of the organic crop. As we dined on delicious homegrown fare and shared our enthusiasm for new projects (worm compost, solar hot water, compost bins built to accommodate a bucket loader) or laughed over past foolishness (red potatoes being poured into the cider press, dahlia bulbs from the root cellar added to a stir fry), I was repeatedly struck by how much knowledge was at the table. Each of us brought 30 years or more of trial and error. Each of us could write a book or three. Some had.

Winter Farmers' Markets and CSAs in Maine – Keep Local Food Flowing All Winter
by Melissa White Pillsbury
Maine's local food movement is supporting a growing number of outlets for winter purchases – at farmers' markets and through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms. Many farmers' markets that don't stay open all winter do run well into the fall now, some until Thanksgiving. See the June-August 2009 issue of The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener for a list of all Maine farmers' markets and their seasons of operation. For basic information on storing vegetables through winter, see MOFGA's fact sheet, Storing Garden Vegetables, available at under "Publications."
Storage Crops
Maine's winter farmers' markets and CSA shares offer storage crops, such as these carrots and beets. English photo.

Selling Eggs in Maine
A Seedy Wedding
Dried Apples
Organic Dairy Manure May Offer Fertilizer Option
Food Supplements that Fortify Fowl
Crabgrass as Sheep Pasture?

Hornworms Foiled by Borage
Pipe Bender Available for Hoophouse Construction

Common Ground
by Mary F. Bunker


Who's Your Farmer?
By Russell Libby, MOFGA Executive Director
We are what we eat. That simple truth runs headlong into the complexity that is our food system and into HR 2749, the Food Safety Enhancement Act of 2009, which the House of Representatives just passed.

Awakened Genes and the Common Ground Country Fair
Jean English, Editor, The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener
My favorite story from Deeply Rooted – Lisa Hamilton's inspiring, beautifully written book – is about retired plant breeder and former farmer Mat Kolding, who was walking through a North Dakota farmer's field one year when disease was decimating the wheat crop. Among an estimated 5 million plants in the 40-acre field, "There was a plant shouting, Here I am! Take me!" said Kolding. After growing out and selecting from this plant's progeny for 10 years, Kolding sent seed to the North Dakota Farm Breeder Club, whose members continued improving the crop, ending up with a high-yielding, disease-resistant wheat with quality for artisan bakers' products.

Reviews & Resources
The reviews and resource recommendations below appear on the same web page.
Surviving and Thriving on the Land

Surviving and Thriving on the Land, by Rebecca Laughton
Through the Wild Heart of Mary, by Gail Faith Edwards
Notes on a Lost Flute – A Field Guide to the Wabanaki, by Kerry Hardy
No Impact Man, by Colin Beavan
Poisoned Profits: The Toxic Assault on Our Children, by Philip Shabecoff and Alice Shabecoff
Anyone Can Build a Whizbang Apple Grinder & Cider Press, by Herrick C. Kimball
The Organic Farmer's Business Handbook, by Richard Wiswall
Deeply Rooted, by Lisa M. Hamilton
Green Earth Guide – Traveling Naturally in France, by Dorian Yates
Crop Rotation on Organic Farms: A Planning Manual, by Charles L. Mohler et al.

Web Sites and Web Publications
     What's On My Food?
     Community Gardening Toolkit
     "Planet Whizbang" Wheel Hoe
     Four New Cornell Guides to Producing Organic Vegetables

     New Publications available from UMaine Cooperative Extension
         Match Your Need to the Right Breed: Choosing a Bird for the Home Flock
         Lighting for Small Scale Flocks
         Resources for Small-Scale Poultry Keepers
         Lily Leaf Beetle Fact Sheet

    The Maine Home Garden News
MOF&G Cover Fall 2009
MOFGA members receive our quarterly newspaper The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener as a benefit of membership. Become a member today! It can also be purchased at news stands.

Busy Months for Maine BPC

Fair Assistant Meredith Batley
Great Maine Apple Day: October 24
Farmer to Farmer Conference: Registration Deadline Soon
MOFGA Member News

Volunteer Profile
Danya Klie: Volunteer for All Seasons

Fair News