Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
Arnold & Bonnie Pearlman
Arnold & Bonnie Pearlman.
Lack photo.

Arnold and Bonnie Pearlman and Jonesport's Crossroads Farm

By Larry Lack
Bonnie and Arnold Pearlman have been farming organically in Jonesport for 34 years. They can’t recall what year they were first certified by MOFGA, but Arnold says they were “among the very first.” The Pearlmans found their 20 acres of woods and blueberry barrens in the mostly unpopulated interior of the Jonesport peninsula in 1969. Originally from Philadelphia, Arnold worked as a VISTA volunteer in Detroit’s black ghetto in the late 1960s. He met Bonnie, who was raised in New York City, when she came to visit a friend in Detroit. At the time, both were in their early twenties.

C. et R. Zollinger: Conserving Horticultural Heritage, Preserving the Future
By Terry Allan
When you take the ferry from Montreux to Le Bouveret, Switzerland, you see the mountains rising steeply and dramatically above the shores of Lake Geneva. Many are still snow capped in June. Then you notice a break in the heights where the mountains part and the Rhone River empties into the lake. Follow the river a mile or two into this deep valley and you come across more than a dozen hoop houses at the heart of the organic seed production farm of Robert and Christine Zollinger.
Jacob, Mark & Terrry Silber
Jacob, Mark & Terry Silber. Photo courtesy Mark Silber.

Beauty, Integrity and Self-Sufficiency at Hedgehog Hill Farm
By Joyce White
Many people first visit Hedgehog Hill Farm for the widely advertised, free “Sundays in the Garden at 2.” Every Sunday afternoon from mid-June through August, the public is invited to stroll through the lush gardens and hear a lecture about some aspect of gardening at the 200-acre farm in the small, western Maine town of Sumner.

The Back-to-the-Land Movement in Cuba
By Jed Beach
The view from the hilltop headquarters of the former Empresa Pecuaria Bacuranao is just the sort of command-and-control, panopticon view to satisfy the manager of a large-scale, industrial farm. “All this below us was a giant dairy farm,” says Cuban agronomist Fernando Funes Monzote. “The government imported thousands of Holstein cows. This was a 13,000-hectare farm once.”

Percy Schmeiser at Common Ground Country Fair
By Jean English
In introducing Common Ground Country Fair Keynote Speaker Percy Schmeiser, Sharon Tisher, chair of MOFGA’s public policy committee, noted that the Canadian canola farmer had been on three expeditions to Mount Everest, where he’d climbed to 26,000 feet. The Canadian press, she continued, often asks Schmeiser which is harder to deal with: Mount Everest of Monsanto. Schmeiser says that’s a “really hard question.”
A Decade of Work in Maine
GE-Free Bush Territory?
Commissioner Thinks GE and Organic Can Coexist in Maine
Vermont Passes GE Seed Labeling Law
More California Counties Vote on GE Agriculture
Court Orders Biopharm Crops Disclosed
John Bunker
John Bunker coats an apple with Tanglefoot. English photo.

Will GE Seeds be the WMDs in Iraq?
Canadian Government Agreed to Conduct Secret GM Wheat Field Trials

Apple Tree Care Throughout the Year
By Jean English
“It’s always worth planting trees,” maintains John Bunker, vice president (and president as of 2005) of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) and coordinator of Fedco Trees. “Look at the trees at the Arnold Arboretum [in Jamaica Plain, Mass.] that people planted a hundred years ago. There are oaks that are 3 or 4 feet in diameter … Someone who’s dead now took the time to plant trees for us.”

Organic Orcharding Series Concludes with Visit to Sandy River Orchard
By Russell Libby
MOFGA’s 2004 Organic Orcharding series concluded with a visit to Francis Fenton’s Sandy River Orchard in Mercer, Maine, on Saturday, October 9, 2004. Sandy River Orchard is known for its diverse collection of varieties, featuring a number of apples Fenton has collected from old family orchards around Franklin and Somerset counties over more than 30 years. John Bunker from FEDCO Trees and Michael Phillips, author of The Apple Grower, also presented.

Bring a Little Peace to the World: Grow Cranberries in Your Garden
By Jean English
John Harker thinks that our native cranberry, Vaccinium macrocarpon, is “probably one of the better crops to grow organically.” He explained its culture at the 2004 Common Ground Country Fair. When he isn’t growing or lecturing about cranberries, Harker is a business development specialist with the Maine Department of Agriculture.
Sidebar: When Life Gives you Fireworms, Make Cranberry Juice
Beach plum
Beach plum. English photo.

Lee Reich on Uncommon Fruits for the Garden
By Jean English
Many home and commercial apple growers lamented the small crop they had this year, despite hours of tree care. If only we’d planted passionflowers, persimmons or pawpaws! We all realize the benefits of diversity in our society and in our agriculture, but when it comes to fruits, we seem to be stuck growing and eating just a few of the biggies. Lee Reich is out to change that.

Controlling Sheep Parasites with Garlic Juice
By Jean Noon
I operate a 50- to 60-ewe, organic sheep farm in southern Maine. During the fall of 2002 I learned through Coastal Enterprises about the Northeast SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education) Grant Program. I was interested because I was worried that I would be unable to continue managing my flock organically under the newly implemented organic standards, which, as updated in 2002, require only natural materials to treat parasites in sheep and lambs.

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera).
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera). Photo courtesy of Cal Lemke.

Q. How can I get rid of containers of old pesticides?

Ashwagandha Delivers Benefits During Stressful Times
By Deb Soule
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is a member of the nightshade family and can be grown as an annual in northern New England. In its native habitat in India (including 6000 feet high in the Himalayas), northern Africa and the Middle East, this herb grows as a semihardy evergreen shrub. Ashwagandha, also known as winter cherry, has green-yellow flowers that bloom in midsummer in Maine.

Harvest Kitchen – Maine Garden-Flavored Mediterranean Fare
By Roberta Bailey
I recently heard the results of a study comparing the success rates of three popular diets. They were about equally successful, and researchers advised going with the one that seemed easiest to stick with. The report was followed by a doctor’s personal commentary saying that losing weight comes down to the simple formula of taking in fewer calories than you burn. You could go on an ice cream or pasta diet, the bottom line being that you need to tip the scale in favor of calories burned.

Avoiding Last Year's Allium Pests
By Eric Sideman, Ph.D.
Winter is the time to plan gardening and farming practices that will overcome problems from the past year. It is a time of optimism. Looking forward to great success is easy with all the beautiful pictures in seed catalogs, but the rotting vegetables in the root cellar may bring back a handful of bad memories. The damp, cool summer of 2004 is mostly forgotten now, but crops that were not worth harvesting or those that spoiled downstairs are repercussions of that fungus-favoring growing season.

The Care and Hatching of Eggs
By Diane Schivera
Many natural barriers help prevent bacteria from entering eggs. The “bloom” or “cuticle,” a gelatinous covering that dries after the egg emerges from the hen, helps seal the pores in the shell, reducing moisture loss and bacterial penetration. The many egg membranes also help prevent the passage of bacteria.

Green Methods Web Site
Cranberries May Reduce Damage From Strokes
Clogged Arteries? Eat Oats
Food Additives May Increase Hyperactivity

Chicken Plucker Newsletter Available
Dust Storms Return with Corporate Agriculture


Building Connections
By Russell Libby, MOFGA Executive Director

Twenty Years After Bhopal: Only Organic Farming
By Jean English, Editor, The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener

MOFGA Bylaws Changes
MOF&G Cover Winter 2004/2005
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 Continues Work on Indoor Pesticide Application Regulations


MOFGA Joins Alliance for a Clean & Healthy Maine
MOFGA's Organic Orcharding Class
MOFGA-El Salvador Sistering Committee Update
MOFGA Board Adopts Policy on Trade Liberalization or "Free Trade" in Agriculture
MOFGA Night at O'Naturals in Portland – Superb Fast Food During a Busy Season
Staff Changes at MOFGA

Volunteer Profile
Howard and Sue Schivera

Common Ground Country Fair