Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
Edwina and Steve Hardy
Edwina and Steve Hardy of Mountain Maple.
Lamb photo.

Mountain Maple: Sustainably Sapping in the Northern Hardwood Forest
By Jane Lamb
Steve Hardy figures he began "sugaring" – as it's called in his native Vermont; in Maine they call it "sapping" – when he was about eight years old. His mother told him he'd have to wait until the quart jar on the tree on the front lawn was half full before he could bring it in to boil down on the kitchen stove. "I got almost enough syrup to taste," he recalls, chuckling at the memory.

Wake Robin Nursery
By Joyce White

Growing Peppers Successfully
By John Fuchs

The Salad Bowl
By Marada Cook

Vermonter Shepherds' Organic Wool Market
By Tim King
Sidebar: Organic Wool Standards

Steve Gilman's "biostrips"
Steve Gilman's "biostrips." Photo courtesy Steve Gilman.

2001 Farmer to Farmer Conference Speaker
Steve Gilman's Biostrip Cropping: Forage Crops for Soil Livestock

The basis for terms such as "whole farm systems" and "holistic management" is the simple ecological concept that everything is connected with everything else, says organic grower Steve Gilman. "We live with this [concept] everyday. We know what it means. But, because of the nature of what we're up against, sometimes we end up having to focus" on a pest problem, or on getting a crop out. In that focusing, says Gilman, we can end up excluding many things and losing track of that ecological concept.

Berries for Life
By Joyce White

Harvey's Organic Blueberries and Alternative Lifestyle
By Joyce White

The Peculiarities of the Northern Highbush Blueberry
By John Meader

Michael Docter
Michael Docter. English photo.

Can You Use Manures on Blueberries?
By John Meader

Efficient Systems Fuel the Food Project
By Jean English
Michael Docter runs a 600-member Community Supported Agriculture farm, The Food Project, in Hadley, Mass., that not only provides abundant and diverse produce to its members but sends a substantial portion of its yields to the Western Mass. Foodbank. Dorter's energetic persona and ability to maximize efficiency everywhere on the farm have been critical to the success of the operation. That efficiency was the subject of his talk at MOFGA's Farmer to Farmer Conference in Bar Harbor last November.

By Deb Soule

By Ellie MacDougall

Organic Seed Crop Production in the Northeast: Flowers
By Nicolas Lindholm
This is the fifth in a series of five articles covering some of the most commonly produced and potentially most profitable seed crops currently being grown by small-scale organic and biodynamic farmers in the Northeast. Ask any small-scale grower in the Northeast what types of crops tend to be popular, profitable, and yield the most per square foot, and invariably that list will include flowers. Our culture adores flowers in the landscape and on the table, in many colors, shapes and sizes, and our climate is well suited for a huge variety of species; thus, most vegetable farms have at least a small patch or garden with at least a small selection of flowers for market.

Questions and Answers about the New Organic Standards
By Eric Sideman
This growing season MOFGA will use organic standards set by the National Organic Program in its Rule. We have submitted our application to become a USDA accredited certifier. Certified farmers will be expected to follow the Rule.

Rep. Linda Rogers McKee
Rep. Linda Rogers McKee.
English photo.

Public Policy Teach-In at the 2001 Common Ground County Fair
The Maine Legislature: What Works and What Doesn't?

How much power does Big Business have, compared with the people, to impact the Maine legislature? That question was foremost on many MOFGA members' minds last March, when MOFGA was involved with its busiest legislative session ever and when Big Business in the form of the biotech industry seemed to wield undue power.

Livestock Management Practices are Affected by New Organic Rule
By Diane Schivera
The new National Organic Standards have some management practices that differ from the practices that MOFGA has allowed in the past. Farmers will have to become familiar with these new requirements and begin putting them into practice before the Rule goes into effect on October 21, 2002.

Great Maine Apple Day
Did you join us on November 10th for the GREAT MAINE APPLE DAY? Any and all possibly interested parties seem to have made an appearance that Saturday. They enjoyed lectures, tasting a wide variety of apples, and pie judging (and devouring!). Everyone was surprised with the enthusiasm that a simple four hours contained.
– 1st Place 2001 Great Maine Apple Day Recipe from Mary K. Jones

Grow Your Own Blackberries
By Roberta Bailey
When the strawberries are ripe, they are the best berry; then come the raspberries, their less acidic, more delicate flavors convincing me that they reign supreme; but full summer brings the deep purple blackberry borne on fierce red canes, and when one waits for the shiny black fruits to soften and dull in sheen until they drop into the hand, the rewards are great, perhaps the greatest.

Toki Oshima drawing
Toki Oshima drawing

Healthy Foods for the Lunchbox
By Roberta Bailey
The other day a friend telephoned me in complete exasperation. She had been trying to find something that her eight-year-old would eat other than pizza and macaroni and cheese. I wasn't much help. My kids liked most vegetables and I let them eat a lot of macaroni and cheese (with parsley in it). We lived so far from a pizza place that it wasn't an issue.

2001 Index of The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener

MOFGA Members Cultivate Stronger Links with Groups in El Salvador

Spring Cleaning, by Sue Smith-Heavenrich


MOFGA logo

MOFGA on the Move
By Eric Rector, 2002 MOFGA President

This past year, MOFGA worked hard to achieve long envisioned goals. Strong membership support, dedicated staff, and an unwavering vision of sustainable local agriculture resulted in great successes in 2001.

Eat Local Foods
By Russell Libby, MOFGA Executive Director

For those of us who are figuring out the implications of the Federal government's involvement in organic foods, interest is growing in emphasizing the "local" part of our "local, organic" foods message. Farmers and buyers are not abandoning organic production practices, but the idea that organic food from anywhere in the world is preferred over something from next door is certainly open to challenge.

Who's a Dumb Animal?
By Jean English

Contrary to such expressions as "dumb animal" and "dumb as an ox," animals may tell us a lot when they exhibit certain behaviors. If your animals are off their feed, for example, check to see whether their grain is moldy. That was one bit of advice from toxicologist LeBelle Hicks, who spoke about mycotoxins (toxins produced by fungi and sometimes present in grains) at the Maine Agricultural Trades Show in January.

Wool products
Wool products at the Fair.
English photo.

Wool Yes, Plastic Fleece No
By Beedy Parker

So how about wool, anyway? Here is a wonderful natural fiber that grows on the backs of gentle animals, who, Shmoo-like, provide meat and manure, and even milk and cheese. When sheep are rotated through pastures, they improve the land and keep the farm open – and yet, the use of wool for clothing and blankets seems to be disappearing, as are the sheep.

The Next Green Revolution, by James E. Horne
100 Vegetables and Where They Came From, by William Woys Weaver
The Interactive Manual of Woody Landscape Plants, by Michael A. Dirr

MOF&G Cover Spring 2002

News & Events
GE-Moratorium Pledge
Maine Dairy Quality Seal

Good Communication
Coplin No-Spray Ordinance
International Students

BPC Reports
GMO Application; Forum Planned
Pesticides Sales Data
Kennebunk Lawncare Fined

Susan Pierce to Direct Folk Festival

MOFGA Volunteer Profile
Gail Taisey: In for the Long Haul