"What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Partridge Challenge
In January the Partridge Foundation awarded $1.0 million to establish an endowment to support MOFGA’s New Farmer Programs. It also pledged an additional $1.0 million if MOFGA can raise a similar amount before 2016. Read more.
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PO Box 170, Unity, Maine 04988
Phone: 207-568-4142
Fax: 207-568-4141
Email: mofga@mofga.org
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294 Crosby Brook Road
Unity, Maine

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Suzanne Balbo and Clint Towle
of Crooked Door Farm in Whitefield

Know Your Organic Producers!

Meet Suzanne Balbo and Clint Towle of MOFGA-certified organic Crooked Door Farm in Whitefield. The two MOFGA journeypersons raise vegetables on permanent beds using minimal tillage, a biodiesel walk-behind tractor and a variety of hand tools, including a broad fork. They also use organic seed and local, organic compost on the 3 acres they have in rotation. An unheated greenhouse, a seedling house, caterpillar tunnels and low hoops help extend the growing season. Laying hens and guinea hogs root around, while a neighbor's goats and sheep rotate around Crooked Door's nearly 14 acres of pasture. Balbo and Towle market through their CSA, at the Gardiner Area Farmers' Market, the Gardiner Co-op & Café, the Sheepscot General Store and from their farm. Learn more on the farm's website and on Facebook. Please support MOFGA certified organic farmers and producers!

Search for local certified-organic food on MOFGACertification.org.

Organic and Sustainable Agriculture News
Indoor DDT spraying (unsurprisingly) linked to health hazards
Treehugger - 6/15/2009.
By Sara Novak – While Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring catalogued the environmental and health impacts of the agricultural spraying of DDT in the US, early studies of the impacts of indoor spraying of DDT in developing nations as a form of malaria prevention are just emerging. Unsurprisingly, these studies show that far higher concentrations of DDT are found in the blood of those exposed to the chemical through indoor spraying than have ever been found in a population exposed to the chemical through agricultural spraying.
Betting the farm: the land grab for arable farmland
Fortune - 6/15/2009.
By Brian O'Keefe – (Fortune) – On a sunny Friday morning, Shonda Warner and I are in her red Toyota pickup heading southwest on Highway 61 out of Clarksdale, Miss., on our way to see one of her farms. While her black standard poodle, Walter, naps in the back seat, she's explaining the pitfalls of being an institutional land investor. "It's really hard to buy property at the right price," says Warner as we roll past the famous crossroads where Robert Johnson is said to have sold his soul to the devil to get the secret of the blues. "Half of all farmland that trades in the United States never sees a broker. We believe you've got to have a lot of local knowledge of the marketplace. Farmers are smart and they talk. And if one Town Car full of Wall Street types rolls into town and makes a bid, suddenly all of the prices go up."
“No safe amount: the handshake theory of chemical toxicity”
Treehugger - 6/14/2009.
By Christine Lepisto – The medieval physician Paracelsus said: "Poison is in everything, and no thing is without poison. The dosage makes it either a poison or a remedy." Often quoted in paraphrase as the dose makes the poison, this truism has dominated regulation and chemical management for centuries. Agencies strive to keep people and the environment healthy by establishing the "safe" level of a chemical.
A ‘time bomb’ for world wheat crop
Los Angeles Times - 6/14/2009.
By Karen Kaplan – The spores arrived from Kenya on dried, infected leaves ensconced in layers of envelopes. Working inside a bio-secure greenhouse outfitted with motion detectors and surveillance cameras, government scientists at the Cereal Disease Laboratory in St. Paul, Minn., suspended the fungal spores in a light mineral oil and sprayed them onto thousands of healthy wheat plants. After two weeks, the stalks were covered with deadly reddish blisters characteristic of the scourge known as Ug99.
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December 2 - Kitchen Licensing Workshop

December 4 - MOFGA’s Common Ground Radio Show

December 8 - QuickBooks Training presented by Farm Credit East

December 11 - Film: Maine Heritage Orchard

January - Growers' Meetings

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March 5 - MOFGA’s Spring Growth Conference: Soils


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