Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
On the cover: In honor of her mother who passed away this spring, artist Toki Oshima depicts Helen Oshima on Fern Hill Farm, a bio-dynamic herb farm in Mass. and N. Mexico, in her favorite place of reverence, the garden.

Bragg Dairy Farm
Bragg Dairy Farm. English photo.

Organic Dairy: Back to the Future, Back to Profits
By Jean English
“Organic is not business as usual,” says Wayne Bragg, an organic dairy farmer in Sidney, Maine. The bicentennial farm where he and his wife, Peggy, live was established in 1772 by John Bragg II, who took up a claim and built a little log cabin by the Kennebec River. The farmhouse was built in the 1880s by Caleb Bragg, who made his money in the bookbinding business. Now the farm continues, thanks to the organic market. “You’ve got a guaranteed price and a quality incentive,” Bragg notes.

Greenwood Gold
By Jane Lamb
I met Stuart Beck’s apples before I met the grower himself. In the midst of the clamor and excitement of the annual family cider-pressing day, I couldn’t help noticing how sound and relatively unblemished were the apples going into the vintage machine. I was astonished to learn that the truckload of Gravensteins, gathered by simply shaking the trees over tarps and unceremoniously heaving them into the big pickup body, were all organic. Remembering the terrible catalog of pests and diseases that plagued organic apple growers I had interviewed for The MOF&G, I wondered if some California secrets might help Maine orchardists.
Intensive crop production
Intensive crop production. King photo.

Intensive Crop Production System Pays Off
By Tim King
Since 1986, our farm has used a system of raised beds, drip irrigation, plastic mulch and fabric row cover tunnels. We’ve used this system or parts of this system for frost protection, weed control, irrigation, microclimate enhancement, moisture retention and insect control for 1000 to 4000 feet of warm season and brassica crops.

Community Supported Agriculture: Variations on the Theme
By Jean English
Variations on the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) theme were highlighted at MOFGA’s Spring Growth Conference in April. Community Supported Agriculture involves customers who buy shares in a farm, usually paying before the growing season begins in order to support the farmer’s startup and continuing costs for the year.

The Rise in Neurological Disorders: Are Diet and the Environment to Blame?
By Jean English
Is a dietary deficiency of vitamin A or B6 linked to autism? Can nutrient deficiencies cause some cases of bipolar disorder? Can Tourette syndrome symptoms be triggered by mold in homes and schools, by offgassing of formaldehyde from building materials, or by flashing lights?

Nespihqamq is Red Willow
By Fredda Paul with Leslie Wood Paul
Fredda Paul, Passamaquoddy tribal member, practices Indian traditional medicine as first learned from his grandmother. He and Leslie work together harvesting, making medicine and helping people return to the old ways of healing.
Chickweed – delicious and nutritious.

Chickweed: A Delicious and Nutritious ... Weed
By Deb Soule
Various species of chickweed grow around our planet. A member of the Caryophyllaceae (Carnation) family, chickweed grows as an annual and reseeds easily in cool, moist soils. Its Latin genus name, Stellaria, means little star, a reference to its white, star-shaped flowers. The leaves are smooth and oval shaped, and the delicate leaf stalk has a single line of hairs running up the stem, which changes position at the nodes.

For the Love of Lovage
By Jean Ann Pollard
It’s not too late to love lovage. That mostly unknown, old-fashioned herb (Levisticum officinale) looks and tastes a lot like celery, although it’s stronger in both growth and aroma. In fact, a little goes a long way no matter how it’s used.

Grow Your Own Elderberries
By Roberta Bailey
My first memory of elder bushes was in my best friend’s yard. Her father had a neat row of the plants, mulched with peanut hulls. He made wine with the berries. We were forbidden to pick any of the fruit, and upon tasting the raw berries, the ban suited me fine. My friend and I spent hours sifting through the mulch looking for a whole peanut. We never found one.
Cooking with dairy illustration
Toki Oshima illustration.

Culinary Adventures with Local Dairy Products
By Roberta Bailey
In the last few years, I have noticed a significant increase in the number of small dairy operations, many of them organic, in Maine. Transitioning to organic has helped small dairy farms survive. Selling milk wholesale is one option, but I have noted an increasing number of farms marketing their milk and value-added products such as cheese and yogurt to natural food and gourmet shops, and even to Hannaford supermarkets.

Grant & Conference Support Grazing
By Diane Schivera
I wanted Maine grass farmers to know that MOGFA, Cooperative Extension, Unity Barnraisers and a group of farmers received a SARE grant to establish the Maine Grassfarmers Network.

Treated Wood
By Eric Sideman, Ph.D.
I have worked for MOFGA for nearly 20 years as the “answer man,” and questions about treated lumber have come in every spring when gardeners and farmers start building projects or replacing fence posts. The names of the synthetic materials used to treat wood to deter insects and fungi do not sound organic and raise eyebrows of even moderately aware consumers standing at the shelf reading the label. So they call me to see if treated wood is safe.

Q. Where can I get seeds of the chicory that you bring indoors and force in the winter?
MOFGA logo

Tips & Tidbits
Tips for a Palate Pleasing Harvest
Promoting Farmers’ Markets
Secrets to Growing Big Fruit
Container Gardening Boom
The Energy Efficiency of Horses
Depressed? “B” Sure to Get Enough Folate
Maine Agency Supports Recycling
Why Start a School Garden?
Save Gas Money

Insure Your Home for Replacement Value
Feathers Wanted for Writing Quills
Chanticler Chicken Breed Endangered

Lathyrus odoratus
By Mary Anne Libby


Chaos or Hope?
By Russell Libby, MOFGA Executive Director
As I travel throughout the state, and in my phone conversations, I keep having different versions of the same conversation: “Is what we’re doing really making a difference?” My answer is: “Yes!”

Why Buy Locally, Why Buy Organic? … Three Odd Reasons
By Lisa Turner, 2004 MOFGA President
1. It’s Subversive: Well, maybe that’s overstated, but not much. I’m not talking about the government, I’m talking about being subversive against corporations, and buying locally definitely helps to keep you off the radar of corporations.
Frugality drawing by Toki Oshima
Toki Oshima illustration.

Frugality: A Menace to Society?
By Mitch Lansky
There are dangerous people in Maine who threaten our economy, if not our society. Some of these people may be in your own town. Consider Vernon and Viola who live in the old farmhouse down the road. They tend a neat vegetable garden and can, freeze and root cellar much of their winter needs. They burn firewood to heat their house in the winter. He keeps his tools sharp, his equipment maintained and running, and rarely needs to buy new replacements. She darns socks, cooks meals from scratch, and can make something tasty from leftovers. What are they doing that is such a menace to America? They are being frugal.

A Mini-Farm Retrospective
By Jean English, Editor, The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener
The little girl who told me, during one of our woods walks, that “bark is like tree-shirts” is now voting age and will soon graduate from high school and head for McGill University in Montreal (absentee ballot in hand). The little boy who clung to my leg while I boiled organic potatoes in the kitchen is now a teenager, ironing peace signs onto his shirts, telling me in the process how much the peace sign looks like a chicken foot.

New Data on Maine Agriculture Available
The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) recently released some preliminary Census of Agriculture statistics. Here are some comparisons between 1997 and 2002 data for Maine: The number of farm operators living on the farm for two years or less more than doubled over the period; the number under 25 years of age increased by a factor of five, and the number under 35 doubled.
Compost Hotline Operator

Reviews & Resources
The following reviews and resource listings appear on the same web page:
Diary of a Compost Hotline Operator, by Spring Gillard
Ball Redbook Volume 1: Greenhouses and Equipment
Ball Redbook Volume 2: Crop Production
A Note about Meanwhile, Next Door to the Good Life
Seeds of Deception,
by Jeffrey M. Smith
Living Wild and Domestic, by Robert Kimber
Farming Articles Available on New Farm Web Site
Online Information from Cornell
MOF&G Cover Summer 2004
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

Board of Pesticides Control
Bee Pests, Railroad Weeds and Indoor Pesticide Applications

Empty Bowl Supper a Success
Certification Services Staff Grows

Volunteer Profile
Karen Volckhausen: Not Just a Tourist

Fair News
Poster Winner, Genny Keller – Fifth Try Never Fails!