Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
MOFGA Events

MOFGA Events

Throughout the year, MOFGA hosts hundreds of meetings, workshops, conferences, dinners and festive gatherings. Many take place at our Common Ground Education Center in Unity, Maine. And many more happen at farms, businesses and other venues throughout the state. For events offered by other organizations, see our Calendar page. Interested in giving a workshop for MOFGA? Please complete this form. If you are interested in receiving a scholarship for a MOFGA event click here.

2019 Maine Apple Camp

August 16-18, 2019
Friday, 12:00 p.m. to  Sunday, 1 p.m.
Camp NEOFA, Montville, Maine (MAP)

$245 per person for the weekend; $195 for MOFGA members

Apple Lovers! Orchardists! Cider Makers! Fruit Explorers!

Join fellow apple enthusiasts for Maine Apple Camp

  • Innovative Orcharding
  • Identifying and Preserving Heritage Varieties
  • New England Cider Revolution
  • Fungal Duff
  • Foraging Wild Fruit
  • Marketing the Crop
  • Cider Tasting

and more!

Questions? Email apples@mofga.org



Accommodation

Camp NEOFA is a traditional summer camp set-up with cabins with 10 bunks each. We will be designating cabins in several ways for the weekend:

  • Women's cabins
  • Men's cabins
  • All genders cabins (* good for couples)
  • Family cabins (* good for families with kids)

If you would like to have your own space we recommend camping in your own tent. There are lovely camping areas by the water and in the woods. We also have a limited number of tents ready-to-use, with a basic bed set up inside – please email events@mofga.org for details on this option.

Food

Meals will be cooked on site from high-quality ingredients and served at the central eating area at camp, amongst the pine trees. Please let us know in your registration form whether you have any specific dietary needs.

Programming for Teens

STEMports Half-Day Augmented Reality Meet-up

This is special program for teens that will take place at Camp NEOFA during Apple Camp. On Saturday August 17, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., teens aged 13+ can learn about augmented reality in a fun and open workshop. They can beta test the new STEMports game, get involved in hands-on activities and demos, and participate in a Q&A with the game co-design team and STEM experts – all while their parents participate in Maine Apple Camp workshops!

The Maine Math & Science Alliance’s STEMports Project is designed as an opportunity for youth to build their understanding of augmented reality technology and to explore the science, math, engineering and technology (STEM). These workshops are happening in rural communities all across Maine. This workshop is free but registration is limited so please follow this link to register: https://airtable.com/shr7mWxKYQTjxJx2V. Questions? Email stemports@mmsa.org


A visit to the Maine Heritage Orchard will kick off Maine Apple Camp this year. Please visit their website for more information about this event and the orchard in general.

Maine Apple Camp 2019 SCHEDULE

FRIDAY  
Noon Lunch @ MOFGA in the Exhibition Hall (294 Crosby Brook Rd Unity, Maine 04988)
1:00-4:00pm Self-guided tours of Maine Heritage Orchard @ MOFGA (85 Crosby Brook Rd Unity, Maine 04988)
  Fungal Duff & Companion Planting, "walk and talk" led by Tom Vigue
4:00-6:00pm Check-In @ Camp NEOFA (213 North Trotting Lane, Montville, Maine)
4:00-5:30pm Summer Apple Tasting (bring apples from home to share!) with Sean Turley
5:30-7:00pm Dinner
8:00-10:00pm Cider Club (bring a bottle to share), hosted by Portland Cider Club
SATURDAY  
7:00-8:30am Breakfast
9:00-10:00am History of Apples in Maine, John Bunker
  Preserving Summer Apples – interactive kitchen demo, Emily Skrobis & Kate Wallace
10:00-10:30 Break
10:30-Noon Foraging Wild Apples, round table discussion led by Matt Kaminsky
  Orchard Innovations Across the Universe, Mike Biltonen
Noon-1:30pm Lunch
1:30-2:30pm Marketing the Crop, Jack & Polly McDougal
  Scything Your Orchard; Snath Making, Sy Schotz
2:30-3:00pm Break
3:00-4:00pm Identifying & Preserving Apple Varieties, round table discussion led by Casimir Holeski
  Malus Storytelling: Odd Apples on Social Media, William Mullan & Sean Turley
4:00-4:30pm Break
4:30-5:45pm The Apple Genome, Cameron Peace
6:00-7:30pm Dinner
7:45-8:30pm How to Taste Cider,  cider tasting led by Chase Rochon & Khris Hogg
8:30-10:00pm Cider Club II (bring a bottle to share), hosted by Portland Cider Club
SUNDAY  
7:00-9:00am Breakfast
9:00-10:00am Story Time, Andy Brennan reads from his new book and from a children's story
10:00-Noon Unstructured: continuing discussions, swim, crafts, etc.
Noon Maine Apple Camp ends, leave Camp NEOFA by noon

Schedule PDF


Speaker & Facilitator Biographies

Andy Brennan – "Story Time" (Sunday morning)
Andy Brennan will read from his new book, "Uncultivated: Wild Apples, Real Cider, and the Complicated Art of Making a Living" (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2019). He is the owner of Aaron Burr Cidery, a small homestead farm located in New York state’s Catskills region that supplies cider to some of New York’s most renowned restaurants, including 11 Madison Park, Blue Hill/ Stone Barns and the Gramercy Tavern. He has been featured in The New York Times, on CBS Sunday Morning, in Wine Enthusiast magazine and in numerous other publications. As a prominent figure in the growing U.S. cider movement he frequently speaks at museums, events, radio and on podcasts advocating for a more traditional, ecological, and ethical approach to cider production.

Mike Biltonen – presenter of "Orchard Innovations Across the Universe" (Saturday morning)
Mike has farmed his entire professional career. He has horticulture degrees from Virginia Tech (BS ’86) and Cornell (MS ’92) as well as over 35 years of practical farming experience. Although his career started in the trenches at a large conventional orchard in Virginia, during his time at Cornell he became more aware and focused on sustainable orcharding and the need for greater ecological well-being of farms. Over the past 20 years he has worked as a practicing orchardist and consultant for growers looking to grow more holistic food, revealing the difficulties of doing so and what the path towards a biodynamic future looks like. His energies are now focused on helping growers navigate these transitional waters while becoming better farmers and maintaining viable businesses. He currently lives in the Finger Lakes region of New York where he is crop a consultant, advisor, mentor, writer, philosophizer, rabble-rouser and farmer with Know Your Roots, a small holistic company he owns and operates with his wife Debbie.

John Bunker – presenter of "History of Apples in Maine" (Saturday morning)
John Bunker is an apple historian, gardener and orchardist. His passion is tracking down, identifying and preserving rare apples. His recent book, "Apples and the Art of Detection" will be available this summer. He lives with Cammy Watts on Superchilly Farm in Palermo Maine. To contact John or to learn more about John and Cammy’s activities, go to outonalimbapples.com.

Khristopher Hogg – guide for cider tasting (Saturday evening)
Khris Hogg is the chef/curator at Perennial Cider Bar + Farm Kitchen in Belfast. Prior to opening Perennial in 2019, Khris has worked as an organic farmer, writer and farm to table cook in northern New England and the Pacific Northwest. He was drawn to cider by the diversity of the apple, the idea that every seed can beget a new variety, the stories attached to the varieties we've already named, and the potential for each cider to connect to its place and time in its own way. He also just likes how traditional cider tastes (most of the time).  He lives with his wife and baby boy, Pippin, on their woodland homestead in Swanville, where he tends an ever-growing number of trees, mushroom logs, and other Perennial food crops, as well as miscellaneous other projects.

Casimir Holeski – leading roundtable discussion "Identifying & Preserving Varieties" (Saturday afternoon)
Casimir Holeski is a fruit explorer and grower living in Boundary County, Idaho. He is the founder of imagarden, a collaborative venture; I.M. Tree Crops, a permaculture-oriented nursery; and Boundary County Orchard Restoration Project. As a father of four, Casimir is actively inspired to think about future generations in the actions he takes today. Casimir is passionate about creating local food systems and believes the time is right for a shift in focus back to a locally based economy. It is his vision and intention to build a network of fruit explorers, growers and collaborators in north Idaho, the inland Northwest and beyond.

Matt Kaminsky – leading roundtable "Foraging Wild Apples" (Saturday morning)
Matt Kaminsky is an orchardist, cidermaker and arborist from western Massachusetts' Pioneer Valley. He works for grower-producer Carr's Ciderhouse, where he also co-manages a sheep and goat silvopasture, as well as a nursery. His moniker, Gnarly Pippins, is also the name of his website, where you can find more writings on his apple-related projects and a variety of products from custom made pruning saws to wild apple scion wood and nursery stock seasonally. Keep up with him on Instagram: @gnarlypippins

Alicia Letteney – leading "Preserving Summer Apples, Interactive Kitchen Demo" (Saturday morning)
Alicia Letteney can almost always (without fail) tell you every key ingredient of a dish by the smell. She cooks intuitively and creatively uses local ingredients in all her dishes. A longtime gardener and tender of land, she is intimate with the plants she uses in her cooking. Alicia works at Fedco Seeds and was an integral part of the Maine Fiddle Camp kitchen for many years. She lives in Troy with her sweet and wonderful dog Hazel.

Cameron Peace – keynote speaker, "The Apple Genome" (Saturday afternoon)
Cameron Peace is fascinated by fruit, genetics, history, and what breeding offers future generations. His research program at Washington State University brings the benefits of natural diversity and the genomics age to fruit breeding via "DNA-informed breeding." His current mission is to figure out how each apple tree is related to every other, putting them all onto a single apple family tree. He oversees the student-run Palouse Wild Cider Breeding Program in Pullman, Wash., that provides hands-on experiences for future scientists and is churning up interesting genetic combinations with much use of wild crab apple species. He is an associate professor in tree fruit genetics at Washington State University.

Chase Rochon – guide for "Cider Tasting" (Saturday evening)
Chase is a born and raised Mainer who has spent the past 10 years in the hospitality industry all around New England. After returning home from some time spent in Boston's cocktail scene, he took the role as front of house manager at Liquid Riot Bottling Company, Maine's only brewery/distillery/restaurant. Chase fell in love with cider at a young age and has been an avid supporter of the Maine craft cider movement. You can find him @ciderpedia on Instagram or in the heart of the Old Port mixing up cocktails and pouring out some of Maine's highest quality fermented beverages.

Sean Turley – facilitating the Summer Apple Tasting (Friday afternoon) and "Malus Storytelling" (Saturday afternoon)
Sean Turley is the former apple columnist for the Portland Press Herald who maintains a compendium of apple varieties on Instagram at @therighteousrusset. He has conducted an annual apple tasting in Portland over the last five years, focusing on traditional New England varieties. Sean is also a fledgling lawyer, fruit forager and amateur cidermaker who is always down to try the most righteous russet.

Tom Vigue – leading the tours of Heritage Orchard and "walk and talk" on "Fungal Duff and Companion Planting" (Friday afternoon)
Tom has a B.S. in agricultural science (1975) and has been a farmer/gardener and seed grower since then. He has been growing fruit since the mid 1980s, including less common fruit such as kiwi berries, cornelian cherries and sea berries. Tom is also a professional stone mason. He has been involved with the Heritage Orchard in Unity, Maine, since its inception.

 

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