Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
Jason Kafka
Jason Kafka, keynote speaker at the 2004 Common Ground Country Fair. English photo.

Kafka Cultivates the Common Good in Keynote Speech
By Jean English
When Jason Kafka started his keynote speech at the 2004 Common Ground Country Fair with, “Mission Accomplished!” his announcement had substance: He held up a giant kohlrabi and massive onion that he’d grown on his Checkerberry Farm in Parkman.

Diversity Cultivates Sustainability at Morrill Farm
By Joyce White
In creating a 21st century organic farm, the Perron family – pronounced with the accent on the last syllable – of Sumner has incorporated many elements of a much earlier lifestyle. For starters, two generations share the land – “two entities working together” is the way son Dan Perron describes the operation.

Raspberries: Challenging but Potentially Profitable – Especially in High Tunnels
By Jean English
“Raspberries are one of the more challenging crops I deal with,” says Maine’s vegetable and small fruit specialist David Handley. “I have more people get started in and get out of raspberries than any other crop I deal with.” People often see raspberries priced around $5 per half pint and plant the fruit. “But when the reality sets in as to how much labor is involved in getting the crop off the plant and to market in good shape, you see it’s worth every penny of that $5, and the growers are earning their money. Lack of labor tends to be the downfall … The market is certainly there.”
Llama protecting sheep
Guard llama protecting sheep in Montana. Becky Weed photo.

Predator Friendly Farming
By Tim King
Coyotes, fox, raccoons, hawks, owls and, in some places, wolves, cougars and bear can make strong farmers weep. Coons in the chicken coop or coyotes in the new lamb crop can bring tears to your eyes, then make you see red, then cause you to reach for a gun, trap or poison. It’s what farmers have always done, right? Maybe not.

A Photographer Responds to Pesticide Poisoning
By Judith Perry
Laurie Tümer, a photographer who teaches digital imaging, writing and photography, lives and works in New Mexico and is represented by Photo-Eye Gallery in Santa Fe. Tümer’s images, inspired by the research of Dr. Richard Fenske, provide a picture of the ubiquitous presence of pesticides. For the past 20 years, Fenske has developed the use of fluorescent tracers to show farmworkers how their skin is exposed to pesticides during application.

Passionate for Politics: Persistence Equals Power
By Alice Torbert
At the 2004 Toxics Action Conference, held at Bowdoin College, participants discussed persistent problems with institutions that are unwilling to tackle the problem of toxics in Maine and celebrated recent victories in fighting local pollution.

Leftover Cuisine Creates Community at College
by Saima Sidik
Finding a sense of community at McGill University in Montreal, where classes (at least in the first year) are half the size that my entire high school population was, is tough. However, students occasionally have torn their eyes away from their laptops long enough to create niches within the school that contribute to its sustainability, both environmentally and psychologically.
   Sidebar: 99 Valuable Leftovers

Eat Quality Fats for Good Health
By Bill Emerson
According to the Weston A. Price Foundation, eating wholesome fatty foods is good for your health! The logic, anthropological observations and impressive research that this nonprofit organization presents on this subject are truly compelling.
   Sidebar: Free-Range Pork Favored for Flavor
Sidebar: Organic Milk Has More Omega-3s and Other Nutrients

Self-Heal: A Flower for Affirming the Gift of Life
by Deb Soule
The names of plants and places have fascinated me for years. Certain words or sounds grab my attention from time to time and seem to have a presence worth exploring. When someone first pointed out the flower self-heal to me, I remember thinking that this plant must have special healing qualities.

Harvest Kitchen – Maple Syrup Makes Eating Local Luscious
by Roberta Bailey
One of the best things about life is being able to step back and laugh at one’s self. Lately I’ve been chuckling over my decision to try to eat more locally grown food. I recently read Gary Paul Nabhan’s Coming Home to Eat, The Pleasures and Politics of Local Foods, in which he chronicles a year of eating food raised or foraged within 250 miles of his Arizona home.

No One Way to the Record Books
By Marada Cook
As inspectors walk the fields of each of Maine’s 278 organic farms, they raise the same perennial questions: “Where are the records backing up these acres? Where are the sales receipts, the seed source documentation and the farm maps? Were alliums in this field last year? Was that compost turned one time, or five times?”

Garlic Oil – An Organic, Environmentally Friendly Bird Repellant
by John K. Borchardt
Garlic repels more than just vampires. Scientists have discovered that garlic oil can be a nontoxic, environmentally friendly starling repellent. Neither crops nor birds are harmed by the product, while farmers achieve higher crop yields. In contrast, current bird repellents are toxic and persist in the environment.

Soilless Mixes for Vegetable Seedling Production
By Eric Sideman, Ph.D.
Soilless mixes were developed for use in containers for seedlings, because field soil does not work well. Soil alone is heavy and poorly aerated. It tends to become waterlogged and sticky when wet. Then it shrinks when it dries, pulls away from the container edges and turns into a little brick, which is difficult for plant roots to penetrate. Furthermore, field soil may be a source of diseases that retard growth and may kill seedlings.
   Sidebar: Fish Emulsion in Media Suppresses Damping-off
Sidebar: Organic Crop Rotation Study Shows Favorable Results

Holistic Management®
by Diane Schivera
Allan Savory of the Savory Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico, spoke about Holistic Management® during the keynote address at the 9th annual Vermont Grazing Conference. The book he wrote with his wife, Jody Butterfield, Holistic Management: A New Framework of Decision-Making (Island Press, 1999), explains the method he discovered while working in Zimbabwe attempting to reduce poverty and improve the plight of vanishing wildlife.

Q. How can I locate organic growers directly so that buying organic foods isn’t so expensive?

Tips & Tidbits
Pre-Sowing Carrot Seed on Toilet Paper
   Quenching Plants' Thirst – Below Ground
   Farmers Need Incentives to Conserve Water
   Once-a-Day, CSA Cows?
   Organic Crop Rotation Study Shows Favorable Results
   New England Field Representative Joins AFT Staff
   Less Natural Immunity in Cloned Pigs
   Meat Goat Market Grows and Improves
   Apples Protect Against Digestive Cancers – Information on Healthy Eating, Nutrition, Obesity Prevention

2004 Index of Articles

   MOFGA Farmers’ Barn Succumbs to Fire
   GE Pollen Travels Miles

Fighting Goliath, by Jean English, Editor, The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener
Organics, Our Common Work, and Compassion, by Russell Libby, MOFGA Executive Director
A Common Vision, by John Bunker, MOFGA President

   Shetland Breeds: Ancient, Endangered and Adaptable
   Bringing the Food Economy Home
   State of the World 2005
   Civic Agriculture: Reconnecting Farm, Food, and Community
   Mountain Gardening
   Micro Eco-Farming
   Permaculture Gardening – One Way to Get Over "It"
   Organic Farm Compliance Handbook    
   Market Organizing Tools Online
   'Building Better Rural Places' Available Online

MOF&G Cover Spring 2005
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.

News & Events

Maine Board of Pesticides Control
BPC Holds Final Hearing on Indoor Pesticide Regulations

Volunteer Profile
John Bunker, MOFGA's 'Apple Guy'

Spring Growth
Organic Orcharding Classes
Empty Bowl Supper to Benefit MOFGA-El Salvador Committee
Learn to Farm for Credit
Friends of MOFGA