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PO Box 170, Unity, Maine 04988
294 Crosby Brook Road
MOFGA is an Equal Opportunity organization, provider, and employer.
MOFGA's Farm Training Project Workshops
Weekly, June through September
at farm locations throughout Maine
Designed to augment the on-farm learning of the farm apprenticeship program, MOFGA's Farm Training Project (FTP) workshops follow an informal format, usually beginning with a farm tour followed by a presentation on the topic of the day. Participants are invited to stay for a potluck supper – bring a dish or something fresh from the farm to share (please bring your own place setting as well). All events are held rain or shine and are free and open to the public. For more information or directions to any of the workshops, call 568-6018, email email@example.com, or check the FTP website.
KIVA LOANS FOR FARMERS
MOFGA has teamed up with Collective Commitments, a new social enterprise working in Maine, to help you access 0% interest loans from Kiva.org for any business purpose.
Date Change – June 27 - Tractor-Scale Weed Management
MOFGA Farm Training Project workshop: Tuesday, 5 p.m., Goranson Farm, Dresden. Weed control is a primary challenge in organic farming systems. This workshop will offer ecological and cultural approaches to weed management with University of Maine Cooperative Extension Professional Jason Lilley, University of Maine Professor Eric Gallandt, and farmer expertise from Carl Goranson. Potluck to follow.
June 28 - Sticking to the Plan
Farmer to Farmer in the Field farm tour: Wednesday, Peacemeal Farm, 25 Peacemeal Lane, Dixmont. 5:30 p.m. farm tour; 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. topic discussion: Farm planning and mental prep is an important part of a successful season. Join Mark Guzzi and Marcia Ferry and see how they make all the plans come true during the brunt of the season while they grow food for their CSA and various farmers markets.
June 28 - Mushroom Cultivation
MOFGA Farm Training Project workshop: Weds., 5 p.m., Maine Cap N' Stem, Gardiner. Maine Cap N' Stem is a certified organic mushroom substrate producer opening its farm doors to a one night workshop that aims to introduce MOFGA members to the practical application of farming fungi. The workshop will cover the basics of commercial mushroom cultivation with a walk-through tour of Maine Cap N' Stem's substrate production facility. We will then talk about what it takes to set up a semi-automated fruiting room for year-round fresh mushroom production. The workshop aims to help traditional farms gain all the information necessary to start fruiting shiitake, lion's mane, oyster and chestnut mushrooms in a matter of weeks to diversify their market offerings by using our ready-to-fruit substrate. Potluck to follow.
July 6 - Medicinal Herbs
MOFGA Farm Training Project workshop: Thursday, 5 p.m., Avena Botanicals, Rockport. Join herbalist and biodynamic herb gardener Deb Soule for an informative walk through Avena Botanicals medicinal herb gardens. Deb and a crew of three gardeners collect over 1800 pounds of medicinal herbs by hand each year from 2-1/2 acres. These herbs are then immediately processed on-site into a variety of tinctures, teas, oils and salves. Avena is the first Demeter-certified biodynamic farm in Maine and Deb will include an introduction to biodynamics as part of this tour. Potluck to follow.
July 12 - New Tools for New Farmers: Marketing and Social Media
MOFGA Farm Training Project workshop: Weds., 5 p.m., Home Sweet Homestead, Waldoboro. Come for a lively discussion hosted by homesteader, ceramicist and social media maven Julie Letowski (@homesweethomestead), known and loved both near and far for the visually arresting, straight-talking, intimate aesthetic of her online persona that gracefully threads the boundary between sharing self and selling stuff. Abby Lyden and Jeffrey Knox of Dharma Farm in Washington (@dharmafarm), will also be on hand to join the conversation about the opportunities, challenges and techniques for constructively harnessing the power of social networks. Bring your thoughts on navigating the power and pitfalls of new media tools, online commerce, privacy and authenticity. Smartphones, handles and hashtags welcome. Potluck to follow.
July 20 - High Tunnel Construction
MOFGA Farm Training Project workshop: Thursday, 5 p.m., Farmer Kev's Organics, West Gardiner. It is likely that you will gain experience growing crops in high tunnels during your apprenticeship, but do you know how to construct one when it comes time to start your own farm? Learn about design selection, site preparation, and construction of high tunnels with farmer Kevin Leavitt. Potluck to follow. Schedule of 2017 FTP workshops.
July 25 - How to Establish and Manage Alfalfa in Rotation
Farmer to Farmer in the Field farm tour: Tuesday, Two Loons Farm, 407 East Vassalboro Rd., China 5:30 p.m. farm tour; 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. topic discussion: Whether you are interested in growing alfalfa for hay or as a cover crop come and learn from Spencer Aitel on how to establish and manage alfalfa as part of your rotation.
August 1 - Ecological Pest Management
MOFGA Farm Training Project workshop: Tuesday, 5 p.m., Whatley Farm, Topsham. Effective ecological pest control starts with a farm system design based on the fundamental principles of diversity and complexity. Join Dave Colson, MOFGA's Agricultural Services Director, and farmer Ben Whatley for a comprehensive perspective on managing pests in organic vegetable systems. Potluck to follow. Schedule of 2017 FTP workshops.
August 9 - Biodynamic Farming
Wednesday, 5 p.m., Hope's Edge Farm, Hope. Biodynamics is a mystical, holistic approach to agriculture that has something to offer every farmer and gardener. Join host Tom Griffin for an introduction to the Biodynamic approach, and see how he incorporates it into his operation. Potluck to follow. Schedule of 2017 FTP workshops.
August 16 - Farming with Horses
MOFGA Farm Training Project workshop: Wednesday, 5 p.m., New Beat Farm, Knox. Using animals for draft power has a number of economic, environmental and social benefits; but it is not easy. Sandy Meadow Farm relies on draft power for all aspects of their operation – from tillage to haying to woods work. Come learn the basics of this genuinely solar-based system of farming. Potluck to follow. Schedule of 2017 FTP workshops.
August 23 - Seed Saving and Production on a Diversified Farm
MOFGA Farm Training Project workshop: 5 p.m., Seven Tree Farm, Vassalboro. Roberta Bailey of Fedco Seeds operates Seven Tree Farm, 18 acres with three field plots, an orchard and grape arbor and many fruit and berry plantings. The farm also includes a solar house, root cellar, and many post and beam buildings, including a new barn and woodworking shop. The focus of their operation is to grow much of our food and to raise commercial seed crops on a small farm scale. Seed crops can work well with the home garden or the field production gardens, further diversifying a farm operation's income and securing seed supply in some situations. The talk will focus on interplanting seed crops in your gardens or field plots, using the by-products of the crop for food production or value added products to sell, and on basic seed saving and plant genetics, crop nutrition, rotations, isolations, and how to harvest and dry seed. The talk will cover biennials such as beets and carrots as well. Potluck to follow.
August 24 - Cover Crop Demo
Farmer to Farmer in the Field farm tour: Thursday, Bumbleroot Organic Farm, 196 Highland Cliff Rd., Windham. 5:30 p.m. farm tour; 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. topic discussion. Join UMaine Extension and MOFGA at Bumbleroot Organic Farm as they trial a variety of cover crop mixes on an organic farm.
August 30 - Farm Woodlot Management
MOFGA Farm Training Project workshop: Weds., 5 p.m., Hidden Valley Nature Center, Jefferson. Woodlots are a ubiquitous, and essential part of farms in Maine. Whether the forest provides a heat source for your home and greenhouse, vital habitat for pollinators, foraging potential for livestock, maple syrup, or lumber for your buildings it must be managed with skill and vision. Hidden Valley Nature Center manages 1,000+ acres of forest for diverse purposes and you're invited to tour a portion of their activity with HVNC Director Andy Bezon. This workshop will emphasize the need for creativity at the intersection of field and forest, as well as a look at innovative tools, equipment, and processes. HVNC works in collaboration with MOFGA's Low Impact Forestry Project and aims to promote the thoughtful and sustainable inclusion of forests into the future of farms in Maine. HVNC was named the 2014 Outstanding Tree Farm in Maine. Potluck to follow. Schedule of 2017 FTP workshops.
September 6 - Diverse Dairy
MOFGA Farm Training Project workshop: 5 p.m., Toddy Pond Farm, Monroe. In recent decades, many small dairy farms have had to 'get big or get out' as the rising cost of operating a small scale, pasture based dairy has grown beyond economic sustainability. In order to become profitable, many producers have gotten creative—by diversification, value-added production, and innovative marketing strategies. Toddy Pond Farm is a small, diversified, family-run dairy operation of grass-fed Jersey and Guernsey cows in Monroe. Come see how farmers Greg and Heidi Purinton-Brown have designed the business model of the farm to ensure long term economic sustainability. They produce yogurt, kefir, cheese, and ice cream, along with honey, sheep, guinea hogs, meat chickens and eggs. Learn about their marketing strategies for this diversified operation and how the different aspects of the farm compliment each other. Potluck to follow.
September 13 - Next Steps: Apprentice to Journeyperson
MOFGA Farm Training Project workshop: Weds., 5 p.m., Old Wells Farm, Limington. MOFGA estimates that Maine needs about 150 new farmers each year just to maintain the infrastructure required to support our local food system – so every new farm operation in Maine is a reason to celebrate! But, it's becoming increasingly difficult to get started in farming. Join Dylan and Alaena, along with several of MOFGA's current Journeypersons, as they share their insights and enthusiasm about how they are managing their first few years farming independently. Several key service providers will also discuss how their programs can help. If you are considering farming for a living, please come and contribute to this important discussion. Potluck to follow.
September 22-24 - COMMON GROUND COUNTRY FAIR
MOFGA's Strategic Plan
Click here to read our new Mission Statement, Vision, and Organizational Values, along with our Program Goals and Objectives
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