Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
MOF&G Cover Winter 2005-2006
Roy Antaki
Roy Antaki of Weeping Duck Farm holds an 'Ali Baba' melon. English photo.
Chris Cavendish at Farm Day
Chris Cavendish speaking at MOFGA's 2005 Small Farm Field Day. English photo.

Fermented Foods & Contented Fowl: Weeping Duck Farm
by Jean English
Nine years ago, Ana and Roy Antaki of Weeping Duck Farm in Montville moved from conventional, corporate jobs in Kansas City to a 150-acre former dairy farm in Maine. Since then they’ve moved from conventional back-to-the-land methods of feeding themselves to the newer (or older) method of preserving foods by fermentation.

Biosa: Promising Testimonials Should Prompt Trials
By Ron Rosenthall
North Americans may soon associate Denmark with more than Hamlet, blue cheese and the Little Mermaid: We may add products from Biosa Danmark ApS that could improve the well-being of farm animals, the yield and quality of produce, and our own health. The Danish firm sells its products in over 30 countries and is establishing offices and a distribution network in the New World.

Bocashi Boosts Growth
By Jean English
Bocashi is fermented organic material that has been used traditionally in Japan (where it’s spelled ‘bokashi’) as fertilizer. Making bokashi is an ancient art in Japan, with many recipes, often handed down (sometimes along with bokashi starter) through families.

Christmas Wreath “Business” Funds Garden Club Projects, Grants
By Norma Jane Langford
If you live near an urban or suburban population, decorating and selling Christmas wreaths might be a way for your farm or club to earn some money in December. Here’s how one club has refined its “business” over a decade.

Local Market and Profits Cultivated in Iowa
By Arion Thimoumery
Contempt for hierarchical power and hope for self-sufficiency first brought people to the open prairie. Today those inherited sentiments have some residents renouncing the national food production and distribution system, charging that it is inequitable, delivers largely ho-hum products, decreases food safety, and disconnects farmers from the people eating their food.

Local Buying Clubs Seek Local Produce
By Craig Idlebrook
Once every four weeks, neighbors in small towns throughout Maine come together to do their grocery shopping in unusual places, such as farmhouses, town halls, grange halls, even a seaweed-packaging plant. They catch up with each other and sip coffee while they wait for their food.

Growing Medicinal Herbs and Flowers for the Plant Pollinators
by Deb Soule
I have often wondered where plant pollinators, such as bumblebees and hummingbirds, sleep during the night. Recently, while gathering fresh calendula flowers the evening before a tropical storm was to hit, I began seeing individual bumblebees nestled inside dozens of calendula blossoms, as if someone had told them it was time to go to sleep.

Thoughts on Hoop Houses and Marketing
Chris Cavendish, who was MOFGA’s farmer-in-residence for the past two years, talked about his experiences growing crops in and out of a hoop house at MOFGA’s Small Farm Field Day in Unity on July 31, 2005, and highlighted some of his creative marketing techniques. Field Day participants offered input into management issues with hoop houses.

Cold Frames: Low-Tech, Low-Cost Tool Boosts Production
Russ Libby, MOFGA’s executive director, has been growing garden crops in cold frames – “one of my favorite tools” – for about 18 years. His first frames consisted of storm windows atop boards, he told several Small Farm Field Day participants at MOFGA’s Common Ground Education Center in Unity in July. “I’ve gotten more serious over time.”

Genetically Engineered Trees
by Jacob Mentlik
Corporations stealthily introduced genetically engineered (GE) foods into agriculture and supermarkets in the past decade, and consumers rebelled. Less publicized, however, are GE trees, which are in the early stage of development, mostly at corporate and university research plots.

Temple Grandin Gives Livestock Owners an Animal’s Point of View
by Jean English
“I’m a visual thinker and somebody who really notices details,” said Dr. Temple Grandin at the annual meeting of the Maine Grass Farmers Network in August. “I think totally in pictures,” she added. The packed room at MOFGA’s Common Ground Education Center in Unity had come to hear how this autistic person’s particular way of seeing the world could help them manage their livestock.

Compost barrel
A compost barrel made of recycled plastic.

Composting in the Back Yard or on a Small Farm
by Eric Sideman, Ph.D.
Composting is a natural, biological process in which microorganisms use organic materials as food and leave a residue of digested organic matter that is nearly completely decomposed.

Getting a Family Cow … Lots to Consider
by Diane Schivera
So you’re thinking of getting a family cow. You’ve probably thought of many good reasons: fresh milk 10 months of the year, cream to do with as decadently as you want, peaceful moments in the barn with your head resting against the flank of the cow while milking and letting the rest of the world go by.

Satisfy Those Squash Cravings
by Roberta Bailey
About the only thing that did happen on time this fall was my intense craving for winter squash, which kicks in about a week after the squash are harvested and a week or so before they are fully cured. I always thought the cold weather triggered my need to bake and eat dense, nourishing food, but this year the cravings came in the midst of 60-degree weather and rain.

Sharon Tisher Shifts Responsibilities, Anticipates an Organic Maine
After a dozen years on the MOFGA board of directors, Sharon Tisher has stepped down. She’ll remain involved in our organization, but we thought this would be a good time to review some of MOFGA’s achievements and goals with this brilliant dynamo.


A Garden in Every Yard,
by John Bunker, MOFGA President
Garfield and Venette King live in downtown Fort Kent. They are retired. Every September when I take a trip north to explore the gardens and orchards of Aroostook County, I include a visit to their Page Street home. Sometimes Garfield takes us on a fruit exploring trip into the surrounding countryside.

A Time to Be Bolder, by Russell Libby, MOFGA Executive Director
Right now, the Maine Department of Agriculture is updating the state’s 20-year-old food policy. I’ve been pushing for the policy to include some relatively bold statements. Maine should have the capacity to provide 80% of the calories needed by its citizens. We should have healthy food available to all. We need to build alliances between fishermen and farmers. So far, these statements are not too controversial, and the department agrees in direction if not specific language.

Shopping to Support Living Wages, by Jean English, Editor, The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener
John Walton, son of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton, died when his ultralight aircraft crashed in June. Any death brings sadness, but what also caught my eye in articles about Walton’s death was his “worth,” estimated at $20 billion.

Contra Madness, by Alyssa Benjamin
I must be stuck in a re-run of Little House on the Prairie. Swirling skirts, bearded men, organic women. I sat paralyzed in an itchy, 1970s tweed chair positioned in the corner of a small, rustic dance hall in rural Maine. Once again, this is what my ebullient Aunt Nancy had deemed a good time.


More to the Biodiesel Story
MOFGA Activist Recommends Northern Sky News
Biotech Lobbyist Calls Organic Kettle Black

Reviews & Resources
   Arborsculpture – Solutions for a Small Planet, by Richard Reames
   The Future of Food, by Deborah Koons Garcia
   I Grew Up On A Farm, by Alan K. Lewis
Other Resources
Resource Guide for Organic Insect and Disease Management
   2005 Cornell Guide for Integrated Field Crop Management
   Organic Agricultural Products: Trade and Marketing
   Vegetable MD Online
   Organic Ag Info Online
   Organic Cotton Directory
   Free Video on Poultry Diseases
   Web Site Helps Grow Farm Businesses

News & Events

Landscaping Grows at MOFGA’s Common Ground Education Center

MOFGA Morsels – You may have seen the fun fact signs on your way to the Fair this year. These tidbits make great conversation and show the importance of our organization.

Volunteer Profile
Volunteer Blacksmiths and Hand-hewers Join Beams at the Common Ground Fair

Board of Pesticides Control
Tax on Pesticides Considered

2005 Fair Summary
2005 Fair Awards & Contest Winners
Common Kitchen & Food Donors