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. Please review our event registration policies. 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.

Farmer to Farmer Conference 2019

 
 

November 2-4, 2019
Saturday, Sunday, Monday
Point Lookout Resort and Conference Center, Northport, Maine

 

Pre-conference Activities
Saturday, November 2

FARM TOURS:
Snakeroot Farm and Balfour Farm in Pittsfield (bus tour)
North Spore Mushroom Farm in Westbrook (no bus available)

INTENSIVE SESSION:
Tarping for Reduced Tillage in Small-Scale Vegetable Systems
9 am to 4 p.m. led by Mark Hutton of University of Maine Extension and Ryan Maher of Cornell and facilitated by Crystal Stewart of Cornell.

2019 Keynote Speaker

Rowen White

 Rowen White is a Seed Keeper/farmer from the Mohawk community of Akwesasne and a passionate activist for indigenous seed and food sovereignty. She is the Educational Director and lead mentor of the Sierra Seeds, an innovative organic seed stewardship organization focusing on local seed and education, based in Nevada City, Calif. Rowen is the National Program Coordinator for the Indigenous Seed Keeper Network, which is an initiative of the Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance, a non-profit organization aimed at leveraging resources to support tribal food sovereignty projects. The mission of the Indigenous Seed Keepers Network is to nourish and assist the growing Seed Sovereignty Movement across Turtle Island. She also serves on the Board of Directors of Seed Savers Exchange, the largest public access seed bank in North America. She facilitates creative hands-on workshops and facilitates strategic conversations and community organizing around seed/food security around the country within tribal and small farming communities. Rowen has a deep commitment to approaching food systems revitalization with a cultural context. Rowen's passion is in teaching and mentoring, and has developed many curricula which focus on holistic, indigenous permaculture based approach to seed stewardship which honors the many layers of seed culture; She teaches and facilitates creative seed stewardship immersions around the country within tribal and small farming communities, as well as offering an online distance learning seasonal mentorship called Seed Seva.  She weaves stories of seeds, food, culture and sacred Earth stewardship on her blog, Seed Songs. Follow her seed journeys at www.sierraseeds.org.

Rowen White

Rowen White


SATURDAY FARM TOURS

Lois Labbe (left) and Tom Roberts of Snakeroot Organic Farm Debbie and Lori of Snakeroot Organic Farm
Lois Labbe (left) and Tom Roberts of Snakeroot Organic Farm Debbie and Lori of Snakeroot Organic Farm
   

Snakeroot Organic Farm – 1 p.m.

Snakeroot Organic Farm started in 1995 when Tom Roberts and Lois Labbe moved from Peacemeal Farm in Dixmont, where they had been farming together for five years. They moved onto a run-out hayfield in an opening in the woods, and immediately began to improve the soil with cover crops and compost. Today they grow a wide variety of mixed vegetables, fruit, and culinary herbs on 5 acres of gardens. Tom and Lois sell almost all of their garden produce at four farmers' markets – Pittsfield, Unity, Waterville, and Orono – each of which they helped start. Occasionally folks also come by the farm to shop.

They have a heated 2,600 sq.ft. greenhouse and another 4,820 sq.ft. in five unheated greenhouses where they grow seedlings for planting and for sale at the farmers’ markets. During the winter months the greenhouses are planted with spinach, beet greens, radishes, lettuce, spicy greens, turnips, and carrots for harvest starting in April before the field crops are ready. Then they transplant tomatoes and cucumbers into the greenhouse for early harvest of those crops.

In 2000 Tom and Lois began tapping maple trees in their sugarbush. They currently set a little over 400 taps to make their own maple syrup.


Heather and Doug Balfour with Joy the Normande Cow Balfour cows on pasture
Heather and Doug Balfour with Joy the Normande Cow Balfour cows on pasture
   

Balfour Farm – 3 p.m.

Balfour Farm is an off-the-grid, 100-acre diversified organic dairy farm. Doug and Heather Donahue purchased the vacant farm in 2010. Building on the foundation of organic management, the farm utilizes intensive rotational grazing. Winter feed is harvested by the farm on neighboring land. They have operated a closed herd since 2007, so all dairy animals are raised on the farm.

The Normande dairy herd produces rich milk that is well suited for cheesemaking. The creamery focuses on raw milk aged cheeses, fresh cheeses and yogurts. A flock of chickens provide fresh eggs for market, and a small herd of pigs happily eat the whey and discarded dairy products from the cheese room.

In 2015, farm operations transitioned to completely off the grid, with a small solar system and large diesel generator. In 2019, a 10 kW solar system was installed and now provides a significant amount of power for the farm, with the generator providing back up during intensive energy use. The farm is now constructing a cheese aging cave, which will significantly increase the farm's capacity.


North Spore Mushroom Farm with presentation: "Commercial Mushroom Farming in Maine" – 1 - 4 p.m.
Website
90 Bridge St., Westbrook, Maine 04092

(Parking is at the end of the building on the left, the North Spore shop is at the far end of the building away from the parking.)
NOTE: No bus will be available for this tour

Take a tour of a successful mushroom farm and spawn producer in the Portland area. We will see their fruiting room as well as the methods of producing spawn. The basics and opportunities of small scale mushroom farming will be explored. Willie Crosby, owner of Fungi Ally a mushroom spawn and education business based in Massachusetts, will lead the discussion. After seven years of commercial cultivation experience he is currently working to increase the small scale mushroom industry throughout the Northeast.


 

 

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