Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association



Bulletin Board

AUGUST 9, 2013

Join / Renew Donate Volunteer Find Certified Organic Foods Contact Us
Tide Mill Farm
Aaron Bell, Carly DelSignore and their four children and friends. Photo courtesy of Tide Mill Farm.

Know Your Organic Producers!

Meet the MOFGA certified organic farmers from Tide Mill Farm in Edmunds, Maine. The Bell family has farmed this land for nine generations, and now six Bell households keep the farm going, raising and selling just about everything that will grow in rugged Washington County, Maine. Aaron Bell and Carly DelSignore are two of the now-famous stars of the documentary "Betting the Farm," about starting Maine's Own Organic Milk Company. With the help of their four young children, they grow and market certified organic foods, specializing in nutritious vegetables, eggs, meat and milk. They also make and sell balsam wreaths and conduct educational farm tours. "Our goals," they say, "include connecting people to healthy food; educating consumers and our community about the importance of locally farmed, organic food; strengthening our local economy; and rejuvenating agriculture as an economically viable lifestyle in Washington County. We hope to leave behind a more enriched agricultural environment and local food systems for future generations." The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener profiled Tide Mill in 2009. Tide Mill website. Look for Tide Mill at the Common Ground Country Fair farmers' markets.

Please support MOFGA certified organic farmers and producers!

Search for local certified-organic food on

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Volunteers Needed at MOFGA Next Week

Please join MOFGA, if you can, on one or two volunteer work days next week - one on Tuesday, Aug. 13, beginning at 9:30 a.m., to work in MOFGA's Heritage Orchard; and the second on Wednesday, Aug. 14, to shovel for some new grey water systems. Please contact Anna Libby, MOFGA's volunteer coordinator, if you can help: or 207-568-4142. Thank you!

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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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Ted Quaday. Nicole Formenti photo.
Ted Quaday. Nicole Formenti photo.

We Have a New Director!

MOFGA is pleased to announce that Ted Quaday is our new executive director. An organic food advocate, Quaday has dedicated the past 15 years to working for family farms and sustainable agriculture. He is a former program director at Farm Aid, where he worked with family farm and good food advocacy organizations throughout the country. A former communications director at the Organic Farming Research Foundation, Quaday currently provides strategic communications services to advocacy groups working to build the food movement. He tweets at TQorganic.

"MOFGA has established itself as a leader in advancing organic policy that is beneficial to farmers and to those who enjoy organic food. I look forward to joining the MOFGA team to continue advancing the vision of locally produced organic food for all," said Quaday.

Quaday will attend the Common Ground Country Fair and will officially begin work with MOFGA on October 1.

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Farm Training Project workshops continue 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. Next week's workshops are on permaculture.

Introduction to Permaculture
Wednesday, August 14, 5 p.m. at Schoodic Hollow Farm, Franklin
Thursday, August 15, 5 p.m. at Rippling Waters Farm, Standish

Permaculture is a method of landscape design and food production that is based on the principles of ecology and diversity. Come and see two excellent examples of how permaculture can help bring vitality back to land, mitigate problematic soils and increase a farm's resilience. More information.

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

The FDA's proposed rules for implementing the Food Safety Modernization Act are limited, in that they address biological but not chemical or physical contamination of produce; yet in other respects they overreach and could put some direct market produce farmers out of business.

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.

Those who cannot make the listening session can submit comments by Nov. 13, 2013.

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.

Huffington Post article on the proposed FDA food safety rules:
For Farmers, Farmers Market Week Celebrations Clouded With Concern and Confusion Over Looming New Food Safety Rules
By Stacy Miller, Project Director, Farmers Market Coalition - This year, behind the rainbowed mounds of melon and peppers, farmers are a little antsy. Amid celebrations taking place in communities across the country, they wonder how new federal food safety laws will impact their businesses.


Events in Maine and Beyond - Mark Your Calendar!

Farmer Field Days at Neighboring Farms in Washington County. Co-sponsored by MOFGA. Every Monday morning 7 a.m. - Scything and Permaculture, Jim Kovaleski, 187 US Route 1, Robbinston. FMI:

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 9 to 11 - Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) Summer Conference, Amherst, Mass. Keynote speakers, more than 200 workshops, family activities. Workshops in eight tracks: beginning farmer, CSA, grazing, nutrient density, organic land care, permaculture, co-ops and season extension. Information.

August 14 - Introduction to Permaculture (MOFGA Farm Training Project).
Wednesday, 5 p.m., Schoodic Hollow Farm, Franklin. Details.

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

Aug. 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 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 5 - Seed Saving and Production on a Diversified Farm (MOFGA Farm Training Project). Thursday, 5 p.m., Seven Tree Farm, Vassalboro. Details.

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.

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

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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