Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association



Bulletin Board

AUGUST 15, 2013

Join / Renew Donate Volunteer Find Certified Organic Foods Contact Us
John and Sue Belding
John and Sue Belding

Know Your Organic Producers!

Meet MOFGA certified organic farmers Mary and John Belding of Little Falls Farm in Harrison. John and Mary raise goats and produce 100 percent organic aged raw milk goat cheese, which they sell at MOFGA's Common Ground Country Fair Farmers' Market and to Fore Street restaurant in Portland. They also volunteer on the Common Ground Country Fair Steering Committee, which meets monthly all year to look at the big picture for the Fair, balancing many influences to keep the Fair true to its mission; and they co-coordinate (with Adrienne Lee) the Farmers' Markets at the Fair.

Please support MOFGA certified organic farmers and producers!

Search for local certified-organic food on

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Volunteer for the 2013 Fair

Here at MOFGA, we depend on all our volunteers to make each Fair a success. It's easy to register for a volunteer shift using our online system. To register or retrieve your password please visit: Or, if you'd like to learn more about volunteering at the Fair, just visit our webpage on for more information. Please contact Anna Libby, MOFGA's Volunteer Coordinator, at with any questions you may have. We'll see you at the Fair!

Advance Tickets for the Fair Are on Sale Now

Advance tickets for the Common Ground Country Fair are on sale now! List of outlets. Advance tickets cost the same as tickets at the gate but enable fairgoers to enter the Fair without waiting in line. The Fair is MOFGA's premier event of each year - and you don't need to buy a ticket if you're a MOFGA member. Members get free admission to all three days of the Fair - September 20, 21 and 22 this year. In addition, MOFGA members receive a quarterly newspaper on organic farming and gardening, discounts on training sessions and the satisfaction of being part of a community that is passionate about healthy, locally grown food and sustainable landscapes. Please join MOFGA today. We look forward to seeing you at the Fair!

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Schoodic Farm
Apprentices and others learned how to move a hoophouse, mulch a future garden with cardboard and hay, and make soil blocks at Schoodic Hollow Farm's Farm Training Project Workshop this week.

Farm Training Project workshops ccontinue to attract dozens of MOFGA apprentices and others interested in learning how experienced farmers are growing, marketing, controlling pests, and generally raising crops and livestock. This week participants learned about permaculture at Schoodic Hollow Farm in Franklin and at Rippling Waters Farm in Standish. Next week features Farming Off the Grid on Monday, August 19, at 5 p.m. at Rolling Acres Farm in Monroe. Rolling Acres Farm raises organic vegetables and livestock without being connected to the power grid. The farmers have developed a number of clever, innovative, energy-efficient strategies. Come see how they do it.

Workshop schedule.

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Sign up for MOFGA's Fall Events!

Register via the MOFGA Store or by calling the office.

  Low Impact Forestry, Level II Draft Animal Logging
October 18, 19, 20, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
Prerequisite: LIF Level I
  Low Impact Forestry Workshop
November 14 to 17, Thursday to Sunday

Common Ground Education Center, Unity
Three options for participation
  Chainsaw Safety Course - Level I
November 16 & 17, Saturday & Sunday
  Kitchen Licensing Workshop
December 4, Wednesday
Common Ground Education Center, Unity
Includes a tour of MOFGA's Common Kitchen

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How to Move Like a Gardener

How To Move Like A Gardener: Planting and Preparing Medicines From Plants. By Deb Soule. Now available from MOFGA. 256 informative pages with over 200 beautiful color photographs taken in Avena Botanicals' garden. This book embodies Deb's deep love and respect for the spirit of the medicinal plants she has worked with for almost 40 years. $33.00. Buy at the MOFGA Store.

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New Resource
Kennebec Valley Community College Sustainable Agriculture program

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Grace Oedel
Grace Oedel

MOFGA Welcomes Grace Oedel

MOFGA welcomed its new educational events coordinator, Grace Oedel, this week. Grace grew up in south Georgia, graduated from Yale with a degree in religious communities and environmental activism, and taught farming and literature for three years at the Woolman Semester School, a residential high school in California. Her husband, Jacob Holzberg-Pill, was recently hired as the sustainable agriculture program coordinator at Kennebec Valley Community College. They are both excited to be back East, closer to their families, and eating Maine maple syrup and blueberries every morning. Welcome, Grace!

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FDA to Hold Listening Session on Proposed Food Safety Modernization Act Rules
Augusta Armory, August 19

On August 19 from 9:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m., FDA representatives will be at the Augusta Armory to hold a listening session about its proposed rules. This is the only session scheduled in Maine and one of only three in New England. This is an important opportunity for growers to communicate directly with FDA on the proposed rules. MOFGA's agricultural services director, Dave Colson, has summarized the proposed food safety rules along with questions about them. His concise article is posted at, along with links for commenting and for more information.

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Maine Farmers: Rick Kersbergen has relayed this recent post from Joel Hunter in Pennsylvania

Beware of Poisoning Potential from Ergot Fungus Mycotoxins in Mature Grass Hay and Pasture  
This year's weather and poor haying conditions make ergot poisoning a real possibility! Mature grass hay and pasture may contain significant amounts of ergot from wet humid conditions during grass flowering. Ergot is a fungus that infects blossoms of grasses, notably rye and some other cereals but hosts also include our cool season forage grasses (orchardgrass, tall fescue, timothy, etc.) and weed grass species like quackgrass, wild rye, and others. Ergot is well known as a disease of rye. Animals get ergot either in the grain fed them or by grazing on infected grass. Obtained in either way, ergot may cause acute poisoning if a large enough quantity is eaten at one time. In large doses, the toxin produces acute symptoms such as muscle trembling/contraction, loss of coordination, convulsions, and eventually delirium and death. Also, because the effect of ergot is cumulative, poisoning may develop slowly if lesser quantities are eaten regularly.  
More information: 2007 "Ergot Alert!" from the University of Vermont (PDF). Additional information: "Ergot Poisoning in Cattle" fact sheet from Veterinary experts at Iowa State University.

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Master Gardener Volunteer Program for Knox, Lincoln & Waldo Counties
This year's focus will be Fruits and Vegetables for Maine.
45-plus-hour training includes classes by University of Maine Cooperative Extension specialists and industry experts, access to research-based materials, and an on-line manual. The program continues in the spring with two or three workshops, chosen by participants. After the training, Master Gardeners are required to complete and report 40 hours of volunteer work. Information and application. Go to News & Events and click on "Learn how to apply to become a Master Gardener Volunteer!" For a printed application, send your contact information to Jeanne Pipicello 207-832-0343 or

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on all 2012 GARLIC SCAPES design merchandise, including T-shirts, sweatshirts, aprons, tote bags, posters and more.

Each order of $25 or more will receive a FREE copy of the popular book on the history of our organization -
Fertile Ground: Celebrating 40 Years of MOFGA.

Buy at the MOFGA Store.

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Waldo County Extension Association Annual Meeting - "Science in the Garden"
Sept. 9, 2013 - Waldo County Technical Center, 1022 Waterville Rd., Waldo
5:45 p.m. to 8 p.m.

This year's annual meeting will highlight the garden project adopted at Islesboro High School this past year by teacher Ryan Martin. The annual meeting will be part of a training being offered to high school and middle school teachers to discover ways they might use Maine Master Gardener training materials as part of their science and math curriculum while using school gardens as their laboratory. For more information contact Rick Kersbergen at or 1-800-287-1426 ext 1014.

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Funds Available for Rural Microenterprise

The USDA has funds totaling approximately $12.2 million for the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP) for fiscal year 2013. RAMP provides loans and grants to Microenterprise Development Organizations (MDOs), which then provide technical services and distribute microloans to rural micro-entrepreneurs to support their development and ongoing success. For this round, MDOs may borrow $50,000 at minimum and $500,000 at maximum through the program Technical assistance-only grants are capped at $30,000 per grantee for technical assistance-only grants. Application materials for loans must be received by the deadline (September 13, 2013) in the USDA Rural Development State Office. Locations of the state offices are included in the announcement at Application materials for grants may be submitted in through

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Maine BPC Poster

Mainers Urged to Sign Up for Free Disposal of Banned, Unusable Pesticides

This October, the Maine Board of Pesticides Control (BPC) will team up with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to dispose of banned pesticides or pesticides that have become caked, frozen or otherwise rendered unusable. This free disposal program is open to homeowners, family-owned farms and greenhouses. All people need to do is register by September 27, 2013.

Removal of these pesticides is important for the protection of public, wildlife and environmental health. They must not be thrown in the trash or down the drain, where they will contaminate land and water resources, including drinking water.

Registration by September 27, 2013, is mandatory - drop-ins are not permitted. To register, get details, and learn important information about the temporary storage and transportation of obsolete pesticides, go to the BPC Web site at, or call 207-287-2731.

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Sad News about Leslie Land

MOFGA is sad to note the death of long-time member and well known garden writer Leslie Land. Leslie lived in Cushing for many years, where she was a prolific writer, editor, cook, gardener, former gardening columnist for The New York Times, and a former editor of Yankee magazine. She died on Aug. 10 from complications from breast cancer, in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. A champion of local, quality food, Leslie wrote four books, including “The 3,000 Mile Garden,” which became a BBC/PBS series.


Events in Maine and Beyond - Mark Your Calendar!

NOFA-New Hampshire Summer Series - A wide range of topics at workshops held throughout New Hampshire during the summer and fall.

NOFA Vermont Summer Workshops - Whether you're a beginning or experienced farmer, a gardener or homesteader, or just want to deepen your connection to local farms, NOFA Vermont's summer workshop series has something for you. Workshops are held every few days at locations throughout Vermont.

August 15 - Introduction to Permaculture (MOFGA Farm Training Project). Thursday, 5 p.m., Rippling Waters Farm, Standish. Details.

August 17 - Managing Herd Health on a Sheep Dairy Farm (MESAS Farm Tour). Saturday, 2:00 to 4:30 p.m., Northern Exposure Farm, 18 Country Lane, Dedham, Maine. Free, open to the public. Contact Dick Brzozowski,, 207-781-6099.

August 18 - Eastport Kitchen Gardens Tour.
1-4 p.m. Six Eastport kitchen gardens will be on tour, showcasing a range of styles to inspire gardeners of all abilities. Tickets $3 per person to tour all six gardens and are available with maps at Peavey Memorial Library, downtown Eastport at the corner of Water and Key streets. Rain date: Sunday, August 25, 1-4 p.m. FMI: 207-853-4528 or visit Facebook page "Eastport Kitchen Gardens Alliance."

August 19 -
From 9:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m., FDA representatives will be at the Augusta Armory to hold a listening session, the only one scheduled in Maine and one of only three in New England.

August 19 - Farming Off the Grid (MOFGA Farm Training Project). Monday, 5 p.m., Rolling Acres Farm, Monroe. Details.

August 21 - Poultry Processing at Tide Mill Organic Farm, Edmunds. Wednesday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Schedule: 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Settling in Baby Chicks; 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Chicken Harvesting & Eviscerating; 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Chicken Cutting.  Details: Website.

August 22 - Koviashuvik Local Living School Open Homestead followed by Pot Luck Supper and Brainstorm Session/Inspiration Sharing. 3 p.m. to 7:30 pm., Temple, Maine. Tour starting at 3:30. Come for an afternoon tour of our homestead/school which includes a stone root cellar, ice storage house, subterranian green house, Cree Indian style earth-covered apprentice dwelling, rain-water catchment, solar dehydrator, and the classiest composting toilet ever built! For more info or directions please call 207-778-0318 or visit

August 25 - Closing the Loops on an Integrated Livestock-Veggie Farm (MESAS Farm Tour).
Sunday, 3:00 to 5:00 p.m, King Hill Farm, 29 Faerie Kingdom Rd., Penobscot. Free, open to the public. Contact Paul Schultz -, 207-326-9701.

August 26 - From Apprentice to Farmer: taking the next steps (MOFGA Farm Training Project).
Monday, 5 p.m., Mackie Family Farm, Unity (on the MOFGA campus). Details.

Aug. 29 - Free webinar: "Budding and Grafting Fruit Varieties for Organic Production."
11 a.m. Central Time. Register.
Cheryl Wixson
Cheryl Wixson

Volunteer Workday: Putting Food By
Join MOFGA's Cheryl Wixson in preserving the harvest from MOFGA's gardens. Volunteers will work with Cheryl in the kitchen to preserve food for use at the Common Ground Country Fair and throughout the year. Workdays are on September 4th and 9th from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at MOFGA's Common Kitchen in Unity, ME. Lunch will be provided. Please RSVP to MOFGA's Volunteer Coordinator, Anna Libby, at

September 6 - MOFGA's Common Ground radio show. 10 to 11 a.m., WERU, 89.9 and 99.9 FM and

September 11 -
Four Season Forward - Producing Year-Round Crops Using High Tunnels, Low Tunnels and Quickhoops, with Clara Coleman of Four Season Farm Consulting. Littleton, Maine. Potluck. Co-sponsored by MOFGA and Southern Aroostook Soil and Water Conservation District. Information.

September 11 - Dairy & Diversification (MOFGA Farm Training Project).
Wednesday, 5 p.m., Two Loons Farm and The Milkhouse. Details.

Sept. 17, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. - Explore the Depth and Breadth of Sustainable Forestry at Hidden Valley Nature Center in Jefferson.
Real-life forestry practitioners will introduce you to the theory, practice, economics, ecology and legal aspects of sustainable forestry. Co-sponsored by Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. $80 members of CMBG and HVNC; $95 non-members. FMI:, or 200-8840.

September 20, 21 & 22 - MOFGA's Common Ground Country Fair

September 25-27 - 2013 Farm Viability Conference, Middlebury, Vt. Details.

November 14-16 - Soils Conference with Arden Andersen in Bangor

"Grow the Food the World Wants" - How Farmers Farm Determines How the Rest of the World Lives. Dr. Arden Andersen will present the latest on nutrient-dense biological agriculture and how healthy soils make economic and environmental sense, at Heart of Maine's Annual Soils Conference in Bangor. MOFGA is cosponsoring this event. Information:,, 207-200-3603. Early-bird registration closes on Sept. 30.

Many more events are posted on MOFGA's on-line Calendar.


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