Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
Suzy Verrier of North Creek Farm in Sebasco, 1998.
Suzy Verrier of North Creek Farm in Sebasco. Lamb photo.

Diversity and Color at North Creek Farm
By Jane Lamb
Need proof of the efficacy of compost? Look no further than North Creek Farm, Suzy Verrier’s homestead, retail nursery, garden store and vegetable stand in Sebasco. “Believe me, there were no gardens here when we came. It was mowed right to the foundation,” said Suzy, standing among tables heaped with glorious squashes and tomatoes, potted perennials and roses, when I visited last September.

YK2: Preparing Yourself, Your Family, Your Business and Your Community
By Jean English
It’s good to prepare for emergencies, Y2K or not, as our world becomes increasingly wired. Hackers could disrupt the energy and defense systems any time. Human error is always a possibility. Weather extremes are increasingly common with global climate change. Accidents, illness or unemployment could impair your ability to earn money. You just never know …

Genetic Engineering Review
By Jean English
As more crops become genetically engineered, more questions about the safety of those crops arise. Moving genes from species that never before crossed may, for example, hasten the development of resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis, a valuable biological insecticide for organic growers; may have deleterious effects on insect ecology and other aspects of the environment; may result in cross pollination with conventional and/or organic crops, putting growers at risk without their permission; or may affect human health in ways that haven’t even been considered yet.

How to Avoid Genetically Engineered Foods
The simplest ways to avoid genetically engineered foods are to buy certified organic foods and to grow your own crops from seeds that are known not to be engineered (or, in the future, contaminated by engineered crops). The following list of common foods that are engineered and are on the market shows why it is easier to take this positive approach than to avoid specific crops or ingredients.

Genetic Seed Sterilization is “Holy Grail” for Ag Biotechnology Firms
The Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI), a Canadian-based rural advocacy organization, has uncovered over three dozen new patents describing a wide range of techniques that can be used for the genetic sterilization of plants and seeds.

A Tale of Two Chickens
Exploring the Social and Economic Implications of Our Food Choices
By Laura Bainbridge and Kamyar Enshayan
A century ago chicken was considered a luxury item. In fact, people would eat steak or lobster when they could not afford chicken, and ladies’ magazines advised on how to substitute veal for chicken in recipes. In 1928, President Hoover promised “a chicken in every pot,” but not until the 1960s did the poultry industry really take off. Today, there are 15 chickens in every pot; the average American consumes 71.8 pounds of broiler meat annually. Where does all of this chicken come from?

The Mathematics of Value
By Kamyar Enshayan
Iowa Governor Terry Branstad’s recent advertising campaign declared that “The Future Is On Your Table.” This was supported by the usual commodity groups (corn and soybean councils, hog federations, etc.) as part of a “value-added” initiative. In the Midwest, “value-added” has come to mean doing something, anything, to corn and soybeans – forsaking fruits, vegetables, honey and a wide variety of agricultural products that Iowa is capable of producing and processing.

Hoop Hoop Hooray for Four Season Harvesting
By Rick Traub
It was a dark and snowy night, in the dead of winter, five years ago. I got in my car and navigated my way across town to where this guy Eliot Coleman was to speak on the subject of year round harvesting.

Gardening on the Edge
By Katherine Drouin Keith
Jean Parker couldn’t be prouder of the fact that as of mid-January this year, she hadn’t bought any vegetables from the store since last April. She earned those bragging rights from the 30-hour weeks she put into her garden during the growing season on her island home near Bath, where she lives with her husband Bob Dale.

Are Certified Forests Organic?
By Mitch Lansky
Members of MOFGA are familiar with the concept of certification. It involves the use of third-party audits to verify a given claim such as: Has this food been organically grown? Certification, however, is being used to verify other claims such as: Does this product have x% recycled content? Is this product “biodegradable” as advertised? Is this forest “well managed,” “sustainable,” or “green”?

Agroforestry Benefits Studied
Trees can shelter livestock – as well as farmsteads – from winter’s cold and summer’s heat. But … 1,200 trees in a pasture? That’s how many black locust trees Charles M. Feldhake is growing in a West Virginia pasture.

Escaping Mad Cow Disease
By Eric Sideman
How quickly an apparently unknown disease can arise and cause widespread fear. The disease is called Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) but is more commonly referred to as “mad cow disease.”

Barley Bread and Fiber
By A.F. Hage-Ali (Ali Hage)
Whole grains provide a good supply of dietary fibers, such as cellulose, pectins, guar gums and lignins; consuming these fibers is believed to maintain regular movements in the digestive tract and to buffer the changes in blood sugar and cholesterol that accompany a meal.

Producing Barley in Maine
By Rick Kersbergen, Waldo County Cooperative Extension
Maine’s cool climate and uniform rainfall favor barley production. Barley rapidly develops an extensive root system and needs a moderately deep, well-drained soil. Timing of several management practices is critical to obtain optimum yield and quality.

Toki Oshima drawing
Toki Oshima drawing

A Bounty of Barley Recipes
By Roberta Bailey
“Simplify, simplify,” said Thoreau. I sit at my table and eat steamed kale and a barley pilaf. Outside the winter wind whips snow against my windows. Other than that, silence prevails. No radio, no stereo, no television fill my house with the sensational and negative news of the world. I’m not sure that human beings are meant to assimilate the news of an entire world, just as I’m not sure we were meant to consume a steady diet of food from an entire world.

Swiss Rosti Potato Pancakes
By Sharon Tisher
The rosti potato pancake is a staple of the Swiss diet, and it’s unlike other potato pancakes I’ve tried because it uses raw potatoes, and no eggs or flour. The natural moisture in the grated raw potatoes makes it ideally suited for developing delicious, tender, fat-free variations.

By Deb Soule
Codonopsis pilosa is a member of the Campanulaceae (Bellwort) family, a favorite family among many perennial flower gardeners. "Codonopsis" means bell-like. Over 40 species of Codonopsis are native to Central and East Asia.

Grow Your Own Currants
By Roberta Bailey
Currants, gooseberries and jostaberries, a hybrid black currant-gooseberry cross, are making a comeback. Interest in growing ribes species is growing in spite of the present ban on currants and gooseberries in Maine.

Garlic Perfumes Poultry Houses
Gourmet Farm Fare
Who Ya Gonna Call?
Seasoning & Flavoring Dry Beans
Cleanliness Better than Cold for Controlling Bacteria
Sanitation Key to Greenhouse Whitefly Control

1998 MOF&G Index

Re: E. Coli
No Transgenics in Organic Ag


President’s Letter
By Sharon Tisher, 1999 MOFGA President
I’m deeply honored to be elected President of MOFGA. To the membership I’d first like to say that I hope you’ll always let me know your thoughts and concerns about the organization and its work. To MOFGA’s staff and all of its volunteers I’d like to add my personal thanks and congratulations for the miracle that was the first Common Ground Country Fair in Unity.

Looking Ahead
By Russell Libby, MOFGA Executive Director
This is the time of year when we can let our dreams be large. I like to leave them that way for a few weeks before I acknowledge that I can never accomplish all that I want within the year ahead, and then make the needed adjustments. Each of us changes direction hundreds of times each year, but we still keep a picture of where we want to be.

A Proper Train Schedule
By Jean English, Editor, The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener
Two massive freight trains are speeding toward us. One is powered by the Y2K engine, the other by genetic engineering. Conductors are trying to pull the brakes on the first but are fueling the engine on the second. What’s an individual to do?

Reviews & Resources
• Solviva – How to Grow $500,000 on One Acre & Peace On Earth
• Happiness Is a Kitchen in Maine: Recipes From Real Women
• Good Bugs for Your Garden
• Spoiled: Why Our Food is Making Us Sick and What We Can Do About It
• Rolling Prairie Cookbook; Over 130 Recipes Celebrating Fresh Produce
• Biological Pest Control Catalog Available
• Composting for Municipalities
• Dairy Feeding Systems
• Natural Horse Care

MOF&G Cover Spring 1999

News & Events

Maine BPC
Dec. 1998: BPC Addresses Genetic Engineering
Nov. 1998: Monsanto Retreat

Portland Flower Show
Spring Growth Returns
Scionwood Exchange Moves
1st Annual Spring Thing
Dedicated Tree Planting

Volunteer Profile
Sue Buck

Fair News
Fair Office Relocating to Unity