Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association

Adult Ed Classes Seek Gardening Instructors

We have been receiving many calls at the MOFGA office from adult education offices throughout Maine asking for experienced farmers or gardeners to teach classes, including:

Putting Your Garden to Bed for the Winter
Backyard Poultry Basics
Root Cellars and Storing Winter Vegetables
Planning for Next Spring's Garden
And more!

A directory of adult education offices is posted at Facilities, pay rates and locations vary, so please contact the adult education office in your community for details. MOFGA can help by providing materials for instructors; contact Abby Sadauckas at 568-4142 or [email protected].

Welcome to the 2009 Journeyperson Cohort!

Thirty-six people who are well on their way toward becoming successful farmers joined MOFGA’s Journeyperson Program this summer.

The Journeyperson Program fills the continuing education gap between apprentice and independent farmer and provides resources and opportunities for prospective new farmers who have completed an apprenticeship to further develop skills for farming independently and successfully. The program is largely shaped by the interests and goals of individual participants and is intended to enable aspiring new farmers to gain advanced farming experience, skill and perspective in a relatively safe and supportive environment, buffered somewhat from the high risk of establishing a farm enterprise. Journeypeople also benefit from participating in a supportive network of like-minded, motivated people.

This year’s crop includes a former software engineer with plenty of farming experience already completed; a former teacher who saw the effects of malnourishment on her students; a former film industry camera operator who is now developing a biodynamic permaculture farm that will be a safe haven for honeybees; and many more. To read their fascinating stories, please visit Look for members of this talented crew at Maine farmers’ markets and at MOFGA events.

Thanks to Empty Bowl Donors!

MOFGA’s El Salvador Sistering Committee held its annual Empty Bowl supper, a major fundraiser for the group, in April. Thanks so much to the following, who donated food, pottery, music, time and place to make this Empty Bowl supper a success:

Soup: Cleonice Mediterranean Bistro, Ellsworth; Happytown Farm, Orland; The Shire, Knox

Food: Belfast Co-op Store, Belfast

Music: Tree by Leaf

Site: Unitarian Universalist Church, Belfast (and thanks to UU members for help with setting up and cleaning up)


Ingrid Bathe, Edgecomb,

Hog Bay Pottery, Charles Grosjean, 245 Hog Bay Rd., Franklin, ME 04634; 565-2282; [email protected]

Honey Bee Pottery, Chris Breedlove, Hull Quarry, Mt. Desert; 244-5348; [email protected]

Loken Pottery, 26 Bowman St., Farmingdale, ME 04344; 582-1387

Monroe Salt Works, P.O. Box 820, 76 Bartlett Hill Rd., Monroe, ME 04951; (888) 472-5895;

Prescott Hill Pottery, Betsy Levine, 261 Prescott Hill Rd., Liberty, ME 04949; 589-3399; [email protected],

Proper Clay Stoneware, Susan Dickson-Smith, Rt. 186, Gouldsboro, ME 04607; 963-2040;

Unity Pond Pottery, Robert and Wendy Esposito, P.O. Box 33, Unity, ME 04988; 948-2400; [email protected];

Wanda Wright, 64 Herrick Rd., Southwest Harbor, ME 04679

Nonviolent Communication Workshop a Success for El Salvador Committee

In March, Peggy Smith of NVC4ME ( in Lincolnville, Maine, donated a day of her time to the MOFGA-El Salvador Sistering Committee by offering, as a fundraiser for the Committee, an introductory workshop on Marshall Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication (

Through Smith’s often-entertaining lectures and by breaking up into pairs to try various practices, some two dozen participants from broadly diverse backgrounds learned how Rosenberg’s methods help nourish inner peace and peace work in the world, and how conflict can open up discussion.

In an exercise about listening with empathy, for example, one person sat and deeply listened – without commenting or even making eye contact – while another talked; and then the pair switched roles. Smith related a similar experience that took place between a man who had engaged in acts of terrorism in Northern Ireland, and George Mitchell: When asked what caused the man to become a pacifist, he said, “George Mitchell listened me to death.”

In another exercise, participants learned to identify and express their feelings better by telling a brief story and then selecting from “feelings cards” how they were feeling; then a partner used “needs cards” to help determine the needs behind those feelings. Participants also learned how to make concrete requests for actions by using language that does not connote blame or other negative messages; to release judgments of themselves and others; and to speak more authentically from the heart.

Several participants noted after the workshop that they had begun to use some of the NVC practices in their day-to-day lives, with clearer communication resulting.

The workshop included a delicious lunch of organic foods, prepared by Betsy Garrold.

To contact Peggy Smith for information or to arrange for a workshop in your area, visit her Web site or call 207-789-5299.

MOFGA Stays Warm With Solar Power!

This winter, MOFGA turned on its solar water heating system to help heat the main building at the Common Ground Education Center in Unity. Dr. Jay Legore, who designed and built the system, placed 16 4-x 8-foot solar water panels along the south side of the main building. The panels are constructed in two ways: One uses factory-built copper flat-plate collectors inside a site-made polycarbonate enclosure; the other panels use PEX pipe and aluminum collector plates sealed together in a site-built polycarbonate enclosure. The “home-made” aluminum flat-plate collectors are less expensive to build but may require more maintenance during the start-up period. Both varieties supply hot water to a heat exchanger mounted above the MOFGA kitchen. The hot water is then pumped from the exchanger to the 1,500-gallon water tank in MOFGA's boiler room. Over the next year we will study the output of the system and refine how hot water is circulated inside the building. Dr. Legore estimates another 16 panels might allow MOFGA to derive most of its heat from the sun. For more information, please contact Vernon LeCount, MOFGA's facilities director, at 568-4142 or [email protected].

MOFGA Staff and Member News

Congratulations to MOFGA members Alice and Rufus Percy on the birth of their second son, Lowell Percy, on Feb. 11; to Marada Cook and Ryan Redmond on the birth of their daughter, Ivyn Annie Redmond, on March 3; and to MOFGA journeyperson Justin Deri and Vivian Page, on their son, Julian Wilde Deri, on Jan. 30.

Congratulations to MOFGA member Jerry Sass for being named the 2008 Outstanding Woodlot Owner of the Year by the Somerset County Soil and Water Conservation District. After having cared for his homestead for nearly 40 years, Sass donated his property to MOFGA. He will live on the homestead, managing the woodlot as long as he can, then the property will be held in perpetuity by MOFGA. The woodlot will be managed according to his principles.

And congratulations to MOFGA member and former executive director Nancy Ross. The Unity College associate professor of environmental policy was chosen as one of three educators to receive the Maine Campus Compact’s Donald Harward Faculty Award for Service Learning Excellence.

In the “get well” department:

Dennis King of King Hill Farm in Penobscot is recovering from a stroke. Cards and notes are appreciated – King Hill Farm, 29 Faerie Kingdom Rd., Penobscot, ME 04476. You can keep up with Dennis’ progress at

Susan Pierce, former Fair director, of Northport, was in a car accident in China, Maine, in April, and suffered a broken leg. Cards may be sent to her at 320 Beech Hill Rd., Northport, ME 04849

MOFGA members, in passing, and remembrance:

Randy Alford, former University of Maine faculty member in entomology, died in Louisiana after a long illness. He was part of the Potato Ecosystem Project, and worked on alternative approaches for Colorado potato beetle control.

Albert “Abe” David Allen of Legion Park passed peacefully away at his winter home in Inverness, Fla., on March 6, 2009. Allen was a charter member of MOFGA. He and his wife ran Four Seasons Farm and he sold at the Common Ground Farmers’ Market in both Windsor and Unity.

Bill Donnell, Donnell’s Clapboards, Sedgwick – A Fair vendor who relied on his 100-year-old quarter sawn clapboard mill to make products that will last long into the future.

David Palmer Beall, 57, of Leeds died unexpectedly at his home on Feb. 14, 2009. Beall was a carpenter, gardener and friend of MOFGA.

W. Rudd Douglass Sr., of Blueberry Ledge Farm, passed away on March 2, 2009, at his home on Palmer Road in Pittston. Douglass, who held a doctorate in zoology, raised and sold perennials and grew organic produce (including many varieties of potatoes) and Maine wild blueberries at the Brunswick Farmers’ Market.

Susan Schivera, Fair volunteer and mother of Diane Schivera, died at home in New York in April.

Dedicate a Shade Tree at MOFGA’s Common Ground

Our Landscaping Committee works hard to maintain the health of MOFGA’s grassland, gardens and trees. Volunteers and their donations have been essential in creating MOFGA’s landscape, and their continued support helps grow our landscape vision.

Our Dedicated Tree Program helps support the cost of maintaining MOFGA’s landscape. For a generous donation of $500, you can dedicate a tree already planted on the grounds to a loved one. MOFGA will place a locally crafted granite plaque with a personal message for the honoree with the tree. If you would like to dedicate a tree or need more information, please contact C.J. Walke, MOFGA’s landscape coordinator, at (207) 568-4142 or [email protected].
MOF&G Cover Summer 2009
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.