Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener – Winter 2006-2007


Aquaculture Engineering Inc.
Schoodic Hollow Farm
Service Journey to Kenya
Bantry Bay Farm

A Duckweed-Tilapia-Vegetable Cycle Grows in Washington, Maine
By Alice Percy
On a curve in Route 220 in Maine’s Washington village, near Route 17, hangs a wooden sign advertising “Aquaculture Engineering, Inc.”  The driveway leads past the house to a gravel walkway that goes past a mid-sized barn and a small garden to an ordinary-looking greenhouse. Like many ordinary-looking farmsteads in Maine, this one offers much more than meets the eye.

Country Living at Schoodic Hollow Farm
By Rhonda Tate
“Ahh, country living,” laughs Becka Smith Gagne as she prepares lunch for her four-year-old daughter, Oceanna, tells her apprentice Katie where to store onion braids, answers questions on life and the pursuit of happiness – all while eyeing her baby son, Rowan, who is moments away from learning to crawl.

Horticulture at Islesboro Central School
By Jean English
Lots of locals (summer folks included) are talking about the fresh, local vegetables that are increasingly available on the island off Midcoast Maine, thanks largely to the horticulture program taught at the K-12 school by John Pincince. At one point or another, most of the 82 ICS students will participate in the program.

Service Journey to Kenya Brings Appreciation for Local Foods
By Saima Sidik
Saima Sidik of Lincolnville, Maine, and Jesse Rusak of Halifax, Nova Scotia, spent January to July 2006 in Kenya with an organization called Expanding Opportunities (EO,

Reviving New Brunswick's Bantry Bay Farm
By Larry Lack
A historic saltwater farm in New Brunswick on the St. Croix River near Calais has a new lease on life thanks to the good luck, determination and hard work of four young farmers who migrated east from British Columbia a year ago.

Stoneworkers Have Worked Hard for MOFGA
Since 1985, a group of stoneworkers has gathered at the Common Ground Country Fair to demonstrate and educate the public about the versatility and creative possibilities of stone.

2006 Common Ground Country Fair Keynote Addresses

Cynthia Thayer:
"Another Way to Eat"

For 28 years, the highly diversified Darthia Farm in Gouldsboro has been MOFGA-certified, and during that time owners Bill and Cynthia Thayer have trained dozens of MOFGA apprentices. 

First Lady Karen Baldacci: 
“Our future is in sustainable agriculture.”
Maine’s First Lady, Karen Baldacci, was Common Ground’s keynote speaker on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2006.  Russell Libby, executive director of MOFGA, introduced her, explaining her deep interest in local food issues and in bringing local foods – from as close as her own garden – into the Blaine House.

Ken Geiser:
"Exciting Alternatives to Hazardous Technologies"

Ken Geiser, director of the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production at the University of Massachusetts in Lowell, was the Sept. 23rd keynote speaker at the Common Ground Country Fair.

Common Ground's Bean Hole Beans –
Continuing a Tradition

According to the Maine Folklife Center, Native Americans originated bean hole beans by baking beans with bear grease and maple syrup in clay pots covered with deerskins and buried in coals in the ground.

Harvest Kitchen: Side Dishes for Baked Beans
By Roberta Bailey
I loved our local bean suppers. They were usually buffet-style and included at least four or five kinds of baked beans. They were made with Navy Pea beans, Yellow Eyes, Kidneys, Marfax and Soldier beans. Every family had strong opinions about which beans made the best baking beans. Here are some recipes to accompany baked bean dinners.

King Cotton and the Wal-Mart Shopper
The High-Stakes Quest to Define Sustainability

By Alex Owre
Last year Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott invited media frenzy by announcing his plan to move the company in a more environmentally friendly direction. Was this “greenwash”?

National Animal I.D. Addressed at Common Ground
By Alice Percy
Recent articles in several publications devoted to small-scale farming and homesteading have strongly criticized the USDA’s proposed National Animal Identification System. The MOFGA board approved an official position regarding the USDA’s April 2006 NAIS proposal and directed MOFGA’s public policy committee to coordinate an extra teach-in at the Common Ground Country Fair to educate fairgoers on this controversial issue.

Tomato Production in Hoophouses
By Eric Sideman, MOFGA's Organic Crop Specialist
I pick my first truly vine ripened tomato in June, and I thank Otho Wells, who introduced hoophouses to New England, calling them "high tunnels."

Record Keeping is Necessary for Livestock Farmers
By Diane Schivera, MOFGA's Organic Livestock Specialist
Record keeping serves many functions for livestock farmers (and for all farmers), and it’s a requirement for organic farmers.

Raw Milk Book Back in Print


Self-Reliance on a Global Scale
John Bunker, MOFGA President

Are We Ready?
Russell Libby, MOFGA Executive Director

Farm-to-School-to-Community Fundraisers: Better than Candy
Jean English, Editor of The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener

Reviews and Resources – Winter 2006
From Grass to Gardens: How to Reap Bounty from a Small Yard
Organic, Inc. – Natural Foods and How They Grew
The Canning Season
• Bean Information Online
• The Meatrix II: Revolting
• Cornell University’s "Vegetable Varieties for Gardeners" Web site
• Organic Dairy Farming Guide
• Safe Disposal of Dead Poultry
• Smart Water Use on Your Farm or Ranch
• Farm Stays in Maine New Hampshire and Vermont
• Shaker Your Plate: Of Shaker Cooks and Cooking
• Northeast Recycling Council
• "TreeHugger" Electronic Newsletter
• State-by-State Picture of Agriculture
• Guidebook For Special Event-Generated Waste in Rural Communities
• Environmental Tipping Points
• 2006/07 SARE Highlights