Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
MOF&G Cover Spring 1997

News & Events

Maine BPC
BPC Considers, Rejects Revising Mission

Greenpeace Activist Joins MOFGA Staff
Permanent Site Update
In Memory: Andy Wynn
Board Members Elected
MOFGA Officers & Staff – Spring 1997

Volunteer Profile
Steve Plumb

Fair News
Y.E.Z., We’ll Do It Again!


The Fine Art of Farming at Old Stage
By Jane Lamb
It’s one thing to strive earnestly for self-sufficiency – raising your own food, chopping firewood, reliving the rural New England tradition of thrift. It’s quite another when you add an aesthetic dimension that raises the whole experience to the level of art.

A Policy Paper of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
Why Pesticide Reduction? Why Now?
MOFGA has proposed “An Act to Reduce Reliance on Pesticides” in this legislative session. The bill, which is co-sponsored by State Senator Marge Kilkelly, Senate District 16 (Co-chair of the Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Conservation), and State Senator John Nutting, Senate District 20 (Co-chair of the Natural Resources Committee), would effect a fundamentally positive shift in Maine away from costly chemical dependance.

Elwyn Meader
By John Meader
Elwyn Meader died July 19, 1996. He was widely known for his hybridization and introduction of improved fruits, ornamentals and vegetables; for his achievements as a plant explorer in Korea in the late 1940s; and for his wide-ranging knowledge about plants and gardening, a knowledge that was detailed and specialized and yet solidly practical. He enjoyed hosting, among the many visitors to his farm in Rochester, NH, numerous MOFGA members and readers of The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener.

1996 Farmer to Farmer Conference

Organic Apple Production
Steve Page and Cynthia Anthony’s presentation at the Farmer to Farmer conference sparked a wide-ranging discussion about how to produce apples organically.

Maple Syrup Production for Beginners
Gregory Moore of Heartfelt Farm in Cushing and Ellis Percy of Spruce Bush Farm, recently relocated to Jefferson, talked about their systems for producing and marketing maple syrup. Like most people who get involved in maple syrup, they started out with backyard production, boiling on the kitchen stove or in a small pan outside in the yard. Over the past 10 years they’ve both expanded, with Gregory now operating close to 1000 taps, and Ellis doing about 250 taps.

We Need to Save Farms and Farmers
How can farmers market more directly to consumers? What’s the biggest challenge facing sustainable agriculture? Can communities be convinced that farming is better for their economies than strip malls or housing developments? These were some of the questions that Vern Grubinger, small fruit and vegetable specialist in Vermont, raised during his keynote speech at the Farmer to Farmer Conference.

Local and Frugal Ideas from Irish Agriculture
University of Maine Cooperative Extension educator Dick Brzozowski spent half of his sabbatical in Ireland last year, and he brought back some green and economical ideas that could be adapted in Maine. He shared these ideas at the Farmer to Farmer Conference in Bar Harbor in November.

Hay, Produce, Percherons Integrated at Hoof ’n Paw
Farmers in the Spotlight Bob Basile and Karla Bock moved to their New Sharon farm just over 10 years ago and their garden soon started producing more than they could use.

April Showers Bring Burdock and Salsify
By Lucie Arbuthnot
April can be a discouraging month for vegetable gardeners in northern New England. While we wait impatiently for the first asparagus, lettuce or peas, several vegetables can fulfill our yearnings for fresh garden produce. Two of my favorites that easily overwinter in situ here in Maine, and are available in the spring as soon as my shovel can loosen the ground, are burdock and salsify.

Bed & Breakfast, MOFGA Style
By Carol Howe
Hospitality is not a set technique at MOFGA members’ Bed & Breakfast enterprises. Each individual offers something unique; however, each loves people and welcomes B&B guests, often as members of the household. All of these operations are small.

Three-Season Polyculture
A new type of “three season” (autumn, winter and spring) vegetable garden polyculture is being tested on Jajarkot Permaculture Program Resource Centers in Nepal. An adaptation of this method will be tested with summer crops next.

Still Wavering About the World Wide Web?
By Martin P. Waterman,
The World Wide Web (WWW) is quickly becoming the equivalent of a world-wide online yellow pages, and many growers, co-ops, landscapers and business people are wondering how they may benefit by having access to the Web or having their own home page. Will it enable them to keep up with or surpass the competition? Will it increase their bottom line?

E. Coli 0157:H7 – A Primer for Farmers
By Eric Sideman
A very interesting and biologically correct way of looking at your body is that the contents of your digestive tract are outside of your body. The tract is a plumbing system passing through in which food is put and digested and only nutrients are absorbed through the stomach and intestinal walls into your body. This view is important for understanding that you can eat a lot of very bad things and get away with it, if they are not absorbed into your body.

Wisp of a Wasp
By Michael S. Cherim
Tiny parasitic wasps, the naturally occurring and commercially produced saviors of our crops, are definitely small, delicate and barely discernible. Their positive impact on agriculture, however, is immense.

Mantids as Bio-Controls?
By Michael S. Cherim
You’ve probably seen praying mantids advertised in gardening catalogs as voracious, general predators useful in cleaning up a large number of pests. It’s not true. Don’t believe it.

Grow Your Own Fruit Trees
By Roberta Bailey
Planting fruit trees can be a big step, a commitment to a place and to one’s self. Some people plant trees as soon as they settle on a piece of land, knowing quite a few years will pass before they see fruit. For others, that same knowledge keeps them from planting. The longevity of a tree can be daunting. The prospect of learning how to care for such a long-term project can be even more daunting.

Group Forms to Conserve Medicinal Plant Populations
By Deb Soule
I save seeds from more than 13 medicinal plants growing in my 1-acre garden in West Rockport. Some are native to Maine, some to the Northeast, some to Europe, one to China and one to the tropics.

Sorrel – An Early Spring Taste of Citrus
By Ellie Macdougall
The first time I tasted the palate-clearing, green, lemony spring soup of which the French are so fond, I thought, “What is this herb?!” Sorrel, the basis of this Provencal creation, is a compact, resilient cousin of buckwheat originally found growing wild throughout southern Europe and parts of Asia.

Sweet Woodruff
By Susanne Fischer-Rizzi
This herbal master was never honored with the hallmark “officinalis.” It seems that only medicinal plants sold in the pharmacies of old were granted this sobriquet. Nonetheless, he was a favorite of folk medicine whose beneficiaries gave to him lovely descriptive names like “Heart’s Delight,” “Mayflower,” “Star Liver Herb,” and “Woods Mother Herb.”

Common St. Johnswort
By Deb Soule
Common St. Johnswort (Hypericum perforatum) is native to Europe and has naturalized in fields and along roadsides throughout North America. Most likely the species perforatum was brought to North America by European settlers for medicinal use.

Food Health Nutrition – Life-Enhancing Foods for Your Loved Ones
By Nancy Ross
Many years ago, when I was a new mom, I joyfully filled ice cube trays with each week’s garden harvest – mashed spinach, carrots, beets, squash, apples – never doubting my babies would adore the warmed versions come winter. My nineteen-year-old still waxes nostalgic for those cubes.

Harvest Kitchen – Tempting Thai Cuisine
By Roberta Bailey
The folksinger Greg Brown makes me grin when he sings the line, “We’re a cross between our parents and hippies in a tent.” The line brings to mind scores of young, enthusiastic back-to-the-landers whom I have known during my 20-odd years of being one. The woman who wouldn’t even have a radio in her cabin. The fellow who ate nothing but raw whole grain, chewing away on flint corn wherever he went. The couple who gave up most of their possessions, including their names, becoming “the woman with the short, blond hair,” “the man with the black dog.”

Plastic Pot Recycling: A Pioneer Project
Herbal Resource Center Offers Valuable Network
Mulch Protects Tomatoes
Aluminum Strip Edges Garden
Barn Planning Books Available
Bug Zappers Zap the Environment
Clay Pots as Watering Devices
Elderberry Extract Inhibits Influenza
Selling Odds and Ends
Spacing More Important Than Height for Livestock Fence
More Deer Repellents
Larger Transplants, Larger Yields

The MOF&G Index: 1996

Food and Population
Prisoner Seeks Literature on Sustainability
More MOFGA Memoirs

Climate Eradication, by Bob Sewall


The Organic Movement: Stage II Needs You
By Russ Libby, Executive Director
MOFGA just celebrated a real milestone in January – 25 years of growing an organic food movement in Maine. I was really excited to hear Dick Wells, 84, talking about his eight decades of organic gardening, starting with his grandfather during World War I. Helen Parsons of Mechanic Falls, now 89, wasn’t to be outdone. In the Lewiston Sunday newspaper, she talked about the quality difference between food raised conventionally and organically. Just the staying power of these two folks, with MOFGA from near the beginning, is an inspiration.

Ready to Listen: A Message from MOFGA’s President Given at the Annual Meeting
By Bob Sewall
During the coming year, this will be a time when the footprint of MOFGA will become visible at the Unity site. Great changes will be taking place for MOFGA. Keeping MOFGA and the Common Ground Country Fair site in balance will be an undertaking. The needs of each will have to be met. I hope that MOFGA’s committees will find their needs met and they will grow into this site as much as the Fair does.

Maine Can Reduce Pesticide Use Now
By Jean English
I was dumbstruck when I read Sharon Tisher’s coverage of the Board of Pesticides Control (BPC) meetings in this issue of The MOF&G. That only one person on that Board knew anything about the Maine Potato Ecosystem Project is inconceivable.

Weather Report
By L.J. Harwood
The air smells like rain. When the wind is in the east, the sap will run the least. Cows are lying down in the pasture; it’s going to rain. The woolly bear has a wide stripe; it’s going to be a long winter.

Medicine of the Earth
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