Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association

MOFGA’s Journeyperson Program Off to Good Start
Modern Homestead Rises at Unity
New Faces at MOFGA

Our Thanks …

MOFGA’s Journeyperson Program Off to Good Start

We’re working with two journeypersons this year, Jeff Burchstead and Amanda Jamison, and we’re gearing up for a slight expansion in our advanced training program for next year. Amanda was at Nezinscot Farm for part of the year, then moved to Morris Farm as farm manager. Jeff is working part-time at Morris Farm and learning draft horse skills working with a farmer in Pittston. Our goal is to work with young, would-be farmers to help them develop a workable business plan to go with their hands-on training in production skills.

For next year, we hope to find at least five individuals or couples who are interested in farming in Maine, and work with them to get ready to farm on their own. We hope, also, to place a few people in our Modern Homestead to act as resident gardeners at MOFGA’s Common Ground.

If you’re interested in developing additional skills in the year ahead through our journeyperson program, please contact the MOFGA office for more information.

Modern Homestead
Local independent carpenters Gary Dunn and Neal McNaughten are building the starter home at MOFGA’s Modern Homestead in Unity.


Modern Homestead Rises at Unity

The Modern Homestead is going up at MOFGA’s home in Unity! This dwelling for the new millenium builds on the traditions of the past and shows some possible solutions for the future.

In 1999, MOFGA held a design competition to develop an affordable, practical starter house that could serve as the base for a small farm. The competition was sponsored by EBS, the Ellsworth-based building supplies company. The winning design, created by Ned and Avery Wood, is a modification of a traditional cape that includes a root cellar, space for a summer kitchen for food processing, wood storage, and provisions for solar hot water and electricity. The design was modified to meet the builders’ needs and to be more flexible for MOFGA’s uses.

“We’re excited about the possibilities of having young farmers living in Unity, and helping to create more demonstration gardens for visitors year-round,” says Russell Libby, MOFGA’s executive director. “This fits in with our plans to train a new generation of successful farmers in Maine.”

Major supporters of the project include EBS and the Green Store in Belfast. EBS is interested in providing examples for the public of practical small houses that can be built affordably; the company is supplying the primary building materials. Some of the wood has come from MOFGA’s woodlot, as well. The basic building should cost about $30,000 for materials. The Green Store is providing energy efficiency products, which may rotate over time, as suitable new technologies are identified.

For more information, call MOFGA at 568-4142.

Rhonda Houston
Rhonda Houston
Dawn Flanzer
Dawn Flanzer


New Faces at MOFGA

Rhonda Houston works on data entry, keeps addresses, memberships and subscriptions current, records checks and more at the MOFGA office in Unity.

Dawn Flanzer is sharing the receptionist job at Unity with long-time MOFGA volunteer Debbie Kipp.


Our Thanks …

To EBS Building Supplies

We would like to thank EBS for its generous support of the Homestead now under construction. Without the company’s support and patience, we would not have been able to launch this important project. Thank you.

To Nancy Gray and The Harraseeket Inn

The spontaneous offer by Mrs. Gray to host a donor appreciation dinner at her lovely Harraseeket Inn embodies the type of support MOFGA receives from many of its members. On August 24th, Mrs. Gray opened her lovely banquette room and organic gardens to over 200 MOFGA supporters. The Inn’s staff worked tirelessly to make sure this dinner was flawless, beautiful and delicious. We cannot thank everyone at the Inn enough for putting together what was truly a special event.

We would also like to thank Mrs. Gray for her boundless generosity and support of Maine’s local farmers. Thanks to Mrs. Gray’s vision and tenacity, The Harraseeket was one of the first establishments in Maine to buy as many products as possible from local growers and suppliers.

In addition to featuring wonderful, locally grow organic food, the dinner gave us a chance to display MOFGA’s Common Ground and to thank many of the people who have helped bring the site to life. Although MOFGA was not able to invite all of our donors to this event, we do value everyone’s support equally. Whether people give $10, $10,000 or 10 hours of their time, they are integral to MOFGA’s success. We need each of you, and we thank all of you.

In addition to hearing from Russell Libby, our executive director, and Sharon Tisher, board president, we were joined by organic farmer and author Eliot Coleman. In a compelling and eloquent speech, Eliot pointed out that although it has taken many years, people everywhere are finally realizing that MOFGA and its supporters were right! Though enthusiastic over the progress that organic agriculture has made, he warned that the integrity of organic food production is threatened, and he encouraged us to expand and deepen our commitment to sustainable, locally-based organic food systems.

To the Donors

This dinner would not have been possible without generous donations from the following Maine (and Italian!) farmers, gardeners and businesses. Thank you:

Avena Botanicals, Rockland
Bionatura, Tuscany, Italy
Bluebird Hill Farm, Jefferson
Brahms/Mount Textiles, Inc., Hallowell
Borealis Breads, Waldoboro
Farm to You, Farmington
Gardens & Gallery at Graymalkin, Freeport
Grandview Farm, Greene
Hahn’s End, Phippsburg
Happy Town Farm, Orland
The Harraseeket Inn, Freeport
The Highland’s Clough, St. Albans
Island Acres Farm, Stonington
Laughingstock Farm, Freeport
Meadowood Farm, Yarmouth
Nanc’s Crackers, Belfast
New Leaf Farm, Durham
Nezinscot Farm, Turner
Old Stage Farm, Lovell
Oyster Creek Mushroom Farm, Damariscotta
Peacemeal Farm, Dixmont
Ridgeside Farm, Greene
Rippling Water/Backyard Organics, Steep Falls
Royal River Natural Foods, Freeport
Setters Run, Gorham
Sow’s Ear, Brooksville
State of Maine Cheeses, Rockport
Straw’s Farm, Newcastle


MOF&G Cover Winter 2000-2001